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article imageQuestions arise over which side deployed snipers in Ukraine

By Ralph Lopez     Mar 9, 2014 in World
An intercepted phone call between the Estonian Foreign Minister and the European Union foreign policy chief has been leaked, in which the Estonian Minister discusses the possibility of Ukrainian opposition groups being behind last month's sniper attacks.
The attacks in Kiev killed both protesters and police, and sparked a furor which led to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country.
In the call Foreign Minister Urmas Paet says a doctor named "Olga" told him that opponents of Ukraine's ousted President may have been responsible. The question of why pro-government snipers would target police as well as protesters has not been answered.
A Russian state-news agency said "Olga" refers to Dr. Olga Bogomolets, chief coordinator of medical aid at the main protest camp in Independence Square.
In the call Paet says to Ashton:
"What was quite disturbing, this same Olga told that, well, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides. So she also showed me some photos, she said that as medical doctor, she can say it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it's really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don't want to investigate what exactly happened. So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition."
Ashton replies: "I think we do want to investigate. I didn't pick that up, that's interesting. Gosh."
It is now being revealed that far-right Neo-Nazi political parties were at the fore of the protests which drove out Yanukovych. A recent BBC report notes that the greatest gains in the new transitional government have been made by armed Neo-Nazi parties (below.)
Some foreign policy experts, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin, blame US meddling in Ukrainian politics, through the infusion of funds for "democracy initiatives," for the sudden rise of the Neo-Nazi parties.
Paets later backed away from the suggestion heard in the phone call that opposition elements were responsible for the snipers, with his office issuing a statement which said:
"Foreign Minister Paet was giving an overview of what he had heard the previous day in Kiev and expressed concern over the situation on the ground. We reject the claim that Paet was giving an assessment of the opposition's involvement in the violence."
Leaked phone call between Paets and Ashton
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