Bloody days of Maidan: exactly 10 years ago mass shootings during the protests began

Ivanna ShepelSociety
Events on the Maidan on February 18, 2014

Exactly 10 years ago, on February 18, 2014, mass shootings during the Maidan protests in Kyiv began. Ukrainians stood with shields and stones against the batons, water cannons, and firearms of those who called themselves law enforcement officers.

Dozens of Ukrainians gave their lives during these tragic days for rejecting the post-Soviet model of government, defending their dignity and freedom. We will tell you more about the events that took place on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.

In themorning of February 18, 2014, protesters staged a march to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which was called the "Peaceful Offensive". The people demanded that the authorities make decisions to overcome the crisis and resolve the situation in the country, in particular, to limit the powers of the President of Ukraine by returning to the Constitution of Ukraine of 2004. However, the Verkhovna Rada office rejected the registration of this document, which caused outrage among the protesters. This led to clashes with law enforcement.

Activists set fire to the office of the Party of Regions. Special police units "Berkut" dispersed the demonstrators near the Parliament and began to storm the Maidan. Titushky actively participated in these actions. Clashes took place in Mariinsky Park, as well as on Shovkovychna, Lipska, and Instytutska streets.

By noon, the security forces had removed the Euromaidan protesters from the government quarter and began clearing Independence Square.

To prevent aid from reaching Maidan, Kyiv shut down the subway and restricted traffic at the city's entrances. Train traffic from western Ukraine was suspended. Some trains were stopped in Shepetivka and Fastiv. There were also cases of damage to the railroad tracks.

By 18:00, security forces were storming the October Palace and the Ukrainian House.

Around 20:00, Berkut tried to storm the barricades with two armored personnel carriers, but Maidan activists set one of them on fire with a Molotov cocktail.

Law enforcement officers set fire to the camp and the Trade Union Building. The situation in the Trade Union Building became catastrophic - people had to leave the burning building by jumping from the upper floors to save themselves. The fire in the Trade Union Building lasted throughout the night. Several bodies were found after the fire.

On the approaches to the Maidan, titushky began to be active, attacking individual Euromaidan participants and their small groups.

On February 18, at least 22 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Some of the wounded were taken to hospitals, while others received medical care at St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral.

Overall, the events of February 18-21 became the bloodiest and most tragic stage in the history of the Revolution of Dignity. According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 82 people were killed in the confrontations - 71 demonstrators and 11 law enforcement officers, 622 people were injured.

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