: RFE/RL: Ukraine arrests four police officers linked to Maidan murders

16:22 Jun. 24, 2016

RFE/RL: Ukraine arrests four police officers linked to Maidan murders

Berkut police officers aim at protesters during the Maidan Revolution (UNIAN Photo)

Before entering new police, the officers were members of "Berkut" squads, which tried to supress people's protests against Yanukovych

Ukrainian authorities have arrested four former officers of the "Berkut" riot police for their alleged role in the violent dispersal of pro-European protesters in Kyiv in early 2014, RFE/RL reports. 

Larysa Sarhan, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office, said on June 24 that the four suspects were serving on Ukraine's national police force at the time of their arrest on June 23.

Read also: No end in sight for the 2013 Euromaidan beatings trial

The four are alleged to have used violent force to disperse protesters in Kyiv on February 18, 2014, during the final days of pro-Russia former President Viktor Yanukovych's rule.

They have been charged with abuse of power, attempted murder, and illegally preventing citizens from gathering and demonstrating.

One of the suspects was also charged with the premeditated murder of more than one person.

Read also: Yanukovych ready to return to Ukraine as president - lawyer

More than a hundred people were killed in and around Kyiv's central Independence Square, known as the Maidan, from February 18 to 20, 2014.

The deaths came after months-long opposition protests that prompted Yanukovych to flee Ukraine in late February -- a departure that led parliament to vote for his removal on grounds that he was unable to fulfill his duties.

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