A forensic ballistic expert reports prove prof. Katchanovski conclusion on “Snipper massacre” in Ukraine

by Ivan Katchanovski

A forensic ballistic expert report, which was conducted more than two years ago on the prosecution request but only made public during the Maidan massacre trial on June 30, 2016, found that Oleksander Khrapachenko was killed by a corroded .308 Winchester caliber expanding hunting bullet. This NATO bullet caliber does not match the 7.62×39 caliber of AKMS used by members of the special Berkut company, who are charged with killing of this protester. (3:08:35) https://youtu.be/1iFGip3tB3k?t=3h9m45s

This forensic expert level evidence corroborates findings of my APSA paper that Khrapachenko was killed not by Berkut but by a “sniper” from the Maidan-controlled Hotel Ukraina (p. 53):
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2658245

“A testimony by Volodymyr Pastushok, a member of the Volhynian Company of the Maidan Self-Defense, reported direction of wounds, and time-stamped photos show that Oleksander Khrapachenko from this unit was killed and another person wounded at 11:27am near the Berkut barricade on Instytutska Street by shots fired from the Hotel Ukraina. Pastushok said that investigators said that they lost his initial testimony and tried him to change it and to say that Khrapachenko was shot not from the Hotel Ukraina but he refused. The report by Maidan NGOs and lawyers stated that the government investigation named Khrapachenko as one of at least three protesters killed from this hotel.”

This video compilation shows the moments of his killing.
https://youtu.be/y7TZMjrkAB4?t=5m5s

An unreported forensic ballistic report, which was only made public during the Maidan massacre trial on July 5, 2016, found that another killed protester was shot by a bullet, whose caliber does not match the caliber of Kalashnikov assault rifles (AKMS), which were used by the special Berkut company, whose members are charged with his killing. This forensic ballistic report, which was conducted for the GPU investigation and examined a 7.62×39 AKMS-caliber bullet given by a witness, found that this bullet was fired from a different weapon than a bullet core found in Ivan Panteleev’s body because of different types and calibers of these bullets. (4:04:23) https://youtu.be/RL5zSVAB5FM?t=4h4m23s

The type and the caliber of this bullet were not specified during the trial. But this disparity and the conclusion by the government investigation that government snipers or any “third force” snipers did not kill any of the protesters are consistent with my APSA paper finding that he was killed from the Maidan location (p. 39):
“Ivan Panteleev was killed near the same spot at 9:54am seconds after he was photographed kneeling with his back towards the hotel and a Horodetsky Street building. His similar orientation after he was shot and a through and through wound in his shoulder and chest, that was cited in the prosecution charges, indicate that he was killed from Maidan-controlled area.”
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2658245

This video compilation shows the moments of his killing (4:10).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7TZMjrkAB4

Panteleev is the third protester who was killed by a bullet, whose caliber does not match the caliber of AKMS, with which the special Berkut company members charged with their killings were armed. Two other protesters (Chmilenko and Khrapachanko) were killed by hunting bullets. The presiding judge said that forensic ballistic reports concerning examinations of bullets that killed Panteleev and a couple of other protesters were not included in the prosecution case documents submitted for the trial. It is noteworthy that these omitted forensic ballistic reports include Shymko, who was photographed with a hunting-type looking bullet in his neck. This bullet appeared to have a much larger caliber than Berkut’s 7.62mm Kalashnikov’s. Another omitted forensic ballistic report concerned Movchan. Forensic ballistic expert examination of pellets (buckshot) from the Arutuinian body stated that they did not match similar ammunition pieces from bodies of Movchan and five other protesters, including Vaida, who was also killed on February 20, 2014.

Another unreported forensic ballistic report made public for the first time during the Maidan massacre trial determined that Oleh Ushnevych was shot by a 9mm caliber pistol bullet. The trial also revealed that the prosecution failed to match this bullet to a single handgun of such caliber in the special Berkut company, and forensic ballistic examinations found that this bullet was not fired from handguns with which SBU Alfa officers were armed. A Maidan victims lawyer said that Ushnevych was also shot by another bullet which was not found. (2:48:58) https://youtu.be/1iFGip3tB3k?t=2h48m58s

Ushnevych was filmed hiding behind a concrete wall at the time of his shooting. This location made it physically impossible to wound him from the Berkut positions in front. The official investigation charged the Berkut policemen with his killing and ignored a Maidan protester, who was reported to lure Ushnevych and his group of the Maidan protesters to the massacre spot and then apparently hid in the nearby bushes, or other Maidan protesters who were filmed with handguns around that time and near that place.

A video showing massacre of this group of the protesters was broadcast by numerous Western and Ukrainian TV channels and social media. It was filmed by the Belgian VRT TV from the Hotel Ukraina. It showed Ushnevych in a green camouflage jacket as he was running behind the wall, falling behind this wall, and then lying on the ground nearby when Trapezun and Tityk, who tried to carry him, were wounded themselves. This video was broadcast on major TV channels in Ukraine and many Western countries, such as the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and it was presented as the evidence that government snipers or the police killed these protesters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWob6AIntVM

My APSA paper in the following analysis of the Ushnevych killing (p. 35) cited inter alia a video testimony by Trapezun about shooting of Ushnevych from a handgun from the bushes. This little known video filmed by a Maidan Self-Defense commander was made “private” on YouTube after I cited it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVyYuqQk0ZM

But in a recent interview by Trapezun to a Ukrainian TV, he confirmed my APSA paper finding that he, Ushnevych and other protesters in his group were killed or wounded from the Maidan-controlled locations, specifically when they hid beyond a wall shielding them from the Berkut.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YG4kDwPtgo

My APSA paper included the following analysis of the Ushnevych killing (p. 35):
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2658245

“The timestamped video compilation shows that Oleh Ushnevych was shot less than 45 seconds before Zhalovaha. He was shot at 9:43am when he was already beyond a wall, which completely shielded him and several other protesters from lines of fire from the government positions. It was physically impossible to kill him from the Berkut barricade or Alfa snipers positions. Serhii Trapezun, who was hiding behind the same wall and tried to carry Ushnevych, said in a little-known video that Ushnevych was rumored among the protestors of having been shot from a handgun from some 10 meter distance behind the bushes. The official investigation found that one of the protesters was killed from a handgun, but crucial information about his identity is not disclosed. A report by Euromaidan SOS and the prosecution charges announced during the Maidan massacre trial revealed that the investigation determined that Ushnevych was not killed by the Berkut but likely from the Hotel Ukraina and his killing was simply omitted from the trial of the Berkut policemen.”

 

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