Ukraine remembers Maidan square massacre 10 years on

A memorial dedicated to people who died in clashes with security forces in Independence Square in Kyiv in January 2014.
A memorial dedicated to people who died in clashes with security forces in Independence Square in Kyiv in January 2014. Copyright AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
By Euronews
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Memorial messages are being dedicated to Ukrainian protesters killed in the centre of their nation's capital.

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Volodymyr Zelenskyy has led tributes to more than 100 Ukrainians killed by security forces in Kyiv 10 years ago this week.

Writing on X, the Ukrainian president said: "Ten years ago they attempted to kill Ukrainians in their own country, in their own capital, simply for their peaceful choice to be themselves and to be free... But we stood firm ten years ago and continue to do so today."

The massacre took place in the capital's Independence Square, the focus of the so-called Euromaidan protests that erupted when the country's then-president chose to align Ukraine more closely with Russia instead of the rest of Europe.

After some two months of protest, which saw several violent clashes between protesters and police, the crowds were fired upon by security forces.

The deadliest day was 20 February 2014, when armed riot police including snipers are thought to have killed at least 50 people.

The total death toll among the protesters is generally placed at 108. The victims are often referred to as the "Heavenly Hundred".

The ensuing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the capture of the Crimean peninsula helped delay the full investigation and prosecution of those responsible.

However, in October last year, a Ukrainian court found a former senior officer guilty of premeditated murder. 

He is currently in Russia and was sentenced to life in prison in absentia.

Two other officers were found guilty, while two others who remained in Ukraine were acquitted.

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