After almost a decade later, a Ukrainian court has finally delivered convictions for five Berkut riot police officers involved in the murder of protestors during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. But none will go to jail, the Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske reported on October 19.
The officers – Oleh Yanishevskyi, Pavlo Abroskin, and Serhiy Zinchenko – were found guilty by Kyiv's Sviatoshynskyi District Court on October 18 for their roles in the killings of protestors that took place during the Euromaidan protests on February 18-20, 2014.
This date marks a somber chapter in Ukrainian history when more than 100 people, known as the Heavenly Hundred, lost their lives during the worst of the pro-democracy, pro-European Union demonstrations, as police opened fire on an unarmed crowd.
Yanishevskyi, formerly a police lieutenant colonel, was stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Abroskin and Zinchenko have received 15-year prison sentences and have been permanently banned from pursuing careers in law enforcement, in addition to losing their ranks.
Another officer, Oleksandr Marynchenko, faced a conviction for abuse of power and was sentenced to five years in prison. He is also prohibited from engaging in law enforcement activities for a period of two years.
However, the lengthy investigations into the numerous killings that occurred in 2014 have lasted over a decade without yielding results, means none of the officers will actually erve any jail time.
Yanishevskyi was found guilty of both murder and inflicting grievous bodily harm but due to the expiration of the statute of limitations won’t have to go to jail and will be released.
Abroskin and Marynchenko were acquitted of several other charges for similar reasons and will also be released, as reported by Hromadske. Former police officer Serhiy Tamtura was wholly acquitted of all charges.
The State Bureau of Investigation concluded its investigation into cases involving Ukraine's former leadership, which was accused of organizing the dispersal and shooting of demonstrators on February 18-20, 2014. Among those accused are the fugitive former President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the security forces.