The assault was to be commanded by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and head of the SBU’s Anti-Terrorist Center (ATC) Totskyi.
Its code name was ‘Boomerang’ operation.
The operation’s plan stipulated for Berkut [secret forces – ed.] units, reinforced by interior troops, to destroy barricades at Khreshchatyk and Instytutska Streets. At the same time, Alfa units of SBU were to mop up the HQ of the Euromaidan in the Trade Unions building. After the barricades are destroyed, the protesters were to be kicked out of the Maidan and Khreshchatyk Street to the streets of Mykhailivska, Bohdana Khmelnytskoho, and Shevchenka Boulevard.
The retreaters were to be dispersed and terrorized by militant gangs hired by criminal leaders of Yurii Ivaniushchenko’s circle [aka Yura Yenakievsky, close ally of Yanukovych – ed.].
The operation started at 7 p.m. Kyiv time.
During the Maidan assault, two armored carriers and two water cannons were used. The major task was to seize the Trade Unions house.
The SBU’s Alfa Spetsnaz entered the building through the roof and started the mop-up from the top. The units of Berkut and the interior troops attacked from the ground floor. They were reinforced by two APCs and two water cannons and supposed to take down the barricades around the stage and the Trade Unions house.
Before the ‘Boomerang’ started, by 4 p.m., 13 unarmed activists were wounded and killed as the demonstration was dispersed at Kyiv’s Pechersk district. More than 200 citizens were gravely wounded, including with firearms employed by “law enforcers.” The government believed that the terror would force the Maidan participants to disperse. However, it did not happen. By that time the participants of the Maidan crackdown realized that this violence was a gross violation of the law on police forces by the very police. In addition, the procedure of an anti-terrorist operation in a city was violated as well, and the operation command in the SBU ATC knew it perfectly.
Having incurred losses, the people started to act in a more organized manner. Some Maidan protesters also grabbed weapons. Yanukovych was expecting an opposition and return fire, so the assault was commanded by the SBU. This anti-terrorist operation was to be conducted with firearms. Anti-sniper groups were created.
However, the assault was not an easy ride for the law enforcers. Although they were attacked by armored vehicles, the people did not abandon the barricades. Both APCs of the interior troops were set on fire with bottles containing flame liquid. One of them burned down at the spot. The water cannons were also hit with firearms, and one was seriously damaged.
The Spetsnaz started its assault. Starting from 9 p.m., the special units were actively using firearms and shooting to kill. They also employed grenades. They fired buckshot from pump action shotguns and actively used "Zoria-2" stun grenades. There are reasons to believe that several combat fragmentation grenades were used as well. As long as security forces were firing buckshot, they did not aim and fired on unarmed people without worrying about accuracy.
It should be noted that people on the barricades were unarmed. They had nothing but stones and bottles. Despite this, they were defending the barricade at the Trade Unions House like the devil.
The key role in the Maidan defenses was played by an initiative of several people, who decided to shoot to kill upon the law enforcers. After the first casualties were incurred, several Maidan protesters took up arms and opened fire. The gunmen were a few — hardly more than 20 people were firing during the night. They were armed mainly with hunting rifles, acted unorganized and independently, didn’t take any permanent positions, but left Maidan right after they shot to avoid being detected. It was the acts of these men that did not allow destroying the barricade completely. The Maidan shooters could not be seen due to smoke, explosions of firecrackers and grenades, and fire and lights. The government turned off the lights, thus helping them to hide.
The Trade Unions house caught fire as a result of the attack. It was the most dreadful moment of the Maidan events.
Despite the casualties and wounds, thousands of people stayed on Maidan and continued their resistance. They didn’t stop shooting either.
On Feb. 18-19 in Kyiv, 30 protesters were killed and fatally wounded. 14 of them, patriots of Ukraine and unarmed citizens, were killed and fatally wounded defending the barricade at the Trade Unions house.
Maidan protesters killed and fatally wounded with retaliation fire nine Berkut and interior troops’ soldiers between 5:20 p.m. Feb. 18 and morning of Feb. 19. Dozens of government troops were wounded.
10 people out of 14 were heroes killed near the building of the Trade Unions house:
Serhii Anatoliiovych Bondariev, gunshot wound. 33 years old. Qualified programmer who worked in the largest software development companies. Active participant of numerous public events. Kyiv resident.
Valerii Oleksandrovych Brezdeniuk, gunshot wound. 50 years old. Artist, computer club owner. Became famous at “Ukraine got talent” for his water drawings. After Brezdeniuk died, his younger brother Oleh, who moved to Russia’s Saint-Petersburg a while ago, returned to Ukraine, renounced his Russian citizenship and obtained a Ukrainian passport. Valerii hailed from Zhmerynka, the Vinnytsia region.
Kapinos Oleksandr Anatoliiovych, gunshot wound. 29 years old. Farmer. Active participant of numerous pro-Ukrainian activities on protection of the Ukrainian language, history and culture. Defended the barricade as part of a volunteers group of the 35th company of Maidan self-defense. Came from Dunaiiv village, the Ternopil region.
Volodymyr Stanislavovych Kulchytskyi, gunshot wound. 64 years old. Retiree. Went to the barricade together with his son, who was a witness to father’s death. Kyiv resident.
Dmytro Viacheslavovych Maksymov, killed by grenade explosion. 19 years old. Student, member of Ukraine’s Deaflympics wrestling team, winner of numerous tournaments and competitions, including international ones. Kyiv resident.
Yurii Oleksandrovych Paskhalin, gunshot wound. 30 years old, stock control clerk at a private enterprise. He was renting a room in a dorm with his wife and child, rushed to help when the Maidan was being dispersed. Kyiv resident.
Oleksandr Viktorovych Plekhanov, gunshot wound. 22 years old. Student who was passing his exams. Kyiv resident.
Vasyl Petrovych Prokhorskyi, gunshot wound. 33 years old. Electrician. Kyiv resident.
Viktor Mykolaiovych Shvets, gunshot wound. 58 years old, military retiree. He used to serve at nuclear submarines. Came from Hatne village of the Kyiv region.
Andrii Mykolaiovych Chernenko, gunshot wound. 35 years old, engineer, auto repair shop employee. Kyiv resident.
Two people burned to death in the Trade Unions house:
Oleksandr Ivanovych Klitynskyi, received a gunshot wound and was evacuated to the Trade Unions house. He burned alive in the fire. 25 years old. Unemployed. Was an active participant of the Maidan events. Hailed from Chernelivtsi village of the Khmelnytskyi region.
Volodymyr Petrovych Topii, received a gunshot wound and was evacuated to the Trade Unions house. He burned alive in the fire. 58 years old. Driver. 12 th self - defense company of the Maidan. Hailed from Rudky village, the Lviv region.
Information on other victims of the fire in the Trade Unions house proved to be false. Several dozen of wounded were actually there, but all of them had been evacuated after the fire broke out. Despite repeated attempts, the volunteers failed to locate and rescue two wounded persons over the blackout and heavy smoke. No other unidentified remains were found after the fire was extinguished.
Two persons received injuries that later proved to be fatal as they died in the hospital after a while:
Yurii Volodymyrovych Sydorchuk, aged 53, received a gunshot wound at the barricade outside the Trade Unions house on the night of Feb. 19, 2014. He died in hospital on June 28, 2014. Sydorchuk served in the Soviet and Ukrainian Armies for more than 10 years. He lived and ran a business in Kyiv.
Viktor Mykolaiovych Orlenko, aged 53, received a gunshot wound. Being seriously wounded to the head, he underwent treatment in several hospitals. Orlenko died in a hospital in the Czech Republic on June 3, 2015. A resident of Kyiv, he was a career railwayman and Afghanistan war veteran.
Rest in peace, killed heroes. Each of them was at the barricades for a good reason. Each of them consciously left for the Maidan’s frontlines knowing that people were killed… They were one of the best citizens of Ukraine, real and loyal heroes…
Yurii Butusov, Censor.NET