Ukraine crisis: Snipers that caused chaos during February protests in Kiev were Russian-backed, says minister


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Ukrainian authorities have claimed that the deadly sniper shootings that caused chaos during the February protests in Kiev were Russian-backed.

It was alleged that the rooftop shootings that saw scores of civilians, opposition protesters, police and medics shot were planned by the Kremlin, intent on sowing mayhem as a pretext for military incursion.

President Putin has maintained that the shootings were ordered by Ukrainian opposition leaders trying to whip up international outrage against the government. "I think it wasn't just a part of the old regime, but it was also the work of Russian special forces who served and maintained the ideology of the regime," Health Minister Oleh Musiy told the Associated Press. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov added: "The key factor in this uprising... was a third force. And this force was not Ukrainian."