New documents leaked by Ukrainian government officials show that former leader Viktor Yanukovych planned to "cleanse" the protesters set up in Kiev's Independence Square.
Memos reveal Yanukovych and his military drafted "Operation Wave," allegedly a plan to wipe the protestors from Kiev after they had been camped there for months. The events that led to Yanukovych's fall resemble the initial stages of Wave, but the attack was never finished. No one knows why, exactly, Operation Wave was never completed.
"These documents, detailing the criminal activities of those in charge of the security forces, were passed on to me by patriotic members of the SBU (intelligence and security services) and the interior ministry," former deputy interior minister Gennady Moskal, the man who leaked the documents, wrote on his website, according to the AFP. "It's about understanding the nature and magnitude of the crimes committed by the previous government and taking those responsible to court," he said.
On February 18, Yanukovych launched a strike against the protestors in Kiev that killed scores of people, events which rallied the opposition on the ground, in government, and internationally, leading to his fall. But these new documents show he had greater, graver plans in mind:
Codenamed "Operation Wave", the carefully planned assault envisaged shutting down Kiev, switching off opposition TV channels and leading crowds of demonstrators into a "trap" set by the security forces to "clean out" the main protest camp on the capital's Independence Square.
Meanwhile, thousands of security officers would have attempted to "neutralise" a major rightwing group that made up the hard core of the protest movement's self-defence group.
Yanukovych has since been ousted from office, and is currently on the run from charges of mass murder.
The fight to replace the former leader has already begun. Former boxing champ and current UDAR party leader Vitali Klitschko announced his candidacy for president yesterday. But so did former Prime Minister and Fatherland opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who was released from jail after years of false imprisonment.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.