President Vladimir Putin made a reference to the Korsun pogrom in a documentary called “Crimea: Path to the Motherland,” that was aired in Russia on March 15. He said the event allegedly took place on Feb. 20, 2014 close to the city of Korsun-Shevchenkivskiy in Cherkasy Oblast, and showed that Crimean citizens were in danger in Ukraine.

This is what happened, according to the Russian account of events: A group of Crimean supporters of former President Viktor Yanukovych, traveling by seven buses from Kyiv back to Crimea, were allegedly stopped at a checkpoint by activists of the EuroMaidan Revolution. The Crimean citizens were allegedly beaten and humiliated by them.

To illustrate the events, the Russian film makers used the footage of these events originally released in a film made by the Information Group on Crimes against the Person, a civic initiative that supposedly collects information on political and other crimes against people in Ukraine.


The group was created in February, 2014, but no contacts for the group are available. None are listed on their website, besides the address of their pages in social networks. The Kyiv Post attempts to reach this group were unsuccessful.

This group’s most visible activity was the release on Aug. 14 of a 24-minute documentary called “The crimes of EuroMaidan Nazis: The pogrom of Korsun on 20/02/2014.” The video appeared on a website of another organization called “Ukraine Human Rights.”

On top of producing the movie, the organization claims in keeps track of human rights violations in the east of Ukraine by volunteer battalions since April last year. It refers to those battalions as “Nazis”.

The problem is, reputable international human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, say they have never heard of such a group.

Bohdan Ovcharuk, a spokesperson for Amnesty International Ukraine, said his organization also tried to contact this group, because their logo is suspiciously reminiscent of the Amnesty one. Basically, the group used the same colors and fonts.


“Our lawyers tried to get in touch with someone (from Ukraine Human Right organization), because they copied our corporate style, but to no avail,” Ovcharuk told the Kyiv Post. “Looks like they’re pro-Kremlin trolls.”

This organization’s documentary claims to reconstruct the events of Feb. 20 based on accounts of eyewitnesses – Crimean citizens Oksana Medieva, Kateryna Solodilova and Anatoliy Polovynets. Authors of the film claimed that a group of EuroMaidan activists threw Molotov cocktails at the buses of Crimean activists.

The film shows some of those activists in helmets beating and humiliating people. At least 30 Crimeans went missing and seven were killed, according to the eye witness testimony. They also said that the EuroMaidan revolution supporters threatened to kill those who won’t sing Ukraine’s national anthem and forced some of them to eat broken glass.

But there is little evidence that none of those accounts are actually true and that the accompanying video material is authentic.

“I have no confidence that these events actually took place. There are testimonies of people who say they have witnessed the events, but they don’t specify exactly where they are from, they mostly just say ‘Crimea’,” explains Yulia Gorbunova, a researcher for Human Rights Watch’s on Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.


Gorbunova also said that it’s impossible to see the license plates on the buses or the faces of the participants, because “the picture is shifting all the time.”

“I think it’s just a propaganda tool,” Gorbunova concludes.

Ukraine’s police have also dismissed the whole story as invention of the Russian propaganda.

“Such events didn’t take place then,” Cherkasy region police spokesman Dmytro Hryshchenko said. “There was a checkpoint there and we also know about the burning of two buses. But the information about the activists gone missing or killed is not true.”

Kyiv Post staff writer Olena Goncharova can be reached at [email protected]

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