Russia, Ukraine feud over sniper carnage

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Associated Press

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 7:03 PM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — It's one of the biggest mysteries hanging over the violence that drove Ukraine's president from power last month: Who sent the snipers to Kiev to take aim at protesters, police and bystanders?

Ukrainian authorities are investigating the bloodbath, which left more than 100 people dead. A majority of them were shot by snipers.

The focus of the investigation has shifted from the government of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych to Vladimir Putin's Russia. The theory is that the Kremlin wanted to create mayhem as a pretext for a military incursion.

Russia, though, suggests that the snipers were organized by opposition leaders who wanted to whip up local and international outrage against the government.

This much is known: Snipers firing powerful rifles from rooftops and windows shot scores of people in the heart of Kiev. Some victims were opposition protesters, but many were civilian bystanders who were clearly not involved in the clashes. The dead included medics, as well as police officers.

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APPHOTO XEL112: FILE- in this Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, activists evacuate a wounded protester during clashes with police in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Kiev, Ukraine. As questions circulate about who was behind the lethal snipers that sowed death and terror in Ukraine's capital, doctors and others told the AP the similarity of bullets wounds suffered by opposition victims and police indicates the snipers were specifically trying to stoke tensions and spark a larger, angrier clash between opposition fighters and government security forces. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, file) (20 Feb 2014)

<<APPHOTO XEL112 (02/20/14)££

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