Canadian embassy used as safe haven during Ukraine uprising, investigation finds

According to an article by the CBC Canada’s embassy in Kyiv was used as a haven for several days by anti-government protesters during the uprising that toppled the regime of former president Viktor Yanukovych.

Anti-government protesters fleeing riot police in Kyiv were camped in the main lobby of the Canadian embassy for at least a week during the Maidan uprising in January 2014. (Sergei Grits/Associated Press)

Anti-government protesters fleeing riot police in Kyiv were camped in the main lobby of the Canadian embassy for at least a week during the Maidan uprising in January 2014. (Sergei Grits/Associated Press)

The Harper government never fully acknowledged — during the upheaval or since — the depth and extent of the security breach, which has had far-reaching implications on how Canadians are perceived in the region.

The Canadian Press has spent months piecing together the events surrounding the extraordinary incident, which started on Feb. 18, 2014 and occurred at the height of the violent crackdown against pro-European protesters.

​It began, according to multiple sources in Kyiv and Ottawa, when one of the protesters being chased by riot police waved a Canadian passport at embassy security. Once the door was open, the individual was quickly followed by other demonstrators armed with sticks and paving stones.

Roman Waschuk, the current Canadian ambassador in Kyiv, confirmed the account in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

“I understand there was a Canadian passport holder associated in some way with the group,” said Waschuk, who replaced Troy Lulashnyk as ambassador in Kyiv last year.

He acknowledged the protesters were camped in the main lobby for at least a week, which is something neither Foreign Affairs nor the Harper government has ever publicly stated.

Read the full article on the CBC website here…. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-embassy-used-as-safe-haven-during-ukraine-uprising-investigation-finds-1.3148719

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