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Exclusive Photos of Kiev's Russian-Trained Killers

Exclusive photographs show the Russian-trained secret police in Ukraine preparing for battle before the massacre of protesters in Kiev on February 20 – a day that changed history.

The Daily Beast

February 20 was the turning point in the Ukraine Revolution. More than 50 protesters were gunned down in the Maidan, the center of the popular uprising. Until now the identity of the killers has been a mystery. But photographs shared exclusively with The Daily Beast reveal the elite Russian-trained Alfa Team working for then-President Viktor Yanukovych preparing for battle that same morning only blocks away. (Click here to read the story.) The photos show, among other things, what appear to be high powered sniper rifles in their cases being loaded into vans. The Alfas had the equipment, the skills and the motive to shoot down enemies of the regime. But the plan backfired. The protesters refused to surrender and the bloodbath utterly discredited Yanukovych. A day later he and many of his men abandonded Kiev.

The Daily Beast

February 20.

The Daily Beast

February 20.

The Daily Beast

February 20.

February 20.

The Daily Beast

February 20.

The Daily Beast

February 20

The Daily Beast

February 21.

The Daily Beast

February 21.

The Daily Beast

February 21.