A peer-reviewed paper initially approved and praised by a prestigious academic journal was suddenly rescinded without explanation. Its author, one of the world’s top scholars on Ukraine-related issues, had marshaled overwhelming evidence to conclude Maidan protesters were killed by pro-coup snipers.
The massacre by snipers of anti-government activists and police officers in Kiev’s Maidan Square in late February 2014 was a defining moment in the US-orchestrated overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government. The death of 70 protesters triggered an avalanche of international outrage that made President Viktor Yanukovych’s downfall a fait accompli. Yet today these killings remain unsolved.
Enter Ivan Katchanovski, a Ukrainian-Canadian political scientist at the University of Ottawa. For years, he marshaled overwhelming evidence demonstrating that the snipers were not affiliated with Yanukovych’s government, but pro-Maidan operatives firing from protester-occupied buildings.
Though Katchanovski’s groundbreaking work has been studiously ignored by the mainstream media, a scrupulous study he presented on the slaughter in September 2015 and August 2021 and published in 2016 and in 2020 has been cited on over 100 occasions by scholars and experts. As a result of this paper and other pieces of research, he was among the world’s most-referenced political scientists specializing in Ukrainian matters.
In the final months of 2022, Katchanovski submitted a new investigation on the Maidan massacre to a prominent social sciences journal. Initially accepted with minor revisions after extensive peer review, the publication’s editor effusively praised the work in a lengthy private note. They said the paper was “exceptional in many ways,” and offered “solid” evidence in support of its conclusions. The reviewers concurred with this judgment.
However, the paper was not published, a decision Katchanovski firmly believes to have been “political.” He filed an appeal, but to no avail.