The court on the high treason case against former president, Viktor Yanukovych, began an interrogation of the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Refat Chubarov.
At Obolonsky District Court meeting in Kyiv, Chubarov said that a situation in Crimea in the end of February 2014 was extremely tense. According to him, the pro-Russian forces spread over the peninsula the rumors of burned busses with Crimeans who were returning from the Kyiv anti-Maidan. In addition, Chubarov said that at the end of January through an intermediary an assistant of the Russian president, Vladislav Surkov, tried to contact him. Chubarov noted that he was ready to discuss with Surkov the questions related only to the Crimean Tatars. According to Chubarov, on February 26, 2014, at a rally near the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, 12-15 thousand people gathered together called by the Mejlis and with slogans: "Crimea is Ukraine". The pro-Russian protesters began to gather there as well. In the beginning there were not many of them, 2-3 thousand. Then the busses from Sevastopol arrived, where the pro-Russian actions began three days earlier. After that, the number of pro-Russian activists increased approximately to 16 thousand. Between the protesters verbalquarrels and minor scuffles began, but according to Chubarov, after 14.00 the situation heated up: two people with automatic weapons werenoticed in the pro-Russian crowd.