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On the same day, Yanukovych left for Kharkiv to attend a summit of southeastern regions, according to media reports.
On 22 February, the protesters were reported to be in control of Kiev, and Yanukovych was said to have fled the capital for eastern Ukraine.
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the interim head of Ukraine's SBU state security agency, said the agents had been stationed in Kiev throughout the Euromaidan protests, had been provided with "state telecommunications" while residing at an SBU compound, and had kept in regular contact with Ukrainian security officials.
"We have substantiated grounds to consider that these very groups which were located at an SBU training ground took part in the planning and execution of activities of this so-called antiterrorist operation," Nalyvaichenko said.
A period of relative calm in the anti-government demonstrations in Kiev ended abruptly on 18 February 2014, when protesters and police clashed.At least 82 people were killed over the next few days, including 13 policemen; more than 1,100 people were injured.On 18 February, some 20,000 Euromaidan protesters advanced on Ukraine's parliament in support of restoring the Constitution of Ukraine to its 2004 form, which had been repealed by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine shortly after Yanukovych was elected president in 2010. The confrontation turned violent; the BBC, citing correspondents, reported that each side blamed the other.According to government documents released by former Deputy Interior Minister Hennadiy Moskal, Russian officials served as advisers to the operations against protesters.Codenamed "Wave" and "Boomerang", the operations involved the use of snipers to disperse crowds and capture the protesters' headquarters in the House of Trade Unions.