On Wednesday Paet confirmed the recording was authentic, and told reporters in Tallinn that he was merely repeating what Bogomolets had told him. He said he had no way of verifying the claims, though he called Bogomolets “clearly a person with authority.”

Bogomolets couldn’t be immediately reached by the AP for comment. She did not answer repeated calls to her cellphone or respond to text messages.

In an interview earlier this week with a correspondent from British newspaper The Telegraph, Bogomolets said she didn’t know if police and protesters were killed by the same bullets, and called for a thorough investigation.

“No one who just sees the wounds when treating the victims can make a determination about the type of weapons,” she was quoted as saying. “I hope international experts and Ukrainian investigators will make a determination of what type of weapons, who was involved in the killings and how it was done. I have no data to prove anything.”

On Thursday, Russia’s U.N. envoy said he discussed the leaked phone call during a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

If the call represents the truth, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters, “it is hard to imagine how such a parliament … can be regarded as a legitimate parliament that can pass legitimate decisions on the future of Ukraine.”

A former top security official with Ukraine’s main security agency, the SBU, waded into the confusion, in an interview published Thursday with the respected newspaper Dzerkalo Tizhnya. Hennady Moskal, who was deputy head of the agency, told the newspaper that snipers from the Interior Ministry and SBU were responsible for the shootings, not foreign agents.

“In addition to this, snipers received orders to shoot not only protesters, but also police forces. This was all done in order to escalate the conflict, in order to justify the police operation to clear Maidan,” he was quoted as saying.

One of the victims of the snipers was Alexander Tonskikh, 57. He told AP that at around 10 a.m. on Feb. 20, he and dozens of opposition fighters moved south out of the main battleground on Maidan.

Riot police withdrew suddenly, he said, and an instant later snipers began firing from at least two different directions, from what seemed to be the rooftops of government buildings, between 200 and 300 yards away.

He said dozens of people were “mown down like grass” as he and others crouched behind a waist-high stone wall, holding wooden clubs and metal riot shields.

At least 10 people, he said, were killed instantly, and many others wounded. The bodies piled up on top of each other like fallen tree branches.

Shooting then began from a third direction, he said. As he crouched with his back to a tree, he was hit by a bullet that entered his right arm, went through his right side, punctured his lung and lodged just below his heart.

He then lost consciousness.

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AP writers Edith Lederer at the United Nations, and Jari Tanner in Tallinn, Estonia, contributed to this report.

© 2014 Associated Press

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