How in Ukraine hunt for activists after the Maidan
Where, when and how did they attack activists in Ukrainianism five years after the start of Maidan? In this review, we zibralinformation about more than 70 such attacks.
The list presented is obviously not exhaustive.
However, it allows you to see the tendencies of attacks on civilian activists in the regions where there were more attacks, categories of people who are attacked most often, and finally, how attackers act.
In Ukraine, there are three regions where it is dangerous to be an activist: these are Kiev and the region, Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk.
Moreover, if in the metropolitan region most of the attacks concerned the fight against buildings and land issues, in the Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk regions most often attacked activists who systematically criticize local authorities on various issues.
In Dnipropetrovsk, Krivoy Rog stands out separately, where half of the attacks took place in the region, and in the Kiev region – the Irpen region, where in a short period a whole series of conflicts with activists were recorded.
They attack different categories of activists from nature advocates – to journalists, from LGBT rights activists – to nationalists and members of radical organizations.
Local deputies, their assistants, leaders of local party organizations, and lawyers are also at risk. An attack on the judge was also recorded.
Of the more than 70 attacks on activists, more than ten were against women. Two of them died.
In general, since the time of Maidan in Ukraine, at least nine activists have been killed.
Many attacks took place according to a similar pattern: they followed the activists and calculated their routes, then one or several attackers attacked near the house or place of work (there were several cases when they attacked the victims’ houses directly), and then they quickly fled.
Often, this is preceded by threats over the phone or on social networks (some activists admitted that they did not take them seriously).
The attackers often use tear gas, and then try to overthrow the victim. Often attacked with bats, armature or more serious weapons.
There have been cases of quite “from the 90s” when victims were taken into the forest, shot in their cars, and in one case the attacker shot from a motorcycle.
Another trend – the attackers are not afraid of witnesses. Often, they can spend hours guarding the victim’s house, asking about him, or attacking in the middle of the day in busy places.
There are cases when seizures occurred at children’s playgrounds, or in front of family members.
Another “trend” is repeated attacks on the same activists. Sometimes it happened for several months or even weeks, in other cases it could take a year or two.
Very often, the attackers who are detained by the police turn out to be residents of other cities.
They investigate attacks in different ways: in some cases, direct executors and even the organizers were detained; in others, the investigation actually did not occur.
Some more freeze, and then recover after replacing the investigators.
In some cases, the police claimed that the attack was being staged, or they believed the death of the activist was suicide. But after a public response, the investigation was restored.
However, customers of the most resonant attacks have not been established.
And on the progress of the investigation of many of these attacks there is no public information.
1. Bogdan Novak
The journalist of the Vlasno.Info edition was beaten in August 2017 on the outskirts of Vinnytsia, when he was filming a protest against the construction of a cemetery. According to him, the “aunts” were beaten, despite the presence of the police: “For the first time since Maidan, I flew into my head.”
2. Konstantin Fedosov
Vinnitsa activist and volunteer beat three men at a public transport stop in September 2018. He linked the attack with his public activism and the fight against raising money in a local school. Before that, he received threats.
1. Andrey Dyachenko
A participant of the battles in the Donbass and an activist of the “Azov” movement were beaten up by two guys of the sports type in the middle of the day at a bus stop of public transport in Kiev in June 2017.
The man associated the attack with criticism of local authorities and said that this was preceded by observation. The police tried to close the case, arguing that the attack was allegedly bogus.
Subsequently, the investigation was resumed.
1. Andrei Verba
Lawyer Andrew Iva was beaten at the entrance of his house in the Dnieper in February 2017.
Later, the neighbors said they had seen the attackers, who two weeks before were guarding the door. The lawyer believes that he was forced to give up the protection of one of his clients.
He believes that in this way he was forced to give up the protection of one of his clients.
2. Vladimir Sadykov
The journalist of the StopCore publication was beaten in the center of the city of Manganese in April 2017.
In “StopKori” it was connected with a series of materials about the corruption of local authorities.
3. Boris Bychkov
An assistant deputy of the Krivoy Rog City Council from the Dill Nikolai Kolesnik was beaten by three attackers at night outside his garage in the winter of 2018.
According to Boris Bychkov, they did not steal anything, including by car or by phone, but promised: “We will meet again.”
Deputy Kolesnik said that the attack on his assistant is “intimidation and pressure.”
4. Sergey Mokryakov
One of the founders of the Force of People party in Krivoy Rog was beaten in March 2018 – four attackers hit a man with a heavy object on the head, knocked to the ground and finished off with their feet for several minutes. Nothing stolen.
City Council deputy Svetlana Sova, whose assistant is Sergei Mokryakov, said she links the attack with his reports of local politicians.
5. Vsevolod Novokhatko
Two “sports” men attacked the Dnepr public activist in May 2018 – 300 meters from the house.
Vsevolod Novokhatko connected this with his publications about the abuses of local authorities and heads of local police.
Investigators contacted her husband only four days after the attack.
Auto volunteer and city deputy Kamensky from “Batkivshchyna” blew up in August 2018. The man managed to survive, although he received serious injuries.
The case is investigated as an attempted murder.
7. Boris Zolotchenko
The organizer of the festival “KrivbasPrayd” was beaten in Krivoy Rog in the summer of 2018.
More than ten young people attacked him when he and his friends returned home. A few months before, Boris Zolotchenko had already been attacked by a group in masks and with cans.
8. Artem Moroka
Krivoy Rog activist Artem Mrak was beaten up just at his home in September 2018.
It was not the first attack on a man – before that he had a seizure in 2015, after local elections.
The activist himself connects this with criticism of local authorities and the police in Krivoy Rog.
9. Yuri Malimonova
A representative of “National Friends” was attacked in Pavlograd in October 2018.
“The reason for the attack on Yuri was his active civil position, namely, the fight against drug advertising in the city,” the National Corps party said.
1. Vladimir Dergilev, Anton Chernomorets and Sergey Tishik
In July 2018, three residents of Avdiivka who came to the reception to the head of the local military and civil administration, a group of unknown people with weapons and camouflage in camouflage were taken by force to the outskirts of the city – in fact, to the battle zone, where they left.
The victims assume that the abductors had hoped that they would explode on the banners or that snipers would shoot them from the front line. Men associate this with the conflict with the head of the local administration.
2. Victor Dibrov
Three masked men lurched and beaten up eco-activists at his home in the city of Nikolaevka in the Slavic region in September 2018.
The man connects the attack with his activity in the organization “Eco-Rodina” – he repeatedly detained people who cut down healthy trees under the guise of sanitary cleansing.
1. Alexander Nikolaichuk
A journalist and a local deputy were beaten with iron bats in the center of Olevsk in July 2015. Alexander Nikolaychuk considers custom-made attack through his struggle against illegal amber mining.
2. Alexander Pilipchuk
The ATO member and eco-activists who fought against the illegal mining of sand were attacked in November 2017 in the Korostyshevsky district.
“They hit him in the jaw, then with the pistol grip they gave me a temple, I fell, they kicked me, I lay there for 15 minutes and asked not to kill,” the man recalled.
In the attack on himself, he suspects owners of an illegal sand pit.
3. Eugene and Victor Didkovsky
A businessman and a member of the Ukrop party, Yevgeny Didkovsky, was shot by an unknown person on a motorcycle in the center of Korostyshev – near the playground – in July 2017.
Doctors managed to save a man. Before that, his brother, Viktor Didkovsky, was beaten.
They associate this with their struggle against a local criminal group, whose leader was previously detained by the police after their appeals. The brothers also struggle with illegal sand mining.
1. Konstantin Belov
The chairman of the organization “Anti-Corruption Movement Zaporozhye” was attacked by three men of “athletic physique” in July 2017.
Konstantin Belov himself linked this with his active criticism of contractors who build roads in Zaporizhia.
2. Anatoly and Irina Babniki
In July 2017, a family of journalists, retired, moved to the village of Voskresenka, attacked by “unknown young people” who beat a man right in the center of the village.
To this, the family fought against illegal dumping and littering of the local river. The attackers threatened Anatoly Babiy with “burning the house” and warned him not to complain about the garbage anywhere.
3. Vitaliy Oleshko (“Sarmat”)
An activist and veteran of the fighting for Ilovaysk was shot with two shots in the back near his own hotel in Berdyansk in July 2018. Everything happened in front of his wife, the man died on the spot.
Oleshko fought against corruption in the region, went to rallies against deforestation in neighboring Kherson.
The main version of the investigation, Sarmat, was shot “on the basis of personal relations in connection with the existing contradictions in entrepreneurial activity.”
However, the comrades of the deceased are accused of ordering the murder of one of the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, who had a long-standing conflict with Oleshko.
The chairman of the Zaporizhzhya “Democratic Alliance” was beaten in August 2018. To this, Sergey Lukin made reports criticizing the local authorities, in particular, about the “ecocide” of fish and the lack of fight against drug addiction in the region.
The Ivano-Frankivsk activist and candidate for the city council of the People’s Control party was almost killed in September 2015. On the morning of September 26, unknown persons kidnapped him, took him to a forest and beat him.
After that, the man was thrown out of the trunk at his house.
1. Yuri Ignatenko
The body of lawyer Yuri Ignatenko was found in March 2015 in a swamp near the village of Rozhny in the Brovarsky district. Cause of death – the men hit the back with a heavy object several times.
Colleagues associate the killing of a lawyer with his professional activities – a few days before that he won in favor of an elderly woman’s property case, the consideration of which lasted more than four years.
This murder was eventually revealed.
2. Alexander Kulibabchuk
The activist, accused of irregularities by the authorities of Irpin, was beaten near his home in neighboring Bucha in July 2015. The plot about the Irpen mayor came out a couple of hours before the beating, the activist’s wife said.
3. Yevgeny Melnichuk and Vadim Mashtabey
Activist Yevgeny Melnichuk and ATO veteran Vadim Mashabay, who fought against building in Irpin, were beaten several times in the summer of 2015. They blamed the local developer and the Irpen authorities for the attacks.
4. Victor Barkholenko
A Bucha activist and a longtime critic of local authorities were beaten in August 2015 – the attackers entered his home.
“One of them shot all the action on the phone – that is, the performers probably had to report on the work done,” recalled Viktor Barkholenko.
According to him, the attack occurred the next day after he turned to the prosecutor’s office for criminal proceedings against local officials.
5. Lesya Petrik-Elnikova and Olga Matyushina
Olga Matyushina, head of the local UZhKH Lesya Petrik-Elnikova, was attacked on the village head of Kotsyubinsky in November 2016.
Matyushina managed to run away, and Petrik-Elnikova two attackers knocked to the ground and smashed his face. In the attack on herself, the woman accused Kotsyubinsky of the previous government, the corruption of which she began to disclose in the UJKH.
6. Valentina Aksenova
In 2017, an activist who fights against forest development in the village of Petropavlovskaya Borshchagovka, near Kiev, burned two cars, threats came to her personally and to her child and parents:
“Some man told me to finally shut up, or prepare a coffin for a child.”
The woman blamed the builder and local authorities for the attacks and threats. Subsequently, the woman left Ukraine.
7. Irina Nozdrovska
Lawyer Irina Nozdrovska disappeared at the end of 2017, and on January 1, 2018 her body was found in a river near a village in the Kiev region, where she lived with her daughter and parents.
The woman was engaged in the case of the death of her sister in an accident. For the murder of Irina, Nozdrovskoyi is judged by her husband’s father, who was found guilty of the death of her sister.
8. Sergey Chagarov
17-year-old Sergei Chagarov from the village of Gatnoe near Kiev in August 2018 unknown threw explosives into the yard.
Previously, he had a conflict with the deputy of the district council of the “CPP” – he, according to media reports, publicly threatened the guy through publications about work and rest of local politicians.
9. Igor Grishachov
The activist, fighting against the developments in Vishnevoe, was attacked in August 2018, when he went to the gym. Igor Grishachov believes that he was attacked because of his lawsuit against one of the construction projects:
“I have no other conflicts, except a pronounced conflict with the developer and the protection of this object.”
10. Sergey Mazur
In October 2018, a member of the nationalist group C14 was thrown a grenade into his house in Boryspil.
The father was injured from the explosion – splinters hit his legs.
Sergiy Mazur connects the attack with his public activism, in particular the struggle against “separatism in Ukrainian cities” and the “titushok” leaders who are now being tried.
At the same time, the group C14 itself is accused of human rights defenders in attacks on Gypsies and left-wing activists.
1. Mikhail Berchuk
Eco-activists and a member of Svoboda were beaten twice during 2016-2017.
In the village of Vlasovka, Svitlovodsky District, it is fighting against environmental pollution by local entrepreneurs. In particular, he achieved fines for them due to the violation of environmental regulations.
With them, he connects aggression against himself.
1. Sergey Samarsky
The head of the BPP faction in the Severodonetsk city council was killed in November 2017 – the body was found not far from the house where he lived.
Sergei Samarsky, who, a few months before his death, the mayor appointed his adviser, wrote that he was immediately started receiving threats from political opponents.
Political, journalistic and legal activities (Sergey Samarsky had his own law firm) – such versions are considered by the investigation among the reasons for the attack on a local politician.
1. Victor Hanulyak
Unidentified persons with truncheons attacked a professional restorer and activist against illegal construction sites in May 2017.
To this, Viktor Ganuliak told in the media about the violation of the rules of building in Lviv.
This ultimately led to the resignation of one of the local officials, who are considered to be involved in illegal developments. The same is called the possible cause of the attack.
2. Vasily Dmitrishin
Two men attacked the main hunter of the Drohobych district right outside the building of his forestry in March 2017 Thanks to the traumatic pistol, he managed to fight off and even to detain one of the attackers.
The man himself believes that the attack ordered the “forest mafia” – he was involved in the opening of many criminal proceedings for illegal logging and other violations in the forests.
1. Cyril Bodelan
The attack on LGBT activist and volunteer Odessa QueerHome occurred in October 2015.
Three young guys began to beat him at night.
“They shouted that they had a tip to me, they know who I am and what I do,” said Kirill Bodelan.
2. Svetlana Pidpala
The attack on the journalist and ekoaktivistku occurred in Odessa in June 2017 – she pierced her face with a can and then started beating her.
“I thought that my field of activity is not politics, but the protection of green areas and the coast, our common treasure. But in the end, it turns out that this is politics,” the woman said.
3. Alina Radchenko
The activist of the “Popular Movement” was attacked by an unknown person in the center of Odessa in August 2017 – he hit a woman, after which she fell and broke her head. One of the witnesses tried to detain the assailant, but he escaped, shouting: “She deserved.”
4. George Barilenko
The leader of the Odessa organization “Falcon” was shot from a traumatic pistol in September 2017.
“The attackers fired two shots from a traumatic weapon, in the stomach and in the leg, after which they threw George on the ground and inflicted several kicks,” the organization said.
They said that the attackers “said hello” from the developer, against which the activist is fighting. The man survived.
5. Igor Zakharchenko
The LGBT activist and his partner were beaten into the entrance of the house where he lived in Odessa in October 2017.
“They didn’t try to rob us, they just beat us. That is, the main reason for the attack was hatred of the LGBT community,” the man recalls.
Subsequently, he moved to France.
6. Sergey Sternenko
The Odessa activist and ex-leader of the local “Right Sector” was attacked three times in 2018: with a bat and a traumatic gun.
During the last incident, Sternenko was able to mortally wound with a knife one of the attackers. The activist believes that the protagonists of the attacks may be pro-Russian forces, or local authorities.
The case of the attack was transferred from Odessa to the central office of the SBU, as the Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko explained, through “suspicions of certain corrupt and personal ties between the attackers and individual law enforcement agencies.”
7. Vitaly Ustimenko
Vitaly Ustimenko, an activist of Avtomaydan and a member of the Council of Public Control of NABU, was attacked in Odessa in June 2018, his thigh was cut and his temple was broken.
The attackers were subsequently detained (one of them turned out to be a diterter from the 54th brigade).
However, the activist believes that they could act on the order of someone from the local authorities and developers. Ustimenko was given state protection, which was subsequently removed.
8. Mikhail Kuzakon and Grigory Kozma
An unknown man rammed a car into public auto activists in a suburb of Odessa with a truck and hid in August 2018.
“It must be a murder,” says Mikhail Kuzakon. Both activists are engaged in anti-corruption investigations. It is said that they regularly receive threats because of this.
9. Oleg Mikhaylik
A public activist and leader of the Odessa organization of the Power of the People party was shot in Odessa in September 2018. The attack occurred near his home. The man lost a lot of blood, but he survived.
Oleg Mikhailik actively fights against illegal building, and also criticizes local authorities.
10. Andrey Vagapov
In September 2018, in Odessa, an unknown person shot through the legs of an activist, volunteer and member of the coordination council of the local police. The attack occurred near his home.
It was not the first attack against him – according to the activist, in July, unknown persons tried to mine his car. The police are considering versions of intimidation, social activity or domestic conflict.
1. Larisa Golnik
Judge Larisa Golnik was attacked in November 2017, when she was walking with her husband in the center of Poltava.
The attackers were wearing masks and hoods, and did not try to steal anything. The judge has repeatedly written about how representatives of local authorities tried to “negotiate” with her.
2. Oleg Filipas
The activist of the Movement of New Forces was attacked in April 2018 at his father’s house in Kremenchug. The attackers were in the form of special forces unmarked.
“The attack was carried out precisely for political reasons, because Oleg Filipas has neither business nor debts … What things or valuables have not disappeared from the house,” the RNS said.
1. Sergey Rakovsky
Ekoaktivsta from the city of Dubno was attacked in July 2018 – two unidentified men in medical masks began beating a man in his garage.
In his video blog, Sergei Rakovsky talks about the environmental problems of the city, in particular the pollution of the Ikva River with sewage, and opposes the construction of a CHP plant.
1. Dmitry Shesternyov
The head of the Sumy branch of the Democratic Alliance party was beaten near his home before the local elections in the fall of 2015.
Forwards did not rob a man and did not voice any demands. The attack was associated with a lawsuit to reduce fees for minibuses in Sumy, which involved Dmitry Shesternyov.
The deputy of the Kremenetsky council beat with bats in May 2016. A few hours later the man died in hospital.
Vitaly Vashchenko was a prominent public and political figure in Kremenets.
His murderers were sentenced to long terms at the same time, the verdict states that they “carried out the order of an unidentified person by the investigation.”
1. Roman Likhachev
A lawyer and deputy of the Chuguev City Council were beaten in October 2016. The attack took place in the premises of the Kharkov Institute of the Academy of Public Administration immediately after one of the seminars – the men were asked to go to the hall to “tell something important”, after which several attackers began to beat at once.
The lawyer connects the attack with his speeches about how the deputies of local councils of Kharkiv region vote for the allocation of land and funds to themselves.
2. Dmitry Bulakh
The attack on the deputy of the Kharkov regional council from “mutual aid” occurred in August 2017 – he was hit on the back of the head and finished off with his legs.
Bulakh himself linked the attack with the work of his anti-corruption center, which is investigating corruption in Kharkiv city council.
3. Yevgeny Lisichkin
Another activist of the Kharkiv anti-corruption center was beaten in September 2017 – one of the attackers was waiting for him and hiding his face with a bouquet of flowers. Then he began to beat and was joined by another. The attack was regarded as pressure on the anti-corruption center.
4. Nikolay Bychko
Ekoaktivistov from the village of Eskhar found hanged in the woods in June 2018 – 2 km from the treatment plant, where he found violations.
The police described the death as suicide, but later decided to conduct an examination on the subject of premeditated murder.
Comrades of the guy think that his suicide was staged.
1. Evgeny Matkovsky
The deputy of the Kherson city council from “Freedom” was attacked in April 2017.
“A few hours before that, unknown people went to the house, asked my relatives where I was, they were called my acquaintances. I can connect the attack with my political activities,” Yevgeny Matkovsky told then.
In September 2018, an investigator was replaced in his case and they re-took testimony.
2. Nikita Tyutyunnik
The head of the Kharkov cell of the National Corpus party was attacked on May 9, 2018. The attack details were disclosed on the attack, it was only noted that the attacker was trying to use a firearm.
In November, the prosecutor’s office reported that they had detained the assailant – a citizen of Ukraine, who “was performing the tasks of the special services of the Russian Federation”.
3. Sergey Nikitenko
A journalist from Kherson in June 2018 was beaten by “two bearded men” who were waiting for him at the parking lot.
“They beat me silently. I connect exclusively with my professional activity,” Sergey Nikitenko wrote then.
4. Ekaterina Gandzyuk
The business manager of the executive committee of the Kherson city council and the adviser of the Kherson mayor were doused with sulfuric acid near her house on July 31, 2018. on November 4, she died.
Police detained alleged perpetrators and organizers of the attacks. Moreover, they first detained a man with an alibi, who was later released. But the question of customers remains open. Among the probable customers are representatives of the local authorities and the police (because of the matter they transferred the SBU).
“We know who transferred to whom, to whom and how much for the attack on Katya. The customer is actually not alone,” said Comrade Ekaterina Gandzyuk Roman Sinitsyn.
5. Andrey Fedorenko
The car of the businessman and the assistant to the people’s deputy from “Batkivshchyna” fired from the machine gun on a long-distance highway in October, 2018.
Andrei Fedorenko and his driver were injured, but survived. In the “Batkivshchyna” attack was called the “physical pressure” of its activist, engaged in the fight against raiders.
1. Arthur Storozhuk
The chairman of the Khmelnitsky “Avtomaydan” was beaten near his own house in October 2017. A few hours before this, he was holding a press conference on corruption in the city.
“There were names of people who violate the law and those who contribute to this in law enforcement.” Thanksgiving “was not long in coming,” said Arthur Storozhuk.
1. Ilya Slobodianik
A member of the executive committee of Smela and an activist was attacked twice – in 2017 and 2018. Both times in crowded places. This was preceded by a conflict with the Secretary of the City Council and his son. Ilya Slobodianik also fights against poachers in reservoirs.
2. Pavel Karas
The attack on the deputy of the Cherkasy city council occurred in his own house in August 2018.
Five armed masked men threatened with weapons and demanded to stop playing politics. At the same time, according to media reports, a large amount of money and two cars were stolen from him.
“You have been ordered by influential people whom you are interfering with,” said the attackers, Pavel Karas.
1. Nikolay Petichenko
The head of the Chernivtsi branch “Stop corruption” was attacked twice during 2017-2018. The last time two attackers used hammers.
The organization of the attack is associated with criticism of the local prosecutor’s office and the fight against smugglers.
2. Valery Arine
Another activist, Stop Corruption, was attacked in March 2018 – at the entrance to Chernivtsi he was waited for by five men with fittings.
According to Valery Arina, the attackers “said hello” from a local official from the prosecutor’s office. He connects the attack with publications about corruption among law enforcement officers and customs officers.
1. Vladimir Marchishevsky
In June 2014, a public activist and journalist was kidnapped from the “Maidan press center” on Khreshchatyk and beaten. A few days later he died in the hospital.
“He was conscious, but said he didn’t know who beat him up,” said the Masons-Info publication, where the deceased worked.
2. Valentina Makarova
An activist who opposes building parks was attacked in July 2015 – a woman was beaten while walking with a dog. The attacker shot the dog several times and then began to beat the activist (both the woman and the dog survived as a result).
The comrades stated that in this way the attackers tried to intimidate opponents of the development of the Kyoto capital park.
3. Nick Carter
The human rights activist and the LGBT activist were beaten near the metro station in September 2015.
“At the exit from the supermarket, they were attacked by four unknown men who, beating, recalled their sexual orientation,” the Center for Civil Liberties said at the time.
To this, Nick Carter received threats in social networks and the telephone.
4. Sergey Kornievsky
Chairman of the Association of Transport Infrastructure Investors beat bits in February 2018. Sergei Kornievsky connects the attack with competition for money on the arrangement of stops in Kiev.
5. Nikolay Yarema
The activist of the organization “Belichansky fishing” was killed in March 2018. The man was beaten to death during night duty on Svyatoshinsky lake.
The organization, which included the deceased, is fighting against the “raider seizure” of the lakes.
6. Vitaly Shabunin
The head of the Center for Countering Corruption was poured green paint on shares in July 2018 – he received a chemical eye burn. The attack occurred at a rally for the resignation of the chairman of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.
Before that, Vitaly Shabunin led a discussion with the former adviser to the Minister of the Interior, Ilya Kivoy. The attackers were detained, but released the same day.
Info taken from: https://www.bbc.com/ukrainian/features-46267218