13:50 13.12.2019

Organizer of Sheremet's murder was musician Antonenko – text of suspicion notice to Kuzmenko

4 min read

The organizer of the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet in 2016 was musician and Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) veteran Andriy Antonenko. The direct executor of the killing was the volunteer and children's physician Yulia Kuzmenko, according to the text of the suspicion notice handed to Kuzmenko during a search of her house on Thursday, December 12.

A scan copy of the suspicion was published by her attorney Vlad Dobos on his Facebook page on Friday night.

"The pretrial investigation found that Antonenko ... carried away by ultranationalist ideas, cultivating the greatness of the Aryan race ... trying to make his views an object of public attention ... remaining in the ATO area, from among volunteers and persons who had undergone military training as part of volunteer battalions ... decided to create an organized group in order to kill journalist and radio host Sheremet Pavel Grigoryevich," the text of the suspicion notice says.

To realize his intent, according to the document, Antonenko brought in with him Kuzmenko, contract soldier Yana Duhar and persons unidentified by the investigators who had similar views and intentions in order to draw public attention to national-radical ideas that, in their opinion, could change society.

It is noted in suspicion that the activities of the group were carried out with a clear separation of functions between its members, while Antonenko "assumed the functions of organizer and leader of the group."

Antonenko, along with unknown persons, is indicated as the manufacturer of the explosive device, and Duhar allegedly conducted reconnaissance of the scene of the crime, the suspicion notice says.

On the night of July 20, 2016, according to the document, Antonenko and Kuzmenko arrived on Ivan Franko St. in Kyiv and located the car used by Sheremet.

"Kuzmenko approached this car and attached an explosive device under its bottom from the driver's side," the notice says, adding Kuzmenko and Antonenko then left the scene.

On the morning of the same day, Kuzmenko allegedly returned to the scene, dressed in a tracksuit on the territory of an abandoned house, and then waited for Sheremet to leave the house, get into the car and begin to move."

Acting out her criminal intent, which was shared by all the participants of the organized group, Kuzmenko, after waiting until the above-mentioned car drove away to a safe distance from her, remotely detonated an explosive device and detonated the explosive device attached to the car," the notice says.

According to the suspicion notice, Kuzmenko is suspected of a crime under Part 3 of Article 28, Paragraphs 5, 12 Part 2 of Article 115 of Ukraine's Criminal Code "namely, murder, that is, the intentional unlawful infliction of death on another person, in a perfect way that is dangerous to the lives of many people, as part of an organized group."

As reported, journalist Sheremet was killed in a car explosion in central Kyiv on July 20, 2016. The explosion occurred when Sheremet was driving a vehicle that belonged to Ukrayinska Pravda Director Olena Prytula, who was not in it at the time. The journalist died at the scene shortly following the bomb blast.

On December 12, 2019, the police conducted a series of searches and reported suspicions to a number of defendants in the case. On the same day, a briefing was held with the participation of the leadership of the National Police, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and President Volodymyr Zelensky. The intermediate results of the investigation were partially disclosed and the names of the murder suspects were given.

Three persons suspected of killing Sheremet: military nurse Yana Duhar, volunteer and children's physician Yulia Kuzmenko as well as musician and anti-terrorist operation veteran Andriy Antonenko. All have been detained. Spouses Vladyslav and Inna Hryshchenko, also members of the ATO, were detained in another case, but are defendants in the case of the murder of Sheremet.

Deputy Chief of the National Police, Head of the Criminal Police Yevhen Koval said that the main motive for killing Sheremet was the destabilization of the internal socio-political situation in the country.