Anniversary of Kateryna Handziuk's death: Four questions and answers

Author : News Agency

A year ago, an official of public activists from Kherson Kateryna Handziuk was killed. How is the investigation going and is there any breakthrough?
20:22, 4 November 2019

Anniversary of Kateryna Handziuk's death
112 Agency

In half an hour, the rally “A year without Katia” will start all over Ukraine. The rally will honor Kateryna Handziuk, who was killed a year ago.

“On November 4, we will once again take it to the streets of our cities to remind everyone – the murderers and the authorities and to all the citizens of our country: we demand justice,” the message on the Facebook page “Who ordered Katia Handziuk.”

The rallies are expected to take place in almost all regional centers of Ukraine. The rally “A year without Katia” will be held in Warsaw (Poland), Paris (France), Berlin (Germany), Roma (Italy), Brussels (Belgium), Tel-Aviv (Israel), Vienna (Austria), Chicago, New York (USA) and other countries of the world.

The year has passed and the investigation is still ongoing and there are still a lot of questions in Kateryna Handziuk case. We will draw your attention the most well-known ones. But let us first remind you what had happened.

The chronology of the murder:

On July 31, 2018, at about 08:30 a.m., Kateryna Handziuk was splattered with sulfuric acid just next to her house.

The victim, being in a state of shock, was taken to the intensive care unit of regional hospital.

39% of the body was burned. Acid hit the back, head, arm, and eyes of the victim.

On August 1, Kateryna was taken to the Kyiv Burn Center for the treatment.

As of September 21, she went through 11 operations.

Initially, a criminal case was opened under Part 4 of Art. 296 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Hooliganism, committed with the use of thing specially adjusted or prepared in advance to cause bodily injury"). Subsequently, it was reclassified to Part 2 of Art. 121 ("Intended grievous bodily injury committed for the purpose of intimidating the victim of other persons").

On November 4, Kateryna Handziuk died at the intensive care unit in Kyiv. The death was caused by: multiple-organ failure and chemical burns of 39% of the body as a result of a chemical attack.

After Kateryna Handziuk’s death, the police reclassified the case to "Intended Murder".

Now let’s get to the questions.


Question 1 

Who is imprisoned?

Serhiy Torbina
Iryna Gerashchenko Facebook

Yes. 5 suspected people were detained in the attack on Handziuk: Volodymyr Vosianovych, Viacheslav Vyshenvskyi, Viktor Horbunov, Mykyta Hrabchuk and Serhiy Torbin who is thought to be the coordinator of the attack. All the arrested are the ATO veterans

The detainees entered the agreement with the investigation and Pokrovksyi Court of Dnipro region approved these agreements on June 6, 2019. 

All the suspected were incriminated according to articles 27, 28 and 121 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine "Serious bodily injury caused by group of individuals with prior agreement". 

Serhiy Torbin was sentenced to prison up to 6,5 years, Mykyta Hrabchuk was sentenced up to 6 years, Volodymyr Vosianovych and Viacheslav Vyshenskyi - up to 4 years and Viktor Horbunov was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment.

On the eve of the anniversary of Kateryna Handziuk's death the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine explained why all the men got such small jail times.

Particularly, for cooperation with the law enforcers, concluding the agreement with the prosecutor and information about who was involved in the crime.

Important to mention

All 5 men were not detained immediately. In the beginning, Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov told about the arrest of the citizen of Kherson region Mykola Novikov. He stated that on August 3. 

After three days he was arrested for 2 months. But journalists found soon witnesses who proved Novikov's alibi. He had a rest at the sea at the moment of Handziuk's murder. 

In addition, Novikov has not got acid stains on his legs and arms. 

About the detainees 

As Novynarnia reports, according to the data of the investigation, Horbunov admitted during interrogation that he bought the acid on the stock in Kakhovka on July 26 and was awarded by Torbin in the amount of $300. Horbunov stated that Torbin proposed to attack. 

Vyshnevskyi said that Torbin suggested $500 for each. While Vyshnevskyi and Vosianovych stood guard, Hrabchuk ran to the victim and threw Kateryna with the acid. 

Journalists noted that Hrabchuk had a wound on his face, which looked like a chemical burn. 


Question two

Who hasn’t been punished?

Vladyslav Manger, the Chairman of Kherson Regional Council
Kherson Visti

Murder orderer. “Who ordered to kill Katya Handziuk?” – this is the main phrase of Kateryna’s friends.

The name of the head of the Kherson regional council Vladyslav Manger is mostly heard.. The Security Service of Ukraine said that in addition to Manger there were other assassin's paymasters.

Another alleged organizer of the attack on Handziuk is Oleksiy Levin.  He is known to is holing up abroad.  According to Munger, who was interviewed by the day before - Levin is holing up in Bulgaria.

The Security Service of Ukraine stated about possible involvement of police officers in facilitating Levin's departure abroad.

Levin, according to the investigation, is a key element in this case.

Bohdan Tyvodar ,  the head of Chief Investigation Department of the Security Service of Ukraine, said that Levin knew more than anyone, he made this crime choosing the executor and financing it.

Ihor Pavlovsky is another defendant in the case. He was  an assistant to MP Palamarchuk with criminal backgrounds.

He was detained on November 12, 2018.  On May 2, 2019, he was released from detention on remand.

Activists together with Kateryna's father Viktor Handziuk believe that Andriy Gordeev, former Head of Kherson Regional State Administration Andrey Gordeev, and his deputy Yevhen Ryshchuk are also involved in the murder.

On the eve of the anniversary of the murder Ukraine’s Security Service stated that both Gordeev and Ryshchuk are being checked for their involvement.


Question three

Why Handziuk was killed?

Funeral of Kateryna Handziuk, Ukraine's civil activist, November 7, 2018
Kherson Daily

Kateryna Handziuk was known for her criticism of law enforcement and local government.  She was also known for her opposition to the pro-Russian movement in Kherson.  It was around this information that various versions of the motive came out.

The Security Service of Ukraine named the main version of the motive for the murder.  Investigators believe that the motive could have been a revenge for the fact that Handziuk accused the Kherson region leadership of wood’s arsons.


Question four

What is next?

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka
Open source

This question and it’s variations will put by the activists at rallies under the President’s office and in other cities of Ukraine and the world tonight.

A few days ago, Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka already announced "significant changes".

"And maybe even next week we will be able to tell something to the public," he said on November 1.




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