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 MURDER OF PAVEL SHEREMET: FIRST QUESTIONS, WHAT WE KNOW, AND WHAT TO EXPECT

What can we say for sure? Unlike the murder of Heorhii Gongadze, there are no grounded versions at the moment. Anything could be assumed, and no version should be discarded.

- The murderers wanted to cause a major stir in the society. The explosive device was remotely controlled, but it had been triggered only after the car stopped at the intersection, so that the crime was seen. The journalist could have actually been killed in other places, not so visible ones, in a more primitive way. But the criminals wanted their crime to be loud.

- The criminal did not break in the car - the bomb was attached to the bottom. The killer had been previously trained.

- The crew of 17 Channel news website was the first to show up at the site of the murder and shoot how Pavel Sheremet was killed. 17 Channel is a Russian propagandist medium operating legally in Kyiv. They host call-in shows and make interviews with Russian terrorists. 17 Channel was the first to arrive at the site of the murder of Oles Buzyna [journalist killed in Kyiv in April 2016 -ed.]. The leadership of the 17 Channel said their crew was on duty at 7:45 a.m. [when the killing took place - ed.] at that intersection in order to film an interview with Mayor Vitalii Klitschko. It's a lie disproved by Kyiv City Administration - no such agreement was made, Klitschko is on vacation at the moment.

What should authorities do?

1. They should create a professional investigative group with experience in solving of ordered crimes against persons. There is no need in young people here, there's a need of experience and expertise. No FBI is able to solve this crime instead of us. Working with people and examination of the scene - this does not need overseas Sherlocks. Instead, it requires domestic professionals who understand people, know how to work with witnesses, and dealt with similar investigations in the past. The team needs cooperation and teamwork; there is no place in it for internal competition and being the first in leaking the details to supervisors.

2. The group needs to receive full material support, and its members need to be released from any other investigations. Investigation of murders is not the most popular job in our law enforcement agencies, it is deemed the hardest job, and many investigators deal with dozens of cases simultaneously. Some administer more than 100 proceedings at once - in fact, they have no time for work, only for paperwork.

3. The group has to be as large as possible - dozens of officers need to be involved in initial investigation activities aimed at examination of the scene and the bomb and at gathering of all available information. For it needs to be done fast.

4. All available experts should be involved in the expertise of the explosive device - the crime instrument might provide valuable information about the crime. This is where FBI and international agencies might help. Analysis of the bomb fragments is of great importance, and Americans know how to do that and have unique technical facilities at their disposal.

What is the scope of work and what should be examined at first place?

1. What are investigators doing at the moment? They should gather all available video from surveillance cameras of this area. They should examine billing of cell phones. They should talk to locals and ask about what they've seen. This is where the expertise is needed at first place - to quickly get out necessary information from people who have seen something but might even not realize how important these details are. This is the most difficult part of the job. It needs to be done immediately and simultaneously, for the trail is cooling down, criminals are doubling, people are forgetting the details, surveillance cameras erase their data, cues are being thrown into trash, and trash is being disposed of… Investigators will have no sleep anytime soon.

2. In a contract murder investigation, the first three to four days are of critical importance. Over this period, investigators should look through the biggest volume of video possible and check information from all sources available. If no data about the criminal is found over this period, the chances of finding the culprit are going down.

Is it possible to solve the crime?

The reality is that terrorist attacks and contract murders are extremely difficult to solve, but successful operations have also taken place.

First of all, the killing of Ukrainska Pravda founder Heorhii Gongadze on Sept. 16, 2000 has been solved. Point-blank reluctance of Ukraine's authorities to make [former president] Kuchma a trial participant prevents the justice from establishing the extent of his involvement and responsibility.

Also, on Feb. 22, 2015, a shell exploded during the Ukrainian demonstration in Kharkiv. Four people were killed, including 15-year-old Ukrainian patriot Andrii Didyk and Police Lieutenant Colonel Vadym Rybalchenko, who was ensuring safety. Sever persons were injured.

The killers were detained several days after that - it had been done by a joint investigative group of SBU, the Interior Ministry, and PGO, headed by SBU representatives Oleksandr Pyvovar, SBU head in the Kharkiv region, and Andrii S., head of a department, and by Interior Ministry representative Vasyl Paskal, head of the criminal investigations department.

The trial is underway, the killers are detained. They had exploded an anti-personnel MON-100 mine, activated by a phone call. They were three Kharkiv residents led by Volodymyr Dvorikov. They had been recruited in Belgorod by Russian secret services, and Russian instructors taught them how to plant remote-controlled explosive devices. The bomb was transferred from a cache near Kharkiv.

What can the public do?

They should assist the law enforcers with information that might help find out the circumstances of the crime and lead to perpetrators. The bomb was planted at night, Pavel left his car near the building, and the explosion occurred in the morning.

This is downtown Kyiv, there must have been someone who had seen something suspicious. This information is very much needed by investigators.

A circle of persons who might have been in that area in the evening of July 19 and at night of July 20 should be found. Any information about suspicious people in the area might be valuable.

Information about possible shadowing of Pavel is also needed. The criminal must had been monitoring the victim's daily routine.

Public control and coverage of working conditions of the investigation group should be conducted. People must be certain that the group has all it needs for bringing fast preliminary results. Politicians and chiefs should not interfere during the first week with any questions, except for "How can we assist you?"

In a week, the picture will get clear.

Yurii Butusov, Censor.NET

 
 
 
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