Ukranian Anti-Corruption Activist Killed By Acid Attack

Flag of Ukraine. Photo by Government of Ukraine.

Kateryna Handzyuk, a prominent anti-corruption activist, died on Sunday of complications from a July 31 sulfuric acid attack.  There has been no confirmation as to the exact trigger for her death, but she had been hospitalized since the attack and had undergone eleven surgeries.  She had severe damage to one of her eyes, and more than forty percent of her body had been burned by the acid.

From the UNIAN information agency:

An attempt on the official of the Kherson City Council and prominent local activist Kateryna Handziuk was ordered by law enforcers, according to a posting on Facebook by Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko. According to a photocopy of the case file memo on transferring the materials to the Security Service of Ukraine, posted by Mr Lutsenko, the attack had been carried out with the “assistance of separatist organizations in the south of Ukraine” and aimed at “destabilization of socio-political situation” in the region.
Five former members of the Ukranian Volunteer Army, an offshoot of the Right Sector nationalist movement, have been arrested and held in association with the crime, with former police officer Serhiy Torbin named as the organizer of the effort by two other suspects.  Officials have indicated they believe that the effort may have been coordinated at a higher level, an argument bolstered by the many other attacks against Ukranian anti-corruption activists.  Handziuk also felt that way.  Radio Free Europe quoted her from her hospital bed a month and a half ago:

“Why do I consider it to be assassination attempt? Because the acid was poured on my head,” she said. “If someone wanted to warn or silence me, they could have targeted my arms, legs, or face — anywhere. But they poured a liter of acid on my head.”

Before she signed off, she added: “Yes, I know that I look bad now. But I’m sure that I look much better than law and justice in Ukraine,” she said. “Because they aren’t treated by anyone.”

Due to the severity of the attack and the prominence of the victim…. Handzyuk was a city council member and one of the most famous voices against rampant police corruption, high-level government corruption and Russian operations within Ukraine… protesters have demanded a deeper investigation of the attack, which was originally attributed to simple “hooliganism.”
As noted by the Washington Post, the effort to cleanse the Ukraine of pervasive Russian influence has led to a strong nationalism taking hold, in which their openness to US and other Western nations has dramatically decreased… attitudes likely not helped by President Trump’s and other US legislators’ positive statements about Putin.  This nationalism may be triggering a purge of dissenting elements.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.