When Ukrainian officials announced the suspects in the murder of a journalist Pavel Sheremet on December 12, many questions arose. The briefing was held by interior minister Arsen Avakov and even the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy shortly after the suspects of the murder of the Belarusian and Russian journalist who used to work in Ukraine were detained.
The law enforcement argued that the suspects may have killed Sheremet in 2016 in order to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. All five people featured in the case –singer Andrii Antonenko (better known as Riffmaster), military volunteer Yuliya Kuzmenko, and nurse Yana Duhar – are veterans of the war with Russia or volunteers helping the military.
Sevgil Musaieva, the editor-in-chief of Ukrayinska Pravda news site – where Sheremet worked – argues that there is little evidence to support the current accusations put forward by the investigators.
“I'm most worried by the lack of answers to obvious questions: the motive of the paymasters, the assassins, who the paymaster is and how objective grounds are for the version that was voiced as the main one yesterday: that it was done to destabilize the situation in the country. Because in reality, the destabilization that was announced in the report of the investigative group did not happen,” Musaieva said in a Hromadske broadcast.
She didn’t find plausible that “a group of volunteers could have organized the murder of a famous journalist in order to destabilize the situation in the country without a paymaster” and believes that it would be an “odd behavior” for a person involved in a high profile murder to come to court to support her alleged accomplices, as Yulia Kuzmenko did in another case involving Inna and Vladyslav Hryshchenko, who are two other people currently featured in the Sheremet case.
Furthermore, Andrii Antonenko and Yulia Kuzmenko, suspected in planting the explosives, have been living in the spotlight.
Musaieva herself was questioned by the investigators “long ago” and says she and her colleagues are “cautious” about the revelations.
And since the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov stated that only 6-7% of information has been released, Musaieva tends to “surmise and hope that the investigation has progressed a lot.”
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