The case of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko and his planned assassination became even stranger when, on September 12, a video surfaced on the web claiming that the whole story was nothing more than Ukrainian government’s attempt to scare journalists in Ukraine and a step in government officials’ malicious plan to overthrow the president.
The man who appeared in the video claimed that he is Viacheslav Pivovarnik who, according to the Ukrainian investigation, ordered Babchenko’s murder in May. This man revealed that he’s been working for the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) since 2010 and that the other alleged accomplice in the case, Borys Herman (who has now been convicted to 4.5 years), was forced to testify. “Pivovarnik” also claimed that there has been an “attempt to murder him” when, early on September 12, an explosion occurred outside his parents’ house in the western Ukrainian town of Chop.
Many have doubts over the allegations made in the video and whether the man in it is indeed Pivovarnik. The SBU told Hromadske that while it could be the real Pivovarnik, the claims are “fabricated.”
Pivovarnik is the co-owner or manager of at least five legal entities in Ukraine, including the logistics company Global Container Service and Ruskon-Ukraine (the daughter company of the Russian container operator Ruskon). He also co-owns the Kyiv-based company Public Security Service of Ukraine with Serhiy Deyev. A person with the same name has been featured in the media as an activist for Ukrainian Old Believers and an expert of the Russian Foundation for National and International Security.
Internet publication The Bell also looked for Pivovarnik’s profile on LinkedIn, but it was soon deleted, as was his profile on Russian social media site VKontakte. The cache of data aggregators from social networks indicate that the last place of residence on Pivovarnik’s social media pages is St. Petersburg.
Hromadske traveled to Chop to find out how much truth there is to this latest twist.