‘Who Killed Pavel Sheremet’: Hromadske Investigation
10 May, 2017

Hromadske’s investigative unit “Slidstvo.Info” and the international Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) present a film investigating the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet.

In July 2016 a car bomb killed famous journalist Pavel Sheremet on his way to work  in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine.

Journalists from “Slidstvo.Info” and the international Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) arrived on the scene not long after and have been working on the case ever since. Their work has resulted in a documentary film, in which the authors have carefully analyzed the events of the night before the murder.

Authors: Anna Babinets, Olena Loginova, Dmitro Hnap, Vlad Lavrov. Director: Matt Sarnetski.

In a comment to Hromadske one of the authors, Anna Babinets, noted that details about the film have not been disclosed so that the audience will learn about everything at the screening:

“Everyone is invited, there are no restrictions on who can attend the event. Three of the authors will also be there. After the screening there will be an hour-long discussion,”–says Babinets.

She also noted that preparing the film took almost ten months.

A Person Connected to SBU Present at the Scene of Sheremet’s Killing

A former or active SBU employee was spotted in a video from a surveillance camera on the night before the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet. Journalists from Hromadske’s investigative unit and the international Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), who undertook an independent investigation into the June 20, 2016 murder, were able to identify him.

According to the investigation, the employee, named Igor Ustimenko worked for the SBU at least until 2014. Ustimenko refused to comment on his connections to the security service and the SBU refused to give comments to the authors of the film. Ustimenko was near Sheremet’s home for several hours on the night when an explosive was placed under the journalist’s car. He came to the scene in a grey, Shkoda Oktavia 2251 car. A number of surveillance cameras near Sheremet’s home recorded the car. The vehicle was registered to a different person, Nataliya Zaretskaya. Neither Zaretskaya nor Ustimenko could explain why a person connected to the SBU was using the car.

Early reports claimed that Ukraine’s national police are investigating five versions of the journalist's murder. The first priority investigation connected Sheremet’s murder to his professional activities. Law enforcers noted that more than 1000 people were interrogated during the investigation, but no one has been prosecuted as a suspect.

Pavel Sheremet was a famous Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian journalist. In the 1990s he worked for the newspaper “Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta” and was the head of the Belarusian Bureau of Russian Public Television. Sheremet spent three months in prison for speaking out against the politics of Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko. In 1999 Sheremet was appointed editor-in-chief of the Russian and foreign correspondent networks of the Directorate of Information Programs of ORT. In 2012, Sheremet moved to Ukraine, where he worked for the publication “Ukrainskaya Pravda”, for the channel TVi, Radio Vesti and Channel 24.

In 2002 Sheremet was awarded the OSCE prize for democracy and the protection of human rights in the field of journalism.