In Ukraine, March 25, 2016  (and further below, report on New York Times)

Lawyer Yury Grabovsky, murdered on March 25, 2016 after kidnapping in Kyiv (Sputnik)

Lawyer Yury Grabovsky, murdered on March 25, 2016 after kidnapping in Kyiv (Sputnik)

A lawyer who defended a Russian citizen accused in Ukraine of being a Russian terrorist has been killed. His body was found buried in a rural area three weeks after his disappearance in Kiev. The abductors allegedly used a bomb to keep him from escaping.

Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Evgeny Erofeev were detained last May in the rebel-controlled Lugansk Region in Eastern Ukraine. Kiev said they were agents for Russian military intelligence and charged them with a number of crimes, including waging an aggressive war against the country and terrorism, as it considers all rebels terrorists. Both the rebels and Moscow insist that the two Russian citizens were volunteers who joined the Ukrainian civil war after resigning from the Russian military.

Aleksandrov was defended at the ongoing trial by lawyer Yury Grabovsky. He went missing on March 6 in Kiev and found dead on Friday. Investigators say he was kidnapped and later killed.

The lawyer’s body was found buried in an abandoned orchard near the town of Zhashkov about 100 km south of the Ukrainian capital, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor, Anatoly Matios, told the media. Grabovsky’s grave was found after investigators followed a lead from one of his suspected killers.

The investigators say that Grabovsky was kidnapped in Kiev, transported to Odessa, a port city in southern Ukraine, and later to Zhashkov. The abductors said they used an ankle bracelet rigged with explosives to keep their victim compliant.

“If he tried to report his whereabouts or escape the criminals threatened to set off the explosive device and that he would be torn apart on the spot,” the prosecutor said.

The investigators also believe that the layer had been kept drugged by his abductors, which Grabovsky’s post mortem may prove.

The lawyer was last seen alive in Kiev. He missed an appointed court session on March 9. Later somebody posted a status on his Facebook page claiming that he had left Ukraine out of fear for his life, but would return soon. Investigators later confirmed that Grabovsky’s phone, which was used to post the update, never left Ukraine.

Matios was somewhat vague in describing how exactly Grabovsky died, saying that he “was killed violently and finished off with a firearm,” apparently implying that he was brutally beaten before being killed.

The military prosecutor stressed that his agency should be credited for solving the crime after taking jurisdiction from the national police.

“We took the case… and investigated the crime falling under police jurisdiction,” he said. “If we didn’t, it wouldn’t have been solved.”

The Ukrainian authorities arrested two people in connection with the murder, one last week and another on Thursday. One of them had fake ID of a law enforcement officer and a fake Ukrainian passport printed on a genuine blank form, Matios said. The second person arrested told investigators where the Grabovsky’s body was buried.

Matios said several motives are being considered in the murder case, including robbery, personal conflict and a “deliberate operation” by a “secret service.” Grabovsky’s colleagues say his work as attorney for the Russian defendant is likely.

Osksana Sokolovskaya, the layer of the second Russian defendant Erofeev, who worked closely with Grabovsky to build their trial strategies, reported that case files disappeared from his office when he went missing. The files had evidence that the defense team would now need to collect again as the trial proceeding, she said.

The trial of Aleksandrov and Erofeev would not be postponed due to Grabovsky’s murder, Matios said.

“The next session is scheduled for April 5. It will happen regardless of any circumstances and with all means and mechanism in place to ensure the safety of the Russian citizens,” he said.

Commenting on the confirmation of Grabovsky’s death, the Russian foreign ministry blamed Kiev of failing to protect him.

“Apparently they are not going to stick to legal methods in Ukraine and tolerate anything not fitting the scheme, which the ruling circles have built on the foundation of an anti-Russian and occasionally overtly Russsophobic hysterics,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry offered condolences to family and friends of the slain lawyer and said it hoped that the Ukrainian authorities would bring everyone responsible for the murder to justice.

Related news on

Ukraine presents video of slain lawyer agreeing to his kidnappers’ demand to give up Russian client’s case,, March 30, 2016

Kiev’s capture of 2 Russian ex-military a ‘show,’ torture must stop – Moscow , May 19, 2015

Personal details of murdered journalist Oles Buzina and ex-MP found posted on Ukrainian ‘enemies of state’ database, April 17, 2015

Lawyer defending Russian soldiers [sic] detained in Ukraine is gunned down in Kyiv

By Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, March 25, 2016

MOSCOW — A Ukrainian lawyer who was defending one of the Russian servicemen currently on trial in Ukraine was found dead on Friday, a government official said during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital.

The official, Anatoly V. Matios, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor, said the body of the lawyer, Yuri L. Grabovsky, was buried in an abandoned garden south of Kiev with signs of a violent death and a gunshot wound.

Mr. Grabovsky was representing Aleksandr A. Aleksandrov, one of two Russian servicemen detained by the Ukrainian military in the country’s east in May.

Ukrainian officials claimed the two were Russian officers on a military mission in Ukraine, but Moscow said they had resigned from active duty. In a video statement published by the Security Service of Ukraine, Mr. Aleksandrov admitted that he was on a reconnaissance mission in Ukraine at the time.

The politically charged case has further strained ties between Moscow and Kiev. Two unidentified suspects were detained, and one of them helped investigators find the body. Mr. Matios said one suspect had fake Ukrainian identification documents and credentials.

Mr. Grabovsky disappeared on March 5. The captors made him wear a special bracelet, telling him that it would explode if he tried to escape or reach out for help, the military prosecutor said. They also posted messages in Mr. Grabovsky’s Facebook account. One post claimed he had left for Egypt and had to leave Ukraine “against his will,” but he never left the country.

The prosecutor refused to confirm any Russian role in the murder but said it was well planned and well financed. In an interview with the Ukrainian news channel, Mr. Matios said the operation had been planned by Russian special services.

The suspicion of Russian involvement comes in part from a belief that Moscow is trying to undermine Ukraine’s leadership in Western eyes. Others have suggested that Ukrainian nationalists might be responsible.


EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search

Translate »