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Kateryna Handziuk spoke out on corruption and the influence of pro-Russian forces in Kherson, near Crimea.5 November 2018
Ukrainian civic activist Kateryna Handziuk died yesterday, three months after suffering severe burns in an acid attack in the southern city of Kherson.
President Petro Poroshenko called on law enforcement bodies to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice, VOA reports.
Handziuk, who was 33, campaigned against corruption and sat on the Kherson city council. She was transported to a hospital in Kyiv shortly after the 31 July attack left her with burns over 40 percent of her body, and underwent 11 operations, the BBC reports.
Her death sends a grim signal to dozens of other activists who have been targeted in the past year in incidents varying from threats to attempted murder.
About 1,000 demonstrators gathered at the Interior Ministry in Kyiv after her death was announced to hold a vigil and demand a proper investigation of the killing.
Police have identified five suspects, the Kyiv Post writes, all former fighters in a volunteer force linked to nationalist Right Sector group. The chief suspect, former Kherson policeman Serhiy Torbin, was arrested on 17 August. He denied guilt during a court hearing on 17 October.
Initially, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko blamed separatist organizations for the attack on Handziuk, Time reports, citing the Associated Press.
Many, however, see the hand of organized crime in the many attacks on campaigners against corruption and illegal construction in Odessa, the port city 100 kilometers from Kherson.
Seemingly acting on fears the local police were unable to protect critics of the Odessa authorities, the national police force and National Guard announced in late September they will intensify patrols in the city, bne Intellinews journalist Kateryna Kruk wrote.
Most of the attacks on activists took place in southern Ukraine targeted “people who are fighting against corruption and represent pro-Ukrainian views,” Kruk said.
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The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes.
It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.