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21 May, 2021 14:49

Ukrainian counterintelligence officers could have been behind murder of Russian journalist Sheremet, reveals President Zelensky

Ukrainian counterintelligence officers could have been behind murder of Russian journalist Sheremet, reveals President Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted that counterintelligence officers from the country’s Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) could have been involved in the murder of Pavel Sheremet, a journalist killed in 2016.

Sheremet, who was best known for his writings about Belarus, died in Kiev in a car explosion, which the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office says was caused by a bomb. Over the years, the SBU has presented numerous theories about who was behind the attack – including blaming Russia – but now it appears that they might have been the culprits themselves.

“There is a possibility that certain individuals who were connected to counterintelligence during [Petro Poroshenko’s] presidency may be involved [in the killing],” Zelensky said.

At the time, Sheremet was a public critic of Poroshenko, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin and their Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

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“I do not interfere in the activities of law enforcement agencies and the court. But I know in detail what happened,” Zelensky continued.

In December 2019, three Ukrainians were arrested on suspicion of murdering Sheremet. According to the authorities, the murder was ordered and organized by Andrey Antonenko, a well-known military veteran and musician. Two other defendants, Yana Dugar and Yulia Kuzmenko, were detained as accomplices.

On the day of the arrests, Ilya Kiva, a member of Ukraine’s parliament from the Opposition Platform – For Life party, said that he had unconfirmed information that the three defendants in the case were freelancers for the Security Service.

Born in Soviet Belarus, Sheremet was a naturalized Russian and spent much of his career working on TV. He also wrote for the Ukrainian online publication Ukrayinska Pravda.

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