Cyber sleuths cry cover-up in Ukrainian mayor ‘murder’ mystery, after finding inconsistencies in police video of supposed suicide
Police in the city of Krivoy Rog announced on Sunday that they were probing whether there had been foul play in the death of its 48-year-old mayor, Konstantin Pavlov, but were also working on the theory that he might have taken his own life. His body was discovered on the veranda outside his home, with a gunshot wound to the chest. Reports indicate that a firearm lay nearby.
However, Vadim Rabinovich, a prominent businessman and a member of the Opposition Platform – For Life party to which Pavlov belonged, was adamant that the mayor had been “killed” and suggestions he had taken his own life were “a deliberate lie.” A source told local news outlet Strana that, after being hit by the bullet, Pavlov managed to stagger around 10 meters before he fell to the ground.
Ukrainian social media is up in arms after the Mayor of Krivoy Rog was found shot dead.Twitter users have pointed out that in CCTV footage moments before his supposed suicide, Konstantin Pavlov is wearing slippers over his bare feet. In police photos, his body is wearing socks. pic.twitter.com/e08c0ogBRH— Gabriel Gavin (@GabrielCSGavin) August 17, 2021
CCTV footage said to have captured the politician’s last moments appears to show him walking around the house brandishing the carbine, before walking towards the door to the veranda. The footage then cuts to an external camera, and a cat can be seen running away as if startled by a gunshot.
However, concerned netizens cited by local news outlet TSN spotted a discrepancy between the clip and the crime scene photographs. In the security camera footage, Pavlov is wearing slippers on his bare feet. However, in an image from the veranda, supposedly taken by investigators after his death, the mayor is wearing long dark socks.
The claims of a coverup and conspiracy come as Kiev cracks down on Opposition Platform – for Life, the largest non-government party in the country’s parliament. In May, Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the group, was arrested by Ukrainian security officials. The serving MP is now facing high treason charges and has been placed under house arrest while prosecutors prepare the case. It is believed to be linked to business interests in Crimea, which is considered by Kiev to be its sovereign territory, despite the reabsorption of the peninsula by Russia in 2014.Also on rt.com Mayor of key Ukrainian city found dead from gunshot to chest, amid government's crackdown on ‘pro-Russian’ opposition party
Medvedchuk, who has been critical of the country’s political path since the 2014 Maidan revolution, seeking reconciliation with Moscow, has rejected allegations the party are an extension of the Kremlin. “I completely throw out accusations of so-called pro-Russianness,” he blasted. “Our party received millions of votes of confidence during the last elections.” He added that polls prior to his arrest had shown that his party was significantly increasing its standing with the electorate, and said the prosecution was political.
Earlier this year, Medvedchuk told RT that illegitimate prosecutions were now “commonplace” in Ukraine, and claimed that President Volodymyr Zelensky was engaging in a campaign of “political repression,” in order to “establish a dictatorship.”
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova has backed the move, however, opining that the politician and his associates had attempted to steal “national resources in Ukrainian Crimea [sic].” She went on to say that the decision to seek a criminal sentence for Medvedchuk would show that “you cannot consider Crimea to be part of another state.”
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