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08.04.2004

Tragic event in the life of Vasyl Koriak (Lubny)

   

On 12 September Vasyl Koriak, the 51-year-old former mayor of Lubny (the Poltava oblast), who had survived several attempts at his life, wounded a man, who stole to his yard at night. V. Koriak made two warning shots from his rifle (for which he had the permission). The thief attacked Koriak and tried to stab him with a screwdriver. Then Koriak shot in the attacker’s legs, but the bullet hit the offender’s groin and he died of the loss of blood.

The law-enforcing organs established the identity of the burglar: this was a 29-year-old dweller of Lubny, who had a mental disease. The Lubny district prosecutor’s office started the criminal case. Vasyl Koriak stays at large yet.

(«Fakty», No. 169, 17 September 2003)

***

Ludmila Kucherenko, the President of the Poltava oblast media club:

On 12 September, at about 1 a.m., Vasyl Koriak, a Lubny correspondent of the all-Ukrainian newspaper “Informatsiyny bulleten”, the author of the famous serial “Tominiana” (about E. Tomin, the then head of the Poltava oblast administration), woke up and saw the light of a torch and that somebody had opened the window of his room. He also heard that somebody tried to open the window on another side of the house. When his eyes got accustomed to the darkness, he saw several figures in his yard, one of which slipped to the garage. V. Koriak, who in July underwent the attack, when some strangers fired at him with buckshot, had no illusions about the intentions of the night visitors. So, he loaded the rifle and prepared to protect his life and family. Koriak awoke his wife, dart out to the yard and ran into the garage. The moon shone brightly and he could see a big fellow, who was doing something near the car.

Vasyl Koriak is a former investigator, so he has some experience in detaining criminals. He ordered to the uninvited guest: “Freeze!”, but the “guest” rushed towards him. Vasyl fired to air and shouted “Freeze!” again. Yet, the criminal ignored the cry and continued to approach. Then Vasyl made another warning shot and after that shoot in the legs of the bandit. The latter fell down: he was wounded. “What is your name?”, asked Koriak. “Dakhnovskiy”, answered the man.

Vasyl returned to the house and called for ambulance and militia. The bullet, that hit the criminal passed through his hip and stuck in the car board. However, the medics, apparently, incorrectly estimated the seriousness of the wound and did not bandage it tightly, so Dakhnovskiy died from the loss of blood during the transportation to hospital.

Soon after that the ambulance had to come to Koriaks, because Vasyl, his wife and their 12-year-old son were deeply shocked.

In the morning a knife with 40-centimeter blade and a can with some fuel were find near the garage. Although the militiamen learned the name of the attacker from Vasyl Koriak as early as at 1 a.m., they reported to the general that they managed to establish the identity of the criminal only at 19 p.m. Besides, they announced by radio about an unidentified corpse found in the Kononivskiy forest.

Dakhnovskiy’s mother told that in the evening of 11 September two men had come to her son and proposed “to work as watchman at the summer cottages”. Dakhnovskiy agreed and went away with these men. By the way, 30-year-old Dakhnovskiy was rather tall: 184 cm, so he was much higher than Koriak. Besides, he had psychical disorders, so it is most possible that, if he would survive, he would not be punished strictly. Naturally, the prosecutor’s office of the Lubny district started the criminal case. For the present moment the law-enforcers do not deny the legal right of Koriak to protect himself, his family and his property with arms. And the wound in a hip had not to be fatal, if the medical aid was more qualified.

As well as in four previous cases, where Koriak was attacked with the use of firearms, he does not believe (and he had the grounds for this disbelief) that the criminals will be found and punished. In July 2003, after the night shooting with buck-shot, the criminal case was started after the article on hooliganism, but not on the attempted murder. The versions proposed by law-enforcers after the July attempt were nonsensical and scandalous: the militiamen alleged that the former mayor organized the attempt by himself in order to increase his rating, or that somebody merely tried to frighten him a little.

That time the night visitors tried to enter Koriak’s house. And, if his sleep were not so light, this story would result in the tragedy with more than one victim: the criminals had the can with gasoline and, most likely, they were going to set fire to the house with all its sleeping inhabitants. However, we are sure that, in spite of this can, the prosecutor’s office will see there only a banal attempt of robbing, but not the revenge for the professional activities of the journalist.

The former colleagues of V. Koriak (he worked as an investigating officer for 25 years) behaved very strangely. When they came to his house in the tragic night, they said that he had to escape, but not to shoot.

-- To escape? – cried Koriak. – I, man, father and husband, had to escape, when my wife and son faced danger?!

Perhaps, Dakhnovskiy’s mother would be able to recognize the men, with whom her son went away. Yet, basing on the experience, we think that the law-enforcers will do nothing to find the organizers and executors of the hunt for journalist and public figure Vasyl Koriak. On the contrary, the unprofessional, to put it mildly, actions are carried out: for instance, the militiamen asked one of the suspected directly whether it was he, who had shot at Koriak.

It is even unknown whether two accomplices of Dakhnovskiy are still alive, since they might know the organizer of the crime and were the unwanted witnesses.

V. Koriak connects the attempt with the fact that he openly criticizes in his articles the vices and criminal essence of the modern regime. So, on 10 August, at the mass meeting in Lubny, he told publicly that the Lubny militia practically did not react to the crimes committed against common Ukrainians, that militia was one of the links of the narcotic business. And this business is connected with great money, for which some people will commit any crime, even a murder. V. Koriak suggests that he was visited by the same men, who had come to him in July. Maybe, he believes, the organizers ordered them to finish the work.

Lubny dwellers reckon that militia is unable to protect them from criminals, so everybody must defend his life and property with weapons, like Koriak.

V. Koriak’s colleagues, independent journalists, are also sure that our society is completely corrupted and demoralized, and all state institutions are so weak morally and professionally that one cannot hope for clearance of crimes against journalists, protection of journalists envisaged by laws and superiority of right at consideration of the claims against mass media and journalists. It seems that justice, as a social-ethical category, died in Ukraine. In spite of the slashing assessment of the work of law-enforcing organs, given by the Ukrainian President in his speech devoted to the 12th anniversary of independent Ukraine, almost nothing has changed in this agency.

There is only one positive moment: maybe, after the story with Koriak, the number of the people, who are ready to fulfill the orders of the enemies of disagreeable journalists, will decrease, and the journalists will use their legal right to arm.

P.S. Ruslan Bilokin, the Lubny district prosecutor, has informed that the criminal case was started after Article 115 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (premeditated murder).

(«The Poltava oblast media club”, No. 47, 16 September 2003)

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