Police detain suspect over the murder of Oleksandr Goncharov
According to the Public Relations Department of the Kyiv Police, one of the people suspected of having ordered the murder of environmentalist and defender of the ecosystem of the reserve territory Zhukiiv Island, Oleksandr Goncharov has been arrested.
The report states that at the beginning of the investigation, three versions had been considered – murder over debt; conflict with fishermen who had often tried to go along the Dnipro through the territory which Mr Goncharov had effectively squatted, or that the murder was connected with Mr Goncharovs attempts to obstruct the illegal extraction of sand near Zhukiv Island.
The police have concluded that the last version is correct. They believe that they have established one of those who ordered the killing and say that the other is in hiding, and will shortly be placed on the wanted list. They say that an attempt was made to present the killing as the result of conflict with fishermen. Those who carried out the killing have not been found.
The Head of the Kyiv Police has also issued an instruction that the relevant services and units stop the work of those involved in the illegal extraction of sand within the administrative borders of the capital.
As reported here, Oleksandr Goncharov was murdered on 26 May by two assailants. His wife was badly beaten. During the past two years he had been active in trying to stop the illegal extraction and sale of sand from Zhukiv Island by several commercial firms.
During the two days before his murder, Mr Goncharov accompanied a filming team from TV Channel ICTV to the place where the sand was being removed. The coverage led to the police being called and the extraction stopped.