News Politics, 02/08/2018

Security Service Detains Militant Supposedly Hired by Kharkiv Mayor

Yesterday a fighter and martial arts coach Artem Shokalo from a pro-Russian “Oplot” terrorist organization was arrested in Kharkiv.

The SBU held the investigation together with the prosecutor’s office and found that Shokalo organized the riots in the Kharkiv Municipality on June 20, 2018. In particular, a 25-year-old fighter is suspected in attacking the civic activists, who came to the session of the city council to present their demands to the deputies.

The terrorist was detained when he was getting ready to escape to Russia. The Kharkivite was charged with forming a criminal group. Currently, the criminal proceedings have been opened and the investigation continues.

The SBU officials report that the attacker used to belong to the “Oplot” terrorist organization, disguised as a fighting club. Later, along with accomplices from private security companies, he formed a criminal group which committed provocations, raids and other actions aimed at destabilizing the situation in the Kharkiv region.

Also lately Artem Shokalo was hired as a body-guard of Kharkiv Mayor Hennady Kernes’s wife, Oksana Haysinska.

A number of representatives of security companies connected to the Kharkiv city council officials have been arrested as well.

Reference: “Oplot” used to be a Kharkiv fight club and pro-Russian terrorist organization which was engaged in kidnapping and torturing activists during Revolution of Dignity in 2013-2014. Its members joined pro-Russian militant formations in Donbas in 2014. One of the “Oplot” leaders Olexandr Zakharchenko heads DNR quasi formation now. Founder of “Oplot” Evhen Zhylin was wanted in Ukraine and was killed in Russia in 2016.

Text: Olena Sokolynska