CCTV footage of the moment a car bomb ripped through a Belarusian journalist’s car in Kyiv has emerged.
The Ukranian President expressed his belief that the assassination of Pavel Sheremet on Wednesday was an attempt to ‘destabilise the country ahead of possible further events.’
His many enemies
Pavel Sheremet, was an award-winning journalist, and an outspoken critic of the Belarusian, Ukranian and Russian governments. He was a friend of the murdered Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov and had himself expressed fear about his enemies in Ukraine and Russia. In a October 2015 interview with Reuters he said:
“I am under constant suspicion here ( in Ukraine). Some think I’m an FSB agent, others that I am a Russian spy or someone else, so I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow…. And every time I go to Moscow, it’s like I’m in a minefield. Every time I expect some form of provocation or problems.”
Sheremet’s friend Nemtsov, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, had been working on a report examining the Russian military’s role in the Ukraine crisis when he was shot dead in central Moscow last year. Sheremet led tributes at his memorial service.
In 2002, Sheremet won a journalism prize from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for his reporting on human rights violations in Belarus, including the disappearances of opposition politicians and journalists. His former boss, Georgiy Gongadze, also came to a violent end in 2002 when his decapitated head was found in a forest near Kyiv.
The Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko speculated about the motivation for the killing at a press conference he said:
“ It seems to me it was done with only one aim – to destabilize the situation in the country, possibly ahead of further events”.
This is an uncomfortable reminder of the days of media repression which Sheremet fought against. He said, “Now the problem of freedom of speech and objective journalism is again becoming a serious issue,”