U.S. authorities have honored the memory of Ukrainian activist from Kherson Kateryna Handziuk at the International Women of Courage Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
"Today our colleagues in Washington honored the memory of Kateryna Handziuk at an International Women of Courage ceremony," the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said on Twitter on March 7. "Katya set a powerful example by standing up against corruption and working to improve the lives of children displaced by war."
(2/2) Hear Ambassador Yovanovitch’s thoughts about Kateryna Handziuk’s valuable contributions to her city and country. pic.twitter.com/VFnZLnEDST— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) March 7, 2019
"It's also important that we pause to recognize and honor those women who paid the ultimate price for their courageous efforts, women like Kateryna Handziuk of Ukraine, who dedicated her journalism career to uncovering and calling out corruption," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the ceremony. "Even after a brutal acid attack, which ultimately claimed her life three months later, Kateryna refused to be silenced. From her hospital bed, she demanded justice, setting a powerful example for her fellow citizens."
UNIAN memo. Kherson activist, adviser to the Mayor of Kherson and acting manager of affairs at Kherson City Council's executive committee Kateryna Handziuk, 33, on July 31, 2018, survived an act of acid throwing. She suffered burns to more than 35% of her body and underwent 11 operations in Kyiv to treat her horrific injuries. Handziuk died on November 4, 2018. The immediate cause of her death was given as a severed blood clot resulting from the acid attack.
Police originally qualified the attack as an attempted murder committed with extreme cruelty, then its status was changed to completed murder. Six suspects were detained, one of whom, Mykola Novikov, was later released from custody as charges against him were dropped. The alleged participant in the assassination, Serhiy Torbin, and Mykyta Hrabchuk, another suspect in the case, are in custody. Three other suspects – Vyacheslav Vishnevsky, Volodymyr Vasyanovych, and Viktor Horbunov – were placed under house arrest.
On November 5, the media reported that Torbin had allegedly received money for the attack on Handziuk from Ihor Pavlovsky, an assistant to Member of Parliament from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction Mykola Palamarchuk. Palamarchuk in turn dismissed any accusations of his possible involvement in the assassination attempt on the activist. He also said he had dismissed Pavlovsky. On November 12, a court ruled to detain Pavlovsky. According to the SBU Security Service, he is suspected of complicity in the Handziuk murder.
Chief Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko announced on December 3 that the investigators had identified all the individuals who had ordered the assassination. He also named Oleksiy Levin (his real second name is Moskalenko) who later was placed on the international wanted list on December 10, 2018, on suspicion of involvement in the Handziuk assassination.
On January 31, 2019, Chairman of Kherson Regional Council Vladyslav Manger announced the suspension of his membership in Yulia Tymoshenko's Batkivshchyna Party for the period of the investigation of the Handziuk murder case. On February 11, Manger was served with charge papers as an organizer of the assassination of Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk. On March 6, he was suspended from his office for a month under a court ruling.