Ukrainian lawmaker shoots villager in leg on New Year's eve claiming self-defense; alleged attacker disputes events
The alleged attacker, who Ukrainian deputy Serhiy Pashynsky said he shot in self-defense on Dec. 31, has disputed the politician's version of events. The New Year's Eve incident took place near Khlepcha, a village in Kyiv oblast where many Ukrainian politicians are known to reside, according to Kyiv Post.
In an interview with Ukrainian channel TSN, the alleged attacker, Viacheslav Khimikus who was shot in the leg by Pashynsky, contested the MP’s claim that he fired warning shots, Kyiv Post reported.
Khimikus told TSN that Pashynsky had aimed the gun at his heart which drove him to attack Pashynsky with a glass bottle and avoid being fatally wounded.
Pashynsky said that he only shot Khimikus after firing warning shots and being attacked with a glass bottle.
Khimikus, who is a 38-year old truck driver from Vasylkiv, Kyiv Oblast, told TSN that he was walking home from his mother’s house on a New Year’s Eve, already under the influence of alcohol, when he saw a broken down minibus in the middle of the road. Khimikus said he had a bottle of alcohol in his hand, which was later used to attack Pashynsky, and was on the phone with his wife at the time.
According to Khimikus, the driver of the minibus asked him for help pushing the minibus out of the road. Then the men tried moving the vehicle together while Khimikus remained on the phone with his wife.
"Then a Mercedes stops by, a window rolls down and someone goes: 'You freaks should at least put the (hazard) lights on, what the hell are you doing?'" Khimikus said, imitating a female voice allegedly belonging to Ruslana Pashynska, wife of Pashynsky.
Khimikus says he yelled obscenities at the woman, telling her to mind her own business and "if there are any men (in the car), let them get out and speak to me."
Read alsoKlitschko, Lutsenko agree to cooperate on demolition of illegal trade kiosksAccording to Khimikus, Pashynsky stepped out of the car and pointed a gun at his heart.
Khimikus claims Pashynsky's shot was made from a short distance of around 15 cm while the MP said he was on the ground and just tried to protect himself from the "attacker."
"The weapon that I had with me is legal and registered, along with my rights to carry and use it in the cases provided by the law," the MP explained in his Facebook post on Jan. 1.
Khimikus's wife Olga stood by her husband’s version in an interview with Strana.ua. Olga wasn't there at the time of the incident, but listened to the whole incident over the phone. She then, according to her, arrived at the scene by car with a family gun and used it to scare Pashynsky and "put him on his knees.
The police and ambulance arrived some time later.
The only independent witness to the incident, the minibus driver, chose not to give any comments. Though on Jan. 2, the Ministry of Internal Affairs advisor Anton Herashchenko told 112 TV channel that the minibus driver confirmed Pashynsky's version, positioning Khimikus as an attacker.
Pashynsky's version was also backed by the official police statement. The case has been classified as hooliganism and Khimikus is still a suspect.