The journalist deceased in the car blast in Kyiv on Wednesday morning
. The vehicle blew up in the downtown Ukrainian capital at about 7.45 a.m. The car belonged to Olena Prytula, Editor in Chief of the Ukrainska Pravda, famous news outlet.
‘There is no doubt that it was an explosive device inside the car; it was set by the malefactors who had a task to kill Pavlo Sheremet. The blast made a hole in the vehicle’s undertray. Apparently, it was a remote-controlled explosive device. Currently, the investigators are checking records from video cameras, trying to spot the moment of the device being set. I can’t rule out the Russian trace in this accident, the trace of the Russian special services. Sheremet was working with Ukrainska Pravda, the opposition outlet, and he was in tune with their Editor-in-Chief Olena Prytula’, Anton Gheraschehnko, the Ukrainian MP and counselor to Interior Minister said.
‘The murder of reporter Pavlo Sheremet is now being qualified as the homicide, committed in the way that poses life hazards for many persons’, Press Secretary of Kyiv Prosecutor’s office Nadiya Maksymets’ reported.
Head of Kyiv Prosecutor’s office Roman Govda and Chief of the National Police Khatia Dekanoidze confirmed that from now on, they take the investigation under their direct control.
Police found proofs of a homemade explosive device of TNT equivalent of 400-600 grams went off in the car.
'Perhaps a remote-controlled device or a time bomb... The investigative actions are underway; experts and pyrotechnicians are working on the crime scene,’ Zoryan Shkiryak, Counselor to Ukraine’s Interior Minister posted at Facebook.
Sheremet was on his way to the studio of Radio Vesti company, where he was supposed to host the radio program.
Journalist Pavlo Sheremet and Editor-in-Chief of Ukrainska Pravda outlet Olena Prytula had earlier complained they were under surveillance. Novaya Gazeta reported this on Wednesday, with a reference to close friends of the deceased journalist.
Pavlo Sheremet was Ukrainian and Russian journalist of Belarusian origin. The 44-year-old is widely famous for his criticism of Russian and Belarusian leaders – Putin and Lukashenko, respectively. Sheremet was imprisoned by the government of Belarus in 1997, sparking an international incident between Belarus and Russia. The New York Times has described him as "known for his crusading reports about political abuses in Belarus" and "a thorn in the side of Lukashenko's autocratic government".He was awarded the Committee to Protect Journalists' International Press Freedom Award in 1999 and the OSCE Prize for Journalism and Democracy in 2002.
He was married, had a son and a daughter.