Attempt on Zelensky’s aide no hoax - Interior Ministry

Attempt on Zelensky’s aide no hoax - Interior Ministry

The assassination attempt on Serhiy Shefir, First Aide to the President of Ukraine, was a real one, not a staged stunt, so today law enforcement will continue searching for evidence in the forest area outside Kyiv, around the ambush site.

That’s according to Artem Shevchenko, Communications Chief at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ukrinform reports.

"Yesterday, two dozen cartridge casings were retrieved, left by a shooter at the crime scene following the assassination attempt on president's first aide. These are caliber 7'62 by 39 mm. Experts with the State Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine believe that such casings can rarely be found in our country," Shevchenko said.

Read also: Shots fired at car of Zelensky’s first aide Serhiy Shefir

The spokesman noted that the casings were made in Hungary, "but the cartridge itself may have been reassembled in Germany. Old Hungarian cartridges had been bought, gunpowder had been swapped, then the cartridges were re-marked as civilian ammunition, and then bullets were re-inserted. Experts will tell you more about them once they examine what doctors have retrieved from the body of a driver who, fortunately, is alive, and maybe they'll find another bullet in the punctured wheel of the Audi A8. So the detailed ballistic examination is yet to be performed. Already now it is clear that the culprit chose simple and rather cheap ammo. So, although it wasn’t sniper fire, it was still an actual assassination attempt, not a staging."

According to Shevchenko, "the shooter has carefully selected a firing position, allowing him to observe the vehicle from afar, identify a moving target, prepare for the shot, and open fire on the approaching car."

"We have interrogated witnesses – mushroom pickers who were around and the passengers of the car that was driving behind Shefir's. Their testimonies about the sounds of the fire are quite similar. Tree branches, possibly broken by the shooter as he was getting into position, were also retrieved from the scene,” Shevchenko added.

Today, the police and the National Guard will continue a thorough search in the forest area.

Read also: Zelensky on attack on aide’s car: “Response will be strong”

"They will look for anything important. It is possible that the criminal has dropped their weapon there. Or maybe not. In another attempt, on Amina Okueva, on October 30, 2017, which unfortunately was successful for the perpetrators, we found a Cheskaya Zbroyovka army rifle, a rather rare piece, in a forest on the third day following the attack. The DNA of who is now a defendant in the case, Redkin, was recovered from three spots on the rifle. His second victim, the wounded Adam Osmayev, has already pointed out in a social network the similarity of the scheme of the two crimes," Shevchenko said.

"In general, such an attack from the forest area on a moving car, involving such ammunition doesn’t guarantee a fatal outcome for the passenger, while, as Okuyeva's case shows, it can indeed be fatal," said the spokesman.

Read also: Zelensky speaks at UN about attack on his aide's car

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on September 22, Serhiy Shefir's car was fired on just outside Kyiv. The driver was wounded in the incident. He is alive and underwent surgery.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, more than 10 bullets have hit the targeted car. The National Police suggest the attempt aimed to exert pressure on the authorities and destabilize the political situation.

An inquiry is underway into the case, tentatively qualified as "attempted murder of two or more persons" (Article 115 of the Criminal Code).


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