Suspects in Murder of 3-Year-Old Child Arrested
The child was struck by bullets while assassins were targeting a Kyiv City Council member and businessman
Photo National Police of Ukraine
On November 2, 2019, Kyiv Police reported the arrest of two killers, who were reportedly hired for the assassination of a member of Kyiv City Council and businessman Viacheslav Soboliev. The assassins failed to kill the target but their bullets hit and killed his three-year-old child, the press service of the Kyiv City Police reported.
According to the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Anton Herashchenko, the investigation points to this being a contract killing attempt and the main goal is to establish who hired the would-be assassins.
While the police have not yet disclosed the names of the suspects, they have released details of the arrest.
Thanks to data from surveillance cameras, witnesses, as well as the results of the ballistic examination, the police were able to determine that killers fired from a nearby building. According to the Head of the National Police of Ukraine, Ihor Klymenko, the initial version of the investigation that the shooting was carried out from a car was not confirmed after the examination.
According to Klymenko, the police also seized a weapon believed to have been used in the crime. It will undergo ballistics testing to confirm if it is, in fact, the murder weapon.
“I think in the near future [there will be] undeniable evidence for these people to be held responsible for the crime,” Klymenko said.
Currently, the suspects have been remanded into custody.
Investigators plan to bring charges of intended murder against them in the next 72 hours, the Chief of the Kyiv City Police, Andriy Kryshchenko, said. Under Ukrainian law, the charge of intended murder is levied against any pre-meditated murder, even if the target survives and someone else has been killed.
However, the Police Chief calls the suspects “probable executioners.” He says that additional charges may be brought against the perpetrators quite soon for contract murder as well.
Kryshchenko also acknowledged that one of the main lines of the inquiry is that the business interests of the target could have been the main motive for the assassination attempt and subsequent murder of the young child.
“Nothing will stop the police from finding the person responsible for this murder,” Kryshchenko said.
The 47-year-old Vyacheslav Sobolev is a deputy of the Kyiv City Council and a businessman. He owns a restaurant as well as a chain of supermarkets.
He has repeatedly reported various threats made against him. The first report was lodged back in 2013.
During the evening of December 1, 2019, the assassins targeted Sobolev while he was driving his Range Rover near the restaurant that he owns. He survived the attempt with no injuries. However, his son, who was in the car with him at the time, was hit and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.