Kyiv's Holosiivskyi Court has sent a security guard to a pre-trial detention centre for two months for failing to open the door to the shelter where three people were killed in a missile attack on 1 June.
The court's decision sparked an active discussion online, with many users calling it unfair. According to Ukrainians, it was the director of the clinic and the head of the district state administration who should have been in jail. Instead, they were placed under house arrest.
Ukrainska Pravda.Zhyttia has collected the reactions of social network users.
As a reminder, when the air-raid warning was in force on 1 June, people tried to get into the shelter of a polyclinic in Kyiv's Desnianskyi district, but the doors were closed, despite the fact that in mid-May, the Kyiv City Military Administration promised to open all shelters. Subsequently, three appeals concerning the safety and accessibility of shelters during the air-raid warning appeared on the Kyiv e-petition website.
The convicted man, Biktor Moshkin. Photo: Oleksii Arunian, Graty
The next day, on 2 June, police served a notice of suspicion on 62-year-old Viktor Moshkin, a security guard at the clinic, who did not open the door in time.
According to investigators, the director of the clinic, his deputy for technical issues and the first deputy head of the Desnianskyi district, Iryna Alieksieienko, are also responsible for the operation of the shelter. They were served notices of of suspicion of official negligence.
On 3 June, the court arrested the security guard and placed the other suspects under house arrest, according to Graty.
According to Viktor, after the air-raid warning was issued, he took the keys and went down the corridor of the clinic to prepare the shelter.
"I opened the door to the bomb shelter. People started knocking on the [front – ed.] door [of the polyclinic – ed.]. I reached the reception desk and then I was knocked down, and then the glass flew from above. It was scary," Moshkin said.
The security guard did not have time to open the door because the missile arrived too quickly. Its fragments fell four minutes after the air-raid warning was issued.
"After that, I went to help people. I brought peroxide and bandages. Then I went to call the ambulance to shut off the water because the basement started to flood. Then Shuhalevych (hospital director Oleh Shuhalevych – ed.) appeared. He said that I should leave it in this condition. I said, 'I'm not going anywhere until the services arrive.’ I stayed where I was. Where would I go?
On top of that, there are big valuables there, computers all over the place. If all this is stolen, what will they tell me? I have nowhere to hide. Where would I hide in this life? It's like a hare running away from a wolf. The wolf will catch it and eat it anyway," Moshkin explained in the courtroom, asking the court not to arrest him.
Viktor admitted that he had failed to fulfil his official duties and asked the court not to arrest him. However, his request was denied.
According to Graty, his lawyer is going to appeal the decision to arrest him.
"It's been a long time since I've been so sickened by this report from the courtroom..." wrote Liudmyla Smoliar, editor-in-chief of UAnimals and co-creator of LongDog Media, on her Facebook page.
Poet Tetiana Vlasova believes it is unfair to arrest a 62-year-old man for someone else's negligence and irresponsibility.
In response to Tatiana's comment, ForeFilms producer Anna Yatsenko said that the director and head of the district state administration should share responsibility with the security guard.
Screenshot of comments under Tetiana Vlasova’s post / Facebook
Journalist Iryna Andreitsiv proposed on her Facebook page to create a petition in defence of security guard Viktor.
In particular, Ukrainians are discussing ways to provide Moshkin with defence, as his interests are currently being represented by a state lawyer.
Screenshot of comments under Iryna Andreitsiv’s post / Facebook
On her Facebook page, communications specialist Yaryna Kliuchkovska said: "The police analysed all the facts and documentation in record time. And of course, the responsibility for the tragedy is inversely proportional to the real powers. Nothing for the bosses, everything for the guard."
On Twitter, a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the username "yellow spot in the pixel" wrote: "As usual, it's the old man who at best gets the minimum wage for his work as a guard and physically did not open the damn door that someone requires him to keep closed."
Screenshot of the soldier’s post / Twitter
Oleh Symoroz, a Ukrainian activist and soldier, stressed that the shelters should be open around the clock, as every minute matters when it comes to people's lives.
Screenshot of the soldier’s post / Twitter