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Ukraine’s interior ministry announces reward for information on Sheremet’s murder

July 26, 21:20 UTC+3 KIEV
Journalist Pavel Sheremet died on his way to work early on July 20 when a bomb went off in his car
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The funeral service for journalist Pavel Sheremet

The funeral service for journalist Pavel Sheremet

© Viktor Drachev/TASS

KIEV, July 26 /TASS/. Ukraine’s law enforcers are ready to pay a reward worth 200,000 hryvnias (8,000 dollars) for any information linked to the high-profile murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told a briefing on Tuesday.

"We are ready to pay a reward worth 200,000 hryvnias for any information, which can be helpful in clearing up the crime or contributing to success of the investigation," Avakov stressed. The minister also noted that it was one of the most competent investigations.

"It is impossible to finish it in two days," Avakov stressed.

Pavel Sheremet’s murder shocked the world public a week ago. The European Federation of Journalists noted that this new murder indicated that journalists could not feel safe in Ukraine and that was a source of concern. The National Federation of the Italian press described as unacceptable the fact that a journalist, who does his work honestly and assiduously, had become a target for the killers. The United Nations also expressed its indignation and called for investigation of Sheremet’s murder.

Journalist Pavel Sheremet died on his way to work early on July 20 when a bomb went off in his car. The car belonged to his common-law wife Alyona Pritula, the head of the Ukrainskaya Pravda Internet publication. She was not with him in the car that morning.

Zoryan Shkiryak, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said that the explosive device’s yield could be from 0.4 to 0.6 kg of TNT. Police initially classified Sheremet’s death as a pre-planned and deliberate murder.

Investigators are considering at least six versions of what happened. Yuri Tandit, the Ukrainian Security Service adviser, named four of them: professional activity; personal motives; the Russian trace (to destabilize the situation) or an attempt to kill Alyona Pritula. The Kiev authorities have invited a group 50 foreign experts, including from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Europol, to investigate the high-profile murder.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko demanded that Chief Prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko and Ukraine’s Security Service Chief Vasily Gritsak send the best experts and do everything within their power to clear up the crime as soon as possible.

Pavel Sheremet was born in Minsk on November 28, 1971. In 1998, he started working as special correspondent for the Novosti (News) program at ORT TV channel. In January 1999 Sheremet became editor-in-chief of the Russian and foreign correspondent network at ORT’s direction of information programs. He was anchorman at the weekly analytical program Vremya.

Since 2009, Sheremet worked as editor for the department of politics and society at the Ogonyok magazine. Later, he worked at the Russian Public Television.

In 2010, Belarus stripped Sheremet of his Belarusian citizenship for the reason that he had obtained a Russian passport and became a citizen of Russia.

Sheremet spent the last five years of his life in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. He worked for Ukrainskaya Pravda and was a presenter at the Radio Vesti program.

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