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A “who dunnit?” with a short list of suspects – Odessa

September 23, 2017

At then end of August, a (sadly all too) rare entry relating to local Odessa shenanigans appeared regarding the lawlessness surrounding Odessa Yacht Club and the impotency (or deliberate avoidance) of the Odessa courts to deal with a matter that has dragged on for years.

Not only is there extreme friction between the owners of the company that lease the harbour from the State, but there are countless attempts by the State to have the leaseholder comply with the lease agreement – and in both cases the courts of Odessa seemingly refuse to get involved.

The entry concluded thus – “Sooner or later this dispute between owners and/or the dispute between owners and the State seems destined to end in violence in the absence of an unwilling judiciary to robustly deal with the matter.  There is enough revenue at stake to burn cars, lob a hand grenade into somebody’s garden, or inflict a serious beating to encourage a change in an individual’s position.”

Some three weeks later, that prophecy has come to pass almost exactly as predicted.

Instead of lobbing a grenade into somebody’s garden however, a RGD-5 grenade was thrown through the window of Andrei Bondarenko’s home, the director of the company leasing the harbour – “Odessa Yacht Club 2009 LLC”.

No serious physical injuries were inflicted.  Mr and Mrs Bondarenko were uninjured and their 14 year old son apparently suffered some form of hearing deprivation – whether that be permanent on not remains to be seen.

All rather predictable – for it was indeed predicted.

For those knowledgeable readers, be wary of hastily viewing this as a herald to a return of the bloody 1990s, or indeed the more sporadic, yet nevertheless annual fatal political and/or business score settling (assassinations) that continued throughout the 00s in Odessa.

Undeniably the underworld in Odessa is currently is a state of flux due to various reasons.  That state of flux may yet produce an outcome that proves to be beyond the control of both the authorities and the underworld itself, but this is not the spark that will ignite that particular powder keg, for it is not directly related.

The police have opened a criminal investigation into attempted murder (and as obvious as that may be, often cases of a similar nature involve the initial investigation beginning under “Hooliganism” legislation (the equivalent to The Public Order Act in the UK), until at the very least suspects have been identified raising some hope of detection – though not necessarily conviction).

Nevertheless a keen local eye will long  note this to be the case, therefore either Mr Bondarenko is of significant clout to warrant the usual initial classifications being discounted, or the police believe that suspects will be swiftly identified.  After all, an undetected case of hooliganism (which like the UK POA has a scale of seriousness) sits better on the crime statistics than an undetected case of attempted murder behind which sits a well known and unresolved issue.

Clearly, given the well known history of judicial inaction, and of animosity between business partners, and indeed of the exasperation of the State, (and irked by this long-running unresolved situation some within Odessa City Hall will be – notwithstanding some perhaps with a roving eye on the lease themselves) the list fairly short insofar as those who could be swiftly identified as having arranged/ordered this crime.

The executioner of the deed itself will naturally have been outsourced.   It remains to be seen how hard the tree will have to be shaken to discover who the would-be assassin is – or alternatively how long it will take for loose lips to reach the ears of the authorities.

However, this will not put an end to the situation whilst ever the courts fail to deal with the original matter.  Mr Bondarenko will probably not be intimidated and now seek negotiation and/or resolution.

Now that (predictable) events have finally taken this matter unambiguously into the criminal realm, it does not follow that there will be any increased willingness to deal with the issues that appear, prima facie, to be the root cause, by either antagonists, claimants or the judiciary.

It is thus questionable as to whether this will be the last grenade thrown, or whether cars will be burnt or severe beatings occur to complete the list of prior predictions made.

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