Activist shot in Odessa and claims Odessa City Hall responsible – Tzar or Boyars?

September 23, 2018

Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov has just gone on holiday for 2 weeks.

No sooner had he done so, the following day Odessa activist and political agitator and public figure (People Power party) Oleg Mikhailik was shot the following day.

Despite being shot with military rather than traumatic ammunition, fortunately the bullet having past through his arm and entering his chest leaving his in a serious condition, it appears Mr Mikhailik is destined to survive (this time at least).

Those closest to Mr Mikhailik have been swift to point an accusing finger at Mayor Gennady Trukhanov – perhaps understandably, for Mayor Trukhanov’s criminal history is hardly one that is devoid of violence or a literal body count, and is a man often (rightly) targeted by Mr Mikhailik.

Perhaps a reasonable presumption to make – perhaps a leap a little too far without more substantial evidence of Mayor Trukhanov’s involvement.

So is the Tzar responsible?

Is it a coincidence that the Mayor went on holiday immediately prior to the assassination attempt on Mr Mikhailik?

If there is a connection as claimed by those surrounding the victim, is Gennady Trukhanov going to claim he wasn’t even in the city when it happened and it is therefore nothing to do directly with him – a flimsy and distinctly narrow alibi, but nevertheless a narrative for the media.

Certainly the odds appear to be very much in favour of Mr Mikhailik having been targeted for his social/anti-corruption and/or political activity.  The odds of a domestic/neighbourly dispute being the source of this incident appear to be far more remote.

However, Mr Mikhailik has also targeted others within City Hall and has thus made enemies among the Boyars too.  History dictates that the Tzar will blame the naughty Boyars when corrupt and nefarious matters make their way into the public domain.

So is this a case of the Tzar is away and immediately the Boyars will play – at the expense of Oleg Mikhailik?

Further, all of those within City Hall have their vested interests outside of City Hall – and some of those interests have also faced the interventions of Mr Maikhailik.  Perhaps those interests beyond City Hall and those involved in those vested interests from beyond City Hall have taken matters into their own hands.

Whatever the case, the incident is being formally treated as an attempted assassination by the police and prosecutors office in Odessa.  Mr Mikhailik is also under police protection – at least while still in hospital.

Some may find this somewhat ironic given a history of allegations from Mr Mikhailik (again not without empirical, prima facie evidence) of particularly slow, half-blind, or entirely absent investigative incidents by the police relating to City Hall and those within.

Time will tell whether the offenders will be identified with regard to this particular incident – or not.

However, Odessa over the past few years has witnessed a continuing trend of attacks upon activists, journalists, civil society members and social media individuals all of whom have consistently called out the Trukhanov City Hall as a cesspit of corruption.

The broader question is perhaps whether this trend will see a rapid up-turn now elections are upon the horizon and what will be done by way of preventative measures (either before or behind the curtain) – if anything.  If so, where will intervention with sufficient power come from?  Kyiv?  The Governor?  Clearly it won’t come voluntarily from within City Hall.

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