Serhii Sternenko

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Serhii Sternenko
Стерненко Сергій В'ячеславович 2020.jpg
Sternenko in June 2020 in a court in Kyiv
Born (1995-03-20) 20 March 1995 (age 27)
Citizenship Ukraine
OccupationSocial activist, lawyer, YouTuber

Serhii Sternenko (Ukrainian: Сергій Стерненко, born (1995-03-20)20 March 1995) is a Ukrainian activist, lawyer and YouTuber. He is the head of the non-government organization Nebayduzhi and a former board member and head of the Odesa regional branch of the Right Sector,[1] an active participant in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, and one of the founders of the People's Lustration.

Sternenko was the target of three assassination attempts.[2] In 2018, he became visible in the media after the third attempt. It is believed that the "manhunt" was organized by supporters of Anti-maidan and their sympathizers. During the self-defence, one of the two attackers died and the second fled abroad.[3]

As a result, Sternenko has been accused of exceeding the limits of self-defence. The police formally charged him with premeditated murder and possession of weapons without permit.[4]

Andrii Radionov, the senior prosecutor in the case, refused to sign the charges, claiming that the case and the evidence in the case are biased and do not comply with the legislation of Ukraine.[5][6]

The case became well publicized, and thus, on 12 June, hundreds of activists gathered near the court building in support of Sternenko. Hundreds of security officers were called upon to restrain the people.[7]


His shirt reads «Who ordered [to murder] Katia Handziuk», 2019. Kyiv

Sternenko is a native of the village of Sadove [uk], located on the banks of Dniester Estuary near Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi. Serhii's father is a former border guard, his mother is a teacher.[8] In 2019 he graduated from the Odessa University with a jurisprudence diploma.

Sternenko was an active participant in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and is one of the founders of the Lustration in Ukraine, a civil activist and lawyer, the head of the non-government organization Nebayduzhi and a former board member and head of the Odesa regional branch of the Right Sector.

In 2015, Sternenko's house in Odessa was searched. The activist voluntarily handed to law enforcers his air gun, a collectible knife, and a noise pistol. Serhii Shcherbych had accused Sternenko of his alleged abduction, alleging that Sternenko wanted to steal UAH 300 (about US$11).[9] Sternenko has denied even meeting Shcherbych; according to court (at least) other members of Right Sector did.[10] Shcherbych was a deputy of the Lyman Raion Council for the pro-Russian Rodina party who was accused of organising Titushky (criminal gangs hired to beat up anti-government protesters).[10]

On 9 October 2019, the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine sent a criminal case involving attacks on civil activist Serhii Sternenko in Odessa to the Main Investigation Directorate of the SBU to check the information about the possible involvement of local authorities and police of the Odessa city.[11] Earlier in 2018, the Odessa police launched criminal proceedings under Part 1, Article 15, Part 1, Article 115 (attempted murder) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine due to an assassination attempt on activist Serhii Sternenko.[12] The attack on Sternenko took place right next to his place of residence in Odessa during night time hours. The Sternenko's assailants were not residents of Odessa. During 2018 there were at least three attacks on Sternenko, one of which led to death of one of the attackers. Following the death, one of the former attackers accused Sternenko of planned assassination against them. As witnessed by Isaikul himself, Sternenko attacked him and Kuznetsov while holding hands with his girlfriend and carrying groceries. The attack on Sternenko was one of several repressions against activists and journalists such as Kateryna Handziuk in 2018 throughout South Ukraine and Odessa in particular.[13]

A week after her appointment on 25 March 2020, the new Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova held a formal meeting with the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov to discuss the case about attack on Sternenko, but called it as the notorious case about murder of Ivan Kuznetsov.[14] At the time of that meeting the case was under investigation in the Security Service of Ukraine.

The senior prosecutor of the case, Andrii Radionov, refused to sign the suspicion in the court case involving the attack on Sternenko. He claimed that the case and the evidence in the case were biased and did not comply with the legislation of Ukraine.[5][6] The case became resonant, and thus, on 12 June 2020, hundreds of activists gathered near the court walls in defense of Sternenko, while hundreds of security officers were called up on to restrain the people.[7]

On 23 February 2021 a court in Odessa found Sternenko and Ruslan Demchuk[15] guilty of the abduction of Serhii Shcherbych and the illegal possession of arms. Sternenko was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison and half of his property was confiscated.[9][10] That same evening,initially 500 but eventually 2,000 people protested near the Office of the President of Ukraine against his imprisonment.[9][16] Seventeen protesters were detained amid clashes with police.[16] On 31 May 2021 The Odesa Court of Appeals partially reversed the verdict in this case against Sternenko and Demchuk.[15] The kidnapping sentence was the only part of the sentence not overturned, but they were released from punishment due to the expiration of the term of prosecution.[15] The Court of Appeal ruled that the prosecution had not provided sufficient evidence that Shcherbych was robbed.[15]

Video Blog

Serhii runs his own video blog on YouTube, where he talks about events in Ukraine. It won a Palyanitsa Award for Man of the Year in Ukrainian YouTube from the editorial office of Toronto Television.[17]


See also


  1. ^ "Ukrainian Ex-Paramilitary Leader Suspected of Premeditated Murder".
  2. ^ "Odesa activist who survived three murder attempts could face prosecution "for defending himself"". Human Rights in Ukraine. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  3. ^ ""Умисне вбивство" нападника-"хулігана". Публікуємо підозру для Стерненка". Українська правда (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  4. ^ "Activist Sternenko served notice of suspicion for premeditated murder, cold weapons possession – SBU". Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  5. ^ a b Makarenko, Olena (2020-06-11). "Odesa corruption fighter charged with murder for defending himself against third armed attack". Euromaidan Press. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  6. ^ a b "Справа Стерненка: прокурор відмовився підписувати підозру через упереджене слідство та поскаржився на Венедіктову". Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  7. ^ a b "Odesa activist Serhii Sternenko charged with murder after fending off assault (PHOTOS) | KyivPost - Ukraine's Global Voice". KyivPost. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  8. ^ Війни Сергія Стерненка від Майдану до Авакова. Майдан, наркотики, Аваков та інші війни Сергія Стерненка. Українська правда, 19 травня 2020
  9. ^ a b c Hundreds take to the streets in Kyiv to protest against Sternenko's imprisonment (Photos), UNIAN (23 February 2021)
  10. ^ a b c (in Ukrainian) Attack on the "Family". For which Sternenko and his colleague were sentenced to 7 years in prison, Ukrayinska Pravda (24 February 2021)
  11. ^ PGO sends materials of investigation into attacks on activist Sternenko to SBU. Kyiv Post (Interfax-Ukraine). 9 October 2019
  12. ^ Police investigate attack on activist Sternenko in Odessa as attempted murder. Interfax-Ukraine. 1 May 2018
  13. ^ Tatiana Zarovnaya. "Gangster People's Republic" of Trukhanov, Angert and Galanternik («Бандитская народная республика» Труханова, Ангерта и Галантерника). Antikor (ORD). 31 December 2018
  14. ^ Venediktova discussed with Avakov the Sternenko's case, while it is being investigated by SBU (Венедіктова обговорювала з Аваковим справу Стерненка, хоча її розслідує СБУ). Mirror Weekly. 26 March 2020
  15. ^ a b c d (in Ukrainian) Sternenko was acquitted of robbery, which sentenced him to 7 years in prison, Ukrayinska Pravda (31 May 2021)
  16. ^ a b Seventeen protesters detained amid Kyiv rally against Sternenko's imprisonment (Photos, video), UNIAN (23 February 2021)
  17. ^ Оголошено лауреатів YouTube-премії «Паляниця Awards 2020». В одній з номінацій переміг Зеленський Детектор медіа
  18. ^ Лідера одеського «Правого сектора» Сергія Стерненка нагородили медаллю

External links

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