The 23-year-old man was found on Tuesday, June 5 in a forest outside Eskhar village near Kharkiv. Immediately after the tragic discovery, a vast amount of reproach from the local community stroke responsible authorities. According to them, Bychko’s death was no unfortunate accident.
Among others, the young activist was an administrator of the "Initiative Youth of Eskhar" (Ініціативна молодь Есхар) group commenting the development and life in the village. One of his concern was the pollution of local water bodies and corrupted officials. On May 16, he informed of an ecological commission coming to identify possible violations in Eskhar.
Murder!, people claim
“Since the death of Nikolai Bychko is being silenced in facebook groups controlled by the powerful and the oligarchs - I believe we are on the right track. (...) We have only one goal - to find the culprit of Nikolai’s murder,” Roman Likhachov, local human rights defender expressed clearly his opinion via a Facebook post.
Whether the Ukrainian administration will investigate the unfortunate event properly is not so clear according to experts on the persecution of environmental activists.
“If Bychko’s activities related to public matters were the reason of his death, I’m afraid it is unlikely that we’d ever found out the real circumstances of his unfortunate fate,” explains Martin Skalsky from Czech non-governmental organization Arnika, operating in Ukraine.
13/07/2018 The death of an activist near Kharkov. The police were told when the results of the examinations would be ready (Gx.net.ua)
12/07/2018 The death of the activist: the residents of Eskhara will demand the resignation of the leadership of the district department (Newsroom.kh.ua)
07/06/2018 Eskhar activist’s death: someone burned the hanging rope (Newsroom.kh.ua)
06/06/2018 Anti-corruption activist was found hanged near Kharkiv (Journalist.today)
06/06/2018 Human rights defender: “Signs of fighting were found on the deceased activist’s hands” (Newsroom.kh.ua)
06/06/2018 Kharkiv found the body of a local activist – Ukraine (Vaaju.com)
06/06/2018 The police reported the details of the hanged activist’s death (Newsroom.kh.ua)
05/06/2018 An activist was found hanged in the forest near Kharkov (Newsroom.kh.ua)