Kateryna Handziuk

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Kateryna Handziuk
Born(1985-06-17)17 June 1985
Kherson, Ukrainian SSR, USSR[1]
Died (aged 33)
Kiev, Ukraine
Cause of deathInjuries sustained from acid attack
OccupationAnti-corruption activist, campaigner, political advisor

Kateryna Viktorivna Handziuk (Ukrainian: Катерина Вікторівна Гандзюк; 17 June 1985 – 4 November 2018)[2] was a Ukrainian civil rights and anti-corruption activist campaigner and political advisor, who exposed corruption in her hometown of Kherson.[3] She was attacked with sulphuric acid on 31 July 2018, and died from her injuries on 4 November 2018.[4][5]

Education and career[edit]

Handziuk was born on 17 June 1985 in Kherson (then a city in the Ukrainian SSR of the USSR, now Ukraine).[1]

Handziuk studied at the State University of Kherson between 2002 and 2006. She graduated in 2008 from the National Economic University in Kiev and 2016 from the National Academy of Public Administration in Kiev.[1] Handziuk joined the political party "Fatherland" in 2003 and she quickly became the leader of its local youth wing.[6] In 2006, she was elected a deputy of the regional council of the Kherson Oblast and the Kherson City Council [uk] for the party "Fatherland", as well as adviser to the mayor of Kherson.[1][6] She participated in the Orange Revolution.[7]

In 2012, she volunteered for the United Nations Development Programme.[8] She left the “Fatherland” party in 2015.[6] During the Kherson 2015 local elections, Handziuk was an active volunteer who helped the acting mayor of Kherson, Volodymyr Mykolayenko [uk], to win the elections.[6] In November 2016 Handziuk become the acting manager of affairs at Kherson City Council’s executive committee.[6]

Handziuk was a critic of the security authorities and especially condemned corruption in the regional department of Ministry of Internal Affairs. She had publicized the involvement of the police in several cases of corruption.[9]


Banner asking to investigate Handziuk's attack during a football match of the FC Dynamo Kyiv in the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League in August 2018, which in Ukrainian reads, "Sorry, so who ordered Handziuk['s attack]?"

A man threw sulfuric acid on her in front of her house on 31 July 2018 and fled.[10] She suffered severe burns on more than 30% of her body.[10] The Ukrainian authorities arrested five suspects.[10] The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn wrote on Twitter: "Attacks on civil society activists are unacceptable. Those responsible for this insidious crime must be held accountable."[11] Handziuk first received treatment at a local hospital but was transferred to a special medical institution in Kiev soon afterwards.[10]

Handziuk died on 4 November 2018.[4][5] The preliminary cause of death was a thrombosis.[12] Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko confirmed in the evening of the same day the death of Handziuk in a Kiev hospital. He called on the police to do everything to clarify the case.[13]

After the announcement of her death, there was a spontaneous mourning in the Ukrainian capital, in which hundreds of demonstrators moved to the Ministry of Interior and demanded the complete investigation of the murder.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d "Смерть Гандзюк: що відомо про активістку" [Death of Handzyuk: What is known about the activist] (in Ukrainian). UNIAN. 4 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Ukrainische Aktivistin stirbt nach Säureanschlag" [Ukrainian activist dies after acid attack]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 5 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Ukrainian anti-corruption activist dies after acid attack". The Independent. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b Roth, Andrew (2018-11-05). "Ukraine activist Kateryna Handzyuk dies from acid attack". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b Mendel, Iuliia (5 November 2018). "Kateryna Handziuk, Ukrainian Activist, Dies From Acid Attack". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Assassination attempt against Handziuk: who is suspected and what is known about the crime?, OPINION UA (17 September 2018)
  7. ^ http://uacrisis.org/fr/69467-weekly-update-ukraine-78-october-29-november-4
  8. ^ http://uacrisis.org/fr/69467-weekly-update-ukraine-78-october-29-november-4
  9. ^ "Aktivistin stirbt nach Säureangriff" [Activist dies after acid attack] (in German). Tagesschau. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d I am submitting my resignation today — Prosecutor General Lutsenko, Interfax-Ukraine (6 November 2018)
  11. ^ "Säure-Opfer stirbt drei Monate nach Anschlag" [Acid attack victim dies three months after attack]. Die Welt (in German). Berlin. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Померла активістка Катерина Гандзюк, яку облили кислотою" [The activist Kateryna Handzyuk, who was poured with acid, died] (in Ukrainian). 24tv.ua. 4 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Korruptionskritikerin in Ukraine nach Säureattentat gestorben" [Corruption critic dies in Ukraine after acid attack]. Der Spiegel (in German). Hamburg. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.

External links[edit]