Well-known Ukrainian activist Serhii Sternenko said on Dec. 26 that an Odesa court closed a case against him for the death of a man who attacked him in 2018. The decision means his guilt was not proven, according to Sternenko.
"I can't believe it myself, but the decision was made by the Prymorskyi District Court of Odesa," he said in a Facebook post.
In one of the three incidents when Sternenko was attacked, the activist inflicted a fatal injury to an attacker whilst protecting himself and his girlfriend, according to his lawyer Illia Vorobiov's column published in Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.
It is unclear to this day who had organized the attack that appeared to be an attempt to silence Sternenko, an active participant during the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan Revolution and a vocal critic of local authorities in Odesa, Vorobiov added.
Of the two professional athletes who attacked Sternenko that night in March 2018, the survivor – who had fled the attack site with an injury likely to meet the organizer of the plan – is wanted by the authorities, according to the lawyer, adding that he is likely in Russia.
Citing Ukraine's Criminal Code, the lawyer said an individual has the right to use a weapon or any object to repel an attack by an armed person or group of people – and that the victim would not be under criminal liability no matter what happens to the attackers.
"Therefore, the death of one of the attackers is not a reason to punish Serhiy," he wrote in the column.
Sternenko, 28, is well-known for his YouTube channel, with over 1.8 million subscribers, and his Telegram channel, with over 600,000 readers.
Known for also helping the military, Sternenko organized a "revenge" crowdfunding campaign last year with volunteer Serhiy Prytula to buy Ukrainian-made RAM ІІ kamikaze drones for the army following Russia's multiple missile strikes on major Ukrainian cities on Oct. 10, 2022.