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Yulia Kuzmenko

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Dr. Yulia Kuzmenko (Ukrainian Кузьменко Юлія Леонідівна, born November 5th, 1979, Horlivka) — Ukrainian pediatric doctor (specialization – pediatric interventional cardiology); volunteer, civic activist, military doctor, MD PhD..[1].

Her figure came into the spotlight of Ukrainian and international media after December 12th, 2019, when she was arrested as an alleged suspect in murder of Pavel Sheremet[2]. This extensively publicized arrest[3] of her and Donbass war veteran Mr Antonenko, followed by several appeal court sessions and remand in custody have attracted on one side, the attention of human rights activists, advocating the presumption of innocence to be the priority. On other side there are journalists and bloggers eager to stigmatize the Ukrainian veteran-and-volunteer movement as “neo-fascists”,[4]


"Today [authorities] not only ruined my whole life. They have ended my career."

— Dr Yulia Kuzmenko, Speech in Kyiv Pechersky court, December 13, 2019[5]
  • 1996—2002 — studied at Bogomolets National Medical University, graduated with MD diploma
  • 2002—2006 — worked at Amosov Institut for Cardio-Vascular Surgery, Kyiv
  • since 2007 — is Chief, Department of Angiography and Endovascular Surgery, at Center for Pediatric Cardiology and Cardio-Surgery, Kyiv .[6]

Scientific publications[edit]

PhD these “Balloon valvuloplasty for critical aortal stenosis in neonates” (2011); 25 Ukrainian-language articles on Pediatric Interventional Cardiology; 8 reviews[7] An article in peer-reviewed English-language journal (2019)[8]

Civic activity[edit]

After the start of Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present) in Donbass she was active in grass-root civic support to Ukrainian army (so-called ‘volunteer movement’). She has been several times with medical missions to the war-torn Donbass, and as TV journalist reports, have been shelled with rocket artillery and developed a ‘veteran’s depression’[9]


President’s of Ukraine award “For humanitarian participation in the anti-terrorist operation” (2016).

Arrest and pre-trial jailing[edit]

December 12th, 2019 Ukrainian mass-media broadcasted a televised press-conference by Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ukraine), with the presence of top officials including President Volodymyr Zelensky[10], reporting the “successful finalizing the investigation of Pavel Sheremet murder”.[11] Reporters Without Borders point to the fact that Minister of Interior Mr Avakov has had a personal reason to be in haste with this.[12]. At press-conference Dr Yulia Kuzmenko was claimed, with no court decision of ‘guilty’, to be “with 100% certainty identified as a perpetrator”. The main technique of identification, by the police version, was the forensic gait analysis (FGA) from CCTV footage, performed by the UK forensic expert Ivan Birch.[13] According to Ukrainian authorities the aim for the murder was "to destabilise the political situation in Ukraine". The same night Dr Yulia Kuzmenko was arrested, as well as two other suspects, Mr Antonenko and Ms Dugar. December 13, 2019, two of the suspects, namely Mr Andrii Antonenko, a Donbass war veteran and rock-musician, and Dr Yulia Kuzmenko were remanded is custody until Ferbuary 8, 2020[14]

Ukrainian journalists were sceptical about the evidence that was disclosed and the alleged motive.[15] [16]Reporters Without Borders have expressed their concern over “inconsistencies in the evidence for the Ukrainian authorities’ claim to have solved (…) editor Pavel Sheremet’s 2016 murder”, and pointed toward “a series of revelations (…) that has cast further doubt on the investigation”.[17]

Public's reaction to Dr Yulia Kuzmenko’ court case[edit]

Opinions are polarized.

Voices Pro[edit]

Number of persons and organizations in Ukraine expressed their indignation by the "unjust, unlawful and cruel" treatment of Dr Yulia Kuzmenko.

Ulana Suprun, former Ukrainian minister of health, reacted immediately: “Any statements, that the person is ‘guilty’ or is a ‘perpetrator’, before the final verdict came into force – is a flagrant violation of the principle of the presumption of innocence”, she said in her Facebook post.[18] There is, she pointed, a similarity between this current practice of “show trials” in Ukraine in 2010-s and the judicial culture of infamous Stalin’s political processes of 1930-s. She sees this recent move of Ukrainian authorities as a direct attack on the superiority of justice and law.

The all-Ukrainian Medical Association VULT issued a public application[19] to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian minister of Internal Affairs, Ukrainian Attorney General, in which they expressed their strong protest against "biased, unprofessional and unlawful, attitude by law enforcement agencies and their leaders regarding a highly qualified doctor, volunteer and war veteran - Dr Yulia Kuzmenko". They stress, that unjustifiably harsh court decision on detention and a ban on performing her professional activity demonstrates a violation of the principles of Constitution of Ukraine and of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Ukrainian PEN issued an open letter to the Ombudsman in Ukraine Ms Lyudmila Denisova[20] [21], noticing that the "actions of the authorities have demonstrated a serious violation of basic principles of human rights, above all the presumption of innocence, which is an integral part of human rights, in particular the right to liberty, the right of human dignity to be respected, and the right to life". They demanded Ombudsman to have her close look at the case of Dr Yulia Kuzmenko.

The concerns of the veterans of war against Russian aggression were articulated by the veteran military medics[22], who said that the Minister of the Interior is "deliberately trying to discredit the volunteer-veteran community, which enjoys the highest trust in Ukrainian society". In their opinion, the treatment of Dr Kuzmenko, Mr Antonenko and Ms Dugar demonstrates an open violation of the presumption of innocence, political pressure on the court, neglect of the basic rights of suspects and open neglect of public opinion. "All these upset the veteran community of Ukraine", they conclude.

Voices Contra[edit]

The blog “Moon of Alabama” presents their vision of anti-journalist oligarch conspiracy in Ukraine, and names the name.[23] “Russia had most likely nothing to do with any of the assassinations in the Ukraine that it was accused of. In most cases it is likely that the ruthless fascist of the Right Sector were the culprits. Ukrainian oligarchs used them to eliminate their enemies and rivals. President Porochenko protected them”. Within this context the blog hails the arrest of “…female doctor, who allegedly pressed the remote control button to kill Sheremet, and also is a coup supporting extremist”.

Reporting the session of Kyiv’ Court of Appeal December 24, 2019 on Dr Yulia Kuzmenko’s preventive measure, “Strana.ua” makes focus on the conflict between its reporter and the activists in court. It quotes Sergiy Tomilenko: “Certain part of activists and radicals recover after the first shock (…) they attack journalists (…) those whom year by year they blamed to be not enough patriotic. (…) Authorities <previously> were on their side”. [24]

Ms Kremenovska in her web-publication challenges the “attempts of some media to portrait Yulia Kuzmenko as an innocent heroin of the people”. Analyzing Kuzmenko’s Facebook profile, author opposes the “whitewash media campaign” and finds in her object the “appeals to violence and hatred”, “numerous examples of <Kuzmenko’s> sadistic attitude”, “religious intolerance” and “hatred to all human race based on the ideas of pseudo-pro-animal-life movement”. [25]

Controversy over judicial value of FGA[edit]

During the appeal hearings on Dr Kuzmenko' and Mr Antonenko' preventive measure the technique of the culprit's identification was challenged by defense. It was noticed, that, by his own estimate, the accuracy of Prof. Birch’ identification of person by FGA is about 70%[26]. Esteemed forensic experts express their doubt about scientific base of using “forensic gait analysis (FGA)” as a means of identification of suspect(s)[27], [28]

Dr Kuzmenko' support group[edit]

The authorized Facebook community is Free_Dr_Yulia_Kuzmenko.[29]


  1. "Кузьменко Юлія Леонідівна". irbis-nbuv.gov.ua. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  2. Krasnolutska D, Kudrytski A.Car Bomb Kills Prominent Journalist in Ukraine’s Capital Bloomberg LP (US), updated on July 20, 2016, 2:55 pm
  3. Miller Christopher Whoa. Ukraine's interior minister says police have detained suspects in the 2016 car-bomb assassination of journalist Pavel Sheremet Verified account ChristopherJM,12 December 2019
  4. Moon of Alabama Violent Death Of Journalist - Blamed On Russia - Was Assault By Ukrainian Fascists December 14, 2019
  5. Speech of Yulia Kuzmenko in Kyiv Pechersky court December 13, 2019 Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  6. "Кузьменко Юлія Леонідівна". irbis-nbuv.gov.ua. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  7. [1].
  8. Percutaneous closure of patent ductus arteriosus (…) in 268 consecutive cases Annals of Pediatric Cardiology, v.12 (3), p. 206-211
  9. Ranok TV Pride of Ukraine – Mission to save life VIDEO, 2018 Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  10. LIVE | Sheremet’ murder: briefing by Avakov Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, December 12, 2019
  11. Miller Christopher Whoa. Ukraine's interior minister says police have detained suspects in the 2016 car-bomb assassination of journalist Pavel Sheremet Verified account ChristopherJM,12 December 2019
  12. RSF Ukraine must be less cagey about Sheremet murder case, RSF says January 10, 2020
  13. FGA servises web-site Professor Ivan Birch
  14. UNIAN Kyiv court rules two suspects in Sheremet murder case be remanded in custody 14 December 2019
  15. Lebed N. They do not believe it! Reaction of people to detention of suspects in Sheremet’s murder case 112 UA. 13 December 2019 19:10
  16. Matola V. A print on clothing, a sacred sacrifice and a cameraman's backpack: what evidence did police show in Sheremet's case?, LB.ua (15 December 2019) Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  17. RSF Ukraine must be less cagey about Sheremet murder case, RSF says January 10, 2020
  18. Suprun U. Facebook post of December 14, 2019 Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  19. VULT Public Application to President Zelensky, Minister of Interior et al. December 18, 2019 Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  20. Coynash H. Presumed innocent until a police briefing in Ukraine. Doubts mount over Sheremet arrests Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, December 27, 2019
  21. Ukrainian PEN Open letter to Ukrainian Ombudsman December 23, 2019Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  22. Pirogov’ Volunteer Mobile Hospital Public Application to President Zelensky December 29, 2019Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  23. Moon of Alabama Violent Death Of Journalist - Blamed On Russia - Was Assault By Ukrainian Fascists December 14, 2019
  24. Strana.ua Sheremet’ case. Yulia Kuzmenko was unable to contest her arrest December 24, 2019 Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  25. Kremenovska I. Yulia Kuzmenko: a sketch to “volunteer’s” portrait December 24, 2019 Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.
  26. Birch I, et al. The identification of individuals by observational gait analysis using closed circuit television footage. Sci Justice. 2013 Sep;53(3):339-42
  27. Nina M van Mastrigt, et al. Critical review of the use and scientific basis of forensic gait analysis Forensic Sci Res. 2018; 3(3): 183–193.
  28. Seckiner D, et al. Forensic gait analysis - Morphometric assessment from surveillance footage. Forensic Sci Int. 2019 Mar;296:57-66
  29. Facebook Community Free_Dr_Yulia_Kuzmenko. Human rights initiative texts Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist. and Script error: The function "in_lang" does not exist.

uk:Юлія Кузьменко

External links[edit]

This article "Yulia Kuzmenko" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Yulia Kuzmenko. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

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