Pivdenmash shooter’s unit said to have had culture of bullying

9 February 2022, 07:05 PM

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has found evidence of bullying in the National Guard unit that mass shooter Artemiy Ryabchuk had been assigned to, First Deputy Interior Minister Eugene Enin wrote in a social media post on Feb. 9. 

Ryabchuk is the 21-year-old national guardsman who killed five people at the Ukrainian Pivdenmash engineering plant in Dnipro on Jan. 27.

The tragedy occurred in the early hours of Jan. 27. Four servicemen and one civilian were among the victims.

Ryabchuk turned himself in some time after the incident, according to the State Bureau of Investigations.

Video of day

The personnel in Ryachuk’s unit were asked to complete surveys, created by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry following the formation of a special commission, called for by Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, to look into the mass shooting incident.

Enin reported that the survey results had indeed found evidence of bullying and hazing in the unit, and the survey will be sent to Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations for further analysis. However, Enin emphasized that evidence of bullying did not automatically provide a motive for the mass shooting.

“We still do not know the motive (of the suspect), and that will be determined by the State Bureau of Investigations as part of the pre-trial investigation,” said Enin.

“The interior ministry’s current investigation is now aimed at looking into the psychological and moral climate in the military unit, the recruitment and training procedures, as well as their adherence to military service standards and regulations.”

The deputy interior minister added that their investigation had also uncovered security breaches of the firearm storage room, and says that there was not enough control over the gun storage locker being appropriately locked. He also mentioned other health and safety violations, including the poor quality of pre-duty training and incomplete first aid kits.

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