The body of Yuriy Grabovsky was found in a rural area on Friday, according to investigators. The lawyer had gone missing on March 9 in Kiev and was found buried [Reuters report] in an abandoned orchard after reportedly being transported to Odessa and later to Zhashkov. According to investigators, Grabovsky had been drugged and placed under an ankle bracelet rigged with explosives. Grabovsky had previously defended two ex-Russian soldiers who were detained in in Eastern Ukraine and charged [RT report] with waging an “aggressive war against the country and terrorism,” both rebels and the Russian government maintain the Russian citizens [Moscow Times report] were volunteers who joined the Ukrainian civil war after resigning from the Russian military. Ukrainian Chief Military Prosecutor, Anatoly Matios, said several motives [NYT report] are being considered for the murder, including a “deliberate operation” by a “secret service” and Grabovsky’s defense of the Russian defendants.
Russia and Ukraine have been in conflict since the annexation of Crimea [JURIST backgrounder] in March 2014. This week, the UN Working Group on mercenaries urged [JURIST report] the government of Ukraine to bring accountability for any human rights violations committed by foreign armed actors since conflict began in 2014. Earlier this month, after a two-day reading of the verdict, a Southern Russian court sentenced [JURIST report] a Ukrainian pilot to 22 years in prison for complicity to murder two Russian journalists and illegal border crossing. Last month Russia filed suit [JURIST report] against Ukraine over Ukraine’s default on $3 billion in bonds. A Ukrainian official said in January that the nation plans to sue Russia [JURIST report] in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on claims of financing terrorism. Last March,