Ukrainian conductor killed by Russian forces in his own home, officials say

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A screenshot from a video shows conductor Yuriy Kerpatenko leading an orchestra. (Nikolai Ilyashenko/YouTube)

A criminal investigation has been opened into the death of a Ukrainian conductor in Kherson under Russian occupation, according to Ukrainian officials.

The conductor was reportedly shot dead at his home in Kherson by Russian forces “because he refused to cooperate with them”, a statement from the local prosecutor’s office said on Friday.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy identified the conductor as Yuriy Kerpatenko of the Kherson Regional Philharmonic Orchestra.

According to the ministry, Kerpatenko had worked with the local Philharmonic Orchestra since 2000 and was also the conductor of the Gilea Chamber Orchestra based at the Kherson Theater in 2004.

Paying tribute, the ministry said Kerpatenko had “openly demonstrated his civic stance and refused to leave occupied Kherson.”

The prosecutor’s office didn’t say when the murder happened, but said “the deceased stopped contacting his next of kin in September of this year.”

“The Kherson Regional Prosecutor’s Office provides procedural management of criminal prosecutions initiated on the basis of violations of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder,” the statement added.

The Kherson region, considered crucial for controlling Ukraine’s southern coast and access to the Black Sea, was one of the first areas to be occupied by Russian forces when they invaded more than 100 years ago. six months.

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