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Death of former commander-in-chief Zaluzhnyi's aide: Investigation bureau reports progress

Thursday, 29 February 2024, 13:33
Death of former commander-in-chief Zaluzhnyi's aide: Investigation bureau reports progress
Hennadii Chastiakov's death site. Photo: Ukrainska Pravda source

Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is still investigating the death of Hennadii Chastiakov, former commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi's aide, in a grenade explosion in November 2023: about 20 witnesses have been interviewed, three investigative analyses have been conducted, and several examinations are underway.

Source: SBI’s response to an information request from Ukrainska Pravda

Details: The SBI noted that several avenues of investigation of the tragedy are currently being considered, including the possible death of Chastiakov caused by a violation of the rules for handling explosive devices or a possible accident caused by careless handling of an explosive device, etc.


Chastiakov, 39, was killed by a grenade explosion at his home in Kyiv Oblast on 6 November 2023. That day, he was celebrating his birthday and opened a gift from his fellow officer Oleh Timchenko, which contained a bottle of whiskey and hand grenades.

The response to Ukrainska Pravda's request indicates that in order to verify all the theories put forward in the criminal proceedings, the investigation questioned around 20 witnesses. Three investigative experiments were conducted, and a significant number of documents were requested and processed, including those that constitute state secrets protected by law.

Investigators also received evidence from an internal investigation conducted by the Military Law Enforcement Service within Ukraine's Armed Forces. Over 10 forensic examinations have been ordered, including those of explosive devices, explosive substances and detonation products, fingerprinting, molecular genetics, and forensic and psychological examinations involving lie detectors. Some of them are currently ongoing, the SBI pointed out.

Investigators are additionally assessing the lawfulness and legality of suspect Timchenko's acquisition of the hand grenades seized from him and at the scene, the circumstances of their storage and subsequent transfer of some of them to Chastiakov.

As for Ukrainska Pravda's question whether Timchenko was cooperating with the investigation, the SBI noted that "the procedural behaviour of suspect Oleh Timchenko, taking into account his right to defence, does not currently contradict the principles and requirements of criminal procedure legislation".

It is also stated that the issue of possible additional qualification of the actions of suspect Timchenko, who is charged with illegal distribution of ammunition (explosive devices), will be resolved only after a set of all necessary and possible investigative actions are carried out, expert opinions are obtained and a thorough analysis of the evidence collected.

Previously: In December 2023, a court imposed personal recognisance as a pre-trial restriction on Oleh Timchenko, a senior aide of the deputy commander-in-chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces. Timchenko gave some grenades to Zaluzhnyi's aide, Hennadii Chastiakov, as a present, which later led to his death.


  • A 39-year-old soldier was killed on the evening of Monday, 6 November, when a grenade exploded in his home in the village of Chaiky in Kyiv Oblast. His 13-year-old son was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Back then, the deceased, Hennadii Chastiakov, was an aide to Valerii Zaluzhnyi, then commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 
  • Zaluzhnyi confirmed the death of his aide Chastiakov under tragic circumstances and expressed his condolences to the family.
  • The wife of the late Hennadii Chastiakov says that the grenade that exploded in her husband’s hands was in a gift bag that he had brought home. On 6 November, Chastiakov was celebrating his birthday.
  • A Ukrainska Pravda source in the General Staff noted that Chastiakov had graduated from the Military Academy in Odesa and knew exactly how to handle a grenade.
  • Ihor Klymenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, said that preliminary information from the investigation suggests Major Hennadii Chastiakov pulled the ring from a grenade he had been given, causing the tragic explosion.
  • Oleh Timchenko, who gave the grenades to Chastiakov, told the investigation that he had warned the deceased that the ammunition was genuine.

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