Another Athlete Loses Battle After Stabbing Spree

Artem Kozachenko and Volodymyr Yermakov, individuals of Ukrainian descent who played basketball, met their demise in Germany by a brutal stabbing. Volodymyr Yermakov, a seventeen-year-old, perished from his injuries on February 12. Artem Kozachenko, age 18, reportedly died on February 20 from injuries sustained at the hands of a migrant gang.

German media report that despite being kept in critical care, Kozachenko succumbed to his injuries as his condition rapidly deteriorated.

Both individuals were Ukrainians who, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, sought refuge in Germany.  They were members of the ART Giants club basketball division in Düsseldorf.  The two individuals were assaulted on February 10th in Oberhausen, Germany, in the vicinity of Dusseldorf. The police suspect that a group of adolescents from foreign countries was responsible for the attack.

Reports indicate that after a fight broke out on a bus in Oberhausen, a gang of teens attacked the players as they were walking down the street. During the brawl, both players were severely injured after being stabbed “because they were Ukrainians,” according to Ukrainian media. However, a German news outlet reports that authorities do not think there is proof of a xenophobic motivation.

Reports show two German teenagers, one from Gelsenkirchen via Turkey (15 years old) and the other from Herne via Greece (14 years old), were arrested on suspicion of murder on the 12th of February. Both had prior criminal records. Unintentional murder and serious bodily injury are among the charges against the 15-year-old defendant, according to the prosecution. The police also took two young Syrian refugees into custody, ages 14 and 15.

According to Oleh Nikolenko, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry, the Consulate General in Düsseldorf has already met with the chief of police in Essen. The consuls stressed the need to conduct an investigation and hold the guilty accountable.