Russian Media Have Launched a Campaign to Blacken the Memory of a Teenager from Donbass Brutally Murdered by Militants

A schoolboy from Donbass Stepan Chubenko, who was brutally murdered in 2014 by Donetsk militants, was declared a member of «Right Sector» and artillery spotter in the central Russian media.

Kramatorsk teenager lived an active boyish life, from childhood was engaged in sports, first in Greco-Roman wrestling, then in football. He participated in many creative competitions of the regional level, wrote poetry, created the Kramatorsk League of «Club of the smart and the merry», IA «Vchasno» reports. Also, with friends, Stepan took care of a children's home in Kramatorsk. They often visited children, brought them toys, clothes, books, sweets.

Stepan Chubenko was the goalkeeper in the football team «Avangard» in Kramatorsk
Photo: Fakty

With the onset of pro-Russian appearances in Ukraine in 2014, Stepan and his friends took part in events in support of the integrity of Ukraine, which was held in Kramatorsk (Donetsk region). The boys wore water, products, and hygiene products for Ukrainian soldiers who arrived in the city. During the bombing, he helped go downstairs to the elderly, carrying water to them when the city was cut off from a water supply. Risking his life, Stepan took out the «DNR» flag from the city square.

In the summer of 2014 16-year-old Stepan Chubenko was killed. He returned to his native Kramatorsk from relatives in Kiev. The guy was taken from the train in Donetsk by pro-Russian militants from the battalion «Kerch», they noticed on his backpack a yellow-blue ribbon and football scarf around his neck. In the document of so-called «Prosecutor's Office of the «DNR» it is stated that militants suspected Chubenko in participation in the «Right sector».

According to the passengers of the train, armed people began to beat the student straight on the platform. Then they took him to village Gorbachev-Mikhailovka near Donetsk where Stepan was bullied and tortured — murders knocked out his teeth.

After tortures, one of the militants («Buba») shot him at the back of the head.

Chubenko was alive after the shot. Militant with call-sign «Kerch» took the weapon to «finish» the 16-year-old boy, and four times lowered the trigger in the back of boy’s head. Already after that, the schoolboy passed away. Militants buried a body near the road in Gorbachev-Mikhailovka.

Immediately after the disappearance of her son, Stalina Chubenko went to Donetsk for searches. She found out that her boy was shot, she spoke with the leader of the «DNR» Zakharchenko, who promised to find the body of her son and his killers.

At the end of September 2014, the mother came to the news that the body was found. During the exhumation mother recognized him. She succeeded in getting him sent to Kramatorsk. Stepan Chubenko was buried on November 8, 2014, in his hometown.

Stepan's funeral in Kramatorsk

In honor of Stepan Chubenko, a football tournament was held in Kramatorsk twice, in 2015 and 2016.

May 8, 2016, posthumously awarded the Order of «People's Hero of Ukraine».

November 21, 2016, memorial plaque was opened in the school where the Hero studied.

A memorial plaque was opened in the school №12 in Kramatorsk where Stepan studied

The killers of a minor patriotic guy were three militants from the battalion «Kerch» — Vadim Pogodin (call-sign «Kerch»), Maxim Sukhomlinov(«Buba») and Yuriy Moskalyov («Zhora»). The «DNR» authorities reported to Stepan's mother that they «captured her son's killers». But two of them managed to escape to the occupied Crimea.

Vadim Pogodin ("Kerch")

Pogodin fled to Crimea and was arrested along the Interpol line in Yalta on June 20 on suspicion of murder and abduction of people, after which he was sent to the Simferopol remand center.

In July 2017 Stepan’s mother Stalina Chubenko posted on the Facebook post of fears that the killer of her son, the militant Vadim Pogodin, will remain in freedom in the occupied Crimea because Ukraine has still not demanded his extradition. The woman said that if the Prosecutor General's Office did not demand the extradition, she will do a protest action. So the request for Pogodin’s extradition was made by the Prosecutor General's Office more than a day after the mother’s post but Russia ignored it.

On July 30, Russian security forces released Pogodin from Simferopol remand center. Two other faces in this case also escaped punishment. One is released, the other one is nowhere to be found.

And the Russian media began in every way to blacken the name of the brutally murdered teenager, incidentally creating the killer the image of a hero.

One of the central Russian publications —  «Moskow Komsomolets» —  published a material in which the schoolboy Stepan Chubenko is called a member of «Right Sector» and accused him on murders of civilians.

«Stepan Chubenko, now officially having the title of «Hero of Ukraine» was an artillery spotter, and this is not disputed by anyone, that is, he specifically arrived in Donetsk to reconnoitre information about strategic enemy facilities and transfer it to Ukrainian artillery in order to more accurately lead bombardment» — the Russian newspaper misinforms.

It immediately clarifies that the teenager not only corrected the fire but sent it to schools and hospitals, killed women and children.

Thus, unfoundedly blaming the teenager for the death of the civilian population, the propagandists are trying to justify his murder.

At the same time, Russian edition does not have evidence that Stepan Chubenko was artillery spotter. Their only argument is «it's not disputed by anyone», it does not sound convincing. There is no evidence that the murdered teenager was in the organization «Right Sector».

The only blame of a 16-year-old schoolboy before the «Russian world» is that Stepan Chubenko loved his homeland.