On Friday May 17th five soldiers testified within the defense hearing:
Myokola Balan: deputy commander of the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014, now head of GNU;
- Konstantin Rekhtyk: deputy commander of staff of GNU;
- Vasyl Kuse: now policeman, in 2014 he was a ranker of GNU on Karachun hill, sharing shift and position with Vitaly Markiv;
- Oleksandr Vendiuk: chief of the 1st “Kucynsky” battalion of GNU where Markiv belonged;
- Igor Sarakman: soldier of GNU;
The witnesses delivered vague and inconsistent answers to the questions asked both by the defense and the accuse; a crucial node concerns the position of the accused on the Karachun hill: the location detected by the state prosecutor during the inquiries has been substantially confirmed. It came clear that Andy’s and Andrey’s murder was a commonly well-known event among the GNU members on the hill; however none of them was ever heard by the Ukrainian authorities during the local investigations.
Furthermore, the witnesses stated that:
- no shift sheet is available as an overview of positions and duties of the GNU soldiers on the hill;
- the GNU soldiers were provided with weapons meant to be used for the sole defense;
- GNU and regular army occupied the hill side by side but never communicated between each other; however the accused is often portrayed with a couple of radio and a throat mike, a rather clear hint of his role of sentinel and informer of those who maneuvered the mortars;
- GNU soldiers couldn’t see anything from their location as the vegetation was rather dense;
During the afternoon the audience was asked to leave the court after the Ukrainian group clapped and cheered the defense (“this court is not a theater” said the President of the Court).