Mykolayiv gang rape, burn victim Oksana Makar dies in hospital (VIDEOS)

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March 29, 2012, 10:23 a.m. | Ukraine | Politics — by Kyiv Post

Kyiv Post

Oksana Makar, the victim of one of Ukraine's most heinous crimes in recent years, died today in a Mykolayiv hospital. News of her death was released by the press service of Party of Regions deputy and the head of the health care committee Tetyana Bahteeva.The information was confirmed by Emil Fistal, the chief doctor of Donetsk Burn Center, where the victim had been transferred on March 16.

The 18-year-old's death came nearly three weeks after three men in the southern city of Mykolayiv invited the woman into the flat of one of the suspects. They gang raped her, then tried to cover their crime by attempting to strangle her and set her on fire, leaving her for death in a construction area.

The morning after the crime, on March 9, the victim was found by a stranger and hospitalized in critical condition with burns ono more than 55 percent of her body.

Leaked video of Evhen Krasnoschek's interrogation, where he describes his crime in details.

Makar had her feet and one arm amputated and struggled with nearly daily surgeries. The horrifying crime prompted a flood of international publicity and offers of financial help.

Among the contributing factors to her death, according to authorities, was bleeding in her lungs.

An investigation is under way. The three men were charged with rape, and only one of them charged with murder attempt, but clearly the most serious crime to be punished is her murder.

The video of Oksana Makar's conversation with her mother in the hospital.

She reportedly remained unconscious most of the time after suffering the severe burns and internal injuries.

Her mother was able on March 18 to record a short video of her daughter saying she wants her rapists to be castrated and imprisoned.

New details of the crime were revealed after the video of one of the three suspects’ interrogation leaked on the Internet. While officials have not named the suspects, local media have identified them as Yevhen Krasnoschek, 23; Maksym Prisyazhnyuk, 24; and Artem Pogosyan, 22.

In the leaked video, the suspect, apparently Krasnoschek, describes calmly how he raped and then choked the woman first with his hands and then with a cable. He claims he didn’t set the woman on fire after the three men – thinking she was dead – took her body to an abandoned building nearby.

He says he was only trying to burn a pillowcase they had accidentally taken with them. According to the video, after disposing of Makar, the three suspects went to the supermarket to buy more vodka and, after that, stopped at a street kiosk for tea.

All three suspects were arrested on March 10 but two were quickly released.

After a public outcry, both suspects were re-arrested on March 13. The re-arrested suspect, reportedly Prisyazhnyuk, used to work as a lawyer for the Mykolayiv city council.

The crime triggered a public debate over many issues – from the victim’s character to the need for the death penalty to the impunity and cruelty with which well-connected people behave in Ukraine.

The suspects are said to be related to influential local ex-officials.

The crime happened on International Women’s Day, one of the more revered holidays in Ukraine. The victim left a bar with her future rapists, reportedly shortly after meeting them.

A bartender in the Mykolayiv establishment described Makar on Russian First TV channel as a frequent customer who was not shy about approaching other patrons.

In the meantime, Makar’s mother, Tetyana Surovitska said that several fraudulent bank accounts have been established trading on Oksana’s name. Despite that, more than Hr 600,000 flooded Surovitska’s account within 10 days after people learned of the tragedy.

The suspects’ families, meanwhile, are being ostracized in the community.

Alleged suspect Krasnoschek’s mother reportedly attempted suicide.

The mother of another reported suspect, Pogosyan, is said to have suffered a heart attack. Before that, she told a Russian TV show that – if her son is proven guilty – she wants him imprisoned.

But the mother expressed concern about the fairness of the investigation.

The mother of Prisyazhnyuk says her son is innocent.

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