He died on Aug. 5 of a heart attack, the
result of a weak heart that plagued him from birth. He had written about his
condition back in 2009, but his death was nonetheless a terrible shock for most
of us. He was only 41, immensely dynamic, intelligent, relentless in argument
and full of life. It is personally difficult to comprehend his passing, a
terrible loss for Ukraine.
Dima had worked for the last 20 years campaigning
against the death penalty, helping to defend refugees’ rights and much more. He
was absolutely committed to his work, reacting swiftly to injustice. He was not
cowered by authority and seldom saw any need to mince his words. This was seen
most recently in his efforts to obtain the release from forced confinement in a
psychiatric hospital of 70-year-old civic activist, Raisa Radchenko.
There are never any adequate words – neither words of
solace for his wife and son, nor ways of expressing the loss to those whom he
helped, those whose rights he could have continued to defend.