The heavy sound of footsteps on the marble floor of Ukrainian House matched the weight felt by the loved ones, friends and fellow journalists attending the farewell ceremony of Pavel Sheremet on July 22.
“It’s an attack on all of us,” Sergey Buntman, a friend and
journalist at Russia’s ECHO Moskvy said at the ceremony.
Ukrainska Pravda journalist Sheremet was murdered by a
car bomb in central Kyiv on early July 20. His funeral will be held on July 23
in his native city of Minsk. For the last 16 years, Sheremet has lived in exile
in Moscow then in Kyiv because of political persecution from the authorities.
Hundreds of people lined up with flowers to pay their
respects before Sheremet’s coffin. There were so many flowers in fact that the ushers took
turns in collecting and placing them elsewhere.
The range of people who came was testament to the impact his
death has had. There were journalists as young as 17, as well as those who had
long since retired, along with many friends and family.
His editor, Sevgil Musaieva-Borovyk, gave an emotional speech, in which she described him as a man of three
nationalities: Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian.
“Pasha, we are going to continue doing what we’re doing,”
she said barely holding back her tears.
His partner and founding editor of Ukrainska Pravda, Olena
Prytula, sat in the front of three short rows of chairs opposite the coffin surrounded
by friends and family, including Sheremet’s mother from Minsk and his wife, though they were separated, from Moscow.