A UKRAINIAN who studies in Oxford has spoken of his shock after discovering a former colleague and friend in his homeland had been killed.

Theology student Pavlo Smytsnyuk, 30, learned about the death of Bohdan Solchanyk on the Ukrainian Catholic University website.

Now he has questioned whether it has been worth lives being sacrificed in the fight for the Government to be overthrown.

Mr Smytsnyuk, who also learnt that a close associate of his friend had been killed in the capital Kiev, said: “It was a big shock to hear that people were killed. Then when you discover that they aren’t abstract people but someone who you know and have met lots of times then that is very sad. These people were young and very capable.


Bohdan Solchanyk, pictured below left with girlfriend Marichka Pohorilko

“My friend was full of enthusiasm and a very gifted man who could have done a lot for his country and himself.

“You ask yourself: ‘Is it really worth a human life for a change of Government?’”

Mr Smytsnyuk had worked as a lecturer at the same university as history lecturer Mr Solchanyk, 28, for two years until he moved to Oxford last October. They worked on the same floor and often spoke.

Mr Solchanyk was killed on Thursday during protests in Kiev’s Independence Square against the Ukrainian Government when he was hit in the neck with a bullet.


Activists at the  barricades, close to Independence Square, Kiev, last week

Up to 100 people are believed to have been killed before President Viktor Yanu- kovych was eventually forced to resign. An arrest warrant has now been issued for him.

Mr Smytsnyuk’s father Orest and brother Andriy took part in the protests but were unhurt.

The Campion Hall resident was one of 10 people to organise a protest for Britain to impose sanctions on Ukraine outside the Bodleian Library in Broad Street on Sunday.

He said: “Being in Oxford, I feel a sense of frustration that I can’t do anything. We’ve organised protests and signed petitions in Britain but our contribution to what’s happening in Ukraine is minimal.

“It was a bit more relaxed on Sunday because the situation changed completely after the president’s resignation.

“In Ukraine we have never had people killed during protests in the 1980s or in the Orange Revolution. We thought we were a civilised country where something like this was impossible.

“Now we will see what happens and whether we will become a fully democratic society, as well as how Russia reacts to a pro-European government.”