Lesya Gongadze, the mother of journalist Georgiy Gongadze who was brutally murdered in 2000, died Nov. 30 at the age of 69. Her death at 4 a.m. in her Lviv apartment strangely coincided with the start of a violent dispersal of peaceful pro-European demonstrators by the police in Kyiv, according to KyivPost. The past 13 years of her life were devoted to seeking truth about her son, a journalist and author of critical articles against the then President Leonid Kuchma. Georgiy Gongadze went missing on Sept. 16, 2000. A month-and-a-half later his beheaded body was found buried in the forest in Kyiv Oblast. It took 12 years to arrest and convict three murderers, one of them a former police general, Oleksiy Pukach, but the investigators failed to find those who commissioned his murder. While Gongadze's wife identified the body found by police, Lesya Gongadze never accepted that the beheaded body from the forest was that of her son's. Over the years, the woman gave many interviews, always saying that her son may still be alive. After Gongadze's murder, his wife Myroslava sought political asylum in the U.S. with their two children, but Lesya Gongadze stayed in her home city Lviv and refused to move to a better apartment, reportedly offered to her at different times by Lviv authorities and billionaire Rinat Akhmetov.

QHA