Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Anatoly Onoprienko, Citizen O

Unwanted Overtime

Map of the Ukraine (AP)
Map of the Ukraine (AP)

Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia, and it is located in the eastern quadrant. The country has rarely stood alone and has been subjugated at one time or another by Poland, Lithuania and Russia. The population of the Ukraine is estimated to be approximately 50 million.

The territory of the Ukraine is mostly a level, treeless plain, except for the Crimean Mountains in the Crimean peninsula and the Carpathians in the west.  The climate is moderate and winters are relatively mild with no severe frosts.  Because of these positive climatic conditions, the Ukraine is by tradition an agricultural area.  They grow wheat, maize, buckwheat and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.  The Ukraine is also one of the world's main centers of sugar production.

The country is also rich in natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, various metal ores, oil, gas, etc., and has a variety of industries concentrated mostly in and around big cities, such as Kiev, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, and Dnyeprodzerzhinsk.  They produce planes and ships, cars, buses, locomotives, computer and electronic equipment, precision instruments, agricultural machines, and various other consumer goods.  Odessa, Sebastopol, Nickolayev, Kherson and Kerch are the Ukraine's main ports.

A massive Soviet military base once dominated the town of Yavoriv, located in Western Ukraine, but after the end of the Cold War, the base has been cut in size, and religion now dominates the area.  Nobody works Sunday, much less Easter Sunday.  Nobody, that is, except the police, for whom any holiday means double shifts and unwanted overtime.

Investigator Igor Khuney usually has Sunday's off, however by 10:00 in the morning on April 7, 1996, he was on his beat in the military housing area as part of an added holiday detail.  At the precinct house a few kilometers across town, Khuney's boss, Deputy Police Chief Sergei Kryukov, was sitting in his office, stirring his fifth cup of tea that day.  He'd been at work since midnight the previous day and was trying his best to stay alert.  Both men were prepared for a long evening holidays always mean more public drinking and, subsequently, more work for police Neither police officer had the faintest idea that, within a matter of hours, he would be involved in the arrest of a suspect in one the worst series of murders in modern history.  Nor did the two have any idea that they would get no credit for their work.

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