April 4, 2024

Ukrainian man sells suicide powders on the internet from a flat in Kyiv

A Ukrainian man from Kyiv has been sending parcels of suicide powder to the United Kingdom since at least 2020 and an estimated 130 people have died. 

Investigative journalists from the BBC tracked down Leonid Zakutenko after they discovered that he had been advertising his services on websites promoting suicide. 

The chemical, which the BBC chose not to name, is restricted, but available to companies using it for a legitimate purpose. It is lethal even in small doses. 

Two 54-year-old sisters died after ordering Zakutenko’s product. Their sister told the BBC that he was a “contemptible and evil human being”. She said that suicide websites were “an abomination, preying, unimpeded by the authorities, on the most vulnerable and causing untold misery and suffering for those left behind”.

In a similar case in Canada, a man named Kenneth Law is to be tried for supplying suicide drugs to 14 people. 

Zakutenko refused to speak with the BBC reporters, but he did deny his involvement in the lethal internet business. 

Dr Philip Nitschke, the well-known Australian assisted suicide activist, slammed the BBC as “sanctimonious”. He believes that suppliers like Kenneth Law and Leonid Zakutenko are merely responding to demand from people who are tired of living and are not allowed the comfort of assisted suicide.