ART Giants Düsseldorf
The Ukrainian young basketball player Volodymyr Yermakov fell victim to an act of violence in Germany. This was confirmed by the Kiev Basketball Association on Facebook as well as his German club ART Giants, where he played in the youth team. "We cannot make any statement at this time about the exact cause of Volodymyr's death," the Giants said.
In addition to Yermakov, teammate Artem Kozachenko is also said to have been injured, according to the Giants and the association. He survived the attack and is currently still in the hospital in the intensive care unit. "The entire team spent the night in the hospital next to our boys," said the Kiev association: "The local police are already investigating the case, there were witnesses at the crime scene."
The Kiev association wrote that the young basketball players were “attacked with knives on the street.” The association also reported that the attack occurred “just because they were Ukrainians! According to initial information, the perpetrators were eight young men of Arab appearance.”
The police confirmed that there was a confrontation between two groups of youth at a bus stop on Willy-Brandt-Platz in Oberhausen on Saturday evening, as a result of which a 17-year-old from Ukraine died, presumably from knife wounds. The murder squad that was set up arrested two male suspects, a 15-year-old German-Turk from Gelsenkirchen and a 14-year-old German-Greek from Herne.
According to the police, both have already had significant criminal investigations. The Essen public prosecutor's office applied for an arrest warrant against the 15-year-old for manslaughter and grievous bodily harm. The 14-year-old was “handed over to his legal guardians after the police measures, as the urgent suspicion against him could ultimately not be substantiated.”
Killed 17-year-old had fled the war
The groups of people are said to have verbally clashed with each other during a bus ride into Oberhausen city center. According to the police, two other young people, a 14-year-old Syrian from Gelsenkirchen and a 13-year-old German-Lebanese woman from Oberhausen, were also seriously injured in the altercation at the bus stop. In addition, an 18-year-old Ukrainian from Düsseldorf suffered life-threatening injuries.
“To escape the war in his country of birth, he moved to Düsseldorf in July 2023, where he found his new home,” said the Giants: “Volodymyr was very popular with coaches, teammates and friends. What will be remembered is a young person whose everyday life was characterized by pure joy of life and sporting ambition.«
According to the Kiev association, Volodymyr used to play basketball in Kiev in the children's teams of Teivaz and 5T.EAM. As a member of the Ukrainian youth national team (U-16), he took part in the 2022 European Championships in Bulgaria,” it says. At the Giants he was an integral part of the team in the U19 Bundesliga, was nominated for the U18 national team and occasionally trained with the professionals who play in the second division.