Two Ukrainians in Germany Stabbed by Russian Suspect

Munich’s office of the public prosecutor general on Monday took over the investigation into last weekend’s fatal stabbing of two Ukrainians in southern Germany citing the possible political motivations for the crime.

The two Ukrainians, who were living in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany, were fatally stabbed in a shopping center in the Upper Bavarian village of Murnau on Saturday, April 27.

A 57-year-old Russian national was later found at his residence and arrested on suspicion of murder.

According to the public prosecutor general’s office, while the motive for the stabbings remained unclear, it could not rule out the possibility of a political motivation.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry said last Sunday that the two men appeared to be servicemen who were undergoing medical rehab in Germany.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba instructed Ukrainian consular officials to monitor the investigation.

Under Germany’s privacy laws, the identities of the two victims have been withheld. However, authorities confirmed that they were ages 23 and 36.

The public prosecutor general only takes over investigations when there is a possible political motive. Bavaria’s Central Office for Combatting Extremism and Terrorism is also investigating the incident.

The initial investigation determined that the three men were acquainted, however, additional details had yet to be verified.

Stefan Sonntag, a spokesman for the local police, said there was also evidence that the Russian suspect had been “under the influence of alcohol” at the time of the incident.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s office on Monday condemned the attack and said that the Ukrainians who fled the war for Germany must be kept safe.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, more than 1 million refugees fled to Germany. The country is also home to roughly 2.5 million Russians who relocated to Germany following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In April, two German Russians were arrested for allegedly plotting sabotage attacks on multiple locations, including military facilities, in response to Germany’s support of Ukraine.