Andrei Yushchinsky (Ukrainian: Андрій Ющинський) (1898 – 24 March [O.S. 12 March] 1911), alternatively: Yustshinsky, Yuschinski, etc. was a Ukrainian boy whose death set off ritual murder accusations against Menahem Mendel Beilis, followed by a trial (known as the "Beilis Trial" or "Beilis Affair") that sparked international criticism of the antisemitic policies of the Russian Empire.
Andrei Yushchinsky was the illegitimate son of Alexandrа Prihodko (née Yushchinsky) and Feodosy Chirkov, who soon after Yushchinsky's birth joined the military. Yushchinsky lived with his mother, an illiterate fruit vendor, and his stepfather, Luka Prihodko, a bookbinder. Yushchinsky attended preparatory classes at the Kievo-Sofia spiritual school. Instead of going to school on the morning of March 12 (old style) 1911, Andrei went to his friend Zhenya (Eugene) Cheberyak's home. Zhenya's mother, Vera Cheberyak, bought and sold or stolen illegal items from her home and often housed wanted criminals. During a quarrel with Zhenya, Andrei threatened to inform the police of Vera's illegal activities. A series of arrests and searches had recently been made in the surrounding area. Fearing they would be caught by police and charged with crimes, Cheberyak, her brother Peter Singaevsky, and Boris Rudzinsky and Ivan Latyshev murdered Andrei Yushchinsky. On March 20, his mutilated body was discovered in a cave near the Zaitsev brick factory. Andrei's body amassed 47 wounds made from a large awl.
Black Hundreds organizations immediately declared that the boy was the victim of a ritual murder done by Jews. A lamplighter named Shakhovskoy first claimed that he saw Andrei and Zhenya at the Cheberyak's home, however, under oath he testified that the boy had been kidnapped by a Jew. Brick factory manager Menahem Mendel Beilis was arrested on July 21, 1911. A report submitted to the Tsar by the judiciary regarded Beilis as the murderer of Yushchinsky.
While Menahem Beilis spent more than two years in prison awaiting trial, a vicious antisemitic campaign was launched in the Russian press against the Jewish community, with accusations of the blood libel and ritual murder. During the trial in 1913, the lamplighter confessed that he had been confused by the secret police. Beilis was acquitted by the all-Christian jury.
The information about the real murderers of Andrei became widely known in 1912 thanks to a former investigator Nikolai Krasovsky, who was dismissed from his post for the unwillingness to falsify the case of the Yuschinsky's murder and started a private investigation. During this Krasovsky was arrested on charges of long-standing misuse (acquitted by the court).
Zhenya and his sister Valya (Valentina) Cheberyak mysteriously died in August 1911 - it is alleged that they had been poisoned by their mother, fearing her children would expose her as Andrei's killer.
Vera Cheberyak was shot by Kiev Cheka in 1919.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, publications blaming Jews in Yushchinsky's death abounded in Ukraine and Russia. On his grave, a new sign states: "Andrei Yushchinsky, ritually murdered by Jews in 1911."
In the March 2006 issue (No. 9/160) of the Personnel Plus magazine by Interregional Academy of Personnel Management (commonly abbreviated MAUP), an article "Murder Is Unveiled, the Murderer Is Unknown?" revives false accusations from the Beilis Trial. A week earlier, MAUP leaders visited the grave of Andrei Yushchinsky.
- (Russian) Saints and martyrs. Andrei of Kiev (Yushchinsky) (pravoslavie.by)
- (Russian) Boy-martyr. March 25 is 95th anniversary of Andrei Yushchinsky's martyrdom (kiev1.org)
- (Russian) Antisemitism. History and Modernity Translated and adopted for Russian speakers by Alisa Nagrotsky, WCJCC. (2004 WUJS & WCJCC) pp.44-45
- (Ukrainian) Murder Is Unveiled, the Murderer Is Unknown? by Yaroslav Oros. Personnel Plus
- (Russian) Materials about Beilis Affair
- (Russian) Stenographic report from the trial. Volumes 1-3
- (Russian) Beilis affair: truth and myth by Feliks Levitas, Mikhail Frenkel (Jewish Observer, Jewish Confederation of Ukraine) April 12, 2006