Serhiy Nigoyan

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Serhiy Nigoyan
Սերգեյ Նիգոյան
Сергій Нігоян
Сергей Нигоян. (cropped).JPG
Serhiy Nigoyan on the barricade in Euromaidan.
Serhiy Garnikovych Nigoyan

(1993-08-02)August 2, 1993
village Bereznuvativka, Solone Raion, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine
DiedJanuary 22, 2014(2014-01-22) (aged 20)
Cause of deathgunshot wounds[1] (lead shrapnel)[2]
Resting placevillage Bereznuvativka, Solone Raion, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine
Other namesSamvel Nigoyan
EducationDniprodzerzhynsk College of Physical Education
Occupationstudent, sports amateur
Years active2013–14 (as activist)
Known forbeing the first gunshot victim of Euromaidan
Parent(s)Garegin Nigoyan[3]
AwardsHero of Ukraine Hero of Ukraine (2014)

Serhiy Gagikovych Nigoyan or Nihoyan[4] (Ukrainian: Сергій Нігоян, Armenian: Սերգեյ Նիգոյան; August 2, 1993 – January 22, 2014) was an Armenian-Ukrainian Euromaidan activist who was shot and soon died from gunshot wounds during the 2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots where he was acting as security. He was the first protester killed by shooting during the protest.


Serhiy Nigoyan was born on August 2, 1993 to ethnic Armenians in Bereznuvativka village (south of Dnipropetrovsk) in Ukraine. Serhiy Nigoyan's parents are from the village Navur, in Armenia's northeastern province of Tavush, not far from the Azerbaijani border. They moved to Ukraine in the early 1990s, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War when their village was often attacked. Some relatives of Serhiy's father Gagik still live in Navur.[5][6]

Serhiy was an only child.[7] He was born in Ukraine and never visited his ancestral land, yet loved his country.[7] According to his father, on a wall next to Serhiy's bed hangs the flag of Armenia.[7] Serhiy was attending the Armenian Church and knew the history of his people.[7] His father also stated that Serhiy studied at the Dniprodzerzhynsk College of Physical Education, but after two years of study he ceased attending classes[8] and in summer along with his father was visiting Crimea for seasonal work.[7] Nigoyan was an amateur fighter in kyokushinkaikan karate and in the 2012 city championship in Dniprodzerzhynsk, he placed third.[9]

Filming the project "There are people" (Ukrainian: «Є люди»)[3] to the 200th Anniversary of Shevchenko, producer Serhiy Proskrunia managed to record video footage of Nigoyan reading a fragment of Shevchenko's poem "Caucasus".[10]

Glory to you, the blue mountains constrained by ice and to you great knights by God not forgotten. Fight and overcome, God is helping you! Truth is behind you, strength is behind you, and liberty sacred![11][12]

Death and burial[edit]

Serhiy Nigoyan on the barricade of Myhailivska street, December 11, 2013.

He died early in the morning of January 22, 2014 at around 06.30[13] after being mortally wounded. Soon after, at around 08.10, Berkut violently charged protesters[14] on Hrushevskoho street, near the Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium.

On January 23, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine issued a statement stating that death of two activists (Nigoyan, and Belorussian Mikhail Zhyznewsky) resulted from wounds inflicted by a firearm using a lead case shot, and a hunting rifle. The Ministry claimed that such firearms are not in use by the Ukrainian police, and, moreover, that officers dispersing the protest were not issued with any standard firearms either. The ministry also noted presence of many protesters with firearms in videos made at the area. One of estimated reasons was provocation for conflict escalation.[15]

On January 23, 2014 the Televised News Service (TSN) showed a footage with interview of Nigoyan filmed on January 19 by the TSN's cameraman. On a question why he came to Euromaidan, Nigoyan stated that he did so in protest against beating of students by Berkut militsiya. While proud to be an Armenian, Nigoyan wanted to express his support for people among which he was born and with which he lived.

On January 26, 2014 Nigoyan was buried in his native village Bereznuvativka.[16] His funeral was attended by local villagers, representative of the Armenian diaspora, priests from Armenian and Ukrainian Churches.[16] His requiem was served by the head of Ukrainian Eparchy of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Grigoris Buniatyan.[16]

On January 22, 2015 the General Prosecutor of Ukraine Vitaly Yarema claimed that smoothbore guns were used for murder, but there are documented facts police used hunting ammo to kill those (Nigoyan and Zhiznevsky) heroes.[17]

On November 18, 2015 according to the head of the Special Investigations Unit of the Main Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General Sergei Gorbatyuk, Serhiy Nigoyan and Mikhail Zhiznevsky were killed at a distance of not less than three meters, while the law enforcement agencies of the protesters were at a distance of about 30 meters. The killers could be provocateurs or masked police workers.[18]

His friends[which?] from Maidan suppose he was chosen for murder because of his appearance, activity, and popularity among the media.[19]

On 26 January 2017 The General Procuror Office of Ukraine stated that the murder of Nigoyan and Zhiznevsky was not properly investigated and is considered to be unfinished. The victims could have been shot from distance of no less than 30 meters and may include some law enforcement officers.[20]


On January 22, 2014 in his Twitter Svyatoslav Vakarchuk mentioned that "another Armenian, Parajanov created the film (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) that became symbol for all Ukrainians, today Armenian Nigoyan sacrificed his life that became a symbol of Ukraine".[21][22]

Valentyn Sylvestrov (b. 1937), a renowned Ukrainian composer, dedicated a memorial diptych to Serhiy Nigoyan. The new pieces use lyrics by Taras Shevchenko which Nigoyan had quoted, and the traditional liturgical text "With the saints give rest".[23]


On February 20, 2014 a group of Armenian opposition activists in Spitak attempted to rename a square in the town from the Viktor Yanukovych Square to the Serhiy Nigoyan Square.[24]

On March 27, 2014 the Berezhany city council adopted a decision to rename the city street named after the Soviet writer Yaroslav Halan as Nigoyan street.[25]

On 22 February 2018 the Dnipro (formally Dnipropetrovsk[26]) city council renamed Kalinin avenue to Prospekt Serhiy Nigoyan.[27] In June 2017 the Dnipro Administrative Court of Appeal had abolished the January 2015 decision of the city council to rename the Kalinin avenue to Prospekt Serhiy Nigoyan.[27]



  1. ^ Investigation received results of expertise over the bodies of perished protesters - directors of Main Investigation Administration. Ministry of Internal Affairs website. January 23, 2014
  2. ^ On Maidan was mourned perished activist. BBC Ukraine. January 26, 2014
  3. ^ a b TVi prepared footage commemorating Serhiy Nigoyan pershed on vulytsia Hrushevskoho. Telekritika. January 22, 2014
  4. ^ Ukrainian In Spirit, If Not In Name: Euromaidan's First Victims. Radio Svoboda. January 27, 2014
  5. ^ Sargsyan, Voskan (22 January 2014). Կիեւում բախումների ժամանակ զոհված Սերգեյ Նիգոյանի ընտանիքը Ուկրաինա էր տեղափոխվել Նավուրից. Aravot (in Armenian). Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  6. ^ "I will stay in Maidan till the end: killed Nigoian told his father". NYUT.AM. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e Perished in Kiev Serhiy Nigoyan loved Armenia and knew its history: revelations of father. January 23, 2014
  8. ^ Serhiy Nigoyan was expelled after the second semester, left for home and communication with him was lost - a director of the Dniprodzerzhynsk College of Physical Education. Most-Dnepr. January 22, 2014
  9. ^ The killed at Hrusheskoho is a 21-year-old Serhiy Nigoyan from Dnipropetrovsk Region. Komsomolskaya Pravda v Ukraine. January 22, 2014
  10. ^ Perished protester Nigoyan will be the face of the project "My Shevchenko" - Proskrunia. Radion Svoboda. January 22, 2014
  11. ^ Armenian who perished for Ukraine. Ukrayina Moloda.
  12. ^ 76 - Serhiy Nigoyan, "Our Shevchenko" on YouTube (video). December 22, 2013
  13. ^ At Hrushevskoho Berkut shot protester, another died in hospital. nbnews. January 22, 2014
  14. ^ Video of morning attack of Berkut against protesters. TSN. January 22, 2014
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ a b c Serhiy Nigoyan was buried in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. January 26, 2014
  17. ^ The first heroes of Heavenly Hundred were killed by smoothbore gun - General Prosecutor of Ukraine. Obozrevatel website. January 22, 2015
  18. ^ GPU found out who killed Nigoyan, Zhiznevsky and Senyk. Obozrevatel website. November 18, 2015
  19. ^ It is almost impossible to solve the murder of the first victim on Maidan. Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine. January 22, 2015
  20. ^ The first kills at Maidan: GPU reviews "enforcers" (Перші вбивства на Майдані: ГПУ розглядає силовиків). Ukrayinska Pravda. 26 January 2017
  21. ^ Armenian Nigoyan sacrificed his life that became a symbol of Ukraine. 24tv. January 23, 2014
  22. ^ Twitter of Vakarchuk. Twitter. January 22, 2014
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ Yanukovich Square In Armenian Town ‘Renamed’. Radio Svoboda. February 20, 2014
  25. ^ Hero of the Heavenly sotnia Ustym Holodniuk became an honorary citizen of the city Berezhany. Posthumously. Beyond Zbruch. March 28, 2014
  26. ^ "Dnipropetrovsk renamed Dnipro". UNIAN. Retrieved 19 May 2016. The decision comes into force from the date of its adoption.
    (in Ukrainian) Верховна Рада України (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine), Поіменне голосування про проект Постанови про перейменування міста Дніпропетровська Дніпропетровської області (№3864) (Roll-call vote on the draft resolution on renaming of Dnipropetrovsk Dnipropetrovsk region №3864), 19 May 2016.
  27. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) Dnipro municipality for the second time decided to rename Kalinin avenue to Sergey Nigoyan, (23 February 2018)

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