Ukranian heiress bursts into tears as she is detained

  • WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT 
  • Alyona Zaitseva, 20, killed five when she allegedly jumped a red light in Ukraine
  • The heiress is said to have been travelling at more than 60mph in 35mph area  
  • Ms Zaitseva, the daughter of multi-millionaire Vasily Zaitsev, was uninjured
  • She was tonight detained for two months to stop her fleeing the country

By Will Stewart In Moscow for MailOnline

Published: 15:13 EDT, 20 October 2017 | Updated: 22:09 EDT, 20 October 2017

The Ukrainian heiress who killed five and injured six in a horror crash was tonight detained for two months to stop her fleeing the country before her trial.

Alyona Zaitseva, 20, burst into tears as she was detained despite an extraordinary appeal to allow her multi-millionaire father to compensate her victims and their families.

Shocking video footage shows the sickening moment her Lexus ploughed into a crowd after she drove through a red light and hit another vehicle at 63mph in central Kharkiv.

The Ukrainian heiress who killed five and injured six in a horror crash was tonight detained for two months to stop her fleeing the country before her trial
The Ukrainian heiress who killed five and injured six in a horror crash was tonight detained for two months to stop her fleeing the country before her trial

The Ukrainian heiress who killed five and injured six in a horror crash was tonight detained for two months to stop her fleeing the country before her trial

Alyona Zaitseva, 20, burst into tears as she was detained despite an extraordinary appeal to allow her multi-millionaire father to compensate her victims and their families
Alyona Zaitseva, 20, burst into tears as she was detained despite an extraordinary appeal to allow her multi-millionaire father to compensate her victims and their families

Alyona Zaitseva, 20, burst into tears as she was detained despite an extraordinary appeal to allow her multi-millionaire father to compensate her victims and their families

The glamorous oligarch's daughter was seen in tears alone in the courtroom cage at the start of a legal process which could see her jailed for a maximum ten years after a crash which left a street in the Ukrainian city looking like a 'war zone' with bodies strewn on a pavement.

In an extraordinary message from the dock to the bereaved and injured, the weeping heiress said: 'I am sorry that this situation happened and people suffered.

'This is the only that truly concerns me now. I am hoping that families will allow my parents to help them because this is the worst that could happen. All my thoughts are about it.'

Her lawyer Yulia Kozyr - famous for representing prominent people accused of corruption in Kharkiv - had sought house arrest for her.

But a judge ruled that she must remain in a detention prison for two months pending a criminal investigation into alleged dangerous driving causing deaths and injuries.

Ms Zaitseva (pictured entering court) has declined so far to give testimony on the horrific accident, citing the 63rd article of the Ukrainian constitution
Ms Zaitseva (pictured entering court) has declined so far to give testimony on the horrific accident, citing the 63rd article of the Ukrainian constitution
Ms Zaitseva (pictured entering court) has declined so far to give testimony on the horrific accident, citing the 63rd article of the Ukrainian constitution
Ms Zaitseva (pictured entering court) has declined so far to give testimony on the horrific accident, citing the 63rd article of the Ukrainian constitution

Ms Zaitseva (pictured entering court) has declined so far to give testimony on the horrific accident, citing the 63rd article of the Ukrainian constitution

The court was told that a urine test revealed she had taken cannabis. 

But a blood test showed her clear of alcohol and drugs so further analysis was ordered.

Ms Zaitseva has declined so far to give testimony on the horrific accident, citing the 63rd article of the Ukrainian constitution, permitting her not to incriminate herself.

Earlier a video appeared to show her smirking in court flanked by policemen.

Separate footage suggests she had been racing another car moments before colliding with a VW Touareg, then spun out of control and overturned, ramming into the pedestrians.

The latest new video from Vecherny Kharkiv newspaper shows how victims were killed and then thrown around 70ft along the pavement by the force of the impact.

A local MP claimed she had been driving at more than 60mph in her Lexus in an area with a maximum limit of 35 mph, and revealed she had eight previous motoring fines, including four for speeding, two this year.

Anton Gerashchenko, also an advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, said: 'We had a blood and urine test, and opiates were found.

'This will be a significant factor that will influence the court's decisions.

'There will be a second examination. She could either smoke marijuana, or use something else.

'This factor will complicate the protection of the girl.'

He has already publicly called for her to be jailed and warned that her wealthy and powerful family could exert influence to pin the blame elsewhere.

Ahead of the court case, spokesman for the regional prosecutor also expressed the fear that the family could use its wealth to leave Ukraine if the third year sociology student was freed ahead of trial.

In an extraordinary message from the dock to the bereaved and injured, the weeping heiress said: 'I am sorry that this situation happened and people suffered.'
In an extraordinary message from the dock to the bereaved and injured, the weeping heiress said: 'I am sorry that this situation happened and people suffered.'

In an extraordinary message from the dock to the bereaved and injured, the weeping heiress said: 'I am sorry that this situation happened and people suffered.'

She said: 'I am hoping that families will allow my parents to help them because this is the worst that could happen. All my thoughts are about it.'
She said: 'I am hoping that families will allow my parents to help them because this is the worst that could happen. All my thoughts are about it.'

She said: 'I am hoping that families will allow my parents to help them because this is the worst that could happen. All my thoughts are about it.'

Alyona Zaitseva wept as she was detained and media took photos of her
Alyona Zaitseva wept as she was detained and media took photos of her

Alyona Zaitseva wept as she was detained and media took photos of her

Video footage shows the moment  Alyona Zaitseva comes speeding through a junction and hitting a Volkswagen, which sent her Lexus spinning into pedestrians
Video footage shows the moment  Alyona Zaitseva comes speeding through a junction and hitting a Volkswagen, which sent her Lexus spinning into pedestrians

Video footage shows the moment  Alyona Zaitseva comes speeding through a junction and hitting a Volkswagen, which sent her Lexus spinning into pedestrians

'First of all, this is a case of major public attention for our city,' said Vita Dubovik.

'Secondly, (we have to consider) the number of victims. And thirdly, we are fully aware of what kind of family this is. They have all the means to just disappear from the country.'

Among the dead are a mother and daughter Alla Sokol, 46, and Anastasiya Sokol, 19, who will be buried on Saturday.

Pregnant Zhanna Vlasenko, 30, has suffered 'serious' head injuries and is in a 'hard but stable' condition. Her baby is expected to survive, said doctors.

Killed in the crash was Alexander Evteev, 27, from Kharkiv, husband of injured Oksana, 27. She is in a 'grave' condition as is her sister Diana, 20.

Both underwent major surgery overnight for head, chest and abdominal injuries.

A woman who died was named as Nina Kobiseva, 28, from Tishenovka village in Kharkiv region, and another fatality was named as Elena Usmanova.

Yury Neudachin, 29, from Kharkiv, was in a 'grave condition', and Oksana Nesterenko, 36, was also in intensive care.

Anna Komar, 25, from Kremenchug, was in a stable condition. Irina Lodyanaya, deputy doctor in chief of Kharkiv Regional Clinical Hospital, said pregnant Ms Vlasenko is 'in a grave but stable condition.

'There is no threat to the baby. The baby is stable, the mother is in medical coma but it won't hurt her baby. We need to keep watching.'

Killer smile: Alyona Zaitseva, the daughter of a multimillionaire energy tycoon, could be seen speaking to police with a smirk on her face outside court today
Killer smile: Alyona Zaitseva, the daughter of a multimillionaire energy tycoon, could be seen speaking to police with a smirk on her face outside court today

Killer smile: Alyona Zaitseva, the daughter of a multimillionaire energy tycoon, could be seen speaking to police with a smirk on her face outside court today

A glamorous 20-year-old heiress has been detained after she 'jumped a red light and rammed into a crowd killing six', say police
A glamorous 20-year-old heiress has been detained after she 'jumped a red light and rammed into a crowd killing six', say police

A glamorous 20-year-old heiress has been detained after she 'jumped a red light and rammed into a crowd killing six', say police

Ms Zaitseva's father Vasily Zaitsev did not mention the victims in his only comment on the crash caused by what eye witnesses saw as his daughter's reckless driving.

He also sought to pin blame on the VW Touareg that Ms Zaitseva hit before her car careered into people waiting at a pedestrian crossing, even though footage appears to show the driver of this car acting correctly after moving forward on a green light at a junction.

'It is a tragedy for our family,' he said. 'She had been driving for two years and never had any violations' - a claim contradicted by a local MP who is also an Interior Ministry advisor.

'The girl was sober. There was another girl, her friend.'

Not mentioning those killed or wounded, he said: 'My child has not eaten for 24 hours.

'They did not let us see her, she was locked in jail immediately.'

'She was hit, do you understand? Her car was completely destroyed. The car was moving after the hit.

'How was that Touareg driving - it is not clear why it hit her this way?'

Gerashchenko, revealed: 'During last two years the Lexus driver has been caught eight times by Kharkiv traffic patrol for violating traffic rules.'

This involved speeding, jumping red lights, and violating parking rules, he said.

But the maximum she was fined for these transgressions was £14.

He demanded new laws to deter dangerous driving and said that when she crashed on Wednesday night, she had been driving at more than 100 kilometres and hour (62 mph).

And he warned there could be pressure because of her father's sway in Ukraine to keep her out of jail or blame the other driver who, he said, had correctly moved forward on a green light.

'She will have to pay for it with her freedom,' he said.

'The Criminal Code has up to 10 years of jail for such cases.'

Warning of attempts to avoid the law applying to her, he insisted: 'We will allow no attempts to 'solve the issue' another way.'

The appalling carnage must become 'a silent call for consciousness to all those who speed up' when the light goes yellow or red.

Anna, a flower seller who witnessed the horror, said: 'I saw the moment of the crash, and how the car was spinning.

'Some guys ran up to it and put in back on its wheels.

Shocking images showed bodies lying on the ground after the deadly crash (pictured)
Shocking images showed bodies lying on the ground after the deadly crash (pictured)

Shocking images showed bodies lying on the ground after the deadly crash (pictured)

'My head is still aching, it was such a horror. I have not seen anything like this before. The car did not drive over the people, it just smashed into them.'

Another witness Alexandra said: 'I saw the bodies, it was so scary. I walk here every day when I go back home from work.

'One hit and five lives finished. They were just lying there. Maybe they walked back home from work like me.'

Vladimir, who received a light head injury after being knocked unconscious, said: 'When I came round I saw all those people who were less lucky than me. I have a scratch and concussion.

'I came back here again just to have a look. I remember I was crossing the road on green light, I was with a friends, we were walking to the metro station.

'Then tyres screeching, metal grinding sound. I saw something flying right into my face. Next moment - my friend helps me to stand up, a piece of metal hit me into the face.'

It was revealed that Ms Zaitseva's elder brother Dmitry Zaitsev is an ex-deputy prosecutor of Cherkassy region in Ukraine.

He is described as 'hiding in Moscow' after being ousted when former president Viktor Yanukovich was ousted from power in Ukraine's 2014 revolution.                 

It has also emerged that the glamorous young woman had a total of eight motoring fines, four of which were for speeding, in the two years of her being a licensed driver. 

The car was seen speeding towards the group of people waiting at a pedestrian crossing 
The car was seen speeding towards the group of people waiting at a pedestrian crossing 

The car was seen speeding towards the group of people waiting at a pedestrian crossing 

The car plowed straight into the crowd killing six and injuring dozens more 
The car plowed straight into the crowd killing six and injuring dozens more 

The car plowed straight into the crowd killing six and injuring dozens more 

The female driver was arrested by police who said she had not been drinking 
The female driver was arrested by police who said she had not been drinking 

The female driver was arrested by police who said she had not been drinking 

Three out of six seriously injured victims are in comas, said doctors.

The victims have been named as mother and daughter Alla Sokol, 46, and Anastasiya Sokol, 19, Elena Usmanova, 25, Nina Kobiseva, 28, and Alexander Evteev, 27. 

Pregnant Zhanna Vlasenko, 30, has suffered 'serious' head injuries and is in a 'severe but stable' condition. Her baby is expected to survive, said doctors.

Fears were expressed that the heiress will escape justice because of her father's wealth and influence in Ukraine, where the court system is notoriously corrupt.  

Her father, energy company multi-millionaire Vasily Zaitsev, did not mention the victims in his only comment on the crash yesterday.

He also sought to pin blame on the VW Touareg that Ms Zaitseva hit before her car careered into people waiting at a pedestrian crossing, even though video shows the Touareg driver acting correctly after moving forward on a green light at a junction.

'It is a tragedy for our family,' he said.  

There was carnage on the streets of Kharkiv, in Ukraine , after her Lexus mowed down people waiting on the pavement at a pedestrian crossing before flipping on its side 
There was carnage on the streets of Kharkiv, in Ukraine , after her Lexus mowed down people waiting on the pavement at a pedestrian crossing before flipping on its side 

There was carnage on the streets of Kharkiv, in Ukraine , after her Lexus mowed down people waiting on the pavement at a pedestrian crossing before flipping on its side 

Not mentioning those killed or wounded, he said: 'My child has not eaten for 24 hours.

'They did not let us see her, she was locked in jail immediately.'

'She was hit, do you understand? Her car was completely destroyed. The car was moving after the hit.

'How was that Touareg driving - it is not clear why it hit her this way?' 

Local MP and advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, Anton Gerashchenko, insisted the driver of the other car had acted correctly.

And he revealed: 'During last two years, the Lexus driver has been caught eight times by Kharkiv traffic patrol for violating traffic rules.'

This involved speeding, jumping red lights, and violating parking rules, he said.

But the maximum she was fined for these transgressions was £14. 

A shocking video of the aftermath of the crash showed bodies strewn on the pavement
A shocking video of the aftermath of the crash showed bodies strewn on the pavement

A shocking video of the aftermath of the crash showed bodies strewn on the pavement

Alyona Zaitseva's armed bodyguards drove up in two jeeps immediately after the crash and protected her from a furious crowd who witnessed the crash
Alyona Zaitseva's armed bodyguards drove up in two jeeps immediately after the crash and protected her from a furious crowd who witnessed the crash

Alyona Zaitseva's armed bodyguards drove up in two jeeps immediately after the crash and protected her from a furious crowd who witnessed the crash

He demanded new laws to deter dangerous driving and said that when she crashed on Wednesday night, she had been driving at more than 62 mph.

And he warned there could be pressure because of her father's sway in Ukraine to keep her out of jail or blame the other driver who, he said, had correctly moved forward on a green light.

'She will have to pay for it with her freedom,' he said. 'The Criminal Code has up to ten years of jail for such cases.'

Warning of attempts to avoid the law applying to her, he insisted: 'We will allow no attempts to 'solve the issue' another way.' 

The aftermath was described as 'like a war zone' with dead and injured strewn across the pavement.

Three of the dead were named as Elena Berchenko, 25, Yury Neudachin, 24, Oksana Nesterenko, 36
Three of the dead were named as Elena Berchenko, 25, Yury Neudachin, 24, Oksana Nesterenko, 36

Three of the dead were named as Elena Berchenko, 25, Yury Neudachin, 24, Oksana Nesterenko, 36

Distressing video showed the wounded crying out for help after the deadly crash 
Distressing video showed the wounded crying out for help after the deadly crash 

Distressing video showed the wounded crying out for help after the deadly crash 

Anna, a flower seller who witnessed the horror, said: 'I saw the moment of the crash, and how the car was spinning.

'Some guys ran up to it and put in back on its wheels. My head is still aching, it was such a horror.

'I have not seen anything like this before. The car did not drive over the people, it just smashed into them.'

Another witness Alexandra said: 'I saw the bodies, it was so scary.

'I walk here every day when I go back home from work.

'One hit and five lives finished. They were just lying there. Maybe they walked back home from work like me.' 

Local bloggers expressed fears that because of her powerful father she will be exonerated despite claims that she sped through the red light
Local bloggers expressed fears that because of her powerful father she will be exonerated despite claims that she sped through the red light
Ms Zaitseva, the daughter of local energy company multi-millionaire Vasily Zaitsev (pictured), was uninjured
Ms Zaitseva, the daughter of local energy company multi-millionaire Vasily Zaitsev (pictured), was uninjured

Ms Zaitseva, the daughter of local energy company multi-millionaire Vasily Zaitsev (right), was uninjured

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