Kiev (AFP) – A former Ukraine deputy was shot dead in Kiev Wednesday, the fourth ally of ousted pro-Moscow ex-president Viktor Yanukovych to die in suspicious circumstances in the past two months.
The body of Oleg Kalashnikov was found at his home on Wednesday evening, the interior ministry said in a statement.
“Death was caused by gunshot,” the statement added. A police inquiry has been opened.
Kalashnikov had taken part in protests in support of the pro-Moscow leader Yanukovych who was ousted in 2014 after three months of mass demonstrations calling for his removal ended in a bloodbath.
Yanukovych fled to Russia, triggering Ukraine’s descent into conflict which has seen the annexation of the Crimea region by Russia and ongoing fighting in the east with pro-Moscow rebels, despite a February ceasefire.
The ex-deputy’s death follows a spate of mystery suicides by allies of Yanukovych.
Three former lawmakers close to the ousted leader were found dead in Ukraine in March, in what The Party of Regions — dormant since Yanukovych’s ouster — has called a consequence of their persecution by Kiev’s new pro-Western government.
Their deaths followed four suicides earlier this year of regional officials who were working under the old regime.
On top of that, Yanukovych’s 33-year-old son Viktor Jr. died last month after his car apparently fell through ice on Russia’s Lake Baikal.