The killing of journalist Oles Buzyna on a Kyiv street this week was shocking enough in and of itself.
According to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, the 45-year-old journalist – who was widely known for his pro-Russian views – was gunned down by masked assailants in a drive-by shooting.
But what makes his murder especially chilling is the fact that it is just the latest among a string of suspicious deaths of former allies of Ukraine’s deposed former President Viktor Yanukovych. It came only a day after a member of Ukraine’s political opposition, Oleg Kalashnikov, was also found shot dead in the capital.
This week’s deaths are not alone. Since the end of January, several allies of Ukraine’s deposed former President Viktor Yanukovych have been found dead – many of them in suspicious circumstances.
Oleksandr Peklushenko, a former regional governor, and ex-MP Stanislav Melnyk were also shot. Mykhaylo Chechetov, former deputy chairman of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, allegedly jumped from a window in his 17th-floor flat. Serhiy Valter, a mayor in the south-eastern city of Melitopol, was found hanged, as was Oleksiy Kolesnyk, ex-head of Kharkiv’s regional government. The body of Oleksandr Bordyuh, a former police deputy chief in Melitopol, was found at his home.
This string of deaths has put the Ukrainian authorities in the hot seat.