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Former Ukrainian MP who called for celebration of 70th Victory Anniversary murdered in Kiev

A former member of the Ukrainian Supreme Rada (member of the Party of Regions) Oleg Kalashnikov was shot dead in the entrance of his residence in Kiev on April 15. A criminal case has been opened. Acting Interior Minister of Ukraine Vasily Paskal took the investigation under personal control.  

Anton Gerashchenko, Advisor to the Interior Ministry of Ukraine, says the investigation is following several clues. The first possible motive is Kalashnikov’s political activity, including “his participation in organization, funding and moderation of the so-called anti-Maindan in Maryyinski Park” (Dec 2013 rally in support of Viktor Yanukovych).

“Undoubtedly, the deceased knew a lot about who and how financed anti-Maidan that cost Yanukovych and his camarilla several million hryvnias per day. Those secrets died with him. However, Kalashnikov was not the only one to know who funded anti-Maidan,” Gerashchenko said.

Another theory of Kalashnikov’s murder was his business interests. As active anti-Maidan activist, Kalashnikov received threats of bodily harms for his political views. The 52-year-old former parliamentarian did not abandon his ideas even after the state coup of Feb 2014. Kalashnikov was among few supporters of Yanukovych who did not leave the country. The Security Council of Ukraine censored all his statements to expose any threat to the national security. They even tried to bring him responsible for alleged organization of “beating of the peaceful participants of Euromaidan.”

A day before the murder, Kalashnikov sent an email to a friend wherein he complained of harassment for political affiliation.  An excerpt from the ex-regional’s email says “open genocide on dissent, death threats, and constant dirty insults” for open calls to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War “has become a usual thing in today’s Ukraine occupied by the Nazi.”

Borys Filatov, the aide of the banking and energy tycoon Igor Kolomoisky, has also responded to the murder. Active organizer of the punitive battalions, Filatov is the author of the already historical phrase addressed to the residents of Crimea “we will hang them later.” Commenting on Kalashnikov’s death in a Facebook post, he said he hopes it was a classical Bandera-style Attentat (German – Attentate – attempt on one’s life – a terrorist method of OUN-UPA – EAD editor’s note)

Oleg Kalashnikov’s murder is the first officially confirmed murder of an anti-Maidan activist and the Party of Regions supporter, but it is just one in a series of deaths of the former Ukrainian government officials during the last months.  On February 25, the Mayor of Melitopol and activist of the Party of Regions Sergey Valter was found hanged in his garage. On the next day, deputy chief of Melitopol Police, Aleksandr Bordyuga, was found dead. On February 28, former member of the Party of Regions, Mikhail Chechetov, jumped from the window falling 17 stories to his death. On March 14, politician and businessman, member of the Party of Regions Stanislav Melnik committed suicide. On March 12, Alexander Peklushenko, the former governor of Ukraine's Zaporizhia region, shot himself dead at home. 

Another example of this outrage in Ukraine was the robbery of the murdered Kalashnikov’s wife directly on the spot. 

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