Son of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych drowns in Russian lake

UPI – by Fred Lambert

LAKE BAIKAL, Russia, March 22 (UPI) — The son of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych died in Russia on Saturday, the latest in a series of people close to the former pro-Russian leader who have been killed in vehicle accidents or suicides.

Viktor Yanukovych, Jr., 33, drowned when his vehicle broke through ice covering Lake Baikal in Siberia, the BBC reports.  

Several Russian and Ukrainian media outlets initially reported that Yanukovych, Jr., who was known to enjoy extreme driving, was taking part in a sporting event. At least one Russian media outlet quoted officials who said Yanukovych, Jr. — along with five other passengers, all of whom allegedly survived — had gone on the ice in a Volkswagen van to take pictures.

The death follows reports earlier this month that Oleksandr Peklushenko, the former regional governor of Zaporizhzhya and an ally of former President Yanukovych, was found dead in Ukraine with a gunshot wound to the neck. Authorities have pointed to suicide.

Peklushenko was under investigation for allegedly hiring pro-government men to disperse protests last year that resulted in the ouster of Yanukovych. His was the sixth case of alleged suicide among former officials allied to the former pro-Russian leader, including a former party deputy chairman and a mayor of a southeastern city who were both accused of abuse of power.

The son of Yanukovych’s former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council and the son of his unofficial spokeswoman both died in vehicle accidents in 2009.

Yanuukovych fled to Russia following his overthrow in 2014. In January, Interpol placed him on its most wanted list after Ukrainian officials accused him of the embezzlement and misappropriation of millions of dollars while in office.

4 thoughts on “Son of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych drowns in Russian lake

  1. Drove a van out onto a frozen lake huh? Probably just trying to get a line onto the snowmobile that had just previously sank beneath the ice so they could tow it out.

  2. “….Yanukovych, Jr. — along with five other passengers, all of whom allegedly survived…”

    Well did he drown, or didn’t he? “Drowning” implies death by the inhalation of water, but that sentence says he survived with the rest of the passengers. (“along with five other passengers”)

    I’m going to guess that UPI writer Fred Lambert is still learning English, and what he meant to say us that Yanukovych died and the other passengers lived, and that would throw all of them under suspicion if they were all in the same vehicle.

    What’s also interesting here is that they were driving a Volkswagon van, and although I’m not certain what might happen to a modern VW in water, the older models floated.

    Other than that, it looks like Putin is eliminating future competition, and that’s all part of the game they play.

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