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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukrainian Legislator, Businessman Murdered

KIEV -- Unknown assassins drove a car Sunday to an airfield in the southeastern city of Donetsk and sprayed machine-gun fire, killing a wealthy Ukrainian businessman and lawmaker.


Yevgeny Shcherban died on the spot, said Lyudmila Ivchenko, duty officer at the Donetsk airport.


She gave no further details. Itar-Tass and Interfax reported another man, an airplane technician, also was killed.


Itar-Tass quoted witnesses as saying four to five others were wounded in the attack, including Shcherban's wife and son, while Interfax put the number of wounded at three.


The assailants drove a Lada car to the airfield just as Shcherban started down the ladder of a plane, returning from a special flight that carried his family members and company employees.


The first shots missed Shcherban, and he ran to a waiting car, but three gunmen wearing dark sunglasses jumped out of their vehicle and shot him and the others, Itar-Tass said. According to Interfax, the attackers were dressed in police uniforms.


The assailants escaped in their car, which was later found burned, both news agencies said.


Shcherban was said to be a wealthy but shady businessman who headed the Aton company and was closely involved with the coal sector in Donetsk, the capital of Ukraine's Donbass coal region.


He also reportedly was linked to Donetsk governor Vladimir Shcherban, a namesake recently ousted by President Leonid Kuchma. According to Ukrainian political observers, both Shcherbans represented the so-called "Donetsk clan," which is fighting for power against Kuchma's allies.


Interfax said some Ukrainian newspapers have indirectly linked the late Yevgeny Shcherban to a failed bomb attack on Prime Minister Pavel Lazorenko earlier this year, a charge he had repeatedly denied.