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Premeditated murder suspected in death of former Ukraine MP

April 16, 2015, 15:35 UTC+3 KIEV
Oleg Kalashnikov, a member of the opposition Party of Regions, died of a gunshot wound on April 15 in a shooting the party said was organized by state authorities
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

KIEV, April 16. /TASS/. Criminal inquiries have been opened into the death of former Ukrainian parliament deputy Oleg Kalashnikov, suspected as being the victim of premeditated murder, Deputy Interior Minister Vasily Paska said.

Kalashnikov, a member of the opposition Party of Regions, died of a gunshot wound on April 15 in a shooting the party said was organized by state authorities.

Kalashnikov was a known organizer of anti-government protests, recently calling for celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of Soviet victory in World War Two.

His is the latest in a series of deaths among members of Ukraine's former ruling party, claiming the lives of former parliamentary deputies Mikhail Chechetov and Stanislav Melnik and former chairman of the Zaporizhia regional administration Alexander Peklushenko.

Head of Russia's Federation Council International Affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev said in a Thursday blog that the lives of dissenters in Ukraine were at risk, doubting that Kiev's western allies would investigate the latest death.

"This is the way things are in trans-Atlantic corridors," he said. "They pretend to faint and have a hysterical fit when something happens in Russia or with Russia.

"The assassins of Oleg Kalashnikov shall be found. If any assistance is needed, including from Russia, such assistance will be given," he pledged.

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