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Ally of ex-Ukrainian president Yanukovych found dead

A former ally of toppled Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has been found shot dead in his Kyiv home. A number of officials under the former president have died recently in suspicious circumstances.

Ukraine's interior ministry said the body of Oleg Kalashnikov was found at his home on Wednesday evening, with gunshot wounds. The statement did not elaborate as to whether this was homicide or suicide. A police inquiry has been opened.

Kalashnikov was a deputy for the now-dormant Party of Regions in Ukraine's previous parliament, and had taken part in protests supporting the pro-Moscow Yanukovych, who was ousted in 2014 after mass protests. Yanukovych in February 2014, with the Ukraine conflict flaring up months later after Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Kalashnikov's death follows a series of mysterious deaths in recent months by at least six former Ukrainian officials from Yanukovych's time. The deaths have been labeled as suicides by police.

Yanukovych's son, Viktor Jr, 33, died last month after his car apparently fell through ice on Siberia's Lake Baikal.

jr/bw (AFP, AP)

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