Yevhen Shcherban, one of the richest businessmen in Donbass and in all Ukraine, was gunned down on November 3 in broad daylight and in front of scores of witnesses at Donetsk airport. Shcherban’s wife was killed with him. Several bodyguards and members of his airplane crew were also killed or wounded. The three gunmen who meticulously performed the apparent contract killing left the scene unimpeded. Shcherban, 50, was president of Aton corporation. He was also a deputy to the Ukrainian parliament, belonging to its "Social Market Choice" faction, and a member of the Liberal party’s executive committee. His firm dealt in fuels, metals, and foodstuffs. Ukrainian politicians yesterday expressed outrage and called for overdue measures against organized crime. (Interfax-Ukraine, November 4)
No explanations for the murder have been offered beyond speculation about a settling of accounts among mafia clans. In July of this year some newspapers had obliquely and speculatively implicated Shcherban and the "Donetsk clan" in the unsuccessful assassination attempt against Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko. That attempt also remains unexplained. Shcherban’s assassination seems bound to produce political tremors.
Missing Ukrainian MiG Highlights Problems in Ex-Soviet Air Forces.