A three year old child is dead following a gangland-style shooting in central Kyiv, which police say was targeted at the child’s father, Vyacheslav Sobolev. On the evening of December 1, outside a restaurant owned by Sobolev, an unidentified source opened fire at the family’s car, in which he, his three year old son, and his wife, were sitting. Witnesses say that a single shot was fired, which struck the child. The child later died on his way to hospital.
Kyiv police have since stated that they have arrested two suspects in this shooting. According to information given during a press briefing, investigators are currently looking into three possible motives for the attack: a domestic dispute, business related, or a motive connected to Sobolev’s actions as a lawmaker.
The press briefing also established that the suspects rented an apartment under falsified names and documents, which they used as a staging area for the attack.
Raiders and Occupation
Vyacheslav Sobolev, a 47 year old Kyiv region councilmember and businessman, has his roots in Donetsk. In 1997, he founded a supermarket chain known as ‘Obzhora’ in the city, and later went into Ukrainian politics, serving on the National Security and Defense Council, as well as his highest-profile position as an executive in Ukrainian state-owned Naftogaz energy company.
But it’s his business interests that have brought Sobolev into conflict with what he calls ‘raiders’ – a term referring to the illegal seizure of property, often aided by corrupt judges and masked men with firearms.
Sobolev has accused raiders, including a former judge, of complicity in trying to steal his ownership in his restaurant, outside of which the shooting took place, as well as property in Donetsk prior to the war and a shopping complex in the port city of Mariupol.
He has also been accused of ‘profiting from terrorism’ – the supermarket chain he founded still exists in Donetsk, though Sobolev claims to not have had any ties to the business since 2007, and that he once provided documents to a Yuriy Lutsenko, the former Prosecutor-General, to prove it.
And the judge he accused of ‘raiding’ his property – the former deputy head of the Commercial Court, Artur Emylyanov – has himself been suspected by the Security Service of Ukraine of ‘profiting from terrorism’ by participating in a scheme to launder money from the occupied territories to government-controlled Ukraine, as well of having interfered in court decisions.
/By Romeo Kokriatski
Thanks to the support from our readers, Hromadske International has been existing for five years. We cover hot-button political topics, high-profile corruption, and human rights issues. We report from the Donbas and annexed Crimea. If you would like to support Hromadske International, you can donate on this page.
Unlike many other media in Ukraine, we are not owned by oligarchs or politicians. Please help support independent journalism in Ukraine.