Yesterday the Dnipropetrovsk chief prosecutor Volodymyr Shuba was shot dead in an 'accident' at the 'Berkut' firing range near the "Robin Hood" restaurant in his home town [see photo in the 'Segodnya' link below.]
According to two witnessess, the Saiga hunting rifle he was using dropped from his hands, its stock hit the ground, and a bullet round was accidentally discharged from the weapon ripping through his heart. The bullet was found embedded in the roof of the premises. [PoR big-shot Yevhen Kushnaryov was allegedly shot with a similar weapon a couple of years ago]
Today 'Segodnya' provides background and speculation surrounding this Dnipropetrovsk 'avtorytet's' death in an article entitled: "Death of the boss of Dnipropetrovsk Shuba could be start of bloody realignments"
According to the official version, Shuba, who was one of the most prominent persons in the region, died during firing practice, but many do not believe it was an accident. .
'Segodnya's' sources claim that the rifle which caused his death was a gift with which he had been presented with the day before. Others claim a very close friend was demonstrating his own rifle to him. There were allegedly two of Shuba's colleagues from the prosecutor's office present with him at the time of the 'accident', but several present and former high-ranking officers of the Prosecutor-General's office have expressed doubts that his death was accidental.
In the opinion of one 'Segodnya' source, Shuba may have been eliminated by those who did not want his further promotion - he had been tipped to be a future Prosecutor-General of Ukraine. Unofficial sources confirm that people close to prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko were actively striving for this.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Sergiy Vinokur said the circumstances surrounding Shuba's death would be thoroughly checked, but he was inclined to think it was an accident - nothing in common with intentional homicide.
Until his death Shuba was considered a major figure of authority in the region - "No-one in law enforcement agencies could even sneeze without his permission in Dnipropetrovshchyna," according to one source. He was a most significant figure in the resolution of questions concerning property, said another.
Politologist Kost' Bondarenko says that the death of Shuba appears suspicious. "He had numerous enemies. He was undoubtedly the top dog in the city. Without his approval, no serious matter e.g. on land allocation or on the purchase of property could be decided. He feared neither governor, nor mayor, nor local oligarchs." But recently he had been involved in land disputes, the losers of which were deputies from BYuT…
Influential Dnipropetrovsk journalist Vladislav Romanov does not exclude, that after his death, new 'realignments' could take place. "It wasn't by accident that this shot sounded, when the attention of everyone in Kyiv was drawn to the re-elections", he said.
Shuba was a former chief of the prosecutor's office in Crimea, and simultaneously deputy Prosecutor-General of Ukraine.
One of Mykola Melnychenko's tapes allegedly includes a conversation with Kuchma of the-then head of the Tax Administration Mykola Azarov, charging Shuba with providing 'krysha' or 'roof' for liquor and vodka businesses in Crimea.
Shuba arrived in Dnipropetrovsk in year 2000. In 2003 the new Prosecutor-General Gennadiy Vasil'yev (from Donetsk) sacked him but he was restored in his post after the Orange Revolution when the Svyatoslav Piskun returned to the Prosecutor-General's post.
When asked whether Shuba was a man of Tymoshenko, Yushchenko, or of the local oligarchs, those in the know in Dnipropetrovsk answered: "Shuba was a man of Shuba - he didn't bow to anyone."
Should has stuck to bows and arrows.
"Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains" Philip Marlowe.."The Big Sleep"
p.s. Borys Penchuk, author of "The Donetsk Mafia", and a former key witness in the now-closed extortion case against senior opposition MP Borys Kolesnykov, has now been taken into custody himself by a Donetsk district court decision on suspicion of extortion and perjury against Kolesnykov.
Penchuk, who had been feared kidnapped, was arrested in Kyiv on 10th October by officers of the Donetsk organized crime directorate and delivered by force to Donetsk. Penchuk's lawyers are preparing an appeal against his detainment in custody before any trial.