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Yanukovych's Former Party Confirms Son's Death

  • RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

Viktor Yanukovych (right) is seen in this 2008 photo with former Finance Minister Mykola Azarov

Viktor Yanukovych (right) is seen in this 2008 photo with former Finance Minister Mykola Azarov

The Ukrainian political party formerly headed by Viktor Yanukovych has confirmed the death of the ousted ex-president's younger son.

The Party of Regions said in a statement on March 23 that the life of Yanukovych's son, also named Viktor, was "tragically cut short on March 20."

"Death obliges us to forget about politics," the statement said.

It did not say how Yanukovych, 33, died.

News reports and Ukrainian lawmakers said on March 22 that the minivan he was driving fell though the ice on Russia's Lake Baikal.

Anton Herashchenko, a lawmaker and aide to Ukraine's interior minister, said on Facebook that the vehicle sank in the Siberian lake after falling onto the driver's side.

Herashchenko said all five passengers survived and "four of them didn't even get their feet wet."

Yanukovych, a former Party of Regions lawmaker, was reportedly going by the name of Viktor Davydov.

The senior Yanukovych and most of his family have lived in Russia since he was chased from office in February 2014 after months of protests over his decision to reject a deal tightening ties with the EU and turn toward Moscow.

With reporting by Interfax, AP, BBC, Dozhd, and SiberianTimes.com
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