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Ex-Ukrainian Interior Minister's Death Ruled Suicide

Former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko. 31 March 2005 -- Ukraine's security chief said today the death of a former interior minister who died under mysterious circumstances earlier this month has been ruled a suicide.

Yuriy Kravchenko was found dead in his home with two gunshot wounds to the head on 4 March, hours before he was to appear before prosecutors investigating the death in 2000 of a journalist who wrote about top-level corruption under former President Leonid Kuchma.

Opponents had accused Kuchma of ordering Kravchenko to get rid of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze. Kuchma has denied the allegations.

Oleksandr Turchinov, the head of Ukraine's Security Service, said forensic and ballistics tests show that Kravchenko killed himself. He said "there is no other version today but a suicide."

Turchinov said one of the possible reasons for Kravchenko's suicide was "the burden that he had carried for the past four years."


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