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Ukraine Probes Russian Businessman's Murder

Maksim Kurochkin (file photo) (Ukrinform) March 28, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian investigators today are probing the murder of a Russian businessman in Kyiv, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported.

Maksim Kurochkin was fatally shot on March 27 while being escorted by police out of a courthouse where he was on trial for extortion. A policeman was wounded in the shooting.

Ukrainian Deputy Interior Minister Mykola Kupyanskyy said a sniper's rifle had been found on an upper floor in a neighboring building. He said two suspects "wearing black masks and jackets" fled the scene in a silver Mazda.

"The investigation and the search for the owner of the car is under way," Kupyanskyy said.

Kurochkin had led an organization supporting the 2004 presidential bid of Viktor Yanukovych, the current Ukrainian prime minister.

(with material from agency reports)

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Viktor Yanukovych
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