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Former Regional Governor In Ukraine Found Dead

Oleksandr Peklushenko
Oleksandr Peklushenko

A former governor of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya region has been found dead with a gunshot wound to his throat, the latest in a string of violent deaths of officials with ties to ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych.

Police officials said Oleksandr Peklushenko, governor of the southeastern region from 2011 until March 2014, most likely committed suicide.

They said his body was found in his home in the town of Sonyachniy near the regional capital, Zaporizhzhya, on March 12.

Peklushenko, 60, was a member of Yanukovych's Party of Regions and formerly represented it in parliament.

Yanukovych fled to Russia after he was ousted in February 2014 by pro-European protests known as the Euromaidan.

At least six officials or ex-officials with links to Yanukovych's government have died this year in cases ruled probable suicides, but the victims' political allegiances and job histories have fueled suspicions of foul play.

Zaporizhzhya borders the Donetsk region, which is partially held by Russian-backed rebels whose conflict with government forces has killed more than 6,000 people since April.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and