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Two Suspects Detained In Killing Of Ukrainian Lawmaker's 3-Year-Old Son


Police in Kyiv investigate the crime scene where the 3-year-old boy was fatally shot.

Ukrainian police have detained two men, aged 18 and 19, suspected of involvement in the shooting death of the 3-year-old son of a regional Ukrainian lawmaker and businessman.

The father, Kyiv regional council lawmaker Vyacheslav Sobolyev, was with his family on December 1, leaving a restaurant he owns, when a bullet pierced the car he was driving and struck his son inside.

His son, Oleksandr, consequently died in an ambulance en route to a hospital, police said.

Kyiv police chief Andriy Kryshchenko said at a news briefing in Kyiv on December 2 that two unnamed suspects, "young men aged 18 and 19," were detained.

The homicide has been classified as premeditated murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

At the same briefing, National Police chief Ihor Klymenko said investigators changed an earlier account of the shooting after they studied the trajectory of the bullet, which led them to a nearby building from where they believe the shot was fired.

Investigators said they also found the alleged murder weapon, a 7.62-millimeter rifle.

"Our specialists, our investigators and operatives, have found the weapons with which this murder was committed," Ihor Klymenko said.

He added that "false documents were found" among the evidence and that the two suspects were not from Kyiv.

Three possible motives are being investigated: personal, business, and political.

Sobolyev, a businessman from the Donetsk region town of Yenakiyeve, the hometown of former President Viktor Yanukovych, leases the vehicle he was driving from a company that he founded, and which features in a criminal investigation related to financing terrorism in eastern Ukraine, where an armed conflict with Moscow-backed separatists has existed since April 2014.

Citing court documents, investigative journalism group reported that that the company and others to which Sobolyev had a direct relationship were used through January 2017 to allegedly legalize proceeds from business dealings in territories that Kyiv doesn't control in the easternmost regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Another company mentioned in court documents is a supermarket chain that Sobolyev established in 1997 but then sold in 2007.

Sobolyev also lists the vehicle he was driving in his asset declaration.

He was elected to the Kyiv regional council in 2015 with the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, named after the former president who this year lost a reelection bid.

Sobolyev previously was for one year the deputy head of state-run oil and gas conglomerate Naftogaz until March 2011 and a deputy mayor of Donetsk.

Sobolyev was placed under police security after the shooting.

With reporting by TSN, Censor, Slidstvo, UNIAN, Ukrayinska Pravda, and Interfax