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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kurochkin Killed

Russian mobster Maxim Kurochkin, aka “Mad Max,” was shot dead today outside a Kyiv courthouse by sniper gunfire from a nearby high-rise building. Police are looking for the gunman. A police officer was wounded.

Kurochkin, famous for his business interests in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk, was standing trial on charges of extortion, after being arrested on arrival in Kyiv on Nov. 20 last year. During the 2004 presidential campaign, he had presided over the Russian Club, a Kyiv-based lobbyist lounge with a clear pro-Yanukovych orientation.

At today’s hearings, Kurochkin made an emotional plea to the court, stating “I don’t want to die. Let me go.” Ukrainian news agencies also quote Kurochkin, minutes before his death, as saying, “I’ve done my job and I do not regret coming to Ukraine.”

His death comes two weeks after a highway shooting on the outskirts of Kyiv reportedly left several associates of his in a car sprayed with bullets.


David said...


You'd think that oligarchs would want reforms that would stem such killings...


Anonymous said...

And on the same day - Yanukovych is in Brussels present at a press-conference (speaking in Russian, Ukrainian and of course! not English) talking about Ukraine and free trade.

(How about him talking about the achievements his cabinet has made regarding rule of law, reforms, anti-corruption and positive economic growth while the hryvnia slides downward. Ha! Am again waiting for WTO ascension for Ukraine.)

Taras said...

Reforms? Don’t you ever use that sort of vocabulary again!:)

Ukrainian authorities knew damn well this guy was on the hit list. And they simply let it happen. Well, that's the way they do things here — they let them happen. Just one look at our PM’s résumé, and you know what to expect.

Those Eurocrats! It’s about time they learned some Russian! They’ve been missing out on a lot of fun. Haven’t they heard that Russian is the language of cross-cultural communication? Let me guess, Donetsk cable television hasn’t processed their subscription yet:)

Anonymous said...

Darn it - Tsuchko wanted to resign (that was the rumor) and of course, as he is "their man", the PM did not want him to resign. I have to feel some compassion for Tsushko as he is being set up - what does he have to look forward to? Being the Minister who was in charge when the militia ...?
to end life ala Kravchenko suicide?

But then I yank myself out of my finer feelings when I see Raisa give her speech, Hanya rattle on or Shufrych re-emphasize "how we will not allow ...". That's right - goodbye free speech, free press, protest, ... All in the name of establishing order.

Taras said...

Did you see that clownish outfit Hanya's wearing these days?:)

In fact, she’s been wearing that dress for at least two days. She must have stayed out of Prague a bit too long to have forgotten that wearing clothes from yesterday violates the mainstream dress code. As for Raya, there’s general consensus among cosmetic surgeons that she has put herself through Extreme Makeover:)

I think the media has largely misinterpreted Tsushko’s resignation remarks. He mentioned the idea in purely sarcastic terms. And, of course, the guy is nothing but a drone. He does what they tell him.

Anonymous said...

Hanya's outfit is PRICELESS - (the Tymoshenko wanna be.) But she probably likes it.

So where was Taras Chornovil? or did he really stay away from any and all demonstrations?

Taras said...

I can't imagine Tymo wearing such crap. She's got more style;)

Taras C has been busy storming talk shows, giving us a piece of his moderate mind:)

Anonymous said...

Yep, Tymo has more style - now. But do you remember the "schoolmarm meets dominatrix" outfit she wore when was voted in as PM? Her style has truly evolved to a more classic but edgy reconstruction of the classic suit.

Taras said...

Times change, and so does Tymo:) I used to call her "Tymonatrix" back then;)

Here's another one: "The Devil Wears Louis Vuitton":)))

Anonymous said...

ROFL! thanks for the laugh! I was listening to PoR front man Mykhaylo Chechetov (the "Whip") (I once saw him in Rada hand signaling to the deputies how they should vote) and a laugh was very welcome. He was on 5kanal Maidan program.

Taras said...

Chechetov is the greatest salesman of government property the PRU has ever had on its payrolls:)

Anonymous said...

Deputies from NSNU could learn ALOT from Chechetov - he knows how to dole out powerful soundbites, lie without blinking, and ram his point home.

Unfortunately at times, I am embarrassed and cringe inwardly when some deputies from NSNU speak (esp. older generation - sorry for the ageist comment) but they start on these long promovu that go nowhere and are boring. They have not learnt the power (as Chechetov has) of keeping it simple, tight and repeating your main point (like his "party of war" when referring to BYuT.)

I have seen some analysts and some NSNU deputies who are able to do so very well indeed but certainly not all.

I will say that Lutsenko is one POWERFUL speaker in both Russian and Ukrainian and it is no surprise at all, that PoR is freaked out by him.