Europe

Ukraine ex-President Yanukovych's son 'drowns in lake'

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia in February 2014 after being toppled following mass protests

The younger son of Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych has drowned in Lake Baikal in Russia, reports say.

Ukrainian MP Nestor Shufrych confirmed to the BBC the death of the ex-leader's son, who was also called Viktor.

Earlier Russian and Ukrainian media reports said he died after his vehicle fell through ice on Lake Baikal in the south of the Russian region of Siberia.

Reports say he had been taking part in a sporting event when the VW van plunged into the water.

Five other people in the vehicle escaped, Ukrainian news website Levvy Bereg quoted sources from his inner circle as saying.

Russian website RBK quoted local officials as saying the incident happened on Saturday, after the group drove on to the ice to take photographs.

Viktor Yanukovych Jr, 33, was known for his passion for extreme driving.

The death of Viktor Yanukovych Jr is the latest of several involving people with ties to the former president.

Oleksandr Peklushenko, a former regional governor, was found dead in Ukraine earlier this month in what authorities said appeared to be a suicide.

Five other officials also died in mysterious circumstances this year.

Saturday's incident is also the latest in a series of deaths in traffic accidents involving the former president or his team.

In July 2009 the son of Volodymyr Sivkovych, Mr Yanukovych's then-deputy secretary of the National Security and Defence Council who was involved in an attempt to disperse pro-EU protesters, died when his car veered off the road, hit a pole and caught fire in central Kiev.

A few months later, the son of Mr Yanukovych's de-facto spokeswoman, Anna Herman, was killed in a car crash on the Kiev-Odessa highway.

Interpol placed Mr Yanukovych on its wanted list in January. He is accused by Ukrainian officials of embezzling millions of dollars in public funds.

He was deposed in February 2014 after thousands of people took part in street protests.

These followed his government's rejection of a far-reaching accord with the European Union in November 2013 in favour of stronger ties with Russia.

Related Topics

More on this story