Yevhen Shcherban

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Yevhen Shcherban
Євген Олександрович Щербань
Yevhen Shcherban2.jpg
People's Deputy of Ukraine
In office
March 27, 1994 – November 3, 1996
Constituency Volnovakha Raion
Personal details
Born Yevhen Oleksandrovych Shcherban
(1946-01-18)January 18, 1946
Kostiantynivka, Kharkiv Oblast
Died November 3, 1996(1996-11-03) (aged 50)
Donetsk Airport, Donetsk Oblast
Citizenship Soviet Union, Ukraine
Nationality Ukrainian
Political party Liberal Party of Ukraine
Spouse(s) Nadia Nikitina
Alma mater Donetsk National Technical University
Occupation businessman, politician

Yevhen Shcherban (Ukrainian: Євген Олександрович Щербань, January 18, 1946 in Kostiantynivka – November 3, 1996 in Donetsk) was a Ukrainian businessman and politician.[1] As a member of the Liberal Party of Ukraine, he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada from the Volnovakha electoral district in Donetsk Oblast.[2] Became the most widely known for relating to the Shcherban Affair which is used as a political blackmail in Ukraine since 2003.


Yevhen Shcherban was born in the village of Kostyantynivka in Krasnokutsk Raion (today - an urbanized settlement) on January 18, 1946. From 1972-77 he studied at the Mining Industrial College in Donetsk, later - in the Donetsk National Technical University. Until 1988 Shcherban worked as a mining engineering and after the independence of Ukraine he established a cooperative organization "Progress" and later a corporation "ATON". Among other companies that associated with his name were "Gefest" (today "Parallel"), "Finansist", "AMEST" and others.

In the mid-1990s, Shcherban was among the richest people in Ukraine and prominent and influential member of parliament for the Liberal Party of Ukraine.[1][3][4]


He and his wife Nadezhda (née Nikitina) were assassinated on a runway at Donetsk Airport on November 3, 1996 by several men posing as public force officers.[1][2] Among the killers were Vadim Bolotskikh, Gennadiy Zangelidi and others. Prosecutors have stated the murder was intended to eliminate competition for control of Ukraine’s natural gas industry.[1] In 2002, eight men were arrested and tried for the murder. All of them were found guilty, with three receiving life sentences.[1]

Related events[edit]

Coincidentally, the event took place soon after replacement of the Governor of Donetsk Oblast Volodymyr Shcherban (no relation to Yevhen) with the former Minister of Coal Industry of Ukraine Serhiy Polyakov and the appointment of Viktor Yanukovych to the position of a deputy chairman.

Previously, in December 1995, when Serhiy Polyakov was appointed to the ministerial position in Donetsk, the Industrial Union of Donbas (ISD) was established. Headed by Serhiy Taruta, many however saw the real leader of the Union as Yevhen Shcherban. Preceding that in October 1995 another no less important assassination of Akhat Bragin took place. Since then a number of assassinations of lesser ISD members took place from January to July 1996. However, the assassination of Shcherban became the most noticeable, because he was a People's Deputy of Ukraine.

Shcherban Affair[edit]

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko has been implicated in the 1996 murder of Yehven Shcherban by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Svyatoslav Piskun in January 2003.[1][2] Piskun has been fired from the office of Prosecutor General by two presidents of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko, but both dismissals were voided by the courts. Since late October 2011 former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has also been implicated, particularly by the First Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Renat Kuzmin.[5] Since late October 2011 Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating whether Tymoshenko and Lazarenko were involved in the murder of Shcherban.[5][6][7] On April 4, 2012 Shcherban’s son, Ruslan gave a press conference in Kiev in which he implied he had new evidence in this case.[7] The wife of a key witness in this case, Izabella Kyrychenko who is a citizen of the United States, has complained that she was imprisoned to force a statement from her husband.[7][8] Arrested in fall of 2011,[9][10] she was released after three months from detention in the Lukyanivska Prison due to her health conditions. Coincidentally, her husband, Petro Kyrychenko,[11] at that time was giving testimony in connection with the Shcherban murder. In summer of 2012, the Pechersk District Court closed the case against Kyrychenko.[12][13]

(Per July 2012) the First Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Renat Kuzmin announced intentions to bring murder charges against Tymoshenko for the murder of Yevhen Shcherban in 1996.[14]

On 18 January 2013, Tymoshenko was notified that she is a suspect in the murder of Shcherban, his wife and two other people in 1996.[15]

According to Ukrayinska Pravda, Shcherban's son Ruslan is business partners with Oleksandr Yanukovych, the son of the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Taylor: Firtash blames notorious 1996 murder on ex-premier Lazarenko, Kyiv Post (December 3, 2010)
  2. ^ a b c The clan from Donetsk PART I, The Ukrainian Weekly (January 12, 2003)
  3. ^ Unbroken Ties: The State, Interest Associations, and Corporatism in Post-Soviet Ukraine by Paul Kubicek, University of Michigan Press, 2002, ISBN 0472110306/ISBN 978-0472110308 (page 59)
  4. ^ Fight over natural gas trade seen at core of 1996 murder of wealthy Yevhen Shcherban, Kyiv Post (3 November 2011)
  5. ^ a b Ukraine to investigate Tymoshenko over murder-report, Kyiv Post (30 October 2011)
  6. ^ Ukrainian prosecutors want to question ex-PM Lazarenko in US, Kyiv Post (29 October 2011)
  7. ^ a b c Prosecutors escalate accusations against Yulia Tymoshenko, Kyiv Post (5 April 2012)
  8. ^ US citizen says she was used as ‘bargaining chip’ in probe, Kyiv Post (23 March 2012)
  9. ^ Izabella Kyrychenko arrested in Kiev. Mirror Weekly. 2011-9-4
  10. ^ Wife of the Lazarenko's former business partner is arrested in Kiev. Kyiv Post. 2011-9-3
  11. ^ Volokova, S. Pavlo Lazarenko - Petro Kyrychenko: Kiss of Judas. Ukrayinska Pravda. 2004-4-13
  12. ^ The court closed the case against Kyrychenko who announced about connections between Tymoshenko and Lazarenko (Суд закрыл дела против Кириченко, заявившего о связи Тимошенко с Лазаренко.) 2013-1-26
  13. ^ The court closed the casse against Petro Kyrychenko. Holos Ukrayiny. 2013-1-28
  14. ^ Kuzmin's political bias in Tymoshenko persecution, Kyiv Post (5 October 2012)
    Scherban's son:'Money and influence played a fateful role in my father's death', Kyiv Post (13 July 2012)
  15. ^ "UKRAINIAN EX-PM SUSPECTED IN MURDER CASE". AP. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
    Tymoshenko accused of murder, Euronews (19 January 2013)
    Jailed Ukraine ex-PM Tymoshenko suspected in long-dormant murder case, Montreal Gazette (19 January 2013)
    Ukraine Prosecutors Say Tymoshenko May Face Murder Charge, Bloomberg L.P. (18 January 2013)
    Ukraine prosecutor accuses Tymoshenko of murder, Reuters (18 January 2013)
  16. ^ (in Ukrainian) Полювання з Русланом Щербанем. Жертва - друг бізнес-партнера Януковича Hunting with Ruslan Shcherban. Victim - each business partner Yanukovych, Ukrayinska Pravda (13 February 2013)
  17. ^ All In The Family, Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)