Some counterpoint to the conspiracy theories
When Roman Shubin, the deputy prosecutor of Vinnytska Oblast, died on September 23 in a car crash, some people immediately suspected foul play. After all, as chief prosecutor for Ukraine's high-profile crimes unit, Shubin worked on some pretty touchy cases -- including the 2004 dioxin poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko, who was in the midst of a hard-fought presidential election campaign against current Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, and the gruesome killing of investigative journalist Heorhiy Gongadze in 2000.
The trails of suspicion in both cases led high up into the ruling elite. And suspicious "accidents" seem to happen fairly often in Ukraine. In 1999, opposition presidential candidate Viacheslav Chornovil -- running against President Leonid Kuchma -- died in a car crash that the Interior Ministry determined was "accidental." A new investigation was opened in 2011. In 2002, Yulia Tymoshenko -- then one of the leaders of the opposition to Kuchma -- was involved in a mysterious car accident in Kyiv that some observers have speculated may have been an assassination attempt. In 2004, Yuriy Chechyk, director of Radio Yuta in Poltava, was killed in a suspicious car crash while on his way to a meeting with representatives of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Ukrainian Service.