Evhen Kushnaryov, 55, former governor of Kharkiv region and the deputy faction leader of prime minister Victor Yanukovych‘s Party of Regions, died today from gunshot wounds suffered in a hunting incident Tuesday.
According to media reports, Kushnaryov and approximately ten other men were on their way home after a day of boar hunting – illegal boar hunting, it looks like, as the season had ended on Jan. 1, according to this State Forestry Committee's decree (UKR); when they spotted a wolf, they jumped out of their cars and began shooting at it; the gun that fired the bullet that hit Kushnaryov allegedly belonged to Dmitry Zavalnyi, deputy director of Tochpribor plant in Kharkiv.
Kushnaryov's long political career began in 1981 in the Communist Party of Ukraine. During the 2004 presidential election, Kushnaryov was one of the politicians who came up with the idea to establish the Southeastern Republic with the capital in Kharkiv; in June 2005, he was charged with promoting separatism, but in Sept. 2006, the case against him was closed.
Kushnaryov's death has caused plenty of conversations on Ukrainian blogs and discussion boards. Below is a selection from the forum of the Ukrainian Hunters’ Server (RUS, UKR):
voland: Anyway, just heard it on the radio, in Izyum district (the biggest forests in Kharkiv region) Y. Kushnaryov had a hunting (!) incident, he was shot in the liver. Can't stand him, but may God give him health. […]
VIS: But hunting hoofed animals is allowed until Jan. 1, according to State Forestry Committee's Decree #122 of May 26, 2006, – and after that, IT IS POACHING!!! And it doesn't matter if they were hunting on private land or not. […] And also: “The law of Ukraine on hunting” states: persons with any type of firearms staying within the boundaries of hunting grounds, including field and forest roads (except those intended for general use), are considered hunters, as well as those who carry game […] I wonder what kind of hunting the law-abiding parliamentarians had, led by the most law-abiding Mr. K… Or were they dead drunk and started shooting one another…
voland: […] I don't like [Kushnaryov] and his gang, but this doesn't mean I'm [happy about what happened]. As for the government [folks], I'll explain – in Kharkiv region, there's a wonderful place, Pechenezhskoye Forestry. Plenty of game there, everything is taken good care of, but it's impossible to buy a hunting license [to hunt there] – no licenses and that's it. But the shots are heard all the time. Sick of the bastards with their jeeps […]. There's only one law for these beasts – they are the law.
Jnets: voland, do you have a hunters’ society? And there's some hunting land that belongs to it. Who keeps you from taking good care of it, from raising game there? And then hunt there? I can't believe you tried to do it all and they didn't let you. As for the jeeps that you're sick of… the majority of the country's population is sick of them (including myself). But nothing can be done about it. It's gonna be like this forever here! As [Ukraine's first president] comrade Kravchuk used to say: We have what we have. And nothing can be changed. It's like this everywhere in the post-Soviet space (with a few exceptions) – and even worse, like with Turkmenbashi.
olexa: No matter what, hunting rules have to be observed and discipline should be above all. And there are idiots who don't care about these rules, and when they see the game, they'd go anywhere. In Ivankovo district, there were two emergencies like this in just one weekend at the end of December, one lethal, and in the other, the guy was lucky, the doctor didn't want to take it upon himself and do a surgery, because one bullet went through and there was shrapnel in his intestines.
Andropov: We can't judge what happened and who's to blame, friends. We were not there. But one thing is obvious: safety rules are above all at any hunting trip!!! This should be thought #1 in any hunter's head!!! If you hold a gun, you should think every second what you're aiming at!!! This has to be stuck in your subconscious! And of course, being sober is very important. Those hunters must have had a significant amount of alcohol… It's guesswork, of course – but it should be remembered that alcohol make hot heads of the hunters even hotter! May God allow him to survive and get well! And yet – it's strange how fast they've found a donor kidney and blood and all the rest, and at the same time, how many deadly sick children are waiting for organs and how they are dying…
Machete: […] It doesn't matter anymore what his political views were; but it's sad that a hunter is gone.