(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The 33-year-old son of toppled ex-Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych drowned after his car fell through ice on Russia's Lake Baikal, his former party said yesterday.
The Party of Regions' official website announced the "tragic death of our colleague and former MP ... Victor Yanukovych Jr" alongside a picture of a rose and a candle.
Russian authorities said that a man had died while travelling in a Volkswagen with six people on the frozen lake close to Siberia's remote Olkhon Island late on Friday.
They gave his name as Viktor Davydov, the maiden name of Yanukovych's maternal grandmother.
The other five people in the car survived, it was reported.
Yanukovych Jr served as a deputy in Ukraine's Rada from 2006 but fled the country along with his family after his father's ouster from power in February following pro-European protests.
The former president's clan is now hiding out in Russia, although Yanukovych Jr is not facing any criminal charges in Ukraine, unlike his father and older brother Oleksandr.
However, the European Union froze his assets on the continent subject to an investigation into the embezzlement of Ukrainian state funds.
Nestor Shufrich, a former minister for the Party of Regions € dormant since Yanukovych's ouster € wrote on his official Facebook page that car-lover Yanukovych "died as he lived € at the wheel of the vehicle".
The party's official website called Yanukovych Jr "a wonderful person, able to make friends and to genuinely enjoy life".
Yanukovych is survived by wife Olga and son Ilya.
It is the latest in a string of deaths of those close to the former leader.
Last month, former deputy Mykhaylo Chechetov, a prominent lawmaker in Yanukovych's time, was found dead after jumping from a window at his 17th floor Kiev apartment.
On March 9, former lawmaker Stanislav Melnyk, also from Yanukovych's Party of Regions, was found by his wife dead in his bathroom, leaving a suicide note.
Three days later, Oleksandr Peklushenko, another ally of Yanukovych, was found dead from a gunshot to the neck.