Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of RF to Ukraine Victor Chernomyrdin claims that the Russian embassy will not disregard the murder of Russian businessman Maksym Kurochkin in Kyiv.

“What are these courts, which do not defend the accused? He was a Russian citizen, under any conditions, we will do everything to clear up”, V.Chernomyrdin said yesterday, according to Tonis television.

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Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s press-office chief Kostiantyn Stohniy disclosed to journalists that yesterday, during the murder of M.Kurochkin, accused of extortion, at least three shots were made.

“As yet we may speak about three shots, but there could be more of them. Experts are working at the scene”, K.Stohniy noted.

“Experts are not ready to say about the trajectory of the bullet and about the distance of the shot. Versions are being worked out, but they are not disclosed in order not to hamper the operation”, the press-office chief added.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Maksym Kurochkin, a reputed Moscow-based organised crime ringleader held in connection with corruption charges, was shot minutes after a Kyivv judge turned down his plea to be released on bail and police had escorted him out of the court, according to Financial Times.

A police officer was also injured. The unidentified assassin escaped.

Mr Kurochkin, who backed the presidential candidacy in 2004 of Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine`s prime minister, said in court on Tuesday a contract had been placed on his life. He pleaded to be released on bail, saying: "I do not want to die."

According to Financial Times, Mr Kurochkin, nicknamed Mad Max, had been linked to several high-profile investments in Ukraine including a luxury hotel business and a disputed open-air market. He was detained on extortion charges last November at Kyivv`s international airport.

The trial, which began last month, had been closely watched because of his ties to Mr Yanukovich.