Pictured: Three-year-old boy shot dead in botched assassination attempt on his Ukrainian politican father
- Sasha Sobelev, 3, was shot in the head after ‘assassins botched a hit on his dad’
- The boy’s mother Inna Soboleva, 33, said that ‘monsters’ killed her ‘little angel’
- His father, Vyacheslav Sobelev, 47, used to work as a politician in Donetsk, a city held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine
This is the first picture released of a politician’s three-year-old son who died in an ‘assassination hit’ on his father that went wrong.
The little boy, Sasha Sobelev, was shot in the head in the back seat of his father’s Range Rover near a restaurant in Ukraine’s capital Kiev.
The toddler’s mother Inna Soboleva, 33, posted that ‘monsters’ had killed her ‘little angel’.
Sasha Sobolev, 3, is pictured before his tragic death in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. Gunmen shot the toddler in the head in an ‘assassination attempt gone wrong’
An image of the murder scene shows a picture drawn or painted by Sasha on the back seat of the Range Rover, where he was shot in Kiev. The toddler died on his way to hospital
Image shows the entry point of the gunshot in Vyacheslav Sobelev’s – Sasha’s dad’s – Range Rover after the murder of his son in Kiev, Ukraine
Politician Vyacheslav Sobelev, 47, is believed to have been the target of the attack.
Sasha – full name Oleksandr, was in his car seat in the rear of the vehicle when bullets struck the car.
He died soon afterwards in an ambulance, according to reports.
His father – unhurt in the shooting – was driving and got out of the car and shouted for help in the aftermath of the attack, said witnesses.
Sasha Sobolev is pictured as a baby with his parents Inna, 33, and Vyacheslav, 47. Sasha’s mother Inna called the murderers ‘monsters’ and said they had taken away her ‘little angel’
The vehicle is seen behind a police cordon in Kiev, Ukraine, after the shooting of three-year-old Sasha
Investigators can be seen inspecting the riddled Range Rover in Kiev after the shooting
Inna was also in the car with Sasha and her husband. Sasha was the couple’s first child. They married in 2015.
The boy was the fifth and youngest child of Sobelev, a politician and businessman who owns the Mario restaurant, which was nearby to the shooting.
He was previously an executive with Ukraine’s state energy company Naftogaz.
The shooting happened close to a restaurant in Kiev owned by Vyacheslav called Mario (pictured). He also owned a supermarket chain in rebel-held Donetsk
Two men in their early 20s were detained after the shooting. Other accounts said they were aged 19 and 18.
One was a decorated sniper called Andrei Lavrega, with the call sign ‘Quiet’, decorated by Ukraine’s ex-president Peter Poroshenko, it was reported.
It is understood that both men had fought with pro-Ukrainian anti-terrorism forces. Reports citing law enforcement officials said they were both later charged with murder.
Ukrainian police stand in front of the crime scene cordon in Kiev after the shooting. Police arrested two men, whose ages are unclear, who have both been charged with the toddler’s murder
Sobelev was a prominent politician in Donetsk – a city now held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine – where he also owned a supermarket chain.
Law enforcement said there were three theories over the attempt on the politician’s life which ended with his son’s death.
These were that the motive was a family or domestic problems, a financial dispute relating to his businesses or an issue from his ‘past professional activities’.
Kiev has suffered a number of high profile assassinations in recent years.
In 2016, investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed in a car bomb.
In 2017 exiled Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov was shot dead by a hired assassin.
Ukraine’s deputy interior minister Anton Herashchenko said Sobolev was the ‘target’ but declined to say more.