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Ukrainian lawmakers pass law on oligarchs after assassination attempt

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Ukraine’s parliament passed a law on Thursday to order “oligarchs” to register and stay out of politics, a day after an attempt to kill a top aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which officials said could have been a response to the reform.

The law, which passed at the first reading in July, is meant to define what an oligarch is and says those who fall under the criteria are forbidden from financing political parties or taking part in privatisations.

It had to be voted on twice and must now be approved by the president to come into force. Thursday’s vote was carried with 279 votes in the 450-seat parliament.

Zelenskiy’s team has suggested anger at the law could be behind an attempt to assassinate Serhiy Shefir, a top aide and close friend of the president. Shefir’s car was sprayed with gunfire on Wednesday by unidentified individuals as he travelled between two villages outside the capital.

Shefir was unharmed though his driver was wounded. Police are interviewing possible witnesses who were mushroom picking nearby and searching for the weapon, Ukraine’s interior ministry spokesman Artem Shevchenko said on Thursday. 

Photo: A general view of the Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

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