Ukrainian Jewish businessman found shot dead
(JTA) — A Ukrainian Jewish businessman was shot dead in Lviv. The body of Felix Vrotslavsky, 56, was found Tuesday on Zelenoy Street, on the city’s southeastern edge. The murder was first reported by the news site zik.ua, citing an unnamed police source. A witness told police that Vrotslavsky’s body was thrown out of a car at around 8 p.m. that day.
His funeral was scheduled to take place Friday at a local Jewish cemetery, Vrotslavsky’s friend, Meylakh Sheykhet, told JTA.
Police do not have any suspects in custody. The assailants’ motive was not immediately clear, Sheykhet said.
Radio Svoboda reported that Vrotslavsky has complained to police that he was being pressured by criminals.
Sheykhet said he was not aware of any debts or other disputes that may have led to Vrotslavsky’s murder.
In 2012, Leon Fraifeld, a Jewish doctor, was beaten to death on a Lviv street. The following year, a Jewish businessman, Dmitry Flekman, was arrested for no reason, beaten and tortured by police officers who offered to release him if he gave them $10,000, Lviv law enforcement confirmed.
“The rule of law in Lviv and Ukraine in general is suffering from the aftereffects of many years under a bureaucracy that itself engaged in criminal activity,” said Sheykhet, who is the country director in Ukraine for the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union.
On Monday, the Lviv Region Prosecutor’s Office released a statement about an unrelated case in which a 59-year-old man from Lviv was arrested at the city’s international airport on suspicion that he and an accomplice had tried to traffic four women to Israel for sexual exploitation. The suspect was not named. His presumed accomplice is still at large, the statement read.
The women were from Ukraine’s war-ravaged eastern area, it said.