Ukraine leader fires oligarch Kolomoisky as regional chief

 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has fired billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky as governor of a key region in the east after a raid by armed men on the Kiev offices of a state oil firm, his website said on Wednesday.

Kiev: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has fired billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky as governor of a key region in the east after a raid by armed men on the Kiev offices of a state oil firm, his website said on Wednesday.

The 52-year-old has been at the centre of a political storm since men, armed and masked, briefly entered the offices of UkrTransNafta last Thursday night after its director, an ally of Kolomoisky, was replaced.

As governor of Dnipropetrovsk, Kolomoisky, a banking, energy and media tycoon with a fortune put at $1.8 billion by Forbes last year, has been a valuable ally to the central government by financing volunteer battalions there to defend against pro-Russian separatists.

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