Gazeta.ua citing a confidential source close to the deceased reports that 58-year-old Oleksandr Savchuk died on November 11 in France where he was residing and undergoing treatment.
"As far as I know tomorrow (November 13) a plane will fly from Donetsk to the funeral. Oleksandr was treated there. He has been fighting illness for the past 10 months. He has not been seen at the plant for about a year. His family is living in France - his wife Svetlana, daughter Taisiya. There he will be buried," said the source.
Savchuk was Azovmashinvest Holding president and the president of JSC Azovmash. He was also the president of Azovmash basketball club. He was considered one of the richest people in Ukraine.
In 2011, the Correspondent estimated his assets at $ 54 million (94th place in the top 100 richest people in Ukraine). But according to the Forbes magazine, the properties of the late Oleksandr Savchuk in March 2011 amounted to $ 867 million which allowed the man to join the 30 richest Ukrainians.
In the current year Focus magazine estimated his worth at $ 445 million.
Mariupol enterprise Azovmash is one of the local giants along with steel mills. Savchuk came to Azovmash in 1987. He began from the deputy head of the department. In those days, Azovmash, as Savchuk said himself was a strategic enterprise with 40% of its volume being defense orders.
Along with the advent of Yanukovych to the post of the head of Donetsk oblast in 1997 Oleksandr Savchuk became General Director of Azovzagalmash. In 2000 he headed Azovmash JSC (which joined JSC Azov and JSC Azovzagalmash). In 2006 he became the president of Azovmash.
In 2010, Savchuk became the president of Azovmashinvest Holding - one of the major engineering and machine building giants in Ukraine, a known supplier of railway freight cars.
2 years ago Savchuk was a single owner of Azovmash. He bought the state-owned shares of the enterprise. But last year Azovmash was officially declared a part of the family business of another infamous Regions deputy - Yuriy Ivanyushchenko. It was reported with an addition: "for about a year." The information was confirmed by Savchuk himself at his press conference. He told the reporters that he is immensely pleased by the "arrival of a powerful investor."
Savchuk became a Regions deputy in 2006. From 1979 to 1991 he was in the ranks of the Communist Party. In 2006 he joined the party list in parliamentary elections, and was a deputy chairman of the Committee on Transport and Communications. In 2007, he was included in the party list under the number 32 and elected a deputy as well as being a member of the Committee on Transport and Communications.
This year, the party did not take Oleksandr Savchuk to the parliament. At least he was not in the first hundred on the list that could claim a seat.
His work as a parliamentarian is shown by the following figures: Oleksandr Savchuk missed 98% of its committee sessions. In 5 years of being in parliament he proposed 2 bills which were not supported. He was never seen at the podium of Verkhovna Rada.
Oleksandr Savchuk provided financial help sponsoring varioust projects, wrestlers in particular (which in post-Soviet era usually means ties to criminal world). He sponsored the holding of Greko-Roman wrestling championships. During the years of his leadership Mariupol basketball rose to prominence with Azovmash frequently becoming the champion of Ukraine. Savchuk spent millions on basketball every year.
At the same time, they say, that the salary of workers in Azovmash was lower than the industry's average. Savchuk was one of the largest bank debtors. His debt was estimated at $550 million. By media reports which were not denied he has established a scheme of asset movement to offshores conceiving millions of dollars.
In April 2011, there was information that Oleksandr Savchuk was allocated several acres at the seaside park of Mariupol where he built a house worth 20 million dollars. At that Savchuk, as the journalists found out, is the owner of a mansion on the Chauveau street in Paris (estimated price 30 million dollars.), he owns a villa on Belosarayskaya spit on the Azov Sea and an apartment in Mariupol. However, in 2007, he filed free parliamentary apartment in the capital.
The millionaire allegedly owns a yacht and an aircraft worth $27 million. He bought a Russian art gallery for his daughter Taisiya for $ 10 million. His family collection of paintings is estimated at 20 million dollars.
In July 2011 the name Savchuk made the headlines in connection with a major fraud. He bought over 18 paintings and paid 9.58 million to some Russian immigrants, and the pictures turned out to be fake.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych expressed his condolences to the family on the death of Oleksandr Savchuk.