The heartbroken widow of a Russian cryptocurrency tycoon who died in a helicopter crash near Monaco today revealed he was involved with charities helping Ukrainians flee war before he died.
said Olga Taran she was “devastated” after her husband Vyacheslav Taran, 53, was killed in the tragic accident near the seaside town of Villefranche-sur-Mer on Friday.
Olga, the founder of the Hello Monaco media, categorically denied allegations in the Ukrainian media that Vyacheslav had ties to Russia’s foreign intelligence service, describing them as “an absolute and utter lie.”
The mother-of-three said her husband – affectionately known as Slava by his family – “has always supported Ukraine,” with the Russian businessman setting up a charity for Ukrainian refugees in Montenegro who had fled their war-ravaged country.
Olga Taran said she was “devastated” after her husband Vyacheslav Taran, 53, was killed in a helicopter crash near the seaside town of Villefranche-sur-Mer on Friday.
Olga said, “It is painful to realize that I will never see my dear husband again and my children their father.” In the photo: Vyacheslav and Olga with their three children
Olga paid tribute to Vyacheslav, saying: “We are devastated. We have lost our loving husband and a father of three.
“It hurts to realize that I will never see my dear husband again and my children their daddy.”
She added that her family has still not received Vyacheslav’s body as detectives in France are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the helicopter crash. “Every day is full of pain,” Olga said.
Since the crash that killed Vyacheslav happened in good, clear weather – and after another passenger reportedly canceled at the last minute – the tycoon’s death is now a mystery.
Vyacheslav, the co-founder of trading and investment platform Libertex and Forex Club, who has lived in Monaco for the past decade, was flying from Lausanne, Switzerland with an experienced pilot in a single-engine H130 helicopter when it crashed around 1 p.m. on Nov. 25 .
A 35-year-old French pilot was also killed.
Nice’s deputy prosecutor, who visited the crime scene, said third party culpability could not be ruled out. The French authorities and Airbus, makers of the H130, have launched a formal investigation into the helicopter crash.
Another unidentified passenger was supposed to accompany Vyacheslav on the flight, but he canceled at the last minute, according to local media.
She added that her family has still not received Vyacheslav’s body as detectives in France are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the helicopter crash. “Every day is full of pain,” Olga said. In the photo: rescue workers at the scene of the helicopter crash
Entrepreneur Vyacheslav Taran, 53, died after helicopter crashed near the seaside town of Villefranche-sur-Mer after taking off from Lausanne in Switzerland
Earlier, the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN claimed, without citing any evidence, that Vyacheslav was a “billionaire crypto businessman with likely ties to Russian foreign intelligence.”
But Olga has since categorically denied these claims. “All this is outrageous and an absolute and utter lie,” she said.
“My husband has never had any ties to the Russian government or political affiliations. In 2008 he left Russia to pursue and concentrate on his business interests.”
She added that far from being a Russian spy, he supported Ukraine and “helped wherever he could.”
Olga said Vyacheslav supported the Ukrainian charity foundation Change One Life, which has helped thousands of children in Ukraine find new parents since 2014.
“As he often told me, it was one of the most important things he did in his life,” said Olga.
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Olga said her husband founded the charity organization Pristaniste.me, which helps Ukrainian refugees in Montenegro who have fled the war.
Olga (pictured) said Vyacheslav supported the Ukrainian charity foundation Change One Life, which has helped thousands of children in Ukraine find new parents since 2014
Speaking about the unfounded allegations by the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN that Vyacheslav had ties with Russia, Olga said: “This attack is unfair to Vyacheslav, who always actively supported Ukrainian people through his charitable foundations, especially children who lost their parents.
“Anyone who knows Viacheslav, including the entire community in Monaco, knows that it is an absolute lie.
‘I urge you not to tarnish Slava’s good name. He was a good man.’
Viacheslav is the third cryptocurrency entrepreneur to die unexpectedly in recent weeks.
Tiantian Kullander, 30, died “in his sleep” last week, while fellow cryptomillionaire Nikolai Mushegian, 29, drowned on a beach in Puerto Rico after tweeting that he feared the CIA and Mossad would kill him.
Since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine, a number of Russian businessmen have also died under mysterious circumstances.
Earlier this month, 72-year-old Viktor Cherkesov, a close KGB spy and mentor to Vladimir Putin, who was demoted after openly criticizing the Kremlin leader, died of an unexplained “serious illness.”
Recent deaths also include Ivan Pechorin, 39, director of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, who ‘fell overboard’ from his yacht in September.
Pavel Pchelnikov, 52, a public relations manager for the Russian Railways, was shot dead in his Moscow apartment the same month, and Alexander Tyulakov, 61, a senior Gazprom manager, was found hanged in his home, also in Moscow.