Former Russian Lawmaker Denis Voronenkov Shot Dead in Kiev

As reported, Denis Voronenkov, a former deputy of Russia's State Duma was shot dead near the Premier Palace Hotel in the center of Kyiv this afternoon.

The statement calls the killing a "textbook method of the Russian special forces", and continues, "Voronenkov was one of the main witnesses of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and particularly the role of Viktor Yanukovych in the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian troops".

"We believe all falsehoods that can already be heard about much-hyped Russian involvement are absurd", said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. The Ukraine government did not agree, providing him with a bodyguard, who was injured in Thursday's firefight after shooting and killing the Voronenkov's attacker. He was a former member of the Russian parliament before he renounced his citizenship and emigrated last October to Ukraine where he became a citizen.

Voronenkov's killing was the execution of a witness meant to send a message, Lutsenko said. The killer died in hospital hours later. "But the fact that both Ukraine and those who are more supportive of the Kremlin's narrative in Russian Federation have very quickly jumped to conclusions to back up their prior assumptions should give us pause".

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko did not mince words about neighboring Russian Federation following the assassination of an outspoken Kremlin critic in Kiev. The most famous of the murders include those of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in Moscow in 2015 and the poisoning by radioactive polonium-210 of former Russian FSB security service agent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

Denis Voronenkov, who had testified to Ukrainian investigators and criticized Russian policies after his move to Kiev last fall, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman near the entrance of an upscale hotel in the Ukrainian capital.

Mr Voronenkov was wanted on criminal charges in Russian Federation. Dimitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, recently stated that the claims that Russian Federation is in some way connected to Voronenkov's murder is "absurd".

According to the press service of the Russian Investigative Committee, it was established that Voronenkov ensured the financing of the criminal activities and gave instructions to the accomplices.

In February, Mr Voronekov told journalist Christopher Miller Russia is now like "Nazi Germany" and the 2014 annexation of Crimea was a "mistake and illegal".

Ukraine's chief prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, said Voronenkov was shot in the head, neck and stomach and died on the spot. Voronenko fled to Ukraine previous year, together with his wife.

  • Leroy Wright