Ukraine says 'state terrorism' by Moscow behind murder of Russian ex-MP

A former Russian lawmaker who became a vociferous critic of Moscow following his recent move to Ukraine was shot and killed Thursday in Kiev, prompting harsh words between the two neighboring countries.

Kiev's police chief, Andriy Grishchenko, said he could "confirm" the assassination.

The Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, went so far as to place the blame on Russia, explaining, "Voronenkov was one of the main witnesses of theRussian aggression against Ukraine and, in particular, the role of Yanukovich regarding the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine".

Russian president Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed the claim of Russian involvement in the killing as "absurd". 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.

Voronenkov and his wife, former Russian lawmaker Maria Maksakova, sharply criticized Putin after they left Russia for Ukraine in October.

Mr Voronenkov fled to Ukraine past year and was helping the Ukrainian authorities build a treason case against Mr Yanukovich, Ukraine's pro-Russia former president.

Voronenkov moved to Ukraine in late 2016 because he said Kremlin security agencies were pursuing him.

Voronenkov's killing was "a demonstrative execution of a witness", Lutsenko said. "He is a Russian politician, a former deputy of the State Duma".

While the FBI investigates whether associates of President Trump colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, it's worth remembering that the president has a longstanding public bromance with Vladimir Putin. "Voronenko was not a crook, but an investigator who was fatally risky to Russian authorities". The theory is obvious - I said that Voronenkov was not a crook/cheater/phoney, but an investigator, who was fatally risky to Russian siloviki [security services].

He is registered as having voted in favor of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Earlier, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko disclosed the name of Voronenkov's murderer.

Voronenkov told Ukrainian media in February that he had repeatedly received threats from Russian security services. Both men were scheduled to give testimony later in the day at Ukraine's Military Prosecutor's Office.

In February, he described Russian Federation as being in the grip of a "pseudo-patriotic frenzy" similar to Nazi Germany and denounced Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Russian Federation launched a smear campaign against Voronenkov past year, laying on £4million fraud charges against him and his wife.

  • Leroy Wright