Former Russian lawmaker shot dead in Ukraine

2017-03-23 19:04
Denis Voronenkov. (Oleksandr Synytsia, AP)

Denis Voronenkov. (Oleksandr Synytsia, AP)

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Kiev - Former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov was shot and killed in Kiev on Thursday in what the Ukrainian president described as an "act of state terrorism" by Russia, an accusation the Kremlin angrily rejected.

Voronenkov, who testified to Ukrainian investigators and criticised 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.

The assailant also wounded Voronenkov's bodyguard, who fired back and wounded the gunman. Both were hospitalised, but Ukrainian media cited hospital doctors later in the day as saying the gunman had died.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Voronenkov's killing "clearly shows the handwriting of Russian special services shown repeatedly in various European capitals in the past."

Russian involvement

In a statement released by his spokesperson Svyatoslav Tsegolko, Poroshenko described the victim as a key witness who gave testimony about "Russian aggression" to the Ukrainian authorities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, dismissed the claim of Russian involvement in the killing as "absurd" in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

Several hours after Voronenkov was killed, a team of investigators and police were seen working at the front door of the Premier Palace hotel, which is frequented by Kiev's rich and powerful. The patch of the pavement by the door where he died was wet from water that utility workers had used.

Poroshenko said it wasn't accidental that Voronenkov's killing came on the same day as the fire that erupted at a Ukrainian military arsenal in the Kharkiv region, which Ukrainian officials said was caused by sabotage.


Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  ukraine

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