Reuters reports: Ukraine accused Russia of “state terrorism” after a former Russian lawmaker and key witness in a treason case against former leader Viktor Yanukovich was shot dead in broad daylight outside a hotel in central Kiev on Thursday.
Russia called the allegation “absurd”.
Former parliamentarian Denis Voronenkov was killed by an assailant who was armed with a pistol and later died in hospital after being shot in the chest and head by Voronenkov’s bodyguard, police said. The assailant’s identity was not disclosed.
Voronenkov fled to Ukraine last year and was helping the Ukrainian authorities build a treason case against Yanukovich, Ukraine’s pro-Russia former president.
Voronenkov had also spoken out against Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, although he voted for the move at the time.
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said the killing “is an act of state terrorism on the part of Russia, which (Voronenkov) was forced to leave for political reasons.”
“Voronenkov was one of the main witnesses of Russian aggression against Ukraine and, in particular, the role of Yanukovich regarding the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine.” [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: In the plush, crimson-decked lobby bar of Kiev’s five-star Premier Palace Hotel, Denis Voronenkov, a Russian lawmaker who defected to Ukraine, knew he was in danger.
“For our personal safety, we can’t let them know where we are,” he said Monday evening as he sat with his wife for an interview with The Washington Post.
Less than 72 hours later, he was dead, shot twice in the head in broad daylight outside the same lobby bar. It was a particularly brazen assassination that recalled the post-Soviet gangland violence of the 1990s. His wife, dressed in black, sobbed as she stooped down to identify Voronenkov’s body, which lay beneath a black tarp in a pool of blood. [Continue reading…]