A former Russian MP who fled to Ukraine last year and was known to be a critic of President Vladimir Putin was shot and killed outside an upscale hotel in Kiev on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
Denis Voronenkov, 45, who was once a Putin supporter, took on Ukrainian citizenship after he arrived in the country in October 2016.
Details of the circumstances surrounding the killing are still unclear, but another former Russian MP, Ilya Ponomarev — the only MP to vote against the annexation of Crimea — said on Facebook that Voronenkov had been on his way to meet him.
“He was walking to a meeting with me. I have no words. A guard managed to hurt the attacker. What happened is obvious — I said that Voronenkov wasn’t a crook but a witness who was deadly dangerous for the Russian security services," Ponomarev said.
Local outlets have posted images from the scene of the incident, which shows two bodies lying on the street. Reports said he was with his bodyguard.
In an interview with Radio Free Europe last month, Voronenkov said he feared for his and his family's safety. "We need to be careful. We are poking a sore spot of the Kremlin with our statements," he told his wife during the interview.
Voronenkov also admitted, in the same interview, that he helped Ukrainian prosecutors build a treason case against Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president who is currently living in Russia in exile.
Voronenkov said he had more information regarding Yanukovych's involvement in the separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine.
Anup Kaphle is a deputy world editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. His secure PGP fingerprint is AA69 A7F0 91A0 8CF9 F06A 8343 05EE 4615 8CD5 33D8.
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