A former Russian member of parliament, and outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead Thursday outside his hotel in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.
Denis Voronenkov and his bodyguard were targeted in broad daylight as they left their hotel in central Kiev. The bodyguard fired back at the attacker, who later died in the hospital.
Voronenkov moved to Ukraine in 2016 and was helping authorities with a case against Ukraine’s former pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovich. He was a critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 — despite voting in favor of it at the time — and he repeatedly criticized Putin after his defection.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the killing 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,” Poroshenko said, according to Reuters.
Russia called the accusations “absurd.”
“We believe that all the falsehoods that can already be heard about much-hyped Russian involvement are absurd,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, Reuters reports.
Voronenkov was on Russia’s most wanted list for his alleged involvement in a $5 million property fraud.
Nikolai Gorokhov, the lawyer of deceased Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, is in intensive care after falling from a window on the fourth floor Tuesday near Moscow.
Gorokhov represented Magnitsky’s family in a court hearing linked to the $230 million tax fraud case Magnitsky was allegedly killed for exposing in 2009.
Maginsky’s former employer, Bill Bowder, released a statement saying Gorokhov was “thrown from the fourth floor of his apartment building … and is currently hospitalized in the intensive care unit of Botkin hospital in Moscow with severe head injuries.”
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