Thursday, March 23, 2017

Exiled Former Russian Lawmaker Shot Dead In Kiev / Lawyer For Russian Whistleblower’s Family Falls From Building One Day Before Hearing

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 MP Denis Voronenkov was killed by an assailant who was armed with a pistol. The assailant was wounded by Voronenkov’s bodyguard and later died in hospital, police said. Voronenkov fled to Ukraine last year and was helping the Ukrainian authorities build a treason case against Yanukovich, Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin 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.

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.”

Relations between Kiev and Moscow are at an all-time low after Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 and the subsequent outbreak of separatist fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 10,000 people. Poroshenko said it was “no accident” that Voronenkov was shot on the same day as a warehouse storing tank ammunition was blown up at a Ukrainian military base. Moscow denied any involvement Voronenkov’s murder … read more:

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