Russian ex-MP Denis Voronenkov, a witness against Yanukovych, gunned down in Kyiv

Russian ex-MP Denis Voronenkov, a witness against Yanukovych, gunned down in Kyiv

Around 11:30 at the Premier Palace hotel in Kyiv an unknown hitman killed former deputy of the State Duma of the sixth convocation from the Communist Party Denis Voronenkov. Security guard was able to shoot the assailant, who died of wounds in hospital. The hitman had Ukrainian documents on him.

Denis Voronenkov in October 2016 with his wife, opera singer and ex-deputy from the “Edinaya Rossiya” Mariya Maksakova moved to live in Kyiv and gave evidence in the case of high treason of former president Viktor Yanukovych. In December Voronenkov received Ukrainian citizenship. The reason for the change of citizenship was FSB prosecution in criminal proceedings concerning bribery and raiding.

Voronenkov confirmed the testimony previously given by another former Russian deputy Ilya Ponomarev, who in the summer of 2016 also got Ukrainian residence permit. Ponomarev was long considered one of the key witnesses in the case. Voronenkov was going to meet him around the time of murder.

In January, Russian “Kommersant” published an article on Voronenkov’s cooperation with the Prosecutor General of Ukraine in the case of Yanukovych’s high treason.

National Police believe the murder to be for political reasons. President Poroshenko also considers it political and called it “an act of state terrorism on the part of Russia.” Regarding this statement Russia’s Interior Ministry expressed doubts about the ability and willingness of Ukrainian law enforcement authorities to conduct prompt and impartial investigation. There is also a version implying revenge of FSB functionaries. A spokesman for Russian President said he did not have any comments about the murder.