Ukraine president: former MP killing was Russian "state terrorism"


President Petro Poroshenko called the assassination of Denis Voronenkov, who fled to Ukraine a year ago, "an act of state terrorism", and blamed Russian Federation for the attack.

"Just at the exit from the hotel Premier Palace was shot by a former deputy of the State Duma of Russia Denis Voronenkov", - said the People's Deputy.

The killer and Voronenkov's bodyguard were wounded during the attack, he added.

Pictures distributed by Agence France-Presse show police standing over the bloodied body of Voronenkov, lying face-up on a Kiev sidewalk. He is a former deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, "he said".

Voronenkov was helping the Ukrainian authorities build a treason case against pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovych, who is hiding in Russia.

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko blamed Russian Federation for the murder, saying it was an "act of state terrorism".

Voronenkov - a member of the Communist party in Russia's lower house before he fled to Ukraine in 2016 - was an unabashed critic of Putin's policies in recent years.

The brazen assassination of a former Russian lawmaker in central Kyiv has raised concerns for the safety of other Kremlin critics who have taken refuge in Ukraine.

Voronenkov, who had reportedly told journalists he feared for his life and was said to be under the protection of the Ukrainian security services, claimed he had to leave Russia because of persecution by Russian security agencies.

"We think that all the fabrications that can already be heard about a "notorious Russian link" are absurd", said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

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Before his career as a member of parliament, he headed up a narcotics agency, and by his own admission, uncovered corruption in Russia's federal security service, the FSB. The police are calling it a contract killing.

Television footage showed Ponomarev and Maksakova leaving the scene in a vehicle together with Ukraine's General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko.

Earlier, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko disclosed the name of Voronenkov's murderer.

After Voronenkov's move to Ukraine, Russian investigators have filed fraud charges against Voronenkov in connection with his business activities. In the same interview with Radio Free Europe in February, he called Russia's annexation of Crimea a "mistake" and likened the mood and political process in Russian Federation to Nazi Germany.

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