Friday, March 24, 2017

Ukraine's leader calls killing of Putin critic a Russian terror act

March 23, 2017 (CNN) A former Russian lawmaker and Kremlin critic who fled to Ukraine last year was shot dead Thursday in Kiev -- a killing that Ukraine's President called a "Russian state terrorist act." Denis Voronenkov, who'd been a Communist member of Russia's lower legislative house before he left, was fatally shot outside a hotel in broad daylight, officials said. Voronenkov becomes the latest in a string of Russian critics of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government who were killed or injured in mysterious circumstances. The suspect in his death died in the hospital after a shootout with Voronenkov's bodyguard.

A Ukrainian police officer seizes a gun at the scene where Voronenkov was shot dead on Thursday.
Denis Voronenkov, a former Communist legislator in Russia's lower legislative house, was shot dead in Kiev on Thursday, Ukrainian authorities say. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called Thursday's killing a "Russian state terrorist act" on Twitter, and described Voronenkov as "one of the key witnesses of the Russian aggression against Ukraine" -- referring to Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and a subsequent war with pro-Russian rebels. Poroshenko's accusation drew a sharp rebuke from Moscow. Any claims that Russia is connected to the killing are "absurd," Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russian state-run TASS news agency. Voronenkov had denounced Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and said he was cooperating with Ukrainian prosecutors' treason case against former President Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian politician who fled Ukraine after deadly 2014 protests.