Gunman in Ukraine kills Putin foe in attack denounced as ‘state terrorism’
Forensic experts and police officers examine the scene following the killing of former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 23, 2017. (Sergei Chuzavkov/AP)By Andrew Roth and Natalie Gryvnak March 23 at 11:22 AM, WashPost
KIEV — A former Russian member of parliament who defected to Ukraine and began sharply criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin was gunned down Thursday in downtown Kiev in an apparent contract killing.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the murder of Denis Voronenkov, a former member of Russia’s Communist Party who fled to Kiev in October 2016, an “act of state terrorism by Russia.”
A suspected assailant was arrested after Voronenkov was shot twice in the head, dying on the spot. The suspect’s identity or other details were not immediately made public. In Moscow, a Kremlin spokesman denied Russian involvement in the killing.
But Russia’s critics were likely to draw parallels between the slaying and the deaths of other Putin foes. It also will probably raise further alarm in Washington, where Russia has come under scrutiny for allegedly trying to influence the presidential election to aid Donald Trump.
In an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday evening — less than 72 hours before his death — Voronenkov complained about anonymous threats against him and his wife, Maria Maksakova, a former member of the United Russia party founded by Putin, with whom he fled to Kiev last year.