The Daily Telegraph

Russia accused over ex-MP’s assassinat­ion

- Roland Oliphant

UKRAINE’S president accused the Kremlin of “state terrorism” after a fugitive ex-Russian MP who had denounced the annexation of Crimea was gunned down in the centre of Kiev.

Denis Voronenkov, a former member of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house, was shot dead as he set off for a meeting yesterday morning.

The attacker, who has not been named, was wounded by Voronenkov’s bodyguard and died in hospital shortly afterwards, Ukrainian media reported.

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 [former president Viktor] Yanukovych regarding the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine.”

Russia denied the accusation, calling it “absurd”. “We believe that all the falsehoods that can already be heard about much-hyped Russian involvemen­t are absurd,” Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, said.

Voronenkov, 45, was elected an MP for the Russian Communist Party in 2011. He and his wife Maria Maksakova, an opera singer and MP with the ruling United Russia party, resigned from parliament and moved to Ukraine with their infant son in October.

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