Russian ex-MP Voronenkov shot dead at Kiev hotel

Screengrab from outside Premier Palace hotelImage copyright
112 Ukrayina

Image caption

The former MP’s security guard opened fire on the attacker during the shooting outside the hotel

A former Russian MP who fled to Ukraine last year has been shot dead outside a hotel in Kiev.

Denis Voronenkov and his bodyguard were attacked as they left the Premier Palace hotel in the centre of the city, reports said.

The bodyguard fired back at the attacker and both were wounded, according to local media.

Mr Voronenkov was a controversial figure, who left Russia amid accusations of fraud.

Kiev police chief Andriy Kryshchenko told 112 Ukrayina TV that the attack was most likely a contract killing. Witnesses said they heard seven shots fired outside the hotel.

Denis Voronenkov was elected as a Communist MP in 2011, married an MP from another party and backed a law limiting foreign ownership in Russian media.

But he left for Kiev late last year. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had questioned how he had managed to build his fortune on his salary.

In recent months Mr Voronenkov had given evidence to Kiev prosecutors in a high treason case against deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea as illegal.

Russian opposition activist Ilya Ponomarev said Mr Voronenkov was on his way to meet him and insisted he was not a criminal.

“I’m speechless. Voronenkov was no crook but an investigator who was deadly dangerous for the Russian siloviki (security services),” he said.

The deputy head of Ukrainian police, Oleksandr Vakulenko, also suggested Russian involvement because the ex-MP had “important information”.

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