On Thursday morning, a former Russian lawmaker and a harsh critic of Russian president Vladimir PutinDenis N. Voronenkov, was shot dead on the streets of Kiev. He fled to Ukraine just last year. Many are seeing this act as the latest in a series of mysterious murders targeting critics of Russia, which has been going on for years. Coincidentally or not, the day before Voronenkov was murdered, a big explosion took place at an enormous Ukrainian Army ammunition depot. That is located in Eastern Ukraine and the authorities also put the blame on Russia.
The president speaks
According to Ukrainian president Petro O. Poroshenko, the killing of the lawmaker, whose name was Denis N. Voronenkov, and the explosion at the depot, were not coincidences. According to the Ukrainian military, the was the result of sabotage and 10,000 people were evacuated. The blast happened near the city of Kharkiv, in Eastern Ukraine.
As for the reason why the lawmaker was murdered, the Ukrainian police still has no official answer. However, they are certain that Russia is at fault, and blamed the country of “state terrorism”. Voronenkov, along with his wife, Maria Maksakova, a politician and a Bolshoi opera singer, fled to Ukraine last year because they felt politically prosecuted. On the other hand, the Russian authorities accused them both of corruption and were being investigated. While they were in Kiev, they often spoke out against the Russian government and Russian policy in Ukraine. However, according to authorities, if this was a contracted murder (as it often happens in former Soviet countries), it was very bloody and it did not seem expertly executed. This is why the police is still not offering a precise answer.
How it happened
Mr. Voronenkov was on hotel Premier Palace’s stairs when he was shot. His bodyguard immediately fired back in what the police described as a 20 shots gun fight. Four gunshots reportedly hit their target, the lawmaker’s body. He died on the spot. The bodyguard survived, despite the fact that he too was hit in the chest. As for the assassin, he suffered a head wound, the police managed to capture him, but he died at the hospital.
Some people are saying that he could have been murdered in order to not offer testimony against F. Yanukovych, Ukraine’s former president. The lawmaker reportedly knew some important details about the Federal Security Service and how they were doing money laundering. Many Ukrainian officials are saying that this was a murder meant to send out a message to anyone who is trying to get away from Russia. It was so public and bloody to scare people from doing it.
This murder also comes at a time when there is an ongoing investigation regarding Russia’s influence in the United State presidential election. The situation is tense, as recent reveals talked about numerous Donald Trump team members having connections with Russian players.
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