Denis Voronenkov, a former Russian parliamentarian living in exile in Ukraine, was shot dead on the sidewalk in front of the Premier Palace Hotel by a
Daewoo driving assassin in gray sweats. His state-provided bodyguard was shot in the chest and is currently hospitalized. Though he failed to save
Voronenkov, the bodyguard was able to mortally wound the assassin who reportedly died at the hospital.
Voronenkov, 45, had fled Russia in October with his wife, Maria Maksakova, also a member of the State Duma, after the couple had come under
investigation. The army colonel turned lawmaker was by all appearances just another Putin-pliant member of parliament until as he and his wife
claimed, they had become the victims of persecution by the FSB.
This is how he was described in a Radio Free Europe article
from a week
A former Communist Party legislator elected in the 2011 Russian vote viewed by many as rigged, Voronenkov is perhaps best known for
co-authoring the 2014 bill in the State Duma that banned the foreign ownership of Russian media, a move Bloomberg View columnist Leonid Bershidsky
called "perhaps the single worst thing that happened to press freedom as an institution in Putin's Russia."
Now, though, Voronenkov appears to have flipped, becoming a fiery critic of most everything he once supported in Russia and a citizen of Ukraine, to
In recent months the Russian MP, who'd once contentedly played ball, had become a serious thorn in Putin's side, spouting his vocal criticism in
interview after interview, including one that had been done only days ago with the
. In January, the former insider provided testimony to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office in the
treason case of former President Viktor Yanukovych and had expressed a willingness to testify further.
He was reportedly on his way to a meeting with another ex-Russian lawmaker in exile in Ukraine, Ilya Ponomarev, the only member of the State Duma (out
of over 400) to vote against the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Ponomarev said that Voronenkov was planning to investigate corruption and money laundering in Russian law enforcement and was also quoted in the
“Denis was a valuable gain for Ukraine. He really knew a lot about the most vulnerable element of Putin’s authority – their financial
flows,” he added.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the assassination "an act of state terrorism ordered by Russia" and said it had "obvious hallmarks of
Russian secret service involvement." Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko stated that Voronenkov was a source of valuable information and like
Poroshennko, pointed the finger for the murder at Russian security services.
Voronekov's famous mother-in-law, Lyudmila Maksakova
, had something entirely different to
say about the assassination of her daughter's husband which isn't entirely unexpected as the couple, and Voronekov in particular have been portrayed
heavily as traitors to Russia by the state-run media. She was
quoted by Life.ru saying
"Well, thank God, what else is there to do with him?
"Thank God that in the end... a man who was so mean, he is a military man, he would have been shot for treason long ago."
edit on 2017-3-24 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)