Russian Agent Kills Opposition Figure in Ukraine’s Kiev

The body of Denis N. Voronenkov was carried away by forensic experts in downtown Kiev on Thursday after he was killed. (Andrew Kravchenko/European Pressphoto Agency)

The assassin who gunned down a prominent Russian opposition figure on a sidewalk in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev was identified by Ukrainian officials on Friday as a 28-year-old Russian agent.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the country’s interior minister, identified the agent as Pavel Parshov, who had undergone “a special course at a school for saboteurs,” he said in a Facebook post. The gunman was himself grievously wounded by a bodyguard for the target, Denis N. Voronenkov, and subsequently died in the hospital. The allegation was immediately dismissed by Dmitri S. Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, as “absurd.”

Mr. Voronenkov was a member of the Russian Parliament before defecting to Ukraine last year with his wife, Maria Maksakova, also a politician. He had offered to testify for the prosecution in a criminal case against Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Russia-aligned president of Ukraine who was driven from office by street demonstrators in 2014. He promised to deliver an insider’s account of the Kremlin’s deliberations and actions during the annexation of Crimea the same year.

A former prosecutor before joining Parliament, Mr. Voronenkov had socialized with people in Mr. Putin’s circle, including Vladislav Surkov, a political adviser to Mr. Putin who attended Mr. Voronenkov’s wedding.

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SOURCE: NY Times