Pro-Russian Ukrainian leader shot dead near Moscow

Pro-Russian Ukrainian leader

MOSCOW: Former Ukrainian MP Ilya Kiva was shot dead in a hotel park near Moscow, local media reported on Thursday.

“The Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine claimed responsibility for the death of Kiva,” state-run RIA Novosti said.

Kiva’s body was found in the park of the hotel where he was staying, Xinhua news agency reported quoting TASS as saying.

GUR’s spokesperson Andrey Yusov admitted on television the involvement of GUR in the killing of the politician.

In 2019, Kiva ran for the presidency of Ukraine but withdrew it later. Later, he was elected to the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, becoming a member of the Committee on National Security and Defense.

In 2022, Kiva was deprived of his parliamentary mandate on the decision of the Ukraine’s Central Election Commission.

In November, he was sentenced in absentia to 14 years in prison with confiscation of property for treason.

Kiva was a pro-Russian member of Ukraine’s Parliament till Moscow launched Ukraine invasion in 2022.