23:29 GMT31 October 2020
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    The Ukrainian president links the murder of former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov to the explosion at the arms depot in the Kharkiv region that occured earlier in the day.

    KIEV (Sputnik) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes the fact that former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov was killed on the same day with the explosion at the arms depot in the Kharkiv region is not a coincidence, Poroshenko's press secretary Svyatoslav Tsegolko said Thursday.

    “I do not find it coincidental that the murder occurred on the same day with the sabotage in Balakliya in the Kharkiv region,” Tsegolko wrote on his Facebook page citing Poroshenko's words.

    On Thursday, a fire broke out at a large munitions depot in the Kharkiv region triggering detonation and prompting evacuation of 15,000 residents. Ukraine's Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said Kiev was considering sabotage as a possible cause of the blaze.

    Denis Voronenkov, along with his wife, also a former State Duma deputy, Maria Maksakova, left Russia last year and soon received Ukrainian citizenship. The ex-lawmaker himself claimed political reasons are behind his departure, but the Russian Investigative Committee considered Voronenkov's move as an attempt to hide from the investigation as the former deputy was arrested in absentia over the case of an illegal seizure of a building in Moscow.

    After moving to Kiev, Voronenkov testified to the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine against former President Viktor Yanukovych. 

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    Tags:
    blast, murder, Petro Poroshenko, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, Ukraine, Russia
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