05:18 GMT23 October 2020
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    Russia is shocked by the killing of ex-lawmaker Denis Voronenkov earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — She asserted that the are grounds to suggest "that this is a prepared contract killing that has all the features of a demonstrative action."

    "Moscow is shocked in connection with the information received about the audacious killing on March 23 in central Kiev of former State Duma lawmaker Denis Voronenkov," Zakharova said at a weekly briefing.

    Russia hopes that the Ukrainian investigation into ex-lawmaker Denis Voronenkov's killing will be carried out impartially without politics, she said.

    "Moscow hopes that law enforcement agencies of Ukraine will still be able to quickly solve the crime, determine its genuine mastermind and of course perpetrators without politicization based on objective data."

    The Russian former lawmaker was shot dead in central Kiev.

    Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin was briefed on Voronenkov's death in Kiev. He later commented on Kiev's accusations of Russia allegedly being behind Voronenkov's death by saying that the allegations are absurd. He added that Ukraine was unable to ensure Voronenkov's safety and stressed that "we hope that the killer and those who are behind those actions will be identified."

    Zakharova also commented on the allegations.

    "To be honest, at first we were shocked by what had happened, but even more shock was caused by statements by the president of Ukraine," Zakharova said at a briefing.

    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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    Maria Zakharova, Denis Voronenkov, Ukraine, Russia
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