Sources within the Ukrainian Government have claimed responsibility for the assassination of Illia Kyva, a prominent pro-Russian member of the country’s political opposition.
Kyva initially served as a member of the Socialist Party of Ukraine before moving to the Opposition Platform – For Life group in 2019, being elected to the country’s national Parliament under the group’s banner.
He fled Ukraine shortly before the 2022 Russian invasion.
According to Russian news agency Interfax, Kyva was shot dead in the rural Russian region of Suponevo. Investigators in the country said they have now opened a murder investigation.
Multiple Ukrainian sources later confirmed the death of the politician to media outlets in Ukraine and the West, claiming he had been killed at the hands of Ukraine’s SBU security services.
“The criminal was liquidated by using small arms,” sources told UK broadcaster the BBC regarding the apparent assassination.
Andrii Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence, did not publicly acknowledge whether or not Kyiv was behind the killing but emphasised that others, like Kyva, would end up “sharing the same fate”.
“We can confirm Kyva is no more,” he told Ukrainian television.
“And such a fate will befall other traitors of Ukraine, as well as the followers of Putin’s regime,” he added, describing Kyva as “one of the most disgusting scumbags, traitors and collaborators”.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko appears to have publicly turned on the country’s leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy and warned he will "pay for [his] mistakes" regarding the war with Russia. https://t.co/7TTD60AMlP
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) December 5, 2023
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor Kyiv, openly attacked President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier this month, warning in one Western media outlet that the country was drifting towards the same authoritarianism present in Russia.
While the criticisms made headlines across the world, they are not new. Rumours regarding the potentially undemocratic actions of the Ukrainian Government have been surfacing since last year.
Soon after the war began, Zelenskyy used martial law to ban 11 separate opposition parties in the country.
While most of the banned groups were relatively small, they included the then most prominent opposition party, Opposition Platform – For Life, of which Kyva was a member.
Zelenskyy also banned the Socialist Party of Ukraine, Kyva’s previous political party, for which Kyva had run to become the country’s president in 2019.
The European Union has not been properly monitoring the potentially fraudulent use of cash sent to Ukraine, MEPs have said. https://t.co/hMfSsBQ11w
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) December 6, 2023