The Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office has established who ordered the assassination of former Russian parliamentarian Denis Voronenkov, who was killed in the Ukrainian capital in March.
Investigators believe it was Vladimir Tyurin, the ex-husband of Voronenkov’s wife, Maria Maksakova, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko announced today.
“We have now been able to identify all those involved,” Lutsenko said. “We will submit investigative materials on Voronenkov’s murder to the court…”
Lutsenko noted that the killer was shot by Voronenkov’s bodyguard after committing the assassination and later died from his wounds. Still, investigators were able to establish that it was a contract killing, he said. According to Lutsenko, Tyurin is a criminal leader under the control of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
“In autumn 2016, Voronenkov moved to Ukraine because of political persecution. In January, he gave testimony on [former President Viktor] Yanukovych’s treason. The FSB leadership prepared actions to eliminate this valuable witness,” Lutsenko said, explaining the logic of the crime.
He emphasized that Voronenkov also testified on the Russian Federation’s involvement in Ukraine’s occupied territories.
“Voronenkov’s actions raised concerns among the Kremlin’s higher echelons. According to the version of events accurately established by the investigation, the FSB leadership, along with the heads of Russia’s crime rings, organized the murder — or, from their point of view, the removal of this extremely valuable witness,” the Prosecutor General added.
According to Lutsenko, the crime’s motives were both political and personal — a combination of the Russian Federation’s concern over Voronenkov, who could have possessed information on Russia’s involvement in unreported military actions on Ukrainian territory, and Maksakova’s ex-husband’s desire for revenge.
“They divorced eight years ago. It’s impossible to only consider the personal motives,” Lutsenko said.
Tyurin has been informed that he is under investigation for organizing the murder together with a group of other individuals.
“We are carrying out a pretrial investigation. We will apply for Mr. Tyurin’s extradition,” the Prosecutor General noted.
Lutsenko also named the perpetrators of the crime: Ukrainian citizens Yury Vasylenko, Yaroslav Levenets, and Oleksandr Los.
The Prosecutor General’s Office previously stated that it had solved the murder of the former Russian MP, but that its conclusions could not yet be disclosed.
Voronenkov was shot dead at around 12 p.m. on March 23 next to the Premier Palace hotel in Kyiv. Since fleeing Russia, he had received Ukrainian citizenship and had served as a witness in the treason cases against Yanukovych.
Voronenkov’s wife Maksakova said that, before he was murdered, the Russian security services had interrogated his driver. Russian opposition politician Vladimir Milov has characterized Voronenkov’s murder is a signal to Russian politicians disloyal to Putin.