Former Ukrainian Lawmaker Shot and Killed in Moscow

( – A pro-Russian Ukrainian legislator who fled to Moscow when Russia invaded has been found dead. Illia Kyva died from a gunshot wound in the head. A Ukrainian source says the country’s security agency assassinated him for treason.

When Russia massed troops on its border with Ukraine last February, most of the country’s politicians immediately put their differences aside and rallied around President Volodomyr Zelenskyy. Failed presidential candidate and Socialist Party leader Illia Kyva was one of the few exceptions. Kyva spoke out in support of Putin, urging him to invade — and then, before Russian tanks crossed the border, he fled. First he went to Spain, and then completed his defection and moved to Moscow. Last summer, as the Russian offensive began to falter. Kyva called on Putin to use weapons of mass destruction against his own country. Unsurprisingly, Ukraine accused him of treason.

After that outburst, Kyva became a regular guest on Russian talk shows, annoying Ukraine even more. In November, a court sentenced him to 14 years in jail for treason — but, with little chance of him ever returning to face arrest, it looks like Ukraine’s intelligence services decided to take more direct action. On December 6, Kyva was found in a Moscow suburb with a fatal gunshot wound to his head. Russia has now opened a murder investigation.

There’s probably no great mystery about who was behind the killing, though. Briefing journalists anonymously, a Ukrainian defense source said the SBU security service had killed Kyva. The renegade lawmaker is just one of several pro-Putin figures who’s been injured or killed in bomb and shooting attacks since the war began, and Russia has a habit of blaming Ukraine instead of one of the regime’s many internal enemies. However, it looks like this time Kyiv actually did send the assassin.

Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told journalists that Kyva was “done,” and warned that “other traitors… and accomplices of Putin’s regime” could expect the same fate.

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