Ilya Kiva, who was a Member of Parliament in Ukraine until the war started and dissenting lawmakers were purged, was shot in the head in an assassination claimed by the Ukrainian intelligence service.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed they were responsible for the killing of a former Member of Parliament of the nation who was found dead in Moscow, Russia, Ukrinform reports. The report from the Ukrainian state news outlet described Ilya Kiva as a “top traitor, collaborator and propagandist… criminal” and stated he was “liquidated” with “small arms”, or gunfire.
The BBC reports a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence not only confirmed the state-sanctioned assassination but said more would follow. He is claimed to have said: “yes, we can confirm Kyva is no more. This fate will befall other traitors of Ukraine and puppets of Putin’s regime.” The outlet said his body was found in a village to the west of Moscow and that Russian police were investigating. The Mail stated he was found with “a gunshot wound to the head”.
The former Presidential candidate had been a parliamentarian for the pro-Moscow ‘Opposition Platform — For Life’ party in Ukraine’s Parliament but was stripped of his seat in 2022 after he spoke out in favour of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Days after Kiva was kicked out of Parliament, his entire party — along with 11 other Ukrainian pro-Russia parties — was banned as part of the nation’s state of emergency martial law rules.
Kiva fled Ukraine to Russia, and was convicted in absentia of high treason for his support of Russian military action. In an April 2022 interview, Kiva had said “Zelensky, his entourage and western curators” were afraid of Russian nuclear weapons and claimed that Zelensky himself was a drug addict. Kiva has also previously accused Zelensky of using assassination plots to get rid of his political rivals.
The killing came just days after Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko grabbed headlines worldwide with a rare expression of dissent from a serving Ukrainian politician, expressing his concern that “Ukraine would soon “no longer be any different from Russia”.
It also comes amid a slew of other former Ukrainian opposition lawmakers — “traitors” — apparently also eliminated. Kyiv claimed responsibility for the killing of another pro-Russian Ukrainian politician last month, with Mikhail Filiponenko of the Russian-occupied Luhansk region being killed by car bomb. The Ukrainian intelligence directorate warned then that “traitors to Ukraine and collaborators with terrorist Russia in temporarily occupied territories … will receive just retribution! The hunt continues!”.
Another apparent car bomb killing took place just today, although in this case the Ukrainian state has not yet claimed responsibility. Oleg Popov, also a Ukrainian collaborating with the Russian occupation of Luhansk was killed after his car exploded, reports Le Monde. The New York Post states Popov had already survived one alleged assassination attempt last year and that sources claimed the SBU were responsible for his killing today, but that has not been confirmed.