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Moscow doubts Kiev will conduct impartial probe into ex-Russian MP’s murder

March 23, 15:52 UTC+3

Voronenkov, a former State Duma member, was gunned down in a shootout in central Kiev earlier on Thursday

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Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Moscow is shocked by a brazen murder in Kiev of former Russian State Duma member Denis Voronenkov that has all signs of a staged incident, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.

"We are shocked by reports on the brazen murder of former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov today in downtown Kiev," Zakharova said. 

According to the Russian diplomat, there have been no impartial investigations into many high-profile cases in Ukraine.

"The response of Kiev and the global media, who put the blame of Russia within an hour after the murder, leaves no room for an impartial investigation," the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman added. "Such statements made in the first minutes following this tragedy indicate the true goals of the Ukrainian state. The state is either interested in the investigation and does everything possible to facilitate it or it stirs up hysteria around this bloody crime."

"Experts have not yet examined the surrounding area while the head of state already made statements accusing a whole country instead of ensuring an impartial investigation. At first, we were shocked at what had happened but we are even more shocked at Poroshenko’s statements," Zakharova said.

Moscow is also skeptical that Kiev may carry out an unbiased investigation into Voronenkov's murder in Kiev. Commenting on Pyotr Poroshenko’s statement that the murder is a "terrorist attack of Moscow," the diplomat said Russia doubts that the investigation can be impartial. "The killer regime, as it is already dubbed, apparently will make every effort this time so that no one knows the truth about what happened in Kiev today," she stressed.

"At the moment, data suggest that this is a contract murder that has all signs of a staged incident," she said.

However Moscow still expects that "Ukraine’s law enforcement officials will be able to swiftly solve the crime and find real masterminds behind it without politicizing the case," Zakharova stressed.

Voronenkov, a former State Duma member, was gunned down in a shootout in central Kiev earlier on Thursday. The politician was attacked by an unknown man wearing a balaclava, who fired several shots from a TT pistol. Later a shootout between the killer and Voronenkov’s bodyguard occurred. The guard and the attacker were taken to a hospital, where the killer died of wounds. 

The politician fled to Ukraine in October 2016 and in February he was officially charged with fraud in Russia and put on the international wanted list. He was granted Ukraine’s citizenship last December. Voronenkov was stripped of his immunity in December 2014 in connection with a criminal case into the illegal seizure of a building in downtown Moscow.

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