A Ukrainian peace negotiator has been shot dead on Saturday ahead of the latest round of talks to end the war amid claims he was a Russian spy.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence said Denis Kireev, 45, was a spy and former banker who was killed during an operation to ‘defend the nation’.
After his death, the government hailed him as a ‘hero’ but MPs claimed he was shot and killed by Ukraine’s security service after resisting arrest on suspicion of ‘treason’.
Both Russia and Ukraine have made claims about his alleged spying activities, each blaming him for working for the other side.
Last month, he was pictured sitting on the Ukrainian side of the negotiating table during a summit with Russia on February 28
Boris Johnson has drawn up a six-point plan to defeat Vladimir Putin as he moves to assume leadership of global efforts to end the horror of war in Ukraine.
The Russian newspaper Pravda reported that Ukraine’s security service had ‘clear evidence’ of his suspected treason, which included telephone conversations.
An official statement from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence said:
During the execution of special tasks, three spies were killed – employees of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The fate of Alexei Ivanovich, Chibineev Valery Viktorovich, Denis Borisovich Kireev.
They perished defending Ukraine, and their rank brought us closer to victory!
We express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims.
Heroes do not die! They live as long as we remember them!
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!
Photographs were posted online yesterday allegedly showing Mr Kireev dead before rumours that he was spying for Russia began circulating.
Russia claimed he was killed by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), while senior Ukrainian politicians claimed he died while in SBU detention.
More: Daily Mail