Former communist member of Russia's State Duma (lower house of parliament) Denis Voronenkov was killed in a shootout in Ukraine's capital of Kiev on Thursday. Now, many are wondering who was Denis Voronenkov, the victim of the attack, which quickly earned worldwide attention.
Voronenkov, a former member of Russia's Communist Party, moved to Ukraine from Russian Federation in the fall of 2016 with his wife, the singer and MP Maria Maksakova.
Voronenkov and his wife, Maria Maksakova, also a former Russian politician, fled Russia and emigrated to Kiev a year ago amid allegations of criminal activity.
After leaving Russian Federation, he became openly critical of Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014, testifying in a case against Ukraine's former pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted earlier that year.
"We conducted a multi-stage special operation to defang the network overseen by Russian special services", Oleksandr Tkachuk, department chief of the Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, said Thursday, according to Radio Poland.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov immediately dismissed speculation of Russian involvement, calling the claims "absurd". In December, he received Ukrainian citizenship. He had been on his way to meet with Ilya Ponomarev, also a former Duma member, who was the only person to vote against the annexation of Crimea.
Denis Voronenkov left Russian Federation after saying he was persecuted by security agencies.
He added that Mr Voronenkov's widow was welcome to return to Russian Federation.
Voronenkov had been under a microscope after he sided with Ukrainian investigators against Viktor Yanukovych, the nation's former pro-Russian president, in a probe into the activities of the former president.
The man identified by police as Voronenkov's assassin was laying on the sidewalk only 10 meters away from his victim.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow was "shocked" by the killing.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian authorities said they saw the hand of Russian Federation behind the murder. "Yes, I confirm, it is Denis Voronenkov", he said.
"We hope that the killer and those behind the murder will be exposed", Peskov said.
He was a member of the state Duma and on Russia's federal wanted list, as well as on an global wanted list, charged with masterminding fraud.