A Ukrainian peace negotiator Denis Kireev has been killed amid claims that he was a Russian spy in the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, confirmed his death. It comes ahead of the latest round of talks to end the war during an operation to ‘defend the nation’.
Mr Kireev, a former banker, was seen sitting on the Ukrainian side of the negotiating table during peace talks with Russia last month. Daily Mail notes that he was not on the official delegation list and his role at the summit is unclear.
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,” the statement said. ”They perished defending Ukraine, and their rank brought us closer to victory!”
Responsibility for Mr Kireev’s death has been debated by both sides of the conflict. Russia has claimed that he was killed by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), while senior Ukrainian politicians have said Mr Kireev died while in SBU detention.
Russia’s Pravda reported that Ukraine had “clear evidence” of his “treason”, including phone conversations and Interfax-Ukraine reports that, Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Honcharenko said ” the Security Service of Ukraine shot dead a member of the Ukrainian negotiating delegation Denys Kireev. He was suspected of high treason.”