The assassin who gunned down a prominent Russian opposition figure on a sidewalk in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev was identified by Ukrainian officials on Friday as a 28-year-old Russian agent.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the country’s interior minister, identified the agent as Pavel Parshov, who had undergone “a special course at a school for saboteurs,” he said in a Facebook post. The gunman was himself grievously wounded by a bodyguard for the target, Denis N. Voronenkov, and subsequently died in the hospital. The allegation was immediately dismissed by Dmitri S. Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, as “absurd.”
Mr. Voronenkov was a member of the Russian Parliament before defecting to Ukraine last year with his wife, Maria Maksakova, also a politician. He had offered to testify for the prosecution in a criminal case against Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Russia-aligned president of Ukraine who was driven from office by street demonstrators in 2014. He promised to deliver an insider’s account of the Kremlin’s deliberations and actions during the annexation of Crimea the same year.
A former prosecutor before joining Parliament, Mr. Voronenkov had socialized with people in Mr. Putin’s circle, including Vladislav Surkov, a political adviser to Mr. Putin who attended Mr. Voronenkov’s wedding.
The Ukrainian National Guard released a statement saying that Mr. Parshov had enlisted and served from 2015 to 2016, before being dismissed for breach of contract. His exact offense was not specified.
Critics and opponents of Mr. Putin and his Kremlin cronies have been assassinated in a variety of ways over the years, often in spectacular fashion so as to send a message, Kremlin watchers say. The most celebrated was the poisoning of Alexander V. Litvinenko with a rare and deadly radioactive isotope, polonium 210, administered in a drink in the Millennium Hotel in London in 2006.
When the prominent opposition figure Boris Y. Nemtsov was murdered in 2015, his body fell on the sidewalk of a bridge with the Kremlin and the domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral as a backdrop.
Sometimes the killings are more prosaic. Numerous potential witnesses to the death of Sergei L. Magnitsky, a lawyer who died of neglect in a Russian prison, have disappeared, been poisoned or suffered “heart attacks” that were later found to be the result of ingesting a rare Chinese herb.
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