MOSCOW – Not everyone who has a quarrel with Russian President Vladimir Putin dies in violent or suspicious circumstances — far from it. But enough loud critics of Putin’s policies have been murdered that Thursday’s daylight shooting of a Russian who sought asylum in Ukraine has led to speculation of Kremlin involvement.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the shooting in Kiev of Denis Voronenkov, a former Russian Communist Party member who began sharply criticizing Putin after fleeing Russia in 2016, an “act of state terrorism by Russia.”

Former Russian lawmaker shot dead in broad daylight in Ukraine

 

Denis Voronenkov, who had fled to Ukraine and was a key witness in a treason case against former president Viktor Yanukovich, has been killed outside a hotel in Kiev. (Reuters)

That drew a sharp rebuke from Putin’s spokesman, who called the accusation “absurd.” Throughout the years, the Kremlin has always dismissed the notion of political killings with scorn.