After the third round of peace talks concluded with small positive developments a few hours ago, it was reported that a Ukrainian negotiator who was part of the first Ukrainian delegation to the peace talks with Russia had suddenly died on March 5, as reported by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.

The official in question, Denis Kireev, aged 45, was a Ukrainian intelligence agent who was seen to be with the Ukrainian delegation during the 1st round of talks with Russia in Belarus.

According to an official list compiled by TASS, the Ukrainian delegation was composed of Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, along with Advisor to the Ukrainian Presidential Office Mikhail Podolyak, Servant of the People Head David Arakhamiya, Ukrainian legislator Rustem Umerov, Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolay Tochitsky, and First Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group Andrey Kostin.

Denis Kireev was not officially listed as part of the Ukrainian delegation. However, he was pictured to have participated in the meetings. The intelligence agent has formerly held senior positions in SKM Finance, the Austrian company Group SLAV AG, Ukreximbank, Oschadbank, as well as private equity Fund and Fixed Income Fund as per a report of the UAWire. His exact role in the delegation remains unclear.

The first and second rounds of negotiations notably failed to establish any meaningful breakthroughs, with ceasefires and humanitarian corridors unsuccessfully implemented following the bombing of Irpin, Vinnytsia, and Mariupol, which had claimed multiple civilian casualties.

Accounts of his death remain conflicting and elusive. The first account of his death was reported to be at the hands of the Ukrainian domestic security service (SBU) after a wiretapping mission. As reported by Interfax Ukraine, Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Honcharenko stated that Kireev was shot dead as he was suspected of high treason during an arrest. However, the flow of events leading up to the shooting remains unclear. Evidence was allegedly found that Kireev was feeding the Russians critical insider information within the inner circles of the Ukrainian government through telephone conversations. This allegation cannot be independently verified at this time.

Denis Kireev, in his capacity as a Ukrainian intelligence agent, allegedly had access to the office of the SBU head, Ivan Bakanov, and also the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense Kirill Budanov. This would have allowed him to feed classified information to the Russians. However, evidence remains sparse at this point as we wait further details and confirmation.

While he was suspected of being a Russian double agent, he was praised by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense’s Facebook page and was subsequently praised for his service. According to the post, three scouts were killed performing ‘special tasks’ under the Chief Intelligence Department, stating, “They died, defending Ukraine, and their actions brought us closer to victory!” Other Ukrainian servicemen included Alexey Ivanovich and Chibinyev Valery Viktorovich.

“Heroes don’t die! They live until we remember them! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!” the post said.

While the death of the Ukrainian negotiator remains shady and mysterious at best, Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak stated that no substantial improvements were negotiated upon during the third round of peace talks with Russia. Although, small improvements were made to ensure humanitarian corridors were safe from Russian shelling. The death of civilians had been the main issue for the Ukrainian government the past few days as Kremlin forces continued to seemingly target civilian structures and evacuees. This has led the world to compare Vladimir Putin to Hitler during World War II, raising an outcry from his own Russian population.

Currently, humanitarian corridors are on their way to effectively function as a safe passage for evacuation but not without Russian shelling, a theme that has been recurring during the past days. NEXTA has recently reported that the Russians had shelled a bus carrying evacuees along with a number of villages in Kyiv. Bombings in Kharkiv also claimed four lives throughout the night bombardments, but despite the onslaught, 600,000 residents had already evacuated the city.
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