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A former Ukrainian lawmaker who fled to Russia found shot dead outside of Moscow


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A renegade Ukrainian lawmaker who fled to Russia shortly after Moscow's invasion was found dead on Wednesday near Moscow. The Ukrainian military intelligence lauded the killing, warning that other “traitors of Ukraine” would share the same fate.

Illia Kyva, 46, a former member of Ukraine's parliament who had called for Kyiv to surrender when Russian troops invaded the country in February 2022, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in a cottage village near Moscow.

Russia's state Investigative Committee opened a probe on murder charges.

Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence, said in televised remarks that Kyva was “done,” adding that “the same fate will befall other traitors of Ukraine and accomplices of Putin's regime.”

Before going over to the Russian side, Kyva had fought against Moscow-backed separatist rebels in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk and was elected to parliament in 2019.

Since his flight to Moscow, Kyva was a frequent participant in talk shows on Russian state television during which he blasted the Ukrainian leadership. Last month, a court in Ukraine sentenced him to 14 years in prison in absentia on charges of treason.

Kyva's killing follows a slew of other attacks on prominent war supporters in Russia.

In August 2022, Darya Dugina, the daughter of Russian nationalist ideologist Alexander Dugin, died in a car bomb explosion outside Moscow.

And in April, Vladlen Tatarsky, a prominent Russian military blogger was killed by a bomb that was planted in a bust depicting him. He was given the artwork at a meeting at a cafe in St. Petersburg . The explosion wounded 52 people. A Russian woman accused of giving him the bomb at the behest of the Ukrainian military intelligence is currently on trial.

In May, Zakhar Prilepin, a Russian nationalist writer and pro-war activist who fought in Ukraine, was wounded in a car bombing.

And in October, another former pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker who fled the country, Oleg Tsaryov, was shot and wounded in an attack in Crimea.

Russian authorities have blamed Ukrainian security agencies for those and other attacks in Russia.