Ukrainian peace negotiator is shot dead ahead of latest round of talks to end war – amid claims he was a Russian spy

A Ukrainian peace negotiator has been shot dead ahead of the latest round of talks to end the war amid claims he was a Russian spy.  

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence said Denis Kireev, 45, was a spy and former banker who was killed during an operation to ‘defend the nation’. 

After his death, the government hailed him as a ‘hero’ but MPs claimed he was shot and killed by Ukraine’s security service after resisting arrest on suspicion of ‘treason’.

Mr Kireev was pictured sat on the Ukrainian side of the negotiating table during last week’s peace talks with Russia on February 28, despite not being on the official delegation list, and his role at the summit is unclear.

Both Russia and Ukraine have made claims about his alleged spying activities, each blaming him of working for the other side. 

Russian newspaper Pravda reported that Ukraine’s security service had ‘clear evidence’ of his suspected treason, which included telephone conversations. 
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.
‘They perished defending Ukraine, and their rank brought us closer to victory!
‘We express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims.
‘Heroes do not die! They live as long as we remember them!
‘Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!’

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