Banned Ukraine Opposition Leader Found Dead in Moscow

Global assassination campaign: strong or weak?


The body of a former Ukrainian opposition lawmaker, Ilya Kiva, has been found in Moscow Region, Russian media reported on Wednesday. The politician was known as a staunch critic of President Vladimir Zelensky.

Kiva’s body was reportedly found on the grounds of the ‘Velich Country Club’ hotel near a cottage where he was residing. He was allegedly lying face down in a pool of blood in deep snow, several Russian media outlets reported, citing law enforcement sources. The man suffered a wound to the head according to TASS, citing its source.

Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman, Andrey Yusov, later stated that Ukrainian security services were behind the attack, news outlet ‘Strana’ reported. Other media claimed that country’s domestic security service, the SBU, orchestrated the assault.

Russian officials have not commented on the incident so far.

Kiva was a Ukrainian MP from 2019 to 2022 and a member of the ‘Opposition Platform – For Life’ party, which was officially banned by Kiev in June 2022. Kiva himself was a fierce critic of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the government’s pro-NATO policies. In a 2022 interview, he slammed the US and NATO for, as he said, using Ukraine as “bait” to provoke Russia into a conflict.

The politician left Ukraine not long before the start of Russian military action in February 2022, moving first to Spain and then to Russia. Ukraine stripped him of his mandate in mid-March 2022, less than a month after the start of Moscow’s operation. Ukrainian law enforcement also charged him with state treason the same month, accusing him of “doing everything” to invite the “Russian aggressors” to the country.

He was eventually sentenced in absentia to 14 years behind bars in Ukraine. In his last social media post, dated Wednesday morning, Kiva accused Zelensky of “drowning the [Ukrainian] people in blood,” adding that fleeing abroad or committing suicide would be the only two options for him since the US Senate has yet to approve a bill to fund further Ukraine military aid.

Yeah, definitely drowned in blood.

The number of deaths is truly incredible.

Clearing out half the country’s population is no small feat either.

No one has ever lost a war this bad for this long and refused to surrender and not been overthrown by the population.

So I guess technology has helped tyrannies a lot.

Maybe Ukrainian political refugees should get state protection in Russia until the war is over? At least if they agree to live in central Moscow where protection won’t be expensive or logistically complicated.

That said, the guy could have just chosen to live in a part of Moscow, near the GUM or Arbat, where security is currently so high that an assassination would have been more or less impossible.

I don’t know why anyone would want to live anywhere other than those neighborhoods in Moscow anyway. Most parts of Moscow are still miserable late-Soviet monstrosities.

Anyway, unless the individual is being difficult and resisting security, high value targets being killed in Moscow should be avoided as best as possible. If Russia establishes a record of protecting people, they’re likely to get more high level Ukraine defections as the state collapses, which will look good on them.