Ukraine has shared a disturbing video and photos documenting its assassination of a former local politician who defected to Russia, saying his killing is a warning to “all traitors and war criminals.”
Ilya Kyva, 46, had been publicly labeled a traitor by Kyiv for defecting to Moscow and siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Kyva was gunned down in a snow-covered park in Odintsovo, a suburb of the capital, on Wednesday.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the country’s intelligence agency, released photos showing Kyva’s body lying lifeless in the snow with drops of blood around it.
Photos of the scene were taken in the grounds of Velich Country Club, seen as a safe house for the Ukrainian.
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Another image purportedly displayed the handgun and knife used to kil him, showing the weapons hanging from a nearby tree, with a pair of binoculars apparently used by the assassin to track his target.
A chilling video also released by the Ukrainian spy service shows the suspected assassin discussing his stakeout position, which he jokingly refers to as his “office” with a “red carpet,” as well as a route for him to escape to a bus stop close by.
The video then shows on a figure walking through the snowdrift in the distance. It is not clear whether that figure was Kyva.
According to local authorities, Kyva died at the scene from gunshot wounds. Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a murder probe.
“[Kyva’s killing] serves as a signal to all traitors and war criminals who have sided with the enemy,” an SBU source told Ukrinform. “Remember: Russia will not protect you. Death is the only prospect awaiting enemies of Ukraine.”
Kyva had been a member of the Ukrainian parliament representing the Socialist party from 2017 to 2019.
He fled to Russia via Spain before the before Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
He remained in Russia until his death, often criticizing Ukrainian authorities, and President Volodymyr Zelensky himself, on state-controlled Russian television programs and in social media posts.
Kyva had sought political asylum and citizenship from Russia, and was sentenced in absentia to 14 years in prison for charges including treason and incitement to violence by a Ukrainian court.
Ukraine military intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov said: “We can confirm that Kyva is the real deal.