Ukrainian authorities appeared to claim credit for the assassination of Illia Kyva, a former presidential candidate and member of the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament), near Moscow on Wednesday.
Andriy Yusov, spokesman for the Ukrainian Military Intelligence Service, appeared to confirm the killing in a video, stating that Kyva was “one of the biggest scumbags, traitor, and collaborators,” and that his death was “justice”. Yusov added that “Such a fate will await other traitors of Ukraine.” According to the Kyiv Post, which cited a source in the Ukrainian special services, “He was eliminated with small arms.” Myrotvorets, a Ukrainian website that publishes a list of so-called “enemies of Ukraine”, and is reportedly controlled by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), changed Kyva’s status to ‘liquidated‘.
Illia Kyva, who held pro-Russia and Eurosceptic views was a member of the Verkhovna Rada from 2019 to 2022 for the “Opposition Platform — For Life” party, which was banned in 2022 by the Supreme Court of Ukraine. He had attempted to run for the presidency of Ukraine in 2019 but was defeated by now-President Volodymyr Zelensky. After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Kyva fled to Russia and sought asylum.
On November 13, 2023, the Lychakiv District Court of Lviv found Kyva guilty of four charges of treason and pro-Russian views and sentenced him to 14 years in jail in absentia with confiscation of his property. The ruling had not entered legal force as the courts gave Kyva thirty days to appeal the decision to the Lviv Court of Appeal.
This assassination appears to be the latest in a series allegedly perpetrated by the Ukrainian Military Intelligence Service, which included the killing of Darya Dugina, Vladlen Tatarsky and Oleh Popov. This has raised concerns about the extrajudicial nature of the killings. Extra-judicial and extra-legal killings are prohibited by Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both of which Ukraine is a signatory to. Extrajudicial killings also violate the United Nations’ Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions.