KYIV — Ukrainian safety brokers had been liable for killing a Ukrainian banker who reportedly served as a vital info conduit and negotiator with Russia within the run-up to final 12 months’s invasion, a prime intelligence official stated.
The feedback, made by Normal Kyrylo Budanov in an interview with RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, add additional to the thriller surrounding the killing of Denys Kiryeyev, who was reportedly honored for his work 4 months after his dying.
Budanov, who heads Ukraine’s army intelligence company, stated “he believes the details” and that Kiryeyev, who was a full-time worker of the company, was killed by the Safety Service of Ukraine, extensively generally known as the SBU. Budanov didn’t say how lengthy Kiryeyev had labored for the company.
The brokers killed Kiryeyev in an SBU automobile as they “carried out an operation” in opposition to him, he stated.
“It is a undeniable fact that he was killed in that automobile by these operatives,” Budanov, whose company is named the GUR, stated in a January 21 telephone interview.
Requested particularly if SBU brokers killed “a Ukrainian hero,” he informed RFE/RL: “That is completely true.”
Budanov’s feedback got here three days after a Wall Road Journal (WSJ) story that examined the work of Kiryeyev, who had been employed for a number of Western banks and had developed ties with highly effective businessmen within the japanese Ukrainian area of Donetsk who had sturdy connections to Russia.
Kiryeyev’s physique was discovered on a Kyiv sidewalk on March 5, 12 days after Russia launched its invasion.
In response to WSJ, Kiryeyev was investigated by the SBU on suspicion of passing info to Russian officers.
The SBU declined to reply questions from RFE/RL concerning Budanov’s assertions. Ukraine’s predominant regulation enforcement company, the State Bureau of Investigation, declined to touch upon Budanov’s assertion that it had opened a legal probe of the killing.
Within the interview, Budanov stated that on the day of Kiryeyev’s dying he had been summoned for a gathering with SBU officers. He was accompanied by two GUR bodyguards, Budanov stated, which was customary protocol.
On their approach to the SBU headquarters, he stated, the automobile Kiryeyev and his escorts had been driving in was stopped by armed brokers from the SBU’s tactical unit, generally known as Alfa.
“Roughly 200 meters from the SBU’s predominant constructing, a bus pulled out, that’s, broke into oncoming site visitors,” he stated. “Alfa brokers ran out shouting ‘SBU!’ Brokers burst out, saying they had been from the SBU.”
“Kiryeyev informed everybody to cease,” Budanov stated. “Then he was transferred to a minibus that went to not the central constructing however a number of blocks away. Then what occurred is what occurred. His physique fell out of that van. These are the details. Why did not they go to the SBU constructing? Let the investigation reply this query.”
Budanov confirmed that Kiryeyev had participated in high-level talks with Russian officers held in Belarus simply 4 days after the invasion, and he stated that the day earlier than his dying Kiryeyev was slated to journey by practice once more to Belarus for extra talks — at Budanov’s directive.
“What was the aim? I despatched him there. And the primary time and the second time, he needed to get on the practice proper after he was supposed to go to the SBU,” Budanov stated. “The primary job we set for him was to extend the [negotiating] course of as a way to purchase time. As a result of Mr. Kiryeyev personally knew two individuals from the negotiation course of who represented the Russian aspect.”
In an interview with the Baltic information company Delfi on January 19, Mykhaylo Podolyak, a prime adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has stated Kiryeyev was killed resulting from a scarcity of coordination between the SBU and Budanov’s company.
Requested if he agreed with Podolyak’s evaluation, Budanov stated: “I consider that the matter is way deeper. Nevertheless, I’ll hold my opinion to myself. Let’s consider solely the details.”
In feedback to RFE/RL, Fedir Venislavskiy, a parliamentary lawmaker and member of Zelenskiy’s political faction, instructed that within the aftermath of the Russian invasion there had been a number of examples of “pleasant fireplace” involving rival Ukrainian safety companies.
“Sadly, such ‘pleasant’ fireplace killed individuals from numerous parts of the safety and protection sector,” he stated.
One other lawmaker, Roman Kostenko, who serves in a distinct political faction, stated the SBU should clarify what precisely occurred and why. And even when Kiryeyev had been a Russian agent, he ought to have been prosecuted in Ukrainian courts.
“We should always not flip into the Russian Federation, the place sentences are handed down someplace on the road or on the curbs,” he informed RFE/RL.
In July, Zelenskiy fired his childhood good friend and head of the SBU, Ivan Bakanov. The Ukrainian chief additionally sacked dozens of generals and different prime officers within the SBU for his or her alleged function in permitting the Russian invasion to go ahead.
Zelenskiy additionally gave a posthumous honor to Kiryeyev for “distinctive responsibility in protection of state sovereignty and state safety,” in accordance with WSJ, and was buried with army honors in a Kyiv cemetery.
RFE/RL was unable to verify Kiryeyev’s posthumous honor.