Yesterday, documents surfaced showing that former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort had received at least $750,000 in illegal payments from former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, who is about to be tried for treason in absentia in Ukraine.
Today, Denis Voronenkov was shot to death in the streets of Kiev in broad daylight, just a few weeks after he said he would testify against Yanukovych and his cohorts — Manafort included.
This is only the latest in a list of Russian dissidents to be murdered or die under mysterious circumstances since the U.S. Election. The timing of Voronenkov’s murder in conjunction with the latest revelations about Manafort — a man he was likely to incriminate — makes this latest tragedy all the more suspect.
News first broke of Manafort’s involvement in Russian criminal activity came in August when Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau revealed that Trump’s then Campaign Chair had been implicated in a shadow accounting scheme that allegedly earned him $12.7 million in illegal payments from President Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.
Manafort resigned four days later, however as we all now know, Russian agents continued to work on behalf of the Trump campaign.
The assassin also wounded Voronenkov’s body guard (who is expected to recover) before being shot by authorities. The assassin, who died in the hospital soon after, was a soldier in National Guard of Ukraine (not Russia as previously reported) and carried “a certificate proving his combatant status” — fueling questions about his ties to a government investigating its previous leader for treason on Russia’s behalf.
We all hope for a swift end to the killing of Russian dissidents. The revelations of Trump’s many ties to the Russian government, however, seem to be just getting started.