Denis Kireyev, a Ukrainian intelligence operative and a delegate at the first round of peace talks with Russia, was killed while carrying out a mission, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense (GUR) said in a Facebook post on March 5.
According to the GUR, two other Ukrainian intelligence operatives were killed under similar circumstances, besides Kireyev: Oleksiy Dolya and Valeriy Chibineyev.
“They died defending Ukraine; their deeds have brought us closer to victory!” GUR’s post reads.
Earlier reports by the Ukrayinska Pravda news outlet suggested that Kireyev was shot by Ukraine’s SBU security service while resisting arrest. He was alleged to have committed high treason via “phone calls” with the enemy.
Since the outbreak of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the sides have met for talks twice – on Feb. 28 and March 4.
While Kireyev was not mentioned in the official list of Ukrainian delegates at these talks, he can be seen in photos and videos from the Feb. 28 round in Homel, Belarus.
When the fugitive former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was in power, Kireyev was the deputy governor of the state-owned Oschadbank, from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, he was a member of the oversight board of UkrExImBank, from 2006 to 2012.
In February, Ukrainian TV news Channel 5 reported that, according to their investigation, Kireyev may have been an asset of the Russian security services.