Reports claim Ukraine negotiator shot for treason; officials say he died in intel op

Local media claimed Denis Kireev was killed during an attempt to arrest him; but defense ministry says he died a ‘hero’

Denis Kireev (social media)
Denis Kireev (social media)

Clashing reports emerged Saturday surrounding the death of a Ukrainian identified by media as a member of the country’s negotiating team with Russia.

First, widespread reports in local media and social media throughout the day claimed Denis Kireev, who had been photographed taking part in negotiations in Belarus in recent days, had been killed by Ukrainian security forces during an attempt to arrest him.

Kireev, the reports asserted, had been suspected of treason.

A subsequent Facebook post by Ukrain’s defense ministry confirmed Kireev’s death, but asserted that he was an intelligence operative for Ukraine who died in the line of duty.

“During the performance of special tasks, three scouts were killed — employees of the Chief Intelligence Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine,” the statement said, naming Kireev among those killed.

“They died, defending Ukraine, and their act brought us closer to victory,” it said. “Heroes don’t die! They live so long as we remember them!”

Під час виконання спеціальних завдань, загинули три розвідники — співробітники Головного управління розвідки…

Posted by Головне управління розвідки Міністерства оборони України on Saturday, March 5, 2022

No official comment was made on the claims of treason or reports that Kireev was killed by Ukrainian authorities.

The discrepancies between the two conflicting accounts of his death could not be immediately accounted for.

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