Who is Denis Kireev? Did Ukraine Execute its Official Peace Negotiator For Spying for Russia?

Ukraine's peace negotiator was shot dead 'defending the nation' amid claims he was a 'double agent' working for Russia. Officials in Kyiv said Denis Kireev, 45, a spy and former banker, was killed during an operation "defending the nation".

The-45-year Kireev was killed defending the nation during an operation, said Ukraine's officials. He was hailed as a hero by the government hours after MPs claimed that Kireev committed "treason" and was executed by the country's intelligence agency.

Denis Kireev
Denis Kireev Pravda

Double Agent

The government hailed him a hero hours after MPs had earlier claimed he had committed "treason" and was executed by the Ukrainian intelligence agency.

Sources from Russia and Ukraine have claimed that Kireev was involved in spying activities and some even said that he could have been working for both sides. During the peace talk held between the two countries, Kireev's name was not on the list of Kyiv's official delegation but during the first round of peace talks last month the official took part in the meeting and was even pictured sitting at the Ukrainian side. So far, his role in the talks remains unclear.

Denis Kireev
Denis Kireev sits along with Ukrainian delegation during the first round of peace talks with Russia on Feb 28 Twitter/@AmichaiStein1

Died in SBU Detention

Kireev's pictures emerged online a day before, showing he was dead in a pool of blood. Claims were made that Kireev was executed in the center of Kyiv over spying for Moscow.

Meanwhile, Russia has also claimed that he was shot by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) while attempting to arrest him.

Some of Ukraine's senior politicians have stated that Kireev was dead in SBU detention.

It came as Ukraine's Defence Ministry last night confirmed that Kireev and two others were dead.

"During the execution of special tasks, three spies were killed - employees of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The fate of Alexei Ivanovich, Chibineev Valery Viktorovich, Denis Borisovich Kireev," said the official statement.

"They perished defending Ukraine, and their rank brought us closer to victory! We express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims. Heroes do not die! They live as long as we remember them! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!" the statement added.

Meanwhile, a Russian newspaper Pravda has said that Ukraine was aware of Kireev's activities and had clear evidence of his treason as Kyiv had his phone conversations.