Kiva was known in Ukraine for being a populist politician and changing his party affiliation and ideology several times. Before Russia’s full-scale invasion he was associated with several high-level corruption scandals. At one time he took public positions that were anti-Russian, even fighting against Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine’s east, and was elected to Parliament in 2019 before switching sides to become pro-Kremlin.
Since his flight to Moscow, Kiva was a frequent participant in talk shows on Russian state television during which he blasted the Ukrainian leadership. Last month, a court in Ukraine sentenced him to 14 years in prison in absentia on charges of treason.
Kiva’s killing follows a slew of other attacks on prominent war supporters in Russia.
Ukraine’s security service on Wednesday also took credit for a car bomb that killed Oleh Popov, an official in Luhansk, a city in the Donbas region currently under Russian control. Ukraine considered Popov “an entirely lawful target” because it believed him to be in charge of Russian forces that had killed Ukrainians, a law enforcement officer familiar with the matter told NBC News.
In August 2022, Darya Dugina, the daughter of Russian nationalist ideologist Alexander Dugin, died in a car bomb explosion outside Moscow.
And in April, Vladlen Tatarsky, a prominent Russian military blogger, was killed by a bomb that was planted in a bust depicting him. He was given the artwork at a meeting at a cafe in St. Petersburg. The explosion wounded 52 people. A Russian woman accused of giving him the bomb at the behest of the Ukrainian military intelligence is currently on trial.
In May, Zakhar Prilepin, a Russian nationalist writer and pro-war activist who fought in Ukraine, was wounded in a car bombing.
And in October, another former pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker who fled the country, Oleg Tsaryov, was shot and wounded in an attack in Crimea.
Russian authorities have blamed Ukrainian security agencies for those and other attacks in Russia.