Denis Voronenkov

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Denis Woronenkow, Denis Voroņenkovs, Денис Вороненков, Денис Николаевич Вороненков, Denis Woronienkow
Assistant Professor, Communist, Communist Party worker, Duma deputy, Lawyer, Member of Parliament, Nominee, Pedagogue, teacher, Professor, Public figure, Scientist, Statesman, Victim of crime
Zvirynets, Zvirynetske Cemetery

Denis Nikolayevich Voronenkov (Russian: Денис Николаевич Вороненков; 10 April 1971 – 23 March 2017) was a Russian politician and member of the State Duma (2011–2016). After stepping down as a member of the parliament in 2016, Voronenkov left Russia and settled in Ukraine with his wife Maria Maksakova Jr. After settling in Ukraine, he became a vocal critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russian foreign policy. He was killed in Kiev on 23 March 2017.

Personal life and family

Voronenkov was born in Gorky, Russian SFSR, but had a Ukrainian grandmother and (according to his widow) he spent his childhood in Ukraine's Kherson Oblast. Voronenkov married former fellow Russian MP and opera singer Maria Maksakova Jr. in March 2015. The couple met while working on a bill regulating the export of cultural artefacts. Each of them had two children from previous relationships. Their son was born in April 2016. Voronenkov's first two children are his daughter Xenia (b. 2000) and his son Nicholas from his first marriage with Yulia.


Denis Voronenkov held the rank of colonel in the Russian military. He worked in law enforcement since 1995. In 2000 Voronenkov became an employee for the State Duma faction of the party Unity. In April 2001 Voronenkov was detained while taking a bribe of $10,000 to lobby for the interest of Yevgeny Trostentsov in the State Duma, but the case was closed next July. In 2001 he was shortly an advisor of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation before becoming the Deputy Mayor of Naryan-Mar and Deputy Governor of Nenets Autonomous District. Voronenkov then worked for the Federal Drug Control Service of Russia from 2004 until 2007. He then perused an academic career as Associate Professor; his last post before being elected an MP was (from February 2010) at the St. Petersburg Institute of International Trade, Economics and Law.

Political career

Voronenkov was elected as a deputy for the Communist faction in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, in 2011. As an MP, he participated in making legislation that banned foreign ownership of Russian media, a move that has been described as seriously curtailing media freedom in Russia. He lost his bid for reelection in September 2016, taking third place (13.99%) in constituency №129, located in his native Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, well behind the winner, United Russia candidate Vladimir Panov (42.39%). He stepped down from the State Duma in October. Later that month, Voronenkov announced that he had given up his Russian citizenship and left for Ukraine, where he was naturalized as a Ukrainian citizen in December. Voronenkov said that he had no intention of entering Ukrainian politics. He was expelled from the Communist Party in 2016.

After Voronenkov moved to Ukraine, he became known as a sharp critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russian policy towards Ukraine. Before stepping down as an MP in Russia, he had however taken part in the parliamentary vote to annex Crimea from Ukraine, for which he was criticised in Ukraine. Although his vote was registered, he stated that he was not present in parliament on that day. In 2014 he had also voiced support for the breakaway regions of Novorossiya in the east of Ukraine, which added to the criticism of him in Ukraine. In 2017 he was however an outspoken critic of Russian intervention in Ukraine and elsewhere, e.g. in Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in February 2017, Voronenkov compared Russia under Vladimir Putin to Nazi Germany and called the Russian annexation of Crimea both illegal and a mistake. He described the atmosphere in Russia as characterised by a "pseudo-patriotic frenzy" and "total fear". At the time of his death, he had been due to testify against former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Voronenkov stated that he was persecuted in Russia by the Russian Federal Security Service whom he accused of being involved in drug trafficking. In October 2016 the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office refused to launch a probe against Voronenkov recommended by the Investigative Committee of Russia. He was accused of being involved in an illegal property seizure (worth 127 million rubles) in Moscow. According to BBC News at the time of his relocation to Ukraine Russian investigators were preparing a corruption case against Voronenkov but were waiting for his parliamentary immunity to run out in December 2016. In March 2017 a court in Moscow had sanctioned Voronenkov's arrest in absentia in connection with his alleged illegal property seizure in Moscow. Voronenkov himself dismissed the Russian accusations as politically motivated and fake, and stated that the Federal Security Service had offered him to write off the accusations against him if he would pay them 3 million USD.


Voronenkov was shot and killed in Kiev on 23 March 2017. Ukraine's General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko stated that Voronenkov was shot at least three times, including in the head, and died instantly. He was on his way to meet Ilya Ponomarev, another former Russian MP who also lives in exile in Ukraine. His assailant was wounded by Voronenkov's bodyguard (according to The Guardian this bodyguard was provided by the Ukrainian Security Service) and taken to hospital, where he later died from his wounds, according to the authorities. The gunman carried a Ukrainian passport and had been sought by the police on fraud and money laundering charges, according the General Prosecutor of Ukraine. Anton Gerashchenko, an official with Ukraine's Interior Ministry, confirmed that the murderer was serving in National Guard of Ukraine. A police spokesman said the murder was likely a contract killing. Voronenkov's bodyguard was also wounded during the incident.

The president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko reacted to the murder by calling it an act of Russian "state terrorism". Russian officials denied being involved and called the claims "absurd". Russian MP and former Director of the Russian Federal Security Service Nikolay Kovalyov said to Russian TV that he believed the murder may be linked to a business dispute. Ponomarev reacted to the murder by stating: "I have no words. The security guard was able to injure the attacker. The potential theory is obvious. Voronenkov was not a crook, but an investigator who was fatally dangerous to Russian authorities." Ukraine's General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko called the murder a "typical show execution of a witness by the Kremlin."

A little more than a month before his murder, Voronenkov said that he feared for his own and his family's security, and that he had been "poking a sore spot of the Kremlin" with his criticism of the Russian president. In a March 2017 interview, he referred to "demonization" in Russia and stated that "The system has lost its mind. They say we are traitors in Russia. And I say, ‘Who did we betray?’"


Source: wikipedia.org, timenote.info, news.lv

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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        Ма́рия Максакова-ИгенбергсWife24.07.1977
        2Peter  IgenbergsPeter IgenbergsFather in-law25.09.193703.01.2018
        Людмила МаксаковаMother in-law26.09.1940
        4Александр ЩетининАлександр ЩетининFamiliar27.08.196227.08.2016
        5Maksym  ShapovalMaksym ShapovalEmployee00.00.197827.06.2017
        6Степан КиселёвСтепан КиселёвPartymate10.01.193818.07.2002
        7Павел ПаршовПавел ПаршовCulprit28.07.198823.03.2017