Assassinations happen frequently enough in Ukraine that they are often just blips in the local news cycle. In 2006, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin signed a law legalizing targeted killings abroad, and Ukrainian officials say teams of Russian hit men operate freely inside the country.
“For the intelligence services, as bad as this sounds, murdering people is just part of the work flow,” said Oleksiy Arestovych, a retired officer in Ukraine’s military intelligence service. “They go to work, it’s their job. You have a work flow, you write articles. They have a workflow, they murder people.”
“It doesn’t really worry them,” he said. “They celebrate it, mark it, without much sentiment.”