THUGGERY: Former Russian lawmaker shot dead in Ukraine.

A former Russian lawmaker who became a vociferous critic of Moscow following his recent move to Ukraine was shot and killed in Kiev Thursday, prompting another war of words between the two countries.

Denis Voronenkov, who testified to Ukrainian investigators and criticized Russian policies after his move to Kiev last fall, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman near the entrance of an upscale hotel in the Ukrainian capital.

During the attack, Voronenkov’s bodyguard, who fired back, was wounded. Both were hospitalized but Ukrainian officials said the gunman, who they claimed was a Ukrainian citizen, later died from wounds in his chest and head.

Footage following the exchange of gunfire showed the three men lying on the sidewalk. Voronenkov’s bodyguard, a Ukrainian security services officer, was seen rolling on the ground and then being helped to an ambulance by paramedics.

The killing prompted an angry exchange between the two countries whose relations have soured badly in recent years following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Weak regimes can’t abide critics.