Russia investigates LPR Interior Minister Kornet’s involvement in murder

“LPR Interior Minister” Igor Kornet, whose efforts led to LPR head Igor Plotnitsky being overthrown, is involved in a court case for the murder of a Russian citizen. Artem Bulgakov, who served in Kornet’s security, died in November last year.

The Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) is investigating Bulgakov’s murder, RBC news agency reports.

The ICR’s order to conduct investigative and procedural activities in the case on Bulgakov’s death speaks about the presumed role of Kornet and LPR’s (Luhansk People’s Republic) first deputy prosecutor general Sergey Gorenko in covering up the evidence surrounding the murder.

Artem Bulgakov was born in 1989 in Sochi. He served in the expeditionary forces and signed up for contract service in 2010. Bulgakov’s mother told RBC news agency that she does not know the details of his service between 2010 and 2014, but after his death she was told that he was involved in special operations.

In June 2014 Bulgakov officially went into reserve, after serving in the 7th Guards Air Assault Division. That month he phoned his mother and told her that he was in Donetsk. According to her, he had gone to the Donbas as part of a Cossack squad from the “Slavic Union of Stavropol”. In the DPR, Bulgakov served in the special operations office of the prosecutor general’s office (PGO), as well as in the “reconnaissance battalion of Saint George the Victorious”. As of January 15, 2015, he was a shooter in the “Pyatnashka” brigade. He subsequently went to Luhansk and ended up working for the “Interior Minister of the LPR”.

Bulgakov died on November 9, 2016, having supposedly shot himself by mistake while cleaning his weapon. His mother did not receive compensation for his death, because he was officially employed on the day of his death.

The circumstances of Bulgakov’s death were determined by investigative procedures. It turned out that between September 25 and November 9, 2016, Bulgakov served in Kornet’s personal security. On November 9 during the day, he was at the administrative building of the “Interior Ministry” in Luhansk. According to the investigation, in corridor block B, a conflict arose between him and several Interior Ministry staff, and against the background of this hostility, one of the staff members took out a gun and pointed it at Bulgakov. Bulgakov tried with his left hand to point the barrel away from himself, but his opponent fired. The bullet went through his hand and into his chest, the ICR investigators note.

According to the ICR, the person who had fired reported the incident to Kornet, after which the “minister” ordered for the premises to be secured. According to the investigators, Kornet and LPR first deputy prosecutor general Sergey Gorenko decided to formulate the crime as an accident due to carelessness with a weapon.

The ICR has the jurisdiction to bring charges against and arrest the people under investigation in the Bulgakov case, RBC cites attorney Vadim Bagatury, a former member of Russia’s PGO, as saying.

According to him, the procedural bases for this are described in the Criminal Procedure Code: the case is being investigated following the murder of a Russian citizen. Since the law enforcement officials of the LPR are not dealing with the case, “the guilty parties need to be uncovered and punished by the Russian justice system”.

  Igor Kornet, LPR, Russia, Ukraine