The former Defense Minister of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, and recently an active blogger, Igor Girkin (aka Strelkov), was detained in Russia.
" I managed to find out from our friends that my husband was charged under Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (extremism). I don't know anything about my husband's whereabouts, he didn't get in touch with me. I was not at home at the time of his arrest," Girkin’s wife Miroslava Reginskaya wrote on her husband's Telegram page.
Russian news agency RBC confirmed this information citing sources in Russian law enforcement agencies and Girkin's lawyer. The Russian Investigative Committee is reportedly carrying out a search warrant in his apartment. According to preliminary data, the detention was carried out at the request of "a former employee of the Wagner PMC".
Igor Girkin is a former FSB officer. Since April 2014, he has commanded pro-Russian combat units in eastern Ukraine. In November 2022, a court in the Netherlands sentenced Strelkov in absentia to life imprisonment, finding him guilty in the downing of a Boeing in the Donetsk region in 2014. Then 298 people died in the crash.
Girkin has repeatedly criticized the Russian authorities and the Russian Defense Ministry for failures in the war with Ukraine. The other day, he lashed out at the commander-in-chief himself, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"For 23 years, the country was headed by a nonentity who managed to "throw dust in the eyes" of a significant part of the population. Now it is the last island of legitimacy and stability of the state. To shackle him illegally means to "successfully complete" the work of those who put this Unique Majesty on the throne in their time. But the country will not be able to survive another 6 years with this cowardly mediocrity in power," Girkin said.
Earlier, Russian GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov was charged with an administrative offense for "discrediting" the Russian army. Kvachkov is Girkin’s associate and one of the founders of “Club of Angry Patriots". For many years, Strelkov was considered untouchable. He was not bothered during the long 17 months of the war. He allowed himself much harsher statements about the course of the "special military operation" than those for which politician Ilya Yashin received eight and a half years in prison, and Moscow deputy Alexei Gorinov received seven years, notes Ilya Barabanov, special correspondent of the BBC Russian Service.
In his opinion, after the failed rebellion of the Wagner PMC, the Russian authorities decided to act in a new way and go after those who support the war but believe that the Russian military command is conducting it very poorly.