Prosecutors asked for the arrest of Strelkov, as he has "conspiracy skills” obtained in the operational unit. The ex-minister referred to angina pectoris and asked for house arrest.
A Moscow court issued an arrest warrant for the former head of the Ministry of Defence of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Igor Strelkov (aka Girkin). A criminal case was initiated against him under Part 2 of Art. 280 of the Criminal Code (public calls for extremism using the Internet). Strelkov faces a sentence of up to five years in prison under this article.
The case was opened on July 18, the judge said. The prosecutor noted that Strelkov had served in an operational unit of special services where he acquired conspiracy skills.
Strelkov's lawyer Alexander Molokhov said in court that the former minister of the DPR acknowledged the publication of two posts on his Telegram channel where he expressed his opinion on:
"Girkin does not intend to hide anything, he does not intend to interfere with the investigation either. The assertion os his alleged plans to interfere with anything is absolutely unfounded,” lawyer Molokhov said. The FSB expertise does not even have a specialist's signature, and it is not clear whether it was a specialist who made such a conclusion, the lawyer noted, RBC reports.
Strelkov asked for house arrest because he had grade 2 angina pectoris. He is also a father of three: one minor child and two children from his first marriage. He supports his children financially, and one of his sons currently enters a military school, Strelkov said. The former minister also said that he was still supporting his grandmother, who had a chronic illness. He also said that he was not going to hide from the investigation, as he was convicted by The Hague Court.
On July 21, Strelkov was detained and taken away from his apartment in Moscow. It was said that Strelkov was arrested at the request from Dmitry Petrovsky, a doctor, a former employee of PMC Wagner.
Igor Girkin graduated from the Moscow State Historical and Archival Institute. He was engaged in military reconstruction, then joined the FSB. He participated in the second Chechen campaign, as well as in the fighting in Dagestan. It is believed that Girkin came up with his pseudonym Strelkov (his grandmother's maiden name) while serving at the FSB.
In the spring of 2014, Strelkov gathered an armed group of 50 people in Crimea and occupied the administrative buildings in Slavyansk, announcing the transfer of the city to the control of the DPR. After that, he was appointed the Minister of Defense of the Republic. In Donetsk, Strelkov introduced martial law, but was soon removed from his post.
In Moscow, he organized Novorossiya movement, which was engaged in helping volunteers. He blogged on social networks criticising the leaderships of the LPR, DPR and Russia. After the start of the special military operation, he regularly spoke about the activities of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Sergei Gerasimov, mostly negatively.
In November 2022, a court in The Hague found Strelkov guilty of the crash of the Malaysian Boeing (Flight MH17) over Donbass. The former head of intelligence service of the DPR, Sergey Dubinsky, and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko were also found guilty of the tragedy.
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