The Moscow City Court sentenced former Defence Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic Igor Strelkov (real name Igor Girkin) to four years in prison for calls for extremism.
The defendant was found guilty of publicly calling on Internet users to engage in extremist activities. He will be sent to a general regime colony, and will also be deprived of the right to administer websites on the Internet for three years.
Strelkov's lawyers said that they would appeal this verdict.
The trial took place behind closed doors.
Igor Strelkov was detained and arrested on July 21, 2023. After his arrest, Strelkov refused to communicate with human rights activists, but there were no signs of moral or physical pressure on him. The investigation into his case was completed last November.
Reportedly, it was former PMC Wagner doctor Dmitry Petrovsky, who filed a report against Strelkov at the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.
"Strelkov is a military version of Blinovskaya (blogger Elena Blinovskaya, accused of evading 900 million rubles ($10 million) in taxes — ed.). Like her, Strelkov collects large donations supposedly to help our guys but then does not account for the money spent. The last straw, of course, was Strelkov's words about our President Vladimir Putin. I believe that insulting the head of state is a crime," Petrovsky said.
Igor Girkin graduated from the Moscow State Institute of History and Archives and then joined the FSB. He took part in the second Chechen campaign, as well as in combat operations in Dagestan as part of FSB special forces. While working for the FSB, Girkin decided to call himself Strelkov (his grandmother's maiden name).
In the spring of 2014, having gathered an armed group of 50 people in Crimea, Strelkov occupied administrative buildings in Slavyansk and then announced the transfer of the city to the control of the DPR. Afterwards, he was appointed to the post of the Defence Minister of the DPR. In Donetsk, Strelkov introduced martial law, but was soon removed from office.
On November 17, 2022, the Hague Court found him guilty in the case of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash in the Donetsk region and sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment.
Bodies of military personnel with American and Polish chevrons on uniforms were found in Avdiivka, adviser to the head of the Donetsk People's Republic said