Former DPR Defence Minister Strelkov wants to be released from prison to fight in Ukraine

Igor Strelkov (Girkin) convicted of extremism wants to fight in Ukraine

Lawyers of the former Minister of Defence of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Igor Strelkov (Girkin) will ask for his release from prison so that Strelkov could go to fight in the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine. Defence lawyer Alexander Molokhov said that one of the military units in the DPR was ready to appoint Strelkov as a platoon commander.

Strelkov was sentenced in January to four years in prison on charges of calls for extremism. According to current legislation, a person convicted of extremism can not enter into a contract with the Defence Ministry. However, Strelkov's defence lawyers believe that the ex-minister has a legal opportunity to be released from prison and go to the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine.

The defence attorney attached the consent of the military unit. The document is dated from January 26 of 2024 — the next day after Strelkov was sentenced in the Moscow City Court. As a reserve colonel, Strelkov (Girkin) "has been considered for appointment to the vacant position of platoon commander of the commandant's company," the document says.

The appeal against Strelkov's sentence is to be considered on May 15 in Moscow. The meeting will be closed.

In February, lawyer Alexander Molokhov said that Strelkov could go to the front from prison as a volunteer.

Strelkov's wife Miroslava Reginskaya also said that her husband would want to go to the front to fight.

"When the country is going through a difficult military conflict, it is a crime not to let an officer, a patriot who has unique military experience and knowledge go to the front,” she said accusing the authorities of convicting her husband on "political charges.”

"At the trial, Igor said: "I serve the Fatherland!”, and he will never give up his words,” Reginskaya added.

Last summer, a law was passed allowing Russians with a criminal record to be conscripted into military service under a contract. During mobilisation, martial law or wartime, Russian citizens who committed minor crimes will thus be able to enter into a contract with the Russian Armed Forces if they wish.

  • Igor Strelkov, the former Minister of Defence of the DPR was sentenced to four years on January 25. He was found guilty of publicly calling Internet users to extremism. He was sent to a general regime colony.
  • Strelkov himself and his defence lawyers said that his case was initiated because of two publications that he made on social media - about problems around Crimea, and also about allowances for military personnel.

Igor Girkin (pseudonym Igor Strelkov) is a retired Russian military officer, a FSB officer. In 2014, he became the first Minister of Defence of the DPR. After the start of the special operation in Ukraine, he regularly criticised the activities of the Russian Ministry of Defence and the country’s leadership. He also spoke negatively about the now-deceased head of private military company Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov