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Igor Girkin, former warlord of Russia’s proxy forces in occupied Donetsk Oblast, arrested in Russia

Igor Girkin in the courtroom. Credit: Baza TG channel

Igor Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, a former Russian “Donetsk people’s republic” commander who has been found guilty of involvement in the downing of flight MH17 over Donetsk Oblast back in 2014, was arrested in Russia.

According to the Russian Baza Telegram channel, Igor Girkin is charged under the article on public calls for extremist activity, and he faces up to five years in prison.

On 21 July, a post was published on Girkin’s Telegram channel, presumably on behalf of his wife, where she reported that Igor Girkin had been arrested. 

Miroslava Reginskaya, Igor Strelkov’s wife. Today, at about 11:30, representatives of the Investigative Committee came to our house. I was not at home at that time. Soon, according to the concierge, they took my husband out under the arms and took him in an unknown direction.” Reginskaya wrote. 

The court imposed a custodial measure for Girkin. In the courtroom, Girkin said he had no plans to flee abroad because “he is sentenced to life imprisonment there,” according to Baza TG channel.

Igor Girkin is a former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agent who took part in the battles for Sloviansk and played a key role in the seizure of power in Donetsk in 2014. He supports the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine but criticizes Russia’s military-political leadership.

Igor Girkin in Donbas in 2014. Credit: Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Getty Images

On 17 July 2014, Russian troops shot down the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine, taking the lives of 298 innocent people from 11 countries.

On 11 November 2022, the District Court of The Hague, which is considering the case of the downing of the airliner MH17, found Igor Girkin, as well as his subordinate fighters Sergey Dubinsky and Leonid Kharchenko, guilty of shooting down the plane. The court said that Igor Girkin and two of his subordinates were “guilty of murder 298 times.”

Related: 

  • Three persons found guilty of killing 298 people in flight MH17 bombing
  • Remembering the tragedy: 9 years since MH17 was shot down over Ukraine
  • Ukrainian intel offers 100,000 USD reward for Russian warlord Girkin as Ukrainians crowdfund 50,000 more
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