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Bellingcat Investigator: What helps Girkin avoid prison for his criticism of the “special operation”


Igor Girkin (Strelkov) remains at large, despite strong criticism of the Kremlin’s actions in the so-called “special operation” against Ukraine, thanks to influential patrons in the “war party” of the Russian special services. Cristo Grozev, an investigative journalist and head of Bellingcat, spoke about this on the air of Radio NV.


“Here it is important first to analyze how Girkin criticizes this “special operation”. He says that this is a bad thing and that it should not be done. He says it should be done much more aggressively, with the full mobilization of the entire population, etc. He complains about the bad strategy of the war, which the General Staff wrote, and criticizes Shoigu. But here we need to think about whose words this position coincides with? These words completely coincide with the words of the “party of war” inside the GRU, inside the War Ministry, people who disagree precisely with the slow speed and poor planning of this war. It means that there are a lot of towers inside the special services that quarrel and argue with each other,” Grozev said.

Igor Girkin also known by the alias Igor Strelkov, is a Russian army veteran and former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer who played a key role in the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and later the war in Donbas as an organizer of militant groups in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

“Even in 2014-2015, there were some facts, we heard that it was Girkin who was being used by two groups within the FSB. One of the groups calls it unpredictable and unnecessary, it must be removed from there immediately. But the second person says: no, no, you don’t know him, we know him as a war man, he’s generally crazy, but he really showed himself very well at the front in Chechnya. That is, he has a “roof”, there are people who are the “party of war” within the special services, who believe that he represents their interests and therefore they allow him to do this, he really has a “roof,” the journalist summed up.

The former so-called “defense minister” of the pseudo-education “DPR” Igor Girkin (Strelkov) is known for his extremely active criticism of the Kremlin’s actions during the invasion of Ukraine, considering them “insufficient.”

At the same time, a number of his statements directly violate the dictatorial legislative norms of the Russian Federation itself, but one of the former leaders of the militants in the Donbas himself did not bear responsibility.

Earlier, Stanislav Aseev, a journalist, writer, and former prisoner of the Donetsk Izolyatsia prison told why, with such rhetoric, Girkin is still at large and alive.

“He is covered by a person who is in opposition to the Russian General Staff, besides Shoigu, and most likely from the Federal Security Service,” the journalist said.

According to him, everything is far from being monolithic in the Russian authorities, as it seems to some, and the “Kremlin towers” ​​“have moved a lot after Surkov’s public dismissal, at least.”

According to journalist Denis Kazansky, Girkin can harshly criticize the Russian army, particularly Shoigu, since he comes from the special services, and the FSB competes with the Russian army.

However, the journalist does not rule out that the discrediting of the Russian army by Girkin will put an end to it.