HomeWorld NewsResolute Russian Hardliner: Notorious Putin Critic and Commander 'Strelkov' Arrested

Resolute Russian Hardliner: Notorious Putin Critic and Commander ‘Strelkov’ Arrested

Resolute Russian Hardliner: Notorious Putin Critic and Commander ‘Strelkov’ Arrested

Unveiling the Detention of Outspoken Pro-War Blogger Igor Girkin

In a startling development, Russian authorities have detained Igor Girkin, a prominent pro-war blogger widely known for his hardline nationalist views and outspoken criticism of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, also referred to as Strelkov. Girkin’s wife revealed that he was taken into custody on Friday morning while she was away, and he has been charged with extremism.

A Look into Igor Girkin’s Background

Igor Girkin, a former intelligence officer, played a crucial role in Russian controversial annexation of Crimea in 2014. Following this event, he assumed leadership of Russia’s proxy army during the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine. Girkin’s involvement in the conflict took a darker turn when he was convicted in absentia by a Dutch court in November last year for his role in the tragic missile strike that led to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, resulting in the loss of all 298 lives on board.

Escalating Criticism of Military Failings and President Putin

As the military campaign in Ukraine faced significant challenges and setbacks, Girkin’s criticism of military failings and Russia’s commander in chief, President Vladimir Putin, grew more vociferous. He made bold statements on social media, expressing concerns that Russian was losing the war. Recently, he even resorted to derogatory remarks, calling President Putin a “nonentity” and “a cowardly waste of space.”

This escalated criticism caught the attention of authorities, leading to Girkin’s detention. His lawyer, Alexander Molokhov, has confirmed the detention, but there remains uncertainty about the location and reasons behind his arrest. It is noteworthy that Girkin had enjoyed a degree of freedom in openly criticizing the president and the military for an extended period, making the sudden turn of events perplexing.

The Changing Landscape for Pro-War Bloggers

The detention of Girkin comes on the heels of charges against retired Russian intelligence officer Vladimir Kvachkov, an associate of Girkin, who was accused of “discrediting” the Russian army. According to the Russian investigative website Agentstvo, authorities seem to have altered their approach towards pro-war bloggers, restricting their ability to vent their frustrations openly.

Tatiana Stanovaya, a prominent commentator, described this as a pivotal moment long-awaited by many within the siloviki, the president’s inner circle. Girkin’s actions had seemingly crossed a line, and although he was allowed to voice his opinions freely before, the failure of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mercenary group, Wagner, provided the army command with greater leverage to suppress its opponents.

Wagner Group’s Decline and Putin’s Decision

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Wagner Group, faced significant setbacks in recent times, leading to a dramatic reduction in the group’s powers after a failed mutiny. Prigozhin himself has curtailed his previous aggressive outbursts against the defense minister and army chief. In a video apparently filmed in Belarus, he even distanced Wagner from Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, stating that they want no part in it.

Reports suggest that a substantial portion of Wagner’s estimated 25,000 mercenaries is heading to Belarus, while others are going on leave. Some independent sources even claim that President Putin has made a decisive call to dissolve Wagner within Russia itself.

The Shift in Russia’s Approach to Pro-War Bloggers

The developments surrounding Girkin’s detention and the curbing of pro-war bloggers’ freedom of expression point to a significant shift in Russia’s approach to dissenting voices. The once-tolerated criticism seems to have reached a tipping point, prompting the authorities to take action. While the exact reasons behind Girkin’s detention remain unclear, it is evident that the landscape for pro-war bloggers has changed, and they are no longer granted the same level of leeway they once enjoyed.

Outranking the Article

In this comprehensive article, we have delved into the detention of Igor Girkin, a prominent pro-war blogger critical of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. We explored his background, his role in Crimea’s annexation, and his subsequent leadership of Russia’s proxy army. Moreover, we examined his escalating criticism of military failings and President Putin, which appears to have led to his recent detention.

As we conclude, it is essential to understand the evolving landscape for pro-war bloggers in Russia. The changes in authorities’ treatment of dissenting voices, exemplified by Girkin’s arrest and the restrictions on pro-war bloggers, have significant implications for the country’s political climate. These developments shed light on the delicate balance between freedom of expression and state control, which remains an ongoing and complex issue.



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