During Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Igor Girkin became widely known in the media as a person who supports the capture of Ukrainian territory, but who also expresses opinions that run against the official policy of the Kremlin. Igor Girkin criticizes the Russian generals, calls their actions stupid, and trying to get to the front as a military volunteer to inspire the fighters and "take control of the situation". However, instead of getting to the front, Igor Girkin, also called as “Strelok/Strelkov” (Shooter in Russian), suddenly declares that he ended up in Moscow and, according to military and political experts, his person may be used to create a new armed military formation for the war against Ukraine.
Who stands behind Girkin, who supports the war criminal and works for him, the MH17 disaster and war crimes, The Hague verdict and the impossibility of its execution – below in our investigation.
Igor Girkin's Early Life: Commanding the Separatists in the Donbass, 2014
“An ultranationalist and reactionary, Mr. Strelkov fits an increasingly familiar profile in Russia, one that has emerged strongly with the re-election of President Vladimir V. Putin”.
This is how a military expert described Strelkov in a New York Times article published in July 2014.
He revealed that he had indeed served in the Russian F.S.B., the successor to the K.G.B., up until March 31, 2013, but that he had left the service. Western governments say that he is controlled by Russia’s military intelligence service, the G.R.U.
Igor Girkin is as controversial as he is odious. Today there is absolutely no difference for the Ukrainian military command whether he reports directly to the FSS of Russia or acts in personal interests – his involvement in the armed aggression against Ukraine and the commission of war crimes on the territory of Ukraine is obvious and confirmed by international institutions.
Starting as a separatist leader financed by the Russian government to create the so-called quasi-republics of the DPR and LPR, Igor Girkin (Strelok) became a symbol of armed aggression against Ukraine in 2014, and he continues to follow an occupying military policy until now. Besides shooting civilians and separatists, torturing prisoners, illegally detaining representatives of international organizations, and forcibly deporting civilians, Igor Girkin is known for even more high-profile war crimes. Crimes for which he has not yet been punished.
#MH17: shooting down a passenger plane by Girkin-led separatists
The crash of Boeing MH17 took place on July 17, 2014. At that time, an unofficial group of Igor Strelkov, on behalf of the separatists that he headed, published a message about the shooting down of the plane. At that time, the militants commented: don't fly in "our sky". After U.S. intelligence agencies, relying on media material and verified telephone intercepts of the separatists, accused Girkin and his fighters of shooting down the Boeing and killing 298 people on board – all mentions of shooting down the plane were removed.
Despite "numerous contradictory statements from Moscow," a Dutch court on November 17, 2022, found Girkin and two other pro-Russian commanders guilty of intentionally shooting down a passenger plane that killed 298 people. The international court ordered Girkin and the other two defendants to serve life sentences for the war crime they committed, as well as to pay more than 16 million euros to the families of the victims. However, since the verdict was announced in absentia, it is likely that the court's requirements will remain formal, since the defendants must first be taken into custody to enforce the sentence.
Nevertheless, Molfar investigators remain dissatisfied with the impunity of the Russian terrorist. Therefore, we attacked Igor Girkin's website and identified individuals who support his separatist interests during Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Russian Spring: Igor Girkin and supporters of Novorossiya
The source of the terrorist Igor Girkin (Strelkov) is called “Russian Spring”. The Molfar team got access to private user data, including heads and admins. We used the services of an anonymous hacker to attack Girkin's website. This is how we got the database. After that, we investigated each person separately. And we are ready to introduce you to the brightest people from the list of people related to the site.
We would like to emphasize once again: Igor Girkin is not a military analyst, as the New York Times mistakenly called him, he is a war criminal and terrorist who, in his own or coordinated pro-Russian interests, opposes the Kremlin's official policy. That is why Molfar researchers attacked the sensitive data of persons related to his resource.
Preliminary conclusions of the investigation: the persons who edit the Girkin’s site, including the authors and administrators, belong to supporters of the so-called idea of Novorossiya. The Novorossiya is a historical name, received renewed emphasis when Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in an interview on 17 April 2014 that the territories of Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odessa were part of what was called Novorossiya. This is a propagandistic idea, according to which the territory of Novorossiya should be separated from the territory of Ukraine, and that this should be facilitated by the Russian armed forces, which supposedly protect the native inhabitants of Russia living in these territories.
The people mentioned in the article support this idea. They also support separatist armed formations that continue to operate on the territory of Ukraine during the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. We have the proof and are ready to provide it right now.
Who is involved in the work of the official website named after Igor Girkin?
❗️ The personal data of individuals is presented in this article to determine liability for supporting right-wing radical and terroristic organizations, which are sponsored by the terrorist regime of the Russian Federation. You can download a database of target users in the file of CSV format at the end of this article. As well as download a fact-checking of all the persons in the Google sheets (the source file is .xlsx), which the Molfar experts made.
The website certificate (https://istrelkov.ru/) uses this email address, [email protected]. It belongs to Novikov Serhiy Serhiyovych. Here is his photo from social media, in which he wears a military uniform with a patch of Novorossiya and the sign “Novorossiya of Igor Strelkov”. Also, he sells pneumatic guns and writes about humanitarian assistance and assemblies of militias in Horlivka at his group “Novorossiya movement by Igor Strelkov”.
The second interesting personality related to the «Russian Spring» of Strelkov is Konokotin Pavlo Arkadiyovych. In May 2019, he published a photo in a military uniform on the social media VKontakte. According to a thread on the rifle forum, as of August 2014, he owns the hunting rifle «Вепр-КМ (ВПО-136)», and three pairs of army boots. Konokotin Pavlo Arkadiyovych likes war and USSR, he blames the liberals, and doesn’t pay utility bills.
The next website user is Sysenko Oleksandr Valeriyovych, who lives in Sergiyev Posad. Since 2019, he has been working at the M. V. Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics under the russian Academy of Sciences, where he earned 3.03 m RUB (≈ $22400). Good question: why a full-fledged employee of the government organization is drawn to the sites which support terrorist organizations? Because he is interested in it, he is also a supporter of terrorism against Ukrainians.
Moscow – III Rome
The next moderator of the Strelkov’s site is Dobychyn Oleksii Petrovych. He conducts his YouTube channel called «Warrior of Russia», at the same time works as the editor-in-chief of the propagandistic religious site Moscow – III Rome.
In 2005 Dobychyn founded a pro-russian youth movement "Breakthrough" and National Front "Sevastopol-Crimea-Russia" in Crimea, which conducted (1, 2) campaigning for the separation of Crimea from Ukraine. And within a year, in 2006, Dobychyn was deported from Ukraine.
In May 2009, he published a video on YouTube in which he, in full gear and armed, urged the russians to prepare for war with NATO. In July 2014, as a part of a separatist group, he participated (1, 2, 3) in battles in Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.
Kudryavtsev Vyacheslav Volodymyrovych is another interesting person, at the website. From 1993 to 1995, he served in military unit No.5425 in Yekaterinburg. In 1995, he participated (1, 2, 3) in the First Chechen War, probably as a part (1, 2) of the special forces soldiers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. From 1995 to 2005, he worked in the traffic police of Noyabrsk. Due to insider’s information, in 2005 he was convicted, likely for causing slight physical injuries. In August 2015, he posted a photo with a weapon and in military uniform with the chevron of «Novorossiya» on VK.
In February 2016, he was added to the database of the site Myrotvorets ("Peacemaker"). In September 2016, he posted a fake photo on VK showing the flag of "Novorossiya" hanging in Kyiv. In 2019, he published a photo with the flag of internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, a Separate Operational Purpose Division.
Novorossiya, propaganda, and "Fair Russia"
Kalashnikov Oleksiy Petrovich is another moderator of the Strelkov’s site. In 2014, he ran for (1, 2, 3) Parliament deputies of Dubna from the party "Fair Russia". In October 2015, he published (1, 2, 3, 4) a photo on Instagram with a weapon and a warning about mines, where he indicated geolocation as Luhansk region and Luhansk.
Another person who writes for the Girkin’s website is Bezsolova Lyubov Serhiyivna. She worked at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Yaroslavl region, that's why she can be referred to as the government staff of the terrorist regime of the Russian Federation.
In June 2017, she posted a photo on VK, that says, "Novorossiya will fight for all of Russia". Due to inside information, in 2018 she was on the list of people who are under investigation due to suspicions of terrorism or extremist activities. Also, in 2017, 2018, and 2020 she was (1, 2, 3) the author of articles on a propaganda website “БойовийЛисток.рф” (Combat Sheet in Russian), which is indicated as informational support of istrelkov.ru.
And finally, we want to present you Sobolev Oleksandr Olegovich. He lives in Saint Petersburg and works as a chief geologist in geological consulting Geoconsult Group LLC. In March 2022, Oleksandr Sobolev suddenly published a map of Ukraine on VK, where its territory is divided into "Novorossiya" and "Galicia".
Why do these people support the war? Why do they support terrorist organizations? You can call it the effect of propaganda, but it would be more correct to say: because they like it.
❗️ Terrorists should not be discussed, they should be imprisoned and punished according to the court decision. People who support terrorists should be tried as participants in terrorist attacks. This sounds like the only fairly way to deal with illegal armed groups.
👉 Database of persons from fact-checking in CSV [46 persons]
✉️ To contact the team and receive a comment, fill out the form below, or send your request to: [email protected]