Russian police have detained the former leader of Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine, Igor Strelkov (aka Girkin), on extremism charges, his wife Miroslava Reginskaya said on Telegram on July 21.
Strelkov was a key commander of Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region in 2014. He has criticized the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin recently for “mistakes” in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, calling for more intense attacks.
Last year, a court in the Netherlands sentenced Girkin and two other defendants to life in prison in absentia in the case of the 2014 shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine.
The news has been met with interest among writers who cover events inside the Russian military and politics.
“Girkin said that if he was arrested, that meant that the patriots within the Russian government had lost and that the war was lost and that Russia would capitulate to the West,” wrote Rolo Slavskiy, in his Slavland Chronicles.
The Kremlin did not immediately return an email from Soldier of Fortune asking for comment.
With reporting from RFE/RL