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What is behind the arrest of girkin in moscow

What is behind the arrest of girkin in moscow

The news about the arrest by the Investigative Committee of the russian federation of the well-known russian terrorist girkin (strelkov), who was sentenced in absentia by a tribunal in The Hague to life imprisonment, blew up the russian-language information space. After all, for a long time, the former so-called minister of defense “dnr” strelkov was on the secret list of persons who could criticize the highest echelons of power and putin personally without any visible retribution. Moreover, girkin spoke openly about the problems of the “special military operation” and called on putin to resign due to a series of major defeats at the front. Now he is accused of making public calls on the Internet to engage in extremist activities, which carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison. The video from the moscow court showed that he did not expect to be arrested and was in a state of shock when the court supported the prosecution’s request and arrested him until September 19.

Why did girkin lose his untouchable status?

According to the experts of the American Institute for the Study of War, girkin, as a former intelligence officer, is under the protection of the fss (the group of influence of the secretary of the security council of the russian federation m.patrushev), which used him to coordinate the activities of the russian ultranationalist community. The influential groups of the fss, the ministry of defense and the “wagner” PMC have always been considered rivals in the struggle for power. Moreover, the growing popularity of girkin in russia and in the fake republic of the “dnr” allowed him to be considered as a real candidate for the main seat in the kremlin, which, of course, did not suit the competitors. Indeed, recently girkin went against the two main parties of the war in russia and decided to simultaneously criticize shoigu and prigozhin.

Until a certain time, girkin was considered untouchable. The kremlin took into account the fact that he is a former fss officer, his activities in the east of Ukraine in 2014 and the status of the main defendant in the case of the Malaysian Boeing MH-17 crash. But the main thing is that putin perceived girkin as a “controlled” opposition and a lever for restraining other groups of influence, so he allowed sharp criticism of the government. However, the efforts of the national-radical opposition to find an alternative to putin and to take power not through elections, but by force, have become all too obvious. Presumably, girkin’s criticism of “smo” and the government went beyond the permitted limits and began to be evaluated by putin as an attempt to change the power in the kremlin. Therefore, girkin’s statements began to noticeably shake the rating of the authorities. He criticized putin for not conducting a new mobilization, stated that due to the rebellion, russia was on the verge of disintegration, and the roots of this rebellion were outside the PMC. The “point of no return” became his insulting criticism of putin, whom he called a “louse” and “nothing”.

So, on the one hand, the arrest of girkin became part of the efforts of the putin administration to eliminate the “toxic” opposition and the beginning of the “cleansing” of the environment of “hurrah-patriots”, who question his ability to fight effectively against Ukraine. It is not for nothing that girkin is suspected of committing a crime under the article “extremism” – the main political article under which everyone who disagrees with putin is imprisoned in russia.

On the other hand, giirkin’s arrest was the result of a backroom struggle of kremlin clans, which allowed shoigu to eliminate a competitor, while depriving girkin’s patrons of putin’s support. According to the estimates of some political scientists, against the backdrop of prigozhin’s uprising, the arrest of girkin changed the balance of power in the kremlin in favor of the group to which the first deputy head of the administration of the president of the russian federation, s.kiriyenko. However, the demonstrative arrest indicates the beginning of an active confrontation between groups of influence for power.

What shall we expect from the arrest of girkin?

According to British military intelligence, the arrest of a former russian intelligence officer and a leading nationalist military blogger i.girkin angers his fellow patriots and is likely to anger colleagues in the military blogging community who are critical of the government. So a few days before girkin’s arrest, a well-known “patriot”, a supporter of girkin – colonel v. kvachkov Analysts are predicting that the next repressions will be directed against other ardent “patriots”, such as z.prilepin, o. tsarev, a member of the state duma fedorov, who are considered disloyal to putin. They will be accused of discrediting the political leadership, disorganizing the ministry of defense and the army, and demoralizing the population.

❗️Such a situation will lead to a decrease in the rating of putin and his team and an increase in the probability of the seizure of kremlin power by illegal means. For Ukraine, the arrest of girkin is beneficial, because the removal of one of the most ardent supporters of russia’s war against Ukraine, who was the initiator of the beginning of hostilities in Donbas and played a key role in russia’s seizure of Crimea, weakens the military potential and motivation of the occupying forces.

  • 24 July, 2023

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