Vatnik Soup
Soup number45
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Vatnik’s professionSoldier
Vatnik’s country of originRussia
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Igor Girkin

In today’s #vatnik soup I’ll introduce a mercenary, military blogger and a mass murderer, Igor Girkin (AKA Strelkov). Girkin used to be a FSB officer and he’s been involved in many Russian wars from Chechenya and Transnistria to 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War.

Girkin is best known for his involvement in Russia’s annexation activities. In April, 2014, after Russian troops captured Sloviansk, Igor was “promoted” to the made-up position of “Supreme Commander of the Donetsk People’s Republic”.

At this time he was using the name “Strelkov” ("Rifleman"). Soon he started ruling the puppet state DPR with iron fist, executing people on made up charges and forcing people of DPR, including women, to fight against the Ukrainians.

Later documents were found which indicated that Girkin had sentenced one person to death for stealing shirts from an abandoned building. SBU intercepted a call between Girkin and Malofeyev in May, 2014, where the latter provided instructions and military intel to Igor.

Few months later Ukrainians re-captured Sloviansk and Girkin and his cronies fled the city. He then begged Mother Russia for reinforcements, which was seen as a sign of weakness. After this, Igor fell out of favor of the Kremlin.

There are also rumours, that Vladislav Surkov conspired against Girkin and Aleksandr Dugin during the DPR drama. Surkov was responsible for creating the narrative and story for the Russian annexations, including the one that took place in East Ukraine.

Girkin was involved in the shooting down of MH17 airplane in July, 2014. All 298 passengers died. He made up an alternative version where the plane was filled with “rotting corpses” and it was flying on autopilot before it was shot down.

There was a serious discussion on Kremlin-controlled media whether this was true or not. In November, 2022, Girkin and two others were found guilty of murdering all 298 people on board.

Before Ukraine Girkin was involved in Transnistria, where he was again part of Russia’s illegal annexations. He’s also fought in Bosnia & Herzegovina, where he assumedly took part in the Višegrad massacres in which 1000s of civilians were massacred.

Girkin was also connected to several kidnappings and killings in Chechnya. Allegedly he was also behind the kidnapping, torture and murder of a 19-year old Ukrainian politician, Volodomyr Rybak.

Putin awarded Girkin with a gold coin in 2014 for helping with the annexation of Crimea. In 2019 Girkin was selling this coin because “he needed the money”. He has called Putin “an American prostitute” and a clown.

After leaving Ukraine in 2014, Girkin tried to live a rather normal life in Russia while covering the war on his blog on Telegram.

In October 2022 he returned to fight as a volunteer against Ukraine. Ukraine has crowdfunded 100 000 USD reward for his capture.

He has been sanctioned by EU, US, UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, Switzerland & Ukraine for his role in the conflict in East Ukraine.

As a final note: I know there are some hardcore Strelkin followers out there, so please complement or fix my mistakes on this one.
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