Pro-war Russian blogger and former spy, Igor Girkin, who called Putin a ‘lowlife’ arrested in Moscow

Pro-war Russian blogger and former spy, Igor Girkin, who called Putin a ‘lowlife’ arrested in Moscow

CNN reports:

A prominent Russian pro-war blogger who has criticized President Vladimir Putin and his military’s mishaps in Ukraine was arrested on Friday, in a move that suggested the Kremlin’s patience with dissent has grown thinner in the wake of the Wagner mercenary rebellion last month.

Igor Girkin, a former KGB officer who helped Russia seize Crimea and was convicted of mass murder for his role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, was taken from his home in Moscow by security agents on Friday and charged with “extremist activity,” according to state media and a post on his Telegram account attributed to his wife.

Girkin, who also goes by the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov, is among the best-known of Russia’s “milbloggers,” a group of war correspondents who support the invasion but have grown increasingly critical of the military’s faltering operations in Ukraine. Girkin had in recent months taken his criticisms to another level, lambasting the Russian state and even Putin himself.

He co-founded an ultra-nationalist political group called the Angry Patriots Club this spring, and told Reuters that Russia was “on the cusp of very grave internal political changes of a catastrophic character.”

The day after Wagner’s brief insurrection ended, on June 25, he said that if Putin “is not ready to take the leadership over the creation of war-ready conditions” in Russia, “then he really needs to transfer the powers, but legally, to someone who is capable of such hard work.”

But the final straw for Putin may have come on Tuesday, when Girkin called the president a “lowlife” and a “cowardly bum” in a blistering post on his Telegram channel. [Continue reading…]

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