Full name:
Strelkov (Girkin) Igor

Date of Birth:
17 December 1970



Professional field/official position/biography:

Russian mercenary, former leader of terrorists in Slavyansk (Ukraine).

Real name - Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin (pseudonym "Strelkov", also has a passport with the name of "Sergey Runov").

In 1996-2013 he worked in the Federal Security Service of Russia.

Participated in the first and second Chechen wars.

As a mercenary, he took part in conflicts in Transnistria (1992), in Bosnia (1992-1993).

He does not deny his past in the Federal Security Service (FSS), however, he is silent in which particular division of the FSS of the Russian Federation he was. Meanwhile, it was the odious Office for the Protection of the Constitutional System (OPCS FSS), that deals with the persecution of the opposition in Russia. So, for example, it is known that he was introduced into one of the national-monarchist organizations in order to find out if they were planning a coup d'état.

Around 2000, Girkin met another odious person, war criminal Alexander Borodai. With whom they continued to cooperate in the future. So after “retiring” from the FSS (an explanation will be given below why quotes are used), Girkin worked as the head of the security service for the investment fund of the pro-Kremlin entrepreneur Konstantin Malofeev. Borodai also worked in this fund.

One of the most striking episodes in Girkin's criminal activity was his participation in the operation to occupy Crimea. However, the matter was not limited to the Crimea alone.

On the night of April 11-12, 2014, Girkin with 52 fighters crossed the state border of Ukraine in the Donetsk region.

On April 12, a group of Girkin, who called themselves fighters of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), seized the administrative buildings (police, city council) in the city of Slavyansk, Donetsk region, announcing the transfer of the city under the control of the DPR. According to a number of experts, Russian opposition politicians, journalists, Ukrainian officials, this action was directly inspired by the special services of the Russian Federation. It was these events that led to the beginning of the conflict in the South-East of Ukraine, which lasted almost 8 years, which resulted in the death of almost 15 thousand people, including 3.5 thousand civilians.

As Girkin himself later admitted, it was he who started the war in the Donbass:

"I still pressed the trigger of the war. If our detachment had not crossed the border, everything would have ended, as in Kharkov, as in Odessa. There would have been several dozen killed, burned, arrested. And this would have ended", "practically the war , which is still going on, our detachment began."

In his conversations with Boroday, Girkin claimed that his group killed several Ukrainian security personnel in the Slovyansk region. As Girkin admitted in an interview, he personally ordered the execution of citizens of Ukraine, such as Yuriy Popravko and Yuriy Dyakovsky. Later, their bodies were found with signs of torture. Girkin also admitted that he was responsible for the murder of Vladimir Rybak, deputy of the Gorlovsky City Council. It is also known that Girkin organized self-proclaimed "military tribunals" that passed, among other things, death sentences.

Subsequently, Girkin was appointed commander of the armed forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, and then head of the Security Council and Minister of Defense of the DPR. While in this post, already in 2014 he called on the Russian Federation to send troops to the territory of Ukraine, and to “destroy on the spot” Ukrainian citizens who resist.

Despite the organization of "military tribunals", Girkin carried out death sentences on his own. In addition to the above-mentioned Popravko, Dyakovsky and Rybak, Girkin himself publicly stated that he ordered the execution of two DPR militants for "looting, leaving their positions." Moreover, Girkin based his actions on the decree of the Supreme Council of the USSR of 1941.

On May 21, 2014, the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine opened criminal proceedings against Igor Girkin on suspicion of creating a terrorist group or terrorist organization (part 1 of article 258-3 of the Criminal Code), organizing mass riots (part 1 of article 294 of the Criminal Code), committing a terrorist act (part 1 of article 258 of the Criminal Code).

During the fighting with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Girkin left the city of Slavyansk, after which he relocated to Donetsk, where he appointed himself "the military commandant of the city."

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down. As a result, about 300 civilians were killed. The Hague court found Girkin guilty of shooting down the plane and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Girkin is included in the sanctions lists of the European Union, the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

At the end of the summer of 2014, Girkin left the Donbass, returning to Russia. The reason was probably his conflicts with officials of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, primarily with Surkov. Despite this, Girkin publicly called for support for Vladimir Putin and the fight against the opposition.

As it became known from the investigation of Insider and Billingcat, from at least 2014 to 2016, Girkin used a fake passport with the name of Sergei Runov. The passport belongs to the same series as the fake passports of other FSS officers. It could be assumed that this passport was issued to Girkin before 2013, that is, before his retirement, according to his own version. However, taking into account the fact that the real year of birth, 1970, is indicated in this passport, it is logical to assume that Girkin could not use the old passport in 2016, since he had to change it at the age of 45. In this regard, it can be assumed that Girkin continued to cooperate with the FSS after 2013 and even after leaving Donetsk.

In the future, despite all the connections with the FSS, Girkin changed his attitude towards Putin, began to speak sharply negatively about his policies, but after the start of the Special Military Operation, he fully supported the war against Ukraine, criticizing the Russian authorities for "too soft actions." Girkin not only actively promotes war, gaining hundreds of thousands of views on his videos, but he himself has repeatedly tried to get to the front, but each time he returned to Moscow.

Describing Girkin as a personality, his colleagues spoke impartially about him. So, another Kremlin official, Dmitry Rogozin, accused him of cowardice and “idle chatter”. A retired officer of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Federation, a member of the DPR militant formations, Sergey Dubinsky, under the pseudonym "Khmury", who served with Girkin in Chechnya, spoke about Girkin:

“Honestly speaking, remembering Chechnya, he is a weak person. He was strong as a detective, but weak as a person. And until now, it comes through from him: “I would have penal companies there, I would have shot” - this usually happens with weak people. I noticed back in Chechnya, when we worked, there is such a thing as “emergency gutting”. To be honest, I had to torture and so on. But, he noticed two features: he enjoyed it when someone was tortured in his presence, and the second, there were situations when this was not necessary. It's a mental illness."

Accused of:

Work in the punitive authorities of the Putin regime, namely in the OPCS FSS , infiltration into opposition structures. Unleashing an aggressive war in the Donbass. Torture. The killing of civilians (at least three), including by appropriating judicial powers. Violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Creation of a pro-Kremlin, self-proclaimed administration on the territory of Ukraine. The destruction of a civilian aircraft, the victims of which were 298 people. Calls for the support of Vladimir Putin and the fight against the opposition. Continuing work for the FSS even after his "retirement". Calls for an aggressive war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Attempts to take part in an aggressive war.

Links and materials

Girkin Igor Vsevolodovich – Center “Myrotvorets”

Putin. Results. War

The Insider: Girkin used the passport under a fictitious name. Not “Strelkov”

LB.UA – Strelkov (Girkin) Igor Vsevolodovich

Strelkov says he started the war in Ukraine – BBC

Strelkov claimed responsibility for the war in eastern Ukraine

Why Ukraine’s Donbas Region Matters to Putin – Bloomberg

“Seventeen kilometers we marched across the border”

Slavyansk is taken: State institutions are captured in Krasny Liman, Krasnoarmeysk and Kramatorsk.

The Security Service of Ukraine published the intercepted telephone conversations of the separatists

Kidnapping and murder of Vladimir Rybak: Terrorists brutally killed a member of the Gorlovka City Council

Terrorist Girkin tried to get to the front, but he was detained in Crimea

“Warrior of the Lord” – Sergey Dubinsky “Khmury”

“Stop talking.” Rogozin and Strelkov had a skirmish in Telegram


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