RUSSIAN warlord Igor Girkin has been arrested after branding Vladimir Putin a “useless coward”.
The commander turned military blogger has repeatedly criticised the tyrant – and warned the country would not survive another term under him.
East2WestPro-war Russian nationalist Igor Girkin has been arrested, his wife Miroslava Reginskaya, right, said[/caption]
APHe branded Vladimir Putin a ‘useless coward’[/caption]
And Girkin’s wife Miroslava Reginskaya today announced on Telegram he had been detained on charges of “extremism”.
She wrote: “Today, at about 11:30, representatives of the investigative committee came to us.
“I was not at home at that time. Soon, according to the concierge, they took my husband under the arms and took him away in an unknown direction.
“From friends, I managed to find out that my husband was charged under article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (extremism).
“I do not know anything about the whereabouts of my husband, he did not get in touch.”
Former FSB officer Girkin helped Russia annex Crimea in 2014 before organising pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine.
The 52-year-old was one of three men found guilty of murder after 298 people died in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine.
A court in The Hague said MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014 by a Russian-made missile fired from a field in eastern Ukraine – and that Russia had overall control of separatist forces at the time.
In recent months, Girkin has repeatedly slammed Russia’s efforts in Ukraine.
Pro-war nationalists led by Girkin, also known as Strelkov, said earlier this year a new group had entered politics to “save” Russia.
Girkin said the group hoped to prevent the collapse of Russia, warning the country was in danger of turmoil or even collapse due to military failures in the Ukraine war.
He insisted: “The country will not survive another six years of power of this useless coward.
“The only useful thing he could do ‘before the curtain falls’ is to ensure a transfer of power to someone truly capable and responsible.
“Too bad it won’t even cross his mind and if it does happen, then we have already seen many times before his ‘ability to choose associates.”
Set up in 1996, the Leningrad-based group includes some of Russia’s wealthiest and most powerful businessmen and bankers – with many climbing to top positions in the Kremlin.
Girkin recently claimed the loyal circle are plotting to topple Putin to put a stop to the war in Ukraine.
He said they would target Russia’s ministry of defence, the FSB and other major government departments – and replace Putin.
Prigozhin’s steaming rebellion came to an abrupt halt after he struck a deal with Putin – putting an end to a bloody 24 hours that saw Wagner forces reach within 125 miles of Moscow.
But Girkin believes Prigozhin’s mutiny was successful as it sparked a furious power struggle in the crumbling Kremlin – and the lightning mutiny exposed cracks in Putin’s increasingly weak grip on power.
As Putin scrambles to maintain his rule, Girkin said his powerful inner circle now want to oust him – and bring in Wagner boss Prigozhin or Sergey Kiriyenko, Putin’s chief of staff.