On July 31, the whole of Russia was shaken by a terrible official statement. The Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of journalist Orhan Dzhemal, cameraman Kirill Radchenko and director Alexander Rastorguev in the CAR. The latter, incidentally, is our fellow countryman, resident of the Rostov region. Their bodies were found on the road 23 kilometers north of Sibu City in Kemo Prefecture, next to the abandoned car. In the CAR, a version was announced of a robbery because of expensive equipment. In Russia, a criminal investigation of the murder was opened.
– In the framework of the criminal case, in accordance with the norms of Russian criminal procedure law and international law, investigative actions will be carried out, including requests for legal assistance. In addition, the Investigative Committee is ready to assist law enforcement agencies of the Central African Republic in investigating a particularly serious crime committed against journalists. – This statement was made by the Central Office of the Russian Federation.
It is interesting to note how information was presented about the presence of Russian journalists in the CAR.
The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova repeatedly stressed that no one knew about the work of the film crew on the territory of the foreign state, the goals are unknown, its members violated the requirements of security of stay in this state, etc. One of the comments was related to the information that journalists filmed a documentary about the Wagner PMC.
– Gentlemen, before you start your entertainment and entertainment programs and write monstrously unprofessional posts, at least take the trouble to read the MFA website. There is no sensation in the presence of Russian instructors in the CAR, no one hid anything. – Zakharova wrote in her Facebook.
So, let’s figure out what the film could be about, because of which Russian journalists died.
Responsibility for the stay of the film crew on the territory of the CAR took on the politician Mikhail Khodorkovsky:
– Hard time, difficult role of the head of large teams in dangerous work. I live with this. “…” Regarding security. It would be strange on my part to impose a solution to this problem on professional military commissars with extensive experience. They were among the best specialists in Russia. All they needed was discussed directly with the chief editor, the requested resources were provided. The trip was negotiated with the UN peacekeepers, representatives of the rebels and official authorities. The reasons for refusing to accompany and choose exactly such a route, such time and mode of transportation, we find out.
Khodorkovsky owns the “Center for Investigation Management,” cooperating with which the journalists went to the CAR.
Deputy editor-in-chief Anastasia Gorshkova outlined some details of the chronology of their trip.
In Bangui, the film crew arrived on Saturday, July 28. They planned to visit the Berengo base, where, according to their information, the Wagner PMC was stationed.
The territory of journalists was not allowed, demanding accreditation from the Ministry of Defense of the CAR. She was promised to give out within 5 days, having fixed personal data.
On July 29 local police showed interest to journalists. For unauthorized use of the filming equipment demanded a bribe of $ 120. The incident was over. Such information is given by the publication ru.tsn.ua.
According to the LRC, a meeting with a representative of the UN mission in Bombari (400 km from Bangui) was scheduled for July 30. He recommended to the crew of the driver.
This was confirmed by the head of the Center for Investigation Management (LRC) Andrei Konyakhin:
– Security issues of Russian journalists were provided by agreement with the UN peacekeeping mission in the CAR. We acted in accordance with their recommendations: where can I go, and where not, where to settle, and, most importantly, that the driver was provided to the crew by the UN troops.
At the same time on August 1 the head of the UN Information Center in Moscow, Vladimir Kuznetsov, with reference to the press secretary of the UN mission in the Central African Republic, stated the following:
– We inform you that the UN Mission for Stabilization in the CAR (MINUSCA) did not provide either a driver or a car for a crew of Russian journalists. About what happened last night wrote Reuters referring to the very driver who survived:
– At 23 kilometers from Sibu, armed people emerged from the bushes and opened fire on the car.
According to unofficial information, everything happened at an unidentified checkpoint. The bodies were found next to the abandoned car.
Information that it is a matter of murder, not armed robbery at once was discussed by colleagues of the deceased. They unanimously asserted that everything that happened happened to be politically motivated. The murder was called a political one. A completely transparent hint is also in the commentary of Mikhail Khodorkovsky: – The question of my personal involvement in the project “Russian mercenaries” – I gave him money. This is far from the only such project of my kind. The project was developed by a group of professional investigative reporters and submitted to me by the editor in chief of the LRC. I consider it important, since in our country the authorities too often like to cover their dark deeds with a reference to “private persons”. In Russia, mercenarism is not regulated by law, it is not transparent and is a criminal offense. Nevertheless, the first persons of the state do not hesitate to talk about the approval of this practice, which makes the situation particularly dangerous.
The presence of the Wagner CGT in the territory of the CARs in Russia really is not a big secret. Only the interpretation is a little different. – Responding to the relevant request of the President of the CAR, the Russian side decided to provide Bangui with military-technical assistance on a free basis. With the consent of the UN Security Council Committee 2127 from the presence of the Ministry of Defense of Russia for the needs of the Central African Army in late January – early February this year. a batch of small arms and ammunition is delivered. With the knowledge of this Committee, 5 military and 170 Russian civilian instructors were sent to train servicemen of the CAR. This assistance is strictly in accordance with the requirements of the UN Security Council’s sanctions regime for this country. – It was said in a statement of the Deputy Director of the Department of Information and Press of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia AA Kozhin back in March of this year. Prior to this, the head of the Central Electoral Commission Fosten Arkanzh Tuader elected in 2016 met with Vladimir Putin: – We need protection from America’s aggressive actions. What is now happening in Syria is also a consequence of American intervention.
On October 9, 2017 in Sochi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov and the president of the Central African Republic F.A. Tuadere was discussed with the restoration of practical cooperation in the political, trade, economic and humanitarian fields. In 2018, the exploration of mining concessions began. “According to the founder of Conflict Intelligence Team Ruslan Leviev, traces of Russian businessmen are found in the CAR:
– There is direct evidence of Prigogine’s participation in the Sudan and the presence of mercenaries there. In particular, this is the company M-Invest, which is engaged in the development of gold deposits in Sudan. The company through a number of affiliated parties is connected with Yevgeny Prigozhin. In March, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in detail to the program of the new president of the CAR: – The new leadership of the country led by the President has taken a course to restore internal political stability, as well as diversify external relations. “…”Russian assistance is carried out in the mainstream of the common efforts of the international community to strengthen the national security forces of the CARs, transferring them full responsibility for maintaining security and law and order throughout its territory and, ultimately, normalizing the situation and resolving a protracted internal armed conflict Thus, the president of the CAR most likely did not have time to strengthen his credibility, he needed forces that not only contribute to the overall security of the country, but also his Perhaps this was the reason for turning to Russia for help. What motivates its delivery is another matter. There are sufficient grounds for assuming that the journalists who died in this direction were conducting their investigation. “At the present time, the staff of the SC of Russia, together with representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, are considering the question of sending experienced investigators to the Central African Republic and criminologists for carrying out separate investigative actions in this criminal case. The current legislation allows the Russian authorities to conduct separate investigative measures outside Russia with the consent of the host country. Evidence collected in this way is considered admissible and can be used in the investigation of a criminal case and its subsequent consideration by a court. “Wagner” PMC became famous for conducting a number of special operations in Syria. The development of private military companies in recent years has acquired special popularity in Russia. The bases for the training of fighters are strictly classified and located in different regions of the country. According to some information, one of the training camps of the “Wagner” PMC is located in the Krasnodar Territory, in the village. Molkino. Approximately 100 km from the village on the opposite side of the M-4 “Don” and the railway line, the checkpoint of the 10th brigade of the GRU is installed. To the left of the checkpoint is an asphalt road – here is the military unit of the Ministry of Defense. In the opposite direction is a dirt road, where there is another checkpoint. From it there is a kilometer to the camp of PMC. It is a few two-story houses. People move around the perimeter in civilian clothes.