Alexander Rastorguev was introduced to the local fixer in the CAR Kirill Romanovsky bu journalist of the RIA FAN.
Several acquaintances of Rastorguev and Romanovsky old Medusa newspaper about that. Sam Romanovsky in the first conversation with the Medusa – it occurred before the publication of the material – confirmed that he had communicated with Martin (fixer is mentioned under this name in the media) and Rastorguev. Martin’s surname is still unknown; it was to a meeting with him, as the editor-in-chief of the “Center for Investigative Management” Andrei Konyakhin said, journalists were traveling when they were attacked.
The LRC said that Martin worked in the UN mission in the CAR, but on August 1, mission representatives said that they “do not have a consultant who would be called Martin” and that the organization did not maintain contact with the dead journalists. The LRC also said that it was Martin who recommended the journalists to the driver who was with them during the attack. He was the only one who survived and then gave testimony about what happened. Contact with Martin in the first day after the death of journalists representatives of the LRC failed; then they also did not report any contacts with Martin.
In his first interview with Medusa, Romanovsky said that he had already communicated with the Investigative Committee, which is investigating the murder of Rastorguev, Orhan Dzhemal and Cyril Radchenko in the CAR, as well as with the relatives of the victims – and is not ready to talk about the communication with the dead journalists and Martin again. He also said that he “promised” to the Investigative Committee to restore the “dead phone”, in which the correspondence with Martin and Rastorguev remained. According to him, the journalist intends to go to the CAR along with an investigative group of independent reporters to investigate the death of Rastorguev, Jemal and Radchenko on the spot. He added that it is hard for the journalists to die.
After the publication of this material Romanovsky again contacted the “Medusa” and told the details of his acquaintance with Rastorguev and Martin.
As the journalist says, some time ago Alexander Rastorguev contacted him through a common acquaintance, who was interested in the topic of the Kurds. Romanovsky and Rastorguev met, at the meeting there were also some other journalists, but among them there was neither Jemal nor Radchenko. When the meeting took place, Romanovsky did not specify, saying that he could not disclose it “in the context of the investigation.”
According to Romanovsky, after talking about the situation of Kurds in Syria, the conversation turned to a man who “understands something in the African scenario in principle.” Then the journalist linked Rastorguev and his colleagues to Martin, who, as far as he knew, worked in the UN mission in Africa.
“Initially [about Martin as] about the fixer from my side there was no speech. As a fixer, it was already determined by him, and they began to conduct active negotiations on this issue. I have not taken part in this correspondence, “Romanovsky adds. According to him, Martin is his acquaintance, whom they have not met for a long time, but not so long ago “quite by accident” they renewed contact. Romanovsky did not tell other details, referring to the agreement with the investigation.
“Medusa” clarified whether Romanovsky knows Martin’s surname. “That’s it, that’s the problem,” the journalist replied. “At first I thought that I remember his name, tried to remember it, but it seems that no, I do not remember.”
The publication of RIA FAN, where Romanovsky works, was associated with the “troll factory” and Yevgeny Prigozhin. It was mentioned in the case on the intervention of Russians in the American elections; he was blocked on facebook.
In April 2017, the investigation of RBC magazine talked about the FAN as the main site of the “media factory” associated with the “troll factory” – an agency that commercialized the posting of comments in support of the Russian authorities on the Internet (the activities of the “troll factory” were investigated in detail by the New York Times and other publications). The FAN office was previously located in St. Petersburg at Savushkin’s address, 55 – in the same place as the “troll factory”.
RBC magazine suggested that Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman, who was also associated with the “troll factory” and considered a sponsor of the “Wagner” PMC, could finance the FAN and other editions of the “media factory”. Rastorguev, Dzhemal and Radchenko traveled to the CAR to film a documentary about Russian mercenaries in the republic; it is generally accepted that the employees of the Wagner PMC work there. In July 2016, when the court considered Prigogine’s suit against Yandex (the businessman wanted to take advantage of the “right to oblivion” and demanded to conceal articles linking him to the “troll factory”), FAN officials tried to take all the seats in the hall to that and journalists from other media outlets did not hit. According to the US Justice Department, Alexander Krylov, who was the general director of RIA FAN in 2014-2015, also worked for the “Internet Investigation Agency” (the legal name of the “troll factory”). The US government accuses Krylov – and another 12 Russians associated with the “Internet Investigation Agency” – in an attempt to intervene in the election of the US president in 2016. In November 2017, Google News service for several days stopped issuing news published in the FAN. In April 2018, the account’s account was blocked in Facebook, apparently because of its connection with the “troll factory.” Romanovsky works as a correspondent for RIA FAN in the war in Syria. The publication often has exclusives on this topic; the sources of RBC explained this by links with the “Wagner” PMs. On the RIA FAN website, Kirill Romanovsky is listed as a special correspondent for the Middle East publication. His latest material is dated March 19 – a video about how Syrian troops knock out soldiers of the Jays al-Islam group from settlements in East Gut. As RBC magazine pointed out, in Syria RIA FAN correspondents began working in 2015 – before that , as Russia sent its troops there. Cyril Romanovsky himself told about the work of FAN employees in Syria. He said that the agency sends two brigades to Syria for a month and a half or two, after which they return to Russia for some time. He also claimed that journalists from RIA FAN received accreditation through the Syrian ministries of information and defense, only periodically contacting the Russian military. RIA FAN correspondents often outstripped competitors in work in Syria. In March 2017, it was Romanovsky and his partner who first published the material about the capture of the Palmira Citadel. In January 2018, Russian media wrote that the Turkish troops began a military operation in Syrian Afrina, with reference to Romanovsky. RBC’s interlocutors said that the same “scumbags” as RIA FAN (who “climb into the worst”) are only employees ANNA-News – in 2016 for this edition in Syria Kirill Radchenko, who died in the CAR, worked; Romanovsky confirmed in a conversation with Medusa that he was acquainted with him. Several sources of RBC magazine stated that the success of RIA FAN journalists in Syria is due to the fact that they are helped by people from PMC “Wagner”. Romanovsky himself then told the publication that he had never seen them in four business trips.