Former Russian warlord convicted of downing MH17 flight expresses desire to fight in Ukraine

Former Russian warlord convicted of downing MH17 flight expresses desire to fight in Ukraine

WATCH NOW: 'Make Putin pay': Ukrainian MP calls for allies to use Russian assets to fund Kyiv's war efforts

GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 13/04/2024

- 18:37

Updated: 15/04/2024

- 15:22

In July 2014 passenger flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew

A Russian intelligence agent who was convicted for his role in bringing down the Malaysian airlines flight MH17 wants to join the war efforts in Ukraine.

Igor “Strelkov” Girkin’s wife has said her husband wants to have his record cleared by fighting in Ukraine.

In January, Girkin – a former officer in Russia’s FSB who helped illegally annex Crimea - was jailed for four years after a court in Moscow found him guilty on charges of inciting extremism due to his criticism of Vladamir Putin.

In his Telegram posts, Girkin condemned the leadership of two Russian regiments in annexed Crimea, suggesting harsh punishments for officials, stating that they needed punishment.

\u200bIgor \u201cStrelkov\u201d Girkin

Igor “Strelkov” Girkin was convicted of the murder of 298 passengers and crew from flight MH17


Last month, Putin approved a new recruitment rule which banned individuals who have committed serious crimes, including “extremism”, from military service.

His wife, Miroslava Reginskaya, said that a unit in Donetsk People’s Republic wants Girkin to serve as a platoon commander.

She said: “When a country is going through a severe military conflict, it is a crime not to let an officer and a patriot with unique experience and knowledge in the military to the front line.

“But it was precisely this critical mistake that the authorities made by sending Igor Strelkov to prison on political charges of extremism.”


His lawyer told local news that there might be a “legal opportunity” for Girkin to fight, but only if Putin pardons him.

In July 2014, MH17, a passenger flight, was shot down over eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers and crew were killed.

Girkin was convicted in 2022 alongside Sergey Dubinskiy, and Leonid Kharchenko, a former Russian intelligence agent and Ukrainian separatist leader respectively.

The Hague sentenced all three were sentenced to life in prison, a ruling they have all ignored.

Miroslava Reginskaya

His wife said that a unit in Donetsk People’s Republic want Girkin to serve as a platoon commander


“Only the most severe punishment is fitting to retaliate for what the suspects have done, which has caused so much suffering to so many victims and so many surviving relatives,” Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said, reading a summary of the ruling.

At the time, the area was the scene of fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

Steenhuis said the men did not enjoy any immunity from prosecution as they were not members of the Russian armed services.

“There is no reasonable doubt” that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile system, Steenhuis said.

The four men were charged with shooting down an airplane and with murder in a trial that was held under Dutch law.

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