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First Comments on Alexey Mozgovoy's Murder

Unanswered questions suggest urgent need for professional investigators to be sent from Russia

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

That the latest diplomatic moves do not mean the end of the Ukrainian conflict has unfortunately received spectacular confirmation with news of the murder of Alexey Mozgovoy, the militia commander who led the "Ghost" Battalion.

By all accounts Mozgovoy was one of the bravest and most talented militia commanders. He also seems from all accounts I have read to have been a decent and honourable man.

I will leave it to those who knew him better to tell his story. 

I will however say two things:

1. Tragic though Mozgovoy's death is, it should be said clearly that it does not put at risk the existence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, as it might have done if it had happened a year ago;

2. There are unanswered questions about Mozgovoy's death. 

It seems strange that he should have been killed at almost exactly the same spot where a previous attempt was made to kill him just a few weeks ago in March. 

The fact that Mozgovoy's murderers appear to have laid an ambush for him suggests either a degree of inside knowledge or --- if they were following him --- a breakdown in his security arrangements, which is arguably more alarming still. 

There are also some troubling indications from things Mozgovoy is reported to have said that he might have had some foreknowledge or premonition that he was going to be killed. One should be careful about this and not make assumptions that derive from hindsight. However this is bound to cause concern, which makes it all the more important to establish the truth in this case.

I am not in a position to provide answers to these questions so I will not try to do so. 

However I do think this is a situation that calls for a thorough professional investigation of a sort that I frankly doubt the authorities of the Lugansk People's Republic are capable of carrying out by themselves. 

I presume the authorities of the Lugansk People's Republic realise this and will ask the one place that might provide such investigators --- Russia --- for help to investigate this murder.


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