The wife of Igor Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, claimed he was arrested in Moscow on Friday.
Igor Girkin, a prominent Russian military blogger and former official in the separatist so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in Ukraine, has been arrested in Moscow, according to a message attributed to his wife and posted on his Telegram account and in Russian news reports.
Girkin, also known by the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov, was reportedly taken from his apartment by Russian security officials Friday morning.
“Today, at about 11:30, representatives of the Investigative Committee came to our house,” read a statement on Girkin’s Telegram account attributed to his wife, Miroslava Reginskaya. “I was not at home at that time. Soon, according to the concierge, they took my husband out under the arms and took him to an unknown direction.”
Reginskaya said that she understands that Girkin is being charged with “extremism.”
“I do not know anything about my husband’s whereabouts and he has not contacted me,” her statement read.
Russian state news agency TASS said Reginskaya informed them about the extremism charge, and that law-enforcement agencies confirmed Girkin’s detention.
Girkin is a former colonel in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and served as defense minister in the DPR in eastern Ukraine.
It was during his time in the DPR that he contributed to the downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, a Dutch court found. All 298 people onboard were killed. The court last year found Girkin guilty of mass murder for his role in the downing of MH17, and he was sentenced Girkin in absentia to life in prison.
According to the court, Girkin participated in the conflicts in Chechnya, Transnistria and Bosnia.