Mikhail Tolstykh with the Callsign “Givi” (second from left)
Photo: Valery sharifulin / TASS
The self-proclaimed Donetsk killed the commander of militia battalion “Somalia” Mikhail Tolstoy, known under the Callsign Givi. Behind the assassination attempt may stand as security services of Ukraine, who liquidate the most active battalion commanders of the DPR and subversive groups associated with the Russian special services, experts say
Former Ukrainian tanker
On the morning of Wednesday, February 8, in his office in Makeyevka was killed the battalion commander, “Somalia” the self-proclaimed Donetsk national Republic (DND) Mikhail Tolstoy, known by the Callsign Givi. Information about his death confirmed RBC Deputy commander of the operational command of the DPR Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the self-proclaimed head of the Republic Alexander Zakharchenko Alena Alekseeva.
DNR representatives called the incident a terrorist attack, accusing the Ukrainian side. One of the former leaders of the DNI Igor Strelkov on his page “Vkontakte” reported that, according to him, around the room, which was Thick, was fired from a flame thrower “bumblebee”.
In turn, Ukrainian SBU reported that has no information about the death of Tolstoy and the possible involvement of the Ukrainian security services. As stated by the TV channel “112 Ukraine” the adviser to the head of the SBU Yuriy tandit, Kiev will be to check the information about the assassination attempt on Thick.
Advisor to the Minister of internal Affairs of Ukraine Zorian Shkiryak denied allegations of the murder of the commander of “Somalia”. “And they [the DNR] has to say? That they each other, sorry, urinate in the toilet? It’s clear that they need someone to blame,” said RBC Shkiryak.
Earlier, as reported by the TV channel “112 Ukraine” Shkiriak said that in the Donbass is “a purposeful elimination of the leaders of the terrorist gangs “LNR” and DNR”. He also said that the interior Ministry and the SBU invite the leaders of the unrecognized republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky to give up. “Because, given the situation, the following may be what they were”, — said Shkiryak.
A former tank commander
As told in an interview, 36-year-old Tolstoy (originally from Ilovaysk Donetsk region), at the time, he served as a tank commander in the Ukrainian army, and took the Callsign Givi in honor of the Georgian great-grandfather. Thick then worked as an industrial climber and a driver for the cable plant.
Killed the commander of militia battalion “Somalia” Givi
On the morning of 8 February, the DNR had killed the commander of militia battalion “Somalia” Mikhail Tolstoy, known as Givi. He gained fame after the battle for Ilovaysk and defense Donetsk…
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With the beginning of hostilities in the Donbass, fought on the side of the forces of self-proclaimed DNR under the Slavonic. But fame Thick and his battalion received during the battle for the new terminal of the Donetsk airport. During the days of fighting the Fat squad was able to take the ruins of the building, which was defended by soldiers of the Ukrainian army. In addition, the Thick detachment fought under Ilovaisk, where he participated surrounded the Ukrainian group.
The first version
Leaders of the breakaway republics have not yet commented on the death of Tolstoy. One of the leaders DND Denis Pushilin did not respond to calls to RBC. According to the representative LNR at Minsk negotiations group Vladislav Dane, he has no information on possible releases. Refused to comment RBC from the former head of DNR Alexander Boroday.
In the Russian state Duma believe that the death of Tolstoy is the Ukrainian side. “It fits into the General tendency of preparation of Ukraine’s offensive against the Donbass”, — told RBC, the first Deputy Chairman of the Committee on CIS Affairs, the United Russia party member Konstantin Zatulin. He recalls that “a few days ago was killed by the chief of the militia LC Ukraine continues to pull technique and strength in Avdeevka and shelling Donetsk”. While Zatulin believes that the final decision on the offensive Kiev is not accepted, and they continue to watch the West’s reaction to their actions.
According to Ukrainian political analyst Vladimir Fesenko, to assassinate Thick and could “clandestine subversive groups” associated “with the Russian special services”. “We have already seen the cleansing of the internal reasons: for example, the elimination of a particularly anarchistic commanders Bednova dremova. The story of the struggle for control of financial flows also cannot be ruled out. Perhaps simply remove the most odious figures. Russia, after talks with the West can remove their posts, and leaders of the separatist republics Plotnitsky and Zakharchenko”, — he said in comments to RBC.
I agree with Fesenko, political analyst Vadim Karasev. In his opinion, if the death involved in their Thick, this means that “there is a sweep of the military commanders” who are simply unnecessary when taking the course for a peaceful solution to the conflict” because they “just get”.
If attempted Fat are the special services of Ukraine, a blow to the most active military leaders of the DNI, which in turn may lead to demoralization of a number of military units soprovozhdenii Republic, said Karasev. “The death of Givi symbolizes a fork in the road: either the process will be to move toward negotiations and a real political regulation, or Vice versa — in the direction of the sharp military escalation, the outbreak of military violence, trying to resolve the conflict is not so much diplomatic, how much by military means”, — concluded the MP.
The death of Michael Thick was the second in recent high-profile attack in samoprovzglashenny republics of Donbass. February 4 this year in Lugansk in the result of car explosion killed the head of the people’s militia Luhansk national Republic (LNR) Oleg Anashchenko.
One of the most notorious was the death of another prominent military leader of the DNR — the battalion commander “Sparta”, Russian Arsen Pavlov, known by the call sign Motorola. He also was blown up in his house on September 12. Officially, the leaders of the DNI was accused of attempted Pavlova Ukrainian saboteurs, and later reported on the capture of a subversive group that has allegedly taken responsibility for the elimination of Pavlov.
Attacks on leaders of the field commanders of the DPR and LPR began in the summer of 2015. In early January 2015, was assassinated former Minister of defense of LPR Alexander Bednov, known as the Batman. The power of LC then accused Bednov and his men in robberies, abductions and torture, and colleagues Bednova accused in the death of the leader LNR Igor Carpentry.
In may 2015, was killed the commander of the battalion “Ghost” Alexey Brain. Officially, the government of the LC accused him of the liquidation of the Ukrainian security services, although shortly before the death of the Brain allowed himself to open criticism of Donetsk militia, saying that the fighting for the soldiers of FSC “pure business”. In December 2015, was killed by a Cossack ataman Pavel Dremov is another field commander, criticized Igor Plotnitsky.
The assassination of the commanders of the LC and the DNI has continued in 2016. In early October, in the town of Slavyanoserbsk, Luhansk region was shot Armen bagiryan (Buggy) with a few colleagues. And on 19 September in Moscow, was killed the leader of Pro-Russian organisatie “Oplot” Alexander Zhilin. The Investigative Committee of Russia soon claimed that the basic version of murder is a commercial activity Zilina.