by Colonel Cassad (Boris Pozhin)
Translated by Seva
Journalist Roman Skomorokhov proposed yet another version of the murder of Alexey Mozgovoi.
It sometimes happens that the story is over, and it makes no sense to return to it. One cannot revive the dead, whereas issues of honor and memory in some places do not matter, to put it mildly. But as far as this story goes, I could not be satisfied. Frankly, there were too many strange and unexplained things in it.
After the second attempt on his life, we published our opinions and conclusions. Alexey Borisovich (Mozgovoi) laughed at them. Although one of the versions was close. After the third (successful) attempt we made our conclusions without his comments. Almost blindly. To be honest, none of our four hypotheses was correct. Simply because we did not know certain things. So, this is not an attempt to get it right after obvious faults in reasoning, but an attempt to show what actually happened. This is important, as most participants are alive and well, and keep working and serving.
I will tell you straight away, I was digging all these 10 months that passed since the event. Not with the excavator, no, but, rather, with the sapper shovel. Talked to people who could tell me something. Wrote letters. Received answers. Read various opinions and memoirs. But a coherent picture did not emerge.
An accident helped. I got hold of correspondence of Anna Sameluk and Alexey Mozgovoi with one person in Kiev. The main value is in Anna’s letters, as Alexey Borisovich had his own style of writing letters. He detested it. In 1.5 years of our communications I got the total of 5 (five) letters from him containing the total of 107 words. That’s counting prepositions and pronouns. He hated writing and nothing could be done about it.
Authenticity of this correspondence was checked and is not in doubt. These letters were from people who signed them. It does not matter how well I know the writing style of protagonists. Just until March 2015 I knew many things discussed in these letters. Naturally, I was also mentioned in them.
There are a bit over 500 pages. I had to read them all. When I stopped reading and then carefully looked through these documents, a clear picture emerged.
A few words about a person who corresponded with Mozgovoi and Sameluk. He lives in Kiev. He is not a rebel. He collaborated with Anna, helping her to get her informational project off the ground. Quite successfully, by the way. At his suggestion Mozgovoi started talking more about general, rather than specifically military, problems scoring a good number of political points due to this. And the steps that initiated the chain of events were undertaken according to his plan.
So, what happened at the beginning of last year?
Here’s what happened. As soon as the reform started in the LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic) army, the “Ghost” (Mozgovoi’s brigade) was put under pressure. The powers wanted to include it into a corps, or disperse, like they did with the Cossack’s units. I think everyone remembers the indignation expressed regarding these plans.
The key problem was that despite approaches of the LPR powers, Mozgovoi refused contact. He refused the posts of deputy defense minister and deputy minister of internal affairs offered to him. I don’t know whether he would have been a good minister, but the offers were eventually rescinded, and Mozgovoi was left with nothing. In addition, the brigade was falling apart because of the lack of financing and supplies. Importantly, also due to the lack of prospects for the solders. It’s one thing to serve in an official Corps, and quite another – in a unit with doubtful future. Solders were leaving.
As the result, the “Ghost” became a battalion consisting of two companies, mostly locals and people dedicated to the ideas and personality of Mozgovoi. So, by March 2015 there was no brigade, and Mozgovoi was the brigade commander only nominally. That was why the even was so surprising to us. What would be the purpose of his murder? Out of about three thousand originally, he had ~350 solders left. He apparently came to an agreement with Plotnitsky (LPR leader). It appeared that the remainder of the “Ghost” was to be included into LPR Territorial militia. So, why murder? What for? Is it about the parade Mozgovoi wanted to have in Alchevsk on May 9th? But he did not conduct it. Alchevsk Kombinat? Personally, I suspected its owners, but that was not confirmed.
Yet, as it turned out, there was a reason. A very strong one.
In March, when it became clear that brigade cannot be saved in its former shape, it was decided that the military leader Mozgovoi would become the politician Mozgovoi. This was not hard. Mozgovoi, via his brigade, helped the city and its residents a lot. He supplied medicines and food donated to the brigade, took care of retirees and children. He had a whole unit working on this. Unit 088. By March of 2015 this unit significantly bolstered Mozgovoi’s image.
But, as administrative resources were distributed from Lugansk, Mozgovoi had only one path to power left to him: elections. The elections were planned according to the Minsk accords. And he made a tough decision to register civil movement “People’s rebirth”. To revive in the name of the people and on their mandate everything that LPR needs. A good idea. Where this movement needs to be registered? Clearly, not in Russia. Clearly, not in LPR, as nobody in the world would recognize such as registration. Taking into account the nuance that, according to the Minsk agreement, the elections should be held by Ukrainian laws, the movement had to be registered in Ukraine.
One could ask: are they mad? To accept the registration documents from “separatist” and “terrorist” Mozgovoi – how can that be? But the Ukrainian law has this loophole: a civil organization that does not have an account and is not allowed to conduct financial business can be registered simply by notification. There is the Rule #140. Ukrainian citizens send a set of correct documents via mail. Within 3 (three) days after their receipt, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice must either register, or refuse to register.
There are additional nuances. The petitioner (or one of the petitioners indicated in the documents) must pick up the documents in the Justice Ministry personally and then perform several other actions in order to register. But from the moment that the Charter is stamped “Registered” civil organization officially exists. The registration is deemed completed when one of the petitioners signs the receipt for the registration certificate. I describe this in such excruciating detail to help you understand the effect of these manipulations. In the end, three Ukrainian citizens submitted documents to the Ukrainian Justice Ministry about the creation of the civil organization “People’s rebirth”.
Andrey Kozlov, as a law school graduate, prepared the documents in accordance with the Ukrainian law. Now I have the copies. As notary service in LPR was … Well, we’d better say it was nonexistent, so the copies of passports were notarized not in Alchevsk, but in a different town. The Mozgovoi’s reputation and the cooperation of the OSCE mission helped.
On the indicated day, Anna Sameluk sent the package to Kiev. Naturally, from Russian Donetsk. Here is post office receipt.
Then, on May 5, the package arrived at the Ukrainian Justice Ministry. Here is the scan of its tracking by the Russian postal service.
Having their man in Kiev, they learned that on May 8 the Justice Ministry approved the petition of Mozgovoi, Kozliv, and Sameluk to register the movement. What was going on in Alchevsk on May 8? If someone does not know, there was an anti-fascist conference. There were about a hundred people from all over Europe: Spaniards, Greeks, French, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgarians. There were also Russians and Ukrainians. It is hard to tell who spread the info that Mozgovoi has a civil movement registered. I found four participants, but only one of them, Zlatko Stoikovich, answered when and how the news about the registration became known. He learned from his acquaintance in OSCE, but by the evening everybody knew.
The conference became the birthday of this new organization. At the same time “People’s rebirth” got international recognition of sorts, as representatives of other civil organizations expressed the willingness to cooperate and help. I do not have proof that the registration was actually accomplished. For obvious reasons. But in this video former chief of staff of the “Ghost” Shevchenko at the funeral say this openly. He and person named “Dobriy” (“Kind”) knew about it. Here is the 6th minute of this video.
I would like to note that the Lugansk authorities were not enthusiastic about this conference in Alchevsk. But they decided not to conflict with international organizations, including humanitarian ones. They got back at Mosgovoi on the issue of the May 9th parade, if you remember. They prohibited that parade.
Let us summarize.
- The brigade commander, now politician, Mozgovoi, registered the civil movement “People’s rebirth”.
- This movement at that time was the only civil organization recognized by Ukraine on the LPR territory after Republic’s de facto separation from Ukraine.
- There was no doubt that this organization wpuld garner considerable support among the people. The grassroots work was pretty good.
- According to the Minsk accords, as far as elections were concerned, Mozgovoi and members of his organization, registered as candidates, would be the only ones recognized by Ukraine.
There was one organization like that in DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic). “MMM” party of Pushilin. But there is a big difference between Pushilin and Mozgovoi…
Personally, I have no doubt what effect this information would have produced in, let us say, the LPR Ministry of State Security, especially presented in the right way.
“Mozgovoi is a traitor! He came to an agreement with Ukraine, they registered his party for the elections! Here is the proof!”
Can you imagine that kind of hysterics in one of the Ministry’s cabinets? I can, too. I also can easily imagine Mozgovoi’s electoral victory not only in Alchevsk, but also in Lugansk.
Indeed, the situation can be interpreted in two ways. Apparently, somewhere it was interpreted in the required way. And we know the result. Disagreeable politician Mozgovoi, with his original ideas about the republic, turned out to be scarier than a brigade commander with three thousand solders, tanks, and “Grad” rocket launchers. One also should not forget about prohibited TV conversations with the Ukrainian Army represantatives.
He was removed decisively and professionally. Without games, like those in May 2014, and without self-made explosive devices, as in 2015. All was well organized.
OK now ask me what happened to Kozlov? The third organizer? I do not know.
Andrey “Sledak” Kozlov was arrested the day after the murder of Mozgovoi and Sameluk. At the beginning, he could call and write letters. He asked friends for help; he needed medical treatment; he was even transferred to the hospital. He had problems with his kidneys. It is rumored that he was being essentially murdered during interrogations. For the last half a year, there is nothing from him. Nobody knows where he is, and it is impossible to find out. There are fewer and fewer people in LPR willing to risk asking. Those in the know believe that Andrey has been dead for some time.
Summary. Alexey Borisovich Mozgovoi was murdered not because of his disagreements with Cossacks. Not because of economic arguments with Alchevsk Kombinat. Not because of actions of Ukrainian infiltrators. Not because of internal betrayal of someone who wanted his position. Although people close to him played a role in these events. But we will talk about it some other time. We believe that the reason was that some pages with writing turned out to be scarier for someone that tanks and artillery. Scarier even than the promised at some point expedition of the “Ghost” to Lugansk. I believe that the question “What for?” is answered. There remain questions “Who is to blame?” and “Who profited?” We think these must be addressed separately, especially considering that there is a lot of information for analysis.
So we will come back to this.
PS. It should be noted that after a year of official investigation, there are no conclusions regarding the organizers and perpetrators of this murder, which shows either the lack of professionalism in the investigation, or that it is mockery. There is similar silence about other murders of well-known people: Ishchenko (Evgenii Ishchenko, mayor if Pervomaisk and one of the Cossak commanders in LPR, killed January 23, 2015; a humanitarian convoy with him an two Russian citizens was ambushed, presumably, by Ukrainian infiltrators – translator’s note) and Dremov (Pavel Dremov, commander of the Cossak Platov’s Regiment in LPR, killed on December 12, 2015; his car was blown up on the second day of his wedding celebration – translator’s note). Recent murder of Plotnitsky’s aide also remains unexplained. Taking into account that before that there was an attempt to justify the unlawful murder of Alexander Bednov (Alexander Bednov, one of the best known commanders of LPR, was shot in his car, with 5 other people, on January 1, 2015, by the LPD security forces – translator’s note) and Russian citizens at the road turn to Lutugino, it is clear that our versions suggests the complicity of the LPR authorities, whom some unintelligent propagandists tried to give the right to murder people.
PS2. Regarding the facts revealed by Skomorokhov, last year in Rostov I have heard a similar, although slightly different version, according to which Mozgovoi allegedly crossed/planned to cross the front line in order to organize communication in the format of TV links face-to-face with the “Ukrainian side”, and this was reported to the authorities. However, I saw no proof of that.