Former Russian military commander Igor Girkin, who was convicted of downing flight MH17 and the murder of 298 people by a Dutch court earlier this year, has been arrested in Russia according to his wife.
Miroslava Reginskaya posted on Girkin’s official Telegram channel that Russian authorities had come to their home in Moscow and arrested the 53-year-old on Friday morning.
According to Russian state media outlet TASS local law enforcement has confirmed the arrest.
Girkin was one of three men convicted last year by The Hague district court for supplying the surface-to-air missile that shot down the Malaysian airline passenger jet in 2014. He and his co-perpetrators were sentenced to life in prison in absentia.
The ex-Federal Security Service (FSB) officer has been increasingly critical of the Kremlin’s strategy in Ukraine, calling for more extreme measures. He was also arrested in Crimea last year, attempting to join the Russian military on the front lines.
According to his wife, Girkin has been charged with extremism and she has not had any contact with him since his arrest.
On Tuesday, Girkin called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to step down, writing “the country will not survive another six years of this cowardly mediocrity in power” on his Telegram channel, which has about 80,000 followers.
Russia does not deport its nationals so he is not expected to be sent to the Netherlands to serve his sentence.
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