Today I have a short but interesting piece in the category of True Crime. Readers may or may not recall the 2018 assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko, the first Head of the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR). Today we have some new facts to add to his murder book.
Alexander Vladimirovich was born in 1976, in the city of Donetsk, to the family of a coal miner. His father was Ukrainian (hence the name ending in –chenko), and his mother was an ethnic Russian.
After finishing middle school, Alexander attended the Donetsk Technicum for Industrial Automation, graduating in 1995, then immediately went to work in the mines as an electrical mechanic.
After the Maidan coup of 2014 Zakharchenko took part in the local protests sweeping the region. He led one of the armed groups which took over the Donetsk Administration building. They presented demands to the Kiev government and then held a referendum. [That referendum was different from the current one, it wasn’t sanctioned by Moscow, quite the contrary…]
By May of 2014 Zakharchenko had risen to the rank of military commander in Separatist Donetsk. He commanded a unit called Oplot. They fought battles against the Ukrainian army of the time, and Zakharchenko was wounded in the arm. He received a battle-front promotion to Major-General. When the DPR was created, he was elected its Chief.
On 31 August 2018, Zakharchenko was enjoying a snack in the local cafe called “Separ”. A bomb went off, and he perished in the explosion, along with his bodyguard and a few other people.
The Price Of a Hero’s Life: Five Million Rubles
Which brings us to our present piece and the arrival of new facts in the case. According to RIA, secret services of the Luhansk Peoples Republic (LPR) recently intercepted a phone call between an SBU officer named Alexander Kiyashchenko; and one of his field agents.
The two guys were discussing the plan for a new terrorist action which (thanks to intercepting the phone call), the LPR police were able to avert.
Interestingly, in the course of this conversation, Kiyashchenko just happened to mention something about the much earlier (cold case) of the Zakharchenko assassination. This fragment of his utterance can be listened to by clicking on the embedded vid in the piece I linked. Kiyashchenko speaks in Russian:
“Чтобы ты понимал, за Захарку (Александра Захарченко. — Прим. ред.) заплатили пять миллионов рублей. Я говорю, пять миллионов рублей отошло человеку, который исполнял. <…> Два миллиона долларов — это был общий бюджет на все: на подготовку, на закладку, на так далее. А человек, который исполнил, нажал на клавишу вовремя, получил пять миллионов рублей”,
TRANSLATION: “Just so you understand, they paid 5 million rubles for Zakharka. I’m telling you, 5 million rubles went to the person who carried it out. Two million dollars, was what was generally budgeted for for the whole thing: For the preparation, the [bomb], and so on. And the person who carried this out, who pushed the button at the right time, this man received 5 million rubles.”