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Habeas Corpus – Strelkov/Girkin and insurance policies

August 15, 2014

Yesterday evening saw several reports appear regarding the serious injury to Igor Strelkov/Girkin, the now (in)famous Defence Minister of the People’s Republic of Donetsk – or denials of injury.

The usual information-misinformation that is now a daily serving from that part of Ukraine.  However, Itar-Tass who reported the “grave wounding” has an uncanny habit of predicting the near future amongst the Russian State media – unfortunately for Mr Strelkov/Girkin.

Proof one way or the other will be arrived at by way of habeas corpus – be he alive and well, injured, or deceased, “show me the body”.

However the incident, regardless of how truthful, raises the issue (previously raised months ago) as to what to do with the likes of Mr Strelkov/Girkin in the future from a Kremlin perspective?

“What to do with Igor Girkin/Strelkov, Igor Bezler or Alexander Borodai, to name but a few Russian citizens that have self-declared themselves into prominence in eastern Ukraine, ably supported and projected to “hero” status by the Russian media?

Perhaps they will not return. Perhaps The Kremlin may decide it better they do not return. The return of well known nationalist leaders, popular enough to challenge The Kremlin narrative and definition of “nationalism” as well as the official approved version of events in eastern Ukraine may be quite problematic.

Those returning will be well armed. Some will not be mercenaries or criminals fighting for money. Some will be genuine, extreme, nationalists who will eventually realise they have been used by The Kremlin in eastern Ukraine. Should they return and have well known leaders from the same fight to rally around, this clearly creates a problem for The Kremlin.

Buy their silence and/or obedience? Jail them for one reason or another to take them out of circulation? Insure they do not return, nipping a potential problem in the bud on Ukrainian soil? Allow their return but cut them off from MSM coverage and propel them back to the fringes of social media from whence they came – hoping that the cannot rally the like-minded around them? Can they be effectively and efficiently “mothballed” pending other such adventures in Ukraine or elsewhere?”

In asking those questions of The Kremlin, there is then an obvious question facing Igor Strelkov/Girkin – How to mitigate the possibility (remote or otherwise) of becoming a subject of Kremlin agency “wet work”?

One can only presume that Mr Strelkov/Girkin has not only been privy to a large amount of extremely sensitive information during the months he has led the fight against Kyiv in Donetsk – but that he has also complied and secured that information to employ as “kompromat” in the future when bargaining with those that would perhaps prefer to have him erased, should matters come to that.

A particularly wise Mr Strelkov/Girkin may have arranged to have that “kompromat” released into the media by a trusted third party in the event anything particularly “untimely and/or unfortunate” awaits him at the hands of The Kremlin.

This in turn takes us to the issue of timing.

Naturally to discretely inform The Kremlin of an such “insurance policy” is better done either from neutral or Russian soil.  To do so in Ukraine would invite a successful assassination for which Ukraine would be blamed.  If from Russian soil, then immediately prior to, or after, making any such delicate declaration to The Kremlin, an immediate public appearance is necessary so the world knows a return to Russia occurred – followed by a reasonably low profile existence whilst negotiations about the future take place.

If The Kremlin is convinced of the dangers within any such “insurance policy” being revealed, it may grant a minor political career for a one-time hero, or a rather generous pension – conditional to a fairly reclusive, if somewhat mildly eccentric, retirement in a leafy suburb, whiling away of those autumns years in life, subject to an agreed silence on all matters Ukrainian.

That presents the problem of a return to Russia/arrival on neutral soil – something perhaps better organised privately without State involvement to insure safe arrival.  Accomplishing that may mean plausibly dropping off of everybody’s radar for a short time – perhaps during the confusion of reports of serious injury.

Too John Le Carre?  Perhaps – but the question though does remain – How does Igor Strelkov/Girkin insure his future when he becomes surplus to Kremlin requirements and/or fails in Donetsk?  (Presuming he does not succumb to any injuries he may have actually received.)  What is his insurance policy?

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