Vitaliy Kiselev, former deputy head of the Luhansk People’s Militia, known by his call sign “the Communist”, one of the accused for the attempted coup in the so-called “republic”, was killed during interrogation, Gazeta.ru reports.
The general public remembers Kiselev because of the old cap with a star which soviet officers wore during the Great Patriotic War. He was seen frequently in front of cameras with this headgear.
The local prosecutor accused Kiselev and a number of other persons in the leadership of the so-called LPR (Luhansk People's Republic) of attempting a coup, and information has appeared in the media that the Communist died in prison.
However, on the 26th of September, Sergey Rahno, the head of department for the supervision of the legal compliance in war of the prosecutor general of LPR, appeared in a video presentation, saying that Kiselev is alive and that all of his rights as a prisoner “are being duly provided”. Nevertheless, near to the prosecutor’s employee stood a man in faded camouflage and a vest, externally closely resembling the accused deputy commander of the People’s Militia of the LPR. However, this person did not utter a word in the video. The prosecutor emphasized that Kiselev had admitted his guilt and given evidence incriminating his accomplices.
“In actual fact, the Communist was killed right after the first interrogation. When they interrogated him, they overdid it, so to speak. And that’s why he died. They tried to save Kiselev, but they were unable. The person in the video next to Rahno is Sergey, the brother of the former field commander, who works as a driver in the Plotnitsky administration,” a high-ranked source in the power structures of the LPR told the publication.
Meanwhile, towards the end of January, the local supervisory department announced that the final revision of charges had been brought against the former deputy commander of the People’s Militia of the LPR. He is suspected of “aiding and abetting attempted actions aimed at a forceful taking of power, the liability for doing so as envisaged by the criminal law of the “LPR” being imprisonment for 12 to 20 years,” the prosecutor general of the “republic” noted. The department stressed that, “currently the accused, V.V. Kiselev, in consideration of his written statement, is being held in a place which guarantees the safety of his life and health”. They have not shown the actual field commander to the public again.
“Kiselev is not alive, and it’s precisely for this reason that in the video from the 26th of September his brother doesn’t say anything, because his brother’s voice is quite different to the Communist’s voice,” the source in the “government” of the LPR explained.
In August 2016, Igor Plotnitsky, head of the LPR, was wounded as the result of an attempted assassination. There was a powerful explosion near his car. On the 20th of September he said that a conspiracy against the LPR had been uncovered. Kiselev was arrested in connection with this. He gave evidence against other participants in the conspiracy – in particular, he said that Aleksey Karyakin, former Chairman of the Supreme Council of the LPR, as well as Gennady Tsyplakov, former Head of the Council of Ministers of the LPR, were involved in the conspiracy. It was subsequently reported that Kiselev has been hospitalized and is in grave condition.
On the 24th of September there was supposed to be a face-to-face interrogation with Kiselev and Tsyplakov, but on the day before the prosecutor general of the LPR reported that Tsyplakov had committed suicide, because he was afraid that the conspirators who were still free would kill him. Karyakin is currently hiding from Plotnitsky supporters and the Luhansk law enforcement.