The former Defense Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor “Strelkov” Girkin stated on his VKontakte post that the audio recording published by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) was authentic. The recording captured an assistant to Denis Pushilin discussing the assasination of then DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko with unknown people.
Pushilin was chosen to succeed Zakharchenko a week after the latter was assassinated on August 31.
“I have just received confirmation from Donetsk that it is not a ‘Ukrainian fake.’ The character has been recognized and the people who know him have no doubt regarding the identification of his voice and manner of speaking. It was also confirmed that this person surely worked in Pushilin’s team and was one of his close associates at least in late June this year,” Girkin said.
The SBU stated that the recorded conversation took place in June between the assistant of Pushilin, who was the head of Parliament at the time and represented the Republic during the negotiations on Minsk, and two unknown people. In this recording, the people were discussing the preparations for a coup d’état by Pushilin and the assasination of Zakharchenko.