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22 May, 2024
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Murder or setup? Russian General's fatal jog

Routes shared on jogging app included crime scene park


The Russian submarine commander Stanislav Ritski, who was murdered by an unknown man in Krasnodar on Monday evening, was possibly a victim of surveillance by his killer on the popular jogging app "Strava," according to the Russian news agency Tass. The Russian Investigative Committee stated in a Telegram message that a man was arrested as a suspect in Ritski's murder, adding that the suspect was in possession of a silenced pistol, "possibly used in the murder." The motives for the act are still unknown.

In the mentioned app, runners and cyclists share their routes with other users, often accompanied by comments. One of the regular routes taken by Ritski in the mornings while working in Krasnodar included the park where he was murdered. Ritski had previously served as the commander of the "Krasnodar" war submarine, named after the city, but it has not been clarified whether he remained in that position until the day of his murder.

Another Russian media outlet, Tsargrad, reported that the perpetrator "carefully planned the murder in such a way that the moment of the attack did not appear on any surveillance camera." "The murderer waited in the park near the 'Olympus' sports complex, where Ritski regularly jogged. The man died on the spot, and the perpetrator is being sought," according to Tsargrad's report. Ritski's profile on the "Strava" app also shows that in 2014, he used to cycle in Sevastopol, where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based.

The Ukrainian Defense Intelligence revealed in an unusually detailed statement on Telegram that Commander Ritski was shot in Krasnodar. The agency did not claim responsibility for the commander's death. "The officer of the submarine was jogging in a park in Krasnodar. Around 6 a.m., he was shot seven times with a Makarov pistol. As a result of his injuries, Stanislav Ritski died on the spot," the announcement stated. "Due to heavy rainfall, the park was deserted, and there were no witnesses who could provide details or identify the perpetrator," it added.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the "Krasnodar" is a diesel-electric submarine of the Black Sea Fleet designed to engage surface ships and submarines, conduct mine-laying, and perform reconnaissance operations. It is a Kilo-class submarine capable of launching cruise missiles. Missile attacks launched from submarines are responsible for some of the most devastating strikes on Ukrainian cities, including one in the central city of Vinnytsia a year ago that killed dozens of people, including three children.

In a later statement, the Strategic Communications Department of the Ukrainian Armed Forces tried to downplay suspicions that Kyiv may have carried out the attack. "He was evidently killed by his own men because he refused to continue carrying out orders regarding missile attacks on civilians," it stated.

Ritski's family reports that he was "never involved in any way" in the war in Ukraine, and he had previously requested to leave the armed forces.

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