A ‘revenge killer’ has shot dead a former Russian submarine commander wrongly suspected of being behind a Kalibr missile attack that killed 27 Ukrainians.
Stanislav Rzhitsky, 42, was shot in the back and chest while jogging in the Russian city of Krasnodar on Monday morning.
But the attack, which appeared to have been ordered by Ukraine, missed the correct target.
Rzhitsky had once commanded the Krasnodar submarine that killed 27, including three children, in Vinnysia a year ago this week, but control of the ship passed to Captain Anatoliy Varochkin, 46, before the attack on July 14, 2022.
It came as Russian police made a dramatic arrest of a suspect in the Rzhitsky murder in Krasnodar today.
Sergei Denisenko, 64, was seen huddled on the kitchen floor in his underwear after heavily armed Russian security forces stormed a house in Tuapse, Krasnodar region, breaking the windows.
A pistol and a silencer were reportedly found in his possession, along with cash.
Stanislav Rzhitsky, 42, (pictured) was shot in the back and chest while jogging in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar on Monday morning in an apparently carefully planned hit.
Rzhitsky, who once commanded a Black Sea Fleet submarine, is believed to have been killed in revenge for a Kalibr missile attack on the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia nearly a year ago, on July 15, 2022. Pictured: the devastating scene of the missile attack
The suspected gunman cowers on the ground (left) – and the seized gun (right)
Among the 27 victims of the submarine missile bombardment was four-year-old Liza Dmitrieva (pictured), who was in a stroller with her mother Irina. Irina survived the attack but suffered horrific injuries.
In fact, Ukraine had singled out Varochkin long before and a group offered a $15,000 reward for him as responsible for the submarine attack.
The Ukrainian-born Denisenko is believed to be a karate teacher with Ukrainian connections.
The committee said: ‘A man suspected of murdering Stanislav Rzhitsky…was detained in the Krasnodar region.’
He was being questioned as a ‘suspect’.
“During the arrest, it was discovered that Denisenko had a pistol with a silencer, from which, presumably, the crime was committed.” The ‘motive for the murder’ is being established, they added.
He is an ‘honored master of support’ who toured Russia and Ukraine.
Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, issued a statement today to deny that his agents were responsible for the killing in Krasnodar, instead blaming Russia’s internal enemies against Putin’s war.
“We know that the roots of what happened yesterday in the Russian Federation must be found within Russia itself, where the internal protest against the war in Ukraine is growing,” he said.
Captain 1st Rank Varochkin was accused of “launching missile attacks against peaceful citizens and cities of Ukraine.”
He was named as ‘the terrorist who gave the order to kill civilians in Vinnytsia’.
Varochkin is now Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Despite this, earlier today Ukrainian military intelligence had suggested that it had inside knowledge of the assassination of Rzhitsky, who ultimately acted as Putin’s war mobilization chief.
The Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) in Kiev said the 42-year-old man was shot dead at 6 a.m. yesterday with seven bullets fired from a Soviet-era Makarov pistol.
Investigators are looking for ‘a middle-aged man with a blue cap,’ Baza reported.
Russian police make a dramatic arrest of a suspect in the murder of Rzhitsky in Krasnodar
Sergei Denisenko (pictured), 64, was detained by Russian police on suspicion of the murder of submarine captain Stanislav Rzhitsky.
Among the 27 victims of the submarine missile bombardment was four-year-old Liza Dmitrieva, who was riding in a stroller with her mother Irina. Irina survived the attack but suffered terrible injuries.
Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska met Liza from a Christmas video shoot.
Russian investigators believe that Rzhitsky’s running route was tracked by a running app he used, and that the timing of the murder was linked to the upcoming one-year anniversary of the Kalibr attack.
A map shows his frequent route that was posted on Strava, an American fitness tracking app.
The former captain, who became a mobilization officer for Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, was shot four times while jogging near the Olympus Arena in the city of Krasnodar.
He received a blow to the “back and chest” and died at the scene. Two 9mm bullets were found in his body.
His watch and headphones were located at the scene, indicating that theft was not the motive, according to news outlet Mash.
The killer shot Rzhitsky at a location with no CCTV cameras, but Russian police released a photo of a man they say is a suspect in the killing they believe was ordered as a revenge attack from Ukraine.
Investigators are looking for “a middle-aged man in a blue cap,” the Baza news outlet reported.
The Ukrainian Myrotvorets database previously reported that Rzhitsky “directly participates in the military invasion of Ukraine.”
But the former commander had left office before the start of the war, it is understood.
The victim was evidently suspected of being the captain of the Krasnodar submarine, which incidentally is named after his hometown, at the time it unleashed Kalibr missile hell on Vinnytsia from the Black Sea.
Former Krasnodar mayor Evgeny Pervyshov confirmed: ‘I met him as the commander of the Krasnodar submarine…
“He was a true patriot, a good man and a loving father.”
It is not clear if he was still the captain of the submarine in July 2022 when Vinnytsia was attacked, but it is known that he launched cruise missiles against ISIS during previous Russian operations in Syria.
The Krasnodar is a diesel-electric submarine built for the Black Sea Fleet and designed “to fight surface ships and submarines, lay mines, and conduct reconnaissance.”
Previously, Rzhitsky had captained the Alrosa submarine.
The first department started a murder case for the investigation of especially important cases in Krasnodar, Russian officials said.
Investigators were working to “establish all the circumstances of the incident, as well as the person who committed the crime and his motives.”
Liza, killed in the air raid last year, suffered from Down syndrome and arthritis in one leg.
Among the 27 killed in Vinnytsia was Kateryna Hula, 24, an administrator at the Neuromed medical center that was hit by the missile attack.
Among the 27 killed in Vinnytsia was 24-year-old Kateryna Hula, (pictured) an administrator at the Neuromed medical center that was hit by the missile attack.
Liza’s stroller was found in the middle of the street at the time of the strike last year, it was spattered with blood from the wounds, the girl did not survive.
The center’s director, Tetyana Kharchenko, 32, was another victim, as was Evhen Kovalenko, 25, a sound producer for Ukrainian singer Roxolana, who was due to perform in the city.
Concert organizer Viktor Polishchuk was killed, as were child neurologist Pavlo Kovalchuk and neurologist Nataliya Falshtynska, a mother of three.
Russian state television claimed the submarine impact had been the “most productive” of the war, killing Colonel Oleg Makarchuk, 48, head of the Ukrainian Air Force’s armaments and logistics service, and Colonel Dmitry Burdiko. , another high-ranking commander of the air force. , since they met in the so-called House of Officers in Vinnytsia.
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