I think many things are interesting.

There is a lot of stuff going on.

Yes, I concur with your view that lots of stuff happens and that much of it is interesting. What are the rop 10 most interesting things happening right now in your opinion?

Right now? The rop ten?

Probably sleep.

I’ve spent a week repairing an old D&R Octagon.

Fortunately I had an electrical engineer down for the week. I’ve still a lot of soldering and reassembly to finish off, but the state of the equipment is now mostly a known quantity, so I’ll be able to keep things at a functional level for a while longer.

Sounds like a bit of a task, I hope there’s a bit of wiggle room to work with inside of it.

Now, this is interesting!

The Russian army veteran who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in downing flight MH17 has been remanded in custody by a court in Moscow, as the Kremlin moves against its hardline foes following the Wagner group’s armed rebellion.

Outspoken pro-war blogger Igor Girkin – a vocal critic of how Russian President Vladimir Putin has handled the invasion – was detained at his Moscow flat by security services around noon on Friday, his wife said.

The Russian nationalist and former military commander of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Girkin, who is also known as Igor Strelkov, helped Russia annex Crimea in 2014 and then organise pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine.

Previously considered as untouchable, largely because his ties to the authorities through his former position as a colonel in the Federal Security Service, his arrest comes three days after he urged Putin to step down.

He was handed a life sentence in absentia by a Dutch court in November for his role in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, with the loss of 298 passengers and crew - including 38 Australians.

Girkin’s wife, Miroslava Reginskaya, announced his detention on his Telegram channel, which has almost 900,000 subscribers.

“Today, at about 11.30am, representatives of the investigative committee came to our house. I was not at home at that time. Soon, according to the concierge, they took my husband out under their arms and took him to an unknown direction,” she wrote.

Reginskaya, who cited unnamed sources, said her husband had been accused of violating article 282 of Russia’s Criminal Code, “incitement to hatred or enmity, as well as humiliation of human dignity”. The maximum punishment for the offence is six years in prison.


His lawyer, Alexander Molokhov, said that after he had been detained his flat had been searched.

The BBC reported Girkin, 53, later appeared at Meshchansky district court in the north-east of the capital, where the judge rejected his request for the hearing to be held behind closed doors.

Girkin stood motionless in a glass cage, his arms folded, during the hearing. He will now remain in pre-trial detention until at least September 18.

It follows an abortive mutiny last month led by another outspoken Krelim critic, Yevgeny Prigozhin, boss of the Wagner mercenary force, who is still free but has sharply curtailed his own verbal attacks.

Girkin, nicknamed “Igor the Terrible”, fought as a foreign volunteer in wars in Transnistria and Bosnia in the 1990s before joining the FSB. He has been accused of involvement in the disappearance of several Chechen men during the second Chechen War. His alias, Strelkov, means “shooter” or “rifleman”.

In a post earlier this week, the former Federal Security Service officer changed from criticising Putin’s military decisions to turning to the issue of his leadership of the country in general. He called Putin a “useless coward” and said the country could not survive another presidential term.

“For 23 years, a non-entity was at the head of the country, who managed to ‘pull the wool over the eyes’ of a significant part of the population,” Girkin wrote. Now he “is the last island of legitimacy and stability of the state”.


“The country will not survive another six years of power of this useless coward. The only useful thing he could do ‘before the curtain falls’ … is to ensure a transfer of power to someone truly capable and responsible.“

A criminal court last year in the Netherlands found that Girkin, who was a commander of the Kremlin-backed separatist forces, had helped supply the missile system used to shoot down MH17 on July 17, 2014.

The Boeing 777 commercial jet was shot over eastern Ukraine, killing 15 crew members and 283 passengers belonging to 17 nationalities.

Girkin had previously said he felt “a moral responsibility” for the deaths of the 298 people onboard the plane, but refused to admit to downing the passenger jet.

Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and pro-Moscow Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko were tried in absentia – a criminal proceeding when the defendant is not present in the court – since they were still at large.

In May, he announced he and others had set up the “Club of Angry Patriots”, to enter politics to save Russia from what he said was the danger of turmoil due to military failures in Ukraine.

Russia has arrested Igor Girkin, a former battlefield commander of its proxy forces in east Ukraine who was convicted by a Dutch court over the shooting down of MH17, on extremism charges probably fuelled by his criticism of the Russian war effort in Ukraine.

FSB agents came to his home and escorted him away “in an unknown direction”, said his wife, Miroslava, according to Girkin’s Telegram account.

“My friends told me that my husband has been charged under article 282 of the criminal code of the Russian Federation (extremism),” she said.

Girkin, who also goes by the nom de guerre Strelkov, was a leading military commander of the pro-Russian forces who occupied east Ukrainian cities beginning in 2014. His armed intervention backed by Russia marked the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.

Girkin appeared in a Moscow courtroom on Friday where he was formally charged with extremism. Earlier this week he had called for Putin’s downfall, saying Russia “could not survive another six years” of his rule.

He has also been found guilty in absentia by a Dutch court of the murder of 298 people onboard flight MH17, the plane shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile while flying over east Ukraine in July 2014.

Girkin was given a life sentence by the Dutch court for his role in sending a Buk surface-to-air missile system controlled by Russia to a field near the village of Pervomaisky from where it fired on the passenger jet. Russia has been accused of harbouring Girkin.

In Russia, Girkin has become a popular Telegram blogger and commentator on the war. Like other pro-war nationalists, he has been critical of the Russian military’s bungling of the invasion, calling top generals ineffective and criticising Vladimir Putin and other top officials.

The RBC newspaper has reported that Girkin’s arrest may be related to a petition from a member of the Wagner group, the paramilitary organisation headed by Yevgeny Prigozhin that staged a brief mutiny last month.

If so, it is possible that Girkin’s arrest could point to a broader purge of Russian nationalist voices who have so far been allowed to criticise the war effort largely with impunity, while liberal and anti-war activists have been jailed in the thousands.

In Ukraine, Girkin participated in the annexation of Crimea and then led the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, holding the occupied city of Sloviansk in east Ukraine until it was retaken by the Ukrainian military. While there, Girkin, a history enthusiast who participated in reenactments, tried and executed those he alleged had been looting according to a Soviet law on wartime justice.

In a 2016 interview with the Guardian, he called himself an “inconvenient figure” for the Kremlin.

“They don’t know what to do with me: am I a hero or a terrorist?” he said. “They can’t arrest and jail me because it would be seen as bowing to the west to call me a terrorist. But to give me honours is also inconvenient for them, so I’m in this strange gap.”