Documentary filmmakers killed this July in Africa were reportedly investigating Russian arms shipments to mercenary groups
Before his murder on July 30, Russian journalist Orkhan Dzhemal was reportedly investigating the possible shipment of Russian firearms to private military companies operating in the Central African Republic, sources told the independent television network Dozhd. One source close to the Russian Federal Security Service claims he had advised Dzhemal about the weapons transfers, saying that the reporter went to Africa to film documentary evidence of the shipments.
Dzhemal allegedly learned from his sources in the Russian Defense Ministry when to expect a shipment of guns to a mercenary group. Nadezhda Kevorkova, Dzhemal’s friend and fellow reporter, says she spoke to him several weeks before his death, when he said he worried about being arrested. Another friend told Dozhd that Dzhemal stopped using his telephone, fearing wiretaps.
One Defense Ministry source told Dozhd that the ministry raised the secrecy level of information about Russia’s operations in the Central African Republic, after the killing of Dzhemal and two other reporters.
The journalists Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguyev, and Kirill Radchenko planned to film the giant Ndassima gold mine, which is reportedly being developed by the company “Lobaye Invest” and guarded by the “Wagner” private military company — two companies associated with Evgeny Prigozhin (the same catering magnate with close Kremlin ties and his own “troll factory”). Lobaye Invest supposedly “represents Russia’s interests” in CAR. The journalists planned to meet with a member of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, who was supposed to help them get access to the mines.