Kremlin-linked catering magnate Evgeny Prigozhin has offered to pay to build a memorial at the site where Russian journalists Alexander Rastorguyev, Orkhan Dzhemal, and Kirill Radchenko were murdered in the Central African Republic (CAR).
On Friday, January 15, spokespeople for Prigozhin’s company “Concord” announced this in a statement on the social network VKontakte, attaching a copy of a letter from Prigozhin addressed to the CAR’s Culture Minister, Dieudonne Ndomate.
In the letter, the Russian oligarch outlined his request to erect a monument, describing it as “important for strengthening friendly ties between the Russian Federation and the Central African Republic.”
This monument, as a tribute to the memory of all of the victims of armed conflict in the CAR, is intended to be a symbol of the victory of the Central Africans in their perennial struggle against bandits and to highlight the Russian Federation’s assistance in bringing this victory closer.
Documentary filmmaker Alexander Rastorguyev, journalist Orkhan Dzhemal, and cameraman Kirill Radchenko were murdered in the CAR in July 2018. They had travelled there to film a documentary about Russian mercenaries from the private military company Wagner, which is linked to Evgeny Prigozhin.
According to the Russia’s Investigative Committee, the Russian nationals were killed by locals in the CAR during an armed robbery. However, the Dossier Center — an investigative-journalism nonprofit founded by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky— has argued that the evidence in the case doesn’t support claims of robbery.
According to the Dossier Center, the attack on the Russian journalists appeared to be professionally planned and attempts to say the murder began as an armed robbery stem from a concerted cover-up on the part of sources controlled by Prigozhin himself.