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Russian nationalist mercenary Igor Mangushev dies after being shot ‘at close range’
Russian nationalist mercenary Igor Mangushev, who was an active participant in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine beginning in 2014, has died in a hospital in the annexed part of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, Russian state media reported on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Akim Apachev, a friend of Mangushev’s, reported that Mangushev was shot at close range. In a video uploaded Wednesday, Mangushev’s wife, Tatyana Azarevich, referred to the incident as an “attempted assassination or even execution.”
According to RIA Novosti, Mangushev was the commander of a detachment of the self-proclaimed Luhansk “people’s militia.” In a March 2022 interview, he introduced himself as a “political strategist” and a “retired LNR captain.”
In the early 2010s, Mangushev led a nationalist organization called Svetlaya Rus that carried out raids against migrants in Russia. He also referred to himself as a creator of the ENOT private military company, whose mercenaries fought in Ukraine in 2014. In addition, Mangushev told Meduza that he and his associates were the original inventors of the Latin letter “Z” as a symbol for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In August 2022, Russian media reported that Igor Mangushev brandished what he claimed was the skull of a Ukrainian soldier while addressing a group of fighters in the “Donetsk People’s Republic.” During his speech, he said that Russia was fighting “not against people but against the idea of Ukraine as an anti-Russian state,” and that “all carriers of this idea must be destroyed.”
Russian authorities have not commented on Mangushev’s death.
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