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Russians indicted by Mueller linked to murder of journalists in Africa
Several Russians linked to Evgeny Prigozhin, a powerful ally of Putin, conspired to lure the murdered journalists into an ambush on a country road in the Central African Republic, where they were shot dead on the night of July 30.
Among those implicated in the investigation was Mikhail Burchik, who was indicted by MUELLER alongside Prigozhin last year for allegedly interfering in the U.S. presidential elections
The investigation into the journalists’ murder apparently relied on data from cell phone towers in Africa and what appears to be private comms between several of the Russians involved.
The three murdered journalists—conflict reporter Orkhan Dzhemal, documentary filmmaker Alexander Rastorguev and cameraman Kirill Radchenko—arrived in the Central African Republic in late July to work on a film about Russian private military contractors
With funding from Khodorkovsky (dossier.center) the journalists focused in particular on the mercenary outfit known as the Wagner Group, which has been identified in Russian and Western media as part of Prigozhin’s business empire
June 2017, the U.S. government imposed sanctions against the Wagner Group, alleging that it had “recruited and sent soldiers to fight alongside separatists in eastern Ukraine.” Prigozhin has denied having any links to private military contractors.
Mueller indicted Prigozhin and a dozen of his associates in February of last year. The indictment accused Prigozhin of running an elaborate scheme to manipulate American voters through fake social media and political advertisements
According to that indictment, one of the key managers of that scheme – allegedly responsible for its “operational planning, infrastructure and personnel” – was a 32-year-old named Mikhail Burchik.
Prigozhin and Burchik figured prominently in the investigation that Khodorkovsky presented on Thursday. According to its findings, Burchik was involved in an apparent cover-up of the triple murder, while Prigozhin was accused of paying the people who allegedly orchestrated it.
Among the alleged masterminds named:
Alexander Sotov, a Ru military instructor working in the Central African Republic.

On the days leading up the murder, Sotov was in frequent contact with a member of that country’s gendarmerie police force, Emmanuel Kotofio...
Kotofio was allegedly conducting surveillance of the three journalists and tracking their movements, according to cell phone records
The cell phone data also allegedly shows that Sotov was in close touch around that time with Valery Zakharov, a former Russian intelligence officer who currently serves as a security adviser to the President of the Central African Republic.
Zakharov also sought to defend Moscow’s increasing presence in the Central African Republic, which has included weapons shipments and training for the local police and military personnel.
Back in Soviet times, Zakharov said, “We helped build this country’s infrastructure. There were Russian teachers in the schools and Russian doctors in the hospitals.”

After a pause, he added,
“And now we are back.”
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