Stanislav Rzhitsky: Russian commander killed while jogging may have been tracked on Strava



CNN

A Russian submarine commander was shot dead while jogging on Monday, according to Russian media reports that he may have been targeted by an attacker who was tracking him on a popular running app.

Stanislav Rishitsky was killed by an “unknown person” in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar earlier this week, state news agency TASS said, adding that “the motive for the crime is being investigated.”

Russia’s intelligence agency said in a telegram that a man had been detained in connection with Rishitsky’s murder, adding that the suspect had a handgun with a silencer, “with which the murder may have been committed.”

Russian media before It was reported that Rishitsky’s killer may have used Strava, a widely available app used by runners and cyclists, to track his movements.

Rishitsky’s jogging and cycling routes appear in an account under his name on the Strava app. One of the regular jogging circuits he took while working in Krasnodar included the park where he was killed early Monday morning.

A Russian media outlet, Tsargrad, said that “the moment of the attack was not visible on any CCTV cameras, so the killer planned the murder very carefully.”

“The killer was waiting in the park near the sports complex ‘Olympus’, where Rishitsky regularly jogged in the morning. The man died on the spot and the shooter fled.

A Strava profile under Rishitsky’s name shows him cycling in 2014 in Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is based.

CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the Strava profile, but it does contain several photos of her.

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Ukraine’s security intelligence revealed how Ryshitsky was shot in an unusually detailed report on Telegram. The agency has not publicly claimed responsibility for the commander’s death.

“The submarine was jogging in the ’30th anniversary of Victory’ park in Krasnodar. Around 6 am, he was shot seven times by a Makarov rifle. As a result of gunshot wounds, Rishitsky died on the spot,” the report said.

“Due to heavy rain, the park was deserted, so there were no witnesses to provide details or identify the assailant.”

According to a Ukrainian report and Russian news reports, Ryshitsky commanded Russia’s Black Sea Fleet’s Kilo-class submarine capable of firing Kalibr cruise missiles.

Submarine-launched missile strikes have been responsible for some of the most devastating attacks on Ukrainian cities, including one that killed dozens of people, including three children, in the central city of Vinnytsia almost exactly a year ago.

A later report by the strategic communications department of Ukraine’s armed forces sought to play down suggestions that – on the face of it – Kiev may have staged the attack.

In detached, perhaps sarcastically offensive language, the report said Rishitsky concluded that missile strikes that killed civilians were ineffective.

“He was ousted by his own men for continuing to refuse to carry out combat orders from his command regarding missile attacks on peaceful Ukrainian cities,” the statement concluded.

Rashidsky’s family said he “did not participate in any way” in the war on Ukraine and sought to leave the Russian armed forces in 2021, according to Russian media outlet Basa.

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In December 2021, Rishitsky filed a report of his dismissal from the Russian Armed Forces. His father said he was in Sevastopol during the layoff and did not go to sea, Basa reported. He previously commanded a submarine in Sevastopol, his father added.

In August 2022, the commander was finally dismissed, and then got a job in the administration of Krasnodar.

According to Russian media outlet Izvestia, Rzhitsky’s parents said they spoke to him the day before he was killed and that he was in “great spirits.”

“If he had any doubts, he could have changed plans, routes and so on. But he didn’t say anything,” said his father.

Russia’s investigative committee has asked for a report on the progress of the investigation into Rishitsky’s death.

Fighting in Ukraine has spilled over the border with Russia in recent months, amid reports of heavy shelling, drone strikes and brief incursions into villages in an apparent attempt to destabilize Moscow’s faltering invasion.

Separately, Ukrainian officials said a senior Russian general was killed on Tuesday near the Russian-occupied city of Berdyansk in the southeastern Zaporizhia region.

Lieutenant General Oleg Sokov was killed on Tuesday, said an adviser to the Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Poychenko. The mayor does not currently live in Russian-controlled Mariupol.

CNN was unable to independently verify reports about Tsokov’s cause of death — which would mean the loss of one of Russia’s most experienced generals. Sokov was the most senior Russian general to be killed in Ukraine.

However, a Russian Telegram channel, Military Informer, wrote on Tuesday that “the reserve command post of the 58th Army near Berdyansk was attacked by British Storm Shadow cruise missiles,” and “the deputy commander of the Southern Military District, Lt. Gen. Oleg Tsokov, was killed. .”

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Sokov, 51, appears to be a rising star in the Russian military. In 2021, he addressed a ceremony for military cadets in the Kremlin attended by President Vladimir Putin. Thanking Putin for modernizing Russia’s military, Sokov said: “For us, the profession of an officer is not just service. This is the calling and meaning of all life, the willingness to sacrifice life for our great motherland.

Amid continued turmoil in Russia’s command structure, Sokov continued to rise through the campaign. A presidential order in February promoted him to the rank of lieutenant general.

He remained in the Russian Armed Forces despite Russian military bloggers reporting that he was wounded last September in Kharkiv’s Svadov region.

He appears to have been commander of the 20th Guards Army at the time, having recently been promoted from command of the 144th Motorized Rifle Division.

Independent analysts and CNN’s own accounts indicate that Russia has lost about 10 generals in combat since the invasion began.

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