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Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin (Russian: И́горь Все́володович Ги́ркин, IPA: [ˈiɡərʲ ˈfsʲevələdəvʲɪdʑ ˈɡʲirkʲɪn]; born 17 December 1970), also known by the alias Igor Ivanovich Strelkov (Russian: И́горь Ива́нович Стрелко́в, IPA: [ˈiɡərʲ ɪˈvanəvʲɪtɕ strʲɪlˈkof]), is a Russian army veteran and former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer who played a key role in the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and later the war in Donbas as an organizer of militant groups in the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).While leading a group of separatist militants into Ukraine in the 2014 Siege of Sloviansk, Girkin gained influence and attention, being appointed to the position of Minister of Defense in the Donetsk People's Republic, a puppet state of Russia.Girkin was dismissed from his position in August 2014, after 298 people died when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. Dutch prosecutors charged Girkin and three others for murder, and issued an international arrest warrant against him. Girkin has admitted "moral responsibility" but denies pushing the button. On 17 November 2022, Girkin was found guilty for the murder of 298 people, convicted of all charges in absentia, and issued a life sentence.Girkin, a self-described Russian nationalist, was charged by Ukrainian authorities with terrorism. He has been sanctioned by the European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, and Ukraine for his leading role in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities have called him a retired colonel of the GRU (Russia's external military intelligence organisation).After his service in the war, Girkin returned to Russia as a political activist in 2014, reportedly believing that the "liberal clans" (liberal part of Russian elites) must

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