A Suspect in the Murder of Zakharchenko Spoke About the Role of the US in the Attack

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



A man detained in 2017 on suspicion of attempting to assassinate the head of the DPR Aleksandr Zakharchenko knew about the preparation of a an act of terrorism at the “Separ” cafe.

In the footage of the interrogation that was provided to “REN-TV” by the Ministry of State Security of the DPR, the man speaks about the testing of an “completely new” explosive device that was transferred to another group.

The 40-year-old resident of Donetsk Aleksandr Pogorelov was recruited by the Security Service of Ukraine in 2014. His curators set a priority task for him – to liquidate the Head of the DPR. But back then he, fortunately, didn’t manage to complete the task – he was detained by the special services of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Komsomolskaya Pravda publishes the full text of the interrogation of the terrorist attack suspected of committing a terrorist attack in the “Pushkin” restaurant:

Who recruited you and when?

“In 2014 in the city of Kiev by an employee of the counterintelligence of the SBU with the name Sergey. I chose for myself the callsign ‘Legioner’ and signed a cooperation agreement with the Ukrainian special service.”

What tasks did the employee of the SBU set for you?

“Sergey set me the tasks of observing objects, military units, and correcting the of fire of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the territory of the DPR.”

Did you undergo special training?

“In 2016 I was told that I have to undergo training in Kiev at one of the training grounds.”

Describe this in more detail.

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“At this training ground I underwent mine-explosive and medical training. We were also trained to work with improvised explosive devices – to assemble them and activate them remotely.”

Who set the task of carrying out a terrorist attack concerning the Head of the DPR, and when?

“Sergey scheduled a meeting for me in the city of Kiev near the ‘Zolotye Vorota’ subway station. When I arrived there he was there with a man unfamiliar to me who was presented as Roman, the head of the 5th counterintelligence department of the SBU. And it is precisely he who said that now there is the priority task of liquidating the Head of the Republic Aleksandr Zakharchenko, and they chose the place for this – the ‘Pushkin’ restaurant.”

Speak about this in more detail.

“In the course of the meeting we discussed what places the Head of the republic visited, and it was decided that he visits the ‘Pushkin’ restaurant regularly and that it was necessary to install an explosive device there. After the meeting, Sergey told me that the task that was set for me concerning the ‘Pushkin’ restaurant is very important for them and the meeting with Roman was additional motivation for me. The curators of the SBU decided to check me for reliability – I passed a lie detector test.”

What kind of explosive device was it and how was it installed?

“It was decided that since the Head of the Republic sits at different little tables at ‘Pushkin’ restaurant, and that it is difficult to determine at which one he will sit at next time, Roman and Sergey said that there is a need to install the explosive device in the toilet. This improvised explosive device built into a video camera, according to Sergey, was manufactured by the technical specialists of the Security Service of Ukraine. I received it via a transporter in the city of Donetsk. I took the components, brought it to the restaurant, and glued this component to the pedestal underneath the wash basin. It completely corresponded to the color of the furniture. After this I activated it and reported about this to Sergey.”

Are you aware of other saboteur groups acting on the territory of the DPR?

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“Yes, Sergey told me that in the center of Donetsk one more saboteur group works on the liquidation of the Head of the DPR at another establishment.”

What is known about the actions of this group?

“I know that in this establishment an absolutely new system of remote explosive device will be used. Sergey told me that they tested this explosive device in Kiev: he was at the central post office, and the signal from the Bessarabia market worked perfectly through the thick concrete walls – this is about one and a half-two kilometers. This signal isn’t weakened.”

Where did they obtain such equipment from?

“They told me that such equipment hasn’t yet been used, that it was presented to the Security Service of Ukraine by the American intelligence agencies, and that it is expensive – over $10,000.”

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