Russian journalist Maxim Borodin, who investigated Wagner Group, died

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Borodin became the 159th murdered journalist in Russia during Putin's rule. He died after falling from a heigh
11:40, 18 April 2018

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After falling from a height (Sverdlovsk region, Russia) Maxim Borodin, an investigative journalist for the local newspaper Novy Den (New Day), died in the intensive care unit of one of the hospitals in Yekaterinburg. This man was first who declared the death of the soldiers of the so-called Wagner Group in Syria, whose activities were also seen in eastern Ukraine. Although the investigators have not yet specified the exact cause of his death, some friends and colleagues of Borodin believe that the fall from height was not a suicide or an accident. He became the 159th murdered journalist in Russia during Putin's rule.

Reports of the tragic incident that happened to journalist Maxim Borodin appeared last Thursday, April 12. The editorial office of New Day, where he worked recently, noted that he fell from the height of the fifth floor "under circumstances not yet clear".

"Our colleague is in the intensive care unit of hospital No. 23 in Yekaterinburg, and doctors are doing everything possible to help Maxim, his condition is currently assessed as consistently difficult. Law enforcement agencies joined in. The conclusions about the circumstances of the incident would be made later," editorial staff noted.

Related: Prominent Ukrainian journalist died: Who was Oles Tereshchenko?

However, the injuries received during the fall were too serious, and after several days of struggle for life, April 15, Borodin passed away without regaining consciousness.

The circumstances of the tragedy that occurred on April 12 are unknown. Investigators assume that the journalist fell out of the balcony of his own apartment, which is located on the fifth floor, most likely by accident, e1 reports. In particular, such a conclusion was made on the basis that the dwelling was closed from the inside. "This circumstance indicates that no one left the apartment and there were probably no strangers in it. The keys to the home were lying on the ground, a note that would clarify the situation was not found. The police had to enter the apartment with the help of "Owls" special units in the presence of neighbors and representatives of the editorial office," said Valeriy Gorelykh, spokesman for the Interior Ministry of the Sverdlovsk Region.

Related: 40 Ukrainians in Wagner group identified, trained for sabotage in Ukraine

At the same time, friends and colleagues of Borodin do not believe in an accident. As Russian journalist and blogger Alexander Tverskoy notes, he became the 159th dead journalist in Russia during Putin's rule.

Colleagues from the Yekaterinburg edition of e1 believe that the journalist had no reason to commit suicide. At the same time, one of Borodin's acquaintances mentions that shortly before his death he fell victim to the attack. "I do not believe in anything, I never wrote anything superfluous about anyone. For a long time, I was silent, but now, I will make an exception.

April 5, 2018.

April 6 and 7, I had a big event with guests from Moscow, and I call Maxim Borodin to come as a guest and, if possible, send an operator from the "New Region" media to our press conference. Maxim answered: "I cannot do it, I am in intensive care."

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I asked "What happened? Why?" Maxim answered: "Do not worry, everything's all right, I was attacked from behind on the street. I do not know who it was. They busted my head.”

April 12, 2018.

I read the news and find out that Borodin "accidentally" fell out of the window.

April 15, 2018.

Maxim Borodin died.

And I know perfectly well that Max had adrenaline and excitement for all these crime stories. We have known each other for a long time. Everyone who knows him personally knows that he will begin to search and investigate every case ... But what happened is terrible and disgusting. And I know for sure that with all of Borodin's weaknesses for women, alcohol and soft drugs, he would never do it. Moreover, he was waiting for a promotion at work, and he was going to move to Kurgan in May to work as the chief editor of some media. I very much hope that the truth, in our difficult times, at least once will prevail," Paulina Andreyevna wrote on her Facebook page.

Another Borodin’s friend Alexei Stolyarov in the commentary to this post recalled that the aforementioned attack was not the only one: in October of last year after an interview to the television channel Dozhd, the journalist was hit on the head with an iron pipe. According to him, this was due to Borodin’s investigation about one sect, but he "did not tie it to the authorities."

Open source

According to Borodin's friend Vyacheslav Bashkov, two days before the tragic incident, the journalist reported that his apartment was surrounded by the law enforcers. "On April 11 at five o'clock in the morning Maxim called me via Facebook messenger and with a worried voice said that he was surrounded by security officials. A man with arms is on the balcony, and people on the stairs stand in camouflage and masks. Maxim expressed the opinion that in the shortest time they would break into him with a search, and now, apparently, they are waiting for the permission of the court...

The hour flew by, and then Borodin rang again and said with a guilty voice that he was mistaken, apparently, some sort of exercises, and apologized. Maxim dealt with journalistic investigations of crimes, and any paranoia was understandable. It is better to overreact.

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I did not call him after that, although I waited for him to write something on Facebook. But he did not write. On the 13th the media reported that Maxim was found under a balcony and he was in intensive care... Having talked with Maxim Borodin's colleague and other journalists, I came to the conclusion that I may be the last one with whom he spoke. Of course, this must be checked. How to check whether the journalist of the criminal news agency "New Day" Maxim Borodin did not have uninvited guests from the security forces, which he spoke on the morning of April 11, 2018. We need to know for sure that they did not help him to fall out of the balcony," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Related: Ukrainians serving in Wagner group now fight in occupied Donbas or Syria

As a result, the investigative department of the Kirovsky district of Yekaterinburg began a pre-investigation investigation into the death of the journalist. 

Maxim Borodin was known for his journalistic investigations on politics and crime. For example, he found out that the time of publication of Navalny's film about Nastya Rybka coincided with the attempts of foreign offshore companies to recover 200 million dollars from Oleg Deripaska (and explained why it is important).

In another material, Borodin told me who and why he was fighting against Alexei Uchitel's film Matilda. The great scandal around the film about the relationship between the future Emperor Nicholas II and the ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya flared long before it went to big screens and was accompanied by massive protests until the ban on displays.

Related: Security Service posts record of PMC Wagner, Russia’s general talks

In another article, he wrote about why Valeriy Zadorin, the head of the Investigative Committee of the Sverdlovsk region, was removed from his duties.

One of Borodin's latest investigations was the material about the fate of the fighters of the "Wagner Group" in Syria. In particular, he was among the journalists who were the first to tell about the death of "Wagner Group" in Syria after the air strike of the international coalition on February 7 this year.

February 9, an American television station CBS, citing sources in the Pentagon, said that on February 7 in Syria, Russian mercenaries who were trying to seize the oil field near the village of Hisham were attacked by an international coalition under the command of the United States.

Related: "Wagner Group:" Russian secret mercenaries in Syria

As a result, the attackers were defeated. According to various sources, several dozen to several hundred people were killed, including Russian citizens, probably fighters of the "Wagner Group."

Russian authorities at first denied the death of Russians, and later recognized that dozens of Russian citizens suffered as a result of the clashes. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that it was not about the military.

“Wagner Group” is an unofficial armed formation, also called the Russian private military company. The group operated on the territory of Ukraine, and then in Syria since 2014. In June 2017, it was included in the US sanctions list.

Farewell ceremony to Maxim Borodin will be held April 18, in the mourning hall of the city hospital.

Related: 40 Ukrainians in Wagner group identified, trained for sabotage in Ukraine

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