How the FSB prepared the killer-recidivist Krasikov for murder in Berlin

It was possible to find new evidence that the assassination of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin was organized by the FSB Vympel special unit.
Origin source
We found out how the FSB Special Purpose Center prepared a repeat killer Vadim Krasikov for this murder, and we also established some details of Krasikov’s movements in Europe.

How the FSB prepared Krasikov for murder

In 2019, Vadim Krasikov, instead of serving a sentence for the murder of entrepreneurs in Moscow and Kostomuksha, spent time at training facilities at the FSB FSB. Bellingcat’s mobile phone billings indicate that he kept in touch with the Pennants for a year and visited their training facilities.

One of his regular contacts was Eduard Bendersky, a veteran and head of the Vympela charity foundation. And although he acts on state channels as a veteran, apparently, he is not such a former employee. Formally, he is a private entrepreneur, the owner of several private security companies. But he is also the chairman of the Russian-Iraqi business council, and it was his companies that for some reason received the exclusive right to protect Russian oil facilities in Iraq. This format of a “private entrepreneur” with its PMCs abroad is well known following the example of Yevgeny Prigozhin. On his website, Bendersky proudly announces that his main company, Vympel-A, was “repeatedly noted by the thanks of the leadership of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, the State Duma and other government bodies. An interesting (and possibly random) coincidence: the famous Russian hacker Maxim Yakubets, for whose capture the FBI promises $ 5 million, is Bender’s son-in-law. According to US authorities, Yakubets worked not only for his own enrichment, but also in the interests of the FSB.

When Krasikov begins to carry out active preparations for the murder in Berlin, his calls to Bendersky become more frequent. So, for example, they call up on July 3, when Krasikov returns from Bryansk, where he made a passport in the name of Sokolov, and on July 28, upon returning from St. Petersburg, where he received documents on employment at Rust CJSC (for a visa).

About Bendersky’s close ties with the leadership of the TsSN FSB has long been known. Here is an excerpt from a letter to Novaya Gazeta journalist Yuri Schekochikhin from fighters of the Alpha group (also related to the FSB FSB):

“Now - about one of the sponsors of the TsSN FSB. Once in the center served a humble officer Bendery Eduard. He quit as a senior lieutenant. In civilian life, he created the private security company Vympel-A under the "roof" of our center. Our General Tikhonov <the permanent head of the FSB FSB - The Insider> personally supervises it. Bendersky rides on a Gelendvagen jeep, has both a special standard and a cover certificate. Almost all banquets, concerts, competitions are paid by his private security company. Mr. Bendersky himself regularly comes to the sauna to take a steam bath, despite the fact that this sauna is located on the territory of the special regime center of special operations. He prefers to take a steam bath in the center’s leadership. Now remember the events on Dubrovka. Immediately after the successful assault that Vimpel and I fought, some of the leaders of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs told on television how the preparations for the assault and the assault went. What was the amazement of many of us when in one of the plots we saw Mr. Bendersky, a civilian who had long since quit his organs. He, sitting in front of the monitors, told in detail how and from where special forces had moved around the seized building, naming the numbers of departments and groups. It goes without saying that the information and videos made by our operators were provided to him by the center’s management. ”

Interestingly, this letter was published after the death of Schekochikhin. He died as a result of poisoning with an unidentified substance (the criminal case under article murder was opened twice and closed to no avail). Bendersky, in a conversation with The Insider, said that he was not familiar with Krasikov and was not going to give any comments.

As can be seen from the movements of Krasikov (which are also visible on the billing of his phone), he repeatedly visited the main training centers of the FSB FSB - at least 8 times in 2019 the base of the FSB FSB in Balashikha (military unit 35690). The last time he trained on the territory of this unit on August 8 was just a few days before he went to Europe to commit the murder.

Another FSB building he visits is located at 12 Vernadsky Prospekt, bldg. 4 (also known as the Research Institute "Surf"), where, judging by data from open sources, is the National Anti-Terrorism Center and the FSB Analytical Center. There he appeared on April 2 and July 2, on the eve of a trip to Bryansk for a cover passport.

On April 9, 2019 at 7:45 a.m., Krasikov arrived at a training base in Balashikha, from where at 10 a.m. he headed further east, towards the small village of Averkievo. There he spent 4 days at the FSB training base - until April 14.

Krasikov also repeatedly visits the office of the Vympel-A association headed by the Bender and constantly calls up with its employees.

What is Pennant

The Vympel Special Forces (or the V department of the FSB Special Purpose Center) was created in 1981 after the outbreak of war in Afghanistan and was inspired by the successful assault on Amin’s palace in Kabul. Officially, Vympel was created to conduct operations outside the country in a special (threatened) period. Orders for conducting operations could only be given by the chairman of the KGB of the USSR - and only in writing.

The unit received a training base in Balashikha, in the "old town", where personnel were still being trained for the Spanish Civil War.

The training of the “pennants” included general physical training, hand-to-hand combat, driving classes of any type of motor vehicle, firing from all types of domestic and foreign weapons, training in diving, climbing, medical and explosive training, airborne and underwater training. On average, training a pennant takes 5 years.

In addition, by order of Vympel’s employees, special weapons and equipment were created. It is noteworthy that according to Spiegel sources familiar with the details of the investigation of the Khangoshvili murder, Krassikov used a modified Glock 26 with a replaced barrel without a serial number, specially adapted for installing a special silencer.

The tasks of the detachment were the disorganization of the enemy’s rear, sabotage, illegal reconnaissance, the creation of undercover networks, the release, capture and delivery of persons possessing valuable information (including in other countries), the destruction of people posing a threat to the state, and the implementation of coups abroad.

After the collapse of the USSR, Vympel was reoriented to tasks within the country - primarily to fight terrorists. Vympelovtsy participated in hostage rescue operations in Budyonnovsk and other well-known anti-terrorist operations in the North Caucasus. Officially, Vympel denies participating in operations abroad.

Krasikov's European tour

Krasikov left his mobile phone at home, heading to Europe, for the mission he had a separate mobile phone, which he activated on August 15, two days before departure from Moscow. He registered a new phone number with his new surname Sokolov. Bellingcat managed to get billing for this phone too, and, as it turned out, someone had already falsified the data in it: both the indicated connection time and the tower numbers after the fact were changed. Fortunately, conspirators acted lazily, so we were able to understand the algorithm by which the information changed and to establish almost all the data by time and place of connections.

In Russia, Krasikov practically did not use this phone, making the only call on August 15 to a travel agency to book hotels in Warsaw and Paris. Judging by the billing, on August 17, he spent the whole day at home and moved out to Sheremetyevo at 6 pm. At 19:13 on an Air France flight, he flew to Paris.

Russo tourist - Paris

The first two days in Paris there is no metadata from the phone, but on August 19, the “Sokolov tourist” completed the entire mandatory program by visiting the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, the Sacre Coeur Basilica, the Invalides, or Madeleine Church. Judging by the fact that he began to visit the main tourist attractions only on the third day, the first two days were clearly not devoted to tourism, but what exactly is not yet clear. On August 20, Krasikov flew to Warsaw.

Landing at 3 p.m. in Warsaw, Krasikov went directly to the hotel. From there, he headed to Lazienki Park, where he inspected the royal palace, then returned to the old city and spent the rest of the evening in the Sexy Duck restaurant. The next day, he made several calls to a man who, as we were able to establish, is a local Russian-speaking guide. In the afternoon he went to the Wilanow Palace and returned to the hotel in the evening.

On August 22 and the next few days, Krasikov's phone remained at the hotel — it was turned on (judging by the periodic activity of GPRS), but there were no connections on it. Apparently, on the 22nd, Krasikov had already gone to Berlin. And since there is no data on his flights to Berlin, he went there either by train or by car. The next day, at 11:58, he killed Zelimkhan Khangoshvili with two shots to the head.