On August 15, the Federal Security Service of Russia announced the "liquidation of terrorists in the Volgograd region", who allegedly planned to undermine the oil pipeline. According to the FSB, the “sabotage” was planned to be organized by the associates of the neo-Nazi Maxim Martsinkevich, who died in 2020, known by the nickname Tesak.
As the BBC Russian Service found out , one of the "terrorists" lives in Kiev and is now volunteering, and the second died a few months ago.
According to the FSB, “the organization of a sabotage and terrorist act under the control of the Ukrainian special services” was carried out by two members of the right-wing radical group “Restrukt”, created by Tesak: Russian Andrei Chuenkov, born in 1986, currently allegedly participating in hostilities in Ukraine as part of the national battalion “Hurricane” , and Ukrainian Yuri Ionov, born in 1988, soldier of the Azov regiment.
It turned out that Chuenkov was alive and was in Kyiv. He told the Russian service of the BBC that he did not organize “sabotage” in the Volgograd region, he was not a member of the Uragan battalion, and his alleged (according to the FSB) accomplice Ionov died during the bombing of Mariupol back in March of this year.
“They started sending me some links [to publications with a press release from the FSB], Chuenkov said. “Surprised” is not the right word here. I try not to get into a confrontation with the Russian Federation, because I already have enough problems with it, and when they started sending me this news, I was a little freaked out. My last name didn’t appear in the original links, so I thought that it was the journalists who simply for some reason took my photo for some kind of video sequence: “Restrukt”, Martsinkevich, everything in the world ... This sometimes happens, I already used to. But then my name began to appear more and more often, they began to publish the data of my family, and it was already scary, because people who were not involved in anything were subjected to some kind of bullying and insults. So there were a lot of emotions."
Chuenkov told the BBC that he left Russia in October 2020, via Belarus to Ukraine, where he asked for political asylum. He denies that he took part in the hostilities as part of any paramilitary unit.
“This whole story is filled with a strange fog of uncertainty, so it’s hard for me to comment on it. I am not connected with Azov either. I know veterans of the ATO, familiar veterans of Azov, but as a structure I didn’t interact with them in any way,” Chuenkov told the BBC.
Chuenkov, according to him, has been engaged in volunteer activities since the beginning of the war, took courses in tactical medicine, and helped to work with the wounded. Did not participate in hostilities.
He said that Ionov, whom the Russian special services also accused of blowing up, died back in March:
“This man died in Mariupol at the very beginning of the war, in March 2022. We knew each other intimately. But I do not remember that we communicated with him. Theoretically, it could have been in the distant past, but I don’t remember such a thing.”
Two Azov servicemen confirmed to the BBC that Ionov did indeed die a few months ago in one of the bombings of Mariupol, when the city was stormed by Russian troops.
After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the FSB has repeatedly announced the prevention of terrorist attacks, which were allegedly prepared by neo-Nazis.
Maxim Martsinkevich, a neo-Nazi and founder of the Restrukt movement, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a series of crimes. On September 16, Martsinkevich was found dead in a cell in a pre-trial detention center in Chelyabinsk. Suicide was given as the cause of his death. The representative of the Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, said that before his death, Tesak confessed to being involved in two double murders. Later, another suicide note of Martsinkevich was found , from its content it follows that he did not commit the murders, about which he confessed, he slandered himself, as well as other persons indicated in his testimony.