News

World

Germany Expels Two Russian Diplomats after Assassination of Chechen Separatist in Berlin

A general view shows the Russian embassy after Germany expelled two Russian diplomats in Berlin, Germany, December 4, 2019. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

Germany expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday after prosecutors determined that Russia ordered an assassination of a prominent Chechen separatists in Berlin.

On August 23, a man on a motorcycle shot and killed Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, the separatist who is often termed a terrorist by Russian authorities, in broad daylight. The assassin was captured shortly afterward but has refused to cooperate with the German investigation.

“There are sufficient, real indications that the killing of [separatist Zelimkhan Khangoshvili] was carried out either on orders by the officials in the Russian Federation or those in the autonomous Chechen Republic, as part of the Russian Republic,” read a statement from the office of German federal prosecutor Peter Frank.

On Tuesday the investigative outfit Bellingcat reported that it had verified the identity of the assassin as Russian national Vadim Krasikov, who was himself a suspect in the murder of a Russian businessman in 2013. Bellingcat concluded that Krasikov likely had help from the Russian government in carrying out the August 2019 assassination.

Frank said that German investigators had gathered sufficient evidence of Russian involvement within the past few weeks . to justify the expulsion of diplomats. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the expulsion of the country’s diplomats was based on “groundless and unfriendly” assertions.

“We will be forced to implement a set of measures in response,” Zakharova warned.

In March 2018, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in Britain with a rare nerve agent known as novichok. The Skripals survived, and British authorities later charged two Russian operatives in the case.

President Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomatic employees from the U.S. in response to the attack, in a move coordinated with European allies.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More