Man detained in connection with Zakhar Prilepin assassination attempt arrested for two months

He is charged with terrorism and illegal arms trafficking

Russia’s Investigative Committee has brought charges of carrying out a terrorist attack and illegal arms trafficking against 29-year-old Donetsk region native Alexander Permyakov, previously detained in connection with the case on attempt on the life of Russian pro-war writer Zakhar Prilepin, as per the committee’s statement.

The court has also arrested Permyakov for two months, Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office reports.

Yesterday, 7 May, Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry posted a video in which police officers talk about the man’s detention. They say that Permyakov was acting suspicious because he was talking about catching partridges. According to a police officer, Permyakov walked out of the woods near the Kozlovo village and told his colleagues that he was catching partridges at the pond.

“But in that part [of the woods] there’s no lake, and currently there are no partridges there either,” the police officer emphasised.

Yesterday, newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolets reported that Permyakov fought on the side of the self-proclaimed Donetsk “people’s republic” in 2014 and 2015. According to journalists, at the age of 15 he was sentenced to four years in a penal colony over charges of armed assault by a group of people.

In February 2015, Permyakov tried to cross the border with Russia on foot, but border guards found a bayonet from a Kalashnikov rifle in his rucksack. No criminal case was initiated because Permyakov refused to cross the border.

The man returned to the city of Druzhkivka, Donetsk region, where he worked at construction sites until 2022. At the same time, in his testimony to the Investigative Committee, he said that Ukrainian special services had recruited him in 2018.

In the morning of 6 May, it was reported that the car the writer was in was blown up in the Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia. Prilepin was hospitalised in critical condition, his security guard Alexander Shubin was killed in the explosion. Prilepin was brought out of the medically induced coma on 7 May, he is conscious.

Russia’s Investigative Committee detained a suspect. The agency posted a video in which the detained, 29-year-old Donetsk region native Alexander Permyakov, claims that he was acting on the orders of Ukraine’s special services.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the Security Service of Ukraine (SUB) of carrying out the assassination attempt on Prilepin’s life. A SUB representative told Ukrainska Pravda that he could neither confirm nor deny the involvement of Ukraine’s special services in the explosion.

The Crimean Tatar partisan movement Atesh claimed responsibility for the attack.

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