Accessibility links

Breaking News

Putin Replaces Envoy To Central African Republic, Where Russian Reporters Died

Photographs of journalists Aleksandr Rastorguyev (left), Kirill Radchenko (center), and Orhan Dzhemal are displayed outside the Central House of Journalists in Moscow in August.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Moscow's ambassador to the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), where three Russian journalists were killed last summer under suspicious circumstances.

Putin issued a decree on January 15 dismissing Sergei Lobanov and naming Vladimir Titorenko to be the new Russian ambassador.

Titorenko has previously served as Moscow's ambassador to Iraq, Algeria, and Qatar.

Orkhan Dzhemal, Aleksandr Rastorguyev, and Kirill Radchenko were shot dead on July 30, 2018, while in the C.A.R. to film a documentary about the Russian mercenary firm Vagner, which was operating in the war-torn African country.

The film was funded by Russian opposition activist and former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Investigation Control Center.

Investigators from Khodorkovsky's Dossier project said at a press conference in London on January 10 that they had uncovered evidence suggesting that mercenaries tied to Russian tycoon Yevgeny Prigozhin were involved in the killing of the three journalists.

They urged the United Nations to ensure that credible investigation of the incident be conducted.

The Russian Foreign Ministry and the C.A.R. government have said the men were killed while resisting a robbery attempt.

C.A.R. officials said the perpetrators were Arabic speakers "in turbans."

With reporting by Interfax
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.