The Russia Desk
S2 E8
Why 3 Journalists Died Investigating The Russian Paramilitary

Three journalists were killed in the Central African Republic in what’s being called a ‘robbery’ – but many believe it's a coverup by the Russian government.

In July 2018, three journalists went to the Central African Republic to film a documentary and were killed three days later when their car was reportedly attacked by robbers. The three men were investigative reporter Orkhan Dzhemal, filmmaker Alexander Rastorguev, and cameraman Kirill Radchenko. However, since the incident, the accounts and details of their deaths have not quite seemed to add up right, which has led many to believe that Russia was behind their murders.

The crew was filming a documentary about The Wagner Group, a shadowy private military contractor which is reportedly linked to the Kremlin. They were trying to dig up info on Russia’s secretive use of Russian private military contractors in the CAR – contractors backed by influential Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and who has also been charged by the U.S. government with meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

Though it’s unclear what exactly happened to those journalists that night in July, it is apparent that Russia’s growing activities in Africa are beginning to look pretty shady. Here’s what you should know.