Disinfo: Trial on Khangoshvili’s murder is staged


In Berlin, a certain political decision was made regarding the verdict that will be passed by a German court regarding the Russian citizen Sokolov, who is accused of the 2019 murder of Shamil Basayev’s associate, one of the terrorist leaders in the North Caucasus, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili. All roles in this staging process are pre-assigned. There is no doubt that as a result of the beginning of the court hearings, the blame for the fatal attack on Khangoshvili – a man who made many blood enemies during his criminal career, including in the criminal world of different countries – will be attributed, as already stated in the press, to Russian state structures.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Khangoshvili's murder.

As was announced by the Office of the German Federal Public Prosecutor (Generalbundesanwaltschaft, GBA): A defendant in the murder case received an order from the Russian authorities, at an unspecified point in time before July 18, 2019. The Central government of the Russian Federation commissioned the defendant to liquidate Tornike K. [name of Khangoshvili after he received asylum in Germany], a Georgian national of Chechen descent." A months-long investigation by Bellingcat and its partners, The Insider and Der Spiegel, has pointed to that the assassination of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin was planned and organised by Russia’s FSB security agency.

At the trail, Vadim Krasikov, alias Vadim Sokolov (the prosecutors quote both identities of the defendants, saying that his passport on the name of Vadim Sokolov contained no biometric data and in reality his name is Krasikov) has three lawyers.  The court scheduled 24 sessions until January 27. During the first sessions, the first eyewitnesses of the murder perpetrated in the centre of Berlin during daylight, were heard. In Germany, the courts and administrators of justice follow the rule of law.

The recurring pro-Kremlin narrative has not addressed the accusation in detail, nor the question of the two identities of the suspect. Instead, the pro-Kremlin's narrative consists of claims that there is no proof behind accusations made against Russia and that the West blames Russia unfairly. Consistent with the narrative on Russophobia.


  • Reported in: Issue 215
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: Khangoshvilli, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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“Novichok” is a name that was given to a group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s in a covert programme codenamed Foliant that was revealed by defectors.