CCTV footage has emerged showing a Russian submarine captain’s final run before he was shot dead in revenge for a missile attack on Ukraine.
Stanislav Rzhitsky, 42, was seen jogging while being followed by a mystery cyclist in Krasnodar, Russia, just minutes before he died on the spot after being shot up to seven times.
It comes after Rzhitsky’s submarine had fired Kalibr missiles at a city in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, killing up to 27 civilians.
Ukrainian-born judo teacher Sergei Denisenko, 64, confessed to killing the submarine captain on the ‘instructions’ of Ukrainian intelligence after he was arrested, according to claims by Russian media.
He had prepared for the mission since December and was detained before he was due to fly via Turkey to Switzerland – where he has Ukrainian refugee status.
Stanislav Rzhitsky (pictured), 42, was seen jogging while being followed by a cyclist in Krasnodar, Russia, just minutes before he died on the spot after being shot up to seven times
Ukrainian-born judo teacher Sergei Denisenko (pictured), 64, confessed to killing the submarine captain on the ‘instructions’ of Ukrainian intelligence, according to Russian media
‘He was ordered to eliminate a significant Russian official. Denisenko chose Rzhitsky,’ reported 112.
The killer could have tracked Rzhitsky’s movements in on fitness app Strava where he posted details of his regular jogging route, according to Baza, a Russian Telegram channel with links to the security services.
His partner with whom he has two young children is also a refugee in Switzerland.
REN TV reported that he had been ‘recruited’ by his ex-wife who was living in Kyiv.
The detained man’s friends alleged he had been framed over the shooting and a number of theories emerged over the submarine captain’s death.
‘His friends and colleagues do not believe in his involvement in the crime,’ reported VChK-OGPU Telegram channel.
Russian law enforcement claim he was shot on the orders of Ukraine and rushed to arrest the alleged suspect, a father-of-six Ukrainian-born judo teacher Sergei Denisenko, 64 (pictured curling up as armed police stormed his house)
It comes after Rzhitsky’s submarine had fired Kalibr missiles at a city in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, killing up to 27 civilians. Pictured: Stanislav Rzhitsky
Pictured: Stanislav Rzhitsky, 42, who was shot up to seven times and killed while on a run in Krasnodar, Russia
The location would be an ‘extremely strange place’ for a Ukrainian assassin to kill his Russian target, said the channel.
The killer then escaped to a trolley bus stop along Kubanskaya Embankment Street, some 380 yards from the scene of the shooting.
‘The stop is opposite the fence of the Krasnodar branch of the Alpha special forces unit,’ said the channel.
‘The murder was committed almost at the….FSB Special Forces Centre. They often run there, train in this park.’
The cyclist allegedly tailing the submarine captain is not believed to be Denisenko.
When the war broke out, Denisenko took refuge in Switzerland with his wife and two preschool children.
Later he returned to Ukraine and repaired his blitzed house. He then came to live with his eldest son in Russia.
‘Relatives note that all this time Sergei was positive, and talked with his family on the phone,’ said the report.
‘Despite his anti-war stance, he was not an activist and planned to develop his favourite sport.’ Before the war he headed the Ukrainian Shotokan Karate Federation.
While a pistol and silencers were found at his rented flat where he was detained cowering on the floor in his underwear by armed special forces officers, his friends say he had no experience with firearms.
While a pistol and silencers were found at his rented flat where he was detained cowering on the floor in his underwear by armed special forces officers, his friends say he had no experience with firearms
Major-General Kyrylo Budanov denied his agents were responsible for the killing in Krasnodar, which he instead blamed on internal Russian anti-war foes of Putin.
He claimed it was a Russian-on-Russian shooting. ‘We know that the roots of what happened yesterday in the Russian Federation must be sought within Russia itself, where internal protest against the war in Ukraine is growing,’ he said.
Since Rzhitsky had quit the navy before the war, the motive for a Ukrainian assassination appears lacking.
Captain Anatoliy Varochkin, 56, was in charge of the submarine on 14 July 2022 when the missiles killed little tragic Liza Dmitrieva, four, and 26 others in the devastating strike from the Black Sea, it emerged. He is now deputy chief of staff of the Black Sea Fleet.