Executed Russian sub commander may have been tracked on a fitness app

Roustem Adagamov

As with any news coming out of Russia, there’s almost no telling what is true and what is not. What we do know for certain is that a former Naval officer and sub commander who Ukraine had accused of war crimes was killed this week while running through a park in Russia.


A Russian naval captain who appeared on a Ukrainian blacklist of suspected war criminals was ambushed and executed by an assassin on his morning run.

Stanislav Rzhitsky, 42, was shot four times in the back and chest with a Makarov pistol around 6 a.m. Monday in a park in the southern city of Krasnodar, Russian authorities have confirmed.

“The park was deserted due to heavy rain, so no witnesses could provide details or identify the gunman,” according to the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine…

Rzhitsky’s headphones and smartwatch were reportedly recovered at the scene of the crime, suggesting that a robbery was not a motive.

Here’s what he looked like.

So this doesn’t appear to have been a robbery. Was it an assassination by Ukrainian operatives? Ukraine has denied any connection to his death but the statement they did release early this morning was described as “unusually detailed” by some news outlets.

“The submariner was jogging in the ’30th Anniversary of Victory’ park in Krasnodar. Around 6 a.m., he was shot seven times with a Makarov pistol. As a result of the gunshot wounds, Rzhitsky died on the spot,” the statement said.

“Due to heavy rain, the park was deserted, so there were no witnesses who could provide details or identify the attacker.”


That’s a lot of detail. How would they know the exact number of shots and the condition of the park unless they got it from someone who was there? It’s almost like they want Russia to know they did it. On the other hand, Russian authorities say there were four shots and the Ukraine release says seven. Were the Ukrainians wrong or were the Russians lying. Either seems possible. A later release from Ukraine also seemed to reference the strike on Ukraine made by the Russian sub:

A later statement by the Strategic Communications department of Ukraine’s armed forces sought – on the face of it – to downplay suggestions Kyiv might have carried out the attack.

In language striking a detached, perhaps even sarcastic tone, the statement said Rzhitsky had come to the conclusion that missile strikes that killed civilians were ineffective.

“Obviously, he was eliminated by his own men for refusing to continue to carry out combat orders from his command regarding missile attacks on peaceful Ukrainian cities,” the statement concluded.

A Russian telegram channel suggested that the killer may have tracked Rzhitsky using an exercise app where he routinely logged his runs. His family also denied that he was involved in any attacks on Ukraine:

Rzhitsky’s father told the Baza, a Russian Telegram channel with links to the security services, that his son left the military in December 2021, before Russia invaded Ukraine. Several close friends of Rzhitsky similarly told the independent Russian station Dozdh that Rzhitsky left the army before the war started.

Baza further reported that the killer could have tracked Rzhitsky’s runs on the Strava app, as he regularly followed the same 4-mile route while running.


Finally, Russia is also claiming that a suspect has been caught. He’s a 64-year-old Karate teacher born in Ukraine. Is it true that Russia has captured the suspect or did they just capture someone who will fit the bill? Who knows. Here’s video of the arrest of the suspect and photos of a gun with a silencer.

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