Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A chess grandmaster who was found dead in a Moscow flat after switching his allegiance from Ukraine to Russia was “liquidated” according to a far-right Ukrainian nationalist group.
Police are still investigating the incident that claimed the lives of Ukrainian couple Stanislav Bogdanovich, 26, and his girlfriend Aleksandra Vernigora, 18, who were discovered in their flat in the Russian capital city of Moscow with plastic bags on their heads.
A bottle filled with laughing gas (nitrous oxide) was also by their bed.
Investigators found signs of injections on the pair’s bodies.
Bogdanovich reportedly had injection marks on his arms and legs and his girlfriend had one under her knee. But they did not find any syringes in the flat which was locked from the inside.
It has also been found that the shortly before their deaths, Bogdanovich had ended up on the list of a radical Ukrainian group called Mirotvorets (Peacekeeper).
The far-right nationalist activists refused to accept his switch in allegiance playing for Ukraine to play for Russia, and he was listed as a person performing anti-Ukrainian propaganda in Russia.
After his death, the website posted a “liquidated” (which can also translate as “eliminated”) tag next to the chess wunderkind’s name.
Mirotvorets website is known for its scandalous content, which published profiles on different people who the site regards as traitors to Ukraine.
Moscow police are investigating and declined to comment further.
Laughing gas is used as a recreational drug because of the euphoric effects users feel upon inhaling it.
While Vernigora was studying at Russia’s oldest university – Moscow State University, her boyfriend Bogdanovich was a 2013 champion in fast chess in his native Ukraine and earned the title of a grandmaster in 2017.
He was listed as high as number 31 in Ukraine’s ranking of best chess players before switching his allegiance to Russia.
He said that he did not want to compete against the country that has opened its arms to welcome him when he moved to Russia.
Shortly after he got slammed by his online followers for betraying his country of origin and had to delete the post.
Vernigora was also a young chess player and was ranked 1861 in FIDE chess player’s list.
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