Igor Mangushev: Russian who waved Ukrainian skull on stage dies days after being shot
A Russian ultranationalist who once held the skull of what he purported was a dead Ukrainian soldier has died in hospital after being shot in the head.
Igor Mangushev, 36, who also claimed to have invented the Z symbol used as a symbol of support for Russian forces, was shot in a close-range attack, doctors told his wife.
He died in hospital four days later at 6am on Wednesday.
His wife hit out at Russian authorities for failing to investigate the killing seen as a warning to one of Putin’s closest allies, head of Wagner private army Yevgeny Prigozhin.
In August Mangueshev achieved infamy after horrifying footage showed him taking to the stage of a metal concert holding the reported skull of a downed Azov fighter.
He told the cheering crowd: “We’re alive and this guy is already dead.
“Let him burn in hell. He wasn’t lucky. We’ll make a goblet out of his skull.”
Mangushev’s wife Tatiana Azarevich posted a video claiming he had been executed at close range miles away from the frontline.
She claimed that life-saving care was withheld and that the Russian authorities hadn’t adequately investigated the killing.
Doctors had told her “the shot was made at close range, at a 45 degree angle to the back of the head, from top to bottom”.
“I think we can safely describe this as a hit,” tweeted Mark Galeotti, a London-based political scientist and expert in Russian security affairs. “Was this about him or a proxy attack on Prigozhin? Obviously at this stage, impossible to say.”
In a thread analysing the situation, Galeotti concluded that “his could be a warning, or taking a pawn off the board, or a sign that Prigozhin’s more thuggish rivals feel he is weakened enough that they can move.”
Gruesome images appeared to show a bandaged and bloodied Mangushev lying in a hospital bed after they were shared on Telegram by a friend and colleague, Boris Rozhkin.
His reported death came as Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky was welcomed to Buckingham Palace by King Charles on his visit to the UK.
Mr Zelensky told the King that it was “a great honour to be here”, adding: “Thank you for finding the time for me.”
The King said: “We’ve all been worried about you and thinking about your country for so long, I can’t tell you.”
Mr Zelensky replied: “Thank you so much.”
The King went on to say he had heard that the president had addressed both Houses of Parliament earlier in the day.
Mr Zelensky said what a “big support” they had been. The monarch replied: “I’m so glad.”