On October 19, around 7:20, Berlin police found the lifeless body of a diplomat on the street under the windows of the Russian embassy, Der Spiegel sources say. According to the newspaper, the emergency services who arrived at the scene were unable to reanimate him. Due to diplomatic status, an investigation or an autopsy on the territory of Germany was impossible, the Russian embassy repatriated the body the next day.
It is unclear whether the fall was the cause of death or the diplomat was already dead before the fall, but due to the fact that the embassy building has four floors, the version of suicide looks implausible. The Russian embassy told Der Spiegel it was an accident and declined to comment further for ethical reasons. German intelligence sources told Der Spiegel that they suspect the diplomat who served as second secretary at the embassy was in fact an FSB officer and had ties to a high-ranking FSB general.
After examining open sources, The Insider and Bellingcat were able to identify the victim. This is Kirill Zhalo, the son of Lieutenant General Alexei Zhalo, head of the FSB’s Office for the Protection of the Constitutional System. It was this department that was engaged in extrajudicial executions activists and journalists in Russia, including poisoning Navalny, Dmitry Bykov and Vladimir Kara-Murza… The car registration database confirms that Kirill Alekseevich Zhalo was registered with his father at the same address both in Moscow and earlier in Rostov-on-Don. Google’s cached data shows that the second secretary of the Russian embassy, Kirill Zhalo, was removed from the diplomatic list of the German Foreign Ministry between November 1 and 4, 2021.
It is curious that earlier Kirill Zhalo worked as the third secretary of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation under the Ministry of Defense in Vienna, and was transferred to Berlin on June 19, 2019, just two months before the assassination of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili. As before wrote The Insider and Bellingcat, in their investigation, the killer Vadim Krasikov, in preparation for the murder of Khangoshvili, repeatedly visited the office of the FSB anti-terrorist center, subordinate to the Second Service, of which Zhalo Sr. is the deputy head. Also, Krasikov, when preparing the murder, actively communicated with the pennant Eduard Bendersky, who repeatedly traveled joint flights with the director of the Second Service of the FSB, General Alexei Sedov, the immediate superior of Alexei Zhalo. Perhaps Kirill Zhalo’s transfer to the embassy in Berlin was just a coincidence, but German prosecutors argued that Krasikov could not act without some local support, since he arrived from Warsaw to Berlin just a few hours before the murder and did not have time to organize detailed planning of the escape route, electric bike and electric scooter, which played a decisive role in the murder plan.
The Russian Embassy in Germany called the media reports about the death of the diplomat “absolutely incorrect speculation” writes RIA News”. “The tragic accident with the Russian diplomat took place on October 19, 2021,” the diplomatic mission’s press service said in a statement. – All formalities related to sending the body of the diplomat to his homeland were promptly settled with the competent law enforcement and medical authorities of Germany in accordance with the current practice. We consider the speculations that appeared in a number of Western media in the context of this tragic incident to be absolutely incorrect ”.