Russian commander possibly stalked via Strava and shot dead on run

Russian commander possibly stalked via Strava and shot dead on run

A Russian naval commander was shot dead on Monday morning in the Russian city of Krasnodar while out jogging and possibly being tracked on the popular social media app Strava.

The Russian officer, Stanislav Rzhitskiy, who was the deputy head of the department for mobilization for the Russian forces and who had allegedly commanded multiple deadly missile strikes against Ukrainian cities over the past year, was found with four bullet wounds in his back near the Olimp Sports Complex in Krasnodar.

According to the Defense Intelligence Agency of Ukraine (HUR), Rzhitskiy was shot at 6 am while jogging in a park. “Seven shots were fired at him from a Makarov pistol. As a result of gunshot wounds, Rzhitsky died on the spot,” said HUR in a statement. The HUR did not claim responsibility for his death, but added: “Due to heavy rain the park was deserted, so there are no witnesses who could provide details or identify the attacker.”

Rzhitskiy was reportedly targeted for commanding a Kalibr missile strike on the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia a year ago, killing 28 people.

Russian investigators believe Rzhitskiy’s running route was tracked on Strava and his death was linked to the upcoming first anniversary of the Kalibr attack on July 15. A screenshot from his profile on Strava on July 4 mapped out a 14-minute activity in Krasnodar, and the Ukrainian Chief of Defense, Kyrylo Budanov, gave him kudos for it. The previous Monday, Rzhitskiy also went for a jog on the same route, through the same park.

According to the Kyiv Post, Budanov is a frequent jogger and Strava user, but since the death of Rzhitskiy, his account has been deleted.

This is not the first time that Strava’s features have sparked concerns. In 2018, the company was under scrutiny after publishing a global heatmap that revealed the exercise routes of people at military bases around the world, including US facilities in Syria and Afghanistan.

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