(Adds quotes from wife in paragraphs 4-7, context)
MOSCOW, Jul 21 (Reuters) – Russian investigators have arrested prominent Russian nationalist Igor Girkin, his wife said on Friday, a move that suggests authorities are fed up with his criticism of Moscow’s conduct of its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, helped Russia annex Crimea in 2014 and subsequently organize pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine.
A former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer, he said earlier this year that he was entering politics increasingly critical of President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over what he called Moscow’s incompetent way of conducting its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
In a post on Girkin’s official Telegram account, his wife, Miroslava Reginskaya, said:
“At about 11:30 today, representatives of the Commission of Inquiry came to our house. I was not at home. Soon, according to the caretaker, they took my husband by the arms and in an unknown direction.”
She said friends had told her that Girkin had been accused of extremism.
“I don’t know about my husband’s whereabouts, he hasn’t contacted me,” she said.
There was no immediate comment from authorities. (Reporting by Reuters Edited by Andrew Osborn)