Sergei Korotkikh, a neo-Nazi and a member of Ukraine’s Azov Battalion, has agreed to cooperate with Russian law enforcement agencies, according to video footage published on Aug. 6.

The video footage was posted by Israeli film director Vladi Antonevycz, who had previously investigated Korotkikh in a documentary, and on several Telegram channels. The authenticity of the video footage was also confirmed by law enforcement sources cited by Russia’s Novaya Gazeta.

Korotkikh, who used to live in Belarus and Russia, responded in his Telegram channel by saying that he is an enemy of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and that the FSB would not have leaked information on him if he were an FSB agent.

Korotkikh, also known by his nicknames Malyuta and Botsman, has a highly controversial background. He has been accused of having links to Russian and Belarusian intelligence agencies, and many people around him have been killed or died in suspicious circumstances in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. These include Belarusian activist Vitaly Shyshov and Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet.


He denies any accusations of wrongdoing.


In the video footage, Korotkikh appears to speak to a Russian investigator in 2007 and agrees to cooperate with Russian law enforcement.

Antonevycz also published what he says is a 2007 document signed by Korotkikh in which he “voluntarily agrees to cooperate with the (Russian) police” and is “recruited” by Russian law enforcement.

“I agree that (Russian law enforcement) will carry out control over my work,” Korotkikh says in the alleged document.

Korotkikh also says in the videos that the premises of his Russian neo-Nazi group, the National Socialist Society, were provided free of charge by Maxim Gritsai. The brother of Gritsai, a co-founder of the National Socialist Society, is an officer of Russia’s Federal Security Service.

Korotkikh also has other links to Russian and Belarusian intelligence agencies.

He served in Belarus’ military intelligence from 1992 to 1994. In 1994 Korotkikh enrolled at the Belarusian KGB school but dropped out later.


In the 1990s Korotkikh was a leading member of the Belarusian branch of RNE, a Russian neo-Nazi group. The Belarusian nationalists interviewed by the Kyiv Post argue that RNE was infiltrated by the Belarusian KGB and the Russian FSB.

Video footage with Azov fighter Sergei Korotkikh agreeing to cooperate with Russian law enforcement. 

Murders in Russia

In the videos published by Antonevycz, Korotkikh also gives testimony on his National Socialist Society, which had been investigated over multiple murders in Russia. Specifically, he exposes his ally Maxim Martsinkevich, or Tesak, and other allies.

“(The group) started training for fighting with knives and for violent actions,” Korotkikh said. “It was understood that there would be a group of people prepared to keep power through violent means.”

Antonevycz and Telegram channels also published videos of interrogations in which Korotkikh’s friend and ally Martsinkevich, also known as Tesak, described the murders in which he allegedly participated. Specifically, Martsinkevich describes the way he and his accomplices murdered two immigrants in 2003, cut off their heads and then threw them away in Moscow’s Golyanovo district.


According to a 2015 investigation by Antonevycz, the murder of a Tajik and a Dagestani in 2007 could also have been perpetrated by Martsinkevich, Korotkikh and their ally Dmitry Rumyantsev. Korotkikh denied the accusations.

Martsinkevich committed suicide in prison on Sept. 16, 2020, according to the official version. Russia’s Investigative Committee said that Martsinkevich had admitted to multiple murders, including the 2007 murder of the Tajik and the Dagestani, before he committed suicide.

Antonevycz and Russia’s Baza investigative journalism project have also published what they say is a note written by Martsinkevich to a friend. In the alleged note, Martsinkevich said he confessed that both he and Korotkikh had taken part in the 2007 murder.

Russia’s Kommersant newspaper also reported in 2020, citing law enforcement sources, that Russian investigators suspected Korotkikh of being involved in the 2007 murder.

In 2011, 13 members of the group led by Korotkikh and Rumyantsev – the National Socialist Society – were convicted for 27 murders and 50 assaults in 2008.

Murders in Ukraine

People around Korotkikh in Ukraine have also been killed or died in suspicious circumstances. Korotkikh has denied being involved in any of the deaths.


Specifically, Korotkikh has admitted to being acquainted with Vitaly Shyshov, head of the Belarusian House – a Belarusian opposition group in Kyiv – and having links to the Belarusian House.

On Aug. 3, Shyshov was found hanged in a park on the outskirts of Kyiv in what appears to be a murder camouflaged as a suicide. According to one of the versions circulated in Ukrainian media, infighting at the Belarusian House was the cause of Shyshov’s death.

Another acquaintance of Korotkikh, Belarusian-born journalist Pavel Sheremet, was blown up in his car in central Kyiv on July 20, 2016.

Late on July 19, 2016, on the eve of Sheremet’s murder, six Azov members, including Korotkikh and Azov leader Andriy Biletsky, met with Sheremet near his house. The Azov members later said that they were going to participate in a coal miners’ rally the next day, and sought Sheremet’s advice about the event’s media strategy.

A law enforcement source who was involved in the investigation told the Kyiv Post he did not believe the Azov members’ explanation that they had only discussed the miners’ rally. He said that it would not have made sense for them to go there at such a late hour instead of just calling him on the phone.

Oleh Odnorozhenko, a former deputy commander of Azov, and another source told the Kyiv Post that Sheremet and Korotkikh had a quarrel on the eve of the murder. The second source spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisals.


Korotkikh is a friend and relative of former Belarusian police officer Valery Ignatovych, who had been convicted for kidnapping and murdering Sheremet’s cameraman and friend Dmitry Zavadsky in 2000.

In January EUobserver, a Brussels-based English-language publication, and the Belarusian People’s Tribunal, an opposition group, published an audio recording in which alleged officials of Belarus’ KGB discussed murdering Sheremet in 2012.

A law enforcement source who was involved in the Sheremet investigation told the Kyiv Post that the Korotkikh version was one of the most plausible ones but it had not been properly investigated due to the political connections of Azov members to ex-Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. Korotkikh used to work as a top police official under Avakov and calls himself a personal friend of Avakov’s son Oleksandr.

Meanwhile, Odnorozhenko and Larysa Babych, the wife of Azov fighter Yaroslav Babych, have also accused Korotkikh of killing Yaroslav in 2015. Babych, whose murder was also camouflaged as a suicide, was among the Azov members who were radically opposed to Korotkikh and his alleged illegal schemes, Odnorozhenko said.

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