Batman had been traveling in an armored car for a while now because he feared for his life. Near the city of Krasnyi Luch, his convoy was attacked on a curve by a group of very well equipped attackers which were hidden on both sides of the road. Most interestingly, the armored car in which Batman was sitting was either blown up by a mine, or by a thermobaric missile (fuel-air explosive) which instantly ripped the vehicle into shreds.
Batman and everybody in his vehicle were instantly killed. The rest of his convoy was taken in a very heavy crossfire and killed. The attackers then approached the smoldering cars and hit every body left (many had been torn into several unrecognizable part) with a "control" shot into the head. The attackers then left the scene in, according to some witnesses, 2 Tiger special combat vehicle and one Kamaz truck.
The many theories:
Cui bono does not help very much here as the list of potential candidates is simply too long. Depending on whom you ask the current list of who could have ordered this murder include:
1) The Head of the Lugank People's Republic Igor Plotnitskii
2) Vladimir Putin (yes, some will blame him for everything and anything)
3) Novorussian drug dealers or other criminal forces
4) The Ukrainian junta
5) Some Ukrainian oligarch
6) Forces interested in creating a "false flag" to discredit the Lugansk authorities
7) Western special services
To make things worse, Batman himself was the object of several very serious accusations including:
1) The severe torture of prisoners
2) The misappropriation of funds and humanitarian aid
3) The refusal to subordinate his Rapid Reaction Group to legal authorities
My own gut feeling about this:
The most likely version in my opinion is that the Lugansk authorities ordered the arrest of Batman and that the people who were tasked with executing this arrest were too afraid of Batman and his protection force to even try to detain him. I think that they simply opened up with everything they had. Did the authorities order him killed or were their orders misconstrued? Who knows? What is certain is that even if their orders to detain Batman were misconstrued these authorities still carry the political responsibility, the responsibility of command, and that at the very least a) they should order an honest and open investigation and b) all those responsible for this murder should be punished regardless of how many of the accusations against Batman were founded: whether he was guilty or not, he was never given a chance to surrender and he, and everybody around him, was murdered in cold blood.
The Lugansk People's Republic is a mess and has been a mess from Day 1. It is still a mess. For example, Vladimir Gromov, the Head of the Lugansk Counter-Intelligence Service has declared that this murder was a false flag operation of western special services which aimed not only at discrediting the Lugansk authorities, but also to have the various field commanders turn their guns on these authorities and overthrow them. I personally consider the notion of western special services running around the Lugansk People's Republic in a a Kamaz Truck and 2 Tiger special vehicles as ludicrous, but I do see that Gromov realizes that this latest screw-up of the authorities might cost them their power and their lives. So the crisis is deep and serious, to say the least.
Givi, always the good guy (I love him!), has already offered to accept all of the Batman's men under his command (he was trying to avoid a shootout between these men and the government forces sent to arrest and disarm them. I don't know what happened since (if you find out, please let me know!).
I will say that Batman was clearly a pain in the rear for the authorities and I believe that some of the accusations made against him are founded. But the way this was handled is an outrage and a disaster. Worse, Plotnitskii get no support, nevermind respect, from most field commanders. So what is he doing still in power? This looks bad, bad, bad.
It is hight time to clean up the Lugansk People's or the folks in Donetsk will spend too much time worrying about what is happening with their neighbors. I wish someone credible, say like Bezler, was sent their to kick-a** and restore some order and unity of command. Until that happens we can expect more scandals from this troubled region.