A Russian Sickness

Yegor Gaidar, a former Prime Minister of Russia, was rushed to a hospital in Dublin last week. The next morning, he checked out and apparently flew to Moscow, where he checked back into a hospital. According to the Moscow Times, he was still there on Wednesday.

What’s ailing Gaidar? It’s not lead poisoning. It’s probably not polonium poisoning. Beyond that, no one is saying.

Anatoly Chubais, a colleague of Gaidar from the early days of Russia’s transition and now head of the Russian electricity system, told the press that doctors believed the illness might not be natural. The Irish Foreign Ministry, through an anonymous spokesperson (how’s that for conviction!), denied that there was anything suspicious or untoward about the illness.

Strange business indeed. Settling of old scores? Preparation for changes in Russia? Or something natural and coincidental?

One thought on “A Russian Sickness

  1. Do you think UK authorities will have the balls to mount a case against agents of the Russian government if the evidence points in that direction? Blair is making noises about “getting to the bottom of it”, but if the Brits are prepared to take it to the highest levels should the trail lead there, I will be frankly amazed.

    KGB, now FSB, has long known it can act with relative impunity in western Europe. The Georgi Markov killing was open air 007 style theater. In 2004 a British lawyer named Stephen Curtis who was in the middle of a smear campaign directed against Putin went to a fiery death when a helicopter went down near Bournemouth. Curtis had received threats prior to this and even told a relative – “if anything happens, it won’t be an accident”.

    They have a history of staging these executions in a public and provocative manner – probably as a warning to other dissidents that they are sufficiently ruthless to target anyone, anywhere. Not just in western Europe either. They used a car bomb in Qatr to take out then Chechnyan President in exile, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.

    The loose canon/rogue element thesis can only go so far. Most “rogue” groups of this sort don’t have the will or resources to mount an ongoing international campaign – well, unless perhaps they are being funded and motivated by a more influential party.

    It all stinks to high heaven, and of course its difficult to implicate Putin directly because as a former KGB Lt Colonel he knows how these things work – wheels within wheels within wheels separating such actions from the top brass.

    Putin has shown himself to be a rather strange and controlling personality, who plays up his democratic credentials to the West while engaging in some extremely questionable conduct that directly threatens human rights and freedom of speech in particular.

    Before her despicable killing, Anna Politkovskaya – according to her newspaper Novaya Gazeta – was engaged in an in-depth expose of human rights abuses in Chechnya.

    I wrote about these murders in my blog and I received an interesting link from a reader that dates back a few years. It’s a Time article that details some of the practices of Russian agents in the West. I’m including the link for any who might be interested …

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,18389-1610952,00.html

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