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Gaidar poisoned by enemies of Russia

Yegor GaidarIn a report that will surprise many, former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar has concluded that he was poisoned by enemies of Russia:

Most likely […] some obvious or hidden adversaries of the Russian authorities stand behind the scenes of this event, those who are interested in further radical deterioration of relations between Russia and the west.

After all, Gaidar asks, who else would gain from his murder? The FSB or Kremlin are unlikely to want to undertake another high-profile poisoning so soon after Alexander Litvinenko (even assuming they were behind his death), and Gaidar has no business interests of note that would attract the interest of the Russian mafia.

Russia Blog also poses an interesting question about Gaidar’s poisioning:

The first thing he did when he became conscious enough to make his own decisions was to fly back to Moscow. Mr. Gaidar apparently feels safer receiving medical treatment close to the Kremlin than he does abroad. That fact should give Westerners who assume that the Russian government sanctioned these awful crimes pause.

I don’t really have the answers (sorry!).

Except to say that Gaidar’s poisoning should remind us all that Russia is a complex and multi-faceted country. It’s also a country beset with a lawlessness which gives ample opportunity for any political or economic faction to take matters into its own hands – with often violent results.

We’d do well to remember that when considering Alexander Litvinenko’s murder as well, rather than opting for the kneejerk – and oh so tempting – response of blaming Vladimir Putin personally.


  • Welcome back!

    Russia Blog is a scandalously unreliable russophile entity (funded to a crazed religious cabal) that regularly justifies and rationalizes Kremlin behavior. What they fail to mention is that Gaidar could easily have been poisoned not to kill but to warn, and he could have been told that if he didn’t stop criticizing the Kremlin he (or his family) would be killed. If so, then his statements are predictable attempts to avoid sanction. After all, Gaidar is no Politkovskaya. Russia Blog also ignores the outrageous number of Kremlin critics who have been struck down (first Politkovskaya, then Litvinenko — before him two other members of the Kokvalev Committe that investigated the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings — and now Gaidar). One may be an accident, but three begins to look like carelessness. One must ask these russophiles how many critics of the Kremlin would have to give their lives before a problem would be recognized.

    More more on this topic, see my post here:

  • Fair point.

    I can understand why Gaidar might not want to make political capital out of his poisoning – he may be too scared by the event to turn around and point fingers at the Kremlin (and, if this is the case, who could blame him?)

    But why would someone who had just been poisoned by the Kremlin and was on the road to recovery then rush back to the welcoming arms of the Russian healthare system?

  • Simply because that’s what he was told to do. What would you do in his place, if you were told to return and make a show of loving Russia or your family would be killed? It’d been rather conclusively proved that he wasn’t safe abroad, hadn’t it?

    Moreover, it always strikes me as rather bizarre that “rationality” is expected from Russians. Can we rationally explain why Krushchev took off his shoe? Why Stalin killed more Russians than Hitler? Irrationality is one of the most identifying hallmarks of Russia, and is the only explanation why Russians would freely choose a proud KGB spy as their president.

    It’s not always a bad thing. It was totally irrational for Politkovskaya to go on challenging the regime even though she knew she’d be killed for it. Solzhenitsyn knew he’d get the gulag, but he went forward.

    The question we really should be asking is why we are prepared to just sit slack-jawed watching a neo-Soviet Union arise and a neo-Iron Curtain fall. Are we doomed to go on repeating the mistakes of the past until we go the way of the dinosaurs?

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