Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Putin's Enemies Have A Nasty Habit: Dying
National Post [Canada] ^ | Saturday, November 25, 2006 | David Frum

Posted on 11/30/2006 6:01:36 AM PST by canuck_conservative

Alexander Litvinenko, who died horribly in a London hospital on Thursday, is only the latest critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet a brutal death.

On Oct. 7, another critic, the journalist Anna Politkovskaya was gunned down in the lobby of her Moscow apartment building. Two years earlier, in July 2004, the U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov was murdered as he emerged from the offices of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine. These killings and many others are linked to the deepest mystery of the Russian state. The mystery is the rise of Vladimir Putin.

In 1998, Vladimir Putin was named head of the Russian secret police, the KGB, now renamed the FSB. In August, 1999, a desperately unpopular Boris Yeltsin named Putin prime minister of Russia -- the fifth PM in less than 18 months. There seemed little reason to expect Putin to last any longer than his predecessors.

Then the bombs started going off. The first bomb hit a Moscow mall on Aug. 31, 1999, killing one person and wounding 40. Five more bombs followed over the next 17 days, striking apartment buildings in Moscow and in southern Russia. Nearly 300 people were killed.

Prime minister Putin blamed Chechen separatists, and ordered Russian troops to reconquer the province, which had won de facto independence in a bloody war from 1994 to 1996. This time, Russian arms won more success. Putin called a snap parliamentary election in December, 1999, and his supporters won the largest bloc of seats in Parliament.

On Dec. 31, 1999, president Yeltsin resigned. Prime Minister Putin succeeded as acting president. He granted Yeltsin and his family immunity from prosecution on corruption charges and shifted Russia's next presidential election -- originally scheduled for the fall of 2000 -- forward to March. Putin won handily.

Next he acted to reduce the power of the provinces, to renationalize private enterprise, and to close independent media outlets. Backed this time by the full power of the state and state-controlled media, Putin won 71% of the vote in the 2004 presidential election.

Despite Putin's enormous personal power, however, questions still linger about the means by which he won it. In addition to the six bombs that went off in September, 1999, there was a seventh that did not detonate. On Sept. 22, 1999, local police in the city of Ryazan discovered sacks of explosives in the basement of an apartment house. They found something else, too: a record at the local phone company of a phone call to one of the would-be bombers. The call originated at the FSB offices in Moscow.

After a two-day pause, the FSB explained that Ryazan police had stumbled across an FSB training exercise. The FSB took charge of the investigation, declared the sacks harmless, and quietly closed the case the week after Putin's election to the Russian presidency.

Meanwhile, the war in Chechnya weltered on bloodily. Most Russian journalists got the message that it was better for their health to focus on other subjects -- but not Anna Politkovskaya. Despite an attempted poisoning in 2004, she filed story after story about human rights abuses by Russian forces and the Putin-installed pro-Russian government in Chechnya. At the time of her death, she claimed to have found evidence of state-ordered torture in Chechnya. Any such evidence has now vanished: All her files and computers were seized by police investigating her death.

There is a Chechen link to the Klebnikov killing, too. At the time of his death, Klebnikov had been working on a story about the theft by Russian officials of funds for the reconstruction of Chechnya. In May, 2006, a Russian jury acquitted the two men indicted for Klebnikov's murder. By remarkable coincidence, the same jury had previously acquitted the same two men for killing one of Klebnikov's most important sources, a former deputy prime minister in the pro-Russian Chechen government.

As for Alexander Litvinenko, his offence was to have published in 2002 a book arguing that the September 1999 bombings were orchestrated by the FSB to bring Putin to power.

Measured by the number of stories posted and published in the world's English-language media (5,000 and counting as of Friday afternoon), the assassination of Pierre Gemayel in Lebanon was the week's top story. And yet in one way at least there is nothing very surprising about this story: Gemayel's probable killers are the rulers of Syria, an officially designated state sponsor of terrorism.

Vladimir Putin's Russia, by contrast, is a member of the G8, a veto-wielder at the UN Security Council, an honoured participant in international summits and conferences.

If this supposed ally in the war on terror is being run by assassins and bombers, isn't that a fact that deserves attention -- to put it mildly?

DFrum@aei.org

© National Post 2006


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: assassination; conspiracy; kgb; politkovskaya; putin; putincide; vladimirputin

1 posted on 11/30/2006 6:01:40 AM PST by canuck_conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

Kind of like anyone who gets close to the Clintons. They die or they end up in jail.


2 posted on 11/30/2006 6:02:31 AM PST by Long Island Pete
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

ANOTHER saddam hussein amongst us. BUT, mysteriously the LIBERALS keep focusing on Gitmo & abu ghraib. More selective moral outrage from the loony left? Me thinks so.


3 posted on 11/30/2006 6:04:27 AM PST by Jazzman1 (l)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Long Island Pete

beat me to it


4 posted on 11/30/2006 6:05:04 AM PST by sure_fine (*not one to over kill the thought process*)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

Polonium!?!

Why didn't I think of that?

5 posted on 11/30/2006 6:06:06 AM PST by bondjamesbond (We just got dumped. McCain and Giuliani are Rebound Guys. Let's not marry a Rebound Guy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Long Island Pete
Putin made a statement a few years ago where he called the demise of the Soviet Union the biggest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. His goal is to recreate the glory of Mother Russia by recreating the empire. He is also aligning himself very closely with Iran by arming them and watch for Russia and Iran to push south and attack Israel.

Of course all of this was predicted in Ezzekiel 38, 39. This is simply prophecies coming true in the headlines of our newspapers every day. Russia is fast reversing from democracy and back to a totalitarian state. Putin is ex KGB, this is in his blood and he does not believe in democracy which is why he aligns naturally with Iran.
6 posted on 11/30/2006 6:09:15 AM PST by Maneesh (A non-hyphenated American.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative
The fact that people are openly suspecting Putin of orchestrating these poisonings shows us one very clear thing. Whoever is responsible for these attacks is very sloppy and has painted a trail of culpability that ends inside the Kremlin.

Now the question becomes, what do we do about it?

7 posted on 11/30/2006 6:11:33 AM PST by pnh102
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

Business as usual.

I grew up during the Cold War. When the USSR collapsed, I was hopeful that something good would come of it; however, when the billions in US aid began to disappear, I realized it was going to be a very long time before we had a true ally in the Russian state... if ever.

Communism is like liberalism... a psychological state, rather than any rational set of political beliefs. It will never disappear overnight.


8 posted on 11/30/2006 6:12:38 AM PST by snowrip (Liberal? YOU HAVE NO RATIONAL ARGUMENT. Actually, you lack even a legitimate excuse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pnh102

It doesn't surprise me that they would kill a former spy but I'm having a lot of trouble believing that they would leave a trail as clear as this one is. If they want to send a message to former spies, there are a lot better ways of doing it than angering Europe.


9 posted on 11/30/2006 6:16:50 AM PST by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

Arkancide?


10 posted on 11/30/2006 6:17:29 AM PST by ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

Anyone want a cup of starbucks coffee?


11 posted on 11/30/2006 6:18:02 AM PST by icwhatudo (The rino borg...is resistance futile?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
It doesn't surprise me that they would kill a former spy but I'm having a lot of trouble believing that they would leave a trail as clear as this one is.

True, but a less sophisticated killer, say, a person on the street who simply had a grudge against the former spy, would probably not be able to get his hands on Polonium 210. I would wager he would have just tried to shoot the man instead.

there are a lot better ways of doing it than angering Europe

I quite literally spit up my coffee when I read this. What could Russia possibly have to lose by angering Europe? :)

12 posted on 11/30/2006 6:30:33 AM PST by pnh102
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

Hmm, this sounds familiar.


13 posted on 11/30/2006 6:31:24 AM PST by wouldntbprudent (If you can: Contribute more (babies) to the next generation of God-fearing American Patriots!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bondjamesbond

Wasn't Polonium one of Prince's ex-girlfriends?


14 posted on 11/30/2006 6:33:36 AM PST by JZelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Long Island Pete; canuck_conservative

<< Kind of like anyone who gets close to the Clintons. They die or they end up in jail. >>

Took the words from me mouth.

Unless you used to be and/or are Elian Gonzales, David Koresh or a member of his family or numbered among his friends, students and/or parishioners -- in which case any difference is likely too subtle and probably escapes you -- The tattered remnants of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are all that (barely) set the Clinton Crime Family (slightly) apart from the likes of the principals and of the gangs that attached to the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Putin and Peking's present pack of predators.

Need proof?

Here it is: http://alamo-girl.com/0463.htm


15 posted on 11/30/2006 6:55:03 AM PST by Brian Allen ("Moral issues are always terribly complex, for someone without principles." - G K Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

We can call it Putincide.


16 posted on 11/30/2006 6:55:57 AM PST by DarthVader (Conservatives aren't always right , but Liberals are almost always wrong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

Seems like Putin has gotten the Arkanicide afflication that BJ Clinton has had.


17 posted on 11/30/2006 6:57:48 AM PST by hgro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Thunder90; M. Espinola

18 posted on 11/30/2006 8:35:40 AM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: pnh102

>I quite literally spit up my coffee when I read this. >What could Russia possibly have to lose by angering Europe? :)

Putin doesn't care much, he cut gas to Ukraine, invited HAMAS to Kremlin, M1-Tor to Iran etc, etc..


19 posted on 11/30/2006 11:01:42 AM PST by b2stealth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

I coined the term "putincide" last week sometime.


20 posted on 11/30/2006 11:51:26 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (* nuke * the * jihad *)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JZelle
Wasn't Polonium one of Prince's ex-girlfriends?

You mean "the man formerly known as Prince," don't you?

21 posted on 11/30/2006 11:52:50 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (* nuke * the * jihad *)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Oh yeah, that she-male symbol.


22 posted on 11/30/2006 1:02:13 PM PST by JZelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: george76

"The next guy who insults me better watch out!"

23 posted on 12/01/2006 12:43:02 AM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
"putincide"

Classic - love it!

24 posted on 12/01/2006 12:44:08 AM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: canuck_conservative

I really don't why people are suprised Putin was KGB right?


25 posted on 12/01/2006 12:51:56 AM PST by ColdSteelTalon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: M. Espinola

26 posted on 12/01/2006 7:22:27 AM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson