Cultural Revolutions

Murder in Politics

Sergey Yushenkov’s murder on April 17 may have been the result of machinations aimed at destroying Russian President Vladimir Putin politically and personally, as well as undermining U.S.-Russia relations, seemingly on track again after the rift over Iraq.  Gunned down outside his Moscow apartment, Yushenkov, the leader of the Liberal Russia political party, joins a lengthening list of Russian luminaries slain in gangland-style hits in recent years.

Yushenkov was a harsh critic of the “oligarchy” as it evolved under Boris Yeltsin and his “family,” the loose network of Yeltsin associates that remains the dominant force in Russian politics and economics today.  Ironically, Yushenkov had lately become associated with “oligarch-in-exile” and determined Putin foe Boris Abramovich Berezovsky (BAB), who has financed the Liberal Russia project from his mansion near London, while fighting attempts by Moscow to have him extradited to face embezzlement charges.  With support from Berezovsky-backed media, Yushenkov was also involved in conducting an unofficial investigation of possible FSB (the domestic-security successor to the KGB; Putin is a former KGB/FSB officer) involvement in the 1999 terrorist bombings, allegedly carried out by Chechen terrorists, that helped get Putin elected president.

One pundit claimed that the murder was the result of Yushenkov’s connections...

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