catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Gaidar poisoned?

with 53 comments

Does anyone still remember Yegor Gaidar, the great Russian free market reformer, not so great politician? Here are some old interviews with him from the ‘Commanding Heights’ website. He has recently turned up in the news again as a possible poisoning victim, allegedly the latest in a series of such victims of the fellow currently at the top in Russia. What do people make of all the theories floating around about these recent rash of poisonings?

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Written by Admin

December 1, 2006 at 8:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

53 Responses

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  1. “What do people make of all the theories floating around about these recent rash of poisonings?”

    About all the theories?

    People don’t just get poisoned with rare radioactive material.

    That happens when no consequences accrue to the regime.

    We can expect more of this since we have for a very long time decided to alibi regimes when they start killing people.

    Plus Russia finds itself awash with oil-money and is therefore unassaileable in a way she has not been before.

    Poisonings break out that have nothing to do with regimes from time to time. This happens when a colourless, odourless poison becomes available on the market and the sheilas decide us fellas aren’t all we are cracked up to be.

    But this is where its the same poison in most cases. Not anthrax or radioactice substances.

    GMB

    December 1, 2006 at 11:54 am

  2. “Gaidar”

    *giggles*

    Gotta say though, it’s the method I’d choose for dealing with a dissident. More or less untraceable, because you’ve arranged a top-secret meeting with them (presumably under the auspices of helping them get their message out re corruption or what have you). Then just feed them some nori rolls with ‘special’ wasabi that takes days or weeks to knock them off. Elegant.

    Additionally, it makes other dissidents all the more unwilling to meet with anyone but known associates, so you keep them all under your thumb a bit better.

    Lacks the theatrical touch of dragging them out of their beds and frog-marching them to the Volga gulags, but hey – times will as times must! Now that we’re part of the ‘free world’ we can’t be seen to do this sort of thing.

    FDB

    December 1, 2006 at 2:11 pm

  3. The Google ads are spot on this time!

    I see ads for water filtration and purification.

    Jason Soon

    December 1, 2006 at 2:18 pm

  4. If I were US intel I would be taking another to see where the anthrax came from a few years ago.

    JC.

    December 1, 2006 at 2:21 pm

  5. You can tell I’m not a libertarian ‘cos if I were, I’d be cursing all these meddling taxeater “intelligence” nobs and their interference in the sovereign right of individuals to poison one another using whatever materials they saw fit. Never mind radioactive wasabi, what about the extravagant 3p/hour the shop assistant who served it to him was “earning”? That’s the real scandal here. Trust JC and GMB to take their eyes off the ball YOU TAXEATING C&**S

    Andrew Elder

    December 1, 2006 at 2:41 pm

  6. I will try to write something after work.

    Boris

    December 1, 2006 at 5:19 pm

  7. Andy

    Don’t try humor, it isn’t your obvious strong point. Stay with contorted logic and reasoning it’s a better fit even for an unwanted young lib.

    JC.

    December 1, 2006 at 5:56 pm

  8. Good points Elder.

    All of them.

    But check out FDB.

    See the Gestapo-like hatred of this leftist.

    I mean one wishes to be able to talk candidly about stuff.

    But the giveaway comes at the start. In that in a candid talk about an unpleasant topic……. FDB cannot help himself but heap scorn on this Russian patriot.

    This very good man. This man who must be in fear and uncertainty for his own life and for that of his family and is still sick in hospital but thankfully the bastards didn’t manage to kill him.

    “Gaidar”
    *giggles*

    Yeah.

    Very funny.

    How about I XXX? [BAD BAD BREACH, DO NOT REPEAT OR DISCIPLINARY ACTION TO BE TAKEN]

    That funny too?

    You’re a COMMIE I sez.
    (Take him out the back and shoot him).

    GMB

    December 2, 2006 at 1:03 am

  9. Today there is persistent (though not yet confirmed) information that Yegor Gaydar was indeed poisoned. If this is confirmed, this, hopefully failed, attempt on his life, throws all these theories about the chain of killings of Russian opposition figures upside down.

    While murders of prominent political and business figures is nothing new in Russia, the latest spate of attacks on the POLITICAL front was the killing on October 7 of investigative journalist and fierce critic of Russian security forces Anna Politkovskaya http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Politkovskaya . Russian democratic opposition is in disarray these days and Politkovskaya was one of a handful of journalists with impeccable reputation for honesty and professionalism.

    This was followed by the slow and painful death in London of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who was later confirmed to have been poisoned by a radioactive substance Polonium 210 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Litvinenko . An unprecedented method of killing combined with the very real danger of radioactive contamination on British soil sparked a major investigation and security operation. Unlike Politkovskaya, Litivinenko, former KGB man and an ally of Putin’s nemesis and former tycoon Boris Berezovsky, has a very controversial reputation, but similar to her was a fierce critic of the KGB and president Putin.

    In both cases most people naturally point the finger at those who were most irritated by these people – Russian security forces and their “spiritual leader” Putin. At the same time, defenders of Putin point out the following arguments against the alleged involvement of the Kremlin:

    1. These events, especially spectacular poisoning in London, do serious harm to Putin’s reputation, and thus couldn’t have possibly been ordered by him.
    2. Litvinenko was a small fish. Nobody in their sane mind would bother killing him at the expense of good relations with the UK.
    3. There are many methods how someone could be poisoned in such a way that he would look as if he died from natural causes.
    4. The job was done too crudely for the KGB.

    I dispute all 4 excuses.

    1. Putin does so many things that harm his reputation (eg, the show trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and expropriation of Yukos oil company, suppression of press freedoms, etc) that it seems he doesn’t care.
    2. Litivinenko wasn’t a small finish. He had a relatively high rank, but most importantly he accused KGB in the most horrendous crimes, including terrorist acts that were later attributed to Chechen rebels, collusion with terrorists, massive corruption, extra-judicial killings etc, etc. It has been documented that a KGB man was sent to London a few years ago to persuade Litivinenko to return to Russia in exchange for dropping all charges against him. He was not a small fish.
    3. Contrary to common view (of all sides), I am not sure the killers actually anticipated such publicity. Polonium was only discovered at the last moment. Maybe killers thought it won’t be discovered.
    4. KGB usually does a crude job.

    But while we can’t discount Kremlin’s role in these two murders, the attempt on the life of Gaydar ON THE DAY of Litivinenko’s death does not fit the pattern. Gaydar has long retired from politics and returned to academic life away from the spotlight. He has never had any dealings or clashes with Putin or the current government. Thus it is extremely hard, in fact, impossible to imagine Putin’s involvevent.

    One circulated theory is that these killings are organized by those hardline elements within the security forces or other government agencies who want president Putin to change the constitution and remain in power beyond 2008. They are interested in harming Putin’s relationship with the West. This sounds very strange, since it’s hard to see why Putin should give in to such blackmail. But I can’t see a better theory.

    Regardless of which theory is correct, these killings are likely to be connected with the power struggle within Putin’s establishment ahead of 2008 presidenttil poll.

    Boris

    December 2, 2006 at 5:11 am

  10. “1. These events, especially spectacular poisoning in London, do serious harm to Putin’s reputation, and thus couldn’t have possibly been ordered by him.”

    Yeah I dispute those too. In fact this is a near obsessional reaction to these sorts of murders. That is to alibi the most obvious suspect on the grounds that he is the most obvious suspect.

    We see this all the time…. It couldn’t have been the Syrians because the Syrians would be the first ones to be blamed… goes the logic.

    And thus terrorist sponsors have a free hand.

    The most widespread and idiotic example of this was the feverish attempts to alibi Saddam from 9/11… from terrorism more generally???!!!!! even.

    And we are still stuck with that assumption which is based on nothing at all.

    GMB

    December 2, 2006 at 9:48 am

  11. Daniel Barnes

    December 3, 2006 at 3:52 pm

  12. You idiot.

    Whats paranoid about thinking that a poisoning is some sort of conspiracy?

    GMB

    December 3, 2006 at 4:06 pm

  13. GMB, maybe we should ask Daniel what is his point, before jumping on him.

    Daniel, what’s your point?

    Boris

    December 3, 2006 at 7:21 pm

  14. It should be ‘what his point is’

    Boris

    December 3, 2006 at 7:21 pm

  15. GMB:
    >You idiot. Whats paranoid about thinking that a poisoning is some sort of conspiracy?

    Nothing. Don’t you know that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you?

    It’s the theory most likely to appeal to paranoia ie: most conspiratorial/apocalyptic etc. It certainly appealed to my inner paranoid.

    Idiot!…;-)

    Daniel Barnes

    December 4, 2006 at 4:41 am

  16. Better to jump on him first.

    Because this pre-emptive putdown of people that are looking at things objectively and not ruling out regime action has got to stop.

    Its mindless for one thing and secondly it gives license for regimes to kill people.

    GMB

    December 4, 2006 at 3:48 pm

  17. GMB:

    The name Gaidar is funny. This is not:

    “How about I XXX?” [GMB’S MISCONDUCT DULY NOTED, DISCIPLINARY ACTION TO BE TAKEN IF RENEWED]

    You will not hear another civil word from me, you fucking jumped-up &&& of a blowhard, until I have a 100% retraction of the above.

    Seriously, empty shit-eating Bird bravado aside, I will smash you if we ever meet before this retraction occurs.

    FDB

    December 4, 2006 at 4:12 pm

  18. Hmm, I missed that one, FDB. Tell you what, I will bleep out that comment and the C word. But his misconduct is still on the record

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 4:15 pm

  19. Thanks Jason, but you know, it really detracts from your blog to have that sort of thing around. In evidence, I present me being turned from tree-hugging let’s-all-just-get-along hunky urban elite to seriously violent “c&*t”-shouting maniac. I am still shaking with anger.

    FDB

    December 4, 2006 at 4:19 pm

  20. Graeme
    You shall apologise to FDB for that very disproportionately nasty comment or I may consider restricting you in various ways.

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 4:25 pm

  21. Disproportionate to what?

    FDB

    December 4, 2006 at 4:30 pm

  22. disproportionate to what you said, obviously.
    if he’d just been his usual self and called you a ‘commie witch hunter’ we’re all used to that already. But this is shocking.

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 4:37 pm

  23. I have now personally emailed Bird to ask him to apologise to you, FDB.

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 4:48 pm

  24. Maybe I was too oblique then. What I meant was:

    (aside) “this guys name is sort of funny”

    Then: “if I were an evil scumbag like Putin, I’d think of doing it this way too”.

    Although since I’ve read some interesting stuff from ex-spies saying it looks more like the work of amateurs.

    Conversely, interesting stuff to the effect that the ex-KGB is now suffering the same talent-drain as the CIA, along with lack of discipline, and it might be a power-play sort of thing. Sending a message, as it were – being as all you’d need to really fuck shit up would be some of this polonium (like 1/10 gram would be more than enough) and some high explosive or aerosol system and you’ve got a whole lot of bodies.

    FDB

    December 4, 2006 at 4:50 pm

  25. But doesn’t Bird make a very fine comment.

    This sort of stuff should always be assumed to be the work of government sponsorship unless proven otherwise. It is dangerous in the extreme to assume otherwise.

    to be perfectly honest, FDB, who gives a shit if what you’re reading suggests it is the work of rogue amateurs. That should never be the fall back position of the west under any circumstances. We should only arrive at that when it’s has been exhaustively proven to be the case.

    JC.

    December 4, 2006 at 5:27 pm

  26. Ho ho.

    A fellow is poisoned. And you find it within yourself to laugh at his name.

    Well a big fucking Tee Hee to you to.

    GMB

    December 4, 2006 at 5:35 pm

  27. Graeme
    If you don’t want to apologise, retract the comment. It was obscene.

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 5:36 pm

  28. No chance.

    This filthy leftist sees this guy who was an early free-enterprise reformer.

    He’s just been poisoned.

    And he LAUGHS AT HIM. As an introduction to a discussion about how a leftist country acts to murder civilian dissidents.

    He’s filthy scum this FDB.

    And he gave himself away.

    I mean I might speculate also on the way a leftist might kill civilians.

    But I wouldn’t begin it with laughing at a leftist regimes victim.

    Its a filthy thing to do and FDB must apologise.

    GMB

    December 4, 2006 at 5:45 pm

  29. Graeme
    I was going to make fun of his name myself. I’m giving you the opportunity to either retract or apologise – just for that one comment.

    Do it voluntarily before I force something on you.

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 5:46 pm

  30. Can’t say I’m surprised. I’ll leave the hectoring to you Jason. I’ve given up on the man 100%.

    FDB

    December 4, 2006 at 5:47 pm

  31. Sorry, “man”.

    FDB

    December 4, 2006 at 5:48 pm

  32. Don’t worry, FDB. He will be penalised as I promised.

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 5:49 pm

  33. “to be perfectly honest, FDB, who gives a shit if what you’re reading suggests it is the work of rogue amateurs.”

    Thats completely fucking ridiculous for starters.

    So here FDB is. A filthy communist.

    And what does he do when he sees that ONE OF OUR BOYS HAS BEEN POISONED???!!!!

    He laughs at the victim. Then he alibis the attempted murderers.

    I’ll have that apology FDB.

    An attack on one lover of liberty is an attack on all lovers of liberty.

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 4, 2006 at 5:51 pm

  34. I rule out involvement of the Kremlin in the poisoning of Gaidar. There is abslutely no motive.

    Politkovskaya and Litivinenko – possibly.

    I am even prepared to contemplate that these events are unrelated (very unlikely I admit) rather than to consider Kremlin involvement with Gaidar.

    Boris

    December 5, 2006 at 3:53 am

  35. Geez Graeme, what are you getting so worked up about. People die every day. If you are going to be precious about all of them then you’ll be depressed all the time.

    Giggling at a name with the word “gay” is not worth commenting on, let alone ranting about. Note that nobody else started wailing and nashing their teeth.

    John Humphreys

    December 5, 2006 at 8:49 pm

  36. John
    ‘Gaydar’ = ability to tell straight from gay at a glance.
    Actually I thought FDB’s joke was pretty funny. I wasn’t offended at all. That’s why I think Graeme really went over the top.

    Jason Soon

    December 5, 2006 at 8:55 pm

  37. For the record, he offered to rape my mother.

    FDB

    December 5, 2006 at 10:15 pm

  38. I expect the above will be sanitised, so that nobody needs to see the reality of how badly this “man” has transgressed the most basic rules of decency.

    a) What I said didn’t deserve anything at all by way of abuse.

    b) Any attempts to pass it off as “in jest” (I’m looking at you SL) are just enabling this pathological shit of a “man”.

    c) In another time and place, a “man” would die for saying what he said. Now he can hide behind an online identity, and have the gall to accuse me of being “3 letters”. And he has the gall to lecture people about honour.

    I urge an immediate walk down the hall of mirrors, Graeme. Do you really want to be on record like this, or do you want forgivedness?

    FDB

    December 5, 2006 at 10:28 pm

  39. if he’d just been his usual self and called you a ‘commie witch hunter’ we’re all used to that already. But this is shocking.

    Well, not really, Jason. Neither’s really acceptable, at all, by the standards of what an ordinary person’d say on the street. That FDB happens to be calling Graeme on some particularly over-the-top shit doesn’t make the rest of his peculiar performance art any nicer.

    Liam

    December 5, 2006 at 10:38 pm

  40. We know what he said, FDB, and are currently doing our bloody best to fix it.

    Catallaxy only moderates out spam – we don’t have a comments policy like LP that catches certain words (see the ‘rules’ tab above). This means Jason and I have to sit around and do manual admin edits/deletions.

    In this case, the comment was so appalling (regardless of the circumstances of its making – please do not mistake explanations for excuses, the two are different) that we will continue to do manual admin edits until a retraction is forthcoming.

    skepticlawyer

    December 5, 2006 at 10:42 pm

  41. FDB
    Nothing has been sanitised for GMB’s benefit.
    I am fucking sitting around editing his comments highlighting his misdemeanour while I could be doing other things.
    You complained that ‘ it really detracts from your blog to have that sort of thing around.’ so I deleted it. Would you prefer that I put the comment about your mother back on again?

    Jason Soon

    December 5, 2006 at 10:48 pm

  42. Actually SL, that’s wrong. We can filter out certain words now and do. But I’d never expected ‘rape’ to be one of them that would need filtering.

    Jason Soon

    December 5, 2006 at 10:52 pm

  43. I didn’t know that Jason. I’ve never put any particular words in the spaminator (in fact I’m not even sure how to do so). I do know that LP threw ‘rape’ in the spaminator using whatever system they use.

    skepticlawyer

    December 5, 2006 at 10:59 pm

  44. That would kind of put a limit on discussions about alternate cultivars to Canola.

    terjepetersen

    December 6, 2006 at 12:35 am

  45. Liam says:

    “Well, not really, Jason. Neither’s really acceptable, at all, by the standards of what an ordinary person’d say on the street. That FDB happens to be calling Graeme on some particularly over-the-top shit doesn’t make the rest of his peculiar performance art any nicer.”

    Liam, your disingenuousness is astounding> the comment is so transparent it’s astounding.

    I have experienced identity theft and serious racial abuse at the hands of one person on your side of the political divide. You were witness to those events and not once did you make a peep. So please spare us your indignation. It’s pathetic.

    JC.

    December 6, 2006 at 12:54 am

  46. “For the record, he offered to rape my mother.”

    For the record you are talking bullshit.

    But it wouldn’t be very nice if someone in your family was poisoned would it?

    Would you be laughing at them?

    Even before they had recovered?

    Just because they were a free enterpriser?

    Fuck off FDB.

    Take your game of GOTCHA elsewhere.

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 3:05 am

  47. GMB — nobody was laughing at the poisoning. Nobody was saying it was nice for somebody to be poisoned. And the topic wasn’t family or friend of anybody in the discussion.

    All that happened is somebody snickered at a funny name. The joke had nothing to do with poisoning or free enterprise. Just a funny name of a far away person.

    John Humphreys

    December 6, 2006 at 3:12 am

  48. “I rule out involvement of the Kremlin in the poisoning of Gaidar. There is abslutely no motive.”

    You cannot be serious.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Fuck off Liam you commie-witch-hunter.

    Your really showing your true colours here fella.

    As if you leftists have some sort of priveledged immunity from being called a commie.

    I mean as if me calling you a commie is some outrageous crime.

    That other queer FDB is doing exactly what you tried to pull when you staged a walkout over Franco.

    You were just being a little bitch then. Perhaps you can explain yourself now.

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 3:14 am

  49. Point taken admin folks. Thanks for trying.

    FDB

    December 6, 2006 at 9:26 am

  50. Does this mean you are actually ASKING this campaign against me to stop?

    If so good stuff.

    If so I shan’t be involving YOUR mother in any more of my hypothetical examples or explanations.

    Dude…….
    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 4:13 pm

  51. “Today there is persistent (though not yet confirmed) information that Yegor Gaydar was indeed poisoned. If this is confirmed, this, hopefully failed, attempt on his life, throws all these theories about the chain of killings of Russian opposition figures upside down.”

    See this is where you are coming off the beam.

    I want to poison a bunch of people right (No FDB. I DO NOT want to poison you, your family or anybody….)

    Anyway. Suppose I’m a Soviet throwback. And I want to poison some people. Whats the skin off my nose to poison a couple of extra guys as a sort of Macguffin? Even get an Arab cutout to do it?

    Because you say it turns all the theories upside down. No it doesn’t but you said it. So all it took for you to help alibi the regime is for them to poison a couple of guys they didn’t really need to or just out of spite.

    You wondered what the motive would be. YOU PROVIDED THE MOTIVE.

    Next we will have people saying that there are two seperate poisoning teams totally independent of eachother.

    And next it will be that one of them is non-government.

    And from there is a non-government outfit could be doing some of it why not more then one non-government outfit doing all of it.

    And then the regime is off the hook and they can kill again with everyone alibiing them.

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 4:43 pm

  52. All that happened is somebody snickered at a funny name.

    A serious crime that should always be frowned apon.

    }-(

    terjepetersen

    December 6, 2006 at 5:07 pm

  53. “[EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]”

    No I’m afraid thats NOT right.

    You listen to terje. He seems to know what he’s talking about. Gaidor is still likely puking up ten times a day as we speak.

    And to think. You guys thought you could get me to apologise to the fascist FDB.

    I….don’t……THINKSO.

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 8:29 pm


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