Avoid That Russian Tea Room

by Mike on November 20, 2006

in Anything Else,Politics

It is well established that democracy is not an integral part of Russian tradition. For centuries, Russians favored strong, centralized leadership in the form of a tsar. After the monarchy fell, Communism was imposed on the people by one political party. Some Russians even today wax nostalgic for Stalin. Today, people are increasingly concerned that Vladimir Putin represents a return to Russia’s anti-democratic past.

The family of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko recently released photos of the former agent suffering from the effects of thallium poisoning. Litvinenko, a known critic of Vladimir Putin, recently fled Russia for London. While in London, Litvinenko investigated the recent murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskya, also a well-known Putin critic. Apparently, Litvinenko met with Russian agents for tea on November 1, 2006 prior to his meeting with a member of “the Italian underground” who allegedly provided Litvinenko with information concerning Politkovskya’s murder.

Naturally, accusations are flying from Putin opponents that the Kremlin was somehow behind the poisoning. They point to the long list of Putin opponents who have met unfortunate incidents. These include Litvinenko, Politkovskya, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. That Clinton list is looking less impressive every day. (That was a joke, we do not subscribe to the Clinton list theory).

At this point there is no evidence that Putin or the Kremlin was behind the poisoning. In fact, they vehemently deny it. However, one would think that Putin would gain much credibility by getting to the bottom of these incidents.

Source and Photo: BBC

{ 2 trackbacks }

Alexander Litvinenko (1962-2006) « Axis of Right
November 24, 2006 at 4:17 pm
Trouble Post-Communist Paradise? | Axis of Right
May 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris November 20, 2006 at 11:41 pm

Putin likes to play to both sides of the aisle…saddling up to Bush and also against America/siding with those against America at the “Star Wars Bar” (aka the UN). Let’s also remember, this is the same guy who has no problem using any means necessary to deal with his terrorist problem, but criticizes the US for protecting itself against terrorists. For that reason, I never truly trusted him. This distrust all harkens back to the injection incident of Nadezhda Tylik after the Kursk. While there have been varying perspectives to this incident and its intent, one must examine Russia’s history to look at it as government-sanctioned.

Putin’s double standard issues, as well as applying a seditive to a Kursk relative, leads to a further questioning of this incident. I totally agree that Putin needs to lead an investigation of this most recent poisoning incident and hope he does.

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