An Assault on Politkovskaya’s Attorney!

The Kremlin still fears mighty Anna

The Kremlin still fears mighty Anna

Paul Goble reports:

Two days before she was slated to appear at a preliminary hearing on the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Karinna Moskalenko, who is serving as the lawyer for the family of the deceased and is currently in France, discovered that someone had placed a large quantity of mercury in her car in an apparent effort to poison her and her family. She and the members of her family are in satisfactory condition but will have to undergo treatment, Novaya Gazeta editor Sergey Sokolov said in an article posted on his newspaper’s website late last night. French police, he continued, are investigating the case at the present time.

Sokolov noted that Moskalenko has taken part in many high-profile cases, including representing the interests of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Chechens who have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the violation of their constitutional and legal rights by Russian force structures. The editor said that “the French police have not made any conclusion relative to the motives of this crime or commented on the status of the investigation.” And in a telephone message to one of her friends, she said that “she can’t directly link the attempt on her life and the life of her children” to the Politkovskaya case. But if neither French officials nor Moskalenko herself are yet prepared to do so, the timing of this attack – one apparently intended to prevent her from appearing at the hearing – and the method of the attack – one that recalls the use of polonium against Aleksandr Litvinenko in London – are certain to lead many to conclude that it was the work of Russian security services.

In the current environment, should the French police find evidence linking Russian officials or their agents to this crime, that in itself would undoubtedly have a major impact on opinion official and otherwise in France and throughout the European Union concerning the nature of the increasingly assertive Russian government. That is all the more so given the media firestorm provoked by reports in the Georgian media at the end of last week that have now been picked up by Moscow outlets that the Russian government has ordered its security agencies to assassinate Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

According to Georgian media, Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, has ordered the FSB and GRU to “take out” Saakashvili, and these agencies in turn have recruited an Ossetian named Teymuraz Pliyev, who lost his family during the recent war and who supposedly is prepared to kill the Georgian leader for revenge. Neither Georgian officials nor experts put much credence in these reforms. According to the Georgian interior ministry, Tbilisi “does not have any serious information about this and there is thus nothing to comment about.” And Mamuka Areshidze, an expert on the Caucasus, noted that Ossetians do not generally go in for blood feuds.

But former FSB officer Mikhail Trepashkin, who now works as a lawyer, told Moscow’s Sobkorr.ru portal that “theoretically an attack is possible since already for more than a year there has been in effect a decree, adopted for the struggle against terrorism, that the FSB can attack by various methods abroad, up to the physical removal of a suspected terrorist.” And because various Moscow officials, including both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, have denounced Saakashvili as “a criminal,” this decree could be used to give the order to the FSB or the GRU to organize an attempt on the life of the Georgian leader.Trepashkin suggested however that “the murder of Saakashvili” now would be politically counterproductive: Were it to happen, it would generate a new wave of anti-Russian sentiment in governments and peoples around the world because with such a move “everything would become obvious.”

In a commentary on this case, Sobkorr.ru observer Sergey Petrunin said that there was yet another reason why most people in the Russian political leadership would probably be reluctant to physically liquidate the leader of a neighboring country, even one as despised as the Georgian president clearly is.  Such an action would remove the taboo that has been in place since the execution of Stalin’s secret police chief Lavrenty Beriya in 1953 and quite possibly open the door to more political killings not only abroad but inside the Russian Federation itself, something that could put even those who might authorize the death of Saakashvili at risk in the future.

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11 responses to “An Assault on Politkovskaya’s Attorney!

  1. Well there is nothing to be ruled out from those bastards in Kremlin.

  2. For starters, Moskalenko is Khordorkovsky’s attorney. She is not to my knowledge Politovskaya’s attorney.

    That needs to be said.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Learn something new every day!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/16/world/europe/16russia.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

  3. Hey, the thugs in the Kemlin will murder as needed.

    Will Moskalenko’s probable poisoning resonate with the 30% of Russians that use the internet, probably not. Politkovskaya gets, what, a couple hundred at best, at her gravesite on the anniversary of her death out of 140 million Russians? The math says it all.

    Russia today is the classic extension of the sick sorry Russian history of passive burned out sheeple endorsing another thug set of rulers. Let’s hope that sinking oil prices destroys their treasury and they can get their daily bread in the lines that they’ve never revolted against and leave the rest of us alone.

    A case in point of Russian hubris is the internet site for Svetlana Bakhmina’s release. 32, 000 Russians have responded after days posted on the internet, most of them grovelling for Medvedev’s forgiveness. Few denounce the regime. A large number admit they are clueless about the issues regarding the Yukos’ travesty and they define themselves as upper middle class professionals. The 32,000 number is paltry and unforgivable given that this travesty of justice defines their non-existent civil society.

    People get the government that they deserve.

  4. Tower Bolshevik

    For Penny:

    “People get the government that they deserve.”

    You mean one that pumps trillions into losing wars, resulting in economic crisis like in the USA? Americans voted democratically, right?

  5. Tower Bolshevik

    So Anna Politkovskaya’s murder is still unsolved. Probably will never be solved.

    There was an American woman murdered in Moscow in 1992 that to date is still unsolved. Her name was Martha Phillips, she was a political activist. She had been in Russia for three years if I’m not mistaken establishing a post and helped found the Russian branch of the International Communist League-Fourth Internationalist/Spartacist League. Her and the comrades from other branches along side Russian comrades fought the the very end to defend the gains of the October Revolution. Fought to the very end in defense of the Soviet Union against Yeltsin’s “democrats” and Pamyat fascists, against the Stalinist “Red-Brown” has-beens, and against the “hardline” Kremlin bureaucrats. She fought heroically for an authentic Bolshevik Party like that of Lenin and Trotsky to save the Soviet Union.

    R.I.P. Martha Phillips

  6. Tower Bolshevik, what’s your point? Is it 16 year belated obituary?

    There are probably tens of thousands of people that are murdered every in Russia. Some are well-known, like Politkovskaya or Khlebnikov. Others are unknown, like Martha Phillips or children in Beslan. Some have done a lot of good for society, and will be mourned by millions – like Shchekochihin or Politkovskaya. Others will remain virtually unknown outside their immediate families.

    And then, of course, there are Yagoda, Beria,
    and Hafizullah Amin that were also killed by authentic Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union. R.I.P. as well.

    That’s life, and may every soul rests in piece! How does it justify calling Pamyat fascists; or what it has to do with all your other non-sequiturs – is beyond rational explanation.

    Try harder next time.

  7. Hey, Tower, you moron, American elections come and go on a 4 year cycle the past 200 hundred years in the world’s oldest democracy. Deal with it. Your point is stupid.

    20 Russian journalists of note were murdered in the past few years, all critical of Putin, mean anything to you, you fool?

    Any idiot using “Bolshevik” in their moniker in this day and age is pathetic. It’s been over for a long time for them. I bet you even have a little red “Che” t-shirt, how damn boring. And juvenile. Try harder.

  8. Tower Bolshevik

    No, I just thought I’d bring up the name of an American woman who was murdered in Moscow for actually trying to do something good and progressive. Of course the mainstream twats will always be remembered. My point was mentioning an unknown revolutionary activist who was brutally murdered most likely by Yeltsin’s chauvinist thugs, since one of the many topics on this blog is bashing Russia for killing journalists.

    What Bolsheviks are you talking about? They were all murdered by Stalin. If Pamyat aren’t fascists, then what are they? I think embracing anti-semitism, racism, the display Nazi and Czarist symbols, using the Nazi salute and shouting “Sieg Heil” and “Slava Rossii” might just fit that catagory.

  9. A nationalist russian, I thought they all died during that great patriotic war.

    Good and Progressive are not exactly complimentary.

    “What Bolsheviks are you talking about? They were all murdered by Stalin.” Really?

    Have you ever wondered why, after all, they were the ones that put him in power, despite their best efforts.

    Not even Lenin liked Stalin, You seem to be arguing against your own point, however vague.

    You seem to be of the school of thought that socialism, and fascism are different in implementation and practice. All I can say is be strong comrade. (recomendation, read up on the “Night of the Long Knives”.

    I hope you recognize sarcasm, otherwise it is cryptic.

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