A Brief History of Russian Political Assassinations

 

 

Our episode today focuses on Arkady Babchenko:

Arkady Babchenko, a Russian reporter who had criticized Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and his support for the separatists of southeast Ukraine, was reported found dead on May 29. His death was reported as being related to a Facebook post he’d written in 2017 that caused enough scandal to force him to flee the country. He wrote before leaving that Russia was “a country I no longer feel safe in.”

May 30, it was reported that he had faked his death in order to assist Ukrainian authorities with capturing men who had been planning to kill him. 

The international news was less than favorable. Everyone from the Guardian to the Washington Post criticized the move, and this tweet from Harlem Desir, representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Freedom of Media account, gives an idea of the general sentiment:

 

 

In a Washington Post editorial, Ukrainian journalist Maxim Eristavi takes issue with international criticism of the operation: “Saving the life of a journalist in Eastern Europe is worth celebrating. In our part of the world, where dozens of reporters have been murdered just for doing their jobs, survival is already an achievement.”

It’s clear there are some details we’re all missing, like how faking his death helped capture his would-be assassins, and who his would-be assassins even were. But it’s an intriguing story given the Putin administration’s long and ugly history in which critics of the Putin administration have ended up dead or injured, even after fleeing Russia, including such famous cases as Alexander Litvinenko and Boris Nemtsov.

For more on the history of Russian assassinations and for Adam and Quincy wondering about Babchenko’s odd story, check out the episode!

 

And don’t forget to head over to Patreon for access to every single Unpops show for only $5 a month!

 

 

Sources (there are a lot of them this time, folks)–

 

Babchenko:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/29/russian-journalist-arkady-babchenko-shot-dead-in-kiev

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/31/arkady-babchenko-murder-fake-russia-ukraine

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/31/the-guardian-view-on-a-journalists-return-the-death-was-fake-the-damage-was-not

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/05/31/sorry-foreign-media-your-anger-at-ukraine-faking-a-journalists-death-is-misguided/?utm_term=.5820642f243e

 

Putin before the presidency:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/putins-way/transcript/

 

2006–Russia reinstates a rule allowing for targeted killings abroad:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6188658.stm

 

Liquidation of Chechens abroad:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/5083136/The-Chechen-warlords-murdered-across-the-world.html

shttps://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/01/world/qatar-court-convicts-2-russians-in-top-chechen-s-death.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1481318/Qatar-hands-back-Moscow-agents-jailed-for-murder.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/13/turkey-russians-arrested-murder-abdulvakhid-edelgireyev-chechnya-istanbul

https://www.rferl.org/a/report-turkey-swapped-two-alleged-russian-spies-for-crimean-tatar-leaders/28886977.html

 

Killings of those that doubted the 1999 apartment bombings:

https://web.archive.org/web/20060310062954/http://www.eng.terror99.ru/publications/107.htm

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/19/alexander-litvinenko-the-man-who-solved-his-own-murder

https://web.archive.org/web/20081211235729/http://www.chechenpress.co.uk/english/news/2006/07/05/01.shtml

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5155448.stm

 

Sergei Magnitsky:

shttps://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/world/europe/24kremlin.html?hp=&pagewanted=all

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/6608505/Russia-refuses-autopsy-for-anti-corruption-lawyer.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/bill-browders-testimony-to-the-senate-judiciary-committee/534864/

 

Death possibly tied to Ramzan Kadyrov:

https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-russia-chechnya-strange-journey-kurmakayev-kadyrov-henchman/28531977.html

https://en.crimerussia.com/contractkillings/chechen-suspected-of-involvement-in-contract-murders-caught-on-video-with-kadyrov/

shttps://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/world/europe/31chechnya.html

shttps://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/world/europe/01iht-chechen.2.19839666.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/14/AR2006101400805.html?noredirect=on

http://politkovskaya.novayagazeta.ru/pub/2004/2004-051.shtml

https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_ramzan_kadyrov_a_challenge_to_the_kremlin3013

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-politkovskaya-last-interview-10th-anniversary/28035942.html

shttps://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/world/europe/18estemirova.html

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://newsru.com/russia/15jul2009/natalia.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jul/16/murder-chechnya-natalia-estemirova-russia

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/02/how-putin-created-a-monster-in-chechnya-213583

 

Boris Nemtsov:

shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2dS3zEVIQI

http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/Putin-Ramzan-Kadyrov-Boris-Nemtsov-Chechnya-opposition-Kremlin/index.html

 

Attacks in Ukraine:

shttps://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/yuriy-lutsenko-russia-creating-terrorist-network-ukraine.html

https://en.hromadske.ua/posts/a-chechen-fighter-was-killed-in-a-kyiv-car-bombing-who-was-he

shttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/25/world/europe/ukraine-kiev-bomb-assassination.html

 

Attacks on Russians in Great Britain:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-20/poison-chemical-found-on-russian-who-died-in-uk3a-report/6483118

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sergei-skripal-latest-salisbury-poisoning-attack-russia-nerve-agent-sergei-lavrov-a8284766.html

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.