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Tom Arms’ World Review

Mutineer Yevgeny Prigozhin – and the nine other passengers on his private plane — this week joined a long and growing list of “Putin’s Bodies.” Those on the grisly register share one common fatal flaw: They dared to cross the Russian president.

The tally starts with 1,300 innocent victims. It was 1999. Putin was yet to become president. But as prime minister and head of the FSB he needed a false flag operation to win support for his war in Chechnya. It is alleged, therefore, that he bombed a Moscow apartment building and blamed it on Chechen terrorists. Three hundred died and 1,000 were injured. Putin got his war.

Politician Sergei Yashenkov made the mistake of uncovering evidence linking Putin to the bombing. He was shot in the chest in 2003. Former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko also accused Putin of the apartment block bombing. He was poisoned in London in 2006 with polonium-laced tea.

Journalists are a favourite target of the Russian president. Paul Klebnikov, chief editor of the Russian edition of Forbes, was busy writing a series on Kremlin corruption when he was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2004. Anna Polikovskaya accused Putin of turning Russia into a police state. She was shot in the lift of her apartment building in 2006. Natalia Estemirova specialised in exposing human rights abuses. She was abducted outside her home and later found in a wood with a bullet in the head.

Human rights lawyer Stanislaw Markelov was walking down the street with his friend Anastasia Buburova when they were both gunned down in 2009.

Russian media mogul Mikhail Lesin was in Washington and on the verge of cutting a deal with the FBI on corruption charges. He was found beaten to death in his hotel room in 2015.

Boris Berezovsky fled Russia for exile in Britain after daring to challenge Putin. He was found dead in his Berkshire home. The inquest returned an open verdict. Boris Nemtsov accused Putin of being in the pay of corrupt oligarchs. He was shot in the back on a Moscow street in 2015.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 20 Comments
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