Edward Lucas has a great post on his blog today on the poisoning of Yegor Gaidar. He writes:
“Nyet faktov, tolko versii” [No facts, only theories] is a Russian saying that captures perfectly the difficulty of trying to fit the attempted murder of Yegor Gaidar, a former prime minister, together with the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko (a defector from Russia’s FSB security service) and the shooting of Anna Politkovskaya, a campaigning journalist. They could hardly be more different. The other two were outspoken figures who already lived in fear of their lives. Mr Gaidar was widely respected in Moscow: at most a moderate critic, at least in public, of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Unlike most retired Russian politicians, he cared little for personal wealth: his energies were devoted to his free-market thinktank, where his rotund figure and beaming smile contrasted with his spartan office: undecorated, when I last visited, except for a pile of economic journals and a solitary holiday postcard. … The most terrifying explanation is that the Kremlin, or some other powerful faction in Russia, is systematically intimidating every kind of critic. Ms Politkovskaya because she was their best-known critic in the media, both at home and abroad. Mr Litvinenko because he was a defector. Mr Gaidar because his brainy liberal views undermine the Kremlin’s authoritarian and incompetent rule.