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December 11, 2004
A Little Dioxin In His Borscht

Doctors treating Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko have determined that Yushchenko was poisoned by a powerful chemical known to Americans as the deadliest part of a notorious Vietnam War defoliant -- ironically called Agent Orange:

Ukrainian presidential hopeful Viktor Yushchenko was a victim of dioxin poisoning, but it remains unclear if it was the result of a deliberate act, Austrian doctors treating him said on Saturday.

"There is no doubt," Dr Michael Zimpfer, president of the Rudolfinerhaus clinic where Yushchenko is undergoing treatment, told a news conference."There were high concentrations of dioxin, most likely orally administered.

The disfigurement is a classic symptom of dioxin poisoning called chloracne. It will probably permanently disfigure Yushchenko, a constant reminder of the brutal practice of politics in Ukraine. It is all but impossible to have ingested the poison by accident, and although the hospital refused to characterize it as an attempt at murder, the truth is made obvious by the chemical itself.

Americans first became familiar with the effect of dioxin more than two decades ago when the side effects started showing up in areas that manufactured Agent Orange and other pesticides and herbicides. I recall reading extensive coverage in Time Magazine in the early 80s about the children suffering from chloracne in areas contaminated with dioxin from manufacturing byproducts; in 1983, the government bought the entire town of Times Beach, MO because of the dioxin used in sealing the town's roads.

For the man who has led the Orange Movement to freedom in Ukraine, having barely missed assassination from Agent Orange may be both bitter irony and, in retrospect, a harbinger of success.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 11, 2004 10:06 AM

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» It's official: Ukraine's likely next president was poisoned from
It is hard to believe these two photos are both of the same person. They were just taken five months apart.What had been suspected for some time now was confirmed today when doctors in Vienna announced that Ukraine presidential candidate Viktor Yushch... [Read More]

Tracked on December 11, 2004 3:54 PM

» Yushchenko Poisoned from Pirate's Cove
The hospital that Yushchenko entered for more tests has confirmed that he has Dioxin poisoning, though no speculation on how he got it. [Read More]

Tracked on December 11, 2004 4:51 PM

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