July 18, 2007

Putin Tries Assassination Again

Britain acted to expel Russian diplomats on Monday for failing to extradite alleged assassin Andrei Lugovoi because they had reason to believe Vladimir Putin had sent a second assassin to the UK. The target this time? Boris Berezovsky, a strident Putin critic who had survived murder plots when living in Russia:

Boris Berezovsky fled Britain three weeks ago on the advice of Scotland Yard, amid reports that he was the target of an assassination attempt by a suspected Russian hitman.

The exiled tycoon and fierce critic of President Putin of Russia told The Times last night that he had been warned that it was not safe for him to remain in London, where he had been living since being granted asylum in Britain. ...

Reports last night claimed that an assassin was captured at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, West London, moments before he planned to kill Mr Berezovsky, whose offices are a short distance away. Scotland Yard said last night that it was not prepared to discuss the matter.

The revelation could help to explain why the new Government of Gordon Brown decided to take such tough action against the Kremlin this week. On Monday David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, ordered four Russian diplomats, believed to be members of the Russian security services, to leave Britain within ten days. He also announced measures to tighten visas for Russian officials visiting Britain.

Berezovsky returned after the immediate threat was removed, but he didn't give any indication that he would modify his fierce opposition to Putin as a result of the attempt. He told a television news program that he was "100% sure" that the Putin government had arranged the hit on Litvinenko and the attempt on his own life. Berezovsky trusts the British to give him the best protection, although he apparently gave no indication where he went when he fled Britain.

If true, it confirms that Putin has turned Russia as a Mafia-style piece of turf. This is even worse than the Soviets, who used to assassinate critics of the state, not just people who spoke out against a particular leader. Putin has become a megalomaniacal gangster, sending button men to rub out people and insulting the sovereignty of nominal allies.

The Russian president has threatened serious consequences for the expulsion of his diplomats from London. Perhaps it's time that the West consider serious consequences too, such as the expulsion of Russia from the G-8 as long as Russian state policy appears to include murder as a political tool. Terrorist states should not have access to financial markets or be included in global fiscal policy.


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Comments (7)

Posted by stackja1945 [TypeKey Profile Page] | July 18, 2007 7:00 AM

Putins is showing many Bolshevist tendencies. Lenin and then Stalin killed many of their enemies. Now Putin follows in their path.

Posted by George | July 18, 2007 7:54 AM

Putin needs to sit back and relax with a hot, steaming cup of polonium.

Posted by Michael McCullough | July 18, 2007 9:33 AM

<sarcasm>Aw, come on. What's an assasination here and there between friends? Putin is a piker compared to Bush, whom everybody knows is worse than Hitler because the mainstream media and the Democrats keep telling us so. </sarcasm>

Posted by Dian | July 18, 2007 10:46 AM

I just read that the UK had to send up fighter planes in an effort to repel two Russian bombers that were en route to British air space. I think it was on LGF.

Posted by Harold C. Hutchison | July 18, 2007 12:25 PM

Let me get this straight: In the April 13, 2007 issue of the London Guardian, Mr. Berezovsky announced his intention to back a palace coup in Russia to forcibly change the government of that country. (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2056321,00.html)

I'd say Putin has a right to be very angry about this. Furthermore, the fact that the UK seems unwilling or unable to rein Berezovsky in certainly doesn't make the Brits look good with regards to this, either.

Posted by Ryan Crierie | July 18, 2007 1:51 PM

Let's also not forget that Mr. Berezovssky is wanted for fraud in both Russia and Brazil.

Yeah, I'm sure that the Putinists ginned up fraud charges in Brazil. *rolleye*

Posted by carl_Rita | July 18, 2007 7:49 PM

perhaps nobody wants to kill him but for sure it makes us believe he is in permanent danger