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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Dead Politicians

by Christopher A. Ferrara

A strange disease is claiming the lives of liberal “Western-style” politicians who are trying to make inroads against the regime of Vladimir (“the Practicing Christian”) Putin. I call it the Death by Unknown Gunman Syndrome (DUGS). So far, DUGS has claimed the lives of no fewer than three of this type of politician, just when they were achieving some degree of prominence and influence in Russian society.

The first victim of DUGS was Galina Starovoitova, a “Western-style” politician who was suddenly shot dead in 1998. Then there was Vladimir Golovlyov, co-chairman of the Liberal Russia party, who was suddenly shot dead in late 2002. The next DUGS victim was Sergei Yushenkov, the other co-chairman of the same Liberal Russia party. He suddenly succumbed to DUGS on April 17, 2003. In fact, his fatal symptoms of lead poisoning developed only hours after he had announced that his party had registered to run in parliamentary elections scheduled for December 2003.

As The New York Times observes, the unfortunate Mr. Yushenkov had been a fierce opponent of the Practicing Christian’s brutal policy in the Chechnya war. He also preaches — excuse me, preached — “a rigidly free-market, liberal democratic philosophy.” The Russian gadfly tycoon, Boris Berezovsky, whose independent media empire was taken over by the Practicing Christian, openly accuses the Kremlin of involvement in Yushenkov’s death. He added that these shootings were designed “intimidate everybody, the society, so that they will come to the polls and vote as they are told to vote.”

According to the Times, Yushenkov was hoping for “a third place finish in the elections behind the pro-Kremlin United Russia Party and the Communists.” In other words, Russian politics today is dominated by pro-Kremlin and overtly communist parties. That is, Russian politics is still a communist affair, and those Russians who are so bold as to found any sort of explicitly anti-communist political party tend to die rather suddenly of DUGS. Yushenkov himself, commenting on the DUGS death of his co-chairman Golovlyov eight months ago, declared that the killing was politically motivated and that “We all received threats at different times. We got used to them.” Well, Russian politicians who are truly anti-communist should get used to something else: the sound of gunshots in the night. It will probably be the last sound they hear on this earth.

By the way, the Times notes that the Practicing Christian’s “Interior Ministry” claims it has “assigned a team of investigators specializing in contract killings” to look into the Yushenkov shooting. No doubt they will quickly solve the crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. And if you believe that, then you will believe that Russia was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary nineteen years ago… and counting.