“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Russian Murders Continue, Putin Shocked, KGB Bewildered.

Russian News Agency Itar-Tass Executive Killed in Moscow
By Sebastian Alison

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The business chief of Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Anatoly Voronin, was killed last night in his apartment in central Moscow, the agency reported.

Death was the result of multiple knife wounds, according to police, Itar-Tass reported. Several theories are being investigated, the agency said.

The body of 55-year-old Voronin was found at his home by his driver, the news agency said. He had worked at the agency for 23 years. His death is the latest in a spate of high-profile killings in Russia in little over a month.

Deputy Central Bank governor Andrei Kozlov was shot dead with his driver on Sept. 13 as he left a football match in Moscow. Russian officials arrested an unspecified number of people involved in the killing, the Prosecutor General's office said today.

Journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot at the entrance to her apartment block on Oct. 7. Leaders from around the world including U.S. President George W. Bush called on the Russian government to carry out a thorough investigation to find her killers. No arrests have yet been made.

Another banker, Alexander Plokhin, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head on Oct. 10. He was a branch head at VTB-24, the retail unit of Russia's second largest bank, Vneshtorgbank.

A day later Furtanbek Akhidov, from the Chechen capital Grozny, was shot dead in the courtyard of the Moscow building where he lived, Interfax reported.

Outside Moscow, Enver Ziganshin, chief engineer of BP Plc's Russian gas unit, OAO Rusia Petroleum, was gunned down in Irkutsk in Siberia on Sept. 30.

(Itar-Tass 10-16)


  1. Standard KGB intimidation. Russians are inherently paranoid. This keeps them in line. Putin and his old "gang of mine" are in it up to their eyeballs.

  2. Nano-KGB operatives. Teeny, tiny, steathy, and lethal.

    Pkg of 24 at Wal Mart $34.95

  3. or

    This banker was performing the ancient Tartar, Taras Bulba, "Dance of the Knives" ..and obviously got crossed up with some of the footwork.*
    Baryshnikov weeps.

    * Early American pioneers took off their "Arkansas Toothpicks" during ho-downs for similar reasons.

    This was obviously an tragic accident.

  4. Things are rock'n at the BC.

  5. Which topic?

    Raging Parisian Islamic yuts?

    KGB Assassinations?

    Election Passions Rising?

    Bad Spinach?

    Monday Night Football?

  6. I'm thinking a lovers' quarrel. Just doesn't feel right for a KGB hit.

  7. Allen,
    You're probably right, the KGB hasn't had a hit since Woodstock

  8. This is getting better than a spy novel. Something is happening in Russia. How do we connect the dots.

    They must be getting desperate, Putin and Chavez and Ahmedhandjob. Gas in these parts is down to $2.35.

  9. Someone didn't pay their protection money on time. I'm sure a lesson on being punctual is there somewhere.

  10. Pretty worthwhile data, lots of thanks for your post.