Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Of course the most interesting news from here in the past couple of weeks is the death of Kravchenko, Kuchma's Interior Minister. The SBU (the Ukrainian security service—ex-KGB) thinks it’s a suicide. But the suicides of these people here are never simple. To be a suicide he had to have shot himself twice. The first bullet entered under his chin and exited out the upper part of his jaw. The second entered his right temple. The SBU thinks he shot himself again when he found the first one didn’t take.

But here’s another point of view on it that is interesting:

Zvarych, the justice minister, has expressed doubt that the former interior minister could have recovered sufficiently from the shock of the first wound to have delivered the second."I have certain doubts personally speaking about whether someone can pull the trigger twice in order to commit suicide," he said. "There's this threshold of pain, I think, that one would need to be able to cross in order to be able to do that, something called a 'pain syndrome,' that I think is very difficult to overcome."

But whether it was suicide or murder, this pattern [of deaths] has begun to emerge as a result of the psychological aftershock that these people [of the former regime] must be dealing with at this point.

"Because of the widespread doubts over the announcement that Kravchenko's death was a suicide, Piskun said Friday he was pursuing the investigation as if it were a homicide to make sure any possibility of foul play could be ruled out. (The Los Angeles Times from March 13th as reported in the Action Ukraine Report
#441, article 5.)

Piskun, the Prosecutor General, is doing the right thing. Before it would have been officially declared a suicide within a couple of days, even if it happened under the most suspicious circumstances, and left to disappear on its own. The problem with it is that it always disappears from the press, after a time, but the people don’t forget it. The suspicion that powerful interests had someone killed who was a threat to them always remains. That these kinds of suicides happen over and over makes that suspicion fact to people.

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