Wednesday, December 29, 2004

More Kirpa

It was reported last night that the transportation minister found dead the day before yesterday at his dacha outside of Kiev suffered death from one gunshot wound to the temple. But that does not end the mystery. Neighbors reported hearing multiple gunshots coming from Kirpa's house. So with this new information, what is the position of the authorities? Suicide. I guess they figure Kirpa was a bad shot.

To be fair, they're probably going with the explanation they consider to be more likely and it would be the most likely in countries like the US. But here the unlikely happens enough to not be so unlikely anymore.

But it might be more like something of a reflex. Preserving your job has meant in the past a certain discretion when it comes to what might be political assassinations. A finding of suicide is always safe. That kind of thing might have become institutionalized.

Anyway, the multiple gunshots explains why there were original reports of multiple gunshot wounds originally. Somebody got confused.

There was a program last night on TV that went into this case. They argued there were a number of reasons why someone might want to deal with Kirpa other than political reasons. It looks like he was involved in the renovation of the Vauxhall, the train station in downtown Kiev, for instance. There were allegations of shoddy work which suggests traditional graft. Give the bid to an associated company--your guy--use substandard materials and labor and pocket the difference. Mob stuff.

But it is also well known that he was a part of Kuchma's inner circle and that means he knew things. One other guy who had been a part of that same inner circle, Yuri Lyakh, was found dead in his office a couple of weeks ago. It seems he stabbed himself in the neck multiple times with a letter opener. (He must have missed too.) Of course this means he committed suicide.

It all looks suspicious though. It could be a partnership on some sort of deal that the other party was looking to dissolve or it could be political. With the way threats have been dealt with here it is hard to favor one over the other as being the more likely. Both are possibilities. And the argument that it would be too obvious if it were political is answered pretty effectively by the Yuschenko poisoning.

Let's see if they solve this thing. The problem is that if they rule it a suicide, even if it were a suicide in fact, there will be a lot of people who won't believe it. And there are a lot of reasons why they would be justified in believing that.


Anonymous said...

Hi Scott...

I really hope the killers (all of them) are not allowed to escape, but somehow I fear they will. The 'law enforcement' division of Ukraine government is culpable - hobbled by fear and lacking the backing of the legislature, the honest members of it ought to go directly to the people and media with everything they have - but, it seems they have not yet. Perhaps they have gone to others unknown... it will be a very interesting month or two upcoming.

Scott W. Clark said...

You're right. Some of it may be that the locus of power in the government is not all that clear right now. They might be biding their time until is becomes clear.

Anonymous said...

I wish people would put murder theories at rest. It was a suicide and nothing more than that. And it was probably triggered by what most suicides are trigered -- tremendous stress.