Vienna, September 8 – “The most shocking thing in the murder of Yevloyev is that unlike the murder of [Anna] Politkovskaya two years ago, [this latest act] did not call forth shock either in Russia or abroad,” Washington-based Russian commentator Andrei Piontkovsky argues, lamenting the fact that Russia has “changed so much over the last two years.”
In an article originally posted on Grani.ru and then reposted with an editorial comment on Forum.msk.ru, he said that the Russian authorities, who acted so shamefacedly about the killing of a journalist, now feel sufficiently self-confident that they can “commit any political murders” without suffering any negative consequences (forum.msk.ru/material/society/526547.html).
Neither Russia’s left-national opposition nor its “liberals in law” have actively protested this development, he continues, the former because it is caught up in discussions about whether finally “a new Stalin” has emerged and the latter because it believes that private property by itself will lead to a new middle class and that by itself will lead to democracy.
Moreover, the West, he continues, is too focused on talking to Moscow “about the interpretation of the third paragraph of the fourth point of ht Medvedev-Sarkozy plan” to be concerned with such “details” as a political murder, “lest it put at risk important mutual strategic interests.”
In reposting Piontkovsky’s comments, Forum.msk.ru editor Anatoly Baranov suggests that it is a mistake to blame Ingush Republic head Murat Zyazikov for the murder as most Ingush and outside observers have been inclined to do. Instead, he says, the authors of this crime almost certainly are at the highest levels of the Russian government.
Why? Because President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had an even stronger motive for getting Yevloyev out of the way than did Zyazikov, however angry the latter was about the Ingushetiya.ru website owner and his coverage of the crimes of Zyazikov and his family.
That motive, Baranov says, arises from Yevloyev’s efforts to show that Russia’s parliamentary and presidential elections were fraudulent, an effort that demolishes claims by Medvedev and Putin that these two votes and hence their victories were democratically legitimate.
After all, the commentator continues, “it was precisely the Ingushetiya.ru site and Magomed Yevloyev personally who during the parliamentary and presidential elections convincingly shows the f act of mass falsifications [in these votes] at the level of an entire republic.”
Yevloyev played a key role in collecting signatures for the “I did not vote!” effort which showed that claims by Zyazikov and Russian officials that “close to 100 percent” of the electorate in Ingushetia voted first for Putin’s United Russia Party and then for Medvedev were fraudulent.
“What does this mean?” Baranov asks rhetorically. “Well, at a minimum, it means that in Ingushetia, voters did not choose a president named Medvedev or the current State Duma.” Moreover, “it is completely possible, that the same thing is true elsewhere, but in Ingushetia, there exists a data base” which proves that fact.
And consequently, the commentator says, it is far more likely that officials at the highest levels in Moscow decided to have Yevloyev killed. After all, at least potentially, they have far more to lose than Zyazikov even if the latter should lose his current position as part of a conspiracy to protect those above him.
But if Baranov is right, then that is yet another reason why Zyazikov may be able to hang on, especially because, as Piontkovsky points out, so few people either in Russia or the West seem to care that the current Moscow regime is now murdering its opponents. After all, as he notes, they all believe they have larger “strategic” reasons for going along.