Nerve poisons, poison and falling through windows. Over the years, enemies of the Kremlin have been attacked or killed. (2023)

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — The attacks range from the exotic — poisoning by drinking tea laced with polonium or touching a deadly nerve agent — to the more mundane, like shooting at point-blank range. Some fatally fall through an open window.

Over the years, political critics of the Kremlin, traitorous spies and investigative journalists have been killed or attacked in various ways.

However, no one is known to have died in the plane crash. But on Wednesday,a private plane carrying a mercenary bosswhich organized a brief rebellion in Russia fell after disintegration into a field tens of thousands of meters high.

Assassination attempts on enemies of President Vladimir Putin have been common during his nearly quarter-century in power. Those close to the victims and the few survivors have blamed Russian authorities, but the Kremlin has routinely denied involvement - as it did on Friday, saying it was a "complete lie" that it had anything to do with the plane crash.


The American intelligence service says that the plane of the head of Wagner Prigozhin was brought down by a deliberate explosion

The downed Russian jet was carrying Wagner's hierarchy, from Prigozhin's number 2 to his bodyguards.

The crash of Wagner's plane appears to be aimed at sending a clear message to potential enemies of the Kremlin.

There have also been reports of Russian executives dying in mysterious circumstances, including falling out of windows, although it is sometimes difficult to determine whether these were premeditated murders or suicides.

Some prominent cases of documented murders or attempted murders:


In August 2020, opposition leader Alexei Navalnyhe got sickon a flight from Siberia to Moscow. The plane landed in the city of Omsk, where Navalny was hospitalized in a coma. Two days later, he was flown by helicopter to Berlin, where he recovered.

His allies said almost immediately that he had been poisoned, but the Russian authorities denied this. Laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden have confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent known as Novichok, which he reported was placed on his underwear. Navalny returned to Russia and this month was convicted of extremism and sentenced to 19 years in prison, his third prison sentence in two years on charges he says are politically motivated.

In 2018, Pyotr Verzilov, founder of the protest group Pussy Riot, fell seriously ill and was also flown to Berlin, where doctors said poisoning was "highly likely". He eventually recovered. Earlier that year, Verzilov embarrassed the Kremlin by running onto the pitch during the World Cup final in Moscow with three other activists to protest police brutality. His allies said he could have been targeted because of his activism.

Prominent opponentVladimir Kara Murzahe survived what he believes were attempts to poison him in 2015 and 2017. He nearly died of kidney failure in the first case and suspected poisoning, but the cause has not been determined. He was hospitalized for a similar illness in 2017 and put into an induced coma. His wife said that doctors confirmed that he was poisoned. Kara-Murza survived, and his lawyer claims that the police refused to investigate. This year he was convicted of treason and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The most resounding assassination of a political opponent in the last few years wasBoris Nemtsov. Former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Yeltsin, Nemtsov was a popular politician and fierce critic of Putin. On a cold February night in 2015, he was killed by assailants on a bridge near the Kremlin while walking with his girlfriend, in a death that shocked the country. Five men from the Russian region of Chechnya were convicted and the gunman was jailed for up to 20 years, but Nemtsov's allies said his involvement was an attempt to shift blame from the government.


In 2006, Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko, a former agent of the KGB and its post-Soviet successor agency, the FSB, became seriously ill in London after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210, and died three weeks later. He investigated the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, as well as alleged ties of Russian intelligence to organized crime. Before he died, Litvinenko told reporters that the FSB still operated a Soviet-era poisons laboratory.

ABritish investigation foundthat Russian agents killed Litvinenko, possibly with Putin's approval, but the Kremlin has denied any involvement.

Another former Russian intelligence agent, Sergei Skripal, was poisoned in Britain in 2018. He and his adult daughter Yulia fell ill in the city of Salisbury and spent weeks in a critical condition. They survived, but the attack later claimed the life of a British woman, and a man and a policeman were seriously ill.

Authorities said both men were poisoned with the military-grade Novichok nerve agent. Britain blamed Russian intelligence, but Moscow denied any role. Putin called Skripal, a double agent for Britain during his spy career,"scoundrel" who is not interested in the Kremlinbecause he was tried in Russia and traded in the exchange of spies in 2010.


A number of journalists critical of the authorities in Russia have been killed or have suffered mysterious deaths, which their colleagues in some cases attributed to someone from the political hierarchy. In other cases, the authorities' reported reluctance to investigate has raised suspicions.

Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist from the Novaya Gazeta newspaper whose death Litvinenko investigated,was shot and killedin the elevator of his apartment building in Moscow on October 7, 2006 - Putin's birthday. She gained international recognition for her reporting on human rights violations in Chechnya. The attacker from Chechnya was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Four more Chechens received shorter prison terms for their involvement in the murder.

Yuri Shchekochikhin, another Novaya Gazeta journalist, died of a sudden and serious illness in 2003. Shchekochikhin was investigating corruption and the possible role of Russian security services in the 1999 apartment bombings blamed on Chechen rebels. Colleagues insisted he was poisoned and accused the authorities of deliberately obstructing the investigation.

Yevgeny Prigozhin and his lieutenants

Wednesday's plane crash, which is believed to have killed Yevgeny Prigozhin and top lieutenants of his private military company Wagner, came two months after he launched an armed rebellion that Putin called a "stab in the back" and a "stab in the back." treason". Although not critical of Putin, Prigozhin criticized the Russian military leadership and questioned the motives for the war in Ukraine.

On Thursday, oneA preliminary assessment of US intelligencethe crash that killed all 10 people was determined to have been deliberately caused by an explosion, according to US and Western officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment. One said the blast was in line with Putin's "long history of trying to silence his critics".

Russian President Vladimir Putin broke his silence on Wednesday's plane crash in the Tver region, offering his condolences to the families of those on board, including Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. (August 24)

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected claims that the Kremlin was behind the accident. "Of course, in the West, these speculations are spreading from a certain angle and it's all pure lies," he told reporters on Friday.

In his first public comments about the accident, Putin appeared to suggest that there was no rift between him and Prigozhin. But former Kremlin speechwriter turned political analyst Abbas Glyamov said: "Putin has shown that if you don't obey him without question, he will get rid of you mercilessly, like an enemy, even if you are formally a member. patriot".


Doprinio je pisac Associated Pressa Aamer Madhani iz Washingtona.


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