It is no secret, and no surprise, that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been implicated in a number of mysterious deaths of people who oppose him. His history as part of the notorious agency, the KGB, lends credence to these claims. His victims include journalists or politicians who have dared to speak out against him. Their causes of death range from plutonium poisoning to multiple “suicides” by gunshot wounds. Others were out-and-out assassinations.
Despite their proclivity for getting themselves killed, President Donald Trump, in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday, refused to lay the blame for their deaths at Putin’s feet. After Trump expressed his admiration for his Russian counterpart, O’Reilly exclaimed, “But he’s a killer.” Trump’s reply stunned many “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
Reports of ties between Trump, his campaign organization, and Russia surfaced last October, when then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called upon FBI director to investigate these charges. As we now know, in October the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant to investigate links between a server in Trump Tower and a bank in Russia. In addition, there was a 35-page dossier compiled by a highly respected British intelligence agent, now identified as Christopher Steele, that had been circulating within the IC community for months. Rumors of its existence were well known in Washington. On December 9, 2016 Senator John McCain presented a copy of this dossier to James Comey, director of the FBI, in a one-on-one meeting.
In early January, the three major intelligence agencies in the United States, the FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Agency, took the extraordinary step of attaching a two-page synopsis of the Steele dossier to an intelligence briefing provided to President Obama and President-elect Trump. While the allegations in the dossier that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about Trump had not yet been verified, Mr. Steele’s credibility within the intelligence community was such that these agencies felt they needed to be brought to the attention of the President and President-elect.
And then the “murders” began.
The first occurred prior to official release of the dossier. Former KGB chief Oleg Erovinkin, thought to be the primary source for Steele, was found shot in the back of his car on December 26th. But as stated earlier, the FBI became aware of the Steele dossier on December 9th. And President-elect Trump, frequently accompanied by General Michael Flynn, had been receiving full security briefings since his election. We’ll just leave it right there.
Other deaths have been labeled as due to “heart attacks” or following “brief illnesses” but the number, and conflicting reports of the cause of death are highly suspicious in themselves.
On January 9th, Andrei Malanin, the Russian Consul in Athens, Greece, was found dead inside his apartment on a heavily guarded street. He was 54-years old. No cause of death was reported, but officials said they believed it was “natural causes.”
On January 27th, the Russian Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin died after a “brief illnesss.”
On February 20th, Vitaly Churkin, the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations died. While his cause of death was widely reported to be a heart attack, the State Department directed the New York City Coroner’s Office NOT to release the official cause of death. Hmmm?
Other suspicious deaths include that of Russian diplomat Sergei Krivov who died at the Russian Consulate in New York City on November 8, 2016 – election day. While initial reports indicated he fell from the roof of the building, suffering blunt force trauma, the Russians say he died from a “heart attack.” On the same day that Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was assassinated, December 19, another Russian diplomat, Peter Pulshikov, was found shot to death in his Moscow apartment.
The most recent, unexplained death, and one with definite ties to Donald Trump, was that of Ukrainian-born businessman Alex Oronov on March 2nd. Oronov had family ties to Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and is reported to have set up a personal meeting between Cohen and Russian officials.
There is no “proof” that these deaths, other than the first, were anything other than natural. However, as the creator of the world’s most famous spy James Bond, Ian Fleming, is quoted as saying
“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”