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St. Marten's Press | 2017 | Amy Knight
Orders to Kill
The Putin Regime and Political Murder
Violence As a Kremlin
2. How the
System Works: Putin and His
Security Services [pdf-27]
Starovoitova: Putin’s First
4. Terror In
Russia: September 1999 [pdf-56]
Killings In Moscow: Kozlov
and Politkovskaya [pdf-85]
Litvinenko Story [pdf-99]
Onslaught Against Kremlin
10. Boris Berezovsky: Suicide or
11. The Boston Marathon Bombings:
Russia’s Footprint [pdf-154]
12. Another Democrat Falls Victim:
The Nemtsov Murder and Its
13. Kadyrov, Putin, and Power in
the Kremlin [pdf-184]
by Amy Knight [pdf-247]
the Author [pdf-248]
Review by Will Zuzak:
 Amy Knight
is a specialist in Russian and Soviet affairs. In her book, Ms Knight
highlights the circumstances of the deaths of a large number of people,
who were a threat to Vladimir Putin. Many of these murders have
remained unsolved and the perpetrators remain unpunished. Nevertheless,
the murderous nature of Putin's regime becomes clear.
The Ctrl-F search function for "Ukrain" yields 38 hits -- most of which
are in Ch. 12 (12), Ch. 13 (10), Introduction (5), Ch.2 (3), Ch. 10 (3)
and the rest including Notes and Index (5).
pdf-9 -- When I was arrested in Kiev, Ukraine
was still part of the Soviet Union, and the Kremlin was in control of a
vast territory. Now Ukraine has forged its own way as an independent
state, along with countries in the Baltic region and states in the
Caucasus and Central Asia. ... Indeed, the Kremlin greatly fears the
spillover effect from people’s revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine.
pdf-12 -- The West badly needs Russia’s cooperation in dealing with the Syrian conflict, Ukraine, and Iran.
-- They share a common nostalgia, with Putin, for the Soviet era, when
the Russian empire encompassed the republics of Central Asia, the
Caucasus, Ukraine, and the
Baltics, and Moscow had firm control over the countries of Eastern
Europe. Like Putin, the siloviki have a deep fear of democratic
movements near their borders, such as in Ukraine, where they see events
there as inspired by the West in order to undermine the Russian
pdf-40 -- The siloviki are bound together -- with Putin -- in their
common knowledge of each other’s crimes. If the mighty edifice of the
Kremlin should come crumbling down, as did the Yanukovich regime in Ukraine, they would all fall with it.
pdf-89 -- As for the Kozlov murder investigation, law-enforcement authorities quickly arrested three hapless Ukrainian men in their mid-thirties -- taxi drivers living on the outskirts of Moscow -- who had allegedly carried out the crime.
pdf-119 -- Goldfarb contacted Britain’s top toxicology expert, Dr. John Henry, who had helped diagnose the poisoning of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, an attack he survived but which left him disfigured by facial lesions. [Litvinenko poisoning.]
-- Putin and his allies were all too aware that when people took to the
streets in the neighboring states of Georgia and Ukraine, their governments were overthrown.
pdf-146 -- Berezovsky’s support for the Orange Revolution in Ukraine
was doubtless another issue that rankled the Kremlin. Reportedly he
transferred fifteen million dollars to the campaign of Viktor
Yushchenko, who won a victory over Kremlin-backed Ukrainian President
Leonid Kravchuk [Viktor Yanukovych]
in December 2004. ... Berezovsky did not live to witness the second
people’s revolution in Ukraine, in December 2013 and January 2014 [21Nov2013 to 22Feb2014], which led to the ouster of Viktor Yanukovich, a successor to Yushchenko.
pdf-168 -- In early 2015, the Ukrainian
conflict, fueled by Russian military backing for separatists in Eastern
Ukraine, was showing no sign of abating, despite a new ceasefire
agreement. ... By the end of the year, in December 2015, the U.S.
Treasury would expand its list of sanctions against Russia to include
thirty-four more individuals and legal entities, because of Russia’s
military aggression in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.
pdf-171 -- The so-called Orange Revolution in Ukraine,
prompted by mass protests against government corruption and voting
fraud in 2004–2005 and Russia’s own public unrest in 2011-2012, were
doubtless foremost in the Kremlin’s mind.
pdf-172 -- It is no
coincidence that Nemtsov was about to publish yet another scathing
indictment of Putin, called “Putin.War,” which would document Russia’s
covert military involvement in Ukraine. In an interview on radio Ekho Moskvy on February 27, 
just three hours before he was killed, Nemtsov said: “The main reason
for the crisis [in Russia] is that Putin started this insane policy of
war with Ukraine, which is aggressive and murderous for our country.
The presence of Russian troops in Ukraine is well-documented.... Why
are Russian soldiers being killed, while you, Mr. Putin,
commander-chief, disown these soldiers by lying that they don’t take
part in the fighting?”
- After his radio interview, Nemtsov had a late dinner with his Ukrainian girlfriend, Anna Duritskaya, at the Café Bosco on Red Square.
-- Nemtsov himself complained about the surveillance, which, given that
he was organizing a large protest march against Russian involvement in Ukraine for March 1,  would have been especially concentrated on him at this time.
-- Anti-corruption crusader Aleksei Navalny was unable to attend the
public funeral of his close friend Nemtsov on March 1, 2015 because he
was under house arrest. In mid-February, he and Nemtsov had passed out
leaflets together in the Moscow metro, inviting people to the scheduled
opposition march against Russian aggression in Ukraine.
... One wonders whether the authorities’ decision not to detain
Nemtsov, which they easily could have done, was part of a larger plan.
pdf-180 -- After giving evidence to prosecutors immediately after the murder, she [Anna Duritskaia] was allowed to return home to her native Ukraine and has not appeared as a trial witness.
The FSB raided Nemtsov’s apartment immediately after the murder and
took away his computer, along with his research notes for his planned
report on Russian military aggression in Ukraine.
pdf-196 -- Russia has maintained its military presence in Eastern Ukraine, supporting Ukrainian separatists and pursuing efforts to destabilize the government in Kiev.
pdf-197 -- Trump had earlier suggested flexibility on the issue of Crimea and Ukraine and questioned the viability of NATO.
pdf-198 -- She [Angela Merkel] also hardened Germany’s position on the implementation of the Minsk agreement, which is meant to end the conflict in Ukraine, and made it clear that sanctions against Russia would remain in place.
- Washington is still committed to maintaining sanctions against Moscow until it meets Western demands about Ukraine -- at least for the time being.
pdf-199 -- As for the situation with Ukraine,
Russia is deeply invested in holding on to Crimea, in large part for
domestic reasons. ... So perhaps Western allies should consider using
recognition of Crimea as part of Russia to extract concessions from
Moscow on other issues, in particular the resolution of the conflict in
- The Minsk II agreement, brokered in 2015 to end
the fighting in Ukraine, has been largely a failure, given Moscow’s
refusal to enforce the cease-fire and remove its heavy weapons from
- Apart from wresting concessions from Russia, the
West, and the U.S. in particular, should continue its political and
diplomatic engagement in Ukraine as it restores its economy and addresses the problem of rampant government corruption.
The first chapter, outlines the long history of murder of ones
opponents -- starting with Kyivan Rus, through Muscovy, the Tsarist
Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.
- During the Soviet period, she
discusses the fate of several of Stalin's victims, including Sergei
Kirov, Maxim Gorky and Leon Trotsky.
- Curiously, although Ms.
Knight refers to assassin Pavel Sudoplatov and his victim Leon
Trotsky, she does not refer to any other Ukrainian victims of
Sudoplatov and the Russian assassination squads, such as Simon Petlura,
Yevhen Konovalets, Andriy Melnyk, Stepan Bandera, Lev Rebet, etc.
The following chapters highlight some of the well-known cases,
which may be easily located and reviewed by utilizing the Ctrl-F search
Ch. 3 Galina Starovoitova -- Mikhail
Manevich, Igor Dubovik, Evgenii Agarev, Dmitrii Filippov, Mikhail
Ch. 5 Igor Domnikov, Segei Iushenkov, Iurii Shchekochikhin, Paul Klebnikov
Ch. 6 Andrei Kozlov and Anna Politkovskaya
Ch. 7 and Ch. 8 Alexander Litvinenko, including Boris Berezovsky
Ch. 9 Stanislav Markelov and Natalia Estemirova
Ch. 10 Boris Berezovsky, including Badri Patarkatsishvili and Alexander Perepilichnyi
Ch. 11 Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Boston Marathon Bombings)
Ch. 12 Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Kara-Murza (survived)
Ch. 13 Deals with Ramzan Kadyrov and his Death Squads