In an Oct. 14 article in Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda, the newspaper claimed that it has “sensational” proof that imprisoned military intelligence (GRU) colonel Vladimir Kvachkov was involved in the apparent assassination attempt on Unified Energy Systems (EES) head Anatolii Chubais in March. Kvachkov, an explosives specialist, denies involvement in the alleged plot. However, according to leaks from an investigation completed last month, investigators are convinced of Kvachkov’s involvement, the newspaper wrote. The report also cites written statements that Kvachkov reportedly tried to smuggle out of prison, which were intercepted by prison officials. According to the account, Kvachkov wrote: “From a political point of view, the destruction of [people like] Chubais, [Economic Development Minister German] Gref, [Finance Minister Aleksei] Kudrin and [President] Putin can not be recognized as a crime. Our motherland is under international-Jewish occupation and armed actions are the actions of a national-liberation struggle.” (RFE/RL Newsline, Oct. 15) (Emphasis added.)
Russians have plenty of good reasons to hate Chubais, whose privatization and deregulation schemes have imposed harsh privations. (See BBC profile, March 17) But it is depressing to see the long tradition of Russian Jew-hatred once again raise its ugly head—and particularly ironic in this instance, as Chubais isn’t Jewish (as pointed out by the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews in their report Antisemitism in Russia, 1995-97).