Sunday, March 4, 2007

Putin's reach in the suburbs of Maryland?

A prominent Russian scholar in the DC area, and an outspoken critic of the Putin Administration is shot in the groin by two men in his drive way at 7:30pm....... nothing is stolen, a message perhaps?

Kremlin critic shot in front of his Maryland home
By Jason DeParle

WASHINGTON: A few hours after meeting a former KGB general outside a spy museum here, a Russia scholar and outspoken critic of the Kremlin became engulfed in the kind of intrigue he studies, when he was shot outside his suburban Maryland home.
The shooting Thursday occurred four days after the critic, Paul Joyal, warned on "Dateline NBC," the television news magazine, that a "message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin: 'If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will find you and we will silence you in the most horrible way possible.' " Joyal was speaking about the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a KGB defector, who was poisoned last fall in London.
A spokesman for the Prince George's County Police Department declined to say whether the police viewed the shooting as a reprisal or a coincidence. The spokesman, Corporal Clinton Copeland, said the police had "a vague description of two black males" fleeing the scene.
The federal authorities were leaning toward the view that Joyal was the victim of a street crime unrelated to his opinions of Russia, said a federal law enforcement official. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is incomplete, said the crime scene did not point toward professional assassins.
Joyal, 53, who was shot in the groin, was in stable condition on Saturday, the police said.
Joyal was an aide on the Senate Intelligence Committee from 1980 to 1989 and edited a business newsletter about Russia throughout the 1990s. He has criticized President Vladimir Putin for reversing democratic reforms.
In the mid-1990s, Joyal went into business with Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB general who became a leading KGB critic and moved to Washington. The venture failed.
The two men met Thursday afternoon at a restaurant next to the International Spy Museum in downtown Washington. Soon after Joyal arrived home at 7:30, Kalugin got a panicked call from Joyal's wife, Elizabeth, who had found her husband shot in the driveway. "She called me and said, 'Oleg, Paul is shot, I want to warn you,'" Kalugin said. "I couldn't believe my ears."
Despite Elizabeth Joyal's warning and his dim view of the KGB, Kalugin said "my suspicion is that it's not linked to anything international."
As described, he said, the crime did not bear the fingerprints of Russian agents. He also said their enemies' list had more prominent names on it than that of Joyal.
Joyal was featured prominently in the "Dateline NBC" segment about Litvinenko, who died in November after ingesting a rare radioactive substance, Polonium 210, the bulk of which comes from Russia. Litvinenko fled the country after accusing superiors of ordering him to kill Boris Berezovsky, a wealthy Russian business executive.

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