Twitter pundits mourn ‘suspicious death’ of Kremlin critic, who is alive
Condolences poured in following the death of Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian historian and TV journalist, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 59. His son, Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., 37, announced his father’s passing on social media, without providing any details on the cause of death.
It was reported, however, that the late journalist, who rose to prominence during the 1990s, was in poor health prior to his death, having suffered several heart attacks.
While the two men do have the same first and last names and have strikingly similar features (they are father and son, after all), it was Kara-Murza Jr. who broke the news, which should have left little room for misinterpretation.
But on Sunday, the Washington Times ran an article on the journalist’s death, accompanying it with a photo of Kara-Murza Jr., a fervent Kremlin critic like his father.
It did not take long for ‘Never Trumper’ and CNN Republican political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas to pounce. Cardenas, linking the Times’ story in her tweet, wrote: “Another Putin critic meets an untimely death under suspicious circumstances. This is a huge loss for pro-democracy efforts.” While nothing in the original statement seems to suggest foul play, it appears that Cardenas mistook Kara-Murza Sr. for his son, who has been hospitalized with suspected, but never proven, poisoning before.
Another Putin critic meets an untimely death under suspicious circumstances. This is a huge loss for pro-democracy efforts. Kara-Murza was an inspiration to many around the world.Has Trump commented on this yet, or is he still busy attacking Baltimore? https://t.co/9q06lkCdFj— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) July 30, 2019
The tweet has gained massive traction, racking up 3,200 retweets and 6,800 likes.
Political commentator and self-styled ‘electoral polling guru’ Fernand Amandi made the same blunder as he paid tribute to the journalist on Twitter.
Sad, horrible news for lovers of freedom & democracy. Prominent Putin & Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza dies suddenly of illness in Moscow. Kara-Murza was a familiar face on Western news channels & was a pallbearer at John McCain’s funeral. https://t.co/TtwcAT9Bgi— Fernand R. Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) July 30, 2019
“Kara-Murza was a familiar face on Western news channels & was a pallbearer at John McCain’s funeral,” Armandi wrote. In fact, it was Kara-Murza Jr. who carried the coffin of the late Arizona Senator during the funeral service in September.
The tweet, despite being factually incorrect, struck a chord with fellow Kremlin critics and has been retweeted over 3,600 times.
This is a tremendous loss for Russia, America, and the whole world. Few people bravely speak truth to power, even after being poisoned for doing so. The world is a poorer place today without @vkaramurza.— Grant Stern (@grantstern) July 30, 2019
While many have since pointed out to both Navarro-Cárdenas and Armandi that they had bid farewell to the wrong person, only Armandi published a correction, blaming the Times for leaving him red-faced.
Yikes! Thanks for clarifying Natasha & relieved to hear @vkaramurza Jr’s voice is still with us, but my condolences on the passing of his also heroic Putin critic father, nonetheless. Do better @WashTimes! https://t.co/xlvbS5nW4E— Fernand R. Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) July 30, 2019
The correct information wasn't nearly as popular with his followers, though, with likes and retweets remaining in the double digits.Also on rt.com Opposition figure Kara-Murza out of coma, father denies allegations of poisoning
Kara-Murza Jr. himself hit the international headlines in 2015 and 2017, when he was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of severe poisoning. After the first incident, the journalist alleged that the poisoning might have been intentional and requested an investigation by the Russian Investigative Committee. However, further examination by French doctors found that it was impossible to confirm if it had been deliberate. The investigation was later dropped. In 2017, Kara-Murza Jr. was again hospitalized with similar symptoms, sparking a new wave of anti-Kremlin speculation. However, his now late father doubted the rumors back then.
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