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Yeltsin’s spin doctor dies, and Twitter conspiracy corps is up in arms

Yeltsin’s spin doctor dies, and Twitter conspiracy corps is up in arms
On Monday, a key person in Boris Yeltsin’s controversial 1996 re-election campaign was found dead in Spain. Wanna guess who Russiagaters of all stripes say was behind it?

Igor Malashenko was quite a prominent figure in the Russia of the 1990s. As a businessman, he was among the founders of one of Russia’s biggest private TV channels, NTV. On the political side, he was responsible for public relations in Boris Yeltsin’s 1996 re-election campaign, which he won despite starting with approval ratings in single digits. According to Yeltsin’s daughter, Malashenko was offered the position of head of the presidential administration for the success.

After Yeltsin’s retirement, Malashenko lived for a decade in the US, while keeping his media business in Russia and Israel, which included opposition media outlets. The entrepreneur returned to live in Russia in 2012, but kept his property in New York and Spain.

The Spanish authorities would not immediately comment on what caused the 64-year-old’s death, but people close to him said he most likely committed suicide. His wife said he had suffered from depression and showed symptoms of destructive behavior lately, as he battled with a rough divorce with his previous spouse.

But if a critic of the current Russian government dies in a somewhat irregular way, what’s to stop people from speculating that an assassin sent by Vladimir Putin must have been the cause?

Also on rt.com Washington police stand by initial conclusion of no foul play in Russian media tycoon's death

OMG! Malashenko’s channel hosted a political satire show that showed Putin in a poor light, says Atlantic Council’s Julia Davis.

Yes, it was the fact that Malashenko spoke poorly about Putin in an interview, Phil Elliot, Washington Correspondent for Time, implied. Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia-turned Russia basher on Twitter, retweeted; was that done so in agreement?

Mike Eckel, who works for US-funded outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, shared a photo of Malashenko, tycoon Boris Berezovsky, and opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. All three are dead now, and Nemtsov was outright murdered, he pointed out.

Malashenko also ran a campaign for Ksenia Sobchak against Putin! (Never mind the speculation that she did so with his blessing to spice up the 2018 election).

Giving credit where credit’s due, Eckel did also tweet out what the late man’s wife said about his health problems. Others didn’t.

Contrary to speculation, on Tuesday, the Spanish authorities said Malashenko died from asphyxiation after apparently hanging himself. A full report into his death has been promised for next month – plenty of time to concoct more theories about how he was ‘actually murdered’.

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