Yeltsin’s spin doctor dies, and Twitter conspiracy corps is up in arms
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.
Igor Malashenko, co-founder of #Russia’s NTV, reported dead in Spain. NTV's popular "Kukly" puppet show depicted Putin as an evil gnome. The show was shut down when NTV was taken over by the Kremlin in 2001. https://t.co/7C5HKMj3Dd— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) February 25, 2019
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?
"After three and a half hours of talking, I knew about Putin as little as I did before. He was a very shallow personality," Malashenko told @peterbakernyt and @sbg1 (p51 of "Kremlin Rising"). https://t.co/HScEoH5bYV— Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott) February 25, 2019
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.
stunning historical tidbit from @aavast. All 3 men in this photo are dead; 2 (Berezovsky and Malashenko) under highly dubious circumstances, 1 (Nemtsov) outright murdered. https://t.co/WeWBWZf2HLpic.twitter.com/2XkamRnjXh— Mike Eckel (@Mike_Eckel) February 25, 2019
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).
Malashenko was also the media director (?) for Yeltsin's infamous 1996 re-election campaign. And more recently, he ran media for Ksenia Sobchak's election campaign against Putin last year... https://t.co/PhhQsFUmvI— Mike Eckel (@Mike_Eckel) February 25, 2019
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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