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Grigory Yavlinsky, Sergei Ivanenko, April 18, 2003

Yesterday, on April 17, 2003, Sergei Yushenkov, member of the State Duma, head of the Liberal Russia party, was murdered

Grigory Yavlinsky:

He was a bright politician who was well known all over Russia. He had his own point of view. There are a few people like him in Russia.

His death is a huge tragedy for his next of kin. We express our deepest condolences to his family.

This murder is obviously politically motivated. The timing of this incident corroborates this view: on the threshold of [parliamentary] elections and on the threshold of the President's speech in parliament.

This murder demonstrates that criminal structures are encroaching upon any figures and believe they can attack the state structure. This is a form of political terror against the state authorities in Russia. Criminal structures are testing out in different ways and means the extent of their invulnerability and impunity. Criminals would like to scare off Russian politicians and take increasingly more influential positions not only in the economy, but in society too. It is likely that some political forces

Stand behind the criminal forces.

The murder of Sergei Yushenkov can be ranked at the same level as the murders of public and political figures, journalists, deputies and governor: Galina Starovoitova, Vlad Listyev, Dmitrii Kholodov. None of the murders have been solved.

All these events cause not only grief and sorrow to the majority in the country, but also worry and concern about all developments in Russia in the near future.

Sergei Ivanenko:

First of all I would like to express condolences to the relatives and next-of-kin of Sergei Nikolayevich, who has grandchildren.

Sergei Nikolayevich was a democrat of the first wave, a man who created the framework for democracy in Russia, a human being of exceptional honesty and decency.

I think that everybody who is not indifferent to the fate of freedom and democracy in Russia should demand from the authorities and the President an investigation of at least one political crime, to find the perpetrators of the murder and people who ordered this murder. If this does not happen, unfortunately such tragedies will be repeated.

The murder was political and demonstrative. I think that the killer chose such a method on purpose.

The question is whether we shall be able to protect the democratic gains our country has achieved, while also committing mistakes.

If people at such a level are murdered, what can we say about the security of ordinary citizens then, how should they feel?

Grigory Yavlinsky, Sergei Ivanenko, April 18, 2003

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