Kashin Beating Case – Finally A Motive!

Protester demands justice for Kashin

The 5-year-old Kashin beating case appears to be all but wrapped up in the past week.  We finally know (allegedly) not only who the perps were, but their motives.  Here are some recent facts, as they have emerged:

The vic:  Oleg Kashin, Oppositionist journalist, correspondent for Kommersant paper; and blogger.  On November 6, 2010 Kashin was attacked near his home in Moscow and viciously beaten, to the extent that the attack is considered attempted murder.  Like all beatings and murders that occur in Russia, the attack was blamed (by Oppositionists) on President Vladimir Putin.

The immediate perps: 

  • Danila Veselov (Head of Security of the Defense-related factory, “Zaslon”)
  • Vyacheslav Borisov (Security Guard at “Zaslon”)
  • Mikhail Kavtaskin (Security Guard at “Zaslon”)

The man who hired the goons:

  • Alexander Gorbunov (Director of company “Leninets”, which holds a minority share packet in “Zaslon”).  Allegedly, and according to Veselov’s partial confession, Gorbunov approached Veselov on 16 August 2010, and “asked” him to attack Kashin.  August 16 is an important day, as we shall see, below.

The man who ordered the hit:

  • Governor Andrei Turchak  – Governor of Pskov region and also an Oligarch, his family has major shares in “Leninets”, which is why he was able to get the goons so handily.

Witness for the Prosecution:

“Danila told me that Gorbunov told him at work, that there is this man named Oleg Kashin, and that it was necessary to throw paint over him.  He said that’s what political movements generally do, so do something like that.  And then he [=Danila] went off to Moscow with Gorbunov, where they met with Governor Andrei Turchak in a cafe.  And he [=Turchak] was saying that Kashin needed to have a beating.  So that he would stop writing.”

Somewhat warily, Danila Veselov took the precaution of secretly taping his cafe meeting with Gorbunov and Turchak; and entrusted the audiotape to his wife.

As if this wasn’t enough intrigue, Danila later plotted to kidnap Gorbunov.  According to Elena, still another Zaslon employee Alexander Meshkov, warned Danila that Gorbunov had supposedly said to him (=Meshkov):  “I would give a million dollars for the ‘suicide’ of Veselov.”  Veselov and Meshkov then plotted together to kidnap Gorbunov.  They were planning to force him to confess to what he did, presumably the ordering of the Kashin beating.  Now that things were getting out of control.

According to Elena, she is still receiving death threats from Gorbunov, and also from one of his henchpersons, the new Head of Security, a man named Novikov.  They have warned Elena not to publish the audiotape; if she does, something unpleasant might just happen to her.  “My husband did a terrible thing,” Elena concludes.  “There is no way to justify what he did [=beating Kashin],  let him be punished for it, but he should not be the only one who is punished.”

Current State

Danila Veselov is currently in the lock-up in a Moscow jail.

Alexander Gorbunov was released on bail, but told not to leave town.

The Motive

And now we finally get to the purported motive of the beating.

It is known that Oleg Kashin really ticked off Governor Turchak.  Back in 2010, Kashin was engaged in a blog polemic against the Governor-Oligarch.

On his Live-Journal blog feed for August 16, 2010 a very angry Oleg Kashin called the Gov a “cocksucker” and “faggot”.   This is apparently what angered the Gov.  Turchak demanded an apology, and didn’t get it.  As to what they were actually arguing about prior to this name-calling, I don’t know, and maybe it doesn’t even matter any more.

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7 Responses to Kashin Beating Case – Finally A Motive!

  1. bolasete says:

    so i’m curious. in post-soviet russia were the hounds of unbridled egoism unleashed or is this just typical of russian men? it reminds me somewhat of a segment (not small) of us black culture where violence and murder for ‘dissing’ someone (ie, disrespect) is not ‘uncommon.’
    it reminds me of the most astounding thing i ever heard in my life. six years or so ago i was waiting at a transport center for the train and overheard a woman about 40 (speaking to a man – they both were black, which may have been coincidental) say: “my son’s in jail. first degree murder. he shot some guy. he shoulda used a knife.” upshot being that first degree murder is life without parole while non-gun would have been second degree at 20 years+.
    as americans are wont to say: i’ve been around the block. many blocks. but her utter indifference to her son murdering someone is beyond my ken. if i do my augustine bit – universe in a grain of sand – i can allow for many things. but is civilization about to crumble and with fingers-crossed be rebuilt? inquiring minds want to know.


    • yalensis says:

      I dunno, bolasete, (anguished sigh….)

      I guess, from watching gangster movies, I get the impression that gangsters (which is what Oligarchs are, basically) can be quite touchy. It is very easy to hurt their feelings. You look at them sideways, and they put a cap in you. Why? Because they CAN.

      I guess same deal goes for those people you overheard at the train station, both the woman and her son sound like criminal-minded people. She is probably a sociopath, and that’s how she raised her son too.

      And once again, criminals seem to have very thin skins! Hence, it is best to try to avoid them in life, whenever possible.


  2. et Al says:

    Are journalists allowed to call anyone a ‘cocksucker’ & ‘faggot’ in either a professional or private capacity?

    It’s one thing I find quite odd but logical. In the old world (i.e. the West), they have their protocols about what can and can’t be said and stepping out of bounds usually has some sort of consequences in most cases. It could be considered a form of self-censorship or an attempted and much fabled impartiality.

    In the new world (ex-commies), they literally take freedom of speech as ‘free’, with no boundaries and that as de facto journalists, this status protects them from whatever they fee like writing or saying at any time. They don’t believe that there should be any consequences at all for their own behavior.

    In the former case, whatever impartiality the western media pretended to have, it has wholly gone out of the window since the end of the Cold War. Even senior journalists like John Simpson of the BBC champion journalistic partiality (aka the ‘journalism of attachment’) which is one reason why journalists are more and more targeted, injured and killed for their views around the world.

    In the latter case, though it should be no excuse to hid behind your status to behave like a complete asshole, at least they are coming from it honestly.

    It seems to me that in both cases, neither believes that they should be responsible for their own actions. What does that say about journalism as a profession? If I should ‘FIRE’ in a crowded venue, I will be totally f/k’d over for it.

    The irony is that it is not just nasty regimes and places in the world that target journalists, but those that profess to uphold freedom of speech, as we have seen from the latest US Army handbook about how to handle journalists. The biggest threat to the media comes not from the obvious enemies, but but from the obvious allies. Self-censorship is real, it is here, and it is practiced within the western media, more so now that any considered transgression lives forever on the internet and can be brought up at a moments notice.

    As for the article in question, it’s not the first time gangster like dealings have been associated with well-know defense firms as Leninets is (makes military aircraft radars and sensors). Back in 1996(?) the director of Almaz-Antei, producers of the famous C-300 missile system got whacked.

    I hope, and I suspect, here that such behavior has been thoroughly stomped on since 2010.


    • yalensis says:

      Dear Al:
      These are very interesting points.
      (1) I wonder if Kashin felt comfortable using such terms because this was on his blog. I doubt if he would call people names in his capacity as a regular journalist (writing for Kommersant). But on a blog, it’s sort of like, anything goes.
      (2) That’s a really good observation, about violence being endemic (maybe?) in Russian defense firms. Maybe the same in other countries, too?. Maybe because these firms are closely related to the military, and probably have a lot of ex-military types working there. Giving rise to a violent and macho culture, I would imagine. But I’m just speculating here…
      Could be that Governor Turchak would have ordered the hit, even if he were the owner of a teddy-bear factory?


      • yalensis says:

        I hope, when I wrote about “motive” that I wasn’t implying Kashin deserved the beating.
        I mean, I could understand if Turchak would call him out and have at it, man to man and fists to fists. In more nobler times, they would fight a duel.
        But hiring anonymous goons to gang up on somebody and hit him with iron pipes? – that’s just cowardly, IMHO.
        Besides, what is the point of getting revenge, if your vic doesn’t even know who did it, and why?


        • et Al says:

          It could all be Henry II vis Thomas a Beckett: “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?“*


          “…but according to historian Simon Schama this is incorrect: he accepts the account of the contemporary biographer Edward Grim, writing in Latin, who gives us “What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?”[13] Many variations have found their way into popular culture…”


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