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:
- Elena Veselova, wife of Danila. Elena has been singing like a canary, to the press. Elena says that her hubby Danila, currently behind bars, was worried that if he didn’t carry out the orders of his boss, Gorbunov, then he would be punished. Here is what the wife told Kommersant:
“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.”
Danila Veselov is currently in the lock-up in a Moscow jail.
Alexander Gorbunov was released on bail, but told not to leave town.
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.