Political Motives Involved in Sergey Yushenkov's Assassination

The number of versions to explain the politician's murder grows

Sergey Yushenkov's assassination was a blow on the authority of Russian law-enforcement bodies, as well as on the authority of the Home Minister Boris Gryzlov, who also chairs Unified Russia party. There is outburst of criminality, assassinations, but authorities simply shrug their shoulders, being incapable of doing anything to stop it. This anti-rating might cause considerable damage to the Unified Russia party. However, there is a way out of the situation: all political (pseudo-political) assassinations of recent years remained unveiled. Yushenkov's assassination might be an exception: they will investigate the case until December, and show everything to the people. This action will be run by the Unified Russia party.

There is a piece of information, which says that Sergey Yushenkov and Galina Starovoitova (she was assassinated in late 1998) were friends with former prime minister of the republic of Azerbaijan, Suret Guseinov (he has been sentenced to lifetime imprisonment for attempted coup). Guseinov used to control big money, either drugs of weapons sales.

Valery Khomyakov, the director of the agency of the applied and regional policy commented on Sergey Yushenkov's assassination: "Sergey Yushenkov was not linked with any financial structures, since it is impossible to get an economic issue implicated in the case. It is a political assassination, the second one (the victim of the first assassination was Yushenkov's colleague in the party, Vladimir Golovlev). There is an impression that someone hunts for State Duma deputies. Either there is a sick person, who wishes to settle scores this way, or someone has a goal to destabilize the political situation."

Valery Fyodorov, the director of the Political Conjuncture Center: "Most likely, the deputy was killed on account of an old financial story, in which Vladimir Golovlev was implicated. Apparently, he got in touch with wrong people. There are hardly any political motives in the assassination, because all Yushenkov's projects were not successful. Liberal Russia, the party, can be categorized as one of such projects, since the party split and failed to obtain both political influence and popularity."

Dmitry Oreshkin, the manager of the political consulting group Merkator: "I do not believe that Sergey Yushenkov was killed for economic reasons. Most likely, it goes about political motives here, taking into consideration the fact that Yushenkov's party Liberal Russia has just been registered at the Russian Ministry for Justice. This assassination looks like a ritual sacrifice. To a certain extent, it might be good for those people, who remained in the party. This makes it logic to assume that the assassination might be good to Boris Berezovsky."

The number of versions about Sergey Yushenkov's death has been growing. Time will show, which one of them is right. The Russian Office of the Prosecutor General acts as a time keeper in this respect.


Sergey Yushenkov was elected deputy in March of 1990. The same year, he became a member of the committee of the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation for mass media and public relations. He took part in defending the house of the Russian government during the coup of August 1991.

In 1992 Ushenkov became one of the founders of pro-governmental parliamentary factions Reform Coalitions. He was also the president of the fund to support democratic transformations in Russia. In May of 1992, Sergey Yushenkov became a member of the parliamentary group Reform, which existed until the end of 1992.

In September of 1992 Yushenkov was one of initiators of the campaign to dismiss Ruslan Khasbulatov from his position of the chairman of the Supreme Council. In 1993 he signed the statement pertaining to the establishment of the pre-election bloc of reformist forces Russia's Choice. In 1993 Sergey Yushenkov became a deputy of the Russian State Duma. In 1994-1995 he took the position of the chairman of the Duma committee for defense.

In December of the year 1994, Yushenkov declared that Russian troops in Chechnya were outlawed. He sent in his resignation from the position of the chairman of the defense committee of the State Duma in March of 1995, although he withdrew his statement later, having executed the requirement of the Duma faction Russia's Choice. In 1999 Sergey Yushenkov became a member of the Union of Rightist Forces (known for Russian initials as SPS).

On April 23rd, 2000 Sergey Yushenkov was elected a co-chairman of the movement Liberal Russia. He announced in November that there was a conspiracy against President Putin, and he even named the date of another coup - July 14th, 2003. In October of 2002 Yushenkov announced that Liberal Russia broke its relations with its major sponsor and co-chairman, Boris Berezovsky. On December 7th, 2002, a special session of the Liberal Russia party decided to deprive Yushenkov of his co-chairman status.

Sergey Yushenkov was shot dead in Moscow on April 17th, 2003 - on the day, when the Ministry for Justice registered political party Liberal Russia.

Author`s name Olga Savka