Wednesday, June 08, 2005
U.S. billionaire George Soros said Friday that former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma was advised by President Vladimir Putin to order troops to fire on opposition protesters during last year's pro-democracy Orange Revolution.
He also claimed that Putin advised Uzbek President Islam Karimov to order troops to fire at protesters in Andijan, where hundreds died in what authorities described as clashes with Islamic militants.
The comments by the philanthropist who has funded myriad democracy projects in the former Soviet Union drew sharp response from the Kremlin, which called the allegations "the fruit of his imagination."
It could be, as Soros is prone to exaggerate. The reporter, Aleksandar Vasovic, is a "military expert" for the radio station B92 in Belgrade. He also had this story on the foiling of an attempt to sell dirty bombs. Still, what is scariest is that we can find the Putin story believable.
And connecting Karimov to Putin isn't exactly news.