Ukraine candidate was poisoned
December 11, 2004 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Following up on a previous discussion of the goings-on in Ukraine, it's now a CNN front-page story: Viktor Yushchenko was, in fact, poisoned with dioxin.
"There is no doubt about the fact that Mr. Yushchenko's disease has been caused by a case of poisoning by dioxin," Zimpfer said. "What we can say at this point is that this concentration constitutes an amount which is 1,000 times above the normal levels that you would find in blood or tissue... We have made a final diagnosis as well as an additional diagnosis, that we suspect a cause triggered by a third party. So there is suspicion of third party involvement... We can state that there has been an oral intake," he said, adding that it was not known if it was from eating or drinking.
I am currently smoothing the crinkles out of my tin-foil hat in preparation for its constant use throughout the rest of my life. (Or do you think it works better if it's crinkled?)
posted by logovisual (28 comments total)
Well the difference in the two photos is quite startling. He must have been poisoned by the KGB. Or better yet, poisoned himself to garner sympathy. Or better yet....
posted by ac at 11:34 AM on December 11, 2004

This isn't surprising. Poisoning seems to be a popular way to get rid of political figures over there. It's theorized that it's how Stalin met his end.
posted by Plinko at 11:46 AM on December 11, 2004

Hmm....poisoning....isn't that just a good way to create a martyr?

It works best crinkled. Or do I want you to think that?
posted by graventy at 11:54 AM on December 11, 2004

Well whaddya know, he lived.
posted by Keyser Soze at 12:07 PM on December 11, 2004

No need to whip out the tinfoil just yet. Poisoning political opponents is as old as politics itself. Nothing new there.
posted by mstefan at 12:13 PM on December 11, 2004

Well, keyser, if at first you don't succeed . . .

And if you wanna talk about tinfoil hats, you could entertain the idea that he's simply reverting to his original
mole-man overlord appearance and this whole poison thing is brilliant spin.
posted by undule at 12:15 PM on December 11, 2004

Some would say that's a good look for a leader...
posted by unsupervised at 12:19 PM on December 11, 2004

Makes Karl Rove look like a piker, no?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:26 PM on December 11, 2004

posted by jpoulos at 12:27 PM on December 11, 2004

"When I get so worn and wrinkly that I look like David Brinkley?"

Seriously, that is some wretched stuff. Putin seems not to have forgotten all his old KGB tradecraft.
posted by 1016 at 12:33 PM on December 11, 2004

does that look like a bad makeup job on a star trek alien to anyone else?
posted by blendor at 12:45 PM on December 11, 2004

this is absolutely the wrong forum for the question, but i've really tried to search: what, precisely, is the origin of the tin-foil hat stereotype? it's been parodied so many times, i really don't understand -- recursion has done its job, dude.
posted by yonation at 12:47 PM on December 11, 2004

Hey yonation.... Try the AFDB or for info.
posted by numlok at 12:52 PM on December 11, 2004 (main page, sorry for the "bad" link).
Now back to our regularly scheduled thread:
posted by numlok at 12:54 PM on December 11, 2004

Tin foil hats will not stop the reptillians.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:35 PM on December 11, 2004

poisoned by the KGB huh,
well, Yuchenko could have recieved those marks from his misadventures in the TIME MACHINE.

(Old KGB would have used ricin or thallum or prussic acid, not some cosmetic stunt reminiscent of fidel castros beard)
posted by clavdivs at 1:41 PM on December 11, 2004

I kind of think that's what makes it even more dastardly -- they just wanted to make him look sick and unfit for office, not kill him outright which would be too suspicious.
posted by logovisual at 1:45 PM on December 11, 2004

crinkled increased surface area and scatters the signal, so definitely, go with the crinkled.

Our own Danelope assembled this version of the Downward Spiral, which implies a certain marvelous quality to the event.
posted by mwhybark at 1:52 PM on December 11, 2004

Danelope's timeline is a bit off. The change didn't come in a matter of years, but rather months.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:21 PM on December 11, 2004

More information on dioxin. According to the site: there is no known "safe dose" or "threshold" below which dioxin will not cause cancer.

And really, folks, do you need any more evidence than this:
"50-year-old opposition leader fell ill one day after attending a reception and dinner with Ukrainian security services leader"
Poisoned with dioxin at a Ukrainian security services dinner. Yeah, I'm sure he poisoned himself.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:32 PM on December 11, 2004

Poisoning political opponents is as old as politics itself. Nothing new there.

It doesn't have to be new to be newsworthy...and contemptible.
posted by rushmc at 4:29 PM on December 11, 2004

political poisonings! mass protests for democracy! hey, i could learn to love the Ukraine.
posted by NationalKato at 5:17 PM on December 11, 2004

I'm foregoing the hat and going with the tinfoil wallpaper, myself.
posted by cookie-k at 6:20 PM on December 11, 2004

Yes, it's true. 2005 is in the future. Danelope's illo is in fact a work of fiction. I acknowledge this, and aver that it was known at the time by the creator.
posted by mwhybark at 7:08 PM on December 11, 2004

It doesn't have to be new to be newsworthy...and contemptible.

I didn't mean to imply that it wasn't, only that it's not something in the realm of whacko consipracy theories (the whole "tinfoil hat" comment). Poisoning one's political enemies is historically mainstream, not just paranoia by the lunatic fringe.
posted by mstefan at 11:56 PM on December 11, 2004

Some interesting information on dioxin [Instapundit link, but the information is interesting]
If someone wanted him dead, they picked a very poor poison to do it. Dioxin is not fatal - in spite of all the eco-terrorist mutterings, there has never been a recorded death from dioxin.
Dioxin is meant to inconvenience and terrorize, not kill. The only known, proven long-term effects are chloracne, which means he'll have the facial and body acne off and on for the rest of his life. He won't glow in the dark, and his kids won't be born with 2 heads. Just cosmetically disfiguring, physically uncomfortable and somewhat painful, and a constant reminder of his vulnerability. Probably what was intended all along.
posted by gyc at 1:57 AM on December 12, 2004

As graventy said, poisoning is a good way to create a martyr. The existing powers in Ukraine don't want him dead, they just want to firstly send the message loud and clear - don't fuck with us unless you want to look like (or be) a cripple for the rest of your life, and secondly, make Yuschenko look terrible on TV, basically a form of poltical asassination.

Old tricks indeed. It kind of backfires in the sense that everytime Ukranians see his pockmarked face and some kid asks 'daddy why does he look so ugly' there is a good tale to tell. I hope he wins this one. Too bad he's going to get cancer now.
posted by anthill at 10:01 AM on December 12, 2004

gyc, I dunno who that reader was at InstaPundit but he's off the mark. Sure, it takes higher than the dose Yushenko had to die directly from dioxin poisoning, but consider the after-effects.

Consider this report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. They note that human studies are limited--no one's going to be able to clear a study feeding people deadly levels of dioxin--but the animal studies are quite damning. This thing is a confirmed carcinogen--at the levels required to produce chloracne Yushenko's going to have more than just skin problems down the road.

Searching for "dioxin" on ChemFinder will give you more links to separate organizations information on the chemical. They all come to the same conclusion.
posted by schroedinger at 4:17 PM on December 12, 2004

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