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Russian Journalist Killed...Because He Knew Too Much?

According to Bloomberg, the latest murder-that-looks-like-Putin-wanted-it-to-happen may be linked to his knowledge of arms sales from Russia to Iran and Syria, via Belarus.

Russian Reporter Probed Iran Arms Sales Before Death
Bloomberg – By Michael Heath and Henry Meyer
Mar 6, 2007

Russian reporter Ivan Safronov was investigating state plans to sell advanced weapons to Iran and Syria when he fell to his death from a window in his Moscow apartment building March 2, his newspaper Kommersant said.

Safronov, a 51-year-old former colonel in the military, met with unidentified people at an international arms show in the United Arab Emirates last month and confirmed Russian plans to sell fighter jets and missile systems via neighboring Belarus to avoid being accused by the U.S. of arming rogue nations, Kommersant editors said in today’s edition.

I don’t know if he was murdered at all, or, if he was, if he was silenced because he knew too much about Russian arms sales to Iran and Syria via Belarus. But I do know that the story he was working on had a long tail; several journalists have been looking into the Russia-Belarus-Iran or Syria shipping route. Some time ago, for example, I was given End User Certificates for surface-to-air missiles from 2001 that clearly showed how Belarus was used as a cutout for Russian sales to Iran. That information is in the hands of American Government officials, as well as several reporters.

So if the idea was to silence Safronov and thereby smother the story, it wasn’t a very good idea. You’d have to kill a lot of people to do that.