Russia » Politics

Ivan Rybkin: show must go on

Candidate for President is inventing plausible explanation why he had disappeared for several days.
The interview Ivan Rybkin gave live to Echo Moskvi radio station turns his “Kiev adventures” in some sort of comedy. Ivan Petrovich used such colorful descriptions of the train guards and the people he encountered that it looked like he had visited not Kiev, but a carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

Debates of the Presidential candidates started in Russia on February 12. Co-Chairman of Rodina (Motherland) Bloc Sergey Glaziev, Oleg Malyshkin from LDPR, independent candidate Irina Khakamada and Nikolai Kharitonov (Communist Party) participate in the debates, the other candidates – Sergey Mironov, Vladimir Putin and Ivan Rybkin refused from debating. 

Rybkin is preoccupied with other matters – he has to invent plausible version of his disappearance urgently. Law-enforcers who spent plenty of energy searching for him need his explanation. In addition, Rybkin’s boss Boris Berezovsky is waiting for his explanation as well. If Berezovsky becomes angry at Rybkin, he can stop sponsoring the politician.

Rybkin’s interview to Echo Moskvi created more questions. According to the candidate, he did not contact his family and relatives for several days because his was hiding for the special services surveillance. Rybkin says he went to Kiev by train and was passing all customs and border formalities and therefore was surprised to learn that law-enforcers are not aware of his being in Kiev and are searching for him. However, after hearing that Federal Security Service got involved in the search, Rybkin decided to go into hiding (initially he had planned to return in Moscow on February 7). Meanwhile, there were phrases in his interview that can be interpreted as hints at some circumstances the politician cannot reveal, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote. “Not me is supposed to qualify what happened to myself”, said the Presidential candidate.

Another fact is also of interest for the Nezavisimaya Gazeta: on the day following Rybkin’s return in Moscow absolutely all persons and organizations having information related to the story and willingly sharing it with reporters, suddenly started concealing the information. For example, Ukrainian branch of Transaero air company and Ukrainian air company “Aerosvit” said that the information whether Rybkin purchased air tickets and what destination he had, is confidential. Some managers of Kiev hotels act in a similar way.

On February 11 they refused even speak about “this issue”, although earlier hotels had informed reporters that Rybkin had not been checked-in with them. It is hard to trace the route of the Russian Presidential candidate because Ukraine does not register Russians crossing the country border, RBC reports.

No comment (from Rybkin’s interview)
“All of a sudden, the plane stops on the runway, silence, then the plane commander says in an irritated voice: “Sorry for inconvenience, but we have to return to the parking area”. The plane engine is cut off. Vehicles are around. Several men dressed in black are running into the saloon for air-hostesses. About 7 more people approached the plane companion ladder. About one hour and fifteen minutes passes. I am on the phone all the time.  My interlocutor is telling me, “They are probably deciding on you”. I am responding, “What to decide? I am on a plane, I have a ticket, I perceive myself a free Russian citizen”. Doors closing, the companion ladders and vehicles leave, and a young man who had not been on the plane before, enters the plane saloon. He is sitting in the last row, next to the window, and we go by plane together”.

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