Doctors in Moscow said yesterday that the former Russian prime minister, Yegor Gaidar, had been poisoned with an unidentified toxic substance on a recent visit to Ireland , adding a new twist to the Alexander Litvinenko affair.
Mr Gaidar, an economist and one of the "young reformers" responsible for privatising Russia in the early 1990s, lost consciousness and was rushed to hospital last Friday during a conference near Dublin. Last night his daughter said she believed it was "a political poisoning". Doctors saw "no other grounds" for his sudden illness, she told the BBC's News 24.
The poisoning came a day after Mr Litvinenko, a former Russian security service officer, died in London, apparently after ingesting a radioactive isotope, polonium 210. Some public figures in Russia were quick to link the two incidents.
Mr Gaidar, 50, fainted as he was finishing a speech at the university college in Maynooth, west of the Irish capital.
A colleague, Ekaterina Genieva, told the Noviye Izvestia newspaper: "I went up to him. He was lying on the floor unconscious. There was blood coming from his nose; he was vomiting blood. This went on for more than half an hour," she said according to the Guardian.
Yegor Gaidar left mainstream Russian politics more than a decade ago, but the former Prime Minister was propelled back on to centre stage yesterday amid fears that he had become the latest victim of poisoning.
The portly economist, who once held Russia ’s future in his hands, was fighting a mysterious illness in a Moscow hospital. His colleagues gave warning that his condition could be part of a conspiracy connected to the death last week of Alexander Litvinenko.
Anatoli Chubais, a former Kremlin colleague of Mr Gaidar, said that he suspected a link between the latest poisoning, Mr Litvinenko’s death and the murder in October of Anna Politkovskaya, timesonline.co.uk says.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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