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Kononenko poisoned (A who dunnit)

January 28, 2017

Numerous are the occasions that Igor Kononenko has been mentioned by this blog.  Not once has it been mentioned in a particularly positive way – in fact often the opposite.

Mr Kononenko is a long standing friend of President Poroshenko and is the President’s (metaphorical) leg breaker within the Verkhovna Rada.  He is a man who reflects the very worst of the old established methods of mixing business by highly dubious methods and politics.  He is a man whose appetites the President has not seen fit to rein in despite frequently being personally and directly informed of Mr Kononenko’s  questionable actions by numerous diplomats and a continuously unfavorable media.

He is, in short, loathed by large swathes of the Ukrainian constituency – including many of his parliamentary peers.

It is perhaps no real surprise therefore that immediately prior to New Year Mr Kononenko apparently involuntarily and unknowingly ingested mercury to a level 50 times that expected to be found in the blood.

There are of course questions.

Was it all ingested in one go, or did it accumulate over time?  (Mr Kononenko is somebody who being at the top of the food chain in Ukraine and therefore stupidly rich, can afford to eat that which sits atop of the food chain.  Is he particularly fond of fish?  Swordfish and Tuna being near the top of the seafood chain contain far more mercury than the smaller fish further down the food chain.  What does an oligarch eat, and how often to they eat it?

Is he addicted to dental work and has developed an amalgam habit?

Has the mercury come from an unhealthy interest in gaining control over coal mining and coal burning assets?  Too many (persuasive) site visits?

Other sources?  Gold mining or similar?

All the above would tend to be accumulative rather than a single shot mercury ingestion.

It seems very unlikely that sufficient mercury salts could be added to anything that would not raise alarm with taste buds in some form or another.

Quicksilver seems the most unlikely of all.

Then there is the question of absorption rates into the bloodstream vis a vis what is otherwise expelled by the body doing what the body does.

Indeed mercury vapour has the highest absorption rate, but how easy is it to expose somebody like Mr Kononenko deliberately to that amount of mercury in one go?  Air fresheners in a car?  (Would his driver and security not also be ill).  If he is asthmatic, tampering with his inhaler?

Indeed the FSB has been accused in very recent history of using mercury to poison people like Karinina Moskalenko and others but (despite polonium-210 tea exploits and  other toxic concoctions whipped up in the SVR laboratories in Yasenevo) it seems an unlikely method to go after somebody as loathed as Mr Kononenko and subtlety is not necessarily required.

An IED or similar explosive incident involving his motorcade, home or whatever/where ever could be easily blamed on The Kremlin by Ukraine and on Ukrainians by The Kremlin, on Mr Kononenko’s untamed business appetite and methodology regarding how he does business – or anything within the numerous shades of black and grey in which he moves.

It also has to be noted that the level of mercury apparently in his blood was not enough to kill him, but certainly enough to incapacitate him for a while.

It may be that if accumulated over time, it was discovered before continued exposure/ingestion became potentially lethal as the effects of mercury poisoning over time would undoubtedly take the afflicted to a Doctor before fatal dose was reached.

If ingested in one go and yet clearly an insufficient level required for a fatal dose but sufficient to incapacitate for a while, is it therefore more a matter of somebody sending Mr Kononenko a message that he is not untouchable nor unreachable?

If so, if discounting The Kremlin, considering just how universally loathed Mr Kononenko is, there will be quite a long list of those he has already wronged, and also a fairly long list of those who already know they are in his sights as he continues to feed his insatiable appetite for wealth, economic control and associated power via very questionable methods.

All of that said, it is necessary to state that Mr Kononenko deserves to be in jail – not assassinated or otherwise deliberately poisoned.  No amount of justification equates to legitimisation.

However as nobody of his stature (regardless of political party or deed)  goes to jail, perhaps somebody has decided to resort to a Plan B to send him a message he would otherwise brush off and ignore.

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