Now we’re starting to gain a bit more understanding of just what it was that made Russian presidential candidate Ivan Rybkin act so crazy last week – heading down to Kiev without telling his wife or anyone else, turning up five days later with a telephone call, amazed that people were worried about him, defensively asserting (to media interviewing him then) that presidential candidates, too, need to get a way every so often, turn off the clanging mobile telephones, and relax – even if in this case it happened to be just as the Russian presidential campaign was about to start in earnest.
Turns out that that telephone call, those interviews, were all made under compulsion. Reports attesting to this have now appeared in the Polish press in both Gazeta Wyborcza (Rybkin Won’t Withdraw From Elections, But Will Stay in London) and Rzeczpospolita (New Version of Ivan Rybkin’s Tale: I Was Kidnapped). Actually, I really wanted instead to go for a little variety and cover German reporting on Ivan Rybkin’s re-emergence and new explanation, but there was nothing! I guess the German press simply tuned out after he first turned up again in Kiev and it was clear that he was alive and (seemingly) well. (more…)