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Letters to the Editor

In response to “Berezovsky’s Sweet Revenge,” a column by Alexei Pankin on March 16.

Isn’t it ironic that Boris Berezovsky has received a judgment against a Russian television station for alleging without grounds that Berezovsky was behind the poisoning death of former security agent Alexander Litvinenko? After all, it was Berezovsky himself who alleged that then-President Vladimir Putin was behind that same poisoning.
In 2007, I compiled a report to the World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists on the media coverage of the Litvinenko case. The Guardian Unlimited quoted Berezovsky as saying, “Vladimir Putin authorized the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.” But there were no substantiating details.
Likewise, The Washington Post reported that upon visiting Litvinenko in the hospital, Berezovsky emerged and claimed that Litvinenko had told him that he was poisoned on “an order from President Putin to kill him.”
But in earlier reports before Berezovsky’s hospital visit, Litvinenko said he was sure that he was poisoned by an Italian named Mario Scaramella.
William Dunkerley
New Britain, Connecticut

In response to “Difficult Task Defining Bandera’s Historic Role,” a comment by Alexander Motyl on March 11.

The author’s article is a sugar-coated anti-Russian and Ukrainian nationalist overview with several questionable claims.
Motyl stresses contemporary Russian qualms with World War II-era Galician Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, while downplaying the current opposition to Bandera evident in the Polish and Jewish communities, as well as among many Ukrainians.
The Ukrainian opposition to Bandera brings to mind a comparison omitted in Motyl’s commentary — Confederate General Robert E. Lee during the U.S. Civil War. Like Lee, Bandera is a regional figure. In parts of the U.S. south, Lee is positively viewed in a way that isn’t so evident in other parts of the United States. Bandera’s main base of support is in western Ukraine, especially in the Galician region.
In addition, the support for Stalin in Russia isn’t as great as Motyl suggested. There has been a good deal of opposition among Russians to the planned Stalin billboards on the May 9 Victory Day holiday.? 

Michael Averko
Malverne Park, New York

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