Presidential timber? This case of the missing Russian pol Ivan Rybkin (pronounced "EYE-vun" on CNN) is truly weird. If you are a political party's candidate for president, even in Russia, do you leave town without telling your wife, turn off your mobile phone and head to Kiev to "hang out" with friends for five whole days? Oh, and neglect to tell your campaign staff you'll be unavailable, too? That's his story. Most people voting on the CNN quickie poll think it was a publicity stunt. Either way, both explanations seem to me to make the guy look like a complete clown and a laughing stock.

My theory: Putin became mildly irritated with the guy and paid him handsomely to commit political suicide. It's about as plausible as any other.

Steve | 18:03 |