Yushchenko Poisoned?

What has happened to Ukraine’s opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko?

Elapsed time: 5 months.

Update (11-29 1330): Ukraine Presidential Candidate Likely Poisoned (ABC News)

Viktor Yushchenko was a political heartthrob, fueling his meteoric rise in the Ukraine with his movie-star good looks and telegenic public presence, ABC reported. Together with his striking American-born wife, the two made an appealing, energizing power couple. But there has been an astonishing transformation. Over four trying days in September in the middle of his David vs. Goliath run against the Moscow-backed political establishment, the once-robust 50-year-old Yuschenko fell mysteriously ill.

“The dramatic changes that you see in Yushchenko are extreme,” said Dr. Barney Kenet, a dermatologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. “There is swelling of his eyelids, his nose, and an overall enlargement of his face with pebbly skin.”

What caused his sudden transformation has baffled some of the best European doctors, ABC reported. And his story has quickly taken on all the qualities of a spy novel. He accuses his political opponents of poisoning him. His doctors are investigating whether his symptoms were the result of biological weapons.

-James Joyner

FILED UNDER: Europe, World Politics, , ,
Kate McMillan
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Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.


  1. Mike says:

    Did the Botox wear off or is he the dark lord of the Sith?

  2. 42nd SSD says:

    Makes me wonder if the first photo wasn’t retouched…

  3. David Weman says:

    Food poisoning, likely an attempt by the government to kill him.

  4. Rodney Dill says:

    AP BREAKING: Magic Potion turns John Edwards into Teddy Kennedy

  5. Makes me wonder if the first photo wasn’t retouched

    Are you kidding? You wildly overestimate the powers of photoshop.

    The guy’s face was subject to destructive toxin and inflammation. Human body’s crazy.

  6. M. Murcek says:

    Two words: Russian vodka.

    But, no, this situation is no joke…

  7. Aakash says:

    Well, election campaigns have been known to have an adverse effect on people’s health… and sometimes, on their physical appearance as well.

    After a few more, I just might end up looking like that! (which would be really scary…)

  8. reliapundit says:

    (either may have been deliberately induced)

    FIRST –


    Lumpy skin disease

    Aetiology Epidemiology Diagnosis Prevention and control References


    Classification of the causative agent

    Virus family Poxviridae, genus Capripoxvirus

    Resistance to physical and chemical action

    Temperature: Susceptible to 55°C/2 hours, 65°C/30 min
    pH: Susceptible to highly alkaline or acid pH
    Chemicals: Susceptible to ether (20%), chloroform, formalin (1%), and some detergents, e.g. sodium dodecyl sulphate
    Disinfectants: Susceptible to phenol (2%/15 min)
    Survival: Survives for long periods at ambient temperature, especially in dried scabs


    Morbidity rate 5-85%
    Mortality rate very variable

    Cattle (Bos taurus, zebus, domestic buffaloes)
    Oryx (Oryx beisa), giraffe (Giraffe camelopardalis) and impala (Aepyceros melampus) are susceptible to experimental infection, but the role of wild fauna still has to be clarified. LSD virus will also replicate in sheep and goats following inoculation

    Transmission may occur via infected saliva in the absence of an insect vector. Though no specific vector has been identified to date, mosquitoes (e.g. Culex mirificens and Aedes natrionus) and flies (e.g. Stomoxys calcitrans and Biomyia fasciata) could play a major role
    Sources of virus

    Skin and cutaneous lesions (virus may survive 40 days in lesions), crusts
    Saliva, nasal discharge
    Lymph nodes
    There is no carrier state

    Until 1988 LSD was confined to sub-Saharan Africa, but then spread into Egypt. As of 1995, there has been only one laboratory confirmed outbreak of LSD outside Africa, in Israel in 1989, which was eliminated by slaughter of all infected and in-contact cattle, and vaccination

    For detailed information on occurrence, see recent issues of World Animal Health and the OIE Bulletin


    Incubation period is approximately 12 days

    Clinical diagnosis

    LSD symptoms range from inapparent to severe disease

    Fever (40-41.5°C) either transitory or lasting up to 2 weeks
    Swellings or nodules of 1-5 cm in diameter and larger, in the skin. Generalisation usually occurs
    Depression, anorexia, excessive salivation, oculonasal discharge, agalactia and emaciation
    Painful nodules, especially in the skin of the muzzle, nares, back, legs, scrotum, perineum, eyelids, lower ear, nasal mucosa, oral mucosa and tail. Nodules affect the whole skin, the subcutaneous tissue and sometimes the musculature. In the course of the disease, the nodules may become necrotic and sometimes deep scabs form (which are called ‘sitfast’)
    Lameness resulting from inflammation and necrosis of tendons, and from severe oedema of brisket and legs
    Superficial lymph nodes draining areas of the infected skin may become enlarged to four-to-ten times their normal size
    secondary bacterial infection of teat – lesions which may lead to severe mastitis and loss of the quarter
    secondary bacterial infection of tendon and joint which may result in permanent lameness
    abortion, intrauterine infection, and temporary sterility in bulls and cows may occur

    Nodules involving all layers of skin, subcutaneous tissue, and often adjacent musculature, with congestion, haemorrhage, oedema, vasculitis and necrosis
    Enlargement of lymph nodes draining affected areas with lymphoid proliferation, oedema, congestion and haemorrhage
    Pox lesions of mucous membrane of the oral and nasal cavities, and sometimes the pharynx, epiglottis and trachea
    Oedema and areas of focal lobular atelectasis in lungs
    Pleuritis with enlargement of the mediastinal lymph nodes in severe cases
    Synovitis and tendosynovitis with fibrin in the synovial fluid
    Pox lesions may be present in the testicles and urinary bladder

    SECOND –


    Molluscum Contagiosum

    Molluscum contagiosum is a superficial skin infection. The virus invades the skin causing the appearance of firm, flesh-colored, doughnut-shaped bumps, about 2-5 mm in diameter. Their sunken centers contain a white, curdy-type material. The bumps can occur almost anywhere on the body including the buttocks, thighs and external genitalia. The bumps often remain unchanged for many months, after which they disappear.

    Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus belonging to the poxvirus family. Close physical contact is usually necessary for transmission; indirect transmission from shared towels, swimming pools, etc., may also be responsible for infection. The incubation period varies from several weeks to several months. Shaving or scratching may cause the infection to spread.

    If scratched, the bumps can become infected with bacteria.

    The diagnosis is based on the typical appearance of the bumps. No diagnostic test for this virus is available.

    Avoid shaving infected areas. Treatment is done for aesthetic reasons and to prevent spread of the virus. The goal of treatment is to remove the soft center, after which the bump goes away. Your health care provider may use a curette (sharp, spoon-shaped instrument) to remove the centers. Freezing the lesion with liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide is an alternative treatment.

    There is a slight risk of minimal scarring. Observe for signs of infection that include redness, swelling, pus-like drainage, or increased soreness at the site.


    Uphold, C., and Graham, M. (1998). Clinical Guidelines in Family Practice (3rd edition).

    Barmarrere Books.

  9. uhha says:

    Posting a link is enough. Do not copy paste.

    Yushchenko once said: “If burning myself to ashes could help Ukraine … I would be happy.”

  10. Shanon Smith says:

    Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned by the other guy in the election they flew him to Switzerland to try and save his life and barely did. And this is no laughing matter guys, jokes aside, this election will effect all of us around the world. I’ve been to Kiev, Ukraine and seen how they lived and corruption is a way of life there and poisoning someone or paying off the election commitee is nothing new.

  11. Coca Bogdan says:


  12. FcukRussia says:

    He was poisoned at a dinner he was having with the head of the FSB (the former KGB). This is all part of Mr. Putin’s plan to try to continue dominating Ukraine. The Ukrainian people will not tolerate this corruption anymore, Kuchma & Yanukovich should both be jailed as soon Yushchenko wins the run-off.

  13. Joh Hawkins says:

    Victor must be probably infected with a CIA biological weapon or any american or british evil medicament. This is the true.

  14. Joh Deynnard says:

    Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned by George W. Bush, the US corrupt dictator.