A Ukrainian presidential candidate’s chief of staff believes “Soviet Union ? sort of KGB experts” were behind a plot to poison his candidate, the aide told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” today.

Austrian doctors said Saturday that Viktor Yushchenko, who faces a Dec. 26 runoff in Ukraine against the Kremlin-backed candidate, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, was poisoned with dioxin as he campaigned for president. [abc news ] More…

Why is it that we are getting the feeling here at the ZZ Portal that we are slipping back into the days of cold war espionage and bad James Bond movies? Is there any validity to this story? More than just democracy may be slipping in the East. (See previous post). Any wonder why Russia is beginning to form stronger alliances with China given our activity in Iraq? The growing sense of paranoia and apparent uneasiness of Putin begins to send messages to the “West” that he won’t be passive. Russians will feel the need to deter and balance the U.S. from any new crusades to convert neighboring counties like Iran and Syria, not to “christianity”, but to “democracy”. With Iran looking like Act III, don’t expect Putin to sit quietly on the sidelines while “western” “GW” style democracy is spread at the end of a bayonet. We think Mr. Putin would perfer to spread his own brand of democracy in the Ukraine and Chechnya first. Or maybe form a “mutal” crusade of democratic “conversion” with the West. You know, the kind with a wink of an eye across the table at the Security Council ? You have your elections in Iraq while we have ours in our former Soviet Republics.