Well, I know this is late, but as I covered the Rybkin story we might as well deal with this. Apparently he was kidnapped in Kiev and drugged:
"Speaking to reporters in London, Rybkin said he had been lured to Kiev by a false offer to hold peace talks with Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, but instead had been drugged and held against his will by armed men, who showed him a compromising videotape apparently taken during his abduction.
He refused to say who was behind the abduction, or what the videotape contained, except to say that it was made by "horrible perverts."
Horrible perverts, eh? A grim and sordid tale. Rybkin, understandably enough, decided to scoot from Russia and popped up in London as a guest of Boris Berezovsky, where he gave a press conference. Strangely, he declared that he was not pulling out of the presidential campaign but would not go back to Russia.
"Ponomaryova told reporters that Rybkin wants to take part in televised debates through a video link from London, an option that Central Elections Commission chief Alexander Veshnyakov said Friday was possible, Interfax reported."
I somehow doubt it. What is especially weird about the whole story,if true, is why the secret State would go to such lengths to dispose of a man who was expected to get at the very most 10-15% of the vote without going all the way and disposing of him permanently. This wild-arsed plot to drug him and - it seems - force him to take part in some sort oof perversion on video has the inherent flaw that he might not respond to blackmail and then go public. One wonders if Mr. Rybkin knows where the bodies are buried, perhaps quite literally. Surely nothing else would warrant such extravagant shenanigans?
Meanwhile, Pravda's top story is as follows: Fighting Terrorism, Putin Style followed by Vladimir Putin is Not Satisfied with Authorities' Work Results in Last Four Years. Who says everything changed forever in 1991? Certainly not here, with headlines like that last one. This is what Pravda has to say about Rybkin:
"The interview Ivan Rybkin gave live to Echo Moskvi radio station turns his "Kiev adventures" in some sort of comedy. Ivan Petrovich used such colorful descriptions of the train guards and the people he encountered that it looked like he had visited not Kiev, but a carnival in Rio de Janeiro"I'm sure.