It's impossible to say whether the shooting of Paul Joyal this past Thursday was a casual crime or something more sinister. Joyal is the Russian expat Putin critic, who said of the poisoning of his acquaintance Alexander Litvinenko:
A message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin: “If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will find you and we will silence you—in the most horrible way possible”.The FBI are said to be involved in the Joyal investigation.
Either way, discontent at the regime of Putin is growing:
On Saturday at noon, defying the city authorities' ban on organizing an event, over 5000 people in St. Petersburg joined the anti-Putin "March of the Discontented," launched by the Other Russia opposition movement, a group of improbable allies brought together by Putin's repressive intransigence. The demonstrators marched in St. Petersburg, which happens to also be President Vladimir Putin's birthplace and showcase for his G-8 peers. A showcase Russian city hadn't seen that size of a protest for a decade. The violent street clash not only ushered in the year of parliamentary and presidential elections, it also called into question the Kremlin propagandists' claim that eight years of Putin rule has created stability in Russia.