The last words
I mentioned earlier that Misha eventually stopped writing me. It could've been because I told him, straight up, that I was interested in his story, and that other reporters and editors had contacted me with interest. Perhaps this was bad strategy, but I wasn't going to lie to the guy.
July 12, 9:54 am I guess you're back in Russia? Can you talk about what happened, or any part of it? I'm interested in separating out fact from fiction. I'm interested in your story. Hope you're well . . . Mark.
July 12, 11:23 am Misha, to be totally candid, I've been asked by a newspaper editor to write a profile of you . . . mostly based on the fact that I know you. As a friend, you could expect the profile to be fair and honest. Perhaps you are legally not allowed to speak about it. But if you can talk about any aspect of the story, I hope you'll come to me. Thanks and best, Mark.
July 13, 5:43 am Mark, I'm not going to talk about it, but thanks for being fair and honest. Say hi to everybody. Cheers, M.
I made one more (somewhat pathetic) attempt to get him talking. I started with some friendly banter, then wrote: "I understand you either can't or don't want to talk about what happened. But as your old MUNRFE leader in Blago, I was wondering if you'd be willing to answer some general questions or other questions wholly unrelated to the recent events."
To this, he wrote back absolutely nothing.
Mark Grueter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.