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Viktor Ilyin
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Assassin (Failed)
    (December 26, 1947- )
    Born in Lenningrad, USSR (St. Petersburg, Russia)
    Attempted to assassinate Leonid Brezhnev by firing on a motorcade celebrating the Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 missions (January 22, 1969)
    Ruled insane and sent to an asylum
    Released following a Supreme Court ruling (1990)
    He was an admirer of Lee Harvey Oswald.
    He went AWOL from the Soviet army, stealing two semi-automatic pistols.
    He stole a uniform from his uncle, a police officer, to infiltrate Red Square.
    After the open limousine carrying the Soyuz cosmonauts passed, he fired on the next car, a closed limo, assuming it carried Brezhnev.
    It actually was carrying cosmonauts from earlier missions, including Alexei Leonov and Valentina Tereshkova.
    He killed the limo driver, injured a motorcycle cop, and grazed cosmonauts Georgy Beregovoy and Andrian Nikolaev.
    He was reportedly resentful over forced conscription and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
    Reflecting the Soviet deference to authority, no one questioned him despite his wearing a summer police uniform on a freezing January day.
    Despite not meeting the legal definition, he was ruled to be insane, because, as Ilyin noted, ‘To admit that a Soviet citizen in his right mind had shot at Brezhnev would have meant to admit the fact that dissatisfaction with the communist system was brewing in the country. This was impossible. That is why they decided that only a madman was capable of assassinating the head of the USSR.’
    He later said he regretted killing the driver.

Credit: C. Fishel

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