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Russian government’s attempted assassination in London… curiouser and curiouser

The attempt assassination in London of a critic of Vladimir Putin, Alexander Litvinenko, almost certainly carried out by the Russian intelligence services, highlights that it is long past time to stop treating Russia as ‘just another European government’.

But there is another rather interesting twist to this story that I did not spot in the media yesterday, courtesy of the UKIP.

Update: sadly it is not longer an ‘attempted’ assassination.

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16 comments to Russian government’s attempted assassination in London… curiouser and curiouser

  • I would not rule out the EU, either.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Given what has been going on lately in Russia, anything is possible. Senior journalists have been murdered. A top-ranking central bank official who sought to stop corruption was gunned down a few weeks ago.

    The situation is bad than most people think. I listened to a talk recently by London-based hedge fund manager William Browder, who was banned from entering Russia last November. His crime – to have sufficiently pissed off various crooked oligarchs and to demand that the firms they run actually are run honestly and efficiently.

    He is lucky they let him live.

  • Nick M

    Almost 15 years later I still call ’em Sovs. My wife (a Russian graduate) is forever picking me up on this error. Stories like this are the reason I keep on making it.

    The Empire never ended.

  • David Emami

    Granted it’s too late now, but what we should have done at the end of the Cold War is push for the de-Bolsheivization of the USSR, just like the de-Nazification of Germany after WW2.

    Look at it this way: Putin, a former member of the KGB, became the leader of Russia in 1999, eight years after the fall of the USSR. Would anyone have considered it acceptable for a former member of the Gestapo to be leading West Germany in 1953?

  • Julian Taylor

    One only has to listen to is the dreadful Independent’s Mary Dejevsky defending Putin and the FSB on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning (she even casts doubt that anyone was responsible for the poisining and subsequent execution-style murder of Anna Politkovskaya) to realise that something is amiss. Whenever the Independent backs the bad guy in something like this I start thinking that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark.

    Litvinenko was apparently a target the moment he questioned Putin’s motives over the second Chechnyan war. Especially that he doubted that the Chechnyan terrorists had the engineering or explosives competence needed to blow up the 2 Moscow apartment blocks on 8 September 1999, that killed over 300 in all, let alone that no investigation of the bombing was allowed at all. Indeed the rubble was apparently cleared away within 2 days of the blast.

  • embutler

    anybody see his exgirlfreind hanging around??

  • John K

    I’ve always thought that Putin was behind the Moscow apartment bombs. It was his Reichstag moment. The man’s a vicious Chekist, and he’ll never change.

  • Ever since the fall of the USSR the russian mob has been in charge of the government. Since the russian mob is made up of ex-KGB men this basically means that the KGB is running russia.
    This is not the question. The question is; why have western governments let them get away with it? Simply put; gas. We need the gas supply that Russia provides (and is willing to cut off, as was proved in January)
    The politics in russia may be wearing a different suit but the methods are exactly the same as they were in the Soviet era. Tight control of the media, elimination of undesirables, persecution of dissidents, the list goes on.
    It is interesting, though not surprising, to note that this story is getting next to no coverage in Russia.

  • Orson

    Mandrill’s right. Although there was an interlude in the early 90’s when the mob did run the place.

    In response to Julian, the Independent’s Helen Womack in early 2000 was the only Western one who came close to pinning the apartment bombings on the FSB. The article is still on Johnson’s Russia List here(Link).

  • Paul Marks

    The renationalization of oil and gas (and some other natural resources) may have boosted government revenue in the short term – but it already undermining investment and standards of management.

    People close to Putin I supposed to understand this – but surely it would be foolish to buy oil and gas wells (and so on) from a regime that could simply take them back again (and send one to a Labour Camp) whenever they felt like it.

    Putin is indeed not a dogmatic collectivist (his copying of the flat tax idea from other Eastern European nations shows that), but he has no respect for property rights – either in one’s possessions or in one’s own body (i.e. yes he will have someone killed if he thinks they are a problem).

    The banking crises that gave him his first chance was caused by a classic credit money bubble created by the Russian government itself (President Yeltisin was badly advised indeed), and various people thought that they could “contain Putin”.

    However, even if he did “take the money” he proved that bribes buy nothing in the long run (if a man is dishonest enough to take the money he is dishonest enough to take the money and hit you anyway).

    As for the housing block destruction (which was used as a reason for the second war – and gave Putin his opening for total power) some local police actually captured some people with bombs in another housing block.

    These people turned out to be F.S.B. – but the regime explained it away as a training exercise of which they had forgotten to tell the local police.

    The first President of the Chechins was an Ex Soviet Air Force General with an Estonian wife (indeed he based the local constitution on the Estonian one), the resistance has fallen into the hands of Islamic nutters because the regime has killed everyone else.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Mr Prodi the friend of the Economist (and much else of the establishment media) is an “ex” K.G.B. agent of influence – as our many other people in his government.

    For some reason treason is not considered a crime by the establishment media – let us forgive and forget such politicians and support them in elections (after all the alternative was the nasty Mr B. – and he is vulgar).

  • Paul Marks

    Three comments in a row – well no one else is making the points so I suppose I should.

    The Financial Times was boasting today of the purging of various top intelligence officials by the new Italian government (and, of course, going on about how Donald Rumsfeld should be put on trial as an evil torturer of the innocent Muslims). Not just because of their wicked assistance to the C.I.A. (over capturing terrorists), but because one of the officials tried to “smear” Prime Minister Prodi.

    No mention as to what the “smear” was.

    But, of course, given the number of K.G.B. contacts that have worked for the Financial Times over the years (part of the long term effort to maintain links with “finance capital”) they may not want to mention it – if the “smear” was that Mr Prodi and so many other people in his government are “ex” K.G.B.

    The Financial Times is part of the same organization as the Economist – which may explain some of the developments there in recent times.

    The truth is that the F.T. people (like Putin) could not give a toss about the Muslims – it is just a stick to beat the Americans with.

    They may have given up their Marxism – but antiAmericanism is the core of the being.

  • nic

    Is it strange that this Romano Prodi allegation is not being reported further. Any ideas why? Is it not considered credible?

  • Gabriel

    For some reason treason is not considered a crime by the establishment media

    At least it’s not Israel, I’m pretty sure if current MPs regularly visited enemy nations and pledged their undying commitment to eradicating the British entity, they’s find they weren’t allowed back into the Commons.
    But if Lieberman even mentions that there might be a problem with openly seditious MKs everyone throws a fit.

  • Paul Marks

    Gabriel is correct. People who wish to destroy the nation by violence should not be in that nation’s Parliament. Nor should they or their supporters be in that nation at all.

    “Blood will out – now we see that for all you pretended Christianity you are really a Jew Mr MARKS”

    Am I indeed part Jewish by blood (but as it is on the father’s side the Orthodox would not be interested), but I hold the same opinion about any other nation.

    If a group of people openly say that they wish to destroy the nation by armed revolt in cooperation with invasion from other nations, then these people should be kicked out – not just out of the Parliament, but out of the country.

    If that makes me a “reactionary monster” so be it.

    Turning back to other matters.

    Yesterday (the day after it celebrated the defeat of the evil C.I.A. in Italy with the purging of senior Italian intelligence officers – and it demanded the putting on trial of Donald Rumsfeld for “torturing” sweet, lovely head hackers) the Financial Times “balanced” things by having a big article by ……. Mr Putin (whose organization so many F.T. journalists have worked for over the years).

    It was like “a word from our sponser”. It is beyond parady, as Mr Littlejohn would say “you could not make it up”.

  • Paul Marks

    I see I am on form. “you” for “your” and “Am I” for “I am”.

    My apologies (as always).