This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Murder Incorporated

"After Putin came to power, we saw all of these different killings of people who were critics of Mr. Putin and critics of the Kremlin."
"The Kremlin was caught red-handed, as it were."
Amy Knight, Russia specialist, author: Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder

"The view inside our agency [Russian secret service FSB] was that poison is just a weapon, like a pistol."
"It's not seen that way in the West, but it was just viewed as an ordinary tool [and the FSB would never approve a political murder without consulting Putin]."
Alexander Litvinenko, dissident Russian intelligence officer, 2004 interview

"This image of a good retirement they [retired Russian secret service agents, wealthy oligarchs] see as a model. It is a desirable lifestyle for their children to go to good schools. Russian people like to live in London."
"It becomes like a signature. A weapon only used by the state leaves no doubt that it is revenge by the state, that it can only be the government."
"This sends them [dissidents, political opponents] a message: we will kill you. Don't be a traitor."
Tonia Samsonova, Echo of Moscow Radio correspondent, London
Hospitalized Russian spy linked to Russia-UK spy wars

Mysterious and sudden, inexplicable deaths by peculiar means taking place inside and outside Russia targeting opponents of Vladimir Putin, be they journalists or politicians, businessmen or members of the Russian secret service establishment, are often noted and then set aside, no further deep investigation since it seems obvious what the source of the assassination is and why it has been ordered. As long as it is discreet enough and no diplomatic applecarts are upturned, the events are considered unfortunate and written off.

With the recent, audacious attack on father and daughter Skripals, 66 and 33 respectively, rogue secret service agent and family member, and a follow-up murder within the same week of another Putin detractor, (businessman Nikolai Glushkov, 'compression to the neck' death) there is no hushing up the situation since the nerve chemical was used indiscriminately and took victims other than the Skripals; innocent bystanders and a police officer, with the total extent of the fallout not yet quite fully understood, but requiring a massive response to mitigate.

Russian spy attack nerve agent was rare, dangerous and sophisticated

The previous, ghastly, prolonged murder of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 ended with strained relations between Whitehall and the Kremlin. This time the estrangement is deeper and more volatile, with Russia, as usual, denying any and all accusations that it is somehow involved in killing off dissidents on foreign soil and suggesting that the U.K. has indulged in a false flag event, producing a deadly chemical itself and adducing its effects to innocent Russia. This is a skill that Russia has perfected, as flaccidly improbable and cynical as it is, to defend itself.

As far as the government of Britain is concerned, the attempted assassination of the Skripals by Russian agents represents the "only plausible explanation" imaginable, "heightened against the background of a pattern of earlier irresponsible Russian behaviour", which has led critics to link over three dozen deaths and near-assassinations taking place in several countries, of politically-motivated revenge-operations in recent years. Britain has the support of other NATO and G7 countries.

The death of influential Putin critic Boris Nemtsov, shot to death while standing on a bridge in sight of the Kremlin in 2015, and the killing of Denis Voronenkov, formerly a member of the Russian parliament, killed while he stood in front of a Kiev hotel represent two of the most shocking among the many. Russian agents have made use of radioactive tea (Litvinenko), umbrella tips with deadly poison installed, letters tainted with deadly chemicals (ricin), stabbings, sharp-shooters, hanging and whatever else is  handy.

"Traitors don't live long", Putin stated tellingly, when he welcomed back to Moscow the Russian sleeper agents that U.S. intelligence had unmasked in 2010. It was, in fact, in trading those agents that Mr. Skripal, then in a Russian prison as a convicted traitor for working with MI6, was exchanged and returned to London to live. Left behind were his wife and son, both of whom died under mysterious circumstances. In the death of Litvinenko, the medium used to kill him could only have been produced by a state; it was deadly polonium derived from Russia's nuclear program.

In the attempted assassination of the Skripals the nerve chemical that was used was laboratory-identified as being one that the Russian military had developed; the scientist that had produced it had himself identified it as Novichok, a deadly, military grade chemical assumed now to have been slipped into Yulia Skripals luggage as she left Moscow for London to see her father, domiciled there.  And they are assumed to have left a deadly trail of the chemical agent wherever they went, until its effects overtook them.

UK's Johnson says it's 'overwhelmingly likely' Putin ordered nerve agent attack
"[Russia's reaction to the incident] was not the response of a country that really believes itself to be innocent. This is not the response of a country that really wants to engage in getting to the bottom of the matter."
"We gave the Russians every opportunity to come up with an alternative hypothesis, such as the one that you have just described, and they haven't. Their response has been a sort of mixture of smug sarcasm and denial, obfuscation and delay."
"[It is] overwhelmingly likely [that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally gave the order to use the nerve agent to attack Skripal. Britain is not alone in facing Russia's 'reckless behavior'."
"[The Salisbury poisoning was the] latest brazen defiance of international rules [given the Crimea annexation, cyberattacks in Ukraine, and Russia's interference in European elections]."
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet