Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
Poisoning of Russian Defector in UK Shows Putin's True Colors
Salisbury in Wiltshire is not the sort of place one associates with international espionage and assassination. It is better known for being a few miles south of Stonehenge. However on Sunday afternoon, a former GRU officer who defected from Russia to Britain was found with his daughter collapsed on a bench in Salisbury town center. They are still in hospital beds as is the policeman who found them. Each suffers from poisoning by a nerve agent. This has the fingerprints of Russian intelligence all over it, and it reveals the true nature of the regime.
Sergei Skripal was a colonel in Russian Military intelligence who worked for the British starting in the 1990s. The FSB arrested him in 2004, and in 2006, a Russian court sentenced him to 13 years. He and three others were exchanged for 10 Russian agents in 2010. The GRU doesn’t take kindly to defectors, and according to Viktor Suvorov who also left the GRU, all defectors face assassination as punishment from their former associates.
The fact that the would-be killer used a nerve agent suggests two things. First, it is likely that there is some government behind it all. Nerve agent are not available at the local pharmacy or hardware store. Second, the government behind it wants the world to know that the attack was a covert operation not a simple crime. A plain vanilla stabbing in Britain does not attract this kind of attention, and the choice of weapon was deliberate.
Many have likened this attack to the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who also had defected to the UK. He was poisoned with polonium, another substance neither Harrod’s nor Walmart offer for sale. All fingers pointed to Moscow in that case as well. Yvette Cooper, MP, has even written to the Home Secretary this week suggesting that 14 other deaths have mysterious, possibly Russian, causes.
If there is any good news in all of this, it is that the British government, unlike the Trump administration, is taking Russian actions seriously. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said on ITV's Good Morning Britain, "Russia's being assertive, Russia's being more aggressive, and we have to change the way that we deal with it because we can't be in a situation in these areas of conflict where we are being pushed around by another nation.”
The Russian government has said that the accusations are entirely false and that those who have made them want to damage Anglo-Russian relations. In truth, it is difficult to see how that would be possible given how bad relations are. Britain will, of course, investigate just what happened and will make public as much as possible. In all likelihood, the would-be murderer is already back in Russia and won’t be leaving.
Britain will be under some political pressure to act, and the expulsion of some diplomats is inevitable. At the same time, there is a great deal of Russian money in London property, and seizure of such assets while abiding by due process is likely to have better effect.
Russia is acting in bad faith, and the UK, US and other members of the free world need to act in unison. Sadly, the UK will likely act alone until Mr. Trump is out of office.
© Copyright 2018 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.
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