Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · United Kingdom

Another Former Russian Intelligence Officer Poisoned in the UK (17)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s comparison of Putin’s Russia to Hitler’s Nazi Germany produced a storm of outrage and insults from the Russian press, although the comparison is spot on.  The war of words between the UK and Russia is at a red-hot stage, not quite white hot, and Russia has thrown down their hockey gloves to the ice. The UK has not backed down at all, their statements are factual and right on target, which must really give the top leadership in Russia a conniption. 

If you have not followed the news, UK’s Foreign Secretary said

Russian President Vladimir Putin would use the World Cup this summer as a propaganda tool much as Hitler used the 1936 Olympic Games to glorify Nazi Germany.

Russia, of course, loves to play the victim, much of it to whip up domestic support, so this issue is top news in the Russian press.  Diplomatically, this is being portrayed as Russia being undeservedly attacked.  ‘It’s an “insult”, a “provocation too far”, “outrageous”, “unfair to the nation that defeated Nazi Germany” (ignoring that the West also participated in World War II), and a litany of other barbs’. 

The issue is amusing to Western Russian watchers and an outrage to Russophiles. The basis for all this outrage, still, is Russian assasinations of Russian traitors inside sovereign UK territory by Russian secret and special services. The count was fairly low, but significant and may increase, as more mysterious deaths are being investigated. Legal exhumations of possible Russian assassinations is now increasing. UK Probing 14 Other Suspected Russian Assassinations

Novichok is the nerve agent developed by Russia and has been used against at least eight former Russian and Soviet defectors in the UK. 

Russia is responding typically.  Deny, deny, deny, and attack the accusers. The fact that Russia developed Novichok is not of consequence, according to Russia, and deflecting the discussion is of utmost importance. Expect alternate theories to be offered shortly. The UK is Russia’s primary target, but expect the other accusers of Russian guilt to be attacked.  The US and France have already accused Russia of complicity in the assassination attempt of former Russian double agent SergeiSkripal and his daughter Yulia using Novichok. 

Here is one small exerpt of the exchange between the UK and Russia.

The Russian ambassador to the EU has today said a UK lab could have been the source of the nerve agent use to poison Skripal and his daughter.

Johnson hit back, describing the ambassador’s claim as a “satirical suggestion”.  

Source: Boris: Russia has researched how to make nerve agents for assassinations

Expect the issue to grow. Expect the Russian press to stoke this fire. Expect Western coverage to increase, if only for the sensationalism. 

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United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Johnson’s evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in Parliament went viral in the global media, and the Russians not so judiciously magnified the effect with the proverbial  “Barrage of BS”, further magnified by generous use of colourful personal insults. There are times one wonders as to their rationality in the global propaganda game they play, even if it might produce intended effects with domestic nationalists, who have an insatiable appetite for hostile invective aimed at the West. The sad truth that SECSTATE Johnson so eloquently exposed is that contemporary Russia is the nation in Europe now most like Germany of the 1930s.

PM May will brief EU leaders and call for a united effort to dismantle Russian intelligence and influence networks in Europe. This will be an interesting litmus test of her ability to convince a fractious community of European leaders, but also a litmus test of the strength of Europe’s collective self-interest, versus the individual self-interest of the numerous Quislings that Russia has recruited across Europe. Juncker has elicited a tirade of attacks with his ill considered letter to Putin, which are curiously being propagated by Russian propagandists.

UK media report DS Bailey about to be released from hospital, and Glushkov family go public with their grief.

Very interesting report by the Guardian, based on 1990s Russian media accounts and testimonies by Andrei Zheleznyakov, the first known fatality produced by the Foliant / Novichok CW agents – the reports suggest he was not treated with atropine until too late, as the KGB did their best to conceal what he was actually exposed to, leaving the doctors guessing. The report is quite detailed and identifies other program participants and alleged victims.



‘Utterly disgusting’: Kremlin blasts Britain’s Boris Johnson for comparing Russian World Cup to Nazi Olympics – The Washington Post

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has compared the coming soccer World Cup, due to be held in Russia this summer, to the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi Germany. To no one’s surprise, Russia fired back with its own blistering critique of Britain’s top diplomat.

Vladimir Putin: Russia brands Boris Hitler World Cup comments ‘disgusting’ | Daily Star

RUSSIA has branded Boris Johnson’s comments comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler as “unacceptable and disgusting”.

Boris Johnson’s Comparison of Russia’s World Cup with Nazi Olympics Unacceptable, Kremlin Says

The Kremlin said on Thursday that remarks by British foreign minister Boris Johnson comparing Russia’s hosting of the soccer World Cup this summer with Nazi Germany’s hosting of the Olympics in 1936 were disgusting and unacceptable. “It’s a completely disgusting statement, it does not become the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country [Britain] or of any country,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

Kremlin Calls Johnson Likening Putin To Hitler ‘Disgusting’

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s comparison of Russia’s hosting of the World Cup with the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany was “disgusting” a…

Boris Johnson’s World Cup Hitler jibe an ‘insult to Russian people’ says envoy | Wirral Globe

Moscow ‘considers this kind of statement … unacceptable and totally irresponsible’.

World Cup Nazi comments ‘irresponsible’ – BBC News

The Russian ambassador says Boris Johnson had “no right” to compare his country to Nazi Germany.

Boris Johnson’s Hitler remarks unacceptable, says Russian envoy | UK news | The Guardian

‘Nobody has the right to insult the Russian people who defeated nazism,’ ambassador says. Russia’s ambassador to the UK has described Boris Johnson’s comparison of this summer’s World Cup to the Nazi Olympics as “unacceptable and totally irresponsible”. Speaking at a press conference, Alexander Yakovenko complained that Britain had refused to cooperate with Moscow over the investigation into the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. “We have seen no evidence,” he said. Yakovenko repeated Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia had “nothing to do with this incident”. He suggested that the UK had its own stores of the lethal novichok nerve agent used in the attack, which was developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s in secret state laboratories.

Russian diplomat calls for Boris Johnson to quit – BBC News

Boris Johnson compared Russia’s staging of the this summer’s World Cup to Hitler hosting the Olympics.

Boris Johnson’s Putin remarks terrify Moscow – YouTube

Pravda Report Published on Mar 22, 2018 Putin’s official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that drawing any comparison between Russia and Nazi Germany is “offensive and unacceptable.” “That was an utterly revolting statement that does not fit a foreign minister of any country,” Peskov said commenting on the recent statement from Labor Party MP Ian Austin. Austin, speaking at a meeting of the International Affairs Committee stated that Putin was going to use the World Cup 2018 in Russia the way Hitler used the 1936 Olympics to glorify his regime. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson supported the MP and said that the comparison with 1936 was correct. Officials with the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs stated that such parallels were unworthy of the head of diplomacy of a European state and reminded that Russia had given millions of lives in the fight against Nazism. “If there is no clarity in the case of Skripal poisoning due to the refusal of the British side to provide any information on the subject, then things are clear when it comes to Boris Johnson. He is obviously poisoned with hatred and anger, unprofessionalism and therefore rudeness,” official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said.

Russia attacks ‘poisoned’ Boris Johnson over comparison with Hitler | News | The Times

Russia claimed that Boris Johnson was “poisoned with hate and boorishness” last night after he compared President Putin hosting the World Cup to Adolf Hitler staging the Olympics.The foreign secretary said that it was “an emetic prospect to think of Putin glorying in this sporting event” but stopped

Moscow slams Boris Johnson for comparing Russia′s World Cup to Nazi Olympics | News | DW | 21.03.2018

Johnson said comparing this summer’s World Cup in Russia to the 1936 Berlin Olympics was “right.” Nazi leader Adolf Hitler wanted the 1936 Olympics in Berlin to show the supposed racial superiority of the German race.

Russia says Boris Johnson ‘is poisoned with hatred and anger’ | Metro News

Russia has blasted Boris Johnson as being ‘poisoned with hatred and anger’ after he likened the country to Nazi Germany. In the latest breakdown of international relations, Russia’s foreign ministry…

Russia’s Foreign Ministry Says UK’s Johnson Poisoned With Hatred | World News | US News

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday British foreign minister Boris Johnson was poisoned by hatred for Russia and that his apparent comparison between Russia and Hitler’s Germany was unacceptable. Johnson had said Russian President Vladimir Putin would use this year’s World Cup in much the same way as Adolf Hitler used the Olympics when it was held in Nazi Germany in 1936. “Such parallels… are unacceptable and are beneath the head of a diplomatic body of a European state,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Facebook page. Britain has accused Russia of being behind the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury. Moscow has denied any connection with the attack. “While there is no clarity with Skripal’s poisoning… things about Boris Johnson are different. It is clear he is poisoned with hatred and anger, unprofessionalism and, therefore, boorishness,” Zakharova said on Facebook.

Russia’s foreign ministry says UK’s Johnson poisoned with hatred

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday British foreign minister Boris Johnson was poisoned by hatred for Russia and that his apparent comparison between Russia and Hitler’s Germany was unacceptable. Johnson had said Russian President Vladimir Putin would use this year’s World

Russia hits back after Boris Johnson compares Putin to Hitler | The National

THERE must now be a real prospect, if only on safety grounds, that England will not compete in this year’s World Cup – and it is thanks to…

Russia: ‘Highly likely’ Britain had nerve agent used in spy attack – CNN

Russia’s ambassador to the UK hinted at British involvement in the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy as he reiterated his country’s stance that it had nothing to do with the attack.

The Latest: Russia calls Boris Johnson ‘unprofessional’ – NY Daily News

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy (all times local): 4:25 p.m.

The Latest: Russia calls Boris Johnson ‘unprofessional’ | The Sun Herald

European Union Council President Donald Tusk says he is “not in the mood to celebrate President Putin’s reappointment” following the nerve agent attack in B.

The Latest: Russia calls Boris Johnson ‘unprofessional’ – San Francisco Chronicle

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy (all times local): 8:45 p.m. Russia has denounced British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as “unprofessional and boorish” in an escalating war of words over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.

Russia suggests UK responsible for spy poisoning – POLITICO

Moscow accuses London of being ‘unwilling’ to listen to its side to the story, after UK ambassador misses briefing.

Russia claim Britain was behind Sergei Skripal spy attack in Salisbury | Daily Star

BRITAIN may have “orchestrated” the nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Vladimir Putin’s government has claimed.

Moscow Slams UK’s Johnson for Comparing 2018 FIFA World Cup to 1936 Olympics – Sputnik International

Answering questions before the Foreign Affairs Committee in London on Wednesday regarding the case of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has likened the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia to the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany.

Russia claims Britain may have been behind Salisbury spy poisoning | Metro News

Russia has said that Britain may be behind the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. The claim was made by Vladimir Yermakov, a Foreign Ministry official, during a…

Russia-U.K. War of Words Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning Gets Uglier – The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea – World

Russia-U.K. War of Words Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning Gets Uglier

Skripal poisoning: Lavrov says UK should “calm down” | UNIAN

Lavrov says London hastened to bring charges against Moscow.

Deny And Distort: A Timeline of Russia’s Changing Story On Skripal Poisoning

Officials and others in Russia have all denied any Kremlin role in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, but the theories presented vary.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin has Come Out a Winner in the Skripal Case, Kirillova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 17 – Many people are looking at the tough language that London and other Western capitals have used to denounce Moscow for its attempt to kill Sergey Skripal and his daughter in the UK and concluding that Vladimir Putin has suffered a major defeat. But in fact, Kseniya Kirillova says, Putin came out a winner given what he hoped to achieve. On the one hand, neither London nor the other Western capitals have imposed new penalties corresponding to their tough new language. Indeed, expelling only 23 diplomats is hardly a major penalty; and it is one Moscow can easily match without suffering real problems, the US-based Russian analyst says (slavicsac.com/2018/03/17/kremlin-skripal-poisoning/). And on the other, in deciding on who won and who lost in this situation, one has to consider the reasons Moscow took its initial action and those which animated the West. If one does that, Kirillov suggests, it is clear that Putin came out a winner in the Skripal case, something that makes it more likely he will engage in similar crimes in the future. “The majority of experts,” the analyst says, “are inclined to the version that the main goal of the attack on Skripal was to send a message to other potential defectors, not only from among the officers of the special services but also officials, oligarchs and all those who are informed about the Kremlin’s dirty deeds.” These include in particular, Kirillova continues, those listed in Washington’s “Kremlin Report” but not yet sanctioned and who may want to work out a deal, those with information of interest to the Mueller investigation in the United States, and others like Oleg Deripaska who have offended the Kremlin by their actions. Those who do so domestically the Kremlin finds it easy to send a message that “it is better to lose your business than to lose your life,” the analyst says. But those living abroad present a different but as the Litvinenko and Skripal cases show far from irresolvable challenge – and they are generally carefully prepared lest things go other than the leadership intends. That certainly seems to be the case with Skripal, Kirillova says. On the very day he was attacked, Moscow’s REN TV already had a story prepared about the utility of doing away with those whom foreign intelligence services may recruit (ren.tv/novosti/2018-03-04/med-knut-i-pryanik-kak-agenty-zarubezhnyh-specsluzhb-verbuyut-chinovnikov). And Russian blogger Nikita Tomilin provided additional evidence that the Kremlin had prepared this attack not just to remove Skripal but as a PR effort to send a message to others (facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10212940391922765&set=a.10200351992860656.1073741825.1179858334&type=3&theater). Since the attack on Skripal in the United Kingdom, Russian media and Russian officials have used the word “message” a lot in their discussions about the case, an indication that that is exactly what the Kremlin had in mind. And to be honest, Putin from his point of view won more than he lost. He succeeded in stirring up nationalist passions at home in advance of the elections, and he succeeded as well in keeping the British response “diplomatic” and moderate. Yes, London expelled 23 Russian “diplomats,” but that is a loss Putin can easily make up for and respond to in kind without much criticism at home or abroad. As US-based Russian historian Yury Felshtinsky has said repeatedly, Moscow in general and Putin in particular believe that the West will complain a lot when there is an attack but do very little. As a result, Kirillova suggests, there is no reason to believe that Putin won’t carry out more such attacks in the future.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Hate the West for Far More Reasons than They Used To, Makarkin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 17 – Among the major changes that have occurred in Russia since Soviet times, Aleksey Makarkin says, is a diversification in the reasons Russians hate the West. In the USSR, there was a single ideological message that the population was expected to accept as to why the West was to be hated. Now, there are many such messages. “In Soviet times,” the Moscow political analyst says, “hatred was based on official propaganda,” a source which was increasingly distrusted. Now, however, it is based on a far more varied set of sources of information, with Russians now having access to more reasons for hating the West (rosbalt.ru/posts/2018/03/15/1689028.html). That means that not all Russians hate the West for the same reasons: some hate the outside world for one reason and others for a different one, Makarkin argues; and that in turn means that the ability of the Kremlin to change directions on this point may be far less than either it or many in the West think. A Russian today can “hate the West because 14 powers launched a campaign against the young Soviet republic” or because it “did not save the sainted emperor and his family from the hands of the bloody Bolsheviks,” he points out. Alternatively, a Russian can hate the West for launching the Normandy invasion only in 1944 and not two years earlier as Moscow wanted, and at the same time, other Russians can hate the West for the firebombing of Dresden. They can hate the West for not returning Russians to the USSR after 1945 and for forcibly deporting Russians to the Soviet Union. And a Russian is offered the chance to hate the West for destroying the Soviet Union or for failing to embrace it more fully once that happened, Makarkin writes. “People on the left are angry at colonial expansion; those on the right are upset by single-sex marriages;” and so on and so forth, a diversity never seen in Soviet times. “Such [diverse] hatred has a more constant character, even more so because various arguments in a post-modernist and pluralist society can be combined depending on individual choice without having to consider the position of the party committee.” Thus, one can hate the West whether one is “an Orthodox Stalinist or an anti-fascist xenophobe.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow has ‘Long’ Tradition of Killing Traitors Abroad, Russian Military Information Agency Says in Providing a List

Paul Goble Staunton, March 19 – “The Soviet and Russian intelligence services have a longstanding and good tradition of carrying out [death] sentences against those who have blackened their names as traitors,” the Russian Military Information Agency says. And to make its point as Skripal hovers near death, the agency provides a list of those Russia has gone after. Rarely have the Russian agencies been so bold in making such a declaration or providing such a list, one that is both incomplete and dishonest – it says the death of General Kutepov is still unknown whereas he was killed by Soviet agents after they kidnaped him in Paris — but that is precisely because it is being released now extremely frightening (iarex.ru/news/56639.html). The list is as follows: · In 1921, Cheka agents killed Ataman Aleksandr Dutov in China. · In 1925, the OGPU killed former Soviet military agent Vladimir Nesterovich in Berlin. · In 1930, OGPU agents kidnaped White Russian General Aleksandr Kornilov. · In 1937, NKVD agents killed defector Georgy Agabekov in France. · In 1937, NKVD agents killed political figure Kurt Landau in Spain. · In 1937, NKVD agents killed former Soviet intelligent officer Ignaty Reiss in Switzerland on Stalin’s direct order, the MIA says. · In 1937, NKVD agents killed Andrey Nii, the leader of the Workers Party of Marxist Unity, in Catalonia. · In 1937, NKVD agents killed Ukrainian nationalist Yevgeny Konovalets. · In 1954, Nikolay Khokhlov, a Soviet intelligence officer, was ordered to kill Georgy Oklovich, an NTS leader, in Germany; but Khokhlov himself defected. · In 1954, KGB agents killed Aleksandr Trushnovich, an NTS leader, in Germany. · In 1957, KGB agents killed Lev Rebet, a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), in Germany. · In 1959, a KGB agent killed Stepan Bandera, a leader of émigré Ukrainian nationalists, in Germany. · In 1959, KGB agents killed Bulgarian dissident Georgy Markov in London. · In 1979, Soviet special forces killed Hafizulla Amin, the president of the Revolutionary Council of Afghanistan. · In 1996, “after three unsuccessful attacks,” Russian forces killed “Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first president of Chechnya.” · In 2002, Russian forces killed the terrorist Amir Khatab. · In 2004, Russian agents killed Chechen fighter Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. · In 2006, Russian agents dispatched Aleksandr Livtinenko, a former officer of Soviet and Russian state security, with polonium in London for his authorship of “The FSB is Blowing Up Russia” and “The Lubyanka Criminal Group.” There have been many other cases where there are suspicions but no certainty including in the United Kingdom in recent years, such as the deaths of Boris Berezovsky, Aleksandr Perepilnichny, Badry Patarkatsishvili, among others, the article continues.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Regime a Hybrid of the KGB Honor Code and Criminal Practice, Davydov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 18 – In C.P. Snow’s 1954 novel, The New Men, about the beginnings of the Cold War, one character, who writes literacy criticism for the BBC, reflects on how difficult it is for a Western intellectual to respond to America’s use of a nuclear weapon against Nagasaki only a few days after it had dropped the first on Hiroshima. One could defend the first, he said, as an act of military necessity, but not the second. For an English intellectual like himself the only possible comment was to focus on something so far removed from what had happened as to be a reaffirmation of the Western intellectual tradition of which he or she is a part. Today, one is left with a somewhat similar feeling about Vladimir Putin’s so-called “victory” in the so-called “presidential elections” in the Russian Federation, an event that should be marked perhaps by a discussion of the best traditions of Russian thought or a reference to something so obscure within that country as to constitute a proper mirror of events. But happily, Moscow commentator Ivan Davydov provides what may be an even more useful approach in a Republic post on “the genealogy of morality of contemporary Russia” which focuses on “how the current rulers [of that country] are distinguished from the criminal world of the 1990s” (republic.ru/posts/90011). The recent scandal involving Russian diplomats and cocaine shipments from Argentina renewed talks in Russia that the current Russian leadership are just like the criminals of the 1990s, Davydov says. There is some truth in this but it is not the whole truth – and recognizing the difference between the two related species is important. Critics often point to Putin’s use of criminal slang in his speeches or his origins in the streets of Leningrad as evidence that he was a criminal from the beginning, but that again is only part but not the whole truth. Had he or his colleagues been criminals from the outset, they would never have been recruited for work in the KGB or other siloviki organs. Having become part of the Soviet organs, Putin and his like acquired “a special view on reality and became part of a special ethos,” but it was not a criminal one in the usual sense. However, when the Soviet system collapsed, their reality and even raison d’etre did as well – “and this was a serious trauma.” According to Davydov, “an impressionable man with a hypertrophied ego was thus completely capable of declaring such a personal collapse as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” and viewing the life that followed “a psychological trauma” which required striking back at the new order, something that made those who felt the same psychologically close to criminals. “The siloviki had lost their world and could not but feel it,” the commentator says; and they cast about for ways to take their revenge. Those did not include simply seeking to restore the past but rather making the best for themselves in the new circumstances, having convinced themselves as criminals do that any means to that end are permissible. These former KGB officers became the new feudals in Russia and everything came to them as a result, Davydov says. “It is difficult not to recognize the traces of this hybrid worldview, a combination of criminal understandings with the honor code of officers of the special services literally in all of them.” For them, like the criminals, law is the enemy, something only for others; but for them unlike the criminals, they want others to recognize what they have as legitimate and not as the theft it in fact typically is. These two goals don’t fit together well, but those who hold both at one and the same time aren’t going to change. And Russia will continue to suffer as a result.

UAWire – Russian diplomats leave UK on plane involved in cocaine case

On Tuesday March 20, the Russian diplomats who were expelled from London due to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter left the UK on …

Russian election: Western demonization of Putin has made him more popular in Russia — RT Op-ed

Western leaders and opinion formers believed sanctions and economic pressure would encourage Russians to turn against Vladimir Putin. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

Britain’s May To Seek Joint Condemnation Of Russia Over Poisonings

British Prime Minister Theresa May will ask other EU leaders on March 22 to join London in condemning Russia for allegedly poisoning ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a deadly nerve agent…

Theresa May to call on EU leaders to join mass expulsion of Russian diplomats as she warns them ‘we’re all at risk’

Theresa May is to urge EU leaders to begin a mass expulsion of Russian diplomats as she warns them &ldquo;we are all at risk&rdquo;.

UK to ask EU leaders to expel Russian spies from own countries | World news | The Guardian

Theresa May to make request at summit, with aim of closing down Kremlin networks in Europe

Theresa May to EU leaders: Russia is a threat to us all – POLITICO

UK prime minister to tell European Council that use of the Novichok nerve agent was “a clear violation” of international law.

Theresa May to warn EU leaders of Russian threat to democracy – BBC News

Theresa May will tell a summit of EU leaders in Brussels that they must remain united against a threat from Russia to all European democracies. The prime minister will say the nerve agent attack in Salisbury shows Moscow has no respect for international law. A senior Whitehall official said Russia had “shown itself to be a strategic enemy not a strategic partner”. European leaders are also due to decide whether or not to agree the terms for a 21-month Brexit transition period. Mrs May, who will not be present when the other EU leaders discuss Brexit on Friday, will brief her counterparts on Thursday on the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. The European Council is expected to adopt conclusions strongly condemning the attack, which the UK government has said the Russian state was culpable for – but which Russia denies.

May to seek EU condemnation of Russia over nerve agent attack

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May will seek on Thursday to persuade EU leaders to condemn Russia over what London says was a nerve agent attack in England directed by Moscow but she must overcome resistance within the bloc from Russia’s allies.

May to Tell Allies to Beware Russia, Expel Putin’s Spies, Sources Say – Bloomberg

The U.K. is sharing secret intelligence about the nerve agent attack on a former spy with key allies, in an effort to persuade them to expel Russian diplomats across Europe, people familiar with the matter said.

Europe has to stand together and face up to Putin says PM | Metro Newspaper UK

THERESA MAY will today urge EU leaders to stand together in the face of a threat from Russia ‘that will endure for years to come’. The prime minister will tell the European Council summit in Brussels that Moscow’s flouting of international law represents a threat to democracy across Europe. Mrs May will thank allies who…

May says Europe must stand together against long-lasting threat from Russia – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Theresa May is to urge EU leaders to stand together in the face of a threat from Russia which can be expected to last years into the future.

UK PM to urge EU to unite against long-term Russian threat | Business Recorder

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May will urge EU leaders Thursday to unite against a Russian threat that could last for “years to come”, following the

May Hasn’t Convinced Finns of Russia’s Guilt: EU Summit Update – Bloomberg

It’s a big day in Brussels with lots on the table for European Union leaders gathered for a two-day summit. Has the 28-nation bloc succeeded in getting exemptions from the U.S. on planned tariffs? Looks like it.

Britain Struggles to Get Allies to Move Beyond Words With Russia – Bloomberg

A week ago, Theresa May’s government was at fever pitch about Russia’s involvement in the use of nerve agent against a former spy. Today, the subject didn’t even come up at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Britain Urges Allies to Kick Out Russian Diplomats – The Daily Beast

U.K. sharing secret intelligence to unite allies against Putin.

FT: Theresa May steps back from further action against Russian nation | UNIAN

Security moves target Putin associates but hopes for western unity falter.

Russian spy poisoning in U.K. soothed by investments – Washington Times

The row between the United Kingdom and Russia over a brazen nerve gas attack on a former Russian military intelligence officer and double agent living in England has laid bare an uncomfortable truth about the bilateral relationship — one that is all about money.

UPDATE: EU needs better preparedness for nerve agents

European Union Council President Donald Tusk says the bloc’s member states should ‘reinforce’ their preparedness for events like the nerve-agent attack on British soil.

British Lawmakers Compare Vladimir Putin’s World Cup to Hitler’s Olympics

“The idea of Putin using this as a PR exercise to gloss over the brutal, corrupt regime for which he’s responsible, fills me with horror,” said Parliament Member Ian Austin.

Boris Johnson renews attack on Putin in evidence to MPs | Daily Mail Online

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told MPs he was appalled at the prospect of the Russian President glorying in the tournament in the aftermath of the Salisbury attack.

Boris Johnson, Britain’s Top Diplomat, Compares Putin’s Russia to Nazi Germany – The New York Times

Mr. Johnson, Britain’s foreign secretary, said that President Vladimir V. Putin would use the World Cup this summer much like Hitler used the 1936 Olympics.

Boris Johnson compares Russian World Cup to Hitler’s 1936 Olympics | Politics | The Guardian

Boris Johnson has predicted the Russian president Vladimir Putin will glory in the World Cup this summer in the same way that Adolf Hitler did over the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, and suggested the UK will need to advise English soccer fans not to travel to Russia for their own safety. Johnson’s warning came as Anglo-Russian relations plummeted in the wake of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, the former Russian agent poisoned in Salisbury. Russia row: Labour MP calls for debate on World Cup move Read more Johnson revealed the number of fans currently expected to travel to Russia are about a quarter of the number who travelled to watch England in Brazil in 2014. He said only 24,000 people had purchased tickets, as opposed to 94,000 at the same point in the run-up to Rio. He also revealed the British diplomat responsible for liaising with UK fans had been expelled as part of the diplomatic tit-for-tat expulsions. Russia is also closing the British consulate in St Petersburg, restricting the ability of the UK embassy to help visitors in the event of violence.

Putin’s Russia hosting World Cup likened to Hitler’s Germany hosting 1936 Olympics – Europe – Stripes

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Wednesday agreed with a comment likening Russia’s hosting of the World Cup to Nazi Germany’s hosting the 1936 Olympics. Johnson called it vomit-inducing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is rejoicing over hosting the World Cup. Russia shot back that Johnson is “poisoned with venom of malice and hate.”

Putin will use World Cup like Hitler used Berlin Olympics, says Boris – The Jewish Chronicle

“I think it’s an emetic prospect, frankly, to think of Putin glorying in this sporting event.”

Johnson: Putin glorifying hosting World Cup is ‘sickening’ | Taiwan News

Johnson: Putin glorifying hosting World Cup is ‘sickening’

U.K., Russia Trade Blame For Spy Poisoning, Johnson Cites Hitler’s Olympics

Britain has redoubled its accusations that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government was behind the poisoning of an ex-spy with a nerve agent in England, saying that the trail of responsibility leads to “those at the top” of the Russian state.

Putin ‘will use World Cup like Hitler’s Olympics’, agrees Johnson – BBC News

The foreign secretary has agreed that President Putin is using the World Cup in Russia as a “PR exercise” akin to how Hitler used the 1936 Olympics. Labour MP Ian Austin put it to Boris Johnson that the Russian president wanted to “gloss over [his] brutal corrupt regime”. Mr Johnson replied: “I’m afraid that’s completely right, completely right.” He added that he would have an “urgent conversation” with Russia about the safety of fans at the tournament. The foreign secretary said it was of “crucial importance” in light of 23 British diplomats being expelled from Russia – including the individual responsible for football fans. A Downing Street spokesman confirmed Mr Johnson was speaking on behalf of the government and that they were working closely with police on plans for the World Cup. The Foreign Office will produce detailed travel advice closer to the time. The exchange came as the Foreign Affairs Select Committee discussed the Salisbury spy attack.

Boris Johnson says Vladimir Putin will use World Cup like Hitler used Olympics to bolster image – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will try to bolster Russia’s image through hosting the World Cup in much the same way as Adolf Hitler used the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany, Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson says.

British ambassador shuns Moscow TV briefing on Skripal poisoning | The Times

MOSCOW — The Latest on the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy (all times local): 8:45 p.m. Russia has denounced British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as “unprofessional and boorish” in an escalating war of words over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain. Johnson agreed on Wednesday with a Labour lawmaker…

US defends decision to skip briefing on nerve gas attack: ‘Russia was responsible’ | TheHill

The Trump administration on Wednesday defended its decision to skip a briefing held by Russian officials at the Russian Foreign Ministry about the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in the U.K.

UAWire – NATO Secretary General calls on Russia to disclose the Novichok program

NATO called on Russia to fully disclose the details of their “Novichok” nerve agent program,reported the press-service of the North Atlantic …

UAWire – NATO Secretary General: Russia is trying to destabilize our democracy

Russia has repeatedly engaged in actions designed to destabilize democratic countries of the West, stated  NATO Secretary General Jens …

UAWire – Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Russia started a war against the civilized world

During a working visit to Brussels, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called on the European partners to give a joint response to an unconventional but real war waged by the Russian Federation against the civilized world, as reported on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports. On Monday, March 19, Klimkin attended a discussion at the Center for European Policy, “Building a Secure and Resilient Ukraine: Progress and Challenges.” The speakers of the event included former NATO Secretary General and current Chairman of “Rasmussen Global” Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, David McAllister. Klimkin stressed in his speech that Ukraine continues its European integration efforts and comprehensive reforms of the country in the face of the Russian Federation’s hybrid aggression. According to Klimkin, recent events in the UK are “a wake-up call for the civilized world.” “Russia is not going to stop and is already carrying out bold chemical attacks in Europe, therefore we should double our efforts to build a secure environment in the EU and neighboring countries,” he noted. “We often hear that Putin crossed this or that ‘red line’. There are no ‘red lines’ for Russia any longer. Forget it. Russia has waged an unconventional but quite real war against democratic institutions and the civilized world. We must give a coordinated response to these threats,” Klimkin stressed. Earlier, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson called on NATO and the EU to exert joint influence over Russia.

Third party activity aimed at promoting Kremlin’s “agenda” must be discouraged – Klimkin | UNIAN

The minister said that it is necessary to capture actions of those who use their influence to advocate Moscow’s plans.

Europe needs a collective defence strategy to counter Russia | Guy Verhofstadt | Opinion | The Guardian

We need to stand together against Putin. If we don’t, he will become emboldened in his war with our liberal democracies, says chief Brexit representative for the European parliament Guy Verhofstadt

The Daily Vertical: Juncker’s Yalta? (Transcript)

Despite an ongoing war in the Donbas; despite the ongoing occupation of Crimea, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia; despite the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent in the UK; despite all of this, there are still hopes in Western capitals for some form of detente, some kind of reset, some type of thaw with Moscow during Vladimir Putin’s fourth term. In a letter congratulating Putin on his reelection this week, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote the following: “Our common objective should be to re-establish a cooperative pan-European security order. I hope that you will use your fourth term to pursue this goal. I will always be a partner in this endeavor.” OK, here’s the thing. We can be certain that Putin will use his fourth term to pursue this endeavor. We can be fairly certain of this because, well, he has used his first three terms — as well as Dmitry Medvedev’s fake presidency — to chase this goal as well. And what does a “pan-European security order” mean for Putin’s Kremlin? WATCH Today’s Daily Vertical Well, we know, because Putin and his surrogates have told us again and again and again. It means what Moscow calls a “privileged sphere of influence” in the former Soviet space. What this effectively means is a 21st Century version of Yalta. It means Western recognition that the sovereignty of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova is conditional at best. It means relegating Russia’s neighbors to the fate of effectively being Russian colonies. Does the West truly want to be a partner in such an endeavor?

EU Commission Chief Juncker Under Fire Over Congrats to Putin, Twitter Explodes – Sputnik International

When congratulating Vladimir Putin on his re-election as the Russian President, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker specifically stressed the significance of Moscow-EU relations in ensuring security in Europe.

For Putin, Pressure Pays Off in Facing Weak, Divided West – Bloomberg

The U.S. and Europe appeared last week to be lining up alongside the U.K. for a new round of pressure against Vladimir Putin over Russia’s alleged use of a nerve agent to poison a former spy outside London.

Hero policeman Nick Bailey who was poisoned by nerve agent along with ex-spy Sergei Skripal ‘set to leave hospital’

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was taken to Salisbury District Hospital after coming into contact with deadly chemical Novichok

Nikolai Glushkov’s heartbroken family reveal agony after Russian exile was strangled at London home

The 68-year-old was found with ‘strangulation marks’ on his neck by his daughter at home in New Malden, South West London, on March 12

‘Devastated’ family break silence over murder of Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov as police continue probe of Putin enemy’s death – Mirror Online

Glushkov, 68, was found ‘strangled’  at his home in New Malden, London on Monday March 12

‘It’s got me’ – lonely death of Soviet scientist poisoned by novichok | World news | The Guardian

Andrei Zheleznyakov was working on chemical weapons in the 1980s when a hood malfunction exposed him to the deadly nerve agent

Russian Novichok Developer Says There Is No Antidote so Sergei Skripal and His Daughter Will Die

The Russian scientist who helped develop the nerve agent that the British government says left former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in a critical condition in Salisbury has said they will die if they are taken off life support because there is no antidote. Vladimir Uglev worked at Russia’s state scientific research institute for organic chemistry and technology, or GOSNIIOKHT, where he helped develop “Novichok” in a pilot project between 1972 and 1988 in the town of Volsk in the Saratov region. Uglev pointed out Novichok is in fact a group of four nerve agents, each named after the year they were created. He developed B-1976 and C-1976. The other two, A-1972 and D-1980, were developed by Pyotr Kirpichev, who led the so-called “Foliant program” ordered by the then Soviet ministry of defense. He said they produced doses of up to several kilograms in liquid form, apart from D-1980 which was a powder, and they were stored in a special warehouse in sealed packaging.

New sanctions on Russia are not enough

The Trump administration’s newest sanctions on Russia are another step in the right direction, argue Alina Polyakova and Benjamin Haddad. But after the attack on a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom, much more can and should be done to deter Moscow.

Hat-gate shows Labour has lost the plot | Comment | The Times

When I was at school, legend had it that The War of Jenkins’ Ear (1739-48) was really about the severing of a far more delicate part of the poor man’s anatomy. So too with The Affair of Jeremy’s Hat — the daft row about whether the BBC deliberately made pictures of the Labour leader seem more Russ

Fearing Russia 101: UK news service for kids says Putin may be ‘most dangerous leader since Hitler’ — RT UK News

In case pupils in the UK don’t understand the headlines on Russia and its president, a special publication for kids explains how “toxic Putin” is poisoning the West, without bothering to distinguish between fact and allegation.

 

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