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Maybe I’m cynical, maybe I’ve spent too much time thinking about, and following such things…

…but this, while news, is hardly surprising.

One wonders what, if any, the reprisal might be (or may have already been).

13 Responses to Litvinenko

  1. lithera

    That whole case just seemed so bizarre and unreal.

    I’ve been reading the BBC articles. Google Reader is like a mainline of information. For the first few weeks it was sort of like trying to drink from a firehose but I think I’ve got a handle on what I’ve signed up for right now.

  2. jeditigger

    What we really needed in our current political environment was something to endorse the paranoid view of foreign governments currently in vogue in Washington.

    No, it’s not surprising. It’s likely not the first nor the last such thing, and considering our own government has been responsible for all sorts of heinous actions lately, I’m hoping that fingers of righteous indignation don’t get pointed.

    But who am I kidding.

  3. kozemp

    My god, it’s fucking SMERSH.

    Like, the actual Red Army, NKVD, First Directorate Death to freaking Spies shit.

    That is… unsettling.

  4. insektmute

    Not surprising, but it’s…odd to have my suspicions about this confirmed.

  5. jonlaw

    The whole murder was pretty clearly a piece of state theater orchestrated by the Putin government. It is a badly kept secret that it was sanctioned state action. If it comes to it, I am sure there are cut outs and deniability, but given the exotic and spectacular nature of the assassination, with drawn out and painful death, the operation was conducted to send a message and act as a warning.

    No doubt there are all kinds of ways that Russian black ops can dispose of someone and leave a much less obvious trail, if they leave any at all. Here the bread crumbs are glowing and radioactive for a purpose.

    Do not F*** with us. We will make you dead and we can do it with impunity. The government is to strong, the state too powerful, the politicians to untouchable for critics to think they can dish dirt on the Russian system and get away with it. Living in a western democracy and having status and protection there means NOTHING.

    Russian can and will reach out and snuff you out as if you were nothing, and the consequence on the world stage will be . . . nothing.

    Lacking a great deal of courage and a concomitant disregard for ones personal safety, not to mention the safety of friends and family, a critic of Russia with specific information that discredits the current (permanent) administration is going to just shut up. Maybe flee, but just live in exile quietly. Because it is clear that there is no safety.

    It is audacious, and from a Machiavellian point of view masterful. The Putin regime, while firmly denying involvement, can exercise world wide political terror to silence or muffle its expatriot critics. In a few more years, if the memory of Litvinenko fades, it will do it again, just to remind everyone, but for now, as it stays in the news, these BBC reports are probably more to Moscow’s advantage than to its detriment because it reminds the critics of what can be done with no realistic repercussions against the Russian state, its interests or its political class.

    Brave new world order: it’s almost like it would be better to have the Russians as enemies again. Now that we have to be friends, we can do so much less to them.

  6. parakkum

    If the UK intelligence services are holding to form, we won’t know what the reprisal is. That’s one of the things they clearly do better than us.

    And yes, not at all surprising. In the modern Russia, simply gulaging someone may be out, but the murder of a political opponent is always a good chance to blame someone else you don’t like for the crime (e.g. the entirely random suspect list in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, which included a disfavored FSS guy and some Chechens).

  7. crisper

    Fuck around they do not, in Russia & Friends.

    Every time I see a picture of post-dioxin Viktor Yuschenko, I find myself thinking about how many people were probably quietly, very off-stage, tortured and killed in retaliatory investigation. No f’ing way he just quietly took it and decided to let lie, right? You don’t manage to kill a dude like that, you better have a ticket to the moonbase.

  8. crisper

    I’ve heard (no direct experience, tho) that you can get undesignated stew meat on the streets of Moscow. What kind of animal? “Meat.” Maybe it’s just homeless people being recycled as surplus income source, but what a great way to disappear a political target, eh? Eaten by the People.

  9. will_eslinger

    Not like we didn’t know… but still. This is ugly.

  10. enewsom

    Every time I see a picture of post-dioxin Viktor Yuschenko, I seek out a picture of Yulia Tymoshenko to balance it out….

  11. enewsom

    I had similar feelings during the first news report. As you say, there are ways to kill someone quietly, and there are ways to kill someone very publicly….

  12. crisper

    Oh, I know, but make no mistake: I bet she can kill you a dozen ways with her pinky finger alone.

  13. admin

    *sighs happily*


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