Monday, December 04, 2006

Russian apologies

It is now clear that officials in the Russian security services were a part of the plot to kill Alexander Litvinenko.

Even if the order did not come from the top, agents within the State apparat connived in the assassination of a British citizen.

Therefore it is all the more distasteful that the Russians should have criticized the publication of Mr. Litvinenko's deathbed accusations against President Vladimir Putin.

As Dame Pauline Neville-Jones said "bloody cheek!".

Whatever the plots and machinations behind this sinister murder, the fact is that Russian agents were complict in the crime. The Russian government should understand that in previous times, this would have been considered and act of war against the Queen's peace. Instead of criticism, the British government has a right to demand full co-operation from the Russian government.

If we don't get it, then that would be tantamount to an admission of guilt.

Russia doesn't do apologies- while Blair busies himself apologizing for the slave trade of three centuries ago, there are Russians alive now who took part in one of the greatest single acts of mass murder in history: the Great Soviet Terror.

We would do well not to forget the psychological damage that has been inflicted on Russia by the Terror, we would, however, be even more foolish to accept uncivilized behaviour as the norm from the Kremlin.

"Never apologise, never explain" was Stalins's policy- we must not accept it from Putin.


m said...

Finlandisation arrives on Downing Street...

RK said...

I think you (along with most of the media) are jumping the gun a little here.

Yes there is certainly evidence linking the assassination with Russia but that evidence is still only circumstantial. It is still very easy to create scenarios that do not involve the Kremlin, FSB or even FSB renegades.

The radiation on the planes strikes me as strange and could equally be seen as a deliberate seeding to create a Russian link. Certainly if I was smuggling in some radioactive material to the UK I would consider taking a more circuitous route to avoid security screening (perhaps fly into Dublin then take a train to Belfast and fly into Heathrow from there) and store my poison in a sufficiently secure way as to (a) not harm me and (b) not leave a trail of glowing breadcrumbs behind me for investigators to follow.

Cicero said...

rk- as I have said all along, the problem is the polonium.

It is only made at a very limited number of sites under strict security. The composition of the polonium identifies it as having been made at a specific reactor in Russia- one that is under the direct control of the Russian security services.

The cost of the poison in the open market would have been tens of millions.

So- little doubt that we are looking at an operation launched from Russia and by units of the security services with access to polonium.

The only question is was this for or against Putin- and that is not jumping the gun. However, even the obstructionism of the chief prosecutor is not proof that it was Putin directly- but the British are entitled to take it up with and out on the supreme authority of the Russian Federation. VVP has the ultimate moral responsibility, whether he ordered the crime or not.

RK said...

Could you please point me to the press report or whatever that identifies (not speculates) that the material came from a Russian reactor.

Russian Mafia killings in Russia have used methods developed by the KGB. It is entirely feasible that this assassination was carried out without any state involvement at all. I'll admit that I find the knee-jerk defensive attitude of the Russians a little suspicious but then that seems to be their default position when dealing with the world.