Beware of British spies

Russian Channel One has run an unprecedentedly absurd “investigative” program accusing Alexei Navalny of working for Bill Browder and MI-6 since 2006, and claiming that Navalny, Browder and “agent Solomon” from MI-6 conspired to cause the death of Sergei Magnitsky, who died in the Butyrka prison in 2009.

Amazingly, Russia’s Investigative Committee has announced an investigation into the “possible” involvement of Bill Browder an an MI-6 agent in the death of Magnitsky.

Can any good come out of this madness? For one, the investigative committee has come closer than ever to acknowledging that Magnitsky did not just die of pancreatitis but was deliberately killed. Further out, if this oneiroid line of para-reasoning can set the Russian “justice system” into action, some of the people actually responsible for Magnitsky’s death – such as prison administrators, doctors, and guards – might find themselves accused of being British spies!

Fifty-three years ago, Lavrenty Beria – the former chief of Stalin’s secret police – was executed as a British spy. If I’m not mistaken, that conviction has not been formally vacated.

Another question I have is why the “documents” shown as “proof” are so transparently fake. It’s not that hard to find a native English speaker or at least a competent translator in Moscow. It takes just a little effort and time to check the basics such as job titles and the names of agencies. Perhaps the TV people are simply lazy. Alternatively – I like this idea better, of course – they are sending a message to the less deceived: look, it’s all bogus through and through and we all know it. It’s a game we’re playing. But why?

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