Here’s the latest – well, almost – from Germany:
Toxicology test results from a German military hospital produced results showing “unequivocal evidence” that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a German government spokesperson said.
In a more precise formulation, “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok family.”
There was virtually no doubt that Navalny had been poisoned but this – Novichok – is outrageous. Why did the Kremlin leave its signature at the site of the crime? Was it to proclaim: “Yes, we killed him, and we don’t care – whatcha gonna do anyway?”
I see no reason to doubt the German doctors’ conclusions, either. Some Putinists will keep repeating the same old mantra I’ve heard a thousand times before: poisoning the leader of the opposition was against the Kremlin’s interests. This argument kind of worked in the noughties – it confused and misled well-intentioned people – but these days, it’s just noise and distraction.
The Kremlin is not like you and me. Monsters don’t think like humans. They don’t see the world like humans. They don’t act in human ways. Fortunately, they are as mortal as humans, and in some respects even more vulnerable.