That’s what I was wondering, if he was hangover, or still drunk from last night, and no coffee.
Russian people (and most humans) are generally decent people. Putin has been in charge for two decades, has crushed dissent, stifled Russian press, largely denied climate change while pushing for oil and gas development. There’s either terrible problems with Russian window manufacturers, or something fishy is going on. If Trump managed to stay in power, it might well be similar in the US, and eventually one of his goons might push me out a window too. It’s not a Russian thing, it’s a dictator in power problem.
I think you vastly overestimate the “average street thug”. By even asking about the secure line this guy is in the top 2% of criminals.
During the Soviet era, there was a very real problem with Russian window manufacturers. When the production quotas were based on square metres of glass produced, the manufacturers just started producing ultra-thin glass to meet the state planning goals. Not good for construction, but I suppose it made the lives of the NKVD’s and KGB’s de-fenestration experts a bit easier.
This weekend I watched Navalny’s long video about how he and Bellingcat tracked down these guys using publicly available information and it was amazing. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it. The Trumpers who talk about deep state conspiracies could learn a thing or two, you have to actually provide hard evidence, not remote possibilities and Rorschach tests-- he can prove these guys were following him around, and the poisonings correlate to their movements and phone calls, and they all worked for defunct Soviet labs that made chemical weapons.
He’s definitely for the salt mines!
I grew up during the Cold War, and my family is Russian (we’re really kind of pan-Slavic but identify as Russian) so I hold no grudge against the Russian people here, and I have no desire to restart the Cold War either, but I’m also not sure it ever really ended. There is ample evidence that Putin is an autocrat who uses the machines of state to keep himself in power, and to enrich himself and his cronies.
Navalny has a paper trail he can point to. It’s pretty damning. He doesn’t have to say “allegedly” these men followed me to Tomsk or Kaliningrad, he can show their airline reservations to and from every location he traveled to, on the same days, and he can show their connection to Soviet era chemical programs. The old “smoking gun” cliche applies here-- chances are that someone holding a smoking gun in a sealed room where another man is found dead of a fresh bullet wound in his back is guilty of the crime. True, we didn’t see him shoot the other guy, but Navalny has basically tricked someone involved in the plot to admitting as much. To his credit he tried several of the suspects, most hung up, but this one guy talked, and it’s pretty damning, about as bad as when a suspect mentions something about a murder that wasn’t leaked to the press.
When he was talking about FSB members on the same flights…
I have good facial pattern recognition, so seeing these guys more than once – waiting to board, whatever – would certainly drive my paranoia.
Could you post a link to that video? Have had some difficulty finding it. Navalny’s Youtube page is mostly in Russian, and Belllingcat’s account is simply a mess.
Fair point. Putin and his cronies are scumbags for sure, and anything but trustworthy. But Captain Obvious tells me Russia doesn’t equal Putin, and a conflict is not in the interest of neither people. I don’t want to cover state crimes, but as I said, I don’t want to jump to conclusions either. And this story may be true, or it may be made up, and I am not willing to decide based on hearsay.
Because giving anyone the benefit of the doubt, in matters reported third-hand, and in a difficult political landscape, is just good practice?
I would make myself a laughing stock if I denied that Russia under Putin has shown military aggression, but their geopolitical ambitions are DWARFED by the geopolitical aggression the US and NATO have committed over the last decades, from Yugoslavia over Iraq and Afghanistan to Yemen etcetera etcetera etcetera etcetera! Regarding the US as a democracy with some minor problems on the fringes, and Russia as an evil empire that must be contained, is such a formidably biased and warped perspective, that I can not take it seriously even with all the good faith that I can possibly muster.
I’m sure that Neville Chamberlain and members of the orginal America First Committee said the exact same thing back in the 1930s when another right-wing authoritarian leader was busy having his opponents murdered.
At a certain point one has to acknowledge that a regime is (in this case literally) toxic and deal with it on that basis.
Ah, that old Soviet/Russian standby:
Furthermore, none of those examples of America’s bungling interventionist adventures is driven primarily by a “Cold War” with Russia.
Straw-man argument. No-one here is arguing that.
Navalny’s Underwear Poisoning Takes Over the Russian Internet
Russia certainly does not equal Putin. However, the US, and other countries have leaders with rivals for power and members of the press that the current leadership detests. The press is more open in the US and Europe, but we do not have similar stories of people in the US (or the UK, or Europe) of journalists frequently dying, or falling from windows, or opposition leader succumbing to poison.
While George Bush was the head of the CIA for a year, Putin spent 15 years in the KGB.
Hearsay doesn’t typically involve a publication in Lancet on the poisoning technique used, and collaborative reporting efforts of CNN, Insider and Das Spiegel where they reach consensus doesn’t happen every day.
Trump has called the press the enemy of the people. Obama was not fond of Fox News and Trump while he was in power, Trump has a long list of people he dislikes.
But, none of them have experienced mysterious deaths or poisonings.
You can choose to believe whatever you wish, I will believe that this was an act carried out by Russian security individuals, with Putin’s permission .
It seems that Vovik is a bit embarrassed by this screw-up by his murderous minion. A follow-up move by the Putin regime (more totally normal political behaviour in the U.S. /s):
Calling out Putin for his behavior doesn’t mean we have to approve 100% of US and NATO policy. The Cold War support for “friendly” dictators like Shah Palahvi and Augusto Pinochet is a crime and an embarrassment. But intervening in Balkan genocide not so much.
Similarly, our close political ally, Saudi Arabia, killed and dismembered an exiled journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, likely because he was critical of Mohammed bin Salman. Should we assume the Prince was innocent? The CIA and journalists have concluded he was responsible, but since the CIA has killed people too, their word counts for nothing, so we shouldn’t cast aspersions against the possibly innocent Prince. Is that how that should work?