Russia: Between Poison and Vaccine

Russia’s ignoble policy of intolerance and eliminating by all means possible every form of opposition has again manifested by the recent poisoning of Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader and a well-known President Putin’s critic. Mr Navalny, 44, suddenly fell ill on a flight to Moscow from Tomsk, a city in Siberia. He had a black tea at an airport coffee shop before getting on the plane that morning and it is believed that he was poisoned. His plane later made an emergency landing in Omsk and he was treated in Omsk Emergency Hospital. And later he was flown to Berlin and the German experts and authorities have since confirmed, after detoxicological test, that he was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group, a military-grade neurotoxin – the same biological weapon that was used in the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the U.K about two and a half years ago. This is not the first time Mr Navalny would be poisoned. The German government and the world leaders have since condemned the attack. German chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded that the Russian government should provide an explanation on the incident and also threatened to stop the gas pipeline project by the two countries. The very expensive and ambitious, but controversial project is currently at the final stage. The European Union officials are also said to be weighing up how to respond and the appropriate action to be taken against Russia.
Sadly, as we mentioned above, this is not the first time that Russia is being accused of using nerve agents, poison against the opposition in recent times. In 2018, this same poison was used against a former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and the daughter in Salisbury, UK. Mr Skripal, a double agent incurred the wrath of Kremlin when he started spying for Britain and also passed the identity of dozens of his country’s spies to the U.K.’s MI6. The then British Prime Minister Theresa May was reported to have said that it was highly likely Russia was behind the poisoning. And an intelligence analyst Glenmore Trenear-Harvey, who formerly worked for MI6 also said that he believed the case has the hallmarks of Putin’s involvement. Listen to him, “For this to be in a shopping mall, for this to be in public, and for the fellow himself to be a former intelligence officer, immediately one looks to potential attackers, ultimately that would be as the result of President Putin authorizing it,” In fact, the surveillance footage of the movement of those Russian intelligence operatives that flew into UK that period also pointed to the same conclusion. The whole world saw it. And I hope you still remember the slow but painful death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium in 2006 also in London. Litvinenko, 43, was also an outspoken critic of Putin who fled Russia for Britain six years before he was poisoned. He died after drinking green tea laced with the rare and very potent radioactive isotope at London’s Millennium Hotel. In a report published in 2016, a British judge found that Litvinenko was killed in an assassination carried out by Russia’s security services – with the likely approval of President Vladimir Putin. As usual, Russia denied any responsibility for Litvinenko’s death. The other guy’s was black tea and for Litvinenko it’s green tea. Russian tea!… All these where investigated and reported to have Russian russia Ukraine war finger prints on them. We don’t want to talk about others like the murder of another opposition politician Boris Nemtsov’s in Moscow, etc. Yes, today it is the Russian citizens, but tomorrow it can be other nationals, these weapons could also be used in external conflicts or even be transferred to rogue nations and terror groups.
Unfortunately, Russia’s aggression does not stop with the elimination of internal dissenting voices. Look at the annexation of Crimea, the invasion Ukraine, the claim of the Arctic and the natural resources, its constant provocative intrusion into other countries’ air and maritime space. American air force is always scrambling fighter jets to intercept and wade off Russian surveillance planes of the coast of Alaska. As I write, the dust is yet to settle on the recent confrontation between a US and Russian military convoys in Syria. Or should we talk about Russia’s reported vexatious meddling in the 2016 American presidential elections? The issue has simply refused to go away in the US. And, unfortunately, again, this same Russia, with Iran and China are being accused of launching another cyber attacks on US 2020 presidential campaign just two months to the election. Today, in violation of UN embargo, there are about 5,000 Russians mercenaries in Libya and it is also being accused of supplying arms to one of the warring factions. Russians are notorious for violating treaties, resolutions and agreements. The international community, especially the West, is always suspicious of Russia. There is that mutual distrust, perpetual struggle and competition, constant spying and permanent sabotaging of interest between them.

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