For those of you who haven’t been following the news – Russian politician (or “opposition figure”, as he is universally referred to in the Western press) Alexei Navalny was taken ill two weeks ago. It is now being reported he was “poisoned” with “novichok”.
Here’s a quick rundown of the official story as it currently stands (bearing in mind that, as with most “official stories” it will likely be subject to instant, contradictory and retroactive changes in the coming weeks):
- Alexei Navalny has never held any elected office, his political party doesn’t have a single MP in the Duma, and he polls at roughly 2% support with the Russian people.
- Despite this, and in the middle of an alleged “pandemic”, Vladimir Putin deems the man a threat and orders him killed.
- The State apparatus responsible for unnecessary and seemingly arbitrary acts of political murder decide to use novichok to poison him.
- This decision is taken in spite of the facts that a) Novichok totally and utterly failed to work in their alleged murder of the Skripals and b) It has already been widely publicly associated with Russia.
- Rather unsurprisingly, the novichok which didn’t kill its alleged target last time, doesn’t kill its alleged target this time either.
- Compounding their poor decision making, the Russians not only perform an emergency landing and take Navalny straight to a hospital for medical care.
- Despite Navalny being helpless and comatose in a Russian hospital, the powerful state-backed assassination team make no further attempts on his life.
- In fact, seemingly determined to under no circumstances successfully kill their intended victim, the Russian government, allow him to leave the country and get medical help from one of the countries which previously accused them of using novichok.
- To absolutely no one’s surprise, the Germans claim to have detected novichok in Navalny’s system.
- Vladimir Putin and the Russian government are immediately blamed for the attempted murder.
If all this seems unlikely to you, don’t worry Luke Harding is here to explain it all.
He doesn’t have any evidence, of course. Instead we get sentences like this one [our emphasis]:
Over the past decade Moscow has produced and stockpiled small quantities, western intelligence agencies believe.
However, never let it be said that Luke isn’t aware of the contradictions in his story:
One other unresolved question is why Moscow granted permission for Navalny to be treated abroad, knowing that sooner or later the novichok inside his body would be detected.
But he has an answer for this:
The logical conclusion: Moscow wants the world to know.
You see, Putin wants everyone to know he did it, so he’s making it obvious. And the Kremlin’s denials are being done with “a wink and smile”. This must be some new meaning of the word “logical” I wasn’t previously aware of.