As Putin’s Opponents Flocked to London, His Spies Followed

Russia now has more intelligence agents in London than during the Cold War, officials say. The poisoning of a former agent has put pressure on the British government to rein them in.


Comments: 175

  1. Putin is a menace to the wold. A cold-blooded thug, who is shameless. Is there any world leader with the courage to stand up to him?

  2. No.

  3. Certainly not POTUS, who cringes every time the NRA snarls.

  4. not if they value their natural gas supplies and free trade. The EU and Britain are powerless and spineless if you ask me. They put their eggs in Putin's basket long ago and lately have been paying the price.

  5. England, unlike the american puppet "president" will do the right thing and put russia back o their heels.
    Vlad, just like your puppet donnie, you don't know when to stop. Karma is on the way!!

  6. The Russian agents should be put on a plane, one way, to Moscow.
    Persona non grata!

  7. But remember, this cuts both ways. If the Russians were thrown out of Britain, the Russians would throw British agents out of Russia. That would end intelligence gathering there.

  8. Make that Nunes and all Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee. They're doing more to help Putin undermine our government than the FSB.

  9. I feel for the Brits but America has a potential Manchurian Candidate in the White House. And he is a blithering idiot.

  10. Putin's far-reaching toxic tentacles are evident in his white supremacist, Russian nationalist and anti-semitic actions:

    In June 2013, The Times of Israel interviewed Putin who spoke at the Moscow's Jewish Museum stating that "80% of the members of the first Soviet government were Jewish and that the nationalization of the library was made by the first Soviet government". Then on March 10, 2108, in an article that appeared in New York Magazine on March 10, 2018, Putin says "Jews Might be to Blame for 2-16 Election Hacking". Subsequently, Putin is condemned for saying that the Jews may have manipulated the U.S. Election, according to The Washington Post (WorldViews) article dated March 11, 2018. Futher, on March 12, 2018, The New York Times (Politics Section) headline reads "After Putin Cites Jews Democrats Implore Trump to Extradite Russians". Senator Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat and Representative Nancy Pelosi wrote in a letter to the White House "ensuring these Russian nationals stand trial in the U.S. is imperative for deterring Russia from future attacks on our democracy and would be a signal to those who seek to meddle with our election that such actions are not without consequences."

  11. Nine grams of lead administered to the back of the head was Stalin's idea of justice for perceived crimes against his hegemony. Millions died.

    Putin is Russia's new Stalin.

    Trump admires Putin.

    Take heed.

  12. How many millions have died because of Putin?

    This hysteria is getting beyond ridiculous.

  13. What about the thousands in Syria and the Ukraine not to mention the billions he stole from the Russian people and those who opposed him who ended up in jail or dead. His actions are just as evil if not as grand.

  14. he's been the new Stalin for some 18 years but until 3 years ago (Ukraine War and theft of Crimea) no one much cared about him, as long as he provided free trade and natural gas to Europe; all was well.

  15. MI6 will step up and show Putin's gangsters how seriously they take this and other attacks on their soil. Trump is silent on the matter and has "promoted" Mike Pompeo to Tillerson's position. I wonder if Trump is somehow assisting his friend Vladimir.
    Pompeo may be too effective in his position to suit Mr. Putin. Perhaps the firing of Tillerson, who after all considers Mr. Trump a "moron", will have a short term effect on the CIA that could affect their ability to assist MI6.
    Trump and Putin, very effective in their efforts to hobble democracy and the rule of law.

  16. Putin soured on Tillerson when he called Trump a moron. If you have what Lenin called a "useful idiot" doing Russia's bidding in the White House, you can't have one of his own Cabinet members acknowledging that fact.

  17. With all this, Trump remains silent...he just fired Tillerson who made a comment about Putins thuggery and he gets fired.

    Putin must have so much on Trump...his silence re Russian meddling, and possible corruption of state election systems and now the murder of former spies that have helped the West...is deafening...

    And now the House Republicans absolve him of any collusion...

    SAD AND PATHETIC!

  18. Republicans, they used to be US citizens.
    Now they control Republistan as a Putin vassal state.
    and they are proud and profitable for it.

  19. It’s time for the world to start treating Putin’s government like North Korea’s. Join the Big Kids’ table when you’re ready to play nice. Of course, this will never happen with Trump in the White House and Putin knows it and knows why.

  20. The foes of Vladimir Putin end up in prisons, hospitals, mental institutions, urns and coffins.

    The enemies of Donald Trump end up laughing at the slurs that that he slings by twitter and speeches.

    While Trump is snarling, Putin is smirking.

  21. Putin has a lot of enemies, but somehow only ones that are not threat to him ended up dead. As matter of fact, their deaths is much more dangerous to him than they themselves alive. Wonder why would he kill them?

  22. Beware, world. Putin is as demented as Hitler and even more ego-centered than The Con Don.

    Remember the "spring" uprisings that were promoted as "spontaneous"? Sure. About as spontaneous as the treasonous attempts to destroy OUR United States of America.

    WE THE PEOPLE, average people around the world who do not want their lives destroyed and their children/grandchildren/great grandchildren killed in a senseless International Mafia power war, are the only ones who can/will stop them.

    NOW is the time. There may never be another time.

  23. To say the "spring" uprisings were created by the West is to say those who took part in them were servile idiots who had to be lead by the hand.

    Don't think so.

  24. Have you checked out The Con Don's supporters, Garak? Yes, servile idiots would be apt.

  25. The Brits must know who the Russian agents in the UK are. Now is the time to expell all of them.

  26. Come on let's stick our comments to what Ms. Barry is reporting.

    It has nothing to do with POTUS.

    What is still amazing is that Brits do not take it seriously as an assault on their sovereignty.

    Britain has become a killing field for the Russians.

    I know much is made here about Russians fleeing the real Moscow to this Moscow on Thames.

    But I would think we have as many defectors and turncoats from Russia.

    I do not recall any one being harmed. There was a case of one defector redefecting or something like that, but no outright killing at least with these very dangerous chemicals.

    What are we doing right that the Brits fail to do.

    One answer is Britain - as reported earlier in the NYT - want all these stolen billions from these oligarchs. They are keeping London high end property market frothy. These thieves buy and sell British football or soccer teams. They always stay in news with some extravagant expenditures which British media fawns upon.

    Time for Britain to ask if these stolen crown jewels of Russia are worth putting it's own citizens in peril.

    Unfortunately, Britain seems to have decided some time back - these stolen billions are worth every penny for British economy.

    And they are paying the price and they will continue to do so.

  27. Not a peep from our president supporting one of our strongest allies. Not a peep. Any other president would have shown solidarity with an ally. With Trump not a peep. Putin must have some juicy tidbits on the Donald. America more evidence we have a seriously compromised President.

    Not a peep from Trump!

  28. When the UK was attacked by ISIS president Trump was tweeting almost immediately.

  29. Actually, Trump did comment that the attack was caused by Russia and that he'd be talking to May today. I don't like him but I've got to be fair and report this.

  30. The reason we haven’t heard from trump is because he is owned by the Russians, who gave him a lot of money. Muslim terrorist as opposed to Russian ones haven’t given billions to trump otherwise he would be defending Muslim terrorist not just Russian ones.

  31. So many opponents of Putin are in London and only few got killed or presumably got killed. Two of them got killed in very public way while others were killed in much more discreet ways. Why are such differences? What makes these two so special? They both worked for MI5. Should we rule out MI5? Some rogue elements there?

  32. The one right thought is your thought. Russia is not to blame-the West slander . Putin has never been a murderer. And Russia is not an aggressor

  33. I’ll give a very hearty recommendation here to McMafia, a series about a Russian mob family exiled to London during the time that [unmentioned leader of Russia] came to power and backed their rival.

    Not only good TV, story etc. but also a very realistic, as it turns out, look at how Russian crime, intelligence, and counter-terrorism operations all touch cheek to cheek.

  34. Russian agents in the west can easily kill a person without leaving a clue if they wish. They can do this without endangering innocent bystanders. In this case, they left a clear link to their government, using methods that are traceable and potentially dangerous to others. These choices were not a mistake but a message. Normally, this kind of provocation should lead to a response by NATO. But Russia is now immune to that because Putin has a trump card, and he is letting the rest of the world know. If this can happen in the UK, it can certainly happen in the US or anywhere else. We’re not safe here, either, and our government won’t even say anything about it.

    This incident was not just a sordid episode in the old spy game or a pointless act of revenge. It was the event that showed that our government is no longer willing to exercise its fundamental obligation, which is to protect us. To my mind, of all the insanity and incompetence we have seen in the last year, this is the most ominous.

  35. I feel so much better that someone of impeccable credentials and knowledge has explained the whole thing. I can go back to getting stoned again. A big thanks and a hug!

  36. The problem as I see it, is that the West (UK, Trump, others...) totally underestimate the callous brutality of the former KGB officer Putin. The man has no conscience. He truly is a stealth Stalin, who would not hesitate to kill his own family members to preserve himself....

  37. Vladimir Putin used his KGB training and experience to steal technological secrets to compromise America's electoral system and compromise influential figures such as the 2016 Republican nominee for the presidency. Old habits die hard. Beyond his wildest dreams, Putin influenced a US presidential election, something unthinkable during the Cold War.

  38. If the British government is serious about retaliation, it should confiscate all the houses, castles, apartments and all the other assets bought up by Russian oligarchs in London, seize all the cash they have stashed in U.K. banks and put Putin and his cronies on a persona non grata list. That will really hurt them.

  39. I am all for that but wouldn't the opponents of Putin lose the houses, money and castles in much greater numbers?

  40. Putin is just laughing at the rest of the world and doing whatever he likes. Time for the west to cut all ties with Russia. Never going to happen though as too many powerful people have too much money at stake.

  41. Let's call a spade a spade. Russia has always traded in poison, used both against individuals and civilizations who have stood against them.
    And while the UK protests volubly against Russia's killing of expatriated former spies, it continues inexorably down the rocky path of Brexit, engineered to foster Russian subversion of European unity. The assassinations are crimes, the attack on alliance and democracy (aided and abetted by blind or willing stooges) is an international tragedy.
    Meanwhile, back at home, an entire political party joins the fifth column...

  42. Britain may now rethink Brexit. They’re alone in the world—no united front with the EU; Trump in Putin’s pocket. A British policemen got harmed in this latest Russian assassination on British soil. This is a world where you need friends you can count on—UK would do well to revote their EU exit.

  43. If most Britons knew how to think, they would have never voted to Brexit. In their rush to be stupid, they have thrown themselves under the wheels of the bus in which they had previously been riding.

  44. Britain is not alone in the world: it is in NATO. Britain is still in the EU and it does not make any difference to the Russians. The French, Germans and Spanish will never be friends: they've hated Britain since medieval times. Most British people cannot wait to be free of their unelected EU bosses who are putting taxes on top of taxes, and regulations upon regulations.

  45. The EU does not tax us. Our taxes are made by our very own Government.
    The French, German and Spanish are friends now and we have been friends with them. Yes we have our rivalries but hatred is a pathetic notion.

  46. This article, in my mind, is half propaganda and half reporting. Former Russian intelligence agent Sergei V. Skripal, according to the article, was a double-agent. so it doesn't surprise me that Putin would be out to kill him. We are witnessing the powerful in the world competing against each other for control and domination, both politically and economically. And assassinating those in opposition and or disloyal to one group or another is not at all uncommon. The United States and British power brokers have done no less throughout their history. There is blood on every government leaders' hands. Subordinates who do the bidding of the powerful all face the risk of losing favor and facing retribution -- sometimes lethal. If these power struggles were restricted to fighting among themselves, it might be entertaining, like watching a good political thriller movie. Unfortunately, the less wealthy and the working poor who have "no dog in the fight" too often are the ones that suffer the most from from these power struggles.

  47. You are supposedly an American and you are just fine with murdering somebody just because you think they "deserved" it. Trump will be glad to know it when his blackboots come for you, you won't have any problems with what they intend to do to you, will you, citizen.

  48. We shouldn't underestimate Putin's reach or motives. 2018: "Russia now has more intelligent agents deployed in London than at the height of the Cold War..." 2020: "Russian now has more intelligent agents deployed in the Washington, DC area than at the height of the Cold War?"

  49. Good move by the Russians to send over the smarter agents to collect intelligence.

  50. The only way to get Putin and his criminal gang to take notice is to call for (and get) a boycott of the football championship to be held in Russia this summer. If the EU (or GB) still had any self-respect, guts, or intestinal fortitude, they would get started on this and keep up the pressure until Russia stops its sarcasm and admits that they did it and tells the world HOW it was done. If they don't do this--no football. If the EU and GB and the US (who isn't there anyway) can't maintain a REAL boycott over something as serious as this--why would Putin listen to them about anything?

  51. Putin's worth is the range of $100-200 billion dollars. That goes far when you can personally hire criminals to do your dirty work. The U.S. hasn't that kind of money or criminal connections to get back at Count Vlad.

  52. Actually, expelling spies operating under diplomatic cover and indicting those with ties to the Russian mob, and the freezing or seizure of the British assets of the oligarchs / friends of Putin uintil its provenance is determined would do more to threaten his position. He's in power only so long as he can facilitate money stolen from the Russian people being moved out of the country.

  53. As spanish philosopher Santayana said it:" Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it". What happened to Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 happened to
    Sergei Skripal in 2018. The tragic history of Russia, with such an enormous territory and the best writers in the entire world literature,with their heroic people surviving from Ivan the Terrible to the rulers of our days makes these latest news hard to take.
    the rulers of our days

  54. It's a stupid quote because it sounds true, but is utterly false. Vonnegut got it better, "I've got news for Mr. Santayana: we're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive.”

  55. There was a time when conservatives see through and confront the Vear's aggression; however, in a Trump post-fact era, authoritarians like Putin becomes a friend (while NATO obsolete) and Xi "a gentleman, both with charming personalities outwardly but secretly expanding their respective empires while America retreats inward.

  56. We must realize there are 3 powers at covert war. The USA (and allies) Russia (and allies) China (and allies). Western governments appear to the general public to be oblivious to this and so the general population begins to believe China dn Russia are invincible and the West is in the 3rd place.
    Hopefully, at some point, the Western governments will do something to prove to their constituents we are in the game. And have shown new military weapons with first strike capabilities the West cannot deter.
    Russia has , with force, taken countries. Supported regimes opposed to the West (Syria) etc.
    China has claimed free territories theirs with no consequences. Stolen trillions of proprietary design. Dumped all over the West destroying the fabric and economics of the West. Supported North Korea etc.
    Ronald Reagan understood these threats. Donald Trump doesn't nor does the liberal left.

  57. Nonsense. The liberal left got Bin Laden and didn't diminish our resources with the nation building Iraq war. Quit blaming liberals for your support of Trump.

  58. Which is why Trump has chosen to ally himself with Putin (Trump trusts Putin more than Xi, and he prefers whites to non-whites among his friends).

  59. In 1945, the world spoke out against tyranny and inhumanity, as World War II ended. Russia was an ally; now Russia has become the very thing the world fought to end during the 1940s.

  60. Sure, Russia was a friend and Ally while the West needed Russia. Its courage, its sacrifice, its persistence. Once this need passed, the West just made Russia an enemy again, leaving it alone without help to reconstruct their country that was destroyed during the war.

  61. You are quiet wrong...
    First of all, not West needed Russia, but pretty opposite. URSS needed West to fight Hitler, AFTER Stalin's "smart" move to invade Poland with him. And a little before Finland.
    This Stalin's smart move costs to URSS dozens of millions of people's lives.
    And after the WWII, Stalin didn't learn the lesson and again tried to behave in exact imperialistic way, which was one of the causes of WWII starting.
    But you still blame the West and not Stalin.

  62. Didn't Poland grab the part of Czechoslovakia just in 1938 together with Hitler with complete agreement of the West? Was it fault of Stalin or was it fault of the West and Poland in particular? What would stop Poland from invading Russia together with Hitler, if Russia didn't agree to invade Poland first? Who would then safe the Europe? Poland that was overran by Hitler in two weeks? France? How many Russians would be killed then?

  63. The UK, and in particular, London, was quite happy to sell their soul, open their doors and welcome any out of favor oligarchs - or more to the point, their money. Just because these Russian transplants opposed Putin, doesn't mean they were necessarily squeaky clean democracy loving, fine upstanding citizens either.

    In return for the influx of wealth, areas such as some high end central London neighborhoods have now become ghost towns at night, unaffordable to every regular person, but with property basically used as a store of wealth ultra rich foreigners, rather than lived in.

    It may have seemed great to the UK when property values kept rising, but if the payback is for Putin to now regard the uk as a police precinct of Moscow, then at the end, that is a pretty steep price to pay.

  64. The cost of real estate in certain neighborhoods in London doesn't have diddly squat to do with Russians - "ex" oligarchs or otherwise. If you had the SLIGHTEST knowledge of how the real estate market in places like London works, you would never have made such a silly post. Are you a Russian troll by chance? Just wondering...

  65. Trump's reaction to Russian terrorism ?

    He claps out of camera range.

    America is lost.

    Vote on November 6 2018 if you want a functioning government instead of a Trump Toilet.

  66. you dont think that election will be tampered with?

  67. Who knows how many mysterious deaths there have been in the US? And guess what? With Trump and troops, it’s only going to get worse......

    In the meanwhile, Republicans are closing their Russian investigation?
    Two things. What are they afraid of? And how do they represent their constituents?

  68. Brits will do some feisty talking but will not do anything to endanger the billions in dirty Russian money in UK banks and real estate. As in this country, the money comes first.

  69. May will do nothing. She’s as bought-and-paid-for by the Russians as DT.

  70. I have no pity for all those so-called "Putin enemies", who infested London. 19 out of 20 from them are simply people who have lost in power games somewhere at the early 2000s. If you check carefully what all these people did in 90-es,you will see that the were same ruthless and merciless as Putin is, or even worse.

    They were seat behind the bars in any normal country. Now they live lavishly in London. As many other criminals from all over the world.

  71. At what point does the rest of the world stand up to Putin?

    He’s messed with the US election (leaving collusion aside as a discussion for another day).
    He’s messed with various elections across the EU.
    He’s organised mass doping amongst his Olympic team.
    He’s now attempted to assassinate 2 people using chemical weapons in the U.K.
    He murders journalists and any serious opposition in his own country.
    He has invaded eastern Ukraine, Georgia and used chemical weapons in Chechnya.

    They’re needs to be a boycott of the football (soccer as you guys say) World Cup in Russia this year. If Putin is allowed to host this not only are his actions going unpunished they are being rewarded.

  72. So how many Russian spies were in London "at the height of the cold war"? And how many are there now? Without actual numbers that's just a scary-sounding phrase with no real meaning.

  73. Another one, Nikolai Grushkov, has been found dead today. These gangsters with their dirty billions were welcomed here with open arms by our governments. London is a magnet for money laundering through property dealing, off shoring, tax dodging and anything else that other Western countries would not tolerate, or a least would make some effort to bring the blatant perps to justice. They are all toxic.

  74. It is very clear that the world needs to be rid of Putin.

  75. Putin follows in an old tradition. Stalin's executioners followed Trotsky half-way around the world, and after several botched attempts, finally murdered him. There was a time when foreign exiles could find safety in Britain, that disappeared long ago. And the United States can't summon up in Trump's degraded presidency the moral fiber to condemn the outrage in the UK or support Britain in credible retaliation to deter more murderous attacks by Putin's agents. But then according to the Steele dossier, much of which has been confirmed, Trump even named Tillerson secretary of state on Putin's instructions. Evidently, Tillerson outlived his utility to Putin (and so Trump), since sanctions are likely to remain in place, oil prices are low, and he even had the temerity to blame Russia for the nerve gas attack.

  76. Trump's moral fibre. Lol.

  77. Europe is full of Russians. Many are simple migrants looking for economic opportunities. But many are criminal gang members whose activities in Europe make them valuable allies of Putin and Trump, as the two work to de-democratize the world. Fortunately, Trump is on vacation more than he is actually working. However, it is well known that Putin murders his opponents at home and abroad and that Putin support the use of chemical weapons in Syria with Trump's tacit support.

  78. Two weeks ago Exxon announced that they were withdrawing from the Tillerson brokered deal with Russia due to the likelihood that sanctions have killed the deal for good. Yesterday Tillerson publicly agreed with Theresa May's conclusion that Russia has been poisoning political dissidents in Britain. Pompeo as CIA chief has stated publicly that Russia meddled in our elections. Tillerson is fired today and Pompeo is pulled out of the CIA and under trump's wing, where he can no longer investigate Russia. Too much coincidence for me.

  79. A few days before the elections in Russia and 3 months before the world Cup in Russia...
    Too much coincidence for me.

  80. @Irina. Too much coincidence for me: BUK missiles, downed airliners with no financial compensation to victims, gas attacks on Syrian civilians, state doping among athletes, the liquidation of journalists, multiple poisonings of exiles, and the endangering of ordinary civilians in the middle of Salisbury, England.

  81. It may be that to create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion in Britain is in Russia's interest, as traitors to the RF become somewhat easily assimilated in British society, one which is particularly receptive to the spy climate both historically and culturally. Blaming incidents with mortality issues on V.V. Putin carries with it an air of the fashionable. Lacking substantive, event-specific proof, however, such accusations merely add to an embarrassing aggragate of gossipy fables which reinforce the power of the plutocracy, which is, in some cases, closely aligned with Israel. This also precludes the possibility of such incidents being scrutinized as "false flag" events, designed to demonize the Russian leader. The case of Litvinenko was likely one of these, carried out by people who ardently wished an opportunity to gain access to Berezovsky's wealth. Why create such a climate in Britain? Western incursions into former Soviet lands, such as the Crimea, which is now emphatically Russian, prompt such an effort as a psychological hedge against outright invasion proclivities on the part of the west, the military defense having been seen to by the capable RF government.

  82. So the West has a higher moral standard? Who started the most wars in recent history? I am sad that nothing ever will change.

  83. It is not about morals in these instances. There is an unwritten rule among the international intelligence community that spies who are swapped and are taken in by their employer's country are left alone to live their lives without threat. And so they have been all these decades, until now. Putin has broken this rule.

  84. Britain should dispatch, immediately, an expeditionary force to the Crimea. The objectives of the force should be-

    Surround and invest the town of Sevastopol.

    Draw Russian forces to give battle. Inkerman, The Alma, Balaklava look promising spots.

    That'll teach'em.

  85. So, you are ready to gamble lives of your children or close ones by attacking a nuclear superpower that can destroy the world several times over over this?!

  86. But Marat, tongue in cheek or not, the comment reminds us Crimea is Ukraine, not Russia. Russia only fights the weak, and is so transparently terrified it can't stand up to a modern army it trolls western media thinking it can frighten the ignorant.
    So again, why would Russians want to fight and die for a place like Crimea, which isn't even the motherland? You see,Only the weak bluster, so that's where trolling arguments lose their power to convince (your comment and the comment you attempt to rebutt)
    Instead of reacting to trolls, start by not being one yourself. You could learn a thing or two.

  87. Can't these known Putin agents be expelled from the UK and other countries like our own? If they have criminal records that include extortion, murder and espionage and are linked to that psychopath Putin why are they allowed to either visit or remain? That I don't get. Can't they be told to leave under a Terrorist Act?

    Instead of standing for democracies all over the world, and especially our own, Trump firmly supports Putin, a murdering dictator cyber attacking our democracy and the UK and Germany. Our two greatest allies. Any enemy of Putin appears to simultaneously be an enemy of Trump's including his own country he is currently the U.S. 'president' of.

    Putin may very well be behind the attacks on the staff that had to be brought safely back home to America from Cuba. These neurological attacks caused permanent damage on some of the innocent victims. Russia and now Putin have occupied bases in Cuba for close to 70 years and would not want to see a new America and Cuba diplomatic relationship.

  88. Сui prodest (latin) ?
    Do you really believe that Russia did this? - Before the elections? Before the world Cup??? As Sherlock Holmes said, "Look who benefits from it!"

  89. You mean the rigged election that Vladimir Vladimirovich will almost certainly win no matter who opposes him, and the World Cup about which practically nobody cares?

  90. yes, Irina, I do.

    Your leader has done it many times

  91. Most Americans do believe it, Irina. Outside its official sphere of influence, Russia has few friends other than Hungary, Serbia, and perhaps Slovakia.

  92. Just when I thought the series "The Americans" was going to wind down, it seems, now, there is material enough to continue forever and, perhaps, spin off several other shows.

  93. Londongrad is enjoying the benefit of the rich Russian emigres spending on real estate.
    Putin has a free hand in the sympathetic British government. It is a symbiotic relationship going back
    to the Czarist to Uncle Joe Stalin and now Putin.
    You reap what you sow.

  94. The really question is how is Britain going to respond. Are they going to talk a good game or will they take action. If Britain decides to take action it must be swift and extremely harsh. This will put everyone on notice that state sponsored assassinations on foreign soil will carry serve retributions.

  95. Britain should dispatch, immediately, an expeditionary force to the Crimea. The objectives of the force should be-

    Surround and invest the town of Sevastopol.

    Draw Russian forces to give battle. Inkerman, The Alma, Balaklava look promising spots.

    That'll teach'em.

  96. Right on. Among the expeditionary force there should be a reconstituted "Light Brigade" of Royal Cavalry to reconstruct the famous "charge". Hopefully with a better outcome this time around.

  97. Please explain why British government denied the request of Russian government to provide the samples of the poisson that was allegedly used, so it could be independently tested and perhaps point to who used it (by using markers)?! Why?! Unless you making the stuff up, I see no other reason. Allegations like these require openness and making sure that your opponent had a chance to defend its position. Give Russia the samples!

  98. You're in some Russian conspiracy loop , dude, no one owes Russia nor trusts them.

  99. For me the whole thing stinks.
    The guy (Skripal) was pardoned, then exchanged in a spy swap in 2004 and lived under his own name in the UK since then. He was of no interest to neither side.
    The UK claims to have identified the alleged toxin, but refuses to offer any positive proof, or accept any cooperation with the Russians to get to the bottom if the whole thing, uttering threats, issuing ultimatums, provoking the exciteable media ( and their gullible lemming audience) into yet another anti-Russian frenzy instead.
    Like I said, the whole thing stinks.

  100. Skripal was serving 13 years in prison for High Treason after spying for MI6, but was later swapped for Russian sleeper agents embedded in the US. He was obviously seen by the Russian state as a bargaining chip worth preserving, even if he had been a double agent: use him to get a couple of active agents back, then perhaps kill him later once the dust settles.

    If Russia did do this, then they did it as a message that even if you're given sanctuary in the West, you're never safe - so it's not worth double-crossing them.

    But if Russia didn't do this, then who did? This doesn't benefit the UK, either, since its makes the British security services look somewhat impotent, and in a climate of uncertainty in the EU and the US, the UK can't depend so much on allies to give full support in this kind of situation. In my opinion, the only alternative to Russia is a third party with a motive to worsen relations between the two countries, and/or to worsen Russia's reputation further.

  101. And who could it be? I guess Ukraine fit the bill nicely, especially considering the string of mysterious "suicides" of political figures in Ukraine itself

  102. There are Russians living in the US as well that are arrayed against Putin. Will Putin poison them soon as well? Would Trump or the Republicans care?

  103. Makes you wonder why Donald Trump has such a fear of being poisoned, doesn't it? He claims he orders McDonalds food because they don't know who the food is destined for and thus cannot poison it...

  104. Now that Tillerson, who showed his concern as US State Secretary this past Saturday, is out of a job perhaps he could advise the UK Government

  105. Jane Mayer’s profile of Christopher Steele in the New Yorker notes that many of Steele’s sources for the Trump dossier were located within Britain; former Russian operatives, or UK Russia specialists. Additionally, Steele directed the UK government investigation of the Litvinenko assassination. Surely, the poisonings in Salisbury last week are intended to send a message to Steele, and anyone else who has incriminating information on the Trump-Russia relationship. These people are in terrible danger. This message was writ large for those who would threaten Trump/Putin; Tillerson’s dismissal in light of the timing of this attack, and Trump’s non-response is shocking. Without a doubt Trump is behaving like a traitor.

  106. Without a strong US to counterbalance and tame Russia's reach for worldwide power, Putin will continue to attempt to broaden his reach and flex his muscles. I hope Britain is not counting on strong US support for whatever actions it now wants to take, and sadly as it leaves the EU, it may not have the EU behind it with as much strength as it could have before. Putin must be quite pleased with how his pro-Trump and pro-Brexit campaigns worked out.

  107. Secretary of State Tillerson conquered that Russia was the prominent suspected perpetrator in the recent poisonings in London. That was a diplomatic, smart statement on his part. Ooops! Criticized Russia. A no no under Trump's regime. You're Fired!. It is becoming, increasingly, evident that Trump is beholding to Putin and Russia's oligarchy which is why anyone state side who criticizes Russia is gone from the administration. This emboldens Putin and it won't be long before America will play host to Putin's murderous vengeance campaign.

  108. If Britain is awash in Putin's enemies, how do we know that one of them didn't attack the former spy knowing that in today's anti-Russian hysteria Putin would be blamed for the murder of an old guy who posed no threat to anyone.

    Just asking. Or is that not allowed any more?

  109. It's a fair question, and that's part of the problem; even if the Russian state did sanction the attempted hit, it can always depend on plausibility deniability to shirk responsibility.

    There are two possibilities here. Either:
    1) The Russian state, or agents thereof, did this. In which case, they must have known the poison used would be linked to Russia; that would suggest it was intended as a warning to defectors that even in a so-called sanctuary, you're not safe. It would also suggest they're so emboldened by recent history, they're confident they can simply deny responsibility with few ramifications; the message will be heard loud and clear by would-be defectors and opponents either way.

    2) Somebody did it to implicate the Russian state. This is a far more murky possibility, with far more potential suspects. But in all likelihood, it'd have to be the actions of another intelligence agency, since the method doesn't really fit an organised crime hit and would be prohibitively difficult for anybody else. In which case, who would benefit from such an act? Which nation, which agency?

  110. what do you think these unemployed doors are doing for a living? Do they have jobs? Do they have commercial businesses? Heck, no! They sell their services on the open and very limited market for doing the things they were trained for. They work for commercial employers on one kinds or another. And, unlike governments, these are not salaried position, they are contracts, subject to all the rules of capitalism.

  111. Great Britain and all of Western Europe allowed itself to live under the military protection and international leadership of America for so long, that they forgot how to take care of themselves, when push comes to shove. Now that they can no longer count on America, they are finding that there is more to life than the admirable social safety net they created, much of it with funds that might otherwise have been used for military and intelligence purposes.

    Putin, like most popular dictators, will push and push until someone says NO! Following Poland's lead, he is now even claiming Jews and some ethnic groups can't be Russians. As Eastern Europe gallops toward national self-definitions of ethnic majoritarian homogeneity, Western Europe finds its liberal values under major challenge not just from abroad but even domestically.

    For all our many problems and hypocrisies, America still stands out as a beacon, a country whose very definition is prescribed by ideals largely embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the amended Constitution. We measure our failures, success, and even our legitimacy as a nation by how far we are from achieving those ideals. What other country can say that?

    As we rightly and consistently criticize many of Trump's actions, let us be careful not to give him the power to define our country. We are much, much more than his mean-spirited, limited, and entirely self-serving vision.

  112. Believe me, the EU and NATO with or without the US since our president adores Putin so very much can handle Russia's "military might."

  113. Makes you wonder whether and how many are here. Our society is so violent how would we know? They wouldn't even have to rely on poisons.

  114. It was as recent as 2010 that the FBI discovered 10 Russian sleeper agents in the US. In fact, Skripal was one of the people swapped for those sleeper agents in a prisoner exchange, which is the reason he ended up in Salisbury. So there's no doubt there are more agents undercover in America.

    That said, there's also no doubt the US has sleeper agents in Russia, too. And the majority of spies will be involved in intelligence gathering and far more subtle subterfuge - rather than outright violence.

  115. If they want to be safe they need to move to Montana or Wyoming where they could be loaded up with guns and see the assassins coming from a mile away. But I dont think they want just to live, they want to LIVE.

  116. You've got to know that this is where the dark web meets dark money. Why else would Putin's thugs be tolerated? Through his rich oligarchs Putin is controlling a spy web under the very noses of MI5 and MI6. If this rat's nest were uncovered it would show money flowing readily to the Bank of England and even the royals themselves.

  117. The reporter, like most people, wants to see the world in black and white, which makes every so-called Putin critic living in London as a paragon of virtue. A better story would be to see how many Putin opponents are for real? Or is it a show to keep the Western spy agencies busy?
    By the way, Istanbul, between the Great Wars, probably had a more spies than London today.

  118. The entire West -- not just "this reporter" of the Times -- has discovered this week that Putin's Russia is indeed mostly black. See also: Le Monde, Die Zeit, El País, the Times of London, the Guardian. The Swedes just reintroduced military conscription because Russia is too close for comfort. Putin does have a limited number of apologists in the West, but there are fewer and fewer of them with each passing year.

  119. I listen to the BBC every morning before heading to work. Every morning for the past 30 years there is something in their broadcast referring to a dastardly Russian (previously Soviet) deed. It's an obsession that frankly makes me smile because it is so predictable, childish. Sometimes it makes me even laugh, like when they sent in a couple of hundred military biological weapons experts and spies to the scene of the latest crime. Then today, another escapee from Russia died in London. It's akin to you reap what you sow. Tit for tat. And it will not end, perhaps even get stranger, more ominous. Maybe the Brits need to rethink their position, one that only survives because of reliance on the US to bail them out.

  120. The British do not need the US to bail them out under any circumstances. They have a robust military and intelligent people in command of it. You are mocking the British for not trusting Russia to play nice? Then either you are in their pay or you are exceptionally naive.

  121. I also listen to the BBC news every morning, and evening, since I live in the UK. It's utter nonsense that "every morning for the past 30 years there is something in their broadcast referring to a dastardly Russian (previously Soviet) deed". Are you sure you're tuning into the British Broadcasting Corporation, not the Bolsheviks Bashing Club by accident?

    There's been an increase in Russia coverage in recent years, certainly, mainly coinciding with Russia's involvement in Syria, NotPetya, the annexation of Crimea and now this - but then that's all worthy news, isn't it? Maybe us Brits are just wary of a rogue state meddling in our affairs. I'd be all for a thawing of relations and avoiding a reversion to Cold War era paranoia, since I think a close relationship with Russia could be mutually beneficial, but that can't happen unilaterally.

    I wonder what your response would be if this was taking place on US soil - a Russian ex-spy and his daughter poisoned with a dangerous nerve agent developed in Russia, a police officer also contaminated ending up in hospital - let's say in Texas. I wonder if you'd be talking about the US 'rethinking its position', I wonder if you'd be mocking the cautious response to a weapon of chemical warfare being used in an attempted assassination within a small town. A little empathy wouldn't go amiss, mate.

  122. no decent country should have any relations with russia - no benefit whatsoever

  123. The question remains for western voters, is it really best to counter Putin with your own slimy and brutal politicians? The political choice between testosterone laced rhetoric and strategic patience will determine if we all make it out the other side of the early twenty first century. So far, the record isn’t promising.

  124. Breaking news: in solidarity with UK, US men's soccer announce they will boycott Russia World Cup 2018.
    Oh, wait...

  125. Putin's Russia has steadily evolved from a sovereign country into an international criminal syndicate. The West should start considering and responding to this dangerous outlaw regime through that accurate perspective, in ways writ large and small.

    There exist many multinational organizations from which it could be unceremoniously expelled, and these dispatched thugs need to be shipped back to Moscow a.s.a.p. while the entry of all Russian nationals needs to be scrupulously vetted. Isolate, contain, and vigorously retaliate when required.

  126. Sure John. Whatever you say.

  127. Putin is the most dangerous person in the World he is intent on retainning power through the elimination of his opponents. He is gaining a foothold in the Middle East through Syria and killing thousands of innocent people.
    He is trying to divide Europe and gain absolute power there with intereference in free elections and the promotion of right wing groups.
    He relishes in Brexit.
    He interfered in our elections and will do so in the future in the process dividing the American people. He conducts chemical warfare and cyber warfare and a nuclear Arsenal he happily proclaims will take out Florida as one example.

    When North Korea made claims that they could hit the west coast sanctions were intensified allies brought on board.

    Yet we remain Mum on the Russian threat , on its Attack on our oldest ally .
    Trump refuses to implement sanctions as ordered by Congress , to come up with a viable plan to defend our elections , our democracy and our constitution.

    We must not ignore the Putin threat as the world ignored Hitler despite Chuchill,s warnings.

    I hope wise heads Mattis et al can persuade Trump to act , I doubt it.
    Our best hope is Europe for its own sake can unite and lead the Defence of Democracy

  128. Putin was embolden to behave this way before Trump. Recall the "reset.. soon after Crimea annexed, the US was obligated to protect Ukraine's borders by a Bill Clinton treaty that had Ukraine give up 1200 nuclear warheads. Trump inherented a mess,but thanks to fracking Trump can also undercut Putin energy exports. we're in good hands.

  129. The "reset" with Russia was in 2009 shortly after Obama took office. The annexation of Crimea was in 2014.

    Oops. Next try.

  130. You are right in pointing out the bipartisan failures towards Russia. Remember Bush "looking into Putin's soul" and all that. And then the agonizingly hesitant ineffective response of the Obama administration (facilitated by the feckless EU) to the Crimea/Ukraine crisis. There is lots of blame to spread all around.

  131. Send them all back to Russia or lock them up. Oh wait, they will come to the USA and Trump will pardon them all.

  132. Even in London (well, now a days at least) it helps to have hard evidence and a conviction to lock someone up. Maybe you'd prefer the Russian system? It certainly expedites mattes.

  133. Not working with the chap in the Embassy. The evidence bit I mean.

  134. Enemies of the State . . . The ends some will go to get them. England is a lot closer Russia than Pakistan is to America. Poison looks amateur compared to remote controlled drones.

  135. Poison usually has less collateral damage than drones...much cheaper and harder to trace back to its source.

  136. Wow.

  137. Even on this thread you can see Russian trolls defending Putin. This sickness is starting to infect mainstream news now

  138. The true sickness is this obscene Russophobic hysteria which saturated the media and, it seems, also impressionable minds of some readers in the West. Just ask yourself what is the real purpose of it. Think.

  139. Agree - see "David from Brisbane" who hasn't quite learned to speak English the way English-speakers do. THE ECONOMIST should work harder to root them out. On certain issues they've been alarmingly obvious.

  140. More Obama.

  141. Sad to see the Third Rome turned into a pathetic troll whose only influence on the world stage is to start little brush fires. The West destroyed Russia. We drove them into penury where they have remained. Russia is a poor, backward country because the West crushed it. And, no doubt, this is what will happen again. We do not even need to fire a shot to destroy Russia. We just need to stand back and watch its population and GDP dwindle. The country of Peter the Great and Alexander I is now the incredible shrinking nation. Sad.

  142. Yes, every Pole I've met always says nice things about Russians.

  143. Undoubtably your numbers are all true, but offer a Green Card to any Russian and see what happens. The Russian government's "cash reserves" don't do much for its citizens.

  144. Best advice ?
    Keep the bear in the corner, never turn your back, and carry a big heavy club. Don't give an inch to him.

  145. With all due respect, Mr. Skripal was not an "opposition figure", he was traitor to his country. Neither is Mr. Chichvarkin, he was a corrupt businessmen involved in a violent crime. Neither are vast majority of Russian immigrants in UK any "opposition figures". Of the people mentioned in this piece only Mr. Ashurkov truly qualifies as such. The rest were never involved in politics and either left Russia to escape criminal prosecution or came to London for convenience and high life. UK has been taking a hostile stance towards Russia for many years by openly harbouring many people indicted or even convicted of criminal behaviour by Russian courts, granting them asylum, even issuing them travel documents under false identities. I am not condoning any assassinations but with 300 thousand Russians living in London alone, few of them may carry some dramatic baggage with them.

  146. David wrote: "I am not condoning any assassinations"

    I would say that is exactly what you are doing. Hope you are warm and snug in St. Petersburg.

  147. At least the British government is threatening to take action against Russia. The US Secretary of State was fired just for agreeing they should do so.

  148. Great Britain and all of Western Europe allowed itself to live under the military protection and international leadership of America for so long, that they forgot how to take care of themselves, when push comes to shove. Now that they can no longer count on America, they are finding that there is more to life than the admirable social safety net they created, much of it with funds that might otherwise have been used for military and intelligence purposes.

    Putin, like most popular dictators, will push and push until someone says NO! Following Poland's lead, he is now even claiming Jews and some ethnic groups can't be Russians. As Eastern Europe gallops toward national self-definitions of ethnic majoritarian homogeneity, Western Europe finds its liberal values under major challenge not just from abroad but even domestically.

    For all our many problems and hypocrisies, America still stands out as a beacon, a country whose very definition is prescribed by ideals largely embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the amended Constitution. We measure our failures, success, and even our legitimacy as a nation by how far we are from achieving those ideals. What other country can say that?

    As we rightly and consistently criticize many of Trump's actions, let us be careful not to give him the power to define our country. We are much, much more than his mean-spirited, limited, and entirely self-serving vision.

  149. There's a lot of untruth and speculation in this to be taken serious.

  150. Canada can say that! We do a better job than the US at aligning our actions with our ideals. Better yet, our ideals of what constitutes civic life tend to be more socially just than the US. ov

  151. While the article quotes Bill Browder - it does not mention (or maybe i missed it) his book "Red Notice", subtitled "A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man's Fight for Justice". Of course Mr. Browder is a bit biased, but it's an interesting read - especially as Browder got( some of) his training at Solomon Brothers. I just finished was left unsure if it's a pot boiler, or a pot calling a kettle...

  152. I doubt Britain will do anything in retaliation against Russia. They're in too deep with trade and natural gas imports with/from Russia to put up a fight. They and the EU made their beds with Putin long ago, when they got baited by free and expanded trade and natural gas supplies. Putin was/is clever, way too clever for them. He knew the European capitalists weakness- free trade; lots of profits to be made, a.k.a. greed. Greed will blind everyone, even the cleverist and most shrewd of politicans and business people. Putin is just laughing himself into the #1 richest men of the world column.

  153. I suppose, being a resident of the People's Republic of Oregon, that you are unaware that the reason you are (presumably) employed is due to things like free trade and profitable businesses. Or perhaps you're not greedy and, as a result, have no money and contribute nothing to the economy.

  154. @Cohan- there is no such thing as "free" trade. It always comes at a price and these past 25 years do you have to be reminded what the price has been for this country, not to mention Europe? Speaking of "People's Republic", China is the one "Communist " country that has benefited over all other countries from this so-called free trade. Time to get out of the closet once in a while, pal.

  155. RT claims:
    "Mirzayanov, who defected to the US several years later, reacted to the British prime minister’s accusations in a notable post on Facebook. “[May] said that ‘Novichok’ has been used in the assassination attempt on Skripal,” Mirzayanov wrote. “Its chemical formula has been published only in my book,” he said.

    His book, which allegedly contains the top-secret formula of the deadly nerve agent, is titled ‘State Secrets: An Insider's Chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program.’ Its paperback edition is available on Amazon and sells for just $30. If the formula is genuine, this is probably the first time a whistleblower has provided free access to a method of producing the highly poisonous weapon."

    Is this true or is it "fake news"?

  156. I am worried this article makes these people less safe. A number of of Russians thought to be associated with the Steel dossier have already died under mysterious circumstances.

  157. I would guess no, it doesn’t make them less safe. Surely Moscow already knows where these people live, what they do for a living, etc, since these people are already being followed. Also, now that they have been “outed” to the public as Russians under surveillance, any “accidents” will seem doubly suspicious. So it may make them slightly safer.

  158. This is a message to our president and what do we hear from the Twitter in chief? That's right nothing, our president is owned by Putin. If you can't see this you are part of the problem, that includes you Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

  159. Putin wants back each and every pebble of the former northern Eurasian empire (1917/22–1991) stretching from the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean and all of the former 15 Soviet Socialist Republics (S.S.R.’s): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia (now Belarus), Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgiziya (now Kyrgyzstan), Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia (now Moldova), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Crimea was just the beginning. He thinks big.

  160. It might be nice to have definite proof before rushing toward war with Russia. How do we know that this isn’t a set up...a false flag...similar to the “yellow cake” that led to the war in Iraq?

  161. Putin seems to be poisoning all russians living in exile !
    i'm only half russian (half russian,half austrian)so i will only get a half dose of the poison !
    i will have to contact my health care providers and ask if there is an antidote or vaccine for russian poison !

  162. Britain takes Russian nerve gas murders seriously,, Trump shrugs off Russian meddling in US elections and calls it a hoax. ALL his own intelligence agencies say Russia did meddle. Trump is a traitor and should be indicted.

  163. This must be a warning to people in USA who might co-operate with Mr. Muller.
    Russia is making sure that this news reaches USA. Maybe Mr. Muller is really going somewhere with this Mr. Trump and Russia thing.

  164. It’s time the UK and her allies make putin a target.

    When your attack’s are this brazen there is no longer anywhere for someone to hide- even a dictator like putin.

    The leader of Russia has declared war on the West, it’s time we acted like it.

    That means that Congress must act against all the conspire against western democracies, like DJT!

  165. I recommend Bill Browder’s book “Red Notice.” It’s a great read.

  166. I live in a large California city. We have more Russian spies and moles today living here than we have ever had in the past.

  167. Well, schizophrenia 2.0 rolls through the media once again. Sorry, does anyone has seen any evidence, not suspicions or suggestions, but evidence , that Russian authorities involved in the case. "Novichok" is an umbrella term for alleged highly poisonous substances which were developed in USSR under extreme secrecy. Till now no one ever seen them, neither may exactly describe it's formula. It's the same like UFOs derbies in Hangar 18 in Area 51.

    So what exactly substance was used for poisoning? Is there any proof that this substance may only by produced in Russia? Is there any proof that this substance HAS produced in Russia? How one may proof so, if no Russian-produced samples of "Novchok" are available?

    Why no one asks these simple questions?

  168. If there is a class of criminal universally detested in Russia it is the oligarchs who robbed the country blind in the nineties. By universally I mean from Putin to the corrupt traffic cop.
    Yet Theresa May the British Prime Minister and P.M.s before her welcomed them with open arms as refugees and victims of Putin's retribution.
    By welcoming the robber barons of Russian civil society for the money they stole from the Russian state, successive UK governments gave them not only political refuge but also roles as prominent members of British society.
    The oligarchs are not stupid people and they seized the opportunity offered by a generous and extremely naïve government.
    An unintended consequence of their welcome in the UK is that the oligarchs merely transferred their internecine fights from the streets of Moscow to the streets of London whether through the courts or by using methods similar to those of the Mexican cartels
    Add to this mix the number of ex spies, traitors double, triple, agents, free or otherwise welcomed in the UK offering their services, then you really have a witches' brew and quite a free for all.
    Whether the latest victim is the result of some state vengeance or not it is naïve to assume that it would be impossible to acquire nerve agents if sufficient money is applied to the problem.
    To blame the Russian state for this while possibly true, begs the question why wait for 10 years to extract your vengeance and why would it be done is such a public way.

  169. The actions of Russian intelligence and counterintelligence services in the UK are in themselves a language. Killing people says that 'we can do whatever we want and you can;t do anything about it.' The language they would understand is force - sanctions, expulsion of oligarchs and their families and EU travel restrictions.

  170. The problem is that no side is now on higher moral ground regarding these assassinations. Russians do them by poison, the US and Israel use missiles from drones. Which method is preferable? Voices from the countries who could condemn are not heard or are kept quiet.

  171. It should be no surprise that Russia's covert actions are best executed in open societies like the USA and Great Britain. Russians fleeing to Britain to escape retribution from whomsoever may well be on a fool's errand because it's so much easier for the villains to flee or hide in an open society than it is in a repressed, authoritarian semi-police state. Culpability and denial are avoided and enabled respectively when a crime is committed on foreign soil.
    The Russians are exceptionally gifted in the arts of deception and intrigue - and frankly, in my opinion, the West needs to respond in kind. Bring back the Cold War - oh wait - I think the Russians are already well down that path.

  172. Russia’s Economey is the size of like Italy. Anyway our economy is backed by our debt and our debt is backed up by our military. We’re good for our bills because our military says so. That’s how it really works, it’s all on the faith and good will of our militarily backed buck.

  173. I listen to BBC Radio 4, everyday and we have no obsession with Russia. In general the news output is well balanced.
    One thing I can comment on is that we nearly ran out of gas in our recent cold snap and, as I understand it, some of our supplies are from Russia.
    With regards to what we can do in retaliation, I should imagine that we shall do what we always have done, 'keep calm and carry on'.

  174. It may be time to return to a Cold War footing with these Russian goons. If Putin is comfortable ordering a hit in the United Kingdom, what is to stop them from carrying out a murder here in the U.S? Trump certainly will look the other way while he pretends that Russia is a good friend.

    It's time to subject every Russian citizen and its allies to a very thorough vetting process before they even reach this country. What good are these people except for their ability to launder money and buy Trump properties? (And Trump always seems to need the money.)

  175. One can’t help but speculate that “the Russians are coming” to the US. They have used a variety of poisons to kill political opponents, including anyone who speaks out against Putin, even from the so called safety of London. Those who know something are particularly in danger lest they talk. If Trump ever discussed his alleged money laundering and betrayed a lot of hugely rich oligarchs close to Putin, he could end up hanging himself orhaving a heart attack. So he has a double reason to deny Putin helped get him elected. And don’t anyone say “it can’t happen here”. A. Umber of years ago, it would have been laughed off if anyone said the same thing in England. Now after half a dozen suspicious deaths and obvious assassinations, well who is laughing now?