Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I find Putin's propaganda department disappointing

Had this happened under Stalin we would by now have had a definite story of what actually was wrong with Vladimir Kara-Murza, a well known Russian oppositionist who is in hospital, having been taken ill suddenly a few days ago, almost immediately after showing a film about the rule of Putin's buddy Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya. Mr Kara-Murza is, apparently, still unconscious and on a life support machine with many different tubes attached to him. Here is a fairly good summary of events and comments.

Given the number of President Putin's opponents who have died either violently or mysteriously and given the sequence of events that immediately preceded Mr Kara-Murza's sudden violent illness, inevitably certain conclusions were drawn by all those who follow these events in Russia and outside it.

What astonished me is that there was no counter-story prepared. We have been given no official version of what is wrong with Mr Kara-Murza beyond the odd bleating about the possibility of out of date yoghurt or a bad banana. Oh really? Total kidney failure and coma because of out of date yoghurt? Who is going to believe that?

Well, I'll tell you who: NYU professor and Russian security expert Mark Galeotti who told RuNet Echo:
Let's wait for proper medical assessments before constructing fantasy scenarios that say more about our own assumptions than anything else. Kadyrov certainly is all too willing to resort to murder, but his is the way of the gun and the bomb, not the subtleties of poison.
Kadyrov? Really? No other person and organization might have been involved? Hmmm. I appreciate the need to be cautious (as I more than appreciate Mr Kara-Murza senior's ultra cautious comments) but this is going beyond anything sensible. Which brings me to my original point: where are those "proper" medical assessments? Really what on earth did Lieutenant-Colonel Putin learn in the KGB?

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