(Update: in the list of insane excuses, a top Russian defense expert is claiming that Litvinenko ate radioactive fish from Hiroshima at a Sushi Bar...you can't make this stuff up but they can)
Pravda, long the organ of the Russian authorities, is an instructive collection of rantings and threats that the average Westerner can now benefit from. Within a day we will see the revelation of the official Soviet line on Litvinenko's death which will claim that Litvinenko was poisoned smuggling nuclear materials for Berezovsky enter the mainstream media before being developed in Pravda.
(The domestic jingoistic and extremely convoluted Russian version will claim that Berezovsky was working for the CIA. Those missing out on the far more insane Russian version are also missing out on the story of the Priest who came to consecrate KGB headquarters and bless the KGB agents, who secretly told a KGB associate that he got a sense of evil from Litvinenko)
It's grimly entertaining then to take a peek behind the curtain and see how many ways Moscow was jumping to find excuses, issue threats and produce utterly deranged rambling propaganda. Within a few short pages, Pravda blames the CIA, hospital scans, Chechen authorities, drug smugglers and Landry-Guillian-Barre syndrome. Enjoy.
"The treatment meted out by the western Press over the Litvinenko case is utterly predictable and a shocking and chilling example of how anti-Russian those responsible for perpetuating the Cold War myth remain."
As opposed to Moscow where America is routinely painted as the spawn of the devil. Where Saddam Hussein's regime was praised and America damned. And Putin's regime manufactures spy stories about British agents putting secret transmitters under fake rocks in the park.
"When the West needed Russia in two World Wars, Russia gave up the blood of 32,350,000 of her sons and daughters."
When the West needed Russia? Russia fought on the Eastern front after signing a treaty with Hitler and dividing up chunks of Eastern Europe only to be then double crossed and attacked by Hitler. Russia then needed the West and began lobbying frantically through its Communist front groups for the West to join the war, when just months earlier the international Communist parties were pushing an anti-war platform.
"Russia shed her blood for what? To earn a constant barrage of anti-Russian stories, whipping up sentiment to serve as a ploy to create the “them” to justify the “us”."
Russia shed her blood because Stalin made a deal with Hitler and got caught flatfooted trying to survive an invasion with Russia's best Generals executed and itstroops without supplies. Stalin back then was very much in favor of giving up the blood of Russia's sons and daughters, shedding much of that blood himself.
"The reaction to the health crisis of ex-FSB Colonel Aleksandr Litvinenko is a classic case of anti-Russian hysteria."
Errr Litvinenko is Russian.
"So what happens? The authorities of Russia, the country which willingly mobilised 12 million soldiers for the First World War, suffering 9.15 million casualties (1.7m killed, 4.9m wounded, 2.5 million p.o.w. or missing) and which lost 23,200,000 of its citizens in defeating Hitler, is immediately blamed."
As always Moscow provides the helpful and relevant listing of all the Russian forces engaged in two world wars, as if they sacrificed themselves for London and Paris, rather than being sent unprepared and sometimes unarmed to die at the behest of the Kremlin. Sadly a comprehensive listing of Russian soldiers killed in wounded in the Crimean and Russian-Japanese Wars was omitted due to lack of space. I note that bafflingly the original number of 32,350,000 has unaccountably fallen to 23,200,000. Possibly in between paragraphs the missing 9 million and change were located as starving pensioners trying to live on their minuscule pensions.
"Litvinenko stated that President Putin was responsible for the death of Anna Politkovskaya, when he was in a comfortable pub in London. Like others in the comfortable pub where he made this statement, in Russian, he was thousands of miles from Moscow, thousands of miles from Grozny, Chechnya, in whose local authorities Anna Politkovskaya had become interested, so much so she was trying to expose their illicit activities."
Not so many thousands of miles though that Russian agents couldn't cross it on British Airways. But now watch classic Soviet propaganda at work as Pravda tries to imply, without explicitly saying so, that the local Chechen authorities (who answer to Moscow in any case) were responsible for Politkovskaya's murder because she was onto some criminal activity of theirs.
"Therefore, for those who know what passes through Chechnya, and this is a story hundreds of years old, and a story unknown or ignored by the Western Press, those who get involved in drugs trafficking, arms smuggling, human trafficking and the like get their fingers burnt. Litvinenko was close to Politkovskaya with the important addendum – he knew details about foreign secret service agents."
Now in the next paragraph Pravda has already switched to implying that Politkovskaya and Litvinenko were involved in criminal activity. Then before the paragraph is even done, they throw in foreign secret agents. But are we done yet? Oh no.
"The missing parts of the puzzle not present in the accusations are that Litvinenko has been in the pay of Boris Berezovsky for around a decade...If Berezovsky has his enemies (there have been numerous assassination attempts on him since 1994, years before Putin came to power) then Litvinenko has more."
Helpfully the section in parenthesis informs us that Putin couldn't have been responsible because he wasn't even in power then, glossing over the whole Putin head of the FSB (KGB) bit.
"How sensitive was the material he had access to? How much did he know about British or US spy movements? Who could he incriminate? Why did the US authorities show so much interest in his case?"
Aha! Now it was the CIA that did it, Pravda so 'subtly' implies. Clearly the CIA in league with the Chechen government, drug smugglers and Berezovsky are behind it all. Probably to cover up the 240,000,000 Russians who gave their lives for the West.
"Why did someone push a baby pram full of petrol bombs into his front door in July? Does this sound like an FSB operation? How about a pea-shooter? Why has nobody investigated the possibility of Litvinenko having Landry-Guillian-Barre syndrome, which can be induced by a virus or by genetic causes and which creates the same type of symptoms as thallium poisoning?"
But...but...but what about the space rays and the Martians. Oh never mind. New angle is that apparently the CIA, the Chechen government, drug smugglers, Berezovsky, someone with a pram full of petrol bombs gave Litvinenko Gullian-Barre syndrome.
"Like the rest of his family, he (Litvinenko) is either mad, high on drugs or else a paranoid schizophrenic, in which case he would be better off in healthcare in Moscow than released on the streets of London, a city fraught with random violence."
Oh yes, it would have been absolutely best to forcibly ship Litvinenko back to Moscow where he could be protected from those random radiation poisonings that haunt the streets of London.
Once upon a time this was the classic Soviet line, to accuse their opposition of being mad and then hinting to the authorities that they need to be deported back to Russia or else...who knows what random violence might happen.
Tony Soprano would be proud.
(For bonus points, note the reference to his entire family being paranoid schizophrenics, what are the odds. This is a sideways way of discrediting anyone in the family who speaks out against them, while threatening them that if they do speak out, they may receive the same 'cure' he got. This may seem roundabout to Westerners but it's a conventional threat from the Soviet era.)
"Nobody likes to see Mr. Litvinenko ill. But to blame Vladimir Putin... how about the fairies at the end of the garden, or Saddam Hussein’s WMD?"
Oh yes...no one likes to see Mr. Litvinenko ill (evil chuckle) ship him to Moscow, we make him all better (evil laugh)
This thing is signed as coming from "Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY" but considering the awkward English and weird expressions and classic soviet style innuendo, conspiracy theories, irrelevant references to the Great Patriotic War and threats all wrapped in one vicious paranoid bundle.