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Made in us
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Svalarheima, MA

I'm not sure why, but I didn't think this stuff was still going on:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia/britain-warns-russia-over-double-agents-mysterious-illness-idUSKBN1GH2UX

Britain warned Russia on Tuesday of a robust response if the Kremlin was behind a mysterious illness that has struck down a former double agent convicted of betraying dozens of spies to British intelligence.


What would constitute a 'robust response' from England to Russia?

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Spoiler:








https://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/from-russia-with-blood-14-suspected-hits-on-british-soil?utm_term=.amkAvAYd3#.vjbBXBqoP



The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all
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 Alpharius wrote:

What would constitute a 'robust response' from England to Russia?


Probably the same as when Litvinenko was poisoned, Britain will bluster and make demands about extraditing suspects, Russia will basically shrug and ignore them.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/06 16:41:25


 
   
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Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

A most disturbing incident in a charming market town which is also home of Europe's tallest cathedral.

I'm not saying Russia is to blame, but it is surprising how many opponents of Putin living in the UK have died of poisoning or apparent suicide in the past 10 or so years.

As well as disapproving of regimes goig around murdering opponents, there is the fear of things getting out of hand. Remember the Kim Jong Un brother assassinated in a crowded airport with nerve gas. That kind of stunt could easily go badly wrong and cause mass casualties.

If the UK did something in response to this incident, it probably would be to clamp down on the oligarchs living here and their dodgy money in our dodgy tax havens.

The problem would be to distinguish between the pro- and anti-Putin oligarchs. No point in doing Putin's work for him.

Half of central Henley-on-Thames is owned by a local Russian oligarch. It's one of the reasons why the town is going downhill. He doesn't care anything about creating a vibrant public space and retail environment.




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Robust? Boot out Russian embassies, expel diplomats, seize properties owned by Putin allies. You can't feth around with 'stern warnings'.

   
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Svalarheima, MA



Ah...that's rather frightening.

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 John Prins wrote:
Robust? Boot out Russian embassies, expel diplomats, seize properties owned by Putin allies. You can't feth around with 'stern warnings'.

Stern warnings in this case probably will amount to fething around to some extent. Just look at the government response to Litvinenko's death, it didn't go anywhere as far as closing embassies or seizing properties of Putin allies (just those of suspects). Now with the amount of political instability in the UK due to the much larger issue of Brexit the response might be more limited.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2018/03/06 18:36:11


Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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Somewhere... over the rainbow

Russia behind it? Well, Western media has a tendency to see Russian bears behind every tree, but in this case it is justified. Obviously Russia is behind this, this incident carries all the marks of a SVR operation.

 John Prins wrote:
Robust? Boot out Russian embassies, expel diplomats, seize properties owned by Putin allies. You can't feth around with 'stern warnings'.

That is not robust, that is self-harming. Robust would be imposing sanctions on the secret service officers who are behind this, but those are most likely already under sanctions as a result of Ukraine. Therefore, there is really not much Britain can do here without harming its own interests as well.

 Kilkrazy wrote:
A most disturbing incident in a charming market town which is also home of Europe's tallest cathedral.

I'm not saying Russia is to blame, but it is surprising how many opponents of Putin living in the UK have died of poisoning or apparent suicide in the past 10 or so years.

And not just Britain. Russia assassinates people regularly everywhere in the world. Though probably not as much as the Americans with their drones. Anyways, you need to be more than just an enemy of Putin to get yourself on the target list. Only traitors and people who really are a threat to Russia get assassinated. Like this guy who was ratting out Russian spies. The other way to get assassinated is to get involved in Russia's byzantine political/business/mafia world and upset the wrong people. In Russia, business can be very much like game of thrones. You win or you die. Business is too much intertwined with the world of oligarchs, bureaucrats and mafia.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/03/06 19:22:10


А сегодня, что для завтра сделал Я?
But today I don't feel like doing anything... 
   
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Svalarheima, MA

That policy seems like a product of a bygone age, and more than a little reckless and dangerous overall.

But was Russia ever proven to be behind it all in the Litvinenko case?

Nil nos tremefacit.
 
   
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 Alpharius wrote:
That policy seems like a product of a bygone age, and more than a little reckless and dangerous overall.

But was Russia ever proven to be behind it all in the Litvinenko case?

Well proven is a though word, but the inquiry thought it highly likely.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/21/alexander-litvinenko-was-probably-murdered-on-personal-orders-of-putin

Litvinenko, who died from radioactive poisoning in a London hospital in November 2006, was killed by two Russian agents, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, the inquiry report said. There was a “strong probability” they were acting on behalf of the Russian FSB secret service, the report added.

Sir Robert Owen, the inquiry chair, said that taken as a whole the open evidence that had been heard in court amounted to a “strong circumstantial case” that the Russian state was behind the assassination.

But when he took into account all the evidence available to him, including a “considerable quantity” of secret intelligence that was not aired in open court, he found “that the FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by [Nikolai] Patrushev [head of the security service in 2006] and also by President Putin”

......

Putin’s favourable treatment of Lugovoi in the years since the murder shows “that the Russian state approves of Mr Litvinenko’s killing, or at least that it wishes to signal approval for it”.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/06 19:26:31


Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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 Iron_Captain wrote:
Russia behind it? Well, Western media has a tendency to see Russian bears behind every tree, but in this case it is justified. Obviously Russia is behind this, this incident carries all the marks of a SVR operation. Russia assassinates people regularly everywhere in the world. Though probably not as much as the Americans with their drones. Anyways, you need to be more than just an enemy of Putin to get yourself on the target list. Only traitors and people who really are a threat to Russia get assassinated. Like this guy who was ratting out Russian spies.


Sorry for condensing your responses, but these seemed like the stuff needed.

The guy had already served several years of prison time in Russia and been released in a spy exchange program - if the Russian intelligence services are even one step above incompetent (they're usually considered pretty good AFAIK) a released former spy has no knowledge of value anymore. There's no rational reason to risk resources on killing him, and if one wants to be the great manly "grandfather" figure Putin tries to show off in his media appearances it's an absolute no-no to harm the guy's daughter! I can totally see Vladimir authorizing the death of an old spy, but surely he would say no to anything that would harm a totally innocent young woman?

So yeah, it could be a very badly messed up Russian assassination. Or someone else did it so people can blame it on Russia, but why some obscure spy when there's so much else you could accuse Russia of?
   
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 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
A most disturbing incident in a charming market town which is also home of Europe's tallest cathedral.

I'm not saying Russia is to blame, but it is surprising how many opponents of Putin living in the UK have died of poisoning or apparent suicide in the past 10 or so years.

And not just Britain. Russia assassinates people regularly everywhere in the world. Though probably not as much as the Americans with their drones. Anyways, you need to be more than just an enemy of Putin to get yourself on the target list. Only traitors and people who really are a threat to Russia get assassinated. Like this guy who was ratting out Russian spies. The other way to get assassinated is to get involved in Russia's byzantine political/business/mafia world and upset the wrong people. In Russia, business can be very much like game of thrones. You win or you die. Business is too much intertwined with the world of oligarchs, bureaucrats and mafia.

To be fair, droning and this aren't exactly the same. You won't see drones dropping missiles on people in most countries, while assassinating people in the UK is at the other end of the spectrum in which drones operate. Russian hit squads in Turkey are another of those things you don't quickly see.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Spetulhu wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
Russia behind it? Well, Western media has a tendency to see Russian bears behind every tree, but in this case it is justified. Obviously Russia is behind this, this incident carries all the marks of a SVR operation. Russia assassinates people regularly everywhere in the world. Though probably not as much as the Americans with their drones. Anyways, you need to be more than just an enemy of Putin to get yourself on the target list. Only traitors and people who really are a threat to Russia get assassinated. Like this guy who was ratting out Russian spies.


Sorry for condensing your responses, but these seemed like the stuff needed.

The guy had already served several years of prison time in Russia and been released in a spy exchange program - if the Russian intelligence services are even one step above incompetent (they're usually considered pretty good AFAIK) a released former spy has no knowledge of value anymore. There's no rational reason to risk resources on killing him, and if one wants to be the great manly "grandfather" figure Putin tries to show off in his media appearances it's an absolute no-no to harm the guy's daughter! I can totally see Vladimir authorizing the death of an old spy, but surely he would say no to anything that would harm a totally innocent young woman?

So yeah, it could be a very badly messed up Russian assassination. Or someone else did it so people can blame it on Russia, but why some obscure spy when there's so much else you could accuse Russia of?

Well it doesn't have to be messed up necessarily. It could be collateral damage due to the method used, it could have easily happened with Litvinenko too, seeing as the method of handling the polonium turned out to be quite amateurish according to the investigation.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2018/03/06 19:41:21


Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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Somewhere... over the rainbow

 Alpharius wrote:
That policy seems like a product of a bygone age, and more than a little reckless and dangerous overall.

But was Russia ever proven to be behind it all in the Litvinenko case?

Proven? Like 100%? No, that is very hard to do. Intelligence services know not to leave that big of a trail. They build a lot of plausible deniability into their operations, so even if you catch the assassins you often won't be able to trace them back to a specific organisation or prove from who they got orders.
But everyone knows it regardless.

Spetulhu wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
Russia behind it? Well, Western media has a tendency to see Russian bears behind every tree, but in this case it is justified. Obviously Russia is behind this, this incident carries all the marks of a SVR operation. Russia assassinates people regularly everywhere in the world. Though probably not as much as the Americans with their drones. Anyways, you need to be more than just an enemy of Putin to get yourself on the target list. Only traitors and people who really are a threat to Russia get assassinated. Like this guy who was ratting out Russian spies.


Sorry for condensing your responses, but these seemed like the stuff needed.

The guy had already served several years of prison time in Russia and been released in a spy exchange program - if the Russian intelligence services are even one step above incompetent (they're usually considered pretty good AFAIK) a released former spy has no knowledge of value anymore. There's no rational reason to risk resources on killing him, and if one wants to be the great manly "grandfather" figure Putin tries to show off in his media appearances it's an absolute no-no to harm the guy's daughter! I can totally see Vladimir authorizing the death of an old spy, but surely he would say no to anything that would harm a totally innocent young woman?

So yeah, it could be a very badly messed up Russian assassination. Or someone else did it so people can blame it on Russia, but why some obscure spy when there's so much else you could accuse Russia of?

He is a traitor. Whether he is still dangerous or not is not important. He has committed crimes against the Russian state and needs to pay for it. He was in prison, but had to be released so that meant another way to make him pay was needed. The SVR actively hunts down and assassinates traitors.
And killing his daughter? That will be written off as collateral damage. Killing a traitor's (adult) daughter really is not going to harm Putin's public image. Even less than killing all those Afghan kids with drones harmed Obama's reputation. The sad reality of the world is that people simply do not care enough. They care more about things and policies that immediately affect them, and that is what leaders get mostly judged on rather than on 'he is responsible for killing innocent people in a far-away land'. That will just be written off as unavoidable collateral damage of a just and necessary action. Of course, that is if it is admitted at all. In Russia, it is more likely that it will be denied and blamed on Russia's enemies instead.

 Disciple of Fate wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
A most disturbing incident in a charming market town which is also home of Europe's tallest cathedral.

I'm not saying Russia is to blame, but it is surprising how many opponents of Putin living in the UK have died of poisoning or apparent suicide in the past 10 or so years.

And not just Britain. Russia assassinates people regularly everywhere in the world. Though probably not as much as the Americans with their drones. Anyways, you need to be more than just an enemy of Putin to get yourself on the target list. Only traitors and people who really are a threat to Russia get assassinated. Like this guy who was ratting out Russian spies. The other way to get assassinated is to get involved in Russia's byzantine political/business/mafia world and upset the wrong people. In Russia, business can be very much like game of thrones. You win or you die. Business is too much intertwined with the world of oligarchs, bureaucrats and mafia.

To be fair, droning and this aren't exactly the same. You won't see drones dropping missiles on people in most countries, while assassinating people in the UK is at the other end of the spectrum in which drones operate. Russian hit squads in Turkey are another of those things you don't quickly see.

Yes, it is different. But similar enough I think that you can draw comparisons.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2018/03/06 19:52:17


А сегодня, что для завтра сделал Я?
But today I don't feel like doing anything... 
   
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 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Disciple of Fate wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
A most disturbing incident in a charming market town which is also home of Europe's tallest cathedral.

I'm not saying Russia is to blame, but it is surprising how many opponents of Putin living in the UK have died of poisoning or apparent suicide in the past 10 or so years.

And not just Britain. Russia assassinates people regularly everywhere in the world. Though probably not as much as the Americans with their drones. Anyways, you need to be more than just an enemy of Putin to get yourself on the target list. Only traitors and people who really are a threat to Russia get assassinated. Like this guy who was ratting out Russian spies. The other way to get assassinated is to get involved in Russia's byzantine political/business/mafia world and upset the wrong people. In Russia, business can be very much like game of thrones. You win or you die. Business is too much intertwined with the world of oligarchs, bureaucrats and mafia.

To be fair, droning and this aren't exactly the same. You won't see drones dropping missiles on people in most countries, while assassinating people in the UK is at the other end of the spectrum in which drones operate. Russian hit squads in Turkey are another of those things you don't quickly see.

Yes, it is different. But similar enough I think that you can draw comparisons.

Well comparisons can be drawn. Drones are heavily used in the Middle-East/North-Eastern Africa sphere for what is basically military action where conventional forces can't or aren't allowed to go. Drones assassinating specific targets play a more incidental part, as the obvious flaws in certain droning procedures show. The US probably also runs operations like Russia does that don't have the recognition the Litvinenko one has. I would see drones as a tool that sometimes facilitates assassination in 'rougher' parts of the world, one that Russia doesn't employ. I guess it comes down to the concept of assassination.

On the subject though, a few weeks/months ago we had the story of CIA assets disappearing in spades in China, while most of those were active assets, it does show everyone is involved.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/03/06 20:01:38


Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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Glasgow, Scotland

Meanwhile we're onto our second car bombing in Ukraine this week. Its like the assassination budget for the Russian Intelligence Agency is almost due to be renewed and they're doing their best to spend it.


 
   
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Somewhere... over the rainbow

 Wyrmalla wrote:
Meanwhile we're onto our second car bombing in Ukraine this week. Its like the assassination budget for the Russian Intelligence Agency is almost due to be renewed and they're doing their best to spend it.


Car bombs in Ukraine is most likely the GRU's handiwork. Double the agencies = double the budget = double the assassinations!

А сегодня, что для завтра сделал Я?
But today I don't feel like doing anything... 
   
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 Wyrmalla wrote:
Meanwhile we're onto our second car bombing in Ukraine this week. Its like the assassination budget for the Russian Intelligence Agency is almost due to be renewed and they're doing their best to spend it.


Beats trying to blow up Mount Rushmore with a brainwashed CIA agent

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Russia legalised murdering ‘dissidents’ some years ago. Putin can legally order the execution of anyone he likes abroad if they are a ‘threat’. Russia has no problems killing people anywhere in the world, even in countries they claim peaceful relations with. As demonstrated many times. You can say ‘traitor’ but there’s little oversight here, it’s anyone they, or Putin, decides needs getting rid of.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6188658.stm
   
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Assassinate an oligarch buddy of Putin's. Once those bastardskis find out they are on the reprisal list they'll tell pooty to drop this quick.

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France

 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Wyrmalla wrote:
Meanwhile we're onto our second car bombing in Ukraine this week. Its like the assassination budget for the Russian Intelligence Agency is almost due to be renewed and they're doing their best to spend it.


Car bombs in Ukraine is most likely the GRU's handiwork. Double the agencies = double the budget = double the assassinations!


That's why the USA has so many agencies !

I am a bit surprised of the number of assassinations that happened in England. Why in England ? Aren't there any ex agent in France or Germany ?

   
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 godardc wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Wyrmalla wrote:
Meanwhile we're onto our second car bombing in Ukraine this week. Its like the assassination budget for the Russian Intelligence Agency is almost due to be renewed and they're doing their best to spend it.


Car bombs in Ukraine is most likely the GRU's handiwork. Double the agencies = double the budget = double the assassinations!


That's why the USA has so many agencies !

I am a bit surprised of the number of assassinations that happened in England. Why in England ? Aren't there any ex agent in France or Germany ?

The reason why is because most of them cooperated with MI5/6 so the kind of logical conclusion was asylum in the UK.

Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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France

Yes ok, but why did they cooperate with MI5/6 ? What does British secret services have that every traitor russian spy want to work with them ?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/06 22:57:43


   
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 godardc wrote:
Yes ok, but why did they cooperate with MI5/6 ? What does British secret services have that every traitor russian spy want to work with them ?


England's been playing the spy game for a long, long time. They know the value of spies and cultivating them. They have a good Rep for treating defecting spies well.

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Well not every spy of course, but as far as I know the UK and US intelligence services are more developed in connection to Russia than those of France and Germany. An indication, MI6 alone has almost double the funding of the German and French foreign intelligence agencies combined, its easier making connections if you're 4 times larger. Skripal was part of the 2010 spy swap, he was the UK connection, while two others worked for the US (the last one's employer has not been clear).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/06 23:17:50


Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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I know my comment is touching on American politics, but it is directly related to this issue. During Glenn Simpson's* testimony to the Senate Judiciary, Simpson's lawyer at one point stated that one person in Russia had already been murdered over the dossier. Since then there's been a lot of speculation about who that victim might have been, but it is hard to know exactly who was being referred to, because people on the periphery of Russia's intelligence networks happen to die in mysterious circumstances quite often.

So yeah, this kind of thing happens a lot.


*Simpson is the guy who hired the guy who compiled the dossier.


simonr1978 wrote:
Probably the same as when Litvinenko was poisoned, Britain will bluster and make demands about extraditing suspects, Russia will basically shrug and ignore them.


In 2017 the UK passed an update to the Financial Crimes act to align with the Magnitsky Act, which is about asset seizures and targeted sanctions. It was nominally about Russia's murder of Sergei Magnitsky, but I believe its widely understood that Litvinenko's murder is the motivation in the UK. The next step is to trigger the penalties in the act, and start hitting the people who order these attacks.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
That is not robust, that is self-harming. Robust would be imposing sanctions on the secret service officers who are behind this, but those are most likely already under sanctions as a result of Ukraine. Therefore, there is really not much Britain can do here without harming its own interests as well.


Your answer assumes that 'sanctions' are a single thing. There either is sanctions or there is not. This is silly. Sanctions can be expanded, both in breadth and severity.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Alpharius wrote:
But was Russia ever proven to be behind it all in the Litvinenko case?


I guess nothing is ever proven without a trial and a ruling in a court of law, and Russia refuses to hand over the chief suspect requested by the UK for extradition.

But, there's been multiple investigations, and every one of them was particularly bullish on Russia being behind this. Then on top of all of that a couple of years ago US intelligence, I think the NSA but its hard to remember all the various US intel agencies, was reported to have recordings between Russian officials in Moscow which outright stated that Russia ordered the murder because Litvinenko was dishing dirt on Putin's organized crime links.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Spetulhu wrote:
The guy had already served several years of prison time in Russia and been released in a spy exchange program - if the Russian intelligence services are even one step above incompetent (they're usually considered pretty good AFAIK) a released former spy has no knowledge of value anymore.


The point isn't to prevent information being handed over, but to set a deterrence to anyone else considering flipping.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 godardc wrote:
That's why the USA has so many agencies !

I am a bit surprised of the number of assassinations that happened in England. Why in England ? Aren't there any ex agent in France or Germany ?


US intel is the best in the world for signals work. The UK is the best in the world for the old school, person to person gathering of intel. The most and the best leaks and flipped agents come through MI-6.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2018/03/07 03:04:05


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USA

 sebster wrote:
US intel is the best in the world for signals work. The UK is the best in the world for the old school, person to person gathering of intel. The most and the best leaks and flipped agents come through MI-6.


So you're saying that British agents really can talk their way into bed with pun-named women after meeting them just once

   
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 LordofHats wrote:
So you're saying that British agents really can talk their way into bed with pun-named women after meeting them just once


Why yes I am. And I'll go further. Despite decades of analysis and technological development, no spy operation on Earth can match the British plan of sending out a single spy by himself, and then just sitting back while that spy sleeps with a bunch of pun-named women, then gets captured by the baddie and taken to his secret lair, only for the spy to escape and blow up that secret lair, thereby saving the world.

“We may observe that the government in a civilized country is much more expensive than in a barbarous one; and when we say that one government is more expensive than another, it is the same as if we said that that one country is farther advanced in improvement than another. To say that the government is expensive and the people not oppressed is to say that the people are rich.”

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On a surly Warboar, leading the Waaagh!

 Alpharius wrote:
I'm not sure why, but I didn't think this stuff was still going on:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia/britain-warns-russia-over-double-agents-mysterious-illness-idUSKBN1GH2UX

Britain warned Russia on Tuesday of a robust response if the Kremlin was behind a mysterious illness that has struck down a former double agent convicted of betraying dozens of spies to British intelligence.


What would constitute a 'robust response' from England to Russia?



Q:"What would constitute a 'robust response' from England to Russia?"

A: The exact opposite of what the U.S. administration response is in light of Russian interference with the 2016 election.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






Apparently, the "robust response" is not sending any government officials to the World Cup. Realistically, I don't think there's anything we can do other than bluster and harrumph.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/07 11:27:52


 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Radio 4 covered it quite well last night with two experts.

One said that the only effective response was to find a way of imposing some kind of sanctions that would cause genuine pain to Putin and his friends. The usual method of expelling a few diplomats, followed by tit-for-tat expulsions of British diplomats by the Russians, would be useless because it's what the west always does and Putin will have figured this into his calculations already.

The other expert said that the UK has already imposed a lot of sanctions, so it's difficult to do more, especially with some of Europe not as strongly on side as they used to be. Regardless of Brexit, the Italians for instance have just voted quite strongly for two parties who admire Putin.

The conclusion was that snubbing the World Cup probably was a good idea because it is another of Putin's expensive vanity projects; he is very concerned with his image at home and abroad and won't like it.

“Medieval history encourages rigour and seriousness about how you handle your sources and distinguish truth from fiction, which in today’s world we could with a bit more of.”

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
 
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