Another critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin died at his home in London today. Nikolai Glushkov, a Russian exile and former close associate of the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky, was found dead of unknown causes by police.
Just 8 days ago, former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with what British authorities say was a Soviet-era nerve agent. Prime Minister May has given Moscow until midnight tonight to give “unambiguous answers” about the alleged assassination attempt.
May has the support of both Donald Trump and the EU in this latest showdown with Russia.
Denying it had played any part in the attack, which left the 66-year-old Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia fighting for their lives, Russia said it would ignore the ultimatum until London handed over samples of the nerve agent used and complied with international obligations for joint investigations of such incidents.
“Any threats to take‘sanctions’ against Russia will not be left without a response,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.“The British side should understand that.”
Russia holds a presidential election on Sunday in which Vladimir Putin, himself a former KGB spy, is expected to coast to a fourth term in the Kremlin.
I’m not sure that sanctions would have any effect at all on Putin and they may serve only to enrage him. We’ve sanctioned just about anything of value that Putin trades with the west.
Nor are the EU and the U.S. going to war against Putin. So western governments are making a big scene about standing up to Putin when the reality is they can do absolutely nothing to stop him from murdering every critic he has overseas.
As for the death of Glushkov, it may be just a coincidence given that he was 68 years old. But his patron, Boris Berezovsky, died under mysterious circumstances in 2013.
When the oligarch Berezovsky clashed with Vladimir Putin in 1999, he fled to the U.K. and obtained political asylum.
Glushkov was subsequently charged with money laundering and fraud and served five years in jail in Russia.
After another sentencing for fraud, Glushkov also fled to the U.K. Last March, he was charged with allegedly defrauding Aeroflot of $122 million and was sentenced to eight years in jail.
In March 2013, Berezovsky was found hanged in his ex-wife’s home. Glushkov maintained that he believed the death was murder, though police said a post mortem showed no signs of a struggle.
Putin, of course, is breaking international law and the unwritten rules that govern exiles in foreign countries. His brazenness is frightening considering how aggressive he is getting in the Middle East and Ukraine. Far more than Trump, Putin is a genuine danger to world order. That he kills his political enemies is barbaric and since he looks like he’s settling in to rule for life, he must be dealt with sooner or later.