Demonizing Russia

The UK has apparently issued a ‘briefing’ to foreign ambassadors in Moscow in an attempt to whip up anti-Russia feeling to a new high.

The main problem with this is that it is all totally immature. It is pathetic, the act of an immature child, to deal with someone with whom you have a problem by disengaging from them and demonizing them. But this is precisely what May and Boris Johnson are doing… And, not content with doing it themselves, they are “leading the world” in doing it. (No doubt they see themselves as carving out a position for post-Brexit Britain and as taking a lead etc. etc.)

The briefing contains a ‘timeline’ of “malign Russian activity”. This is a piece of mythology. Here is the list with the factual corrections inserted:


November 2006

Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko

Russian traitor working for British intelligence in the UK. UK government ‘inquiry’ did not produce evidence that he was killed by the Russian state. British intelligence thought he probably was – on the basis that nothing happens in Russia without the Kremlin agreeing to it.

Quite probably it was a Russian hit.


May 2007

DOS attack disables Estonia’s internet

DOS attacks are simple and can be carried out by teenagers using freely available programmes.

It appears that the attack could have been carried out by Russians acting spontaneously rather than a planned act by the government.

(Indeed why would the Russian military give away their capabilities in this way?)

August 2008

Invasion of Georgia

In fact Georgia started this war. Even the EU agreed to that. This is a plain lie. [1]

(The more sophisticated version of this narrative is in fact the one in the EU document [1]. In this account the war was started by Georgia by an action in South Ossetia but Russia then unnecessarily attacked Georgia. This narrative distortion depends on avoiding the simple military fact that in war it is normal tactics to attack your enemy’s supply lines and bases. This is presumably why Russia did attack Georgian bases etc. Nothing unusual about. This is what the West does – at least – when it wages war. No permanent presence was established. There was no ‘invasion’ of Georgia).

February 2014

Occupation of Crimea. Destabilisation of Ukraine

Following a violent coup in Ukraine which ousted a democratically elected President the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia – something which they have wanted to do since the fall of the USSR. The results of the referendum have been confirmed by multiple Western polling organisations  including Gallup. These polls  confirm that the majority of Crimeans prefer to be part of Russia. Who is trying to deny them their wish? Who, in fact, is being malign? The polling also confirms that the majority of people in the East of Ukraine did not share the wishes of those who organised Maidan to turn Ukraine into an EU and NATO country. The same question. Who is trying to suppress these legitimate voices? Who is being malign?

The EU signed a political agreement with the coup-appointed government in Kiev even before they attempted to legitimize the coup with new elections.

By being completely blind to the fractured and divided nature of this county the EU at least as much as Russia precipitated the current crisis in Ukraine.

This web site has written extensively on these matters. These are all checkable facts.

The claim here is another lie.

17 July 2014

Shooting down of MH-17 over Ukraine.

No solid evidence. The claim presumably is based on the Joint Investigation report. The Joint Investigation relied heavily on evidence from Ukrainian intelligence – who are in fact one of the chief suspects in the case.

The truth is simply not known.

Even if there is some Russian involvement e.g. it really is the case that Russia supplied the BUK system to the rebels in Eastern Ukraine (the least likely of various possible scenarios) then it remains an accident. An accident is not ‘malign’.

June 2015 – November 2016

Interference in US election

If you read the detail the claims amount to:

a) Russian hacking of the Democratic party computer systems and releasing some information which caused them embarrassment.

b) A few social media posts

c) Bias in Russian state media.

None of this is very serious. The US itself certainly does c) with its Radio Free Europe project.

May 2015

Bundestag hack

And US and UK intelligence services don’t try to hack Russia?

Germany should perhaps be more worried about US hacking of their government communications….


January 2016

Lisa case disinformation attack against Germany

This relates to a Russian-German girl who made false claims that she was raped by immigrants in Germany. It was seized on by Russian media and politicians who used it to paint a picture of cover-up in Germany.

The girl’s claims were false. NATO sees this as an attempt by Russia to manipulate German public opinion. [2]

The joke is that British Intelligence specializes in manipulating public opinion. In the run-up to the illegal and devastating invasion of Iraq British Intelligence had a programme to plant stories in various countries around the world to manipulate public opinion in favour of the war. [3]

Radio Free Europe is a US State Department project (started by the CIA) to spread disinformation into Russia and alienate Russians from their government.

It may be malign but if you are doing it too then it is hardly a story.


Danish Defence Ministry hack

The New Observer doesn’t know if this is true. But the idea that US and UK spies are not continually trying to hack the Russian state is laughable. – The US hacks its allies; presumably they find time to hack their enemies as well?


October 2016

Coup attempt in Montenegro

Following Western pressure Montenegro narrowly joined NATO.

Western media ran stories about an alleged Russian plot to organise a coup. (Presumably planted by Western intelligence agencies).

There may have been something in it. Equally the claims may have been wildly exaggerated.

But then – why should only one side be allowed to organise coups?

June 2017

NotPetya cyber ransomware attack


 The claims that the Russian state was the party responsible for this attack which primarily targeted Ukraine were made by the US and UK. [4]
March 2018

Attempted assassination of Sergey Skripal and his daughter.


 As of now there is no information in the public domain which establishes that Russia was responsible.

The use of a Soviet nerve agent does not prove Russian involvement. Following the collapse of the USSR Soviet chemical weapons were available on the black-market. Furthermore  several states have the capacity to produce this substance. If such states wanted to discredit Russia this would be an effective way of doing so. The UK case appears to rest on ‘capability, intent and motive’. Stripping aside ‘intent’ which is a case of circular reasoning we are left with capability and motive. In reality many states have both the capability and motive to have staged this incident. The UK case is simply not proven.


The UK list is a mixture of lies, self-delusions, partial truths and probabilities presented as facts. All this is checkable.

(On the question of the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Craig Murray makes a very pertinent point: the phrase used by the British government in relation to the nerve agent is “of a type developed by Russia”. They have not claimed that this particular substance as used in Salisbury was made in Russia. Presumably because they can’t).

If we were on the other hand to produce a list of UK government “malign activity” over the last 30 years it would be at a completely different level of seriousness. An illegal bombing of Serbia in 1999 leading to the deaths of the civilians. The illegal invasion of Iraq leading to the deaths of countless thousands and sowing chaos in the region for years to come. The destabilization of Libya in a botched regime change operation throwing a stable country into total chaos – based on a twisting of  a UN resolution which allowed for limited action to protect civilians.  (The UK tried to claim that regime change was justified because Gaddafi was a threat to civilians. However we can ask if Gaddafi had been a threat to civilians with whose weapons would they have been killed? The answer: EU supplied weapons). Illegal interference in Syria – leading to the prolonging of a civil war in which more than 200,000 human beings have died. Put beside this a little bit of computer hacking – even the assassination of an ex-spy – seems (not wishing to sound indifferent but comparing numbers) absolutely trivial.

The weird thing is that May and Johnson and the rest of them probably believe their own phantastic, phasmalogical, tales.




3. War on Iraq. Scott Ritter and William Rivers Pitt. Profile Books. 2002


Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer