Not a good week for Vlad Putin

On Saturday morning, Putin’s bandits used Putin’s Grad missile launchers to hit a residential quarter in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on the Azov Sea.

Altogether 120 rockets were fired, killing 30 and wounding 102. Most of the victims were civilians.

The spotting services for the barrage were kindly provided by a Mariupol resident, who turned out to be a traffic cop, not a universally admired profession at the best of times.

His communications with the Russian officers operating the Grads were intercepted, and I listened to them with some interest and more sadness.

There I was, hoping that in the 42 years that I’ve been away the Russians had shifted the ratio of obscenities to normal words in the direction of the latter. Alas, if anything, the reverse is true.

For that reason I can’t quote the exchange verbatim, but the gist of it is that the battery commander was concerned about the 9-storey blocks of flats in the immediate vicinity of the targeted road block.

The spotter told him not to be a wimp and do as he was told. The buildings were far enough away, he said.

After the battery commander had butchered civilians, the traffic cop rebuked him for not doing exactly as he was told and not killing enough. He then suggested that the officer should redeem himself by targeting another residential suburb of Mariupol.

Ukrainian security services managed to arrest the spotter before he destroyed the evidence, making it impossible for Vlad to reassign the blame for the massacre to Nato, the EU, Israel, the USA or else the RSPCA.

Still, Russian military doctrine says that attack is the best defence. There was no defending yet another crime committed by his bandits, so Vlad went on the offensive.

Speaking at a Petersburg university, he explained that it’s wrong to say that his lads are fighting Ukrainians. The perplexed expressions on the students’ faces demanded an elucidation, and it duly came:

“We often say: Ukrainian army… But in essence it’s no longer an army, it’s a foreign legion, in this case a Nato foreign legion, which certainly doesn’t pursue the Ukraine’s national interests… There are different aims there, and they are linked with achieving the geopolitical objectives of containing Russia…”

I get it. Dastardly Nato dressed some unidentified units in the uniforms of Putin’s bandits and launched an aggression against the Ukraine. They then recruited foreign mercenaries to contain the aggression. Makes sense – in fact, it’s the only thing that can possibly make sense.

Logically speaking, no containment is necessary when there is nothing to contain. In fact, George Kennan came up with the doctrine of containment back in the 1950s, when the Soviet Union was indulging in aggression all over the globe.

By claiming that Nato again seeks to contain Russia, Vlad contradicted his previous claims that the ‘separatists’ had nothing to do with Russia. That is, he openly admitted that Russia yet again presents a mortal danger to the world.

Vlad didn’t specify the ethnic composition of the foreign legion, delegating that responsibility to his house-trained TV chat show. One of the guests there helpfully explained that the so-called Ukrainian army is mostly Albanian mercenaries in Nato’s employ. Glad he made it clear – this explains it all.

Frankly, yet another atrocity scandal is the last thing Vlad needs this week. He has enough headaches as it is.

Another Nato hireling, Standard & Poor, has just cut Russia’s credit rating to the non-investment ‘junk’ status of BB+. Hence Russia finds herself in the choice company of Indonesia and Barbados, the difference being that neither of those seeks global domination.

The rating means no Western company in its right mind will invest in Russia, and the country will have to pay over the odds to borrow from the money markets.

Vlad put on a brave face, and for once he was right. Neither of those consequences matters much.

No one is investing in Russia anyway, quite the opposite. Capital is fleeing the country, to the tune of $152 billion last year – three times the rate of the previous several years. And Western sanctions make it practically impossible for Russia to borrow money anyway.

So S&P can choke on their rating and crawl back into their CIA hole, as far as Vlad is concerned. It’s not the money that rankles, but the humiliation.

And Vlad has been sensitive to humiliation ever since school, when bullies picked on him because he was short. It was humiliation that drove him into a judo dojo and made him seek KGB employment when still a pimply schoolboy.

Both were his way of getting back at those bullies – and the rest of the world while he was at it. And now it’s Nato that’s the bully, along with its S&P hireling.

They think they can hit him in the wallet, but they have another think coming. His personal wallet, bulging with about $40 billion, is perfectly safe, and so are the wallets of the billionaire gangsters who make up Vlad’s coterie.

Speaking of which, to crown it all, those British lackeys to Nato, Mossad and the CIA opened an official inquest into the 2006 murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

That ex-colleague of Vlad’s in the KGB escaped to London and started publishing malicious rumours about Putin’s personal links to organised crime, specifically though not exclusively to the Russian Mafia operating in Spain.

Now Vlad is being accused of having sent two of his trusted KGB henchmen to London, to slip tens of millions’ worth of polonium into Litvinenko’s tea. Well, what if he did?

Wouldn’t you do the same if you were accused of Mafia links, and paying eight figures for polonium was no problem? Of course you would, especially if the accusation were true.

What is interesting about the inquest isn’t its likely outcome. After all, anyone with a bit of common sense knows that Vlad is as guilty as Cain. “Everyone knows” is of course short of proof beyond reasonable doubt, but we aren’t in a court of law now.

The radioactive trail of the polonium leads all the way to Russia, and only her government could get its hands on a substance of which merely 100g is annually produced in the world.

And no government official would have decided to ‘whack’ Litvinenko without a direct authorisation from the Kremlin. This is all even before we start asking the lapidary cui bono question, establishing that, in addition to the means, Vlad had a motive.

What I find fascinating about the inquest is its timing. After all, Litivinenko’s widow and her lawyers were seeking justice in vain for eight years, in the face of HMG’s reluctance to pursue the matter.

Yes, everyone knew that Putin was involved, but rocking the boat wasn’t ‘helpful’ at a time when HMG chose to overlook the openly criminal nature of Vlad’s kleptofascist regime. Hence a bit of nuclear terrorism in the middle of London was overlooked as an unfortunate hiccup on the way to Russia’s shining democratic future.

Justice was held hostage to politics. Now the political situation has changed, and justice has been set free. If Vlad decides to take it easy on the Ukraine before the end of the inquest, justice will again be manacled. 

Verily I say unto you, the rule of law does work in mysterious ways in today’s Britain. Perhaps the Hague Tribunal will do better when it finally gets its hands on Vlad.


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