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The Moscow News: Russia’s Reckless Liberals Wreak Havoc

EXTRACT: Incredibly, one Moscow-based journalist went so far as to connect Russia’s desire to take back control of the Sakhalin-2 project from Royal Dutch Shell with the death of Litvinenko.


By Robert Bridge
Friday 05 January 2006

If Alexander Litvinenko’s death achieved anything besides another senseless murder, it effectively betrayed the bias of so many journalists and reporters, who immediately forget everything they may have learned in Journalism 101 whenever a story involves Russia.
Alexander Litvinenko did not need to lose his life, of course, to demonstrate the lingering bias that continues to contaminate western (and domestic) reporting on Russia. The western media, which has a bad habit of calling itself free and liberal these days, has still not found an aspirin big enough to cure its brutal Cold War hangover, while, Russia – at least in terms of its diversified news coverage on the West – has moved on.

The flock of poison-tipped quills that flew like daggers against Moscow following Litvinenko’s agonizing demise cannot be explained by anything else than a knee-jerk contempt for Russia from individuals who only know the Kremlin through the imagination of fiction writer Tom Clancy (How many people know, for example, that the Kremlin has at least four cathedrals and one chapel on its territory?). Agreeably, bashing Russia and KGB agents may sell a lot of morning newspapers, especially when the latest James Bond film is exciting audiences, but bashing wealthy Russian exiles hiding out in London – whose connection to this spectacular case remains a big question mark – could sell just as many hard copies.

Then there are the Russian-based ‘liberals,’ who seem to honestly believe they are doing their homeland a favor by painting the place black at every opportunity.

Yes, if only there had been a few more ‘liberal’ bleeding hearts around when Russia was being invaded by Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler and Madonna, things would have turned out so much better. Just imagine all those courageous and colorful ‘liberals’ – with Russia’s best interests at heart, of course – blocking the path of the Nazi blitzkrieg with their protest parades and placards that read, “Stop Russian Cruelty against Foreign Arms Imports!” Yes, true patriots in every sense of the word. Probably the same people who helped weaken the Roman Empire.

Speaking of wars, while the illiberal media wastes no time or ink blaming Russia for the death of the investigative journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who was mysteriously gunned down in her apartment building in October, the news about the 32 journalists who have been killed in Iraq in 2006 – the highest one-year death toll in a single country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists – has been practically whitewashed into oblivion. Where are the brave outspoken journalists now that we need some real answers about these media fatalities, or other contraventions of the Geneva Convention?

Germany, for example, which turned a blind eye to secret CIA flights carrying prisoners of war onto its territory, is now preaching to Russia about human rights and the rule of law.

“It is absolutely necessary that we make clear to Putin what we think about his policy toward human rights and the rule of law,” Ruprecht Polenz, a pure Christian Democrat, told the International Herald Tribune.

Now there is another body on Russia’s doorstep. Former KGB agent, Alexander Litvinenko, was fatally poisoned in distant London by the radioactive isotope, polonium-210. Verdict: Russia is guilty, according to the illiberal press, yet how do we explain the noxious trail of radiation all over London, which seems to indicate more the work of bungling amateurs as opposed to state-sponsored professionals? Furthermore, despite the fact that Britain is teeming with Russian exiles who make no secret of their outspoken feelings for the present “regime,” and their desire to “bring it down,” these individuals are awarded the equivalent of a second amnesty – diplomatic immunity, if you will – by a media who can’t or won’t see beyond their Kremlin-tainted shades.

Russia’s liberals are behaving more and more like maniac Jacobins from the heyday of the French Revolution. That roaming mob of ‘liberty lovers’ spent so much of their free time purifying France with the guillotine that until finally their own leader, Maximilien Robespierre, won a date with the blade. The lesson here is that the ‘liberals’ will eventually succeed at destroying their own foundation because they employ the very same tactics – prejudice, hypocrisy and utter dishonesty – that they claim to be fighting. Russia had just as much to lose as its enemies had to gain from those separate deaths, and the fact that the illiberal media refuses to acknowledge as much reveals its own black authoritarian roots through its fake blonde locks.

Incredibly, one Moscow-based journalist went so far as to connect Russia’s desire to take back control of the Sakhalin-2 project from Royal Dutch Shell with the death of Litvinenko.

“Those in the Kremlin don’t see anything wrong with taking a controlling stake in Sakhalin-2 while suggesting that investors sink even more of their money into Russia,” wrote Yulia Latynina, a too-frequent columnist for The Moscow Times, and talk show host on Ekho Moskvy radio. “For the same reason, they won’t see any problem with exposing Litvinenko to polonium-210 while asking for a chance to interrogate Berezovsky.”

Latynina concludes rhetorically and not a little dementedly, “What’s to stop them [Russia] from putting polonium-210 in the Shell president’s tea during negotiations, and then offering to help in the ensuing investigations?”

Driving on the wrong side of the road with the traditional blind spot in her cracked rearview mirror, Latynina fails to mention three important aspects about the royal Sakhalin-2 Project before she proceeds to tar and feather the Kremlin: 1. The project is already delayed by almost one year 2. It has gone over budget by at least $10 billion and 3. The project has wreaked havoc to the natural environment on the island, according to Russia’s environmental ministry. To rational minds, that may be enough reason to let state-owned Gazprom in on the project as well.

Concerning Latynina’s last comment about offering some spiked tea before Russia offers “to help in the ensuing investigations,” she apparently feels that it is justified that Scotland Yard should be allowed into Russia’s backyard to conduct an investigation into the death of Litvinenko – which it is doing quite freely, incidentally. Yet Russia, which has very good reason to suspect the murder was an act of sabotage against its very reputation, has no right to request an investigation of its own in London. Some may call that strange.

With all due respect to the memory of Alexander Litvinenko, Russia is suffering a more lingering poisoning, and one that threatens the security and well-being of 150 million inhabitants, and the antidote is nowhere in sight. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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