Recently, a former Russian spy who turned against his government and president was poisoned in a restaurant and is now in a London ICU. The man, Alexander Litvinenko, was meeting with a contact who supposedly had information on the mysterious October shooting death of Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Is it just me, or is the situation in Russia starting to sound like a James Bond movie, only the bad guys are winning? Wait, did I just say that? Oh, geez...I'm very sorry. I extend my heartfelt apologies to Mother Russia and its glorious, non-shady regime. May you continue to shine as a beacon of hope and freedom to all peoples, and may you also continue to mercilessly hunt and destroy all those who would stand against you in thought, word, or deed. To Russia!
For their part, Putin and his Moscow administration say that allegations of their involvement in murder plots are so ludicrously absurd as to be grounds for bloody murder, or at least a plot to do so. And in the meantime, the Russian government will continue to take over successful companies for their own benefit, kick humanitarian organizations out of their country, and snarlingly tighten control over the media. Ah, the fragile beauty of a burgeoning democracy. Huzzah!
And of course, Putin is reaping the rewards for being such a lovable figure for the people of Great Mother Russia. He is stepping down in 2008, but the tremendously, overwhelmingly popular figure will handpick the successor that will surely be elected to take his place. And we shall score another great victory for the people!
In closing, I love Russia very, very much. I love it like it was my son, if I had a son. I love it like I love myself. So please, please don't take it personally, Russia, but I'm going to eat my lunch alone today, if that's cool with you. And no, I'm not saying where. I just haven't, uh, figured it out yet. Now excuse me I think I hear my mother calling okay bye.
-- British Police Investigate Poisoning of Putin Critic [Washington Post]
-- Murdered Russian Journalist Buried [MSNBC]
-- Kremlin Inc. Widening Control Over Industry [Washington Post]
-- Russia Halts Activities of Many Groups From Abroad [Washington Post]
-- Rice walks tightrope in visit with Russia's Putin, media
[San Francisco Chronicle]
-- Putin tells experts he will step down in 2008 [Reuters]
-- Putin Popularity, Trust High Among Russian Voters — Poll [MosNews]
Technorati tags: spreading democracy, rat poison, Putin, Russia, spies, Alexander Litvinenko, Anna Politkovskaya