Putin’s Motivation

I’ve read a few places speculating as to what Putin’s motivation for trying to kill Skripal might be, and a common one is this (the whole thread is very good and worth a read, it’s just this bit I take issue with):

Ever since Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested, tried, and jailed everyone in Russia got the message loud and clear that Putin’s hold on power was not to be challenged. When I lived in Russia 2006-10, it was an established fact that you didn’t mess with the FSB, and Putin ruled supreme. Since then, we’ve seen the assassination of Boris Nemtsov and the arrest and constant harassment of Alexei Navalny – both prominent critics of Putin and potential political challengers.

Putin is undoubtedly facing threats from within his circle and those just outside it, some of which he may not even know about. But anyone who fancies their chances will know beyond doubt that should they challenge his rule, they will be arrested and thrown in jail or killed. The idea that Putin had Skripal killed in order to send a message to Russians that opposing him is high risk is nonsensical: that message has been well understood by any Russian with a pulse since at least 2008, and it didn’t need reinforcing, and certainly not in a way which causes a diplomatic rift with Britain. If Putin did order this hit, it wasn’t for this reason.

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69 thoughts on “Putin’s Motivation

  1. He’d have to admit it and publicise it so that he could take credit for it

    He wouldn’t though. He can deny it, but as long as everyone knows he’s denying it with his fingers crossed behind his back, he still gets the credit.

    And indeed he gets even more credit for being a strong man if he proves that he can blatantly lie to someone and, through sheer chutzpah, make them back down and accept his obvious lie.

    (Anyone else reminded of the advice given to Rikrok by that immortal sage Shaggy?)

  2. …everyone’s blithely assumed the father was the target and the daughter collateral.

    People are even blithely assuming that it’s an assassination attempt, but as someone else mentioned, isn’t it possible that they were just transporting this dangerous substance and the vial broke or what have you?

  3. isn’t it possible that they were just transporting this dangerous substance and the vial broke or what have you?

    It’s possible but frankly if the Russian government is having its nerve agents transported cross British soil then that’s almost as bad as actually using them here, so it makes little difference to the response.

  4. It’s possible but frankly if the Russian government is having its nerve agents transported cross British soil then that’s almost as bad as actually using them here, so it makes little difference to the response.

    Yes, although I would think it perhaps more likely that the British gov’t was the one doing the transporting. Bear in mind this guy has spied for Britain in the past and supposedly lived near Porton Down.

    But then again, if the chemical compounds are publicly available, then why would they need a batch of the stuff from wherever? Maybe they were trying to see what the Syrians had and the only way was thru some Russian cutouts.

  5. The fact that the West contains so many useful idiots, on both the left and right, willing to overlook his thuggish behaviour, may have played at least some part in Putin’s decision to allow this attack.

  6. The fact that the West contains so many useful idiots, on both the left and right, willing to overlook his thuggish behaviour, may have played at least some part in Putin’s decision to allow this attack.

    Without a doubt, but I expect the endless wolf-crying over Russia played a far bigger part. It showed that governments had absolutely no idea what Russia was or wasn’t doing, or if they did they were happy to lie about it.

  7. Again, I haven’t seen an actual government (as opposed to a sore loser) accusing Russia of something they haven’t actually done, such as pumping out fake new stories using video game footage.

  8. I think that this week will go down in history as the final chapter in the demise of Britain and its undoubted abandonment of it stated principles in the time proven bedrock of it’s rule of law. Let there be no doubt that if the state and its msm lackeys point the bone at you then your are no longer innocent until proven guilty, natural justice and jurisprudence will be waived. Some so called British journalists are now apologising for this obvious departure from due process, rules of evidence etc, because Putin is an evil tyrant and we shouldn’t fart around establishing the facts because the Russians will just tamper with them. And the misguided subjects of Mud Island will accept this explanation.

    Yes the UK is now a fully fledged rouge state and there is no coming back from it’s race to the bottom.

  9. So one day to go before the closely run Russian election takes place, how do we think it will pan out on the day, how will the Russians vote?

    Polling results are predicting the following front runners:

    – Putin 69%
    – Grudinin 7%
    – Zhirinovsky 5%
    – Sobchak 2%

    How can my preferred Sobchak get in. They whack Putin and none of the other surviving candidates would have a clear majority and could not take office. If they done it now or on election day then the people would be fearful of Grudinin the pro-Ukrainian communist and no one takes Zhirinovsky seriously and darling Sobchak would romp it home. If they killed him after the election, then there would need to be a run off between the next two by number of votes, Grundinin would be arrested on suspicion of being involved in Putin’s assassination, rendering him ineligible to serve, leaving the two horse race run off between Zhirinovsky and Sobchak and yet again no one takes Zhirinovsky seriously, so she wins.

    Or Putin wins by a nose.

    Anyone else have a tip?

    “Elections in Russia – Federal elections

    President

    The President is elected in a two-round system every six years, with a two consecutive term limitation. Prior to 2012, the term of office was four years. If no candidate wins by an absolute majority in the first round, a second election round is held between two candidates with the most votes. The last presidential election was in 2012, and the next is expected in 2018.”

  10. Bardon,
    You would have a point if HMG were responding to Putin’s actions in a court of law. Which would be silly, since no such court exists to try states, even “rouge” ones.

  11. The reality more likely being that the whole thing is scripted and our world leaders are each dutifully playing their given role. We are in 1984 and the three nations are in perpetual war, it happened, which is good for business and consumption, keeps the people fearful and thankful for their lot in life and their protection by the state. Only strangers in far away lands are killed in this “War is Peace” lifestyle that we have become accustomed to. China (East Asia) states that its dictator is their for good, Russians (Eurasia) claim military superiority, Trump (Oceania) meets Rocket Man, May (Oceania) claims that Skripals daughter smuggled it inside her G-string and so it goes on.

    “War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.”

    George Orwell, 1984.

  12. “how will the Russians vote?”

    Sorry Bardon, but you must have been overindulging on Stolichnaya after a stressful week to arrive at the crazy idea that the Russians will vote.

  13. Hiccup, as they throw open the polling stations doors they are targeting a 60% turnout this time round, not exactly sure when we will get to see any kind of meaningful exit poll predictions.

    MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Russia’s presidential election has begun in the Far East. Residents of the country’s easternmost regions – Kamchatka and Chukotka – are the first to cast their votes.

    Eighty-five Russian regions cover eleven time zones. While it is still Saturday night in most Russian regions, it is 08.00 a.m. Sunday in Kamchatka and Chukotka, when polling stations open the doors for voters.

  14. The Russians will lie about turnout. As they always do. In 2014 after the Russians annexed Crimea, they held a referendum. Publicly turnout was 83% with 97% in favour (Seriously. What, no drunks, spoilt ballots?)
    In fact, turnout was around 30%, and around half voted for annexation (the link is to WaPo https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/05/06/russian-government-agency-reveals-fraudulent-nature-of-the-crimean-referendum-results/?utm_term=.c59e77af0a0a).
    Turnout in 2012 was 65%. Look for higher turnout to be reported in 2018

  15. I’m told by the media that Yulia arrived in the UK about 1 day before the murder attempt. This seems to me to be consistent with an idea that someone wanted Mr Skripal dead for a long time, didn’t know where he lived in the UK ( well done us for keeping that secret if true ), and that Yulia was followed here and there was an opportunist strike to bump him off.
    Does that theory make sense? The stuff about the timing of the strike being connected to today’s election or other current affairs seems like guff. Someone wanted him dead for a while and didn’t have the intelligence to do it until now.

  16. Congratulations to President Putin on his resounding election win. Now with Xi Jinping also appointed as leader and Trump sitting comfortably the world will be a safer place and will be able to get on with business as usual.

  17. @Bardon

    Yep, otherwise known as “peace for our time” in English. Worked out just great last time.

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