Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Putin has Personally Sanctioned ‘Dozens’ of Liquidations, 'SVR General' Telegram Channel Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 28 – The poisoning of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny has raised questions about the Kremlin’s role in it, about whether Vladimir Putin is personally involved and about just how many liquidations the powers that be in Putin’s Russia have carried out and why, the SVR General telegram channel says.

            No one should think that such attacks occur on other than Putin’s order or that there have been only a handful. In fact, the channel says, there have been “dozens, including officers of the special services and the Federal Protective Service” (t.me/generalsvr/188 reposted by rusmonitor.com/po-prikazu-putina-mogli-byt-ubity-desyatki-lyudej-v-t-ch-sotrudnikov-speczsluzhb-i-fso-istochnik.html).

            Putin is obsessed with his own security, and those around him feed his paranoia by coming up with “myths about ‘traitors in the organs’ which ‘enemies’ are using to undermine him,” the channel says. Most often, such murders are disguised and then reported as suicides. In every case, “SVR General” says, Putin “PERSONALLY sanctions these actions in advance.”

            Russky monitor, in reposting this item, gives as an example of this pattern, the reported suicide of a Federal Protective Service officer a month ago (rusmonitor.com/sotrudnik-fso-pokonchil-s-soboj-pryamo-v-kremle.html). Neither the SVR General telegram channel nor Russian monitor provides more examples.

            Consequently, while the report is consistent with what is known about Putin and his highly centralized and authoritarian manner of decision making and rule, it is not backed up by the kind of evidence that would be needed to prove that it is accurate. Unfortunately, in cases of this kind, such evidence by its very nature is quite difficult to obtain. 


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