Friday, November 23, 2007

Lugovoi mocks MI6

It's the anniversary of the death of the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko. It doesn't seem a year ago that everyone in London suddenly developed an irrational fear of sushi bars. Especially sushi bars with men speaking Russian in them.

I thought I'd check out the view from St Petersburg. The British security services' only suspect remains the multimillionaire Andrei Lugovoi, also a former KGB agent, and currently a candidate in the forthcoming Russian parliamentary elections.

Apparently the charges against him are making him something of a celebrity; I imagine they won't hinder his candidature.

He is not very impressed with the evidence against him, saying "they have no proof of any kind" and dismissing the allegations as "raving and barking from across the channel". As for Britain, according to Lugovoi, “Britain has always been a country that allows all sorts of bastards to seek refuge on its territory.” Wow. There's a politician who knows how to give sound bites.

Meanwhile President Putin, in a political rally that according to the St Petersburg Times "blended elements of a Soviet-era Communist Party congress with the raucous enthusiasm of an American political convention" branded his opponents Western-backed jackals. And a girl group in miniskirts sang "I want someone like Putin".

The big question is will he step down, as he has promised, and as the constitution demands. I guess it's going to be hard when you've got girl bands in miniskirts begging you to stay on. He's only human after all.

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