I've been a little confused by the Litvinenko stories that have taken over MSM in the UK. I don't care that much who killed him, but the story is being pushed very hard by someone. Why might tell us more about life in Russia today than the simple fact of his death. Or it might just indicate that London's climate is preferable to Chita's.
The core of the argument coming from the western-Russia blogs is that VVP's thugs were barely aware of Litvinenko and his strident criticism. Even well-informed Russians have barely heard of him. There is no chance of the narod, hearing or caring. He lived in London, not in Moscow and was incidental to Russia. If you are unaware, then you don't go to great length to find a rare radioactive material and stage a lengthy and painful death played out, finally, in the press.
If you turn on english language news you don't need me to tell you that VVP did it. There are however a number of alternate views. To give him his due copydude was the first of the Russian blogs was the first to offer up the Berezovsky connection with Saint Sasha, The Toenail Puller, which is a great headline. In quick time he followed it up with Limonov and Litvinenko, highlighting the British press' rather pathetic ability to buy a line from PR agencies. Given that copydude's previous posts (I know not all of them) have concentrated in rather different areas the strength of his convictions came through forcibly.
Sean's Russia Blog also weighs in with a meaty piece of analysis.
And its not just the blogosphere. Tom Parfitt writing in the Guardian warns that we should not rush to judgment.
Back to work, need to hire myself a PR Agency. Not that I am planning any murders; well not actively anyway.