United Retaliation to Nerve Agent Poisonings Shows Russia Has Crossed the Line

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In an unprecedented but well-coordinated move, twenty countries as well as NATO have sent Russian diplomats packing, expelling them in retaliation to Moscow’s nerve agent poisoning of British citizens in the UK early in March. This could be a sign that the West has had enough of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strongman tactics.

The first to expel diplomats was of course the UK, but this move was swiftly followed by twenty countries also forcibly removing Russian diplomats on Monday, March 26. In the US, 60 Russian diplomats were forced to leave. The following day, March 27, NATO also announced the expulsion of seven Russian diplomats over the nerve agent poisoning.

The poisoning, an assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal, 66, a former Russian intelligence officer, occurred on March 4. His daughter Yulia, age 33, and a policemen who tried to help them, were also poisoned in the attack.

The attempt has caused furor within the international community, specifically in western countries that Mr. Putin has long thought to be too disunited to stand against his strongman policies and actions. But he may have underestimated the consequences of this latest attack, which most likely include ramifications for his intelligence operations.

Mr. Putin has invested much in clandestine operations overseas, including an army of spies in three branches: military intelligence (GRU), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and  political policemen who have become spies,  the Federal Security Service (FSB). The united campaign that kicked out 120 Russian diplomats is sure to deliver a blow to these covert operations, although they represent only a small portion of the total number of intelligence operatives.

Both intelligence-gathering as well as subversion operations are likely to get affected by the expulsions. These operations are wide ranging, and include such activities as encouraging far-right organizations in Europe and supporting the paramilitary in Bulgaria.

The united retaliation shows a marked change, geopolitically speaking, since similar incidents in the past only caused single country to strike back at Russia, as in the 2006 poisoning of defector Alexander Litvinenko in London, when the UK did not receive support from other countries. The same occurred in Estonia in 2014. While allies have been sympathetic, this is the first time a concerted effort of retribution has been launched.

However, the idea that a unified stand needed to be taken against Russia’s tactics has been taking root for some time now. With Russia’s provocative actions in the last few years, such as annexing Crimea, destabilizing Ukraine, US electoral interference, attacking civilians in Syria, perhaps the attack against the Skripals was merely the final straw.

The expulsions seem to have taken the Kremlin by surprise. Mr. Putin and his advisers may have underestimated other countries tolerance of Russia’s actions as well as the possibility of standing as a united front against it.

1 COMMENT

  1. Anyhow, this Russophobe nonsense circus has been going long time since Russia intervened Syria war( done by US Nato to control its large oil & gas found, and to lay new route for Israel gas field pipe to EU), resulting in Western hysteria response in UNSC & MSM, mainly because US, UK, Nato & their accomplices Israel, Saudi, Gulfs…have military advisors and special forces embedded within all these so called moderate terrorists recruited & trained by them.

    US with its tens of allies have been fighting ISIS in Syria & Iraq for few yrs with all powerful weapons but ISIS continue to grow so big to occupy area bigger than France, taking all oil producing facilities. After Russia small Air force intervene, within 1yr almost all terrorists get wipeout….sound fishy huh?

    Whenever Syria Arab Army SAA with Russia Air force near to capture any main city, like Aleppo, recently East Gougt, the whole US Nato gone hysterical. Russia has caught many West & accomplices military advisors hiding in reinforced basement, but has to release them to avoid direct crash with US Nato, and west controlled UN didn’t censored West, and msm blackout. Read RT. com or indendent news like globalrrserach. ca you can find.

    Now that Russia is closed to wipe out most of US Nato ISIS assets, with Putin openly threatened to retaliate if US attacked SAA & Russia army again(which US did frequently with Israel, killing many Russian generals, pilots & advisors), UK decided to raise false flag & force everyone to step up pressure on Russia.

    Guess how did these terrorists able to live in luxury, getting endless supply of food, medicine, money, electricity, GSM & broadband supply to broadcast their headchopping youtube(Google & Facebook will not block), driving Saudi provide brand new black Hilux 4WD equipped with all heavy weapons, tanks, armoured carriers, anti-tank rockets, endless ammunition, petrol, billions to pay salary,…in a war zone? US Nato & Turkey are generously air dropping & supplying them, resupply tens of thousands of terrorists thru Turkey border, recruited by Saudi & trained by USNato.

    Who is buying the crude oil pump by terrorists(expertise by US)? Turkey President son caught with few km long of oil tankers (which RussiaAF bombed off), resell cheaply to Israel & West.

    Now a large group of terrorists tens of thousands purged by SAA are gathered in East Syria protected by US special forces, about 2000, retraining & equipped for new attack. US is rushing to occupy all oil rich areas, building dozen of bases for endless occupation, and their army could pass thru any terrorists zones unobstructed.

    These bases can use for controlling Iraq, Syria and Iran, and a launch pad of invading Iran later. Also to threaten Russia only overseas military base in Middke East, Syria.

    So this writer is a shameless liar of CIA propaganda.

    Read globalresearch.ca, also http://www.moonofalabama.org