Eric Zuesse – What US and Allied ‘News’ Media Refuse to Publish


What US and Allied ‘News’ Media Refuse to Publish

They refuse to publish the truth about each other, because they’re all in this together. Whereas some lies are different in different media, other lies are the same in virtually all media – and those are the most important lies. This will be shown here. On the most important lies, they can’t expose each other, because then they would also be exposing themselves. Especially regarding international relations and national ‘defense’, the US and allied ‘news’ media lie more than they tell the truth; and the liberal and conservative ‘news’ media are equally deceitful, as a consequence of which, the US invades and destroys one country after another (always a country that never invaded nor threatened to invade the United States), and the American people aren’t outraged at what their country is doing.

On March 1st, Gallup headlined China, Russia Images in US Hit Historic Lows and closed their article on an optimistic (for neoconservatives – which includes all U.S.-and allied billionaires) note for the new Biden Administration in Washington and for NATO, by saying: “China and Russia are among the more challenging nations for US foreign policy under the Biden Administration, as they were for the prior Obama and Trump Administrations. But Biden’s task may be made a bit easier if the current low favorable ratings mean Americans are unified in their perceptions of the challenges each country presents.” The rank order there, of the approval ratings by Americans regarding all 18 countries in that report, was virtually exactly the same as had been the ‘news’ slant in US MainStream Media – both of the right and of the left – regarding each one of those countries, during recent years. Media made that rank order the way it is. That rank order was Canada, Great Britain, France, Japan, Germany, India, Israel, Taiwan, Mexico, Egypt, Cuba, The Palestinian Authority, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Iran, and North Korea. America’s vassal nations or ‘allies’ had gotten favorable ‘news’ slants (propaganda) in US ‘news’m media, while America’s target nations (which the US regime and its CIA are trying to conquer) had gotten unfavorable ‘news’ slants (propaganda) from them – and that shaped this rank order.

In fact, at Gallup’s Country Ratings, is shown these country ratings month by month, and all of them have changed, over time, in the same way that America’s ‘news’ media coverage of the given country had been changing before that. The ‘news’ media had prepped the American public to invade and destroy Iraq in 2003, and to invade and destroy Libya in 2011, and to invade and destroy Syria since 2012, etcetera, and, therefore anyone who (like many billionaires) owns stock in a corporation such as Lockheed Martin and who wants to increase his or her wealth, is going to be concerned about keeping up the fear and hatred that Americans feel toward the leaders of the target countries, so that sanctions and ultimately invasions will be supported by the American people, and the US and allied nations will become enabled to increase their ‘Defense’ budgets (going to firms such as Raytheon), against such countries.

Whereas Canada, Great Britain, France, Japan, Germany, India, Israel, and Taiwan, are ‘allies’ and markets for the products of firms such as Lockheed Martin; Cuba, The Palestinian Authority, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Iran, and North Korea, are instead targets for their products; and this is how US foreign policy is formed, and how the ‘news’ slant is formed, in the United States – which shapes that rank order. Those corporations need not only ‘allies’, markets for their products, but also ‘enemies’, targets for their products.

Minds are easy things to manipulate if the people who are doing the manipulating want to manipulate them. How to do it has been understood for at least a hundred years. In a word, it’s done by lying. Think about Saddam’s WMD, for example. At least ever since the end of World War II in the US, the US regime has had an extremely effective system for doing that. In the CIA, it used to be called Operation Mockingbird (originally called Project Mockingbird), and it included (and still includes) all of the nation’s major and most of its minor media. Carl Bernstein wrote about that CIA operation in Rolling Stone on 20 October 1977, THE CIA AND THE MEDIA, and that was a softer version of the reality, which didn’t even mention the word “Mockingbird.” The CIA’s own records on it lied, saying that it had only briefly existed, during the early 1960’s. “During its short tenure, MOCKINGBIRD established the identities of a significant number of sources and ‘cooperative’ individuals. Much of this information was of a partisan political nature or was in the nature of seeking a ‘plug.’ (11)” Not in law but in reality, the CIA exists to fool Americans; it isn’t merely to fool foreigners. It manipulates mass minds in all US and allied countries, and doesn’t do it only in countries where it’s fomenting or trying to foment coups. Though liberal media such as CNN and conservative media such as Fox News criticize each other, and so do America’s political Parties criticize each other, they all are on the side of the ‘us’, “the USA” (controlled by America’s billionaires) and its ‘allies’ (vassal nations) such as NATO, against the ‘them’ (which our rulers create), ‘our’ ‘enemies’, against whom the regime (all of the billionaires who control the entire system and hire its ‘news’ media and politicians, and own its ‘Defense’ contractors) is propagandizing.

This has become the permanent war, since 1945 – the US constant warfare state, the world’s first global empire – and that’s something which is prohibited for any US MainStream ‘newsMedium to report exists.

For example, before America conquered and destroyed Iraq on March 20th of 2003, Gallup found that only 5% of Americans were “Favorable” to Iraq during 14 – 15 March 2003, and that this had been approximately the figure ever since at least 1991, but in Gallup’s next polling on that question, during 9 – 12 February 2004, 21% of Americans were “Favorable” to Iraq, and this 21% figure has steadily remained approximately the same figure ever since. After America conquered and controlled Iraq, the US coverage of Iraq’s Government improved considerably, and therefore American’s approval of Iraq suddenly shot up, and has stayed up, because the media’s lying against Iraq plunged after the conquest.

What the ‘news’ media won’t report about is that they are all in this Public Deception Operation together and they are all controlled by America’s fewer than a thousand billionaires, the people who control US based international corporations and who fund politicians into Congress and the White House. They are America’s authentic masters, and their ‘news’media misrepresent America (such as that it’s a ‘democracy) and don’t only misrepresent foreign countries. The big problem with competition is always who controls it, and if the only people who control it, ultimately, are the billionaires who control the ‘news’ media, and who control the ‘Defense’ contractors such as General Dynamics which sell only to the US Government and to its allied Governments, then, of course, there will result a direct correlation between those Gallup rankings, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the intentions that America’s billionaires collectively have, regarding which nations to sanction, or to coup, or to invade, next. All of this operation – every part of it – exists but is censored out of all of that ‘news’ reporting, because the ultimate scandal is those billionaires themselves, and is their collective control over the system that they call ‘democracy’, which is very different from any actual democracy. Where the billionaires rule, it can be called an “oligarchy” if it’s a banana republic, but it is more commonly called an “aristocracy” if it’s instead an imperialistic country, such as Britain, or France, or Nazi Germany, or Hirohito’s Japan, or today’s United States. Anyway, it’s certainly no democracy. How can America be a democracy and yet have a higher percentage of its citizenry in prison than any of the other 220 nations on Earth does? It’s not possible. And yet all of the US and allied media say it’s not only possible, but real.

Here are a few current examples of how this mass deceit functions, and these examples dig a bit deeper than the findings in that March 1st Gallup factual report, so as to explain those findings, by pointing out what causes those findings (that rank order) to be the way that they are.

Also on March 1st, the German “Moon of Alabama” blogger headlined Biden Breaks Campaign Promise On Morgage backed Security Punishment | Psaki Lies To Hide That | Guardian Fakes Quote To Hide Psaki’s Lie, and he documented that Biden, and America’s foreign allies, are actually NOT concerned about either democracy, or basic decency, from rulers that the US is allied with. The main issue there was the luring, trapping, and murdering, of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. The very next day, on the 2nd of March, Reuters reported that the exact opposite treatment is being given by these same leaders (US and its ‘allies’) to countries that the US and its allies are trying to conquer, specifically Russia, but also including nations that are on good terms with Russia, such as China, Syria, and Iran (countries that scored near the bottom of Gallup’s favorability list). All of this that “MoA” (Memorandum of Agreement) was reporting relates to lying and hypocrisy that is done by US and allied leaders and their ‘news’ media while they still proclaim that they are ‘democracies’ who are opposing countries that aren’t. How often does one see or he°ar US media saying that other US media have lied about a factual matter? They may report that a politician of the opposite Party had lied, but never that one of their own competitors had lied. They cover for one another. They absolutely refuse to publish anything about the corruptness of America’s MainStream – and most of its non MainStream (but also billionaire controlled) – ‘news’ media. What US and allied ‘news’ media refuse to publish, at all, is their own systematic complicity in the lying that goes on, day after day, for decades on end. It’s not only the Government that lies constantly.

The front page of the Weekend Edition of the Financial Times headlined, on February 20th, Biden tells world ‘America is back’ but warns democracy under assault, and quoted Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as saying that “The prospects for multilateralism are much better this year than they were two years ago, and that has a lot to do with Joe Biden becoming US president.” However, nothing concrete was reported achieved from Biden’s participation in the February 19th virtual G7 Conference, which was sponsored from Munich. Merkel (as a US vassal) naturally wants favorable relations with the new US President, but spoke only in platitudes, because the US regime’s demand that Germany not buy Russia’s inexpensive Pipelined natural gas but instead buy America’s vastly more expensive canned liquefied natural gas, is too much even for a vassal, such as she, to accept. She doesn’t want to make blatantly obvious, to her voters, that she’s their enemy. Even a vassal leader needs to look not only upward to the imperial master, but downward to the population whose votes she will also need.

Then, on March 2nd, the next step in the ratcheting up of US and allied sanctions against Russia was announced. Reuters headlined US imposes sanctions on Russia over poisoning of Navalny, and reported “The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities over Russia’s attempt to kill opposition figure Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent, senior Biden Administration officials said. (9) (…) The moves were being taken in coordination with the European Union. They reiterated President Joe Biden’s call for Russia to release Navalny from prison.” Biden was using the Navalny Case as a ‘moral’ reason why Germany must not buy Russia’s natural gas.

A month before that, on February 1st, Russia’s Foreign Ministry had issued, both in Russian and in English, a detailed timeline regarding the Navalny Case, headlining Press release on Russian German contacts on the ‘Alexey Navalny Case’. It pointed out key events that had not been reported in US and allied media but only in non US allied media. Because it did point out those things, there was no coverage, in the US and allied countries, of that Russian news report.

The US and UK Governments function together internationally almost as one, and therefore, also on February 1st, Russia’s RT channel headlined with yet another important event in this matter that had never been reported on in The West. Top Navalny aide asked alleged British spy for millions in funding, intelligence video released by Russia’s FSB claims to reveal. Included there, was a video that Russian Counter Intelligence had recorded in 2012, a video of the Russian ‘anti corruption activist’ Alexey Navalny’s N° 2 man Vladimir Ashurkov discussing with an alleged MI6 agent (James William Thomas Ford, Second Secretary for Political Affairs at the UK Embassy in Russia) inside a Moscow restaurant, as to whether MI6 would donate to Navalny’s operation “a little money,” such as “10, 20 million dollars a year.” “And this is not a big amount of money for people who have billions at stake.” Navalny’s operation was implicitly acknowledging there, that they aim to assist billionaires. It would help Navalny create “mass protests, civil initiatives, establishing contacts,” etcetera. But the UK official suggested instead “turning to Transparency International for grants. Ashurkov said he doubted that working with Transparency ‘would be effective’.” However, what happened afterward is not publicly known. Ashurkov, at this same meeting, additionally asked for MI6 to supply Navalny’s group with dirt on Russia’s Government that they could then “release in conjunction with the Henry Jackson Society,” which is the British Conservative Party’s think tank that’s named after the far right US Democratic Party Senator (a closeted version of the Republican Party’s infamous Joseph R McCarthy) who had started the neoconservative movement, and who especially hated Russia.

In the United States, anyone who would be caught trying to sell out America’s Government to any other Government would be prosecuted for treason, and publicly executed. Russia did not do that to Navalny. On February 2nd, a Moscow Court replaced Navalny’s three and a half year suspended sentence for violating parole on a prior conviction, with an actual prison sentence, minus the amount of time he had spent under house arrest, meaning he would spend over two and half years in “a corrective labor colony.” That imprisonment of Navalny increased the numbers of Russians who demonstrated against Putin in various cities throughout Russia in support of Navalny.

The idea that the Russian Government poisoned Alexei Navalny presumes such astounding stupidity on the part of Russia’s Government as to be exceedingly dubious, at best. On 5 September 2020, right before the latest Russian Presidential Election, the internationally respected Levada polling organization in Russia reported that the top choice of Russians to lead the country was Vladimir Putin at 56%, the second from top choice was Vladimir Zhirinovsky at 5%, and Alexey Navalny (shown there as Алексей Навальный), was the third from top choice, at 2%. In the 2018 Presidential Election, Zhirinovsky polled at 13.7%, Grudinin polled at 12.0%, and Putin polled at 72.6%. The actual election outcome was Putin 76.69%, Pavel Grudinin 11.7%, and Zhirinovsky 5.65%. The idea that Putin would need to kill anyone in order to be leading Russia is so stupid and uninformed (and mis informed) that it is beyond belief, though it is widely publicized in The West as being instead the reality. The contempt that US and allied leaders and ‘news’ media have for their respective publics is so clear that provable lies are presented to the public as being instead proven truths. But what is true is that Navalny has been an immense propaganda asset to the US Government, and he now is especially so. Stirring up anti Russian hatred is the best way for the U.S. and UK Governments to get the EU to oppose Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas Pipeline. Whether US or UK Intelligence Agencies were behind the 2020 poisoning of Navalny in order to blame it on Russia so as to get the EU to oppose Nord Stream 2 is speculative, but certainly it is likelier than that Putin was behind that poisoning.

Furthermore, Wikipedia notes that Ashurkov “is in contact with Mikhail Khodorkovsky.” In other words, Navalny’s ‘anti corruption campaign’ is being backed by the man who had gained the most from Russia’s most corrupt period, which was when Boris Yeltsin was in power during the 1990’s. And look at what that corruption did to Russia’s economy. That’s what the US regime wants to be re installed in Russia. It’s no wonder, then, why Ashurkov, and his boss, Navalny, are trying to sell out Russia.

Here is a video that Alexei Navalny posted to youtube on 19 September 2007, under the title of “НАРОД за легализацию оружия” meaning “PEOPLE for the legalization of weapons”.

Alexey Navalny – НАРОД за легализацию оружия

Published 19 sep. 2007

Ролик Национального Русского Освободительного Движения (НАРОД), выпущенный в поддержку легализации короткострольного оружия.


He was saying there that all Russians should get guns in order to kill Muslims who are infesting Russia, which would be like swatting big flies or stamping on big cockroaches.

An excellent article by Kevin Rothrock, on 25 April 2017, How Alexey Navalny Abandoned Russian Nationalism, explains Navalny’s switch from being an exterminationist far right wing nationalist libertarian Russian to gravitating, after 2011, toward the US liberal position and the key event that caused him to become intensely backed by the US regime being the February 2014 US coup in Ukraine and subsequent breakaway of both Donbass and Crimea. Rothrock quoted a Russian commentator. “The story with Crimea, where Putin acted like a Russian nationalist for the first and only time in his 15 year rule, plunged Navalny into deep confusion. He didn’t know how to act. Support the reabsorption of Crimea? But then they’d consider you a Putin supporter. Oppose it? Well then say goodbye to your patriot image.” This was when Navalny decided that he’d better stick with the ‘anti corruption’ campaign, in order to replace Putin. The nationalism focus would no longer work for him.

The media in US and allied nations simply refuse to publish the reality of their respective Government’s policy objectives regarding Russia and China. Here, from the great independent geostrategic analyst Alexander Mercouris, is a fine example of the type of analysis that they censor mout – block their public from having access to. It’s much more insightful than the US and allied major media coverage, and the February 19th virtual G7 Conference might as well have preceded as followed after (as it did) his comments. I have turned this video presentation by him on February 12th into a transcript, for anyone who would prefer that to listening to the 14 minute video. His presentation separates the surface from the substance, none of which was changed by that Conference – it’s still the situation, presented, with honest  insight.

Good day. It is becoming increasingly clear that Germany greatly overplayed its hand with Russia over the Navalny affair. As we all know, Alexey Navalny the Russian dissident leader was brought to Germany following an agreement between the Russian and German Governments after he fell ill on a flight from the Russian city of Tomsk and was treated in a hospital in Omsk. Whilst in Germany the German Government on the basis of laboratory findings from a Bundeswehr laboratory and a laboratory in Sweden claimed that Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok, the famous Russian nerve agent which we hear so much about, and pointed its finger at senior officials within the Russian leadership as being responsible and called for Russia to institute a criminal investigation. The Germans also dropped all sorts of hints that if the Russians did not launch that investigation they the Germans or at least the European Union would retaliate with possible and potential sanctions and there were even some suggestions that the North Stream Two gas pipeline between Russia and Germany would either be cancelled or would be put on hold.
If this ploy or strategy relating to Navalny was intended to put the Russians in a difficult place, then it’s clear that it wasn’t thought through properly. In fact the Russians pushed back very hard, refused to open an investigation, and demanded to see the evidence that the Germans said pointed to Navalny having been poisoned by Novichok. This evidence, for unknown reasons, the Germans and the various laboratories involved and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have refused to supply, lending doubts to the credibility of the whole German and western narrative around Navalny’s poisoning, but then of course further things happened. Navalny himself decided to return to Moscow or perhaps was persuaded to return there – there’s been some dispute about this – and on arrival was arrested and brought before a court and is now facing a three year prison term because of his breach of parole conditions for an for an earlier sentence. Protests then followed in Moscow and other Russian cities which contrary to some claims in the Western media seem to have been poorly attended, and the result was more demands from more people around the west for more action to be taken against Russia. It has become increasingly clear, over the rush the last few days, that the Germans in particular, the country which has arguably the greatest interest in a strong relationship with Russia, is not prepared to take any step which would in fact break important diplomatic and economic connections to Russia. The German Government seems to have categorically rejected any step for example to cancel or suspend or put on hold the Nordstream 2 Pipeline. In fact we’ve now had statements about Nordstream 2 from a growing number of German officials. The German Economics Minister Peter Altmeier has come out in support of it, so has the German President Frank Walter Steinmeier, who has referred to Nordstream 2 as a bridge to Russia and has pointedly reminded Germans that this year is the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s fateful attack on Russia – on the Soviet Union – on 22nd June 1941, the episode, the operation, known as Operation Barbarossa, and this comment about Nordstream 2 being a bridge to Russia has also now been made in rather passionate terms by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas who is widely assumed or thought by many people to be one of the most anti Russian personalities within the German Government. In fact not only did Heiko Maas talk about Nordstream 2 being a bridge to Russia but he also spoke in terms of the cancellation of Nordstream 2 accelerating the trend for Russia to detach itself from Europe and possibly seek friends elsewhere – of course he means China but he doesn’t (as is always the case he didn’t) want to say that. Angela Merkel herself, as is always the case, maintains a sphinx like silence on these issues, but she too has signaled her continued support for Nordstream 2 and her continued wish for continued dialogue with Russia. Her likely successor Armin Laschet has also made clear that he too supports Nordstream 2 and wants to see the Pipeline completed and wants to maintain close links with Russia. Moreover the Germans are now apparently in negotiation with the Biden Administration to have US sanctions on Nordstream 2 [that were] imposed by the Trump administration eased or lifted. The talk apparently is of a mechanism being created whereby if Russia were to cease to supply natural gas through Ukraine – through the pipelines that run through Ukraine – Germany would somehow switch off Nordstream 2. That is, I have to say, a complete non starter. If that is indeed what the Biden Administration and the Germans are negotiating, then the Biden Administration is going to give up the sanctions or ease the sanctions, in return effectively for nothing. [Here is why:]
There is no possibility at all that if Russia and Ukraine have another gas war so that Russian gas deliveries through Ukraine are switched off, Germany would damage its own economy in solidarity with Ukraine by switching off Nordstream 2 and denying itself Russian gas [which is vastly cheaper than America’s liquefied natural gas that the Trump Administration were insisting the EU use instead]. This bears all the hallmarks of a face saving compromise whereby the Germans get what what they want and the Biden Administration is able to walk away and say that it has again achieved something when in fact it has achieved nothing.
As I’ve discussed in other videos already we see the Biden Administration copying in many respects things that Obama used to do, and this sort of negotiation is a case in point. Anyway let’s put all that to one side.
It’s clear that the Germans are not prepared to sever their relations with Russia. All the talk now is of sanctions in the run up to the European Council meeting at the end of February, but it’s also clear that those sanctions when they come will be sanctions against individual Russian officials; they will not extend to sanctions against Russia as a whole, or even against major sectors of the Russian economy, like the sectoral sanctions which the EU imposed on Russia in 2014. The Russians are used to these sanctions on individual Russian business figures and political leaders and security officials and even on Russian companies. They will simply shrug their shoulders and carry on exactly as before.
So we see token actions from Germany which really are intended to give the appearance of action when in reality there is none, giving the Russians every confidence that the Germans actually are now fully committed and invested in maintaining their relationship with the Russians and are not going to do anything to jeopardize it.
Well, perhaps that is a good thing, perhaps on balance it is as well that the Germans are now clarifying fully what their intentions are. I suspect that the Germans have been spooked by commentaries that have been coming out of Moscow and indeed from the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Russia has given up any idea of forging a relationship with the EU, that it no longer sees the EU and by extension Germany as a reliable partner, that Russia is now going to pursue a EurAsian policy and that it will focus instead on developing its relationship with China. I think this has been very unsettling to the Germans, and I think that they are unnerved and alarmed by it and I think that they are therefore changing course. I’m also starting to think that the disastrous visit by Joseph Borrell the EU External Affairs Commissioner to Moscow, which took place last week and which I’ve discussed at great detail in previous programs, was partly intended as a way by the Germans to open some kind of line of communication to the Russians to reassure the Russians that some kind of active dialogue between the EU and Russia would continue. If so, what the Germans will have found is that the Russians are in no mood to make any sort of concession at all and that they expect any future relationship between the EU and Russia and between Germany and Russia specifically to be conducted from now on increasingly on Russian terms. Well, as I said, it’s probably better that the Germans have clarified where they stand on this. I say that though of course the EU Council meeting has not yet taken place and it’s possible that we may still see surprises there, but given the noises that are coming out of Berlin I would be surprised if that was the case.
How did the Germans get into this position?

I think the Germans need to understand that in dealing with Russia you have to be as Otto von Bismarck the German chancellor who spoke Russian, was once Prussia’s Ambassador to the Russian Court in Saint Petersburg and knew the Russians well. What the Germans need to understand is that when dealing with Russia you have ultimately to play a straight game. Bismarck put it very well. He said that with the Russians you should play straight or not at all. If you want confrontation with them they will accept that. If you want to deal with them they will accept that too. But they will not accept a game where you are both seeking to deal with them and confronting them at the same time. That is unsustainable. It’s a shame and a pity that it took so long [to recognize this] and obviously adventures and episodes like the Navalny Affair will not be tolerated further. In future we will see how well and how fully this lesson has been learned in Berlin. If the Germans want a long term confrontation with Russia they can have it. If the Germans want a strong relationship with Russia they can have it too. They mustn’t expect the Russians to bend to their will. The Russians have never done that, and they never will.

That commentary accurately predicted the new economic sanctions that the US and the EU are now (as of March 2nd) imposing as a supposed response to Putin’s supposed guilt in the supposed novichok poisoning of a proven Russian traitor. I’d wager that it’s too good a commentary for US and allied ‘news’ media to allow their respective publics to hear, read, or otherwise get to know about. But we’ll see.

This report is being submitted to all of the major, and many of the smaller, newsmedia in the US, UK, Canada, and a few other countries, so that each of them will have an opportunity to publish it to their respective audience, if they wish to inform, instead of merely to propagandize, their audience.

UPDATED March 4th
Alexander Mercouris noted that the sanctions he had predicted the US and EU to issue against Russia regarding the Navalny Affair turned out now to have become issued, and that they are entirely nominal, nothing substantive. He also said the following, which places into a context that’s exactly opposite to the one that The West has been accusing against Russia, his understanding of what the attitude toward Navalny has thus far actually been.

Moscow Calls EU US Sanctions Bluff, Humiliates EU  and Biden
4 March 2021 Alexander Mercouris
10:50 “The key point to understand about Navalny is that the Russians, until fairly recently, have been unwilling to take strong action against him because I think they have always been wary of the reaction of The West if they did. I say that because there’s been lots of speculation about why Navalny has been allowed by the Russian authorities to serially break Russian laws without any action being taken against him. I think the Russians have long believe that Navalny, if not exactly a Western asset, is at least someone The West supports, and I think they said to themselves, well, let’s not jail him or take action against him because he’s of only marginal importance in Russia, and doing any step against him would be more trouble than it’s worth. Well, that calculus changed over the course of the Autumn, when of course Navalny became the subject of an international scandal with allegations that he’d been poisoned by the Russian authorities themselves with Novichok and when he started accusing Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, of himself directly ordering his poisoning.”