"The Skripal Affair" from London's filing revived the fears of the West before the murders, "perfect Russian intelligence." It will be more useful to recall that in fact, the British, and not Russian (or Soviet) special services are famous for a whole series of political murders in recent decades. And there are numerous examples.
The conduct of special operations, whose purpose is to destroy people on foreign territory, was the responsibility of the British special services. And there are numerous historical evidences, said Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry. "At the same time, they have always been masters in attempts, in many ways successful, to extradite their crimes for others," Zakharova said in the program "Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev" on the "Russia 1" TV channel.
The previous statement by the representative of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this topic dates back to April, that is, in the midst of the scandal surrounding the Violins, and it caused much more noise. Then Maria Zakharova remembered the "Englishwoman" long and not so much history: the murder of Emperor Paul I and Rasputin. Discussion of well-known facts of participation in both of these special operations of the British embassies and their individual employees has not stopped yet.
Now we are talking about events relatively recent, which can be dated conditionally in the second half of the twentieth century. And this is already a period of time when there is a real evidence base, and not just arsenic, in a wild amount found in the remains of Ivan the Terrible. Arsenic could not only mix the English doctor, but, for example, the beloved friend of the Tsar Bogdan Belsky. And he, in turn, was of Lithuanian origin, that is, a descendant of the "Polish-Lithuanian szlachta family" who "left for Muscovy". But it does not occur to anyone to blame Warsaw or Vilnius for poisoning Ivan the Terrible. At least simply because the Poles did not have such behavior, but the British always.
There is in Oxford professor-Sovietologist old school Robert Service, the author of the classic British biographies of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky. In addition to openly Trotskyist studies, the professor also wrote the book Spies and Commissars: Russian Bolsheviks and the West (which has not yet been translated into Russian), which caused a small stir in the venerable community of British intelligence. And, fending off from not always academic accusations, he wrote in the Daily Mail: "Today, British intelligence services are not allowed to conduct subversive activities against foreign states and kill foreign political leaders." In his opinion, "Whitehall wants to pretend that this was always the case, as if Britain had absolutely clean hands. But our hands were not always clean - they were as dirty as all the others. "
In Britain, historically, the attitude to intelligence and service in it is fundamentally different from the global one. England is mostly a spy country. Isolated island position since Elizabethan times gave rise to skewed use of covert operations to achieve European or even world domination. This was also imposed by the specific mentality of the British ruling class with its "game psychology" of gentlemen, whose spirit has been cultivated for centuries in private schools through sport and the idea of life as a great sporting game. Hence the English-language term our game - "our game", so on professional slang is called espionage.
Espionage began to be perceived as a sport on an international scale, and representatives of well-known aristocratic families came to the service of reconnaissance. With intelligence worked together outstanding British writers, poets, journalists. Only in the twentieth century British writers Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Anthony Burges, Ian Fleming, John Le Carre, Frederick Forsythe and Arthur Koestler were connected with British intelligence. And in history there were Christopher Marlowe, Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe.
All this is fundamentally different from the continental attitude towards exploration. This profession was not considered a worthy occupation in Europe for the traditional aristocracy, because it required serious domestic violence over the "noble spirit", the code of honor and such non-political beliefs. Fly with a sword naked on a black horse on the artillery position of the enemy - it is worthy of the European, including the Russian aristocrat. But stealing other people's secrets, inciting sympathetic people to the betrayal of their Motherland or at least the ruling class, bribing, lying and cursing is somehow wrong. But in the English military-political and diplomatic tradition - this is normal. How to organize the killing of disagreeable citizens of other countries.
The most discussed event of this kind, if for a time to forget about Princess Diana, was the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of the Congo after gaining independence from Belgium in 1960. Initially, the murder of Lumumba was accused by the Belgian military and even personally by King Baudouin. Lumumba was considered the personal enemy of King Baudouin after he violated the protocol during the visit of the Belgian monarch to the Congo and delivered an unplanned speech. In it, he insulted Baudouin and pronounced the famous phrase "we are no longer your monkeys!" ("Nous ne sommes plus vos singes!").
Brussels tried to shift all responsibility to local savages (Lumumba was tortured for a day, then shot, the body was dismembered, dissolved in acid, and what remained, just in case, was also burned). And specifically - on the local figure Godfroi Munongo, better known as the King of the Yeke Mwende VI tribe, but he waved a word: "Prove it!".
In 1992, already very old, Munongo suddenly announced that he was ready to tell the whole truth about the death of Lumumba, but died a few hours before the announced press conference, which threatened to become a sensation. All were written off for the age of the king of the jungle, but the residue remained.
The next guilty were the Americans, as it turned out that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had approved the CIA's plans for physical liquidation of Lumumba. Langley has developed several plans - from using a sniper to a collection of poisons. But in the end, they stopped at Operation Blue Arrow - abducting Lumumba and handing it over to local political and tribal opponents.
But in 2010, it suddenly became clear that the key role in this whole story was played by Baroness Daphne Park, the "queen of British intelligence", a legendary woman, "James Bond in a skirt", who gave service to British intelligence for 30 years. Among other things, she was famous for the fact that in 1954, as the second secretary of the embassy in Moscow, she managed to obtain a terribly secret train schedule for the Soviet railways. In 1960, Daphne Park worked as consul in Leopoldville (modern Kinshasa) and personally organized the entire kidnapping of Patrice Lumumba. The CIA provided technical support, directly tortured and shot by representatives of the Yeoko and Teteko tribes under the command of the Belgians, but Baroness Park was responsible for the entire operation.
This information was published not by anyone, but by another aristocratic legend of British intelligence - Sir David Edward Lee, Baron Krondal, a member of the House of Lords, the owner of the monstrous size of the eponymous estate near Farnborough, hung with dozens of medals for the service of the Empire. Earlier, Sir David was not seen in replicating fakes. He claims that Baroness Park, who was never married and had no children, told him as a confidant over a cup of tea about his role in the murder of Lumumba a few months before his death.
For some reason, the British embassy in Moscow threw this information into disrepute, although it did not concern them at all, since the scandal is primarily an intra-British scandal. A representative of the embassy said that "these statements do not correspond to the previous comments of Lady Park on this topic." "As previously stated by the Foreign Office, the head of intelligence and later Lady Park itself, who died in 2010, the British government does not commit murder and does not authorize any party to do so," the report said. Touching, but not very unconvincing.
The peak of this kind of secret operations, which was conducted by the Operational Department of MI-6, became 70-s. In 1976, the military dictator of the country, General Murtal Mohammed, was killed in Nigeria. In 1977, Archbishop Janani Luvum was assassinated in Uganda, trying to contradict Idi Amin and the British ambassador. In the same year 1977 and again in the Congo, Marian Nguabi, another pro-Soviet leader, who became the head of the country at the age of 29, was killed, being a military soldier and chairman of the Central Committee of the Congolese Labor Party. The investigation of this murder is not finished until now and is accompanied by a number of conspiracy versions. So, the next day, Cardinal Emil Biyanda was kidnapped and killed, with whom Nguabi met before his death. And the eldest son of the Congolese Socialist, Marian Nguabi, Jr. died in the aftermath under unclear circumstances. In the USSR it was openly stated that the murder of Ngouabi was the result of a conspiracy of external forces, in the then terminology - "a criminal act of imperialism".
It should be specially noted that all the events described were successfully written off to local circumstances,
about what Maria Zakharova said. One of the principles of British intelligence is the division of responsibility. All parts of the operation are divided so that, in the event of a failure, they can be separately written off to some legal events or, at worst, to the work of a legal residency, but they will not be able to link them into a single chain. Guilty there will always be some King Mwenda VI, not Lady Park, even if the British ears stick out from behind each curtain.
A separate story is Yemen, whose history, after the proclamation of independence, was constantly shaken by coups and political murders, where the hand of the Empire was somehow visible. In the same 1977, the most popular politician in the history of Yemen and the military - the president of Northern Yemen, Colonel Ibrahim Mohammed al-Hamdi, was killed so far. A year later, the head of South Yemen, the hero of the struggle against the British colonialists Salem Rubai Ali, was killed.
The murders of Yemeni politicians have long been attributed to the machinations of desert tribes that were influenced by Saudi Arabia (the Al-Ahmar tribe, for example), which could not tolerate the unification of Yemen, regardless of ideology. But this is already a classic of the genre: the motor of most political murders and coups in Yemen were the English, who considered this land extremely important for the Empire and its loss - a bloody offense.
The Soviet and, even more so, Russian intelligence never organized the murders of foreign politicians or even attempted them. There were no attempts to violently change the state system. All the horror stories that are used in Britain are associated with a very short time interval known as "Sudaplatovsky", during which the leaders of the Ukrainian nationalist underground (Bandera, Rebet) were physically eliminated, and none other than them. But this practice was discontinued in the 60-ies.
The world of espionage is so arranged that the attempt to implant a certain moral and ethical factor into it always looks like a medical mistake by the surgeon. In the USSR, "exas", political terror and violent interference in the life of other countries were banned not so much for moral and ethical reasons, but for reasons of strategic policy. Moscow highly valued international law, which even after the Helsinki Conference ensured the inviolability of European borders. And so violating the written and unwritten rules of the world hostel was considered strategically dangerous in order not to give rise to additional attacks on the Soviet Union as an "evil empire." It was enough "human rights", which from all the cracks crept. "The Afghan excess" with the death of Hafizullah Amin, who is loved not only in Britain but in the Russian liberal environment, still remains a controversial episode. So attempts to present "exes" as a kind of Soviet-Russian "tradition" are at least not historical.
But to appeal to British historical memory is meaningless. The behavior of British intelligence in third countries has always been, to put it mildly, cheeky and frank, but in London it is perceived rather as valor than error or crime. Even the present era of political correctness does not change anything. In the end, a fictional literary-cinematic character with a "license to kill" - a hero of British folklore, and not Soviet-Russian.