By Viraj Mehta


Alexander Litvinenko

Alexander Litvinenko

Over the past few months, tensions between the West and the “Beast from the East” have grown, meteorologically and politically. It started a few years with the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and has progressed at a rapid speed. Arguably it reached its peak as events unfold now, with the nerve agent attack in Salisbury against Mr. Skripal and his daughter to the mysterious death of a Russian businessman the week after the attack. From the top of the food chains, Ms. May and the Kremlin are sending each other vicious messages and handing out harsh but fair punishments.

But first, we must cast our mind back to 2009, to the streets of central London. Alexander Litvinenko was an ordinary person living in London with his partner. He was from Russia and he used to be part of the KGB. He helped the government sell secrets. But he got out of hand. He protested, wrote a book and voiced his concerns about the Russian government’s actions. He was branded “a liar”, a “traitor” and “betrayer” of his “Motherland”. Later, after moving to the UK, he wanted to turn over a new leaf and worked as a security analyst. However, evidently, this did nothing, as he was brutally murdered by two Russian former-KGB officials. He had been poisoned with large amounts of polonium which led to his death. The aftermath was horrible. First, 3 Russian diplomats were expelled from the UK. Then, after noting the trace of polonium all across London, the two suspects were going to be extradited from Russia, but a big complication ensued and in the lack of real investigation the Russians made hundreds of excuses. The suspects in the next few years rose through the Russian hierarchical ranks to become famous parliamentarians and celebrities within Russia. This created implications for the years to come, as, whilst the investigation died down, the authorities were on the ropes with Russia and were wary. Until now…

Over the last few weeks, panic has ensued as in the UK, especially in Salisbury, with a nerve agent attack against Mr. Skripal and his daughter. He was a former Russian spy who came to the UK in a spy swap. Then, a nerve agent was administered which caused frothing at the mouth and his eyes "being wide open but completely white", according to an eyewitness. Hundreds of emergency services are currently at the scene figuring out what happened. The nerve agent was called Novichok and Theresa May responded by expelling 23 Russian diplomats. This showed possible strength but frantic conversations with the Russian state leading to more excuses relating to the UK possibly being the source of the agent. Later, after a week, Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov was found dead at his house. Police have yet to find any connection to the nerve attack, but who knows what is going on.

Overall, reflecting on the past few weeks, it is clear to see how Russian influence has created a massive criminal network that we cannot detect but which has caused serious harm to the UK, especially as tales of the past unravel, with a relentless Putin at its head. It is crucial that now more than ever we must stop this tyranny and help bring down the Russians and the harm they caused.