Trump dodges confirming Russia responsible for attack as another Putin critic is found dead in UK

vilaghelyzete / Flickr Trump Putin G20...
vilaghelyzete / Flickr

Donald Trump is still refusing to say anything for sure though he has at least, reluctantly, mentioned the “R” word.

“It sounds to me like it would be Russia based on all the evidence they have. It sounds to me like they believe it was Russia and I would certainly take that finding as fact. As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be.”

If this sounds familiar, it may be because of Trump’s similarly inconclusive statements in 2017 on the Russian theft of private emails during the election.

“Knowing something about hacking, if you don’t catch a hacker…in the act, it’s very hard to say who did the hacking. With that being said, I’ll go along with Russia. It could have been China. It could have been a lot of different groups.”

Or Trump’s statement during the debates.

“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China, but it could also be lots of other people, it also could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”

Meanwhile, with Theresa May setting a deadline of this afternoon for Russia to produce some reason why the UK should not strike back, it appears that another former Russian turned Putin critic in the UK has died.

There is of yet no evidence that this new death is anything other than natural. But with the UK already staggering from the idea that Russia used a military nerve agent to attack people in a British village, it’s certain to face scrutiny.

Nikolai Glushkov was discovered by his family and friends late on Monday night, aged 68. The cause of death is not yet clear. …

In the 1990s, Glushkov worked for the state airline Aeroflot and [oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s] car company. In 1999, as Berezovsky fell out with Putin and fled to the UK, Glushkov was charged with money laundering and fraud. He spent five years in jail and was freed in 2004.

In recent years, Glushkov had lived in London, where he received political asylum. In 2011, he gave evidence at the court case brought by Berezovsky against his fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich, who remained on good terms with the Kremlin.

Berezovsky was found hanging in 2013, dead of an apparent suicide. Glushkov stated at the time that he was sure his friend had been killed.

Glushkov continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding Berezovsky’s death for some months. In 2013 he emailed a friend: “I have a lot of new facts that are of great interest.”

Glushkov’s death may be completely unrelated to events in Salisbury, where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned using a nerve agent that may have spread to as many as 500 other people.

Theresa May has promised that the UK will announce action against Russia on Wednesday if Russia is unable to provide a satisfactory answer for why a nerve agent manufactured only by the Russian military was deployed against Russian exiles on British soil. That action could be limited to economic sanctions, but considering the outrage and shock in the UK against what’s widely seen as a state-sponsored terrorist attack, the UK response is likely to go beyond just clamping down on a few oligarch’s bank accounts.

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