Editors Note: Special thanks to our reporter and research assistants for having the foresight and trusted sources needed in order to verify this connection. Amazingly- or not, we originally broke this story nearly one week before the mainstream media, further proving that small independent news sites like this one are often a step ahead of multinational media conglomerates. Here, here.
21st Century Wire
As the tit for tat spy row you first read about earlier this week here 21WIRE escalated today, with further expulsions threatened by Moscow, Alexander Sternik, chargé d’affaires at the Russian embassy in London, claimed the detention of Ekaterina Zatuliveter was a way of changing the news agenda from the WikiLeaks allegations and England’s failure to beat Russia in the race to host the 2018 World Cup.
By all accounts, it looks like a fantastic story, so why the media black-out? Has the British gov’t instructed its media (via a ‘D NOTICE’) to bury the story for ‘national security’ reasons?
The London Guardian reported on Dec 9th that according to Russia’s top official in London, Parliamentary assistant Zatuliveter’s detention was part of a diplomatic diversion on the part of Britain. Sternik, speaking at a breakfast briefing in central London, told journalists that media-fuelled agitation over Zatuliveter had been used as a smokescreen for Britain’s “considerable” problems.
“We periodically observe these ‘spy scares’ in the British mass media,” he added.
Sternik added, “Usually, these are tried and true methods of drawing away the public eye from more tangible problems. These problems are many over the last couple of months. You can cite the unflattering leaks from WikiLeaks and the unsuccessful [World Cup] bid. So sometimes it is just a PR stunt to ensure the attention is not focused where it should be.”
Moscow media claimed that UK authorities were simply angry over England losing out to Russia in the bid to host the 2018 World Cup. “This all looks like petty revenge on Russia for the football,” said Komsomolskaya Pravda.
A senior source from Russia’s FSB Security Service quoted in another paper said: “Everything is more than strange. The situation is incomprehensible. They arrest an alleged agent. But judging from their announcements, she wasn’t working against Britain. So why deport her with such fuss? It could have all been done quietly without attracting attention. They [just] want to announce a big victory over Russian spies.”
In the British media, two stories which had individually attracted acres of newsprint and hours of airtime, and which are now linked, have disappeared from screens and newspapers.
Perhaps UK authorities are concerned their claims of no connection between the events will not believed, and this instructed the supine British media to drop the story? In the weeks to come, further developments in this story might reveal the full scope of this diplomatic crisis.
In case you missed it earlier in the week…
Queen’s MI5 Detains Russian Honey Trap Spy in Response to England’s 2018 World Cup Humiliation
Tit-for-Tat Diplomatic Row Pits Putin Against the Queen
READ MORE RUSSIAN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Russia Files
Russian Charge D’affaires confirms 21st Century Wire story: UK media goes blackout
December 11, 2010 By 719 Comments