Russophile Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, writing on the BBC website, has a rude awakening because of the Markelov assassination. We would point out that he states errantly: “As Anastasia [Baburova] tried to grab the killer he turned and shot her too.” In fact, it’s now clear that there is no evidence to support this claim, since there were no witnesses and Baburova did not survive the attack. The notion that Baburova provoked her own killing could easily be a Kremlin propaganda ploy to undercut outrage over the killing of a young woman (either because, as a Novaya Gazeta reporter, she had been targeted or because she needed to be liquidated as the only witness). Now that time has passed, it’s shamefully irresponsible to repeat this unsubstantiated canard without questioning its origin.
Here is the text:
There is a tendency for many to resort to stereotypes when describing Russia. The Fleet Street headline writers rarely resist an opportunity to declare the outbreak of a new Cold War. This week there was much chortling in British newspapers at the story of a Russian airline pilot who had been forced off a plane because he was too drunk to make the safety announcement. These Russians, many will have giggled, they will never change.