- Russia is locked in an information war with Britain over the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal.
- Over the past few days, Kremlin-backed media outlets have started taking potshots at Queen Elizabeth, even though she has nothing to do with the Skripal case.
- Russian state TV aired segments over the weekend accusing Her Majesty of drinking too much, and trying to associate her with the death of Skripal’s pets.
- Skripal’s guinea pigs were found dead and his cat, Nash van Drake, was put down after weeks of neglect.
As the Russian government continues to feud with the United Kingdom over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, the Kremlin’s anti-British talking points have found a new focus: Queen Elizabeth II.
Despite her role as a ceremonial leader who has no role in foreign policy, espionage, chemical weapons, or police investigations, Russian state media has increasingly started talking up Her Majesty’s involvement in the poisoning in Salisbury, England, and its aftermath.
The United Kingdom, backed by around 20 other Western nations, has said Russia is to blame for the attempted assassination. In return, Russia has promoted a wide array of difficult-to-swallow explanations, including, increasingly, that Britain staged the poisoning as a false flag operation to discredit Moscow.
Dmitry Kiselyov, a Putin-appointed presenter for the state-run Vesti News, suggested on Sunday that the Queen was either “being deceived” or “in on” Britain’s supposed sinister reason behind its refusal to share its intelligence with Moscow during the investigation.
“London still fails to provide any hard evidence to back up their insinuations of Moscow’s fault… It’s already obvious that Theresa May’s administration is simply lying to everybody.
“One one question concerns me right now. What is going on with the Queen? Is Her Majesty Elizabeth II also being deceived, or is she in on it?
“Does the Queen even care what her nationals, burdened with authority, are doing? Perhaps she does, or perhaps she no longer cares.
“Either way, what is her role as the highest moral authority in the Kingdom? Is it to remain silent? If it is, it’s highly similar to protection.
- Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
The news anchor then accused British investigators, and by extension the Queen, of destroying evidence of the nerve agent attack by killing Skripals’ pets.
Skripal’s two guinea pigs were found dead from starvation, while his cat was put down, a strand of the case which has become another strange Kremlin talking point.
“They decided to put the devoted, heroic cat to sleep. Or, as they officially say in the UK, Nash van Drake the cat was euthanised in its best interests.
“Euthanasia is a voluntary process, and this cat didn’t seek death. The experts and Her Majesty made this decision for it since they know better what the cat needs, in the name of the Queen.”
Russia’s embassy in London appeared to endorse Kiselyov’s accusations by tweeting the video clip and saying: “This is how the Salisbury poisoning is seen by the Russian TV.”
Watch the bizarre segment here:
Aleksey Pushkov, a Russian senator and close ally to Vladimir Putin, separately accused the Queen of excessive drinking on state-run TV, an unrelated slight on her character.
He claimed, according to a translation by The Sun:
“Before dinner she drinks a cocktail made from gin and another based on wine, with ice and lemon.
“After the meal, she has a glass of wine with a bar of chocolate. She also drinks dry Martini.
“At the end of the day, she likes to drink cool champagne.”
It’s not clear how Pushkov claimed to know this, but he might not be too far off. Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin, previously said the monarch drank a gin before lunch, wine with lunch, and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening.
- Peter Nicholls/Reuters
Pushkov also claimed that Theresa May has a brandy habit because the Prime Minister was seen cupping her red wine glass rather than holding the stem.
Elina Denisover, a wine expert Pushkov brought onto the show, claimed: “You will get drunk quicker and it is just not pleasant. It means that May got used to another kind of glass – for Cognac.”
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who collapsed on March 4, are both recovering from the attack and no longer in critical condition.