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  • Photo of Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in dock
    Russian carrier accident reveals parlous state of infrastructure

    A translation of an article by Norway’s Aftenposten Moscow correspondent Per Anders Johansen @PerAJohansen published on 2 November 2018:

    Russia's only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, is often presented as the most striking symbol of Russia’s resurgent military power.

    In the early hours of Tuesday [1 November 2018], the carrier was damaged in a serious accident while undergoing repairs in Murmansk.

    One worker was killed and four hurt in the dramatic accident, which is being seen as a huge scandal in Russia.

  • British countryside scene
    Demolishing the Kremlin’s absurd theories about Novichok and Porton Down
    Ever since a Russian defector and his daughter turned up ill in Salisbury in March of this year, the UK’s chemical defence laboratory at nearby Porton Down has figured in various conspiracy theories and “alternative narratives”.
  • Salisbury Cathedral
    Yes, you can be poisoned with Novichok and survive

    The widely publicised attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in March 2018 certainly did a lot to bring chemical warfare agents, particularly nerve agents, into the public consciousness in the UK and elsewhere. Recent developments in the neighbouring town of Amesbury, where a couple are ill due to coming in contact with the same materials, continue to keep this case in the spotlight. These incidents also bring a lot of questions ranging from the sensible to the ridiculous, and the situation bred numerous odd “alternative narratives” and conspiracy theories.