On February 17th, a Russian flag appeared on scaffolding outside Salisbury Cathedral, almost 1 year after the alleged “Novichok” poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4th, 2018 in the city.
Russian flag hung from Salisbury Cathedral overnight https://t.co/pY6HgDPdaW
— Ellen Barry (@EllenBarryNYT) February 17, 2019
By noon on the same day, John Glen, Salisbury’s MP said it had been removed, calling it a “stupid stunt.”
Thankfully it has been removed now – what a stupid stunt – mocking the serious events sadly experienced in Salisbury last year https://t.co/eDUBFhuOT4
— John Glen MP (@JohnGlenUK) February 17, 2019
The prank is most likely related to an interview posted by RT in September 2018, with Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two men accused by Britain of carrying out the attack. The two men claimed they visited Salisbury to see the 123-meter tower of the cathedral.
“It’s a touristic city. There’s a famous cathedral there, the Salisbury cathedral. It’s famous not just in all of Europe, it’s famous all over the world. It’s famous for its 123-meter spire, it’s famous for its clock, the first clock made in the world that still runs,” Boshirov said.
“The cathedral is very beautiful, there are lots of tourists there,” he added later.
In January, a Russian toy company released a board game called “Our Guys in Salisbury” and it mocks the alleged “assassination attempt.” The game begins in Moscow and ends in Salisbury with figures in Hazmat suits.
The attaching of the Russian flag on the scaffolding is little more than an attempt to fuel the anti-Russian hysteria further.
Meanwhile, Facebook on February 18th suspended several accounts operated by Maffick Media, without prior warning. The action was undertaken after CNN ran a report about the company’s presumed ties to the Kremlin.
The social media network said it would ask the administrators of Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed to disclose their “Russian affiliations.”
“People connecting with Pages shouldn’t be misled about who’s behind them. Just as we’ve stepped up our enforcement of coordinated inauthentic behavior and financially motivated spam over the past year, we’ll continue improving so people can get more information about the Pages they follow,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
Facebook has blocked all of Maffick’s pages including In the NOW after CNN “investigated”. The corporate news outlet…
The accounts were suspended after CNN’s report named “Kremlin funds viral videos aimed at millennials,” in which it listed all three pages as part of the Kremlin’s “influence campaign” targeting unsuspecting young American adults.
CNN spoke to representatives from Maffick before Facebook suspended the pages. Maffick’s chief operating officer, J. Ray Sparks said Maffick is editorially independent of RT and claimed that it was “standard business practice” not to disclose ownership of a Facebook page. “The general audience never is interested in these things and the standard practice is simply not mention them, because the audience is not interested,” he said.
Regardless of what you think of @RaniaKhalek, Russia or anything else, this trio – CNN, US-funded German Marshall funded, and Facebook – working together to selectively censor is highly disturbing. But this is the inevitable outcome of begging FB to censor https://t.co/OyElNWwoue https://t.co/xKbJ3l0Fsk
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 16, 2019
The perpetuation of the Russian spy hysteria, together with the combat of “Russian disinformation” and “Russian aggression,” and the actions of the, now infamous, Integrity Initiative and its parent the Institute for Statecraft are all more than likely part of the same coordinated campaign.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Third ‘GRU Officer’ Appears In Skripal Case. He Allegedly Poisoned Bulgarian Businessman In 2015
- Integrity Initiative: Big Brother’s Minions – or Flim-Flam Artists?
- Russian Embassy In UK Comments On New Skripal Case Speculations