“No Significant Russian Activity” During Referendum

Another report this morning, this time in the FT, rubbishing the claims by fanatical Remainers of Russian intervention in the referendum. Researchers at Oxford University found that just 105 Russia-linked accounts tweeted in the run up to the vote. These numbers are negligible, by comparison there were 2,752 Russia-linked accounts operating during the US election. The report concludes that there was no “significant Russian activity” during the referendum.

This is the latest evidence-based story countering the meme being pushed by Remainers that somehow Russia caused Brexit. Over the last few weeks:

  • Twitter said only one Russian account spent any money promoting tweets during the referendum, and they only bought six adverts.
  • It emerged that most Russian Twitter activity about Brexit actually took place after the referendum.
  • And a number of the Russia-linked Twitter accounts were actually pro-Remain.
  • Google told the Electoral Commission it had found no evidence of any paid Russian activity during the referendum.
  • Facebook said Russia spent a total of 73p on adverts during the referendum, and they reached 200 people.
  • An account accused by one pro-Remain outlet of being a Russian troll turned out to be a run by a security guard in Glasgow.

Ben Bradshaw, Tom Brake and co are oddly quiet about the FT story this morning, and indeed they have been silent about the stories above. Yet still ultra Remainers continue to peddle the patronising idea that Russian bots tricked 17 million people into voting Leave. Good to see the FT calling out this nonsense, not that it’ll stop Remain MPs smearing honest Leave voters as Russia’s useful idiots…

Putin Link to Ben Bradshaw

Ben Bradshaw has been forthright in his criticism of the Legatum Institute, even calling for Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee to investigate their Russian non-connection. That’s when he’s not busy tweeting out Louise Mensch links…

So guess who Guido was surprised to find enjoying the hospitality last night’s Legatum Prosperity Index event? Only Ben Bradshaw… Perhaps he’s starting his own investigation?

Anti-Putin Record of Gove, Boris and Legatum

The Mail on Sunday and the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr seem to believe Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and the Legatum Institute conspired with Putin and the Russian state to deliver Brexit. There are more than a few problems with this theory, though Guido is going to focus on the most obvious: Boris, Gove and Legatum are all staunch critics of Putin and Russia. Anyone who listens to these Gove comments from 2015, in which he rails against Putin and Russian money “subverting” the West, can be in no doubt as to his view.

“You see the influence of Russian agency and Russian money. We should not underestimate the extent to which Putin and those behind him are seeking to throw off balance and to subvert everything that we’re doing… His aim is to divide, to destabilise, and if not necessarily to conquer, at least to consolidate and advance. And inside Russia the widespread view of the Russian people is that Putin is right and the West is seeking to keep Russia down and to divide and to weaken. And for that reason we need to be sensitive to where Russian public opinion is but also vigilant about the threat. Now what does that mean we need to do in terms of our security and defence profile? The answer to that is several steps above my pay grade. But I don’t believe that any of us for a moment should be naive about what Putin is interested in or fall for some of the interpretations we might get on Russia Today or elsewhere about what his real intentions are.”

Boris meanwhile is on the record condemning Putin as a “ruthless and manipulative tyrant” who has been “illegally occupying parts of Ukraine”, adding “Putin’s proxy army was almost certainly guilty of killing the passengers on the Malaysia Airlines jet that came down in eastern Ukraine” and “he has questions to answer about the death of Alexander Litvinenko”.

As for the Legatum Institute, the focus of the latest Remainer conspiracies, as Mark Wallace notes they have a long record of opposing Putin and employed Anne Applebaum, one of the leading anti-Putin voices around. Legatum was even condemned by Russia Today for anti-Kremlin bias. Which kind of ruins the story.

Perhaps all this was an elaborate double bluff. Or it could be, as the FT’s ultra-Remainer editor Lionel Barber concludes, “a stretch”…

UPDATE: Eurosceptic source: “The idea of Gove and Boris as agents of Putin is about as believable as Geordie Greig’s claim to be an impartial editor offering a clear eyed view of Brexit.”

“We Know What You Are Doing…”

At first Guido thought Theresa May’s words in the City last night were a a warning to the ultra-Remainers trying to sabotage the democratic will of the people for Brexit. Turns out she was warning that other enemy of free democracy – Putin.

Mensch Claims Steve Bannon to Be Executed For Espionage

With Heat Street now at a dead end, Louise Mensch has a new online enterprise called Patribotics, strapline “Exposing Vladimir Putin’s War on America”. Her latest story headlines that Fox News Under FBI Counterintelligence Investigation:

Specifically, Sean Hannity is on signals intelligence co-ordinating his pro-Trump message with organs of the Russian state, such as RT, Sputnik, Wikileaks and Julian Assange

Her sources also tell her that Trump’s White House chief strategist is facing the death penalty for espionage. Guido admittedly hasn’t been following the whole Trump/Russians thing that closely. So this is shocking news given he hasn’t even been charged. The site has a lot of other conspiracy theories which Guido has not had the will time to read. Guido has his own conspiracy theory – her whole site is actually a Russian false flag operation to discredit all the Trump / Russia conspiracy theories as crazy…

UPDATE: Co-conspirators point out that Louise reckons President Trump too faces the executioner. Huge if true…

Top Corbyn Aide Sided With Assad and Putin

Following Guido’s story yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn gets a lot of criticism in today’s papers for his links to an Assad-supporting genocide denier. Of course it should come as no surprise that the Labour leader’s office is sympathetic to people with such views. Take Steve Howell, Corbyn’s deputy director of strategy and comms, one of his most senior aides (and a former colleague of Seumas Milne at the Stalinist newspaper Straight Left). His Twitter feed is full of tweets promoting Assadists, siding with Assad and Putin, accusing Western media of spinning the Aleppo slaughter, blaming Ukraine on the West, defending Russia Today, and even spinning Russian hacking of the US election in support of Putin.

These views are commonplace at the very top of Corbyn’s Labour…

Trump Meets Putin

Very enthusiastic smile and handshake from Theresa May when she met Putin at the G20 today. Trump’s handshake extended to a manly grab of the arm and a friendly pat on the back. All smiles…

Russian Spy Professor Praised Corbyn’s Nukes Policy

A Bath university professor exposed as a Russian spy wrote an article praising Jeremy Corbyn’s declaration that he “would not push the nuclear button”. Timo Kivimaki, a professor of international relations at Bath, was found guilty and jailed for passing information to Russian ‘diplomats’ in Denmark in 2012. In 2015, when Corbyn said he would never use nuclear weapons if he became PM, Professor Kivimaki wrote an article for Bath university’s website agreeing with the Labour leader and arguing that Britain’s nuclear deterrent is unethical, not credible and “an unconvincing foundation for the country’s security”.

“Jeremy Corbyn is right that the prospect of a second strike cannot safeguard the country against well hidden terrorists…

Is it… ethically possible for the United Kingdom to base its strategic thinking on a doctrine of nuclear deterrence that targets civilians in order to influence UK’s enemies. Given the ethical restrictions is the strategy of nuclear deterrent credible even when the prime minister is someone else than Jeremy Corbyn? 

In addition to moral dilemmas nuclear deterrence poses also practical dilemmas. Is the strategy of second strike credible any longer?… 

The foundation of British strategic security requires ideas and assumptions that we can no longer be sure of. Regardless of what the opposition leader says, on the long run nuclear deterrence seems an unconvincing foundation for the country’s security. While material foundations might remain the same, ideas that give them meanings change and this is a reality that was not born in the recent speech by Jeremy Corbyn.”

Hiding in plain sight…

Arron Banks Sues Over Russia Claims

Arron Banks is suing Washington-based think tank the Atlantic Council, which accused him of serving as a “key pro-Russian actor in the UK”. He’s unhappy with their report “The Kremlin’s Trojans”, which describes Banks and Leave.EU / Grassroots Out as having links with “pro-Russian figures”, namely UKIP and George Galloway. Banks says the report accuses him of being a “Russian agent” who is “clandestinely working for Russia”. Guido has had a quick read – the bit specifically about Banks doesn’t seem to make those claims, though the introduction does talk about “Trojan horses” working for the Kremlin. Banks is also suing 3 British MPs though his spinner says he cannot name them for legal reasons. Remember Banks himself wound the rumours up by claiming a “KGB man” took him to the Russian Embassy. Expect they will settle quickly…

VIDEO: Russian Ambassador Shot in Turkey

Hurriyet reports:

Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov Gennadiyeviç in Ankara, Contemporary Arts came under armed attack at the opening of an art exhibition at the Centre. During the opening speech, it was learned that Karlov, who had been attacked by a gun, was taken to the hospital as a seriously injured person.

Now confirmed dead.

Video:

Uh oh…

Ben Bradshaw: Russia Hacked EU Referendum

Ben Bradshaw goes off the deep end and tells the Commons Russian hackers “probably” engaged in cyber-warfare to help Leave win the EU referendum, despite admitting “we don’t have any evidence for that”. Sad.

Russian Embassy Hosting Digital Hacking Event

embassy-invite

With all the controversy about Wikileaks and the hacking of Hillary and the DNC this invitation is certainly appropriate. Russia’s London Ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, is really spoiling trolling us with his pre-Christmas cocktail party’s topic for discussion, “Hacking the Algorithm”. Maybe guests should leave their smartphones at home…

Saudi Stooge Kawczynski Now Shilling For Russia

Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski has taken some time out from shilling for the Saudis to defend Russia on Putin propaganda channel Russia Today. Channelling the Morning Star, Kawczynski slammed “the west” and blasted Boris for using “derogatory” language. Makes a mockery of the Foreign Affairs committee that it has Kawczynski as a member.

Clinton Aide Claims Kremlin Funding UKIP

neera tanden hillary clinton

Team Clinton have continued their attacks on the Breitbart-UKIP nexus, with a top Hillary adviser boldly claiming: “the Russians are openly funding UKIP”. Neera Tanden made the extraordinary allegation in an interview with Politico:

“If you’re in Europe, the Russians are openly funding the far-right groups, from UKIP to Marine Le Pen … There is widespread knowledge among the center-left parties that that is a rising development

“Look at RT, Russia Today. The amount of time they spend propping up the third parties in the United States, the amount of time they spend attacking Hillary, and in ways that are just very aligned with the arguments of the Trump campaign. Russia has a history of playing in European politics. And we should not be surprised if they are attempting to do the same here.”

There has long been lurid speculation of clandestine financial links between the Kremlin and anti-establishment parties in Europe. Louise Mensch touches on them for Heat Street today. Of course, there is as yet no actual evidence to support any of the claims. It is certainly factually incorrect of Clinton’s aide to state that the Kremlin is “openly funding UKIP”. Kipper sources say those making the allegations are conspiracy theorists on the “paranoid lunatic fringe”Come on then Hillary, if you’ve got the evidence, let’s see it…

READ: Litvinenko’s Article Accusing Putin of Paedophilia

The Litvinenko Inquiry has found that Putin “probably” authorised the murder of the Russian fugitive on British soil. Why did he do it? The report says one motive could have been an extraordinary article Alexander Litvinenko wrote in July 2006 for the Chechenpress website, accusing Putin of being a paedophile. Here is the article:

“A few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin walked from the Big Kremlin Palace to his Residence. At one of the Kremlin squares, the president stopped to chat with the tourists. Among them was a boy aged 4 or 5.

‘What is your name?’ Putin asked.

‘Nikita,’ the boy replied.

Putin knee[le]d, lifted the boy’s T-shirt and kissed his stomach.

The world public is shocked. Nobody can understand why the Russian president did such a strange thing as kissing the stomach of an unfamiliar small boy.

The explanation may be found if we look carefully at the so-called ‘blank spots’ in Putin’s biography.

After graduating from the Andropov Institute, which prepares officers for the KGB intelligence service, Putin was not accepted into the foreign intelligence. Instead, he was sent to a junior position in KGB Leningrad Directorate. This was a very unusual twist for a career of an Andropov Institute’s graduate with fluent German. Why did that happen with Putin?

Because, shortly before his graduation, his bosses learned that Putin was a pedophile [sic]. So say some people who knew Putin as a student at the Institute.

The Institute officials feared to report this to their own superiors, which would cause an unpleasant investigation. They decided it was easier just to avoid sending Putin abroad under some pretext. Such a solution is not unusual for the secret services. Many years later, when Putin became the FSB director and was preparing for the presidency, he began to seek and destroy any compromising materials collected against him by the secret services over earlier years. It was not difficult, provided he himself was the FSB director. Among other things, Putin found videotapes in the FSB Internal Security directorate, which showed him making sex with some underage boys.

Interestingly, the video was recorded in the same conspiratorial flat in Polyanka Street in Moscow where Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Skuratov was secretly video-taped with two prostitutes. Later, in the famous scandal, Putin… blackmailed Skuratov with these tapes and tried to persuade the Prosecutor-General to resign. In that conversation, Putin mentioned to Skuratov that he himself was also secretly video-taped making sex at the same bed. (But of course, he did not tell it was pedophilia [sic] rather than normal sex.) Later, Skuratov wrote about this in his book Variant Drakona (pp.153-154).” 

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