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Western Media Tries to Explain Growing List of Dead Russian Diplomats

Conspiracy theories about Churkin's death go mainstream

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The western media has decided to acknowledge the string of sudden deaths among Russia's diplomatic corps — and is pointing the finger at Putin.

Russia Insider was the first alt news site to point out that Vitaly Churkin's untimely death meant that no less than four senior Russian diplomats had died in the last two months (Andrey Karlov had been assassinated in Ankara exactly two months prior, on December 20).

<figcaption>Churkin was the fourth Russian diplomat to die in two months</figcaption>
Churkin was the fourth Russian diplomat to die in two months

Since then, the "dead Russian ambassadors/diplomats in the last X months/weeks/years" meme has really taken off.

The story spread like wildfire in the alternative media-verse. Here's one example. And another. And another. We had a whole Word doc full of similar stories, but our dog/Putin ate it.

We still think there is something to this string of untimely deaths, although we certainly do not claim to know who (or what) is behind them. Who knows — maybe high cholesterol? (Or a CIA "high cholesterol" gun?)

At this point, there's still not a lot to go on. Just a string of unexpected deaths — including an extremely fishy assassination — during a period when U.S.-Russia relations have been at an all-time low.

Not surprisingly, the Independent has taken a slightly different approach to this issue. The fabled British news outlet is happy to admit that Russian diplomats are being murdered by crazy Turks and experiencing strange heart-related deaths in faraway lands, but with the "obvious" takeaway being that Putin is responsible:

Yes, and the Independent has a little conspiracy of its own:

Additionally, an ex-KGB chief, Oleg Erovinkin, who was suspected of helping a British spy draft a dossier on Donald Trump, was found dead in the back of his car on boxing day, 26 December. Mr Erovinkin also was an aide to former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, who now heads up state-owned oil company Rosneft.

There it is. Before the Independent even presents its readers with its list of dead Russians, it hints at who is responsible — by offering up pure speculation and uncorroborated rumors.

Everyone is guilty of speculation when it suits their own agenda. But it's not advisable to call out "conspiracy theories" and then lead your article with a conspiracy theory.

We are accustomed to reading anti-Russia blather. We do it all day, actually. It's very depressing. But this is in a league of its own — perhaps even a sloppy attempt to deflect difficult-to-answer questions.

But now we're speculating.

The moral of this story is: The real conspiracy theory involves Russia Insider stealing original content. Click that link. You won't be disappointed.

If your RI editors die of unexpected heart attacks — you know what to do (write a blog post).

The End.

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