‘Traitors are not safe on British soil, says Russia’, is the headline of today’s @TheTimes in relation to Skripal case. Except ‘Russia’ hasn’t said that. It’s the comments of one stupid Russian tv presenter. #FakeNews pic.twitter.com/acVUccXaGM— Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) March 9, 2018
A government-controlled news show in Russia took a threatening turn after the anchor delivered a thinly veiled warning to those who might be thinking about becoming double agents.
“I don't wish death on anyone, but for purely educational purposes, I have a warning for anyone who dreams of such a career. The profession of a traitor is one of the most dangerous in the world,” said Kirill Kleimenov, presenter of the Channel One show “Vremya.”
He said those who choose to live their lives as a spy rarely get a chance to enjoy their old age. He also listed substance abuse, drug addictions, excessive drinking, stress and depression as the “professional illnesses of a traitor” that could lead to heart attacks and even suicide.
That’s not it.
Kleimenov also had another piece of advice for “traitors or those who simply hate their country in their free time.”
“Don't choose Britain as a place to live,” he said in what appeared to be a reference to the recent poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the U.K.
Skripal, who once served as a colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury, England.
The country’s top counter-terrorism officer later revealed a nerve agent was used to deliberately poison the former spy. Both victims remain critically ill and a police officer who attended the scene is also in a serious condition. In addition to that, nearly two dozen other officers are also being treated for exposure.
“Something is wrong there,” Kleimenov continued. “Maybe it's the climate, but in recent years there have been too many strange incidents with grave outcomes there.”
Although Russian officials have denied they had anything to do with the attack on Skripal, this particular news show did set a rather sinister tone with the presenter’s seemingly ominous and oddly specific warning.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Hannah McKay