It is no secret that I am a fan of feisty Russian Foreign Office spokesperson Maria Zakharova. I don’t always agree with her statements, but she appears to be a normal human being, a normal woman, with actual human feelings. (Not like some of the sociopaths, both male and female, who seem to gravitate to the halls of power, in many nations.) For example, during the recent Kemerovo disaster (a deadly fire at a Russian shopping mall, whose victims included children) Maria had tweeted that she cried uncontrollably for three days. And I believe her.
Therefore, I was somewhat surprised when Maria responded with black humor, instead of anguished tears, to news of the deaths of three “domestic animals”, i.e., pets, in the Skripal household in Salisbury, England. Granted that the death of an animal, even a beloved one, is not as serious an affair as the death of a human child. But still… Cruelty to animals is a shocking matter and even considered a crime in many civilized countries. The English people, for example, pride themselves on their love of animals. And yet they didn’t blink an eye when they were told by their own government, that Sergei Skripal’s cat and two domestic rodents had been allowed to die slow, painful deaths from hunger and thirst.
Recall that ex-MI6 double-agent Skripal kept two guinea pigs in a cage in his home. He also kept a black Persian cat. Photos show clearly that the cat was evil, with a fat hairy face and glaring green eyes, just the kind of cat who would expected to be petted and fed live sardines by a Bond villian. Even so, this feline did not deserve the fate that befell her.
Ever since the spy-poisoning scandal broke, the Russian government has been demanding that the British government spill the beans, what happened to the animals when the Skripal house was sealed off? If there had been an actual chemical attack, then the animals would have keeled over, much quicker than the humans. Especially the guinea pigs, who were actually used (COINCIDENTALLY) as test subjects for British chemical warfare trials at the nearby Porton Down military base and chemical weapons test facility.
But no, apparently the animals came through this chemical weapons attack ordeal with nary a whisker out of place.
UNTIL… they finally passed away, weeks later, alone and uncared for, of hunger and thirst. The guinea pigs probably scrabbling desperately in their cage, wondering where their master had gone and why he doesn’t bring them food and water any more… While the lonely cat meows and hungrily watches over her little friends, wishing there was some way she could open their cage and liberate them…
So, when pressed for days, by the Russian government, about news of the Skripal animals, the British authorities finally fessed up, that the critters had been liquidated. Like, just tossed into the incinerator. They breezily explained that the guinea pigs had been neglected for weeks and finally died of dehydration. The cat, barely alive, had been taken into custody, but was so “stressed out” that it had to be put down, and also tossed into the incinerator. [As one VZGLIAD commenter wrote: “Of course was cat was stressed out — it was being tossed into the incinerator!”]
Maria Zakharova’s response? She should have wept for the fate of these animals, as I, an animal lover, did. As well as wept for the fate of Hecuba. But instead Masha resorted to black humor, posting on her Facebook page: “They eliminated the key witnesses in the case….”
Zakharova also pointed out that the British government’s propaganda organ, the BBC, was fully aware of the presence of animals in the Skripal household, and yet concealed this information from the public. “We would like to have an explanation,” Maria demanded.
For those who think that Maria is demanding too many things, we would just give a gentle reminder, that both Skripals are actually Russian citizens. And by extension, their pets were also Russian “citizens”, therefore the Russian government was within its rights to demand access to them, or least information about their well-being. Unfortunately, the British authorities have proved that they were unable to care for three helpless animals, in their zeal to set up this clumsy frame-up against Russia.