A Conspiracy

A room in the Grand Kremlin Palace

Putin is with a man in military uniform.

Vladimir

Putin: Don’t look so disappointed Vassili Vissianorovich, I have studied your proposal carefully, but I don’t want Alexei Anatolievich dead yet. Navalny is a lightweight, he is more useful to me alive than dead, but rest assured, when the time comes to (sign of cutting his throat), I know you’re my man. I’ll call you. Give my love to Svetlana Alliluyeva.

Military man (Mm) looks very disappointed, bows respectfully and leaves. Putin rings a bell, and another military man comes in with a small bag. Putin shows him a chair and he sits down.

Putin: So… you’ve studied my plan?

Mm taps his bag and takes a Mac out.

Mm: Vladimir Vladimirovich, I’ve rarely seen a more coherent plan. My people have confirmed that he’s going to Bogashevo to catch a flight to Moscow tomorrow. They’re waiting for the green light from me to initialize action.

Putin: I’ve spelled it out to you, the bottom line is no lasting damage must be done to him.

Navalny

Mm: Loud and clear, Vladimir Vladimirovich. It will look as if he’s been poisoned, everybody will panic. The pilot has been given instructions to land at Omsk. All I need is a green light from you to set the ball rolling.

Putin. Well yes, (he playfully looks in his drawer and finds a small pocket lamp. He presses a button and a green light shoots from it. Putin winks and smiles).Is that green enough, Sergei Ivanovich?

Mm: Aye aye sir.

Putin: Send those three chaps in the waiting room to me, tell them I’m ready for them.

Have a cuppa Aleksei…

Mm takes a ceremonious leave, and 2 men and 1 woman in civilian clothes walk in. Putin invites them to sit down.

Putin: Now my friends from the Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti, welcome. Gentlemen — and lady no need to remind you, we’ve discussed this already. I’ve just given the order. Now go do your worse.

Woman: I’ve already hinted to my contact at the Süddeutsche Zeitung that I had a scoop for her _

Man 1: Same with Cadwalladr at the Guardian.

Man 2: My man at Le Monde has also been alerted.

Putin: Now you wait until fifteen hundred hours. Be as virulent as you dare. “That bastard Putin has been at it again”, “Navalny is getting what he deserves” … you know the routine … I want you to be really inflammatory, mention Politovskaya, mention Boris Nemtsov, Litvinenko, Skripal, tell them you have evidence of Putin having murdered his wife … I am not going to teach you fleas to jump.

The three laugh merrily.

Putin: Passiba, passiba.

CUT To

Darkened room, with a television set spotlighted. At first the news in in English, but once the message has been delivered, different languages jumbled together emerge.

Quentin de Beer (BBC) camp: He’s at it again. With a history of sorting out his enemies_ and anyone who does not toe the line is an enemy of Mr Putin, he has tried to poison his sworn enemy, AleX Navalny. He has been taken ill on a flight from Novosibirsk to Moscow this afternoon, and his plane has made an emergency landing at Omsk airport and he’s been rushed to hospital. Malcolm Sargent is here with us.

Malcolm Sargent appears on the screen.

Malcolm Sargent: The list of victims of Putin keeps getting longer. He is no respecter of frontiers. When someone irritates him, he just orders his killers to do their worst. He sent his agents to kill Boris Berezovsky in his own fortified mansion and hang him. He ordered his FSB thugs to liquidate Litvinenko by injecting him with polonium, everybody still remembers Mr Skripal and his daughter that he arranged to be killed with novichok. In his own country over four hundred journalists have been shot dead on the streets. He makes half-hearted, often joking, remarks that these people were killed by private oligarchs who had had fingers pointed at them, or Ramzan Kadyrov, his man in Chechenya. Nobody believes him, but he can shrug this off. He knows nobody believes him, but he says, so what? Alex Navalny is the one man he fears has the ability to unseat him in a fair election, and he has always wanted to be shot of him. He is a campaigner against corruption, and as such not someone the richest man on the planet suffers gladly. Oh yes, Vladimir Putin is way richer than Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates put together!

DARK, Cut to

Same spotlight on the television set.

Quentin de Beer: Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of the man struggling for his life in an Omsk hospital was hopeful of German medics saving the life of her poisoned husband, but Putin has forbidden his transfer. The doctors purportedly looking after the victim have intimated that Navalny is too weak to travel, and have declared that they cannot allow it. We all know who decided that. They have also denied that he has been poisoned.

CUT To

Room in presidential palace. Putin is having a drink with the three FSB agents seen earlier.

Putin: That was the strategy, you see, we’ve let them work themselves into a frenzy first, let them have some fun. You suggest to your Western contacts that I am going to make sure he dies here a painful death, that Putin does not believe in half measures.

Three Agents: But ../ I thought you …/ you said you had a big surprise …

Putin: Just do as I said. Go talk to your Nato lackeys … I’ll be in touch.

DARK

CUT TO

Flashes of Mrs Merkel on the phone to Putin, President Macron talking to Johnson. cacophony of the tower of Babel.

CUT To

BBC News

Quentin de Beers: Putin has relented. After a concerted effort by the leaders of the free world, AleXei Navalny is to be allowed to fly to Germany.

CUT TO

Russia Today program.

AleX Salmond: (talking to Russian boss) Passiba Gavrilov Ignatievich. (Turns to mike and camera.) Good evening. Our viewers who have been following the Navalny story with bated breath will be happy to hear that AleXei Navalny who has been undergoing treatment in Berlin is getting ready to fly back to Moscow later today. The German doctors found no trace of poisoning, and suggests that the Russian politician was only suffering from eXhaustion after his strenuous campaigning in Siberia. People now should know that Mr Putin has cleansed the Russian regime of tsarist and communistic practices, but he gets no praise from the west for all his troubles. He is accused of all the sins of Israel, and …

CUT TO

Room in presidential palace. Putin and his FSB officers are drinking vodka and laughing, and dancing cossack dances and singing Kalinka …

Man 1: Vladimir Vladimirovich, you played them like MaXim Vengorov!

Woman : Mr President, now before they point the finger at you, they’ll have to think twice.

Man 2: Let’s drink to an overdose melatonin with opium!

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Prizewinning playwright. Mathematician. Teacher. Professional Siesta addict.

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San Cassimally

San Cassimally

Prizewinning playwright. Mathematician. Teacher. Professional Siesta addict.

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