“Petrov” and “Boshirov”: Tweedledum and Tweedledee

The two unpleasant, weather worn faces that appeared across the world as the RU operatives sent to assassinate Skrypal’, but who ended up accidentally killing someone entirely without connexion to Russian military intelligence, have now appeared on Russian Television (RT) interviewed by the chief editor, who, reminding one of a very severe school teacher, to say the least seemed sceptical. As has some of the normally establishment-minded Russian press, including Nezavisimaya gazeta (“Petrov and Boshirov sovershili ‘kaming-aut'”, 13 September 2018). The more liberal Vedomosti, the business paper, attacks them for giving “too little meaningful information.”

Tweedledum and Tweedledee shifted uneasily in their seats as they were being subjected to some straightforward questions, among which the one that nearly stumped them both was why visit Salisbury? How many Russians have ever heard of Salisbury? Neither of the two looked particularly cultivated or pious. Indeed, they said they run a sports business but could not tell us which one. Shooting, perhaps. Doubtless, all things considered, they would have preferred a naughty night out in Soho. But they just passed through London, which Russians do usually want to spend time in, not even stopping by St Paul’s Cathedral, just to get to a musty old place of worship that is not even Russian Orthodox. But instead they had this unremitting urge – incited by “friends” unknown – to visit a cathedral which even your author has never bothered to visit in preference to the historically more interesting Stonehenge nearby. Was “Downton Abbey” (Highclere) perhaps closed?

Unfortunately for Tweedledum and Tweedledee, we have images of them everywhere else in the little city of Salisbury but the cathedral. The church authorities say they did not appear on the cathedral video cameras. Perhaps they deliberately evaded them in case word got back home to their mates that they were, contrary to every appearance, deeply religious in an Anglican Church sort of way.