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  • Writer's pictureThe Paladins

Fragments from a War Diary, Part #89

The Independent newspaper, based in London, has a fine reputation for being independent. That’s why, it is owned by the Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev, a KGB and FSB officer, with a formidable reputation for punching people on television, only to receive a most lenient sentence from the Russian criminal legal system. See here:

Mr Lebedev was an officer in the First Chief Directorate (Foreign Intelligence) of the KGB until 1992, resigning just after a man called Vladimir Putin left the KGB as a senior foreign intelligence officer to pursue a career in politics. Mr Lebedev and Mr Putin, of the same generation and with the same education, know and knew one another well. After Mr Putin became Director of the FSB (the KGB’s successor agency) in 1999 and then President of the Russian Federation in 2000, Mr Lebedev became extraordinarily wealthy, and by 2008 - at the height of Mr Putin’s power - he was reportedly worth some US$300 million.

Mr Lebedev publicly supported the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. In 2017 he organised a conference in Russian-occupied Crimea “to correct an impression of Crimea put out by biased western media”. In 2020 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson nominated Mr Lebedev’s son, Evgeny, as a Life Peer. Mr Lebedev and his son jointly control The Independent newspaper in London, and they are both independent. That’s why former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, advocate for the British departure from the European Union, a policy that Vladimir Putin gave his wholehearted support for, was welcome in Lviv last month to support Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenskiy. The former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is extremely popular in the United Kingdom, as a totally incorruptible man and totally committed to the cause of a free and independent Ukraine.

Hence Prime Minister Johnson nominated the son of a Russian Oligarch who is also a KGB / FSB officer / agent with an atrocious record for supporting the Russian partition of independent Ukraine into illegally annexed territory controlled by the Russian Armed Forces, to the House of Lords, the United Kingdom’s upper legislative House. The people of Ukraine, supporting as they do British politicians who come on frivolous and casual trips to Ukraine, are no doubt grateful to former Prime Minster Johnson, who resigned in disgrace after a UK parliamentary committee condemned him for impropriety and dishonesty, for supporting their cause. He nominates the sons of friends of Vladimir Putin for membership of the British Parliament, a sparkling monument in the history of democracy, and thereby plants a person related to a sometime Russian intelligence agent within the heart of one of the most devout institutions of western democratic traditions.

And former Prime Minister Johnson calls himself a friend of Ukraine.

The Independent newspaper of London, owned and controlled by the Lebedev partnership of father and son, and with demonstrable historical connections and political sympathies with the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his insidious network of Russian intelligence and security services, is well known for its unrelenting and impartial coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A good example of the independent journalism of The Independent newspaper appears here, in an article about a well-meaning and decent man working in Ukraine to serve pizza to indigent Ukrainians.

In October 2022 Ukraine imposed sanctions upon Alexander Lebedev, by reason of his manifest associations with Vladimir Putin and his degenerate political agenda to carve Ukraine into a series of Russian-dominated Bantustans. In the words of The Guardian newspaper, another London newspaper much more independent than The Independent and not owned by a Russian Oligarch intimately connected with the KGB / FSB and his son, mysteriously elevated to the UK House of Lords by a former British Prime Minster who has suddenly changed his allegiances to those of free Ukraine:

Ukraine has imposed sanctions on Alexander Lebedev – the former KGB intelligence officer whose son Evgeny sits in the House of Lords – in connection with Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

The national security and defence council in Kyiv imposed sanctions on Lebedev Sr last October. The decision – first reported by Tortoise media – emerged on Thursday and follows a decree signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Lebedev, a KGB operative turned media tycoon, owns a hotel and other assets in Crimea, the peninsula Vladimir Putin illegally annexed in 2014. Ukraine accuses Lebedev of actively destabilising its sovereignty by investing in Crimea’s tourist industry.

Mr Lebedev is a profoundly concerning character within the political dynamics of the Russia-Ukraine war. The record demonstrates that he had and in all likelihood retains close connections with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has issued statements and organised conferences in support of the internationally unlawful Russian occupation of Ukraine. He has spent his wealth, acquired under the auspices of his Russian security and intelligence services boss Vladimir Putin during a particularly murky period of Russian recent history, purchasing a British newspaper that now pumps out relentless news propaganda relating to the war in Ukraine with very specific subjects and interests. We find this concerning.

We also find it concerning that Mr Lebedev has succeeded in elevating his son to the UK House of Lords while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in office. We do not see this as consistent with either Ukraine’s sanctions imposed against Mr Lebedev, or with Mr Johnson’s publicised support for the Ukrainian cause. Were he really to support Ukraine, why would he have elevated a friend of Mr Putin to the UK House of Lords? We do not know the answer to this, but we suspect that it has something to do with money.

The coverage by The Independent newspaper of the war in Ukraine is comprehensive to an extreme. Nevertheless the fact remains that the de facto proprietor of The Independent newspaper has a series of deep state Russian political connections, with the FSB and quite possibly elsewhere in the Russian security and intelligence services; and a historical and possibly current relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, that must inevitably cast profound concern about his intentions, his motives and indeed his fears for his life and the lives of his close family members. We should be profoundly wary of any media coverage emerging from The Independent newspaper in London about the war in Ukraine, and Ukrainians should not take former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s warm words of support for the Ukrainian cause at face value.

Ukrainians should remember that Boris Johnson’s political career lies in disgrace: censored by a British parliamentary committee for misconduct, he was forced to resign summarily from Parliament. He is not necessarily a friend of Ukraine at all. He may just be trying to support Ukraine in public in an ersatz display of patriotism. And beware of any media materials that have the hidden hand of Mr Lebedev, a master KGB and FSB manipulator, behind them.


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