Over 400 Russian 'diplomats' (read: spies) have been expelled around the world, but why hasn't UK kicked out any? Three hypotheses
Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, over 400 Moscow officials have been expelled around the world (30 by the Italian government). In London one wonders what is waiting for Johnson to do the same, but after the attempted poisoning of Skripal ...
Since Vladimir Putin initiated the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, over 400 Russian diplomats have been expelled from various countries around the world. More than half have been kicked out of European countries since Sunday 3 April, after Bucha's horror pictures.
For the Kremlin, these mass expulsions are a "short-sighted move". "Restricting the opportunities for diplomatic communication in such a difficult and unprecedented crisis situation is a short-sighted move that will further complicate our communication, which is necessary to find a solution," said spokesman Dmitry Peskov .
It is undeniable that these decisions have repercussions on Moscow's readiness for dialogue. But one cannot fall into the Russian trap by forgetting what prompted states to take this step: national security. Because criticizing, for example, the move by the Draghi government, as the Lega officially did, can mean two things: either that you have doubts about the motives or that you are willing to put national security at risk.
In fact, at least 25 of the 3o diplomats expelled from Italy (first and second secretaries, advisers, commercial representatives, military attachments but also simple - apparently - administered employees) are considered linked to one of the three Russian intelligence acronyms: Gru ( military intelligence), SVR (espionage) and FSB (counterintelligence). In practice, as explained on Formiche.net, Italy and the other European countries have reacted at the political level (diplomatic) to the horrors of Bucha with a hard and exemplary decision (the reduction of about one fifth of the Russian representations), matured in several years, those in which the counter-espionage counter-espionage attempts have countered the attempts of those "diplomats", that is, those Russian intelligence officers who under diplomatic immunity have operated with different objectives, sowing chaos by fueling disinformation or recruiting agents, for example.
It is by looking at this picture that some British politicians and commentators are asking: why has the United Kingdom, in the front row with the United States in intelligence activities on Ukraine , not followed the other countries by expelling a few dozen Russian diplomats?
We can hypothesize three answers. Before: after the attempted poisoning of Sergej Skripal and his daughter Yulia, London destroyed the Russian espionage network with the expulsions of the time. Second: British counterintelligence has the situation under control and sometimes, we can sum it up like this, it is more convenient to monitor certain activities. Third: the government of Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party are too tied to Russia - a hypothesis on which many critics of the prime minister push, underlining his double mandate as mayor of the capital, renamed Londongrad (but already at the time of the first Labor citizen Ken Livingstone ). Neither excludes the other.