Russian state media ‘cancel’ Roman Abramovich after Chelsea owner was ‘poisoned’

Docile state media in Russia often take orders from the Kremlin on what they can and cannot report, with mentions of Roman Abramovich now banned.

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Roman Abramovich “shows symptoms of poisoning”

Russian state media have been ordered to cancel any mention of Roman Abramovich in their coverage of the peace talks, it was claimed today.

The decision to exclude the oligarch from TV reports and news agencies comes after evidence that he had been “poisoned” with a chemical warfare agent. The revelation about Abramovich’s removal – for years believed to have links to Vladimir Putin, 69, and sanctioned by Britain and the EU during the war, sparking the bid to sell Chelsea FC – comes from Russia’s leading opposition politician, Ksenia Sobchak, also a prominent television and web journalist.

Docile state media in Russia often take orders from the Kremlin about what they can and cannot report. “Pro-Kremlin media were forbidden to mention the role of businessman Roman Abramovich in the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine,” Sobchak’s Telegram channel said.

“This information was confirmed to our editorial staff on condition of anonymity by representatives of Moskva-24, TASS and another major pro-government telegram channel.” One of the sources said that on March 30 the following order came from the authorities: “We no longer mention that Abramovich is participating in the negotiations.”

The nomination of the tycoon, 55, obviously hit state media around 1 p.m. Moscow time on Tuesday. Abramovich – whose maternal grandparents were from kyiv – took part in yesterday’s talks in Istanbul to end the war. In Western reports, Abramovich has been described as a key figure in the peace negotiations, capable of building bridges, although there is a suspicion that he was seeking to save his burning fortune from sanctions.







Roman Abramovich allegedly poisoned during kyiv peace talks
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Picture:

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded with the United States not to sanction him because of his role as an intermediary. So far the Russians have said he is not part of their official delegation but is involved in negotiations with kyiv. He is said to have personally met Putin and Zelensky during his shuttle missions.

Ostorozhno Novosti reported: “The ban on mentioning the billionaire in the framework of the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine is confirmed by the fact that there was not a single mention of Abramovich’s name in the agencies release after 1:00 p.m. on March 29. Also, the evening news broadcasts on Channel 1 and Rossiya 1 [the main state controlled channels]where negotiations were the main topic, also did not say a word about Abramovich.

Putin recently lashed out at ‘cancellation culture’ in the West – but appears to have canceled his own ally Abramovich, unless it was a sophisticated game of double bluffing. Reports today suggest Abramovich and other negotiators were poisoned in early March during a trip to Kyiv. Experts said it was a World War I chemical warfare agent, chloropicrin or a low dose of Novichok.

The Chelsea owner had to be hospitalized in Istanbul after flying to Turkey following the talks in Ukraine. One theory for the alleged poisoning is that hardliners close to Vladimir Putin wanted to disrupt peace movements and prolong the war. However, the pattern remains murky and unclear.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said: “This is part of information panic, information sabotage, information warfare. These reports [of poisoning] are not true… the flow of information must be strongly filtered. Russian political analyst Konstantin Kalachev made the extraordinary suggestion that the poisoning may have been an attempt by Abramovich to win sympathy in Britain where his interests have been harmed by the sanctions.

“Abramovich is a flexible, sane and, of course, cunning person,” he said. “I even expressed the opinion that he himself had staged the recent alleged poisoning in kyiv. He appeared on the front pages of British newspapers, he began to look as if he had suffered from “hawks ” in the entourage of Vladimir Putin.

Negotiators who suffered from medical problems reportedly ate only chocolate and drank water. “It could be someone [in the Kremlin] who thinks he [Abramovich] betrayed them trying to seek peace,” a quoted source said. Sobchak, 40, is a former presidential candidate who came fourth in 2018 in a poll widely seen as rigged in favor of Putin. Sobchak has known Putin since she was a child and attended his baptism.

His late father Anatoly Sobchak was Putin’s law professor in Leningrad and his mentor. Later, after Putin resigned as a KGB spy, Anatoli Sobchak appointed him deputy mayor of Leningrad, soon to be renamed Saint Petersburg. Putin then smuggled Anatoly Sobchak out of Russia for treatment in the West.

Ksennia Sobchak – one of Russia’s most recognizable faces – opposed Putin in the 2018 election, but only after a mysterious private conversation with him. His mother Lyudmila Narusova, a senator, launched a scathing attack on Putin’s war in Ukraine. Narusova accused Putin of “brazen lies” in state TV’s coverage of the war. She accused him of failing to organize the return home of the bodies of slain soldiers who she said were eaten away by stray dogs.

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