A diplomatic crisis has erupted over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a Russian intelligence officer-turned British double agent, and his daughter. The two were found catatonic at a park bench after being poisoned by a nerve agent. This has had severe geopolitical implications – the UK government has pointed its finger firmly in Russia’s direction and expelled 23 Russian diplomats, to which Russia responded in kind. Even England’s place at the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia is now on the line.
This crisis has continued the re-escalation of the Cold War between the West and Russia. Already largely blamed for the election of Trump, as well as disinformation campaigns all over the world, Russia’s status as the bogey of the Western world now seems further cemented. Nonetheless, there are those who claim this Russia-baiting is dangerously verging on hysteria – opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn rightly pointed out that no evidence has been provided of Russia’s involvement, and the supposedly-neutral BBC came under fire for then depicting him as a Kremlin stooge.