Phantom op-eds and Russia's ‘Secret Thousand-Year Plan’ too daring to publish
On the evening of March 30, an opinion piece written by Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for Russia's Federal Investigative Committee, appeared on the news website Vecherny Chelyabinsk.
In the text, Markin discusses the West's information war against Russia, and argued that only unstable people support the Ukrainian soldier Nadiya Savchenko (sentenced last month to 22 years in a Russian prison for aiding in the murder of two journalists), though he allows for her possibly being exchanged for some “good, honest people now confined in Kiev.” He also mentions a “Secret Thousand-Year Plan” to revive Russia.
Markin's op-ed concludes with great pathos: “And, again, about the Plan. Only culturally underdeveloped people, like the sheep in Kiev and their zombie pals, could believe that Putin or his ‘cunning plan’ are to blame for everything, everywhere. In fact, we're looking at something else altogether: a Secret Thousand-Year Plan that's otherwise called Russia's Fate.”
On Twitter, Markin wrote that Vecherny Chelyabinsk was “the only news outlet brave enough” to publish his text.
The next morning, however, Markin's text disappeared. Editors at Vecherny Chelyabinsk said simply, “We removed it and that's that.” Speaking to the liberal television station Dozhd, Markin said, “Well how do you like that. Talk about intrigues! The only publication that would run it, and then they pull it.”
As it turn out, the article also disappeared from the Federal Investigative Committee's own website, where it had been republished.
What the heck happened? Maybe it's all part of Markin's secret thousand-year plan...