Russian ‘poison plot’ has mayor of European capital in hiding

According to a magazine article, the Russian Kremlin sent a hitman armed with ricin to the Czech capital Prague in order to take out the mayor at the end of April. A very heavy handed accusation of course, but given the Skripal affair in the UK and the suspected poisoning of a former Ukrainian president, nothing new for Moscow if true.

Mayor Zdenek Hrib of the Czech capital Prague is indeed getting increased police security, as a long-running argument with Moscow seemed to escalate earlier this month over the renaming of a square in the city of Prague.

According to a story Respekt magazine, a well read Czech business weekly, a Russian spy is said to have recently flown to Prague carrying the highly toxic ricin in his diplomatic suitcase. The target would have been several members of the Prague City Council. The council had angered the Kremlin with various questionable decisions in recent months.

At the beginning of this month, a Russian man is said to have landed at Prague Airport, in the Czech Republic. Thanks to his diplomatic passport, his luggage was not checked. The man was then picked up by a diplomatic vehicle and immediately driven to the Russian Embassy in Prague. The extremely deadly poison ricin would have been in his suitcase.

That is the staggering story that the Czech investigative journalist of Respekt revealed. According to the magazine article, the Czech police have more information about the man but are afraid to act out of fear for repercussions. He is said to be a spy of one of the Russian secret services and a real danger to some politicians in the Prague city council.

Boris Nemtsov

The Prague city government is said to have wrought the anger of Moscow with a number of decisions in recent months. In February, Mayor Hrib unveiled the new nameplate of the square next to the Russian embassy: the square was renamed Boris Nemtsov Square.

Nemtsov is a Russian opposition politician who was shot and killed five years ago in the center of Moscow, on a bridge right next to the Kremlin. Nemtsov was a well-known critic of President Putin.

The murder has never been clarified.

The Kremlin has not officially reacted to the accusations from Czech media.


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