Dead Drop: March 10

a little Novichok down your pants. Remember Konstantin Kodryavtsev, the FSB operative who was duped into admitting to playing a role in the 2020 Russian attempt to kill opposition leader Alexei Navalny by putting nerve agent in his underwear?  Well, Navalny supporters are now reportedly concerned about Kudryavtsev’s health and welfare.  It seems the loose-lipped FSB man has gone missing.  According to the British tabloid The Mirrorthe unintentional confession by Kudryavtsev greatly embarrassed Russian President Vladmir Putin who had publicly denied any role his government might have played in Navalny’s poisoning. Of course, lots of Russian men have gone missing over the past year – some exfiltrated themselves out of the country, others were conscripted and sent to Ukraine and still more were defenestrated for sins far less significant than embarrassing Putin.

MUSIC TO A RUSSIAN MOTHER’S EARS: In what sounds kind of tone deaf to western listeners, a group of Russian military cadets appeared at a festival recently to perform a song about flying home as “Cargo 200” (a Russian military term for the transportation of troops killed in action.) BBC Russian media watcher Francis Scarr posted a clip of the songsters imagining the thoughts of a mother thanking her now-dead offspring for his “loyalty to the fatherland” and crooned: “Thanks for not fighting for a ‘thank you.’” We are not sure what that last line means – perhaps they are running out of those dumplings we mentioned recently, that were awarded to the next of kin of dead soldiers.  Scarr also came up with another gem.  Farida Khusainova, a Russian woman whose 24-year-old soldier son died in Ukraine in January, was declared the winner of the “Women are the Mothers of the Nation” contest – and awarded a multicooker. The woman’s son’s name was not given in the accompanying article – but the story did include his call sign: “Reckless.”

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