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Former spy’s alleged poisoning ‘in long line of Russia eliminating enemies’

Russia has a code to get back at traitors, a senior lecturer in international relations said .

The alleged poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal follows a “long tradition of Russia eliminating its enemies”, an expert on Russian politics has said.

Dr Paul Flenley, a senior lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Portsmouth, said Russia and its secret police had a “code” to avenge treachery.

He said: “It’s all speculation at the moment, but there’s a long tradition, since the 1920s, of Russia eliminating its enemies.

There’s a code and if you break it, if you betray them, they will get you . Dr Paul Flenley, lecturer in politics

“The secret police are well trained. There’s an assumption you can’t escape, there’s a code and if you break it, if you betray them, they will get you – it’s part of their discipline.”

But Dr Flenley said Russian president Vladimir Putin was not necessarily the source of such acts.

He said: “There’s tendency to assume everything is orchestrated by Putin, and of course he likes that, it amplifies his power, but there are other possibilities, there are business groups and mafia-like groups who could be seeking revenge.”

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