Russia has blocked a spoof music video online mocking the country’s attempts to portray the Salisbury nerve agent attack suspects as a gay couple.
The Kremlim has faced international condemnation after Britain accused two men of allegedly assassinating Sergei Skripal with nerve agent novichok.
Yet after CCTV footage of the two walking through the town of Salisbury – where the attack took place – was released to the public, the pair appeared on the Kremlin-funded RT network.
On it, they denied the whole thing, saying they visited Salisbury to see the world-famous church. Later on, host and editor Margarita Simonyan said: ‘Guys, I don’t know if they’re gay or not’, before talking about their ‘taut trousers’ and ‘impressive biceps’.
It’s believed they were not, in fact, holidaying
The Bellingcat investigative website said it discovered the true identity of one of the suspects. They named him as Alexander Mishkin, a 39-year-old military doctor working for GRU; Russia’s intelligence service.
The other is Anatoliy Chepiga, a GRU colonel.
But while the Russian press have tried to pedal the story that these two were in a gay relationship and keen church-seers, other people on social media in Russia have been resisting the narrative.
Many people posted parodies, but comedian and television producer Semyon Slepakov’s A Song About Salisbury Spire proved the most popular.
One of the lines said: ‘We didn’t try to poison anyone with novichok, all our thoughts were about the spire.’
State-owned media had the video banned
However, party-poopers that they are, state-owned Gazprom-Media forced the video be removed from YouTube and social media. The reason stated was copyright infringement, according to The Times.
Russia has a history of using LGBTI people as props, despite its much-reviled so-called ‘anti-gay propaganda’ laws.
Earlier this year they released a frankly bizarre video encouraging people to vote in the election. They implied that if you didn’t vote, you were gay.
In February, another video encouraging people to vote in the then-upcoming presidential elections suggested the world would become a gay utopia if they didn’t vote.
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