If Robert Ludlum and Bertolt Brecht ever collaborated on a plotline, they might have come up with something like The Browder Effect, which aired on April 13 on Rossiya-1 as a two-hour documentary and follow-up discussion.
In this paranoid rendering, Alexey Navalny, the leader of Russia’s decimated opposition, is an agent of either the CIA or MI6 (or maybe both, it’s never explained) who was recruited in 2006 by William Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Fund and a onetime apologist for Russian President Vladimir Putin who had turned into a prominent Kremlin gadfly. Browder, in this rendering, was himself recruited by MI6 in 1995.
Let’s stop right there for a moment and consider the network that’s putting this out: Rossiya-1, a Russian state television channel, previously has claimed that an Israeli jet shot down MH17, the civilian airliner blasted out of the sky over Ukraine in 2014, and that Syrian rebels staged a chemical weapons attack in Damascus in 2013. In both cases, the preponderance of evidence actually showed Kremlin clients, Ukraine rebels, and Bashar Assad, were responsible for the crimes.
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