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Russian Spy Chief Blasts 'Western Hypocrisy' With Orwell Quote, Warns of New Cold War

Sergey Naryshkin Mikhail Tereschenko / TASS

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) head Sergei Naryshkin has cited George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” to accuse the West of ‘unprecedented hypocrisy’ and a Cold War mentality. 

Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated rapidly since the March 4 poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Salisbury that the U.K. has blamed on Moscow. Russia rejects the allegations and  and has cast them as part of an elaborate Western plot to isolate Moscow.

Speaking at an annual security conference in Moscow on Wednesday, SVR chief Naryshkin accused the West of resorting to “unprecedented hypocrisy to justify their hegemony.” 

“In fact all the norms that regulate intergovernmental relations are given precisely the opposite meanings,” he said, before citing Orwell's “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” 

“From there, it’s very close to the witches of Macbeth with their thesis that evil is virtue and virtue is evil,” he added, saying that Western military interventions accompanying statements on human rights were “absurd.” 

Naryshkin went on to say that the West was ready to erect a new Iron Curtain. 

“Countering the inexistent Russian threat has become fixation in Washington. It’s grown to such a scale and has acquired such silly features that we can speak about a return to the dark pages of the Cold War,“ he warned.

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