Branding him a killer won’t bother Putin. He thinks Biden is bluffing

Press quote (The Sunday Times)
18 April 2021

Another British error was allowing “Londongrad” to be corrupted by its embrace of new wealth from Russia, heedless of the criminal and KGB forces behind it, according to Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform.

“We have allowed a kleptocratic system to be run through our real estate, our overseas territories, it’s hugely damaging,” Bond said.

“We thought we’d be able to flush out criminality and all the bad stuff but Russia has reversed our plumbing, it has introduced bad governance into our system, we haven’t really combated money laundering.”

...“Before he was a KGB guy he was basically a street thug — respect is very important for him,” said Bond, who served as a British diplomat in Moscow in the 1990s. “Even when he [Putin] decides to be nice, there’s a needle,” the intelligence source said. “He’s testing you all the time.”