January 18, 2017 By Joseph P. Farrell

Today's blog is, unusually, about a short article, almost totally bereft of any information to blog about, that was shared by Mr. V.T.  Right off the bat, I have to mention a caveat here: I don't know of any attention to this story elsewhere except the source of the article, the U.K.'s Daily Mail. Usually on a story like this, especially when I have blogged previously on the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Mr. Andrei Karlov, and its occurrence in a context of other suspicious activity including Mr. Obama's "retaliation" remarks about Russia, the death of the NATO auditor general, M. Yves Chandellon, I would receive several versions of this story from readers.

And there's one other caveat that I must mention, but that I must mention after linking the article, for it forms part of my high octane speculation:

Top Russian diplomat is found dead in his apartment in Athens weeks after ambassador was shot dead in Turkey

Now, if you read this article closely, I suspect a few glaring contradictions became immediately apparent:

1) The article states that initial examination of Mr. Malanin's body and apartment showed no signs of foul play or forced entry. In other words,  he died of as yet unknown "natural causes."

2) Yet, earlier in the article we're told that police homicide investigators were investigating.

But wait a minute... the article also notes that Mr. Malanin's apartment was located in a building owned by the Russian embassy. Now, this may not exactly make it sovereign Russian territory, but it does raise the prospect that Russia under normal circumstances might not be too keen on allowing the Greek police homicide investigators access to the apartment, much less allow Greek coroners access to their diplomat's body.  This isn't exactly a "contradiction", but it's at the very least a curiosity.

The contradiction of course is in the statements that there's no evidence of foul play, and yet that homicide investigators are involved. While I know nothing of Greek law, it may be the case that the death of any foreign official or leader on Greek territory may require such a response, and I wouldn't be at all surprised that it did. So how is this a contradiction? Here's where that "one other caveat" comes in, because a search on RT's website turned up no stories, announcements, or even short obituary notice on the death of the consular official, Mr. Andrei Malanin. Nothing. Nadda. Nichts.

One would expect something, even if only a short announcement of Mr. Malanin's death followed by a bland statement that it is being investigated by Greek officials, perhaps in conjunction with Russian authorities, the usual boilerplate.

So my high octane speculation of the day is crawling way out onto the end of the twig, where the weight of the speculation far exceeds, by several order of magnitude, the load limit of the twig. The absence of any notice whatsoever on RT makes me suspect that there is more here, and perhaps much more here, than meets the eye. So let's turn to Sputnik:

Russian Embassy Confirms Death of Consul in Athens

Here the article is even shorter than the UK Daily Mail. In fact, it's so terse and short it makes you wonder:

Earlier in the day, Greek media reported that the 55-year-old Russian consul, Andrei Malanin, died.

According to Protothema portal, the Russian diplomat was found dead in his apartment in the center Athens. He did not come to work in the morning and did not answer to phone calls. Colleagues who came to his house jointly with police opened the door of his apartment, which was locked by a key from the inside. An investigation on the death's reason is underway. A Greek police source told journalists later that the consul died from natural causes.

Now, this is, of course, the requested "boilerplate," and the terseness of it emphasizes the same contradiction: no signs of forced entry, nothing to see here, death by natural causes, move along, an investigation is under way.
Why investigate "the death's reason" as Sputnik awkwardly puts it, something that is an ordinary everyday "death by natural causes"?
Except, of course, if it isn't. I find the wording here very peculiar in its aforementioned awkwardness. The Russians surely have enough skill in the English language not to have phrased things that would be recognizable to a native English speaker as a bit of clumsy diction. We would normally say something like "an investigation is under way as to the specific cause of death" or something very similar. The phrase "An investigation on the death's reason is underway" can certainly be taken in that sense, but is can also be taken in quite another sense, namely, the reason or purpose, i.e., the motivation for the death, and of course, in that sense, reason, purpose, or motivation for a death by "natural causes" is out of the question: the phrasing leaves open the possibility of murder, and, as I note, the more mundane possibility. The awkwardness of the phrase, in other words, suggests that the Russians are leaving open the possibilities, but that they strongly suspect something.
And if they suspect something, then I also strongly suspect that this latest Russian ambassadorial death is related to that "international Mafia War" that I've been speculating about since the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Mr. Obama's "retaliation" remarks, and the equally highly suspicious murders of the NATO auditor general and of the Greek ambassador to Brazil.
See you on the flip side...