The attempted killing of the ex–Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the normally tranquil English cathedral town of Salisbury has focused international attention on both Vladimir Putin’s ways of dealing with external enemies, and also the West’s mostly feeble responses—up until now. The first use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War has also served to draw attention to the campaigning activities of Bill Browder, an American hedge fund manager whose Moscow-based company was the target of one of the biggest and most audacious frauds in history. There might seem to be no obvious connection between that crime and the attempted slaying of the ex–kgb colonel, except for the fact that Browder believes—not without reason—that he is now at the top of Vladimir Putin’s hit list. He recently told a House of Commons...

 

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