Western media reported with utter disbelief about the defence of the two Russians suspected of poisoning a former spy of their own, Sergei Skripal, who claimed they had only gone to Salisbury to see the spire of the local cathedral, “famous for its clock”. But what the British Prime Minister’s office called “an insult to the public’s intelligence” might just be a standard joke in the intelligence community.
A mere four months after the crushing of 1956 Hungarian revolution, Soviet soldiers caught the American Asst. Military Attaché, Captain Gleason and his boss, Colonel Todd photographing the Soviet army barracks near the Hungarian village of Mezőszentgyörgy.
For their presence on the territory of a military object they gave the reason of wishing to “inspect churches and folk costumes” in the area.
One cannot deny the humor of the official note of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign affairs, in which they expelled Captain Gleason from Hungary:
“According to the knowledge of the Ministry, Captain Gleason involved in this case bad often gone to the country to study “churches and folk costumes”, but strikingly his way always led him to the neighbourhood of important military objects /barracks, airfields, etc./ ..”
As we have pointed out earlier regarding the case of the Boris Nemtsov Plaza: some things never change.