TO what do we owe the present hue and cry over Russia? It reached such ludicrous proportions that the tabloids were suggesting that the World Cup would be played to empty stadia, and terrorised by hooligans. But it has a much more serious and sinister content.

From the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 until recently the Western Powers had an almost unlimited ability to intervene with military force to enact regime change anywhere on the planet. From the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2000s, and the complicity in the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya more recently, no political force was capable of opposing the diktats of the western powers, led by the US.

Syria has changed everything. Though still a shadow of the former USSR, Vladimir Putin's Russia has stabilised politically and economically enough for it to have been able to give sufficient military support to its ally President Assad for Syria to be able to defeat the coalition of jihadis that the west tried to portray as "freedom fighters".

This could not be tolerated. Hence the hue and cry.

I have no idea whether the KGB did or did not poison a superannuated Russian spy any more than I have as to whether President Assad did or did not use poison gas against his own people. I have seen no evidence of either, and await such patiently. But I do remember the "evidence" we were given as to the existence of Saddam's chemical weapons a decade and a half ago, and have a justifiable suspicion that this hue and cry

may provide us with nothing more substantive now, than it did then. And as to Russia "interfering" in the US election, what parallel universe do those making such accusations inhabit? Of course, the US and the EU do not interfere in elections, except possibly in the Ukraine when millions in arms and cash have been given to the right-wing nationalist forces now in power, who overthrew a legitimately elected government that was pro-Russian. One would laugh, if only not to cry at this bare-faced use of double standards.

Ian R Mitchell,

21 Woodside Terrace, Glasgow.