Duma’s deputy vs. Sunday Times: lost in translation

Britain's Sunday Times newspaper has reported that Russian State Duma Deputy Aleksandr Lebedev believes he's survived a poisoning attempt. According to the ST, Mr Lebedev, interviewed by Tatler magazine, claimed he had been poisoned about eight months ago

His home was allegedly checked for radiation, of which no traces were found. The Sunday Times said Mr Lebedev had lost some six kilos, but never found the source of any toxin. As the paper put it, the Russia’s Duma deputy suspected his food may have been poisoned in a Moscow restaurant.

However, Mr Lebedev, who is considered to be one of the country’s richest businessmen and an influential politician, has told Russia Today he's been completely misinterpreted.

The interview for the Sunday Times “was dedicated to very serious things like democracy, business and the political system in Russia…”, he pointed out, and there was “a very, very small question”, whether there had been any developments in the cases of Anna Politkovskaya and Andrey Kozlov’s assassinations.

Mr Lebedev answered, in his own words, “half joking, half not”, but the other part of his reply was “a joke, of course”.

He added that “the contexts of this interview were, of course, greatly misinterpreted, so I was very muchsurprised to see what the Sunday Times published about my comments.”

“The only thing I can say,” summed up Mr Lebedev, “is that British newspapers should be using more qualified work on Russia.”