Russian State Media Sends Out Chocolate Salisbury Cathedral as Gift

Russian state media outlet RT on Thursday mailed chocolate renderings of the Salisbury Cathedral to multiple recipients, in what appears to be a disturbing allusion to the Novichok poisoning in England earlier this year that left one woman dead, The Independent reports. This March, ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, survived an attempted Novichok poisoning in Salisbury, which is widely believed to be the work of two Russian GRU agents. Months later, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess came across an empty bottle of Novichok disguised as a perfume bottle in a local park, which many believe was left behind after the Skripal poisoning. Sturgess, who applied the Novichok directly to her wrists, died days later. When questioned about the attacks, the two suspects claimed that they had visited Salisbury twice in a row because they wanted to see its “internationally famous” cathedral.

Paula Chertok, a lawyer specializing in pro-Russian propaganda decried the gifts on Twitter, writing, “There’s trolling and there’s Russian propaganda infowar trolling—sick, dark, menacing.” One of the recipients, Tvrain, took a different approach: “Come for tea, we’re afraid to eat it alone,” the outlet tweeted to RT, according to a translation from Chertok.