There is no evidence that the accusations have a basis in facts, which the USA Today report eventually gets around to explaining. But the British are sure that if only they'd worked harder and earlier to investigate, they would have had the evidence.
I am so sick of British Shaggy Dog tales about the Russians but I told myself wearily I had to keep track of the nonsense because it kept unleashing horrors on the Syrians. Yet the British government's hatred for the Russians was not caused by Russian actions in Syria; it was an obsessive hatred. Why?
The standard explanations, plausible on their own, didn't stack for me; when there are so many explanations this is not about specific incidents or people. Instead the Russians had come to symbolize something for many British, something they hated. What did they symbolize?
I was so intent on my ruminations I didn't notice I'd been unseeingly clicking through YouTube videos after I'd watched a movie 'trailer' about the Brexit political campaign.
That was how the more mysterious of the YouTube bots took charge of my question. And that was how I watched scenes from a 1980s BBC TV comedy series called "Blackadder," which I'd never seen before and knew nothing about, and all the while asking myself, 'Why am I watching this?'
I had to go to Wikipedia to learn about the series. But I'll do to you what the bots did to me: with no introduction beyond that the scenes are set at the British front lines in the Great War (WWI), I'll throw you into the madhouse.
Ready? Start at the 19:11 mark, then watch until the end, which is about eight minutes later.
If you tell me after watching that there was actually nothing funny about it -- right.
I've heard that fatalism is part of the Russian character; whether or not such a generality applies, there is a big difference between fatalism and nihilism. So here I'm going to take a flying leap.
It could be that the Russians symbolize to the British upper class a people who avoided nihilism when by all rights they should have become nihilistic. Whereas many British lost faith in themselves over the course of two world wars and the breakup of their empire, and so fell into the trap of nihilism.
If I am in the ballpark, I venture the British need to be a little kinder to themselves before they can forgive Russians for being too dense to realize they have nothing to be proud of. That might be a hard to do if the British upper class and intellectuals take their sense of identity from a set of values that places great emphasis on adherence to high ideals.
In short, the British would need to acknowledge to themselves that the penalty for acting all too human should not be nihilism.
That's the best I can do with the Blackadder scenes YouTube wanted me to see. Ah well, the brilliant reasoning of those mystery bots is wasted on me.