Mystery Poison Plot Sends Czech Mayors Into Hiding
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May 3 2020: The mayor of Prague, Czech Republic, and two other members of local government are in hiding under armed guard after reports that an assassin from the Russian Federation has arrived at the Russian Embassy with ricin poison intending to kill them.

The motive for the assassination is sculptural: The city of Prague had recently torn down a statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev. Konev was the officer in charge of both the Soviet "liberation" of Prague during World War II (in quotes because Prague had already surrendered to the United States, in addition to the usual fact that the Soviets weren't big on personal liberty), and the Soviet military response to the Prague Spring of 1968. (Konev also led the crushing of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956). Konev was a controversial figure, and the removal of the statue was both legal and long overdue… but it clearly upset the Russian government, who had threatened to sue to try to stop the city.


Game and Story Use

  • Could serve as a model for espionage and assassination hijinks in any game. Killing three men over a statue is extreme and petty, but apparently a thing that world governments do.
    • In conspiracy or wainscot fantasy, there may be something more going on. Maybe the statue contained some kind of hidden weapon or surveillance gear, or was the focus of some spell to influence the Czech Republic, or the tearing-down somehow had a sympathetic effect in Russia…
  • The notion that the assassin was able to get into the country and target city, but was detected after he arrived at the shelter of the embassy is interesting, and raises lots of questions.
    • Did he already try and fail an attempt?
    • Was there a thrilling chase or surveillance scene happening off-camera that the journalist is unaware of?
    • Is the embassy bugged?
    • Is the whole thing a bluff or psy-op designed not to actually kill anyone, but just to make the Mayor fear for his life and therefore less likely to risk angering the Russians in the future?
    • EU assets, noticing that the Czech government tends not to be particularly compliant, is trying to scare the Czechs with an external bugbear?
    • Is someone just trolling the journalist? Or maybe the Czechs?
  • Another article linked to from the main BBC one above says that China also has active spies in Prague, attempting to undermine the European Union (a goal it shares in common with Russia). So you can easily and believably turn this into a three-sided conflict with just a little elbow-grease. Here's a few possibilities:
    • Russians are no longer able to operate without drawing attention, so they out-source to China. They trade something China wants, or maybe China just goes along because of the shared goal of destabilizing the EU.
    • Russian assassin's escape route crosses a Chinese operatives path, accidentally drawing local intelligence's attention to said asset. This burns some op the Chinese were working on, and makes them angry, so they counter-sabotage the Russian efforts.
    • Hell, bring the US in as well, no-one likes the EU and Russian, China and the US are also roughly as fond of one another.
  • Sounds like someone needs to channel the spirt of Tito to me.
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