Now, for many, the printing of an op-ed by an apparently obscure Russian journalist, Dmitry Kiselev, is not necessarily a big deal, even if he should seem to be a regime propagandist of the first order and the piece full of both half-truths and simple, straight, untruths.
There is more of the now-traditional comedy:
"the Soviet Union and its one-party system are gone..."...because, of course, Putin and his associates have really got a clear intention to pass on the chains of office to the person chosen freely and fairly by the good people of Russia.
He ends with a little swipe at the West for restricting his freedom of speech. Oh, the irony. By all means read the whole sorry diatribe, if you can be bothered.
But dig a little more on Mr Kiselev and one finds that he is not just any old Russian journalist.
In fact, to add to what my friends at Harry's Place reported, he is none other than head of the new Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya, which replaces RIA Novosti, one of the last largely independent media outlets left in Russia, as the Centre Left reported in December.
As the Moscow Times' Julia Latyina described the former TV host:
"This is the man who infamously proposed burning the hearts of gay people who have died in car accidents. He also said the mass protests in Kiev were provoked by Sweden in revenge for its loss to Russia in the Battle of Poltava more than 300 years ago."Yes, that makes sense. So the Guardian chooses to print an op-ed, not just from a propagandist for Putin's regime, but a violently homophobic conspiracy theorist.
And the ultimate irony of all this is that the Graun, paper of right-thinking, liberal Britain, which thinks it is nobly promoting free speech and pluralism, is actually giving support to the very person whose new network is helping hammer the final nails into the coffin of...Russian free speech and pluralism.