by Andrey Fomin, Oriental Review
Last week it was widely reported that a former Soviet and Russian military intelligence officer Sergey Skripal, working for MI6 since 1995, convicted in Russia of high treason in 2006 and released to UK under the 2010 US-Russia spy swap, was found unconscience with his daughter on a public bench near a shopping center in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. The British media and its eccentric foreign minister were swift blaming Russian secret services in attempting to assassinate Skripal, who up to now is still in coma in Salisbury District Hospital. During the past week the British press histeria escalated and even made PM Theresa May to come out with a ridiculous statement on the issue on Thursday.
This tragic case amended the sequence of suspicious and still unresolved cases of deaths in Britain of the valuable MI6 assets of Russian origin: Alexander Litvinenko (2006), Alexander Perepеlichny (2012) and Boris Berezovsky (2013).
Former officer of the Russian FSB secret service who was in charge of surveillance and later protection of the oligarch and government official Boris Berezovsky in the 1990s, defected to Britain in November 2000, soon after Russian prosecutors revived the Aeroflot fraud investigation and Berezovsky was again questioned in court. That was the season when the oligarch’s empire was ruining under the consistent legal actions of the Russian authorities. Berezovsky clearly realised that sooner or later he will be jailed in Russia and was seeking for asylum, that would allow him to follow up his political battle against the recently elected young Russian president Vladimir Putin. It is unclear whether Litvinenko defected on Berezovsky’s direct order or was just afraid of prosecution for possible crimes committed while collaborating with the oligarch who, according to late Paul Klebnikov, was one of the criminal kings of Russia. As Litvinenko was granted asylum in the UK only in May 2001, we suspect that the negotiations on the terms of Litvinenko’s surrender to British secret services were not that easy. He did not possess any valuable intelligence as he was working in counter-criminal and protection units of the FSB, therefore he could be utilised only as a propaganda tool. So he eventually did, after months of failed attempts to avoid it, becoming a journalist for Chechenpress leaflet, supporting the most radical and irreconcilable wing of the separatist movement in the Russian Caucasus, writing defamatory books and actively participating in any single anti-Russian propaganda campaign in international media.
A few days after receiving in October 2006 the long-expected British passport, he hit the headlines of all mainstream media worldwide as a “polonium victim of bloody Putin’s regime”, thus multiplying the global emotional revenue from modest MI6 investments into this miserable figure. The timeline study of his presence on “hospitable” British soil suggests that the citizenship was a landmark he had been desperately waiting for to get rid of the disgraceful dependency on Her Majesty’s intelligence service. Once he obtained it, he got off the hook and became an ideal sacred victim for the lasting anti-Russian campaign and dance on his bones.
The inquiry into his death, ordered by then Interior Minister Theresa May in July 2014 (!), was completed by January 2016 and publicly released. William Dunkerley made an exhaustive diagnosis to that report in his opinion piece, published in The Guardian soon thereafter. We urgently recommend our readers to refresh it in memory. In the most brief terms, he exposes the document as considerably influenced by the anti-Russian PR campaign, inconsistent, unreliable, biased, dubious and lacking evidence.
The “Godfather” of the Kremlin, as Paul Klebnikov branded him in a book which eventually claimed his life, Boris Berezovsky was the personification of oligarchy in its most ugly form. He played the role of grey cardinal near president Yeltsyn in the 1990s, securing super profits for his business empire and trying to manipulate political process in Russia. He even reportedly “approved” the candidacy of Vladimir Putin as Yeltsyn’s successor back in 1999, being sure that he and his people would be able to curb and control the neophyte politician.
The cold shower came soon. Three weeks after the first Putin’s inauguration, the Berezovsky-controlled media launched a powerful campaign to oppose president’s plans to reform the federal system of Russia, depriving Berezovsky and other tycoons of the tools to manupulate regional authorities. Those were the first maneuvers in a political war which lasted for more than 12 years. Berezovsky was firmly and consistently pressed out of all institutional positions in Russia, a number of legal cases for power abuse, financial fraud and other crimes were opened against him. At the end of 2000 he left Russia for good, settled in London and started his vigorous, costly, but generally futile efforts to oust Putin and recover influence on Kremlin.
By September 2012, when Vladimir Putin was elected for his third term and Berezovsky lost the case against his business rival Roman Abramovich in London’s high court, he surrended. He wrote two repentful private letters to president Putin asking for forgiveness and permission to return to Russia without being put under custody. He certainly did not receive any formal reply from the Russian president, but perhaps by March 2013 he received some kind of other positive signals from Moscow. According to witnesses, he was full of life and optimism and plans for the future the very day March 23, 2013 when he was found dead in a bathroom of his Ascot’s house. The official investigation concluded that it was “an act of suicide” failing to provide any supportive evidence. Most likely he was about to leave Britain for good with his fiancé Katerina Sabirova (she had paid e-tickets way to Israel for March 25, 2013), so the MI6 spymasters supervising “project Berezovsky”, closely monitoring him and being aware of his intentions, could not afford let him go out of their reach.
Alexander Perepelichny was the Russian entrepreneur engaged in what is delicately called “private banking services”. He was laundering money, huge money, of his clients, derived from illegal activities and operations. Among them there were a number of criminal bosses and corrupted government officials seeking to legalise their funds into different types of assets outside Russia, mostly in the UK. Before the financial collapse in 2009 the volume of funds under his trusted management exceeded hundreds of millions US dollars. Sorry for him, as a result of Blue Monday, he lost around US$200 million belonging to his clients. Under increasing pressure of ‘serious men’ at home, in Jan 2010 he had to escape to Britain, where he quickly found a buyer of sensitive information he possessed on some of the Russian corrupted officials – a British investor and reported MI6 agent William Browder, who earned a fortune in Russia in 1990s and early 2000s to be later persecuted there on tax fraud charges. Coincidence or not, but Perepelichny left Russia weeks after infamous Sergey Magnitsky mysteriously died in prison, an incident which appeared to be the cornerstone of a behemoth-sized politically motivated case, resulted in Magnitsky Act, “Magnitsky list” and other voluntaristic anti-Russian legal instruments.
Alexander Perepelichny (R) with some of his “clients”, photo taken in 1990s.
The vague Magnitsky case is beyond our detailed consideration today, although it deserves a very close attention of any unbiased researcher as a sample of fabulous soap-bubble and bluff in international political solitaire. What is really important for this paragraph is the following episode from William Browder’s breathtaking biography:
It took place in New York on Feb 3, 2015, when the marshals of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan tried to serve him a subpoena to give evidence on the only prosecution case so far on the US soil proceeding from the Magnitsky Act. (The details of that case can be found here.) The reason for such nervious behavior of Mr.Browder is obvious: his argumentation on Magnitsky case serves only for political aims, when the verdict is pre-planned and scheduled. Where and when the real business interests are touched, all his claims would be destroyed by any experienced lawyer, as did Mark Cymrot from BakerHostetler during Browder’s deposition in court on Apr 15, 2015.
Coming back to Perepelichny, we have to acknowledge that he was the key witness who could potentially destroy the scam with highest political stakes on Magnitsky dossier. As Browder responds with “I do not recall” and “I do not know” on any substantial inquiry in the court, the US judiciary could be very interested in hearing Perepelichny. This menace to Magnitsky Act was eliminated one week before the bill passed the US House: on Nov 10, 2012 Alexander Perepelichny was found dead outside his mansion in London. The police investigation did not bring any tangible result but the theory of “Russian mafia” involved was timely injected into the international media. One month later Magnitsky Act was signed by president Obama…
Sergey Skripal was by far less public personality than any other of the previous trio. The acting Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer, he was recruited in Spain in 1995 by MI6 agent Pablo Miller, hooked on illegal trade operations. For the next years he was busy selling mounts of classified information on Russian military secrets to the Vauxhall Cross, although not everything is clear in his relationaship to SIS. E.g. it is unclear why he resigned from GRU in 1999 aged 48 to take by far less informative position in Foreign Ministry and later – a regional government. He apparently wanted to get off the hook and perhaps he successed – again, the circumstances of leakage about him to Russian security services in 2004 are vague and dim. It looks very much like the same SIS organized this leak to punish a rampant, poorly controllable and lacking access to any significant information asset.
Anyway, after spending less than 6 out 13 years in prison, in 2010 he was included into the exchange list at the Russia-US negotiations on spy swap. Still we do not know whether it was concurred by the US side with their British partners, perhaps Skripal came to Britain as a surprise guest. Since then he kept a low profile living in Salisbury, but reportedly lectured British intelligence staff on the specifics of Russian clandestine operations. There would be very little benefit from him for the Crown unless he is served as another sacred victim justifying the bugaboo of the “Russian threat” in the UK and worldwide.
The notable feature of them all is that they irrationally believed in reliability of British justice and banking system, institutions and secret services. None of them seemed to be fully aware of the simple fact that they are allowed to pose as as the real gentlemen only as long as they served British interests. Once they represented even a potential threat for ongoing political operations or their current value could not exceed anymore a certain threshold, they were easily sacrified to fulfill their last, but not least task – to be firewood to sustain the flames of Russophobia at their new and very temporary homeland.
For direct-transfer bank details click here.
Skripal was a useful pawn waiting to be played.
US/UK want to get into Syria to control and rob the oil and Russia is going to stand in the way.
Russia is too big a competitor in the oil and gas industry..
The propaganda war, and the actual war in Syria, gets rid of both.
Israel are so certain of the outcome that they have already give GENIE OIL a contract to drill under the Golan Heights which belong to Syria?
Genie Oil? Rothschild, Murdoch, and Cheney et al.
Who owns the media?
The Skripals unfortunately for them, outlived their usefulness and are worm food. imo.
It certainly saves a packet on pension funding.
May I pass on a comment I have just read on another site:
“Hear, hear, May. We should bring back national service for the coming fight. All the remaining Brits that can walk in a straight line, should take the Queen’s shilling. We need to fight for Her Majesty, for May, and for bouncy Boris Johnson.
I would love a crack at the Russians, but I have flat feet and would slow our transgender forces down.
With a good tail wind, we could be in Moscow before the next mild Russian winter.
We have the muscle, the zimmer frames and enough not quite infirm for the coming fight. A British dawn. Call it a happier, more positive Operation Barbarossa. Forward into battle, goyim!”
I think if Russia wanted a Russian dead outside of Russia they’d kill him quickly, as in a shooting, stabbing, hit-and-run etc; and only in Russia would they poison him, where the time passing between attack and death, and all his movements between those events, provide better cover for the “anybody could have done it” conclusion.
There must be a lot of opponents of Putin who look at their western handlers and think “Am I next?”
The government of Russia is hoping that the football tournament helps make friends with at least other football nations . This sad and curious recent hit on a Russian who’s been here for years could damage that hope . Which is why , i am seriously guessing, the hit was a very effective attempt to re-demonise Russia . In my opinion.
This is an excellent piece and casts a realistic eye over the background to this on going affair. It exposes the fiction produced at the Guardian and makes Harding look the amateur he truly is regarding Russia.
As the story and facts of the Skripal case have not changed since the “get go”, I think we can speculate that this a badly carried out cleaning operation serving two purposes. Firstly to silence/ close down any loose ends about the Steel dossier and secondly to create a smoke screen to enable Muller to end and fully admit that the Russia gate investigation has failed to find any evidence of Russian interference in the US elections.
If you are looking for motive in all of this affair the Russians are way down the list – if on it at all…
May and her government have proved the perfect foil for this too, weak and going nowhere, needing some kind of cover to detract from the shambles of the BREXIT negotiations. However this is a high stakes game with too many wild cards out on the deck, all of them criminal in nature, as we can start to see from the above history of events. Flash points in a face off with Russia and China, Ukraine, Syria, Korea, Iran to name but a few.
With this slight change of perspective we start to understand who the real criminals are and how the UK,US and NATO have been taking both their domestic international public for a ride for too long.
CUI PODESTA BONO.
Let us dwell in the Rabbit hole
UNO: Connections to the Steele Novella.
DUE: 7 miles from known chemical facilities that has been connected to the ones in Georgia and Azerbaijan
TRE: Has been free to roam around since 2010 and FSB/GRU would pull off a hit job now and a bad one at that.
QUATTRO: The two victIms were barely in hospital and with in minutes THE RUSSIAN THE RUSSIANS nad lock stock barrel auto motons every broad sheet legacy media had copied and pasted the conclusion
Dangerous times we r living if they can get away with lies as facts.
The nuclear clock has just moved to 30 seconds to midnight and we the sheeple r buying this ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE /MONTY PYTHON CHARADE.
SAD TIMES WE R LIVIN
TELL A LIE ENOUGH IT BECOMES FACT
I think Chris Morris has to make a much needed return and broadcast a new Brass Eye special on Russiaphobia
Oh, yes please! He can do another one about #MeToo while he’s at it.
Morris has spent far too much time sitting on his arse since Four Lions. Step to it, man. Your country needs you!
Call me cynical……..
Were any UK forces involved in any chemical warfare training at or around the time of the poisoning?
I only mentioning it because of the training exercises which were taking place at the time off 9/11 (New York) and 7/7 (London)
And is it worth bringing up again the case of Dr David Kelly? Should we be vigilant for the “deaths” of any scientists at say Porton Down who might not agree with the identification of a “type” of former nerve agent declared destroyed by Russia but “available” to usa via Uzbekistan?
Or at least be vigilant for signs of protection nay guarding of anyone involved in the current investigation to ensure they stick to their findings????
And another one bites the dust……
And all this happens when Bill Browder is in London????
Could be this is the one they wanted killed as he knew where the bodies were buried over Litvinenko and Berezovski and the other guy and the Skripal story is just a “look, look, there’s a rabbit!”
Browder will outlive his usefulness one day.
NEVER learn the secrets of the scary people.
It’s pretty obvious it’s not Russia.
Look, why would Russia want to make it OBVIOUS somebody was assassinated? Now, why would MI6 or the CIA want to make it look like Russia assassinated somebody?
Good observation: if MI6 were the efficient and effective intel agency it promotes itself as, the “assassination”, if indeed that is what the incident is meant to be, would have been quick and disguised as a car crash or accident, and the narrative to support it would be focused and business-like; not this constant change from one day to the next with so many glaring inconsistencies.
Instead the incident and everything that has followed looks like Monty Python Reality TV.
It has all the hall marks of a false flag op like the Sarin gas attack in Damascus in 2013. Knowing the MoD they probably only got permission to move the agent a few miles on the grounds of health and safety. The lab was only down the road. It was perhaps where they drove in the missing 45 mintues? Or to meet his handler, a meeting the dirty squad knew all about? The old boy was expendable – or positively bolshie.
Sarin attack 2013 –
Suadi provided the Sarin sold to them by UK
Prince Bandar (Bush) supplied them to the rebels to create a false flag, but it backfired becasue they din’t know how to use them.
And here is the reward he deserves,
Exactly, the same author as “The Houdini Spy in the holdall, locked from the outide”.
It’s disturbing that so many MPs are gunning for RT and are calling for it to be banned from the UK’s airwaves. That’s a big step and a dire one. So much for freedom of speech and the fundamental cornerstone of bourgeois, liberal democracy? If they succeed, what’s left? It’s a dreadful sign of the times we live in and unfortunately where we’re going. Who’ll be next on the list of Russian propagandists? What’s certain is that liberal values have collapsed in the West and the triumph of the neocons is complete, which is staggering really, considering how little true support they have among the public.
It’s especially galling because RT is an excellent TV Chanel, far better than any other in the UK. Closing it down is thought to be an essential prelude to conflict with Russia which is very much on the cards now with Tillerson replaced with Mr Torturer himself. The Russian conflict is perhaps most likely to come in Syria if Russia downs planes or goes for missile launching sites as it says it will if Russians are put in danger (it doesn’t apply to Syrians or Kurds in danger it seems). Turkey-Iran and Turkey-US will sort out the Kurds. America will stay on in Northern Syria until Iran is disrupted into chaos and Assad gone. Saudi Arabia and Israel demand nothing less.
Why does the world not simply tell Saudi and Israel to get stuffed?
Because they control the global banking and monetary systems between them.
2007 saw Washington transfer $30bn over the next decade, compared to $24bn over the past 10 years. The first payment of $2.55bn will be made in October 2008 to Israel..
The money must be used to purchase military equipment from the US defence industry, although Israel will also be permitted to use 26.3% to buy equipment from local companies.
The Bush administration said that it was offering weapons aid to other countries in the region, including $20bn for Saudi Arabia, $13bn for Egypt and $20bn to be shared between Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Burns called the aid package an “investment in peace”, saying “peace cannot be made without strength”
The number of British-made bombs and missiles sold to Saudi Arabia since the start of its bloody campaign in Yemen has risen by almost 500 per cent.
More than £4.6bn of arms were sold in the first two years of bombings, with the Government grant increasing numbers of export licences – despite mounting evidence of war crimes and massacres at hospitals, schools and weddings.
Both the European Parliament and the House of Commons International Development Committee have called for exports to the autocracy to stop, but the Government says “It has not seen evidence of Saudi war crimes”.
Do we need any more proof of the LIES?
All alternative voices, including this one, will probably soon be closed down.
Starting with RT and Sputnik. They have already targeted Press TV.
Then the 200 sites targeted by Propornot, with the MSM censoring the Internet.
Russia should respond initially by prohibiting all western media and bogus NGOs/ human rights industry.
Motive: Divert attention from Christopher Steele’s examination by Congress and from the film “The Magnitsky Act”, about which Bill Browder will be grilled by Parliament today – but the EU Parliament has been prevented from seeing it and, probably, the same will happen to the UK parliament’s attempt to investigate.
Elementary, my dear Watson.
Just look at this stuff in today’s Guardian… and weep. It’s just… awful, awfully depressing to see how low the liberals have sunk. This writer, as far as I remember, has never shown much interest in the complexities of foreign relations; so why now? It’s like that Solon woman writing absolute tosh about Syria and anyone who dares to challenge the western version of events.
…and also like George Monbiot who was, it would seem, pressured into straying from his environmental brief to make a fool of himself over Syria. It’s a rather lame attempt to display unity of ideology among Graun staff and anyone who wants to keep their job will be getting their show of allegiance in before the next round of redundancies!
Sadly George Monbiot announced his diagnosis of prostate cancer today.
Having a serious health condition can make some people re-evaluate (because the burden of pretence becomes less important).
I was never sure if Monbiot who is undoubtedly an intelligent, and I believe honourable guy actually believed the stuff he said about 9/11 and Syria (after weighing up all the evidence) or if he simply felt compelled to toe the strict party line espoused by the neoliberfal apologists at the Guardian?
Totally agree with MichaelK about the disgusting Hinsliff propaganda.
God, don’t I look like a complete bastard! Needless to say, I didn’t know about this as I hadn’t flicked through the rag yet today.
Yes, it does cast his recent shift in tone in a new light.
Get well soon, George.
timfrom: Did George Monbiot ever give the Syrian people who support Assad(over 72%) any consideration, knowing as he must have done, the consequences of his lies and propaganda. How many have died and will continue to die because of people like GM? Let them rest in peace because they had no choice or chance – why afford Monbiot what he was not willing to afford them?
Exactly. Monbiot was a propagandist. And his ego is so large that he’ll never recant the lies that he told.
I see you have given up on the Sheffield Forum…
I miss you.
I am almost there myself, but find it difficult to resist my inherent urge to educate sheep.
Very few of us left now?
The Guardian articles are bad enough – utterly devoid of journalistic integrity – and then one strays into the comments section and they are worse than at any time I have seen them in the last 10 years or so. Most people who raise any questions are just simply called ‘putinbots’ or called a conspiracy theorist. In recent months I have had my account at the G pre-moderated a number of times and a large number of my comments just get disappeared – even those that are factually accurate and evidence based. Coming from an academic background this really, really gets to me.
Intellectual, moral and spiritual dishonesty has become vogue. Critical assessment of information and independent thought has literally been thrown out the window.
To be honest, I am more anxious about the situation in the country and with international affairs than I have been in my whole adult life.
Never red George Orwell? It not, it becomes urgent, my friend.
by that i take it you mean 1984
“I have had my account at the G pre-moderated a number of times and a large number of my comments just get disappeared – even those that are factually accurate and evidence based. Coming from an academic background this really, really gets to me.” – you have to keep in mind Guardian columnists know their role is to act as apologists for a terror campaign perpetrated by the US, UK, Israel and NATO, against weaker states (the human cost of which has now reached operatic proportions).
This immoral posture entails collective forms of guilt, and self deception (amongst columnists), as well as employing various means ro control, or attempt to control, public discourse, for example through censorship of ideas threatening the Guardians orthodoxy, or stereotypical language littered with meaningless terms like Putinbot, or conspiracy theorist (both of which are antithetical to reason and evidence).
My guess is that most of them know they are on the wrong side of history but they are too compromised to fully acknowledge this painful reality so tend to lash out at those who remind them of their complicity.
I have had the same experience on our local forum and the Independent, which is one of the last places the truth can be shared… Until it becomes too obvious and the sheep begin to acknowledge they have been lied to… Then we will definitely be shut down..
I find I am having to resort to online sites more and more because all presstitute MSM have been compromised as can be proved by the ‘on the ground reporters’ who telol a completely different story with evidence, and are NOT embedded in the propaganda war, to demonise legitimate governments and enable the insatiable Vampire Cartels and Cabals to cut and carve the spoils of said countries amongst themselves..
Funny thing, that Skripal could be just a black swan.
He could see this last turmoil as an opportunity to demand a second payment for his work on “Steele’s dossier” (and probably for his silence about it).
Thinking it would be cheaper for Mi6 to pay him twice, rather than serve him right once.