Yulia Skripal’s surprise video statement and walkabout yesterday has, as usual in this case, raised more questions than it has provided answers. The MSM has predictably addressed none of those questions and been content to simply air the video along with portions of her statement, laced with anti-Russian commentary and distorted summaries of the backstory (see here and here and here). Fortunately those in the alt media are free to try to do a little better.
Reuters broke the story, and claimed an exclusive, but have not yet clarified their bureau chief Guy Faulconbridge, whose name appears on the article actually, spoke to Yulia in person.
The strange prelude to the statement in which we see Yulia walking amongst foliage in a “secret location” as if she’s auditioning for a commercial or doing a promo for a true-movie about herself is surreal and bizarre. Why not a simple piece to camera? Why put her through the added ordeal of being taken to the woods somewhere and asked to wander about smiling? Are they trying to prove she’s ambulatory? Happy? free?
If so they have failed on two of the three counts. She doesn’t seem happy or even comfortable, and certainly doesn’t appear to be free to speak her own thoughts. Whose idea was it to film her in this location? How much duress was she under to comply.
Her statement is also very problematic. Allegedly it’s her own words, written by her in Russian and in English. But this remains highly debatable.
For one thing, the handwritten English version contains a sentence lifted straight from the previous statement made on her behalf by the Metropolitan Police back in April. The words “At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services” appear in para two of that statement. And as you can see below these exact words are also in Yulia’s hand-written text from yesterday
This is curious, because the Met Police statement was pretty clearly not written by Yulia, but by a very fluent speaker of a certain kind of English official-speak. And it gets even curiouser when you add the fact the Russian words Yulia is speaking to camera are not remotely similar to the alleged “translation.” According to Craig Murray:
Of the Russian Embassy she said very simply “I am not ready, I do not want their help”. Strangely this is again translated in the Reuters subtitles by the strangulated officialese of “I do not wish to avail myself of their services”, as originally stated in the unnatural Metropolitan Police statement issued on her behalf weeks ago.
“I do not wish to avail myself of their services” is simply not a translation of what she says in Russian and totally misses the “I am not ready” opening phrase of that sentence.
The Russian Embassy, UK agrees with this take:
The bottom line is that MI5 should expect better results from their translators – for 32K/year they should be able to write statements which sound more Russian. pic.twitter.com/Q8kywjUwi0
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) May 24, 2018
Why would Yulia – or anyone – translate her own Russian words using the same exact phrase previously used by the Met Police, which doesn’t even convey the right meaning?
There currently seems to be only one plausible explanation doesn’t there – that these are NOT Yulia’s words. That the English version of her new statement came first and was based on the original one from the Met Police in April. This was then translated into Russian by someone – probably not Yulia – and read out by her to camera. Murray again:
My conclusion is that Yulia’s statement was written by a British official and then translated to Russian for her to speak, rather than the other way round.
I tend to agree. In fact, Yulia’s statement looks just like that – a statement – written up by a police officer trained in the phrasing of such things, and not an informal composition by a civilian in her non-native language who simply wants to put a few things straight. Here’s the entire thing:
“I came to the UK on the 3rd of March to visit my father, something I have done regularly in the past”.
“I have chosen to interrupt my rehabilitation”…”
“Also I want to reiterate..”
Well, of course Yulia may have written these words and even managed to spell “rehabilitation” faultlessly – something beyond an awful lot of native-speakers. But under the circumstances a certain amount of scepticism is reasonable.
Altogether, whether her hand was holding the pen when those words were put to paper, it’s currently looking pretty unlikely she actually had anything to do with composing them. Far more probably she simply took dictation.
It may also be noteworthy that in this version of her statement, Yulia says she would like to go back to Russia some day, while the previous version, which she did not deliver in person, didn’t contain any such sentiment.
Are the authorities holding out the promise she may be sent home eventually? Is it her own free choice she isn’t going home now?
If you were Yulia’s family member watching the strange events of yesterday, how reassured would you feel right now?