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Open Thread: Skripal Suspects Interviewed on RT

For those of you who missed it – the Skripal suspects came forward, approaching RT to tell their story. The whole interview is embedded above and available here, with a transcript here.

A quick rundown of their claims:

  • They are civilians, not GRU officers.
  • They are tourists, who travelled to Salisbury to see the cathedral and visit Stonehenge.
  • They are were not carrying, and have never seen, the Nina Ricci perfume bottle.
  • They did not know Sergei Skripal lived in Salisbury and had never heard of him before he was in the news.
  • They urge the UK police to show the CCTV footage from Salisbury cathedral, which they claim serves as their alibi.

In the interests of impartiality we point out they produce no evidence to back up these claims, and the case remains very much a “he-said-she-said” situation.

These developments open up new questions

  • Will the UK request extradition?
  • Will Russian authorities invite UK police to Russia to question the men?
  • If asked, would the UK police go?
  • What prompted these men to come forward?
  • Will the UK police release the CCTV footage of Salisbury cathedral?
  • Are they really civilians? Will they produce passports and/or documentation as evidence?
  • How many tourists visit Salisbury cathedral every year? How many Russians visit the UK as tourists every year? How many Russians, excluding the named suspects, were in Salisbury around this time? These statistics could be revealing.
  • This move could bolster the UK cause, at least in the media, is it part of a quid pro quo diplomatic arrangement? Possibly with the UK making a concession in Syria?

Whatever the truth of the matter, this interview certainly serves to confuse things. Their story is possible, but not supported with evidence. They are clear on some details – and their request for the police to release the cathedral CCTV rings true – but yet they are also cagey about their business and personal life.

The talking heads in the mainstream media have already dismissed the interview as lies from start to finish – they would do this no matter what was said – but it is foolish to seize on the translated words of two obviously anxious men as evidence of guilt. Especially when the “official narrative” is so full of holes in terms of the timeline, logistics, motive and method.

However, it would equally partisan, in the opposite direction, to declare their story watertight and totally believable. There are certainly a lot of unanswered questions here, and we have a duty to withhold judgment and attempt to be impartial.

What happens now? And do you believe the two men? Comment below.


258 Comments

  1. Mark Gobell says

    The reported : “chemical weapon assassins’ birth date attributes” …

    The reported birth date attribute for the script entity known as “Ruslan Boshirov” is 12 April 1978

    The reported birth date attribute for the script entity known as “Alexander Petrov” is 13 July 1979

    Quote : There are almost no open sources of information about Boshirov. According to the “Fontanka”, he was born on April 12, 1978 in Dushanbe, was registered in Moscow in a 25-storey house on Bolshaya Naberezhnaya street.

    Quote : Petrov is even less known. According to the documents, he was born on July 13, 1979*. A person with such a date of birth and a given name can be found in the list of employees of the national manufacturer of immunobiological preparations – the FSUE NPO “Microgen”. It was created in 2003 by the merger of fourteen enterprises of the immunobiological industry. The structure of “Microgen”, subordinate to the Ministry of Health, includes nine branches.

    Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 Presidential candidacy on 12 April 2015

    Quote : The 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton was announced in a YouTube video, on April 12, 2015.[5]

    Theresa May’s first day as UK PM was 13 July 2016.

    Quote : Assumed office 13 July 2016

    Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 Presidential candidacy on “Ruslan Boshirov”‘s 37 th birthday.

    Theresa May’s first day as UK PM was on “Alexander Petrov”‘s 37 th birthday.

    Hope this helps.

    MG

  2. Peter Schmidt says

    Dr Chris Bushby was arrested and released today. He never bought the argument that Russia had poisoned the Skripals. One of the leading figures in the science community. He do know what he’s talking about.

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  3. Moscow, October 8

    Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bohirov, the two men suspected of poisoning the Skripals in Salisbury, have been found dead in an empty garage outside Moscow. An independent investigation by the Moscow police has concluded that the death was a double suicide. A letter found near the bodies stated: “We cannot live any longer as two innocent men being hounded to death by the Western media and secret services. This is all the Western media’s and secret services’ fault. The Western media and secret services hate Russia and the Russians, and it is because of them that we died”. The men have apparently chosen to enter a suicide pact by shooting each other 17 times in the back.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Upvoted yourself three times, have you, troll? Think yourself funny, do you?

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      • Probably bribed his call-centre cubicle pals on either side of him and in front of him to upvote his comment.

        Just when you think Matt the pretend Venezuelan aka #DownWithAssad couldn’t be any more crass, immature and vulgar in his trolling, he straight away descends to depths hitherto believed unfathomable.

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        • The irony of one who accuses another, without evidence, of being part of a “call-centre” and getting posts upvoted from fellow colleagues, of calling me a “troll”, is simply too great for me to handle.

          Which call centre do I work at? If you were serious when making this accusation, and not merely trolling (which is probably the reality), then present evidence to support your claim.

          My “call-centre pals” did such a poor job of upvoting my comment that it only received 5 upvotes vs. 72 downvotes!

          I must tell them to work harder.

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      • Dear rude commentator,

        It is also possible that 4 people upvoted me. Look again. My comment has 72 downvotes, so if I were to upvote myself, it would be to go over that amount. Duh.

        Think a little before you accuse people of “trolling” and of upvoting themselves.

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  4. Mark Gobell says

    The Golden Rule : If a narrative contains references, then they are included for a reason. Always.

    So, has anyone managed to work out the connection between :

    Sergei Skripal’s alleged son Alexander & his reported meanderings on Russian Rail / the Sapsan train …
    The “Ruslan” and “Boshirov” narrative “New Balance sneakers” …

    and :

    the Donald Trump 2016 Election Campaign ?

    I am surprised that nobody has mentioned any of these “narrative nodes”.

    For example, why do you think that 2 alleged assassins, in such an important media interview, would feel compelled to mention their trainers / sneakers by their brand name ?

    BTW : Today, there is another ongoing Prezzo restaurant “medical emergency” in Salisbury High street once again …

    ‘Medical incident’ at Prezzo restaurant in Salisbury
    https://news.sky.com/video/medical-incident-at-prezzo-restaurant-in-salisbury-11500210

    MG

    • Mark Gobell says

      The reported : “chemical weapon assassins’ birth date attributes” …

      The reported birth date attribute for the script entity known as “Ruslan Boshirov” is 12 April 1978

      The reported birth date attribute for the script entity known as “Alexander Petrov” is 13 July 1979

      Source : https://www.fontanka.ru/2018/09/05/075/

      Translation : https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=https://www.fontanka.ru/2018/09/05/075

      Quote : There are almost no open sources of information about Boshirov. According to the “Fontanka”, he was born on April 12, 1978 in Dushanbe, was registered in Moscow in a 25-storey house on Bolshaya Naberezhnaya street.

      Quote : Petrov is even less known. According to the documents, he was born on July 13, 1979*. A person with such a date of birth and a given name can be found in the list of employees of the national manufacturer of immunobiological preparations – the FSUE NPO “Microgen”. It was created in 2003 by the merger of fourteen enterprises of the immunobiological industry. The structure of “Microgen”, subordinate to the Ministry of Health, includes nine branches.

      Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 Presidential candidacy on 12 April 2015
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton_presidential_campaign,_2016

      Quote : The 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton was announced in a YouTube video, on April 12, 2015.[5]

      Theresa May’s first day as UK PM was 13 July 2016.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresa_May

      Quote : Assumed office 13 July 2016

      Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 Presidential candidacy on “Ruslan Boshirov”‘s 37 th birthday.

      Theresa May’s first day as UK PM was on “Alexander Petrov”‘s 37 th birthday.

      Note also :

      Theresa May’s first day as UK PM on 13 July 2016, followed Donald Trump’s birth and John Logie Baird’s death [1] on 14 June 1946 by :

      = 666 months, 666 weeks, 666 days [2]

      MG

      [1] The Jo Cox script …

      Donald Trump was born on 14 June 1946
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

      14 June 1946 was also the same day that the inventor of television, John Logie Baird died.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Logie_Baird

      The cryptic, “tune in [ to ] a TV” narrative node in the Jo Cox / Thomas Mair script, clearly referenced Donald Trump via the John Logie Baird allegory :
      https://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?p=1062862847&posted=1#post1062862847

      [2] Date calculation method is INClusive ISUAF = Include day 1 and the last day in the calculation. If Smaller Units Added First. ( Days & Weeks, then Months & Years )

      So, two date calculation URLs required :

      https://www.timeanddate.com/date/dateadded.html?d1=14&m1=6&y1=1946&type=add&ay=&am=&aw=666&ad=666&rec=

      https://www.timeanddate.com/date/durationresult.html?d1=14&m1=1&y1=1961&d2=13&m2=7&y2=2016&ti=on

      .

    • Mark Gobell says

      No takers then ?

      The Golden Rule : If a narrative contains references, then they are included for a reason. Always.

      So, has anyone managed to work out the connection between :

      Sergei Skripal’s alleged son Alexander & his reported meanderings on Russian Rail / the Sapsan train …

      and :

      The “Ruslan” and “Boshirov” narrative “New Balance sneakers” …

      and :

      the Donald Trump 2016 Election Campaign.

      See the Wikipedia page for : “List of Donald Trump presidential campaign endorsements, 2016”

      Among that list is the owner and chairman of New Balance is Jim Davis, [503]

      “New Balance founder gave nearly $400,000 to Trump – The Boston Globe”

      Also we read that Vladimir Yakunin, Russian businessman, public figure, former president of Russian Railways, and founder and president of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”[541]

      also contributed to Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign.

      The Wikipedia page for the “List of people sanctioned during the Ukrainian crisis”

      lists Vladimir Yakunin among those who were sanctioned over the “Ukraine crisis”.

      These script nodes are easy to find and understand, nothing more than basic research and clicking on a few links.

      But first of all, one needs to read the narrative. All of it.

      Hope this helps

      MG

  5. Thomas Peterson says

    Looks like raging nutter Christo Grozev has been working on this story for Bellingcat along with Aric Toler.

    Now the number 495-195-79-66 is what appears on the matrackuksis mattress firm’s website, dated 2016.

    Aric Toler is claiming that the Ministry of Defence’s number is 499-195-79-66, and it looks like they are going to claim they called it and recorded the call in their next Bellingcat post.

    It turns out that the 495-195 area code changed to 499-195 between 2016 and now.

    So obviously 499-195-79-66 is still the mattress retailer’s number.

    Any supposed recording of a ‘Ministry of Defence clerk’ claimed to be on that number will be a total fake.

    By the way I’ve called the number myself, it rings but there’s no answer today. Bit strange that the Russian MoD reception doesnt answer the phone, perhaps they were at lunch.

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    • Bellingcat sources Western presstitutes Novaya Gazeta and Yulia Latynina for their MOD ‘connection’ because it’s from the same district as the ministry, LOL and when they called the number someone hung up 🙂
      Source: https://www.novayagazeta.ru/news/2018/09/14/145085-novaya-gazeta-obnaruzhila-dopolnitelnye-dokazatelstva-vozmozhnoy-svyazi-cheloveka-obvinyaemogo-v-otravlenii-skripaley-s-ministerstvom-oborony-rossii?utm_source=push

      Except:

      Man From Atlan
      Spiritual Answers For the New Age
      Russian. Journalism?

      September 01, 2017
      https://manfromatlan.blogspot.com/2017/09/russian-journalism.html

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      • Thomas Peterson says

        There’s no answer either on the number they say is the phone number for ‘Foreign Military Review Magazine’, 499-195-79-64.

        They say this is the official magazine of the Ministry of Defence, but it appears to have no website of its own and as far as I can see hasn’t been published since 2011.

        I could be wrong obviously, I’m just an amateur bellingcat style.

      • And maybe the Atlantic Council with their enablers in Russia got the MOD number from “a publicly available database” and the gullible western media called them up to confirm they got through to the ministry as if that proves they were Russki spies, LOL.

        It is for this reason that Bellingcat blocked me, not because I was ‘abusive’ but because I skewered their thin gruel connect-the-dots logic with ridicule then sends their followers to argue their case here on OffGuardian.

        Assertion repeated endlessly is not proof of anything, as I say to the “Q” cult or Jordan Peterson/Sam Harris fan boys on Twitter 🙂

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        • Thomas Peterson says

          It’s not the MoD’s number.

          Of course someone could call the actual MoD, record the call, and pretend they’d called 499-105-79-66 (The mattress retailer) which is likely what Bellingcat have done.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Don’t you just love Russophobic trolls quoting the Western presstitute propaganda sewer?

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      • Thomas Peterson says

        Matt wrote:
        Patrick Reevell of ABC’s Moscow bureau called the number and got through to the MoD:

        He can’t have done. Any recording of the call?

        • Is it significant even if he did?

          We currently have no provenance for the alleged docs, no information on if they’re genuine or how they may have been tampered with, and no data to show the alleged markings would be how ‘spy passports’ would be processed.

          Given the obvious incongruities and the fact the source (Bellingcat) is a known dumpster for the worst pseudo-research and fake intel, there’s no reason to give any of this any real world credence at this stage, whoever the alleged phone number may belong to.

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          • Thomas Peterson says

            He can’t have done, he literally called the number that’s written on the mattress firm’s webpage.

            Your site for some reason won’t let me post even an abbreviated version of the firm’s page.

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          • Thomas Peterson says

            Well yes, it seems highly unlikely that the procedure for issuing GRU members passports is with blank forms with a special stamp mixed in with everyone else’s normal civilian passport forms.

          • Bellingcat is far more truthful than many other alternative media outlets. It may make errors from time to time, but that is perfectly natural and not reason to smear them. Are media outlets not allowed to make mistakes every now and then? If they, say, make repeat errors that derail their entire claim, then perhaps it would be cause for concern. But most of what they publish is perfectly reasonable, truthful, and backed up by solid analysis.

            Your visceral reaction to the mention of Bellingcat comes from your reliance on RT, which has engaged in an unprecedented smear campaign against the outlet and its founder. I’ve never really seen anything like it, and here are a bunch of people who repeat these horrible smears.

            Funny thing is that Bellingcat’s research has been published numerous times in a positive manner by the Russian media… but only when the articles discuss Ukrainian neo-Nazis and their crimes. Did you know that Mr. Higgins, before joining Bellingcat, used the same open-data analysis technique back in 2013 to track weapons shipments from countries like Croatia to the Jihadists? He was widely praised for this work.

            But when Russia sees articles like this, then it’s obvious why an entire state and its army of state media organs would so viciously attack a group of less than a dozen researchers:

            “The Kremlin’s Shifting, Self-Contradicting Narratives on MH17”

            https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/01/05/kremlins-shifting-self-contradicting-narratives-mh17/

            Many websites, including this one, published the above disinformation. And none have retracted it. Why?

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  6. Response to these guys broke every rule in the KGB/GRU handbook comment on Twitter: Like the 9/11 “hijackers” who broke every rule in the Muslim, Jihadi, and suicide bombers handbook, and were “too incompetent to fly a single engine aircraft” according to instructors at their flying school in Florida but left a Boeing 767 handbook in their car, LOL.

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  7. Troy Albertson says

    My impression is that these guys had nothing to do with the Skripal poisoning. On the other hand, their business dealings are probably illegal, and if they came clean, they–or people they associate with, in Russia or abroad–would go to jail. The evidence that would exonerate them of Skripal involvement would most likely destroy their business and/or their lives–and those of associates who might take revenge for being ratted out. I wouldn’t want to be in these guys’ shoes.

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    • And, I suspect, if they were to come clean they would risk ending up face down in a lake somewhere at the hands of their ‘business associates’.

  8. Thomas Peterson says

    And now Putin has poisoned a Pussy Riot member, The Guardian tells me. Not with novichok though.

    I’d imagine Putin has his remaining novichok up on ebay now since it’s proven to be pretty rubbish.

    theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/pussy-riot-activist-in-hospital-after-being-poisoned-says-group-pyotr-verzilov

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  9. Thomas Peterson says

    My post with the link seems to be stuck, so just in case anyone missed it, the phone number 195-79-66 claimed by Bellingcat, Insider Russia, Novaya Gazeta etc to be the number of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Military Intelligence Directorate belongs in fact to a mattress retailer.

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  10. I thought it will be good to post my comment on this platform too. Yesterday i posted this comment on Bellingcat’s website in their topic about “Suspects passport data”. Not sure they will publish it. Maybe they’ll do, maybe not.
    Anyways, here’s what I answered to Bellingcat’s “investigation”:

    (1) First, and the most important – It’s useless to seriously discuss this topic (read, this version of events) simply because any normal & sane person understand that real personnel who work for special/secret services will never (i repeat, never) be presented in any kinds of public/civilian databases – passport database, tax database, address database, drivers licence database and so on and so on. This is rediculous.

    And even if we assume purely theoretically (as the most incredible and stupid fantasy) that secret agents are actually present in some civil databases, it is absolutely clear that they will never use their real names – i.e. if Petrov/Bashiros would be a secret agents and use these names in their “passport forms”, then they would never call themselves the same way – Petrov/Bashirov – giving interview to RT. Mean, we would hear something like “I am Ivan Zubov, i am Maksim Moshkin”.

    (2) Bellingcat – we know who you work for and what your task is. So, why did you need to “search” for the alleged “passport data” of these two men? Britain issued them a visa, so the British side has very detailed data on these men – their fingerprints, foreign passports, HQ photos, addresses, phones, contacts, a list of their closest surroundings (also with contacts) and much more. All this is in the British side (which for some reason is afraid of all this to show).

    I mean, it’s strange that your sponsors/supervisors didn’t take care that the British side provided this information for your “investigation”.
    Although… yes, obviously, you need to create the semblance that you “tracked down”, “found” these data during the “investigation”.
    Ok.

    (3) “…two Russian nationals identified by UK authorities as prime suspects in the Novichok poisonings on British soil…”

    Hmm, but what about Mikhail Savitskis aka “Gordon” and his 6-people “killer team”? Bad, “unconvinient” version? Savitskis is too “unseen”, “mystical”. It’s hard to show him to the public. Look, here we have these two guys right on our cameras. Let’s better use them. In this case we can show screenshots to the public and it will be some kind of “evidence”. This version is better, so forget about Savitskis, let’s use these two gawks.

    Btw, if the poisoning ever happened (still no info it really happened), than victims most likely were poisoned by BZ agent, not by substance you call “Novichok”. Symptoms, the very possibility of recovery, other signs – everything speaks in favor of BZ. For some reason British side afraid of this info and try to hide it from the public. S.Lavrov was, in fact, the ony one who reported this data to the public in April, based on the expert opinion (data from the laboratory of the Swiss city of Spiez, who analyzed samples from Salisbury).

    (4) If British side claim what these two say is not true – what’s the problem? You can always visit Russia, interrogate them, you can test them on lie detector. You can do many things. Why not do? Though, we know the answer, right? British side will not like the results, as it didn’t like after interrogating Andrey Lugovoy, and checking him on lie detector in a “Litvinenko case”. Lugovoy’s testimony, confirmed on lie detector, did not suit the British side, because contradicted their version of “Russia’s guilt”, so it was simply ignored in final conclusions. How nice, isn’t it?

    (5) “…However, no records exist for these two personas prior to 2009…”

    ‘No records exist’, or… you simply failed to find it?

    (6) “…no records exist for these two personas prior to 2009. This suggests the two names were likely cover identities for operatives of one of the Russian security services.”

    Haha, a stunning, ingenious conclusion! Naturally, if you didn’t/failed to find the data for two men, dating back to 2009, then it definitely means that they are “operatives of one of the Russian security services”. Can there be any more conclusions? Of course not. Hahaha.

    You know, people who draw such conclusions as you are usually called conspiracy theorists.

    (7) “…at least one man’s passport files contain various “top-secret” markings, which, according to at least two sources consulted by Bellingcat, are typically reserved for members of secret services or top state operatives.”

    Yeah, sure. Russian special services (who last year celebrated its 100th anniversary) are so dumb that they leave “various “top-secret” markings” on the paper forms of their secret agents, and moreover they let these papers to be in some civil databases that some “online investigators” can obtain one day. Isn’t it funny for you yourself?
    Facepalm. And see (1).

    (8) “These findings, along with peculiarities in the two men’s bookings of their flight to London, make Russia’s official statements that Petrov and Boshirov are civilian tourists implausible…”

    You take two obviously rediculous, strange and suspicious things and use it as a base to claim Russia’s statement is implausible. But why do you ignore the direct data/information that these two guys told? They told a lot of information. Not difficult to check out. If really interested, of course. They told they failed to visit Stonehenge because of snow. There was snow in that time in London/Salisbury. They told they wanted to see Salisbury Cathedral because this is a very famous/popular/beautiful place. This is true, this place is really famous. They told what they did, where they were, what they saw, where they were drinking coffee and many other things. Why so afraid(?)/lazy(?)/not interested(?) to theck out reliability of this data?

    (9) Russian rules for issuing passports assume:

    passport is issued in 14 years before the age of 20 years.
    passport is issued in 20 years before the age of 45 years.
    passport is issued in 45 years and no longer changes.

    You claim Alexander Petrov was born on 13 July 1979. If so, he should have received his first passport in 1993 when he was 14 years old. The man on the b/w photo does not look like a 14-year-old teenager. Then Petrov had to change his passport in 1999 when he turned 20 years old. Again, the man on the b/w photo does not look like a 20-year-old young man. Judging by the photo, I would give him ~ 25-30 years old.

    (10) Regarding the date of birth. Again, you claim Alexander Petrov was born on 13 July 1979. And you mentioned Russian media outlet Fontanka. Yes, Fontanka reported on September 5, 2018 about a person with that name (Alexander Petrov) born on July 13, 1979, but… for some reason you don’t say that Fontanka meant a completely different person. Namely (quote from Fontanka): “A person with such a date of birth and a surname-name is found in the list of employees of the national manufacturer of immunobiological preparations – the FSUE NGO” Microgen”. Alexander Petrov from the “Microgen” company has long denied his involvement in this whole story – https://www.gazeta.ru/social/2018/09/06/11951875.shtml

    (11) On the whole, what do you show? You show b/w photo of some man, presumably Alexander Petrov. Yes, color and b/w photos are similar, but it’s unknown if this is the same one person. Then you show some very strange “trimmed” line with a title “Do not provide information”, some number and handwritten name Petrov Alexander Yevgenievich. It is unknown if the name on this trimmed line and real Alexander Petrov (the one interviewed by RT) is one same person. It is unknown what is this line (is it from some real document, or was it made in Photoshop etc). Then you show a blank passport data form with “There is a letter. S.S” title. Again, it is unknown if this passport data form has any relation to Alexander Petrov interviewed by RT.

    In total, you showed some scrappy strange “documents” (they look like made in Paint 1.1 graphics editor, not even in Photoshop) and tried to “link” them to a person.
    Very unconvincing.

    (12) Btw, regarding your blank passport data form. What’s wrong with your “pictures-evidences”? Why so low quality, blurred, illegible? You were too haste to make a “proof”? It seems so.

    Here’s the original Russian passport form:
    https://s33.postimg.cc/dse6btfjz/passport_back.jpg

    This is intended to receive or replace a passport. This is the official form.
    In the upper right corner, it must be necessary indicated “Форма №1П (оборотная сторона)” (in English – “Form №1П, (reverse side)”).
    In the lower right corner there will be a mark “ДПК604”.
    Where’s this “Форма №1П (оборотная сторона)” and “ДПК604” on your fake picture?
    Instead you have some “Do not provide information” strange title. Can’t even call this a stamp. It seems it was created in Paint 1.1 graphics editor.

    Why your lines are so intermittent? The real, original form comes with normal straight smooth lines.
    Sorry, your “documents” look like a cheap fake.

    (13) “A source working in the Russian police force who regularly works with the central database confirmed to Bellingcat and The Insider that they have never seen such a stamp on any passport form in their career.”

    You must be kiddin’? A “source working in the Russian police force” that “confirmed” something to Bellingcat? Especially a “police force” who “regularly works with the central database”? Obviously, you have no idea what rules are in force in the Russian law enforcement bodies. For such “consultations” to an outsider/foreigner, your “source” may be threatened with dismissal – and this is the softest punishment. I don’t know who your “source” is, but I very much doubt that this is a real police officer/official who has access to databases. Definitely.

    (14) “..That source surmised that this marking reserved for operatives of the state under deep cover.”

    So the source surmised? I mean, he not clearly stated/claimed? It means, the source, in fact, have no idea.
    Ok.

    (15) “Per the same source interviewed for this story, S.S. is a common abbreviation for “sovershenno sekretno”, Russian for “top secret.”

    Haha, why didn’t your “source” think that the abbreviation S.S. can denote, for example, a banal name and surname of some official? For example, Sergei Savinov, or Semen Suvorov.

    Btw, Russian designation “Top secret” – in fact it sounds like “Absolutely secret” – look like “Совершенно секретно”, i.e. it is written completely, not by just two letters. Sometimes “Совершенно секретно” (“Absolutely secret”) can be written a little shortened as “Сов. секретно” (“Abs. secret”), but, again, not by just two letters.

    https://s33.postimg.cc/5bf67gorj/SS-title2.jpg
    https://s33.postimg.cc/hq1y7pg8v/SS-5.jpg

    So “S.S.” is not a “common abbreviation” for the Russian version of “Top secret”.
    Does anyone in the US write “Top secret” as “T.S.”? I doubt. So what makes you think in Russia they act differently?

    You talk about what you don’t have a clue about (as in many your other “investigations”).
    Gluing together the conjectures, strange conclusions, dubious “documents”, you are trying to convince the reader these two guys are “GRU secret agents sent personally by Putin to eliminate Skripal and his daughter”. This is very funny. For all adequate people, it has long been clear that Russia has nothing to do with this whole story. Russia will continue to consistently and quietly expose the lies of the British authorities.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Bellingcrap is a notorious propaganda disinformer working for MI8, NATO and the Atlantic Council. The mere mention of its name ought to invoke contempt and mirth, nothing else.

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    • J Garbo says

      Relax. Good work, but wasted on Bellingcat, a name that reeks of fake news. Any article using Bellingcat as a source can confidently be disregarded. The “Groin” has sunk to a UK govt mouthpiece and should also be disregarded, except for sports scores, menopausal confessions and fad diets.

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  11. Freedland and Harding in Versionland through the looking glass.

    The Graun in its never ending racist spiels about Russia has rushed to judgement again this time about the two identified tourists purported to be Skripal assassins. Freedland in his self proclaimed farce accuses Russia of messing with the truth, something which he clearly thinks is the roll of RT. Not of course the Graun??!!

    However in his gleeful canter to condemn, he fails to realise that he, the Guardian and Harding have been endlessly pilloried for the same – their lack of balance even total abandonment of the facts in reporting on all things Russian. Russia did it/ Kremlinesque/ Putin Dr Evil screeds.

    How best to fight for the facts? What Freedland says as Harding explaining, “Versionland”, in which there is no single truth grounded in fact but competing versions.” as though it is used exclusively by Russia, Is exactly what they are doing by accepting versions put out by government and not questioning any of the available facts.

    For example the “D” notices which were issued by the British Government instructing media not to report on Miller’s connection to Sergey Skripal. Never questioned by the media and the Graun, when instructed to comply they mindlessly obey.

    Because as we clearly now know the original version of the Skripals movements of the 4th March does not tie up with the movements of Ruslan and Boshirov on the same day visiting Salisbury. But why let a few inconvenient facts get in the way of joining the dots for the Darleks Freedland and Harding who only follow orders and think this is freedom of the press in Britain. How quaint, how stupid, how totally disingenuous.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/15/lies-russia-rt-salisbury-suspects-putin

    So Jonathan how about a few questions for the British? Where are the Skripals? Where is DC Bailey? And of course Rowley all disappeared. Very strange for a threat of such magnitude to the British population and the tourist industry of Salisbury. But not a whisper about these inconvenient facts and of course no actual reporting of them…

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    • Paul X says

      How do citizens get to know what D notices are issued? It’s an offence to even report there are D notices in force? Currently there must be more than the one forbidding reference to Agent Miller but what about the owner or manager of the Hotel in East London? S/he could cast light on the whole business and especially whether other later occupants were sought in case they were ill? As for the staff at the Salisbury hospital….It is a bit odd isn’t it that in a country that proclaims it has a ‘free press’ Ministry of Defence Orders to keep stuff secret is commonplace?

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    • Maybe I’m too excitable, but the Guardian stories to which you refer have all the appearance of shark jumping to me.
      The story based on Bellingcat ‘research’ is a direct and sharp insult to the intelligence. While Freedland’s “Russia’s brazen lies mock the world. How best to fight for the truth?” simply turns the knife in the wound.

      What is shocking is that, inevitably and in short order, the truth about these banalities will come out. Whether these people are GRU agents is not something than can now be disguised, which suggests to me that they cannot be.
      Whether it is so easy to discover their ‘secret’ status that even Higgins can do it without the Home Office and MI catching on seems extremely unlikely. Obviously the pair were neither followed nor monitored, surely, were they known to be agents of the state they would have been.
      The more one thinks about this case the worse it smells: it is difficult, if not impossible, to believe that neither Yulia’s visit nor the coincidental Chemical and Biological manouevres moved authority sufficiently to keep Skripal’s house under the most rudimentary surveillance. The suspicion is that the house was monitored, by CCTV, and that the records of what went on, who came, who left, when and what, if anything was done to the door lever, are being suppressed.

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    • The Guardian is investing heavily in satire. A Carole Cadwalladr today writes:
      “…These intelligence officers, we now know, worked for the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency that, in July, special counsel Robert Mueller identified as responsible for hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee, an act that went on to play a defining role in the US election. These same intelligence officers last week went on air and took what can only be described as the piss. Because having been identified by the British authorities after months of painstaking detective work, Boshirov and Petrov coolly spun a preposterous tale about their burning desire to see a cathedral, a cathedral that in two days they never managed to visit because there was “too much slush” on the ground…”
      I have never seen the Establishment so short of arguments and so ready to defend the indefensible as it seems to be over this minuscule matter. It is as if it realises that much depends on sustaining these ludicrous concoctions.
      What is at stake is the right of the elite to assert that black is white and that up is down and that any dissension from these obvious facts is a sign of either mental illness or loyalty to a hostile power.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Freedland brings that trade-mark Zionazi frenzy to his hate-filled denunciations of Russia, like his simulacrum Cohen. But the ultra-odious Cadwalladr (sic) exceeds both today with a crazy diatribe worthy of Streicher at his most unhinged. Just why these creatures are striving for a war with Russia that would exterminate humanity is the only really important question to be answered. Evil does not come more dire than this.

      • Kidocelot says

        And as always comment is closed which stops us dissenting voices from pointing out the pot calling the kettle black element in asserting the Russian’s are lampooning and trolling the UK…..who have lampooned and insulted the Russian’s at every turn!

  12. Mikaelvuo says

    The Metropolitan Police confirmed at 5. September “that ‘low’ levels of the nerve agent were found in the two-star £48 a night hotel in May – two months after the poisonings – during part of their investigations.”

    Why the police did not warn the visitors already may?
    Why it did took still three months to find the 2 russians, if the police did know the hotellroom…?

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    • Mikaelvuo says

      The novitshok had to be on the surface and not in the air, because the police did take away all novitshok in two samples.
      But if the hotellroon was cleaned normally after several visitors for two months, so how there where could be any samples left from novitshok?

      The Metropolitan Police writes:
      ”On 4 May 2018, tests were carried out in the hotel room where the suspects had stayed. A number of samples were tested at DSTL at Porton Down. Two swabs showed contamination of Novichok at levels below that which would cause concern for public health. A decision was made to take further samples from the room as a precautionary measure, including in the same areas originally tested, and all results came back negative. We believe the first process of taking swabs removed the contamination, so low were the traces of Novichok in the room.
      Following these tests, experts deemed the room was safe and that it posed no risk to the public.”
      http://news.met.police.uk/news/counter-terrorism-police-release-images-of-two-suspects-in-connection-with-salisbury-attack-320534

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      • Mikaelvuo says

        Because now visitor did gett ill in that hotell, the amount of novitshok had to be minimal (0,0001 g). But it is possible take samples from that. Craig Murray writed: “What matters is whether they can be connected to the novichok, and here the safety of the identification of the microscopic traces of novichok allegedly found in their hotel bedroom is key. I am no scientist, but I have been told by someone who is, that if the particle(s) were as the police state so small as to be harmless to humans, they would be too small for mass spectrometry analysis and almost certainly could not be firmly identified other than as an organophosphate. Perhaps someone qualified might care to comment.” (https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/09/lynch-mob-mentality/comment-page-8/#comment-782606)

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    • Because they are lazy and went on holiday over the summer. Now they’ve returned matters or facts don’t really mean anything, just the outcome. They say Russia is bad as it has interfered in their plans. They forget, prod the big bear enough times and eventually it will bite.

  13. In the case of anything to do with Russia, guilty until proven ‘probably guilty’ is the norm. The indoctrination of the British people runs deep. Seemingly rational people can see that the lamestream media conduct unjustified vilification campaigns against the likes of Corbyn but can’t stretch their imaginations to believe the same is being done with Putin or any other enemy of the month (past and present). But let’s take heart from the fact that the Toady program on Radio 4 has lost 800,000 listeners. The cringe-worthy explanation that it’s because listeners don’t want to hear bad Brexit news is just the usual BBC denial of fault. Newspaper circulation is fallIng – my local supermarket has a deal where you get a free newspaper with your shopping. They no longer remind anyone of this! Look around on the train or other transport – how many people are reading newspapers compared with pre Iraq war times? The mainstream is a busted flush. And good riddance. The only people who discuss the media in earnest is the media. As a former newspaper journalist i am profoundly embarrassed for them.

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  14. A leaker from the Russian government gave Bellingcat access to the pair’s passports. The findings? If these two men aren’t agents of the GRU, then pigs will start flying.

    The passport data showed various.. oddities.

    First, please read the article. And don’t let RT’s smearing of Bellingcat get in your way; the former is still bitter about the latter’s debunking of Russia’s multiple, contradictory conspiracy theories about MH17.

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/09/14/skripal-poisoning-suspects-passport-data-shows-link-security-services

    My Reddit comment explaining my thoughts:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/9fy2x8/skripal_poisoning_suspects_passport_data_shows/e602tzb/

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    • I would very much appreciate it if Off-G, in the interests of debate, posted Bellingcat’s article about the passports.
      In my opinion, it’s a slam dunk.

      I don’t think the Russian government was involved, however. It’s likely that these GRU agents had links to organized crime in Europe, and Skripal senior’s work with various state and private intelligence agencies irked a mobster’s ire. Similarly, I suspect this is why Litivenko was killed. False flags pretty much never happen, despite the alternative media’s penchant for discussing them.

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      • Charles Wood says

        I suggest they do that at the same time publishing the excellent takedown of the Bellingcat article by Elena Evdokimova at https://twitter.com/elenaevdokimov7/status/1040764359998230528

        And the text of the Netherlands law 138ab about illegal access to a computer system or the use of data stolen from a computer system – similar laws apply to Eliot Higgins in the UK – given this series is part authored by Daniel Romeijn in the Hague, along with Aric Toler in the US, and Eliot Higgins in the UK

        Article 138ab
        1 With a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine of the fourth category, a person who deliberately and unlawfully invades an automated work or part thereof shall be punished as guilty of computer intrusion. At least there is a question of intrusion if access to the work is acquired:
        a. by breaching a security,

        b. through a technical intervention,

        c. using false signals or a false key, or

        d. by assuming a false quality.

        2 A term of imprisonment not exceeding four years or a fine of the fourth category shall be punished for computer intrusion if the perpetrator subsequently processes or transmits data stored by means of the automated work in which he is unlawfully taken over by himself or another party, drains or records.
        3 If a prison sentence of no more than four years or a fine of the fourth category is punished, a computer trespass will be punished through a public telecommunications network, if the perpetrator subsequently
        a. with the intention of making use of processing capacity of an automated work with the intention of making use of himself or of another person unlawful;

        b. through the automated work in which he has invaded gains access to the automated work of a third party.

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        • Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN retweeted that thread by Elena Evdokimova:

          https://twitter.com/Dpol_un/status/1040791463402135552

          Elena first claimed they looked “Ukrainian”. Thats about the “quality” of work we’ve come to expect from Russia and its associates. Disgustingly xenophobic.

          https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnI98WQV4AAlFR1.jpg

          Regarding the hacking claim, I have only two things to say about that:

          After so passionately defending WikiLeaks and its release of hacked materials, why do you all suddenly have an urge to prosecute hackers of important information? I thought that releasing hacked information was “ethical” as long as it shed light on the truth. What happened to all that? Hypocrites.
          There is no evidence that Russia’s passport database was hacked, or that the Bellingcat folks did it. First, Russia has not presented evidence of the database being hacked, nor have they even officially made this claim. It could have been an inside source that released these files. In fact, this is what Bellingcat is claiming. After seeing Russia’s free PR for Assange, I must say, the hypocrisy over hacked information is hilarious.

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          • Charles Wood says

            Let me assure you that using information stolen from some information system by any means including ‘hacking’, bribery, and physical theft is a criminal offence in all of the EU. This is in addition to the actual crime of unlawful access to an information system which does not have to be in the EU.

            Your friends Eliot Higgins and Dano Romeijn are both in EU jurisdictions that enforce this. They have admitted to using stolen personal information from an online retailer website. This is in addition to using information illegally obtained (stolen) from government records by some means.

            To be frank, I don’t think the Bellingcat group are clever enough to do an even basic hack, and rely on some dissident Russians or Ukraniane to do it for them. Their crime is either commissioning the hack and/or using information they know has been criminally stolen against EU law.

            My day job is forensic analysis of crimes involving computer and communication technology and I am intimately familiar with the law in a number of jurisdictions. You?

            And as I don’t recall ever ‘passionately defending wikileaks’, can you point out exactly where?

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Only a hasbara troll would utter such a ludicrous lie as ‘..false-flags pretty much never happen..’. The audacity of the lying is typical.

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        • Mulga, the Hebrew word for that typical audacity is “hutzpah” — a lie so audacious it takes one’s breath away. Like St.Theresa of Westminster with her Novijokes.

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          • vexarb says

            St.Theresa told such dreadful lies / It made one gasp and rub one’s eyes
            And when in the House Theresa spoke / They rolled on the floor with the Novijoke.

            — with apologies to Hilaire Belloc

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      • Strange ‘slam dunk’.
        Aside from the consideration of how the alleged ‘anomalies’ can be explained by mundane reasons, we should wonder at the logic of Bellingcat’s article.
        Why do secret operatives create fake personas? I mean what is the point of creating a fake persona nine years ago and then living under it openly, even going on TV before a hundred million people as that fake persona ? It’s just ridiculous. Real operatives use fake identities for a specific job then abandon them so as to be able to function afterwards under their real (or a different) identity.
        Or is Higgins suggesting that Petrov and Boshirov (NB no passport story there) are their real birth identitites? In which case, why did they travel under their real identities with their ‘Spy’ passports, instead of simply taking an alias for the most high profile assassination attempt of the century?

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      • This is clearly some new usage of the words ‘slam dunk’ we weren’t previously aware of.

        But you know we may just do that – with our own commentary added

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        • Wherein those strange personalities at Bellingcat get so impressed with their own internal verification processes they automatically validate their own arguments’ LOL. One sees similar self-
          validation in every emanation from Q/4chan which is just another western psyop in my opinion.

      • Thomas Peterson says

        You don’t honestly think Bellingcat have the slightest idea what they’re talking about when it comes to the details of GRU agents getting passports, do you?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      ‘Bellingcrap’ is an agent of the USA, of the NATO Atlantic Council and a proven disinformer. Must try harder, hasbaranik.

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      • Rhisiart Gwilym says

        ‘Hasbaranik’ is good, Mulga. But it’s not sufficiently derisive to the deliberately-deceitful goons who do it (‘Matt’ being one, perhaps?). Try ‘hasbarollocks’ and ‘hasbarollockser’. Both portmanteau words; I needn’t detail the other word besides ‘hasbara’ that’s included, need I? Good British-English word meaning both ‘testicles’ and ‘utter rubbish’.

        PS: I hope the Off-Graun editors won’t contaminate this website by giving any space – and thus some possible credence – to the USukiznato-axis propaganda-mediawhore Eliot Higgins’ lie-stream. Anyone wishing to wade in that 30-piecesofsilver-funded moral cesspool can google him, if they really feel the need. In an honestly-run world, Higgins would be one of a multitude of minor, fourth-rank war-criminals on trial as enabling accessories to high crimes against humanity by the first-rank Western gangsters-in-high-places; in the dock of a new international Nuremberg 2 tribunal.

        And should you happen to read this, Eliot: Do sue for libel. I dare you! I keep emailing the same challenge to Comical Ollie Kamm, whenever I call him out publicly as the professional liar and smear artist for the Murd gang that he is. But he always chickens out. Just asks me to stop emailing him… Courage of his convictions, eh? As a frail, white-haired old seventy-eight-year-old, I’d have such fun conducting my own defence against you lying toxic clowns. The McLibel show wouldn’t hold a candle to it! :O)

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    • Martin Larner says

      All that “gets in my way” is Bellingcat’s record of spurious propaganda and their equally spurious funding sources. You’re getting into the realms of intelligence agency disinformation here, which will be kicked out by all parties in an attempt to muddy the waters. Bellingcat are funded and connected to that.

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    • “Russia’s multiple, contradictory conspiracy theories about MH17”

      Haha, you must be kiddin’? It has long been clear who shot down the plane. The name of this country begins with the letter U. For some incredible reason, this country participates in the “commission of inquiry”. Naturally, the “conclusions” of this commission are objective and unbiased. Sure.

      Russia has provided (let’s note – provided on a voluntary basis, because Russia was not obliged to) already enough factual and serious material, clearly speaking about who shot down the plane. A large-scale scientific experiment, declassified data on “BUK”, original radar data and other. But for some reason “commission of inquiry” (the one who’s “objective and unbiased”) prefer “not to see”, to ignore all this important data. What’s wrong, haha? Instead, the “investigation” is based on some data and photos from social networks (whose authenticity/reliability, by the way, has long been exposed), and “investigations” of some bloggers.

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    • Martin Usher says

      Russian passport holders need a visa to visit the UK. This means the government would have already known about these two’s passports well in advance of their arrival in the UK. I’m not sure whether getting the visa as a Russian is as complex as getting a visa when you’re from India or West Africa (can anyone help with info?) but I’d guess there would be some checks on the applicants since Russians would be regarded as an overstay risk.

      So its quite possible that the passport information didn’t come from a Russian leaker but the UK government itself. It just adds another layer of confusion; I only mention it because the story seems to be fine tuned to fit a British person’s experience of global travel (which is mostly visa-free for tourists).

    • You think the Russian security agencies stamp the words ‘top secret’ on their agents’ passport applications?Just to make sure everyone knows how secret they are?

      Has anyone yet shown the smallest piece of evidence that this is what the initials even mean?

      FYI – Bellingcat has no skills, no training, does NO research, and is simply a conduit for third rate fake ‘intelligence’ the professionals don’t want to be associated with. They gave him the shoddy BUK nonsense and now this. Too silly. Reddit is where anyone who believes this junk belongs

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      • Sorry, but the story was about INTERNAL passport files, so no, Russian intelligence does not stamp “top secret” on the public passports of their agents. Reading comprehension fail.

        Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN retweeted this popular thread attempting to debunk Bellingcat:

        https://twitter.com/Dpol_un/status/1040791463402135552

        Read this reply:

        https://twitter.com/ASpinOfTheWheel/status/1040963253898235904

        Zakharova confirmed that the leaked files are real:

        https://twitter.com/bellingcat/status/1040679184396374018

        https://twitter.com/christogrozev/status/1040937364657459205

        Google translation of the tweet by the Russia MFA:

        “And again, a hoax from the “storytellers” from Bellingcat. We really need only guess where you got the data from FMS. Hacked you “base” or you just bought it, it remains on your conscience.”

        More tweets:

        https://twitter.com/AricToler/status/1040670751005859840

        Combine the above information with the phone number, and it’s obvious these guys are Russian intelligence agents. It’s funny how some people are saying the phone number belongs to a mattress retailer, claiming the area codes were swapped a few years ago. Fine. Let’s assume that’s the case. Out of all the locations that this mattress retailer could have its phone number swapped with, it just HAD to be with a building belonging to the Russian MoD? Wow. What a load coincidences.

        Incidentally, Zakharova also accidentally vouched for the quality of Bellingcat’s MH17 work:

        http://tass.com/politics/1021728

        “Zakharova also recalled that earlier this website almost monopolized the right to the truth in investigating the MH17 crash in Donbass in 2014. “They provided such details, which could not have been collected by the entire scientific and research institute, not to speak about a private company.”

        The funny part is that Bellingcat simply analyzed open information, including satellite images and such, to arrive at their conclusions about MH17. None of it ever came from “secret sources”, nor did it ever rely on leaked information!

        Russia lied multiple times about MH17, and you fell for it. Just admit it. Remember Carlos, the fake air traffic controller introduced to the world by RT Spanish, as the man who knew an SU-25 shot down MH17? He was tracked down and is a convicted fraudster, not to mention he was never an ATC working in Ukraine:

        https://www.rferl.org/a/catch-carlos-if-you-can-mh17-russia-ukraine/29065244.html

        Did your favourite media outlet, the one that you believe blindly, retract their false article? Did they issue a correction that this information was false? What about the hundreds of millions of people in Russia and around the world, who fell for these lies? Do they know the truth?

        No.

        Look in the upper right-hand corner of that RFE/RL article. A measly 1100 social media shares. How pathetic the U.S. government has become at counter-propaganda. That’s why the rag known as RT didn’t bother retracting their disinformation. Because they knew that their useful idiots, many commenters here included, simply would never see this article. Ignorance is bliss after all. So they made the calculation that it would be better to let the story fade away into obscurity.

        Will Off-G and the other alternative media fake news platforms that published these lies retract their articles?

        Never.

        You are dishonest and have no right to take the moral high ground merely because you make some anti-war statements. A lie is still a lie, regardless of how you present yourselves.

        The above is one example of a major lie told by Russia. There are many more. Shall I discuss them some more? The lies about a mythical SU-25, “false flags”, oligarchs/Nazis trying to shoot down Putin’s plane (my personal favourite), etc.

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        • The fact you blindly trust the idiot-level propaganda put out by the western media, even to the point of thinking the lamentable underwear salesman Eliot Higgins is a serious source is your personal tragedy. By all means believe what you need to believe, since serious analysis, comprehension or basic sense are beyond you, but don’t trash this site if you want to continue posting here – that’s trolling, and we don’t permit it.

          Further name-calling will be erased.

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          • I already read that response. There are numerous mistakes made. First, the author forgets that these are internal passport files, not ones that are open to the public, hence, the “top secret” markings. Admin made the same mistake.

            Secondly, the author refuses to acknowledge that someone from Russia could have given Bellingcat this information. It’s completely plausible.

            Thirdly, the author repeatedly claims the documents are fake, claiming they were faked, due to their blurriness and squiggly lines. The author forgets that the documents were scanned, and potentially a long time ago, by the Russian government. So it’s not the fault of Belligncat that the documents are blurry. Also, the Russian Foreign Ministry has already confirmed the documents as being real, and is now claiming that Bellingcat either hacked or bought the information online, or that a “Western special service” gave them the data to leak. This lack of denial and accusation all but confirms that the information is real. There is no longer any doubt about that.

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            • My mother in law, who actually reads Russian, says the spokeswoman “confirmed” no such thing (it could be she asked you to have your sources, ie: British passport control to confirm it).

              Pty your lot uses Microsoft translate, LOL

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              • Of course she never directly confirmed it. But not only did she not deny it, she accused Bellingcat of “hacking” the information, or getting it from “Western specials services”. This implies that the information is real.

                But it gets better:

                The passport number was issued by the “VIP” Federal Migration service (unit 770-001), which is used when granting passports in sensitive or high-profile cases. For example, here is the passport of the actor Gérard Depardieu, who received his passport after Putin signed an Executive Order granting him Russian citizenship:

                https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnJTzdoUcAEyk1f.jpg

                So, Petrov and Boshirov are just your normal sports vitamin salesmen, right?

                Witnesses have now come out, who were near the pair when they stayed at a hotel. They say that the pair invited a prostitute to their room, had loud s*x, and there was the smell of cannabis coming from their room:

                https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/russia/article-6172497/Novichok-suspects-drug-fuelled-night-cannabis-prostitutes-75-night-London-hotel.html

                Quotation:

                “A guest who recognised the pair from CCTV images released by police told the newspaper: ‘I could smell weed from their room. It was by the door and in the corridor, it was unmistakable. It must have been around 7pm.

                ‘Later there was a woman in there. I think she was a prostitute. They were having sx. Definitely. I heard them having really loud sx for a long time.

                ‘It was definitely a woman. I don’t think the men were having s*x with each other.”

                Also, according to the Telegraph, the pair were ordered to go on Russian TV for punishment for their botched and unprofessional assassination attempt:

                https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/15/russian-secret-services-crisis-fallout-botched-salisbury-attack/

                Quotation:

                “Russia’s secret service is in crisis after the botched assassination attempt of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

                The GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service, have been accused of ‘crossing the line’ by rival agencies over the way they attempted to kill the Skripals.

                Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bohirov, the two secret service agents accused of carrying out the attack, were ‘wheeled out’ onto Russian state TV as a punishment for leaving a messy trail of evidence behind them in the lead to the Salisbury attacks.”

                I’d like to remind you of the context that many are forgetting:

                A few hours before the interview, Putin said this:

                “I would like to call on them so that they can hear us today: they should go to some media outlet. I hope they will come forward and tell us about themselves,” Putin said.

                Less than 24 hours later, the pair “voluntarily” requested the editor-in-chief of RT for an interview.

                It’s all coming out in the open now, just like with MH17.

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  15. D'Esterre says

    “Yet they are also cagey about their business and personal life.”

    As would anyone be, were they suddenly thrust into the public eye in this fashion.

    “How many tourists visit Salisbury cathedral every year?”

    We visited that cathedral in late November/early December, supposedly the tourist off-season. But there were many tourists there alongside us. We were visiting the UK from overseas at the time. Not from Russia, as it happens…

    “…it is foolish to seize on the translated words of two obviously anxious men as evidence of guilt.”

    I’m not surprised that they were anxious: wouldn’t any of us be, suddenly being adjudged guilty of a crime in such circumstances? To my mind, this bespeaks innocence: the truthful story has gaps and inconsistencies.They weren’t expecting to have to explain themselves. If they’d given a smooth account, I’d have concluded that it was a narrative, a just-so story, designed to exculpate themselves.

    “…the “official narrative” is so full of holes in terms of the timeline, logistics, motive and method.”

    Indeed. You could shoot peas through it. Which suggests that, whatever happened to the Skripals (fentanyl or similar overdose, Montezuma’s Revenge), the incident was seized upon by the UK authorities as a convenient (Syria, World Cup, Russian presidential election) pretext for blaming Russia. And the unfortunate Amesbury couple were – qu’on dit – collateral damage, in an attempt to shore up the holes in the original narrative.

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    • @D’Esterre. And St.Theresa regime is still trying to shore up those miraculously multiplying holes. Yesterday Admin detected the regime trotting out “a friend of the Skripals” to confess that he had made a mistake when he testified that the Skripals had left their house in the morning, before the plane from Russia had even landed; his new story has the Skripals waiting patiently in their house until well after the “Russian suspects” had left the airport, so now they had enough time to commit that dastardly doorknob Novijoke — always supposing they did not waste that time wandering around Salisbury and visiting the cathedral.

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  16. remorris says

    They still look like a couple of gay guys to me., struggling not to say they were there for love, caught out by the cruelties of the odious MI6/tereason MAY psyop.

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  17. Mark Gobell says

    The “Nina Ricci” bs “poison perfume” allegory points to Sir Mark Sedwill who is Theresa May’s “National Security Adviser” …

    The Sun : CHARITY POISON BOX Novichok perfume bottle was found dumped in CHARITY collection bin by tragic Amesbury poisoning victims

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7183276/novichok-poisoning-perfume-bottle-found-charity-collection-bin/

    By Ellie Cambridge

    5th September 2018, 2:25 pm

    Updated: 5th September 2018, 3:36 pm

    A PERFUME bottle containing deadly Novichok was found dumped in a charity bin before a woman died and a man was left fighting for his life, cops have revealed today.

    It was picked up by poisoning victim Charlie Rowley in Amesbury and taken home – but could have easily ended up on the shelf of a charity shop.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7183276/novichok-poisoning-perfume-bottle-found-charity-collection-bin/#
    Charlie Rowley was poisoned after he found a bottle of perfume which contained Novichok

    It is not known how it came to be behind a row of shops in Catherine Street, but the innocuous bottle containing fatal nerve agent https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7181848/novichok-perfume-box-salisbury-attack-dawn-sturgess/ was just one step away from being put on sale to the general public.

    Had Mr Rowley https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6746394/charlie-rowley-novichok-victim-released-hospital-react-dawn-sturgess-death/ not stumbled upon the perfume box, it is likely the deadly liquid could have been used to raise funds for one of the many charity shops on that road.

    Mr Rowley told police he found a box on June 27, which contained the imitation designer perfume bottle, and gave it to his partner, Dawn Sturgess. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6729599/who-dawn-sturgess-salisbury-novichok-victim-family-drug-addiction-children-funeral/

    She was rushed to hospital hours after spraying the fake fragrance onto her wrists on June 30, and died, before Charlie was also taken to hospital.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NINTCHDBPICT0004190340903.jpg?w=960
    His partner, Dawn Sturgess, died after being exposed to the nerve agent

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/NINTCHDBPICT000431230496.jpg?w=960
    Police said Novichok was brought into Britain in a Nina Ricci ‘Premier Jour’ perfume bottle

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/NINTCHDBPICT0004312304792.jpg?w=960
    The perfume bottle was brought into the country in a specially made poison applicator

    Video : Police name two Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov as suspects in the Salisbury novichok attack

    Video : Timeline of movements of Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov who are suspected of conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Wiltshire

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7183276/novichok-poisoning-perfume-bottle-found-charity-collection-bin/#
    The home of Charlie Rowley was searched by police and a bottle containing the nerve agent found

    The same deadly nerve agent was also responsible for leaving a former Russian spy and his daughter fighting for their lives after being attacked with the dangerous substance in March.

    Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov have now been linked to the attempted hit on the former MI6 mole Sergei and Yulia Skripal – and cops have issued a European Arrest Warrant for the pair.
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6693507/novichok-poisoning-salisbury-dawn-sturgess-die-amesbury-latest/

    It is not known where the pair disposed of the Novichok https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5790210/what-novichok-nerve-agent-salisbury-amesbury-poisoning-exposure-treated/ used in the attack or how the agent was carried to the Skripals’ home, but it was announced in July a bottle of the same substance was found inside the home Mr Rowley – under the guise of a bottle of Nina Ricci perfume.

    A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We have spoken to Nina Ricci and undertaken further inquiries.

    etc etc

    Nina Ricci

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Ricci_(designer)

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6624

    Nina Ricci

    Birth 14 Jan 1883
    Death 29 Nov 1970

    Mark Sedwill

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Sedwill

    Sir Mark Philip Sedwill KCMG[1][2] (born 21 October 1964)

    is a British diplomat and civil servant, who served as the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010 and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan in 2010. He was the Permanent Secretary at the UK Home Office from 1 February 2013 to April 2017.[3] On 27 February 2017, it was announced that in April he would replace Sir Mark Lyall Grant on his retirement as the UK National Security Adviser, and Sedwill would be replaced by Philip Rutnam.[4]

    From Nina Ricci born on 14 January 1883

    to Mark Sedwill born on 21 October 1964 is :

    ISUAF =

    = 777 months, 777 weeks, 777 days

    https://www.timeanddate.com/date/dateadded.html?d1=14&m1=1&y1=1883&type=add&ay=&am=777&aw=777&ad=777&rec=

    For further evidence of the kabbalism which underpins the construction of the so-called “Skripal narrative :

    this time between the birth of Hillary Clinton

    and the episode of Strike Back, S6 Ep5 featuring “Novichok”, first broadcast on Sky One in the UK on 28 November 2017 :

    See also : https://off-guardian.org/2018/05/28/47218-2/#comment-122468

    MG

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  18. Just wonder how amateurish the Russian intelligence service is, when they can’t even hire a car in the UK or have one ready for their hit men. Poor blokes had to traipse round Salisbury with rucksacks on their backs in the sleet and snow before finding the Skripals.

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    • george, how do you know they even found the Skripals? If SMERSH forgot to supply them with a car, it also forgot to supply them with a map; and even if the two “GRU agents” (St.Theresa swears they were GRU agents) had got that map it would have been no use to them because SMERSH forgot to write down Skripal’s name and address. No wonder the two decided to visit Salisbury cathedral instead — at least they could find out where that was: just ask some fellow tourists in that Russian plane.

      By the way, some of my family have just returned from a tour of St.Petersburg. Magical city, Venice of the North, Paris on steroids: the river, the boulevardes, the parks, the Hermitage museum, a vegan restaurant, a nice apartment from AirBnB, a classical concert with a great Russian pianist… Mind you, I’m not knocking Salisbury, another (non-Russian) foreign tourist has vouched for its midwinter attractions on this very thread.

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  19. Could the minute trace of novichok in the hotel room be mistaken for a steroid compound? (traces that are organic phosphate compound of some sort. Not a chemist, so would appreciate any with knowledge to contribute.

  20. Cassandra says

    Pt. 2 THE DUBIOUS ROLE OF THE OPCW (in Salisbury and Syria)

    (THE OPCW NEVER uses the word “Novichok”)

    Even those people who are skeptical about what the British government says (and rightly so) tend to accept the „Novichok“-Psyop after they read that „OPCW confirms Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury“. But if you actually read what the (summary) of the OPCW says, you will find the following:

    „The team requested and received splits of biomedical samples COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES for delivery to the OPCW laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories… for purposes of comparison and in order to verify the analysis conducted by the United Kingdom. (S 1671, Paragraph 6.)

    This VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring the forensic „chain of custody“ because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material the „authorities“ gave them.

    Regarding the „Premier Jour“ perfume-story the OPCW has this to say:

    “During the second deployment [6 weeks after Sturgess fell ill] the team collected a sample of the contents of a small bottle that the police seized as a suspcet item from the house of Charles Rowley in Amesbury” (P. 9)

    In paragraph 10 they confirm that the results of the subsequent analysis „show that the sample consists of the toxic chemical at a concentration of 97-98%..therefore considered to be „of high purity“. (If Charly had got this on his skin he would not have survived…)

    Again, the chain of custody is non-existent: The OPCW did NOT collect the glass-cylinder in the apartment of Rowley, and could not verify its condition at the end of June, but they accepted what „the authorities“ told them about it and examined a sample of its content. There was plenty of time to tamper with the bottle before the OPCW arrived in Salisbury (so malfeasance cannot be ruled out).

    (BTW, Sometimes you don’t see the wood for the trees: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would transport a deadly nerve-agent in a GLASS-BOTTLE??????)

    Again they accepted material from the British authorities (as if they were incapable of any deception…) What former (Iraq) weapons-inspector Scott Ritter wrote about the OPCW „fact-finding“ mission in Syria is also to a certain extent relevant in the Skripal-Saga:

    „The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW—namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime—is the concept of “chain of custody” of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised—in short, there is no sample.“

    (Article: Ex-weapons-inspector: Trump’s Sarin Claims built on „Lie“ by Scott Ritter)

    Here, Ritter was referring the fact that the OPCW was not able to actually visit the (terrorist-controlled) „crime-scene“ in Khan Sheikhoun but instead went to Turkey (!) where they accepted testimonies and material given to them by the White Helmets and other artificial „NGOs“ („highly likely“ paid and organized by MI6, DGSE and the CIA). There they were able to observe autopsies of the 3 alleged victims of the poison-gas attack.

    „An NGO had delivered the bodies to the hospitals, though OPCW will not publicly comment on the identity of the NGO. Samples from the bodies were provided to two separate laboratories, which independently confirmed indications of sarin or sarin-like substances.

    In criminal proceedings, though, which are similar to the process followed by the UN in determining a war crime, it is a fundamental principle that ALL EVIDENCE be under the control of investigators AT ALL TIMES. That didn’t happen in this case”

    By the way, the OPCW-FFM in Syria (regarding the Douma-incident) was lead by two BRITISH „experts“:

    The work of the FFM was criticized by the Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that

    „Under the mandate defined for [the Fact-Finding Mission], its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. THIS LATTER GROUP IS WORKING COMPLETELY NON-TRANSPARENTLY. ITS MEMBERSHIP IS CLASSIFIED, AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT GOES OR HOW IT OPERATES. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis’ group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip.”

    But the unspeakable „churnalists“ of the MSM (and RT is not much better..the interview with the suspects is a joke…) do not bother with such complicated details. They just write „OPCW confirms use of Sarin“ in Khan Sheikhoun (and NC in Salisbury) and ignore all contradicting evidence…and the MOTIVE the UKgov has for demonizing Russia (spoiling their dirty game in Syria and “Sykes-Picot 2.0”) so one can only agree with this comment:

    „Professional journalism is now a wasteland. There is no public exposure of what we all know has happened and the threat it represents to us all…. They have been disloyal to us, so we owe them no respect in return“

    And finally – on the implied higher “morality” of UK politics:

    The ECJ just recently found that the UK’s mass surveillance programmes, revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, did ‘not meet the “quality of law” requirement’ and were ‘incapable of keeping the “interference” to what is “necessary in a democratic society”’.(P.387 of the judgement: Case of Big Brother Watch & others vs .UK)

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    • Portonchok says

      We should all call this substance with amazing and changing properties for what it really is, created in Porton Down laboratories, or even in the Downing Street communications department. Let’s call it simply: Portonchok

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      • flamingosarepink says

        Love that name but I still prefer Novifraud. Sometimes I have toyed around with the deep suspicion that it was hidden in the Cathedral and the two lads collected it from there. Of course it could be that the Cathedral was the drop off for documents between the lads and the Skripals. So many possibilities and such a stupid englander government that the plot lines are in abundance.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      ‘Professional journalism’ in the West was always a wasteland. As Chomsky and Herman shewed twenty-five years ago, the Western fakestream media is a propaganda system for the ruling Western elites, the most Evil body of degenerates humanity has ever produced. The ‘professional’ tells it all-one incident of independence or honesty of thought, one deviation from the habitual 100% Goupthink of the presstitute invertebrate class, and your well-paid job is gone, forever.

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  21. Cassandra says

    “In the interests of impartiality we point out they produce no evidence to back up these claims, and the case remains very much a “he-said-she-said” situation.“

    Impartiality … by pointing out a Lack of Evidence?

    These two men DO NOT NEED TO PROVE their innocence.

    It is the government (the CPS) which must prove that they committed a crime. Until then they are to be considered innocent. The whole PR-scam rests on the (laughable) premise that the British authorities have moral authority but „the Russians“ do not …

    Theresa May said on Sept 5:

    „… as a nation that believes in the rule of law we should give the police the space and time to carry out their investigation properly“ (sounds great )… but she had already negated (ridiculed) that statement with her preceding sentence:

    „„..a devastatingly toxic nerve-agent was used to attack our country (Novichok), a sickening and despicable act …already in March the govt concluded that the Russian state WAS CULPABLE for the attempted murder of SkripaI and his daughter…“ (she then repeated the basic lie from March 2018 when she claimed „only Russia had the technical means, operational means and motive to carry out this attack“… )

    The stills from the CCTV-footage in Salisbury prove nothing. If you look at them without any prejudice, what do you see?

    Two men on a boarding bridge, two men at a railway station, two men walking on a pavement, two men at Heathrow airport. So what? Thousands of people did the same on these two days.

    There is nothing suspicious about their presence in Salisbury, unless you accept the massive framing (presenting it in the Novichok context and simply claiming they are GRU-agents) in which these pics were released, as unquestionable.

    The many inconsistencies regarding the phony „evidence“ have already been pointed out by Craig Murray and others. The most glaring of these seem to be:

    • the time-line (Skripals left home around 9 am but „suspects“ did not arrive in Salisbury before noon on Sunday)
    • the strange tale of the „Novichok“-traces in the hotel-room
    • the even stranger tale of the „perfume-bottle found in charity bin“

    Pls pay attention to what the MET said in their press-release:

    „On 4 May 2018, tests were carried out in the hotel room where the suspects had stayed. [2 mts later] A number of samples were tested at DSTL at Porton Down. Two swabs showed contamination of Novichok at levels below that which would cause concern for public health..“

    (The next sentence provides a hint of what is really going on):

    „A decision was made to take further samples from the room as a precautionary measure, including in the same areas originally tested, and ALL RESULTS CAME BACK NEGATIVE. We believe the first process of taking swabs REMOVED the contamination, so low were the traces of Novichok in the room“.

    This is a monumental amount of bollocks which the police have swallowed because they have no idea what they are talking about (they are just repeating what the „Counter-Terrorism“ and DSTL-criminals told them). And why not tell us WHERE (in the room) they allegedly found those traces?

    (It would be extremely interesting to know if the second testing was done by the same people and when …)

    After 4 months (!) they found minuscule „traces“ of NC – although hotel-rooms are cleaned daily – enough for a mass-spectrometry but „too little“ to cause any harm .. who can believe this nonsense?

    Next: THE DUBIOUS ROLE OF THE OPCW (in Salisbury and Syria)

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    • flamingosarepink says

      Thank you heaps Cassandra for that temperate and measured response. I had considered a rolling pin clout myself. Innocent till proven otherwise… absolutely! It is up to this stupid warmongering englander government to prove its case. The sample from the hotel room should be dismissed as a false positive for the simple scientific reason that it could not be repeated!

      All hotels are treated with varying forms of insecticides to counter human borne parasites. That is normal. That is the derivation of the term ‘flea pit’. I imagine this hygiene system to include organo phosphates in many places. These are the foundation molecules by which novifraud is derived according to ALL the literature.

      The englander state apparatus has no evidence of significance against these two, it has a record in this case of manipulation, hiding evidence, issuing calculated contradicting statements. The englander state apparatus is a fraud and we should be very certain to never let it get away with ‘guilty until proven innocent’. THAT is what led the UK to the vile embargo on Iraq and the disgraceful attack on both Iraq and Syria that has killed more than a million and mostly innocents.

      It is the innocent that suffer when the state is free to run amok.

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  22. What a histrionic response by our government and the media to this rather lame interview. I think the government never expected the Russians to produce the two CCTV suspects.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The reaction of the sewer denizens of the Fraudian cess-poll has been particularly vicious and psychopathic-even by their Stygian standards.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        And, right on cue, the execrable Freedland vomits up the most extreme tirade of lying, hypocrisy, vilification and sheer, depraved, psychological projection, so far. I await his denunciation of Corbyn as a partner of Evil Putin. How do these swine become so deranged?

  23. vexarb says

    Let’s not forget this is really about the UK regime doing its level best to save the last desperate remnants of NATZO’s terrorist army now holed up in Idlib, and facing final defeat by the battle-hardened Syrian Army and its powerful ally Russia. From Penny BTL SyrPer this Friday evening:

    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/russia-for-humanitarian-corridor-in-idlib-lavrov-says/1254932

    Humanitarian Corridors to be Created in Idlib

    Addressing a meeting of the German-Russian Forum in Berlin, Lavrov promised that they would take measures to prevent civilian casualties in the area.

    “Whatever we do we will try to keep in mind the issues and the interests of civilians in that area… a humanitarian corridor will be created in Idlib, just as we did in Homs and East Ghouta,” he said.

    “We will not act in the way the U.S.-led coalition acted in Mosul or in Raqqa when there were no negotiations about local cease-fires with opposition groups,” he added.

    Lavrov said currently, talks were underway between Turkish and Russian officials on the situation in Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in Syria.

    “And next week the two presidents will be looking at the situation,” he said.

    “According to the Syrian Socialist Ba’ath Party, there had been 60,000 trained terrorists in Idlib and northern Hama, but, that number has been reduced to 33,000 due to defections, desertions or early retirements to Europe”

    From what I’ve read [ie Penny] the number of persons leaving may be even greater; only approx 10,000 terrorists left in Idlib.

    Either way clearly plenty of terrorists have packed up and left- Maybe they relocated to al Tanf- where the US has just conducted large exercises?

    https://www.newsweek.com/us-tells-russia-iran-not-attack-syria-conducts-major-military-drills-1120648?piano_t=1

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    • The “traces” detected in the hotel room appears to be a false positive, but you won’t hear that on BBC.

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  24. MichaelK says

    The London ‘hotel evidence’ is taken by all the media as ‘proof’ that it must have been the Russians because traces of novichok were found there, according to the British. Yet, is there really a link here. What real proof or evidence links the two men with novichok? And how does one know that they contaminated the room? It could have been someone else, couldn’t it? Was the room empty for three months? This is only circumstantial evidence after all. What about a third, or is it forth party, I’m getting confused.

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    • Paul X says

      Unfortunately it is not uncommon in serious criminal cases (Yes! Even in the UK!) for a piece of crucial ‘clinching’ evidence to turn up rather late in the investigation. Tram tickets to the crime locus under the carpet; a partial fingerprint on a Hotel register; spots of blood; firearm residue on a sleeve; drug traces and a slip of cocaine found in a jacket in the wardrobe etc. Believe it and the verdict has to be guilty if you don’t believe evidence can – and often is – planted. One test is How crucial is the evidence to the case? Here it couldn’t be more important; if true, two Russians brought the nerve agent to London. It ‘proves’ the whole saga. Too convenient!

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  25. vexarb says

    Lest we forget that Porton Down is really about Chemical and Biological Weapons:

    Melotte 22 BTL Saker Orban thread, on September 14, 2018 at 5:29 am EST/EDT:

    “US diplomats involved in trafficking of human blood and pathogens for secret military program”

    I highly recommend to check this amazing article by Bulgarian journalist/investigator Dilyana Gaytandzhieva

    http://dilyana.bg/us-diplomats-involved-in-trafficking-of-human-blood-and-pathogens-for-secret-military-program/

    Please spread the word about these evil activites.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The USA, through the Pentacle, operates a vast, world-wide, archipelago of bio-warfare research stations. They have been intensively seeking out and collecting specimens of blood, DNA and tissue, including neoplasms, from every identifiable human population group, for years. And they certainly utilise recombinant DNA technologies like CRISPR, in their ‘research’. I give you one guess what that multi-billion, per year, effort is designed to produce.

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      • vexarb says

        My guess is; they are trying to genetically engineer a virus to detect and destroy the Truther Gene in humans. Then the Emperor of the World can show himself naked and unashamed.

        “Tell the Truth and shame the Devil”.

      • Rhisiart Gwilym says

        Ethnically-specific killer-pandemic pathogens, Mulga. My guess. No conclusive proof, just a few straws in the wind; just seems self-evident to me that the psychopathic gangsters-in-charge in so many places in the world would be drooling at the very thought of possessing such gravies – as long as they and their favoured cronies and servitors could be provided with reliable prophylactics.

  26. Joen E says

    A text version of the interview here https://www.rt.com/news/438356-rt-petrov-boshirov-full-interview/

    I don´t see the London double room thing being interesting. It was a room with a double bed and a single bed. There are pictures of it here https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7183914/salisbury-novichok-attack-suspects-london-hotel/

    When one has worked in a hotel, one knows it´s perfectly common to install for fewer people in a room, that it can accommodate. It is much rarer that you have 3 guests in a room, than having 2, and double rooms tend to be more plentiful, but for a hotel owner it is nice to have rooms with both possibilities.

    The only problem in the story is that of Skripal apparently not being proven to be at his house, after the two suspects arrived to Salisbury on their second visit, and that there are apparently no public records regarding his whereabouts from being in a car in the early morning in Salisbury, until the poisoning scenes in the town in the early afternoon. Yet he is said to have been most likely poisoned by the door handle of his house, applied by the suspects.

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    • Note – there seems to be an attempt underway to rewrite the timing in order to erase the anomaly of the Skripals leaving the house before the two suspects arrived in Salisbury. Skripal’s alleged ‘friend’ turns up in the Daily Mail today to say he believes the Skripals didn’t leave home until after 1pm. Handy bit of off the cuff revision we need to keep an eye on.

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      • Martin Larner says

        It’s amazing how the UK media have jumped on “inconsistencies” in the stories of the two suspects, but have been completely silent on the massive inconsistencies in timelines and other issues of the government’s tale.

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  27. 0use4msm says

    If I had to place a bet, it would be that they are neither trained assassins nor inconspicuous tourists. On that fateful weekend they behaved like they were hired as decoys, by whom I have no idea, and now they are being framed as patsies.

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  28. Jamien Bailey says

    IMO these two were up to no good, flying in from Russia to visit only Salisbury for only 2 days. But they were not assassins either for all the reasons stated by other commenters. All the characters in this drama were in place at the same time on March 4th for some reason other than an international poisoning incident, almost certainly connected in some way with the Steele / Miller dossier. The ensuing events are probably a consequence of something not going quite right, then a retrospective creation of a narrative to fit the events, continually updated, combined with a timely Russia bashing opportunity. There seems to be some game in play between the Russian intelligence services and our own intelligence service, why else would Putin put these 2 ‘suspects’ up for view, giving credence to the ‘it was the Russians what done it’ scenario. Highly likely we will never know what really went on.
    The real ‘elephant in the room’ is: 250 police officers working for 6 months, racking up a huge bill for the taxpayers on what, in crime terms, is a non story,- spooks messing around with nerve agents, drug addicts digging around in bins, 5 affected by ‘deadly’ nerve agent. 1 dead, 4 miraculously healed, then ‘disappeared’ from public scrutiny. Compare and contrast real crime; more than 100 murders in London, the murder capital of Europe, so far this year.

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  29. Charles Wood says

    The full interview – a bit under 27 minutes is here https://youtu.be/Ku8OQNyI2i0

    Of interest is the comment about a ‘double room’ and a visit to Old Sarum – allegedly debunked by the Grauniad who forgot that you can visit a site and walk around it without entering it (Grauniad claims it was closed on March 4)

    • Joen E says

      A text version of the interview here
      https://www.rt.com/news/438356-rt-petrov-boshirov-full-interview/

      I don´t see the London double room thing being interesting. It was a room with a double bed and a single bed. There are pictures of it here
      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7183914/salisbury-novichok-attack-suspects-london-hotel/

      When one has worked in a hotel, one knows it´s perfectly common to install for example fewer people in a room that it can accommodate 3. It is much rarer that you have 3 guests in a room, than having 2, and double rooms tend to be more plentiful, but for for a hotel owner it is nice to have rooms with both possibilities.

    • 0use4msm says

      They stated their intentions to visit Old Sarum but they’re ambiguous about whether they actually went. The interviewer asks if they went to Old Sarum and the Cathedral as one question. They reply “yes”, but then only talk about the Cathedral as if that’s the only part of the question they’re affirming. It seems unlikely they went to Old Sarum. Tourists who go there tend to do so as part of their trip to Stonehenge, as it’s included in the route that the tour bus takes from Salisbury railway station / centre to Stonehenge and back. I’m guessing the cancellation of their trip to Stonehenge also ruled out their trip to Old Sarum. It’s quite far to walk from the centre to Old Sarum and back and they wouldn’t have had the time to do so, considering their whole Sunday stay in Salisbury was 122 minutes. Of course they could have taken a taxi there.

  30. Paul X says

    I wonder how long the two Russian ‘tourists’ were in the frame? How long since it was known they stayed at a hotel in East London for two nights? Yet they only recently went there and announced there were traces of the nerve agent there; so much for protecting the innocent! Has any attempt been made to trace former occupants of the room? Where exactly was this ‘trace’? Is it odd they didn’t fall ill? Sounds as if that bit of ‘evidence’ is false.

  31. Joen E says

    The gay-steroids angle is part of the whole set-up, as a secondary story. Salisbury is now being described as a gay, decadent town on Russian TV, with too many night clubs and gay prides, typical of over-tolerant, Western decadence, It works very well for the domestic Russian public. It was also suggested by the interviewer, who´s the RT station’ s leader & has officially compared its role with that of the Russian military. In the video version of the interview, she smiles discreetly when asking about their mutual relation, and she later confirmed the option in a tweet, saying that she didn´t know if they were indeed gay. And there are surveillance photos of them on Wilton road from their second, likewise short visit, which means in the opposite area of the cathedral, near Skripal´s home.

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  32. Question Time on BBC last night was disgusting – I need say no more other than this is a nation being swept along by fools.

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  33. Portonchok says

    The whole Skripal affair is clearly a false flag in so far as the Russian leadership is concerned, and it’s “highly likely” that the CIA/MI*/Mossad are involved.

    However, it could be that these agencies are involved in an unexpected way. I’m starting to think that internal Russian resistance to Putin, especially the Navalnyists, Atlantacists, or elements of them, could be working in cahoots with the foreign intelligence services to embarass Putin, isolate him and then have him removed either democratically as the population revolts against pension policies etc, or eventually forcefully removed à la Kiev.

    What these 2 men have to do with this I cannot guess at the moment, but it’s very clear by their body language and vocal expressions that they are not telling the truth and are hiding something significant. They might be involved in some form of couriering for the underworld, which could feasibly involve the transportation of substances, or execution of a plan, for the Atlanticists. They may be patsies too, but they’re not telling the truth, in my opinion.

  34. John A says

    OMG, just got a marketing email from the Old Vic with their 2019 season. They’re putting on a dramatised version of Plagiarist Harding’s book about the Litvenenko poisoning. I thought molester Spacey as artistic director was as low as they could get…
    This new production sure to get 5 stars from Guardian and Observer, sight unseen!

  35. A number of facts invalidate the British claims and argue in favour of these men being the tourists they claim to be:
    1) they travelled under their real names, not the “aliases” the police keep insisting on. Sooner or later they will be persuaded to show their ID cards/passports on Russian TV.
    2) They flew direct Moscow-London on Russian passports under their real names, which no GRU assassin would ever do (as some of their ex-agents have testified)
    3) They were NOT in Salisbury at the time of the poisoning of the doorknob, which occurred before the Skripals left home at 9.15, never to return (according to Police.) These men arrived in Salisbury at 11.48 on Sunday when the Skripals were in a pub. Nor could they have done it the day before or the Skripals would not have survived the night.

    It is time somebody from MI6 came clean that this was their operation to stop Sergei going back to Russia to sell what he knew about the Steele dossier which he worked on with his old MI6 handler Pablo Miller, who lives in Salisbury. The fact they waited till Yulia arrived to get her too proves she was part of a plot to help him escape from the UK. The only possible role these 2 oddball “tourists” might conceivably have played is delivering the false passport Sergei would have needed to get out.
    The poisoned perfume bottle might have been part of an initial MI6 attempt to send Yulia a birthday present (birthday 13 days later) to kill them both but suspicious Sergei refused to open it and threw it in the rubbish. MI6 had then to spay them in town and hastily invented the doorknob theory to explain how they were poisoned, stretching credulity that the poison took 5 hours to act and then hit them both in the same minute.

    34
    1
    • Paul X says

      I agree Julia is key to what happened. Her boyfriend and his mother are both associated with the Russian intelligence agencies, the mother at a senior level. I suggest Julia was telling her father what were the conditions placed on his request to return to Russia. By lunch time Sergei was cross about something – probably news from Miller that MI6 refused to let him go. They drugged and imprisoned both. With their story of deadly nerve agent generally ridiculed they ‘proved’ it did exist by putting some down in Amesbury.

      17
  36. MichaelK says

    This affair, on both sides, seems as full of unexplained and strange holes as a Swiss cheese. Given the enormous risks involved and the colossal diplomatic reaction if the plot was uncovered, with a glowing trail of breadcrumbs leading straight back to Russia; how realistic is it that the Kremlin would send two GRU assassins to Salisbury to murder Skripal?

  37. One of two things must be true. They are either guilty or British authorities planted or manufactured ‘evidence’ of Novichok in their hotel room.

    16
  38. “Will the UK police release the CCTV footage of Salisbury cathedral?” Reminds me of when Sir Thomas Beecham filed for bankruptcy. The judge enquired:

    “And on what did you spend all that money?”

    “On trying to keep a symphony orchestra going, MiLord”

    “Was not that a very foolish thing to do?”

    “Yes, MiLord”.

    Thus I can imagine the Crown Prosecutor enquiring:

    “And with what intent did you travel to Salisbury in winter?”.

    “To visit the cathedral”.

    “And was not that a very suspicious thing to do?”.

    (Speaking for myself, one of the highlights of a scientific meeting at Porton Down was the opportunity to admire Salisbury cathedral at leisure, in the mellow sunshine of an autumn evening. I had often admired Constable’s al fresco painting of the Cathedrals, which kicked off the Impressionist movement and later masterpieces such as the Monet sequence of Rouen cathedral at different times of day. I think the long journey to desolate Porton Down would have been sufficiently rewarded for that alone: the chance to see Salisbury cathedral wearing a different aspect from the crisp sparkling daylight in which Constable painted it).

    13
    • To generate a little humour out of the situation, I was amused by the original voice-over translation that came with the first part of the interview. When asked why they made the visit (just over a minute into the interview) Petrov says that their friends recommended they visit “the wonderful city”. In the original voiceover, Simonyan’s response was interpreted with an incredulous,upwards, almost rhetorical, inflection: “[What?] Salisbury?? A wonderful city?”. Whereas Simonyan’s question was in reality posed objectively without inflection to get them to clarify that it was Salisbury they were referring to rather than London.

      • vexarb says

        JudyJ, England has many magical places. I once asked some South African friends in Hampstead what they had liked most during their 6 month tour of Britain; they replied with one voice: Chichester. And the great French film director of Hiroshima Mon Amour and Dernier Annee a Marienbad, when he wanted to show the little Paris appartment of a typical French couple in Je Connais la Chansons, included the framed poster from their trip to Scarborough.

  39. Selective Outrage says

    The Skripals are alive today, but let’s assume that Russia did it and let’s take another perspective not mentioned in the media lately:

    How often does a spy agency bumps off [kills] some of their own for double crossing or as a punishment for treason?

    I’d say, it happens frequently, perhaps it is happening somewhere, all the time.
    Mostly we never hear about those cases. Occasionally, a book, or two, or three, would be written. A movie could be made perhaps. And that’s yet.

    Now assume Russia wanted to dispose of one of their own (an ex-agent). Isn’t astonishing that the British government is reacting in a way as if they wish to start WWIII?

    25
    • Haltonbrat says

      The British are acting under the orders of Israel through the USA. Israel are very angry that Russia have stopped then bringing down Assad, trashing Syria and neutralising the political scene as in Libya.

      10
      • We find all such single-issue reductionism to be simplistic and unhelpful. Israel is a tool of neoliberal imperial interests, as are most western nations, if not most nations in the ‘developed’ world. The nature of their function within that can of course be debated, but the idea any sovereign nation calls the shots is a fundamental misunderstanding of how the power structure works

        6
        5
      • Paul X says

        I’m sure the British, like the French are genuinely keen to see Syria bombed, they don’t need encouraging by anybody. Half the trouble is British-French competition for control of the ME. It’s similar to 2011 when by all accounts (Clinton and Obama) it was the French who were driving NATO to bomb Libya. Cameron felt obliged to keep up with French aggression. Clinton claims the French President was “hysterical” in his demands that heavy bombing should start. Obama says he insisted that in that case the French and British should take the lead role; unfortunately they soon ran out of missiles and totally relied on American targeting systems. As soon as it was over the ‘victors’ made great speeches about how Libyans would be ‘looked after’. They then buggered off and have done nothing for Libya since. It would be much the same if they got their way in Syria.

        • vexarb says

          PaulX, please to be less sweeping when you say, “the British, like the French are genuinely keen to see Syria bombed”. I am British and definitely dislke seeing my country bomb Syria; so do many of my fellow countrymen; so did most members of Parliament when Camoron brought it to the vote, if I remember correctly. As for “the French”, it was President Sarkosy who led the charge. I seem to remember that Sarko or his son got a reward from Rothschild Carlyle Finance (as did Blair and Brown); and Camoron is a banker’s son.

          I read somewhere there is a wasp whose poison affects the victim’s brain so that the victim (though still living) abandons it’s own interests and works only for the wellbeing of its parasite.

          • Paul X says

            Ok not ‘the’ British but the ones In Charge – the Secret Services, GCHQ and of course the FCO. One could add the Tory Government but it seems unlikely those really in charge even speak to those incompetents. Did MI6 get Government permission to hire Steele to write up the Urination Dossier and leak it into the US media just before the election in an effort to support Hilary Clinton? It’s a question which Trump may be asking soon.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          All in pursuit of the Zionazi Oded Yinon Plan, and its reiteration since, to destroy all Israel’s Arab and other Moslem neighbours. A particular incentive for Sarkozy and the likes of the loathsome Bernard-Henry Levy.

  40. The ball is clearly in Theresa May’s court. Either she provides humanity with concrete, impeccable, incontrovertible evidence to verify her accusations against these (2) men – or she is in big-time political trouble.

    22
    • Maggie says

      Why would she do that? There was no concrete evidence that the Skripals were even poisoned by a nerve agent…
      Just an embarrassing farce from beginning to end.
      Michealantony and Paul X appear to have it covered? Their explanations hold far more truth than the spluttering and muttering of Maybot and the Buffoon.

      Fact is two useless drug addled addicts were chosen at random to be the latest ‘victims,’
      It was of no importance if they lived or died… Problem – the guy suddenly realised he could get some compensation… So he is now ‘in a critical’ condition and expected to die any time.

      Why would the British Establishment perpetrate such an obvious false flag?
      Because they have been instructed to by Saudi, the US government and Israel. To keep all eyes focussed on Russia as the bogy man, because they have prevented the Oil and Banking Cartels from taking over Syria…. And they stand strong beside Syria in the event of any more attacks.

      11
      • vexarb says

        Yes, Maggie, that’s all Britain can contribute to “punching above our weight” these days. Those spoilsport Russkies put a damper on The Coalition of the Killing lark, so what else can we do to oblige our Saudi, U$ and Israeli mates?

  41. The question all this begs is when will the British present the Skripals and DC Bailey [a Public Servant] for a public interview by a journalist or better still press conference??

    With the British story so far being so full of holes all the appearance of these two Russians proves is that the narrative has taken over in the minds of the news-hounds. No questions about the British story but loads about the flakiness of this Russian interview.

    Lots of pictures of this pair moving around in the UK. But none of Yulia arriving in the UK none of the Skripals movements around Salisbury itself.

    On the face of it the edited version of the RT looks a bit disjointed but if you read and watch the full transcript and film you see that the whole purpose is that of public disclosure by private individuals, which is often uncomfortable for a myriad of reasons.

    22
    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      They have good reason to be worried. The evil, psychopathic, May regime has issued arrest warrants for these men, who can now be delivered to the UK, if they travel abroad, for a sham show trial and lengthy imprisonment. I’d be worried, too.

      22
    • Rhisiart Gwilym says

      Yes do take care to see the full-length interview (around 25 minutes). The cut-about versions don’t give the right feel.

  42. One thing I’m pretty certain of:
    It wasn’t their idea to be interviewed, nor was it Putin’s. They looked far too uncomfortable to have wanted it, and Putin is far too smart to use such bad actors for our entertainment.
    Whoever did come up with the idea, the desired effect was achieved: Utter confusion among the general public.
    A sketch worthy of Monty Python.

    15
    • Paul X says

      Or Putin knew exactly what he was doing blowing the whistle on these two shifty and gormless characters who are very unlikely to be part of the intelligence community. They appear to be patsies paid by one side or the other to muddy the waters on such a crucial day. The fact Putin did blow the whistle suggests they were paid by an opposition group or British intelligence. Ironically they may be the last ones to discover who employed them but if they did know it’s hardly surprising they appear terrified. A Russian prison beckons rather than a trial in the UK.

  43. We have learned that Russian assassins travel under their own real names, pose for as many CCTV cameras as possible undisguised and smuggle military grade poisons that scream Russian origin in their carry-on despite the high level of scrutiny Russians are subjected to when traveling to notoriously anti-Russian UK. Then they request to appear on international TV with their identities exposed and with their passports in hand, one of them wearing the same jacket he wore in CCTV footage.
    All of this operation controlled by from the highest levels of a government that has arguably more espionage experience than any other country in the world.
    Raise your hand if you believe in Santa Claus.

    49
    1
    • I was chatting to some Russian facebook ‘freinds’ last night. In Russia nobody believes a word of the UK’s story of course. The people I was talking to reckon that the pair are looking uncomfortable because they are gay. Being ‘outed’ in Russia is no celebratory matter, apparently and that in the interview, they are asked why they only rented one room/bed. One said that the pair were probably low level smugglers.
      There are so many ways you could interpret this whole performance.For me, it’s probably about drugs and money. Perhaps Skripal was a node on some import/export network but got greedy and the stuff that killed the drug-addict woman was part of a batch. I have no evidence – but neither it seems does Teresa May….

  44. Kathleen Lowrey says

    Is it possible that the visit to Salisbury is part of a new age enthusiasm? Stonehenge, Salisbury, buying nutriceuticals in Europe, being super cagey about their business: it seems possible that they are gay fitness buffs who make their living marketing New Age woo and when suddenly finding themselves on national TV they are simply flustered about it as I imagine gay New Age woo is pretty disfavored in Russia. Particularly if they are as unsophisticated as they seem, this really might be their first concern — not to expose themselves or friends.

    If this is the case, Russian journalists should be able to figure it out quickly — the gay New Age woo body building community can’t be huge.

    12
    10
  45. JamesBond says

    These guys come across as straightforward in what they are saying, in that they had a weekend break to have some fun, and it was disrupted by the extreme weather which we all experienced…

    They’re obviously a bit anxious having been plucked out by the Uk authorities as the ‘main suspects’ in the latest round of ‘we have absolute proof of what happened’ just because they happen to be Russian and they were in Salisbury on the day of the alleged crime.

    How many threads of absurd and insubstantial claims are we going to get from the Uk authorities…. ?

    There’s not a single thread of evidence to suggest that these men were responsible for a failed assassination attempt and that they unleashed a deadly nerve agent, and yet all i heard on news bulletins whilst driving, was empty words from security experts and ministers, attempting to paint a picture of absolute certainty that they did, and offering nothing to back their conclusions up…

    41
  46. Finn Olsen says

    Petrov and Borishov say they took pictures while being at the Salisbury Cathedral. If we can see some of these, their story will sound much more plausible. If it can be determined whether their real names are indeed Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov this will also help a lot. To a Russian journalist it should also be quite easy to check their story about being businessmen — unless they are into some kind of illegal business which could be the reason why they seem to be reluctant to speak openly about it.

    • AntonyI says

      There is a huge spectrum of activities by foreign visitors to any nation: from cultural tourism, friens visit, via ogling etc. to drug buying for personal use, to shady currency or real estate deals to ……an assassination attempt, lastly with with WMD like Novichok.

      Why not use the old push in front of an on coming truck or train, or brake line tampering? Why go under their own names and nationalities?

      They are just patsies highlighted by MI6 to cover their own kidnap of the Skripals.

      22
  47. It is funny that we all read the same account and come to different conclusions.

    I start from the premise that it is a third party operation set up to persuade Trump to go back on his statement that he was going to remove US troops out of Syria.

    These two characters are certainly not Russian agents but were almost certainly involved maybe as unwitting carriers of the perfume bottle. They come across as people involved in the drug trade and might easily have been involved with intelligence from a third party country, the two are often inter mixed.

    The snow obviously upset all the planning and the obvious mistiming of events.

    Was it BZ or A234 found at the hotel. The police only say a nerve agent.

    BZ is only an incapacitating agent and does not kill, if it was BZ then the whole thing is a charade designed to create an event. So the key question is did the perfume bottle contain BZ or A234? Note the OPCW were only asked if it contained the same nerve agent but specifically not what that agent was.

    There is a simple answer the Skripals are alive and well, lets hear their side of the story, failing that maybe Steele and Miller might have something to say.

    What the UK Government is probably really worried about is that the US has declared economic war on Russia based on this almost certainly false information and also an extension and escalation of the war in Syria as well. Since the US obviously know the true facts, it would appear that the special relationship means nothing and it is going out of its way to screw the UK. Maybe that is why there is a wry smile on Putin’s lips?

    20
    7
    • its been my experience that airport screeners these days are keenly vigilant about looking out for containers of liquids and gels. Not sure how a male passenger, a Russian no less, wouldn’t be subjected to extra scrutiny for packing ladies perfume on a weekend vacation trip.

      26
  48. Philpot says

    They seem genuine enough – but possibly with a dodgy supplements business! UK behaviour and BBC reporting is consistent with intelligence operation and the UK story has more holes than a sieve. I am convinced the UK government are lying through their teeth so on balance believe these guys before Teresa May who is a hostage to British and American string-pullers, a proven idiot and proven liar. Sad our country is a poodle of US neocon crooks.

    40
  49. “Will Russian authorities invite UK police to Russia to question the men?”

    “If asked, would the UK police go?”

    The questions are not correct. It’s not Russia’s business to invite UK police. It is UK police who must (of course, if they’re interested) make an official request to Russia to have opportunity to come and interrogate these two guys. Of course Russian side will not object. From the very beginning Russian side offered cooperation and joint investigation, offered help. UK police can come and even test these guys on lie detector. There are many things UK police can do. If they are interested. Though, it’s obvious, they are not. They don’t need real transparent serious investigation.

    “Litvinenko case” is a good example to recall. British authorities, naturally, tried to blame a Russian side that “Russians poisoned Litvinenko”. In particular, they blamed Andrey Lugovoy. Then, British team came to Russia, they interviewed people, learned information, clarified the circumstances, they interrogated Lugovoy, asked him to show documents, to explain facts, they tested him on lie detector, and… they “didn’t take into account” all these received information in their conclusions on the investigation. Simply because they didn’t like what Lugovoy told them. And even more so the fact that all this [info] was confirmed by a check on the lie detector. The resulting version of the events “did not match” with the one they had to establish. In their “correct” version, Russia was to blame. Numerous data from Lugovoy, confirmed on the lie detector, disproved their “correct” version. So all this info was simply ignored, and the official conclusion remains the same – “Russia is guilty”.

    In “Skripal case” it’s the same again – for the British authorities there is no need/interest to learn the real truth (though, i’m sure they know the truth, and it speaks not in favor of “Russia’s guilt”). Their task is different from the very beginning – to blame Russia, to divert attention from the catastrophe with Brexit, to have “legal” reasons for the new sanctions against Russia, to put additional pressure on Russia because of Syria (upcoming Idlib liberation).

    No one in British authorities is interested to find the real culprits. All their behavior/deeds/statements speaks of it. They will come up with all the new and new lies, invent the most incredible versions, deny even the most obvious facts. I repeat, their task is not to actually investigate the case.

    By the way, I want to remind you – we still(!) don’t know if the “poisoning” was at all or not. We only know what the British authorities said. I emphasize, we know what they said. Means, they did not show any serious documents confirming the poisoning ever happened, they did not show the “poisoned victims”, they never let the Russian consuls to saw the “victims”, no one saw Sergei Skripal since(!) March 4, 2018. Does he still alive? Does he still in the UK? Where is Yulia Skripal after she said in her “interview” she “would like to come back to Russia one day”…

    Someone doubts that the British authorities could lie about poisoning? Think of Tony Blair. His lie was much more massive, terrible and criminal. His lies led to the destruction of the whole country.

    Today on Russian television there will be an hour film called “Who actually poisoned Skripal”. I’m going to watch it.

    50
    • and it goes way back doesnt it before Litvinenko, all using some exotic poison which can be connected in the eye of the headline reader in some dubious way to Russia – Paul Barril “Operation Beluga “….civilised rational British people ask forgiveness and long for a reset of relations with Russia and Russians.

      19
    • Forgot to say… Since March 4, 2018 we know that:

      Yulia Skripal brought “Novichok” in her things in a suitcase.

      Skripals were poisoned with buckwheat.

      Skripals were poisoned with bouquet of flowers at the cemetery.

      Skripals were poisoned with UAV drone.

      Skripals were poisoned through air conditioning in the car.

      Skripals were poisoned with aerosole.

      Skripals were poisoned by Mikhail Savitskis (aka “Gordon”) group, consisting of 6 killers.

      Skripals were poisoned with “Novichok” in a form of a gel.

      Skripals were poisoned with a perfume bottle (so it seems “Novichok” is still liquid).

      The killers poured “Novichok” in a public toilet.

      The killers poured “Novichok” in a hotel room.

      Skripals were poisoned by 2 GRU agents (never mind “Gordon 6 killers” group, never mind there’s no GRU in Russia since 2010)

      “Novichok” is a “5–8 times more lethal than VX nerve agent” and “the most deadly ever made”, though it can’t kill even 2 people.

      31
      • The Russian Embassy in London has been keeping a running record of all the scenarios presented in the UK by the Govt/MSM and at the last count said it stood at 40 different contradictory and unproven scenarios. You may have seen (UK envoy) Karen Pierce’s ‘performance’ at the UNSC last week when she mocked the Russians for (and I paraphrase) “putting forward 40 different accounts of what had happened, proving how deluded and completely lacking in any credibility they are”. She completely missed the point that the Russians were taking the p*ss out of the UK. Her comment was a perfect own goal but I imagine she’s still glorying in delusions of her clever put-down.

        30
    • If you could report back later with a synopsis of the tv programme I for one would be thankful.

  50. If the two men are GRU agents they are very good actors. I think they were tourists.

    The whole Skripal only gets more bizarre.

    Apparently police who were called yesterday to the home of a chemical weapons expert in Devon had to be treated after feeling unwell. The man – Dr. Chris Busby – is a regular expert for RT and has previously claimed Britain may be behind the Salisbury poisoning. He was arrested under the ‘explosives act’.

    While at the address, some officers complained of feeling unwell and were immediately removed from the scene and a cordon put in place. It seems the officers were overcome by the foul state of the house, which possibly contained “poorly husbanded home maintenance products”.(whatever that may mean).

    Is this farcical police action intended to warn others who dare to suggest that Britain may be behind the Salisbury poisoning?.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/13/chemical-weapons-expert-arrested-police-taken-devon-home/

    58
  51. Maybe the Brits (god forbid any media or objective entity) should ask the Skripals about whether they know the pair, or whether they’d seen them. Assuming the Skripals are still alive.

    14
  52. remorris says

    Blackmail being the chief tool of spook-world, what would OCCAM do better than that these men are innocent and in their intimacy, lovers?
    Their travel arrangements and employment would argue that better than assassins. Homosexuality in Russia might not be illegal but it apparently has repressive laws against “propaganda of homosexuality (Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov states “such people do not exist)…, this could account for reticence ?
    They certainly look carefree and happy in the CCTV footage and are very much in each others company, comfortable. Getting away from prying eyes at home…weekends away… compromised now by pernicious britprop spooks choosing them as patsy after viewing all incoming tourists, to build their malevolence around;

    hoping fear and loathing at home enough to keep their silence ?

    What are the chances an unconscionable intelligence community is playing with these mens lives ?

    36
    13
  53. Fair dinkum says

    “The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!”
    No.
    The LIES KEEP COMING.

    48
    • Selective Outrage says

      Thanks for the realistic description of contemporary Western civilisation.

      12
  54. Finn Olsen says

    The two guys seem to be somewhat hesitant about telling about themselves, their relationship and the nature of their business. To me, it is suspicious. I agree with the those who are wondering about why a little snow in Salisbury caused two healthy Russian guys to give up their sightseeing and return to Salisbury the next day. At the very least, did RT check their identities to see if their names are really what they say they are?

    1
    10
  55. Simple says

    The sound of a concrete tennis ball being knocked back into the UK court.
    Because plod now has to prove that 2 gay Russians didn’t visit a cathedral, otherwise they look a bit shifty.
    If we weren’t one stupid step away from serious conflict I’d be laughing my socks off.

    30
    1
    • Simple, what serious conflict do you anticipate? Great Britain sending the Light Brigade to Sebastopol? Or the RAF putting some planes on France’s sole aircraft carrier, and hitching a ride to attack Crimea?

      17
      • Simple says

        The proxy war that could flare up in Idlib province. If the pre-emptive reporting of set-up chemical strikes by Russia / Syrian forces tactic doesn’t work, it could get sticky. Promises have been made.
        The ground is prepared in the west to take advantage of anything that could be remotely convincing to justify to the general public that retaliation is necessary.
        And let’s face it, some people are just itching to fight with other people’s children.

        41
        • vexarb says

          Re Idlib, the last remaining bit of Syria yet to be cleared of NATZO, I expect some skilful moves from master strategists Putin, Assad, Khomeini and Nasr’Allah — and a surprise ending. The latest word from reliable analyst Canthama (BTL SyrPer and re-posted on Saker) is of intensely silent diplomacy with massive military in reserve.

          “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

  56. Paul X says

    I think they were Julia’s (rather low grade) Minders. They were there probanly along with other ‘deeper’ Agents from both sides to oversee a crucial decision to be made by Sergei; would he agree to Putin’s conditions on allowing him to return to Russia to see his Mother before she died and perhaps to live out his final years there with his family? By lunchtime he was angry about something; the conditions or MI6’s refusal to let him go? After all how can you trust a double agent not to snitch on things like Mr Steele.
    Somebody thought his decision was ‘unacceptable’ and rendered him incapable and then imprisoned him.
    No wonder the pair on TV appear so downcast; they failed to protect Jilia who is now in British custody.

    31
    6
  57. I noticed that on one of John Glen’s sarcastic ‘tweets’ (MP for Salisbury) he refers to ‘Borishov’ ( we can see who’s on his mind!) but it struck me that his level of attention to such detail is on a par with the Skripal investigation’s attention to detail.

    20
  58. This is ‘the’ subject for discussion at the moment.

    Two things I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere which, if true, are very interesting.
    1/The Skripal house exterior was covered by CCTV. According to one source, it was on the house opposite.

    2/ They told the interviewer that they both used the same customs/immigration channel at the airport. That they always do so that, in case of enquiry, the better English speaker is in the rear. This means that the original question re the time stamp showing that both were in the same place at the same time cannot be dismissed, as it has been by apologists for the Tory nightmare, on the they must have taken separate entrances theory. They didn’t. Even if they had done so the coincidence would have been incredible.
    Consulting the shade of old William of Ockham I was confirmed in the suspicion that this was a crass error by the clowns in the Met faking ‘evidence’ (as is their wont). Bill being a theologically inclined type he added that such errors are never without meaning- in his view this was God’s way of hinting that the entire production is a fake and a diabolically idiotic one at that.

    46
    • The Guardian reporting states:

      “It will remain a matter of regret that British intelligence did not have CCTV outside the Skripal family home…”

      20
  59. Martin Larner says

    Having watched the full video of the interview with RT I can say as follows:

    They’re understandably upset – as anyone would be if they found their pictures plastered over the world’s newspapers saying they were murderers, assassins, “Putin’s Agents” etc (especially Boshirov who seems to be somewhat less stoic than Petrov and shows more emotion).
    They may be hiding something as regards to their business interests – eg perhaps their dealings are more than just legal supplements etc. That would explain their discomfiture. However their situation as indicated above is sufficient enough, so perhaps they are exactly what they claim to be.
    They may be intimate partners as is hinted at during the interview, but not comfortable with admitting this on camera for cultural and personal reasons. Again, all adding to the discomfiture of having their lives and allegations against them splashed all over the media.
    Plenty of people who have been subjected to a media storm after formerly having anonymous lives have expressed similar sentiments and would be similarly tense while being filmed and interviewed.
    I don’t believe for one minute that they’re “Russian Agents”, but they may have connections of either a personal or business nature that they’re worried about being made public.

    28
  60. this for me is just another episode using an exotic poison to attract even more public attention and headlines in the attempted demonisation of Putin but it has many holes and omissions in the evidence and some evidence is clearly planted

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  61. Adrian E. says

    I think there is nothing particularly odd about their story, there are certainly many Russian tourists visiting such places, and at the time in March, it was really cold and snowy, so that it might have been difficult to go to Stonehenge (probably, it should be possible to find out more about that) – the CCTV pictures from the city centre from their second visit don‘t show snow, but that is because it had been removed there.

    But on the other hand, their story does not remove the suspicion, either. Even if it can be shown that they were at the cathedral – secret agents can visit such places, as well, in order to have an excuse for their visit if they are traced down (we might just ask if there was CCTV footage from the cathedral or nearby why it was not released right away – did the police publish a selective choice of pictures in order to avoid the ones that evoke the impression of normal tourists?). It would have been better if they had not gone there as tourists, but for business reasons or for visiting someone, and a person from Salisbury could confirm this.

    For the police, probably, the trace amounts of the poison in the hotel room are probably a key reason for their suspicion. This hardly fits if they were normal tourists – and hardly anyone (apart from the police at a certain stage in the investigation) knew that they would become suspects and put the poison there in order to frame them. Of course, the police found these trace amounts over a month later, and in between, there were many others in the hotel room, but it would be a very strange coincidence if after them, someone else with that rare poison was in the same hotel. So, there are certainly reasons for still being suspicious. On the other hand, how reliable was the detection of these trace amounts of the poison in the hotel room? Did they take enough precautions in order to avoid contamination from other sites they investigated? Also, if one does not completely trust the investigation, the Novichok discovery in the hotel is probably the issue where doubts would be most justified. Falsifying CCTV pictures would probably involve too many people to be realistic (and now what these pictures show has been confirmed by the suspects, anyway), but in the case of the Novichok discovery, probably very few people were involved.

    So, I would say that the reasons for the suspicion against the two men are still there, but there is nothing that clearly and directly links them to the crime – no one seems to have seen them with a perfume bottle and/or at the Skripals‘ house.

    Of course, more detailed knowledge about what the Skripals did on the day of the attack on them, especially after the time the suspects were close to their house, would also be helpful. There does not seem to be any concrete evidence so far that has been published that they went home after the suspects were in that part of the town.

    So, at present, the situation remains unclear. Boshirov and Petrov remain suspects, but their guilt is not proven. Perhaps, more evidence could be produced by the Russian side that they, indeed used their real names and passports and that they had been known by these names for years. That would probably be less typical of secret service officers, but that would hardly be a proof of their innocence, either.

    Maybe, we will soon hear something from the places in Western Europe they visited for business purposes. If they were really active in the business they say they are, that would somewhat strenghthen their credibility, but not too much, since it would hardly be strange if secret agents had a cover identity as business people which they use for travelling around Europe (and I suppose that in such cases people really are active in the business of the cover identity in order to be credible).

    On the whole, the situation seems puzzling. The idea that the two men were agents of a Russian security service on a murder mission seems odd, not only because the motive seems dubious. Sergey Skripal stopped working at GRU and was caught in 2004, in 2010, he was swapped, and the knowledge from the time he was in GRU is now so old that it is hardly a threat to Russia, and if there had been any doubt about this, he would not have been released in 2010. More likely motives would have to do with what Skripal did since 2010, and depending what it was, they might point in different directions. Furthermore, if this had really been an action by a Russian secret service, it looks incredibly cheap. The idea that CCTV footage from Salisbury would be compared with people who had travelled from Russia does not seem too far-fetched. Maybe, they only had the poison in Russia and did not want to transport it through too many airports, but why not have different people who did not fly to London from Russia and ideally have a (possibly fake) passport from another country go to Salisbury with the poison the one(s) from Russia had given them in a place without cameras (I suppose such places still exist)? At least that is how I would imagine a professional action by a security service, and it seems they could not have been found with the methods the police seems to have used. Such a cheap action rather looks like an action by criminals (or people who want to frame Russia). I wonder how thoroughly the Russian authorities have managed to investigate the two suspects in such a short time in case they are not secret service agents. Maybe later, they will find evidence that leads them to the assumption that they were not innocent tourists, but people with connections either to criminals or to foreign intelligence services?

    Another possible explanation would be (based on an idea from Novaya Gazeta) that a silent murder was planned. Maybe, the perpetrators did not know about Yulia Skripal‘s visit, they assumed that Sergey Skripal would touch the doorknob when he comes home, since he lives along, no one would find him for some time, and then, it would look like heart failure, which would not be too suspicious for an elderly man, so that the investigation of the causes of his death would not be too thorough. But first, this would make the search of a motive even more difficult because then, the theory that this was a warning to other agents who might consider defecting, would not work. Second, even if in principle his death (alone in his house) might not have looked too suspicious, it can still be assumed that the death of a former double agent would have been investigated more thoroughly, and sending two men directly from Moscow to Salisbury without passing the poison to agents that cannot easily be connected to Russia and having them go to Salisbury seems reckless for a sophisticated secret service (less so for a criminal action).

    Maybe further investigations in Russia will lead the Russian authorities to reconsider whether they were innocent tourists? Maybe they will find a connection with organized crime or – that would probably serve the Russian agenda particularly well – connections to Western or Ukrainian secret services? But unless the evidence is strong and can be presented to the public, it would be hard to convince the British authorities and many people in the West – they would think that the Russians first tried to pass off their secret agents as innocent civilians, and when that was not convincing enough, they thought up a new story.

    I don’t know how this can be resolved. It would certainly be good to know more about what Sergey Skripal did since 2010 – that would help judging the plausibility of possible motives of different actors – and about what Sergey and Yulia Skripal did on the day of the attack apart from what is already known publicly.

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    • I don’t for one second believe the police found trace amounts of Novichok in their hotel room, because the bottle that was found was in a sealed packet. Also, if there were trace amounts in that hotel room, it would mean that they handled some Novichok yet neither of them are ill.

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    • ….it gets resolved in Syria, one way or another, more cruise missles, a final futile gesture from France, UK and America before the proxy terrorist army is destroyed, then more sanctions on Russia, which are already in the pipeline to show how tough Trump is on Russia

    • Maggie says

      @ Adrian E
      The whole farce hinges of ‘Novichok,’ which did not exist in either the Skripal or the Drug Addicts scenarios.

      Saying something over, and over, and over again with not a shred of evidence, does not make it real, only in the minds of the brainwashed sheep.
      This is all an Secret State Establishment black op.

      The “Secret State”, which has NO ACCOUNTABLILITY to Members of Parliament, is regarded as a vital weapon by the ”ESTABLISHMENT” in its underground activities against all those who pose a threat to CAPTALISM. Trade unions and left-wing organisations and ‘specific individuals’ are marked out for ”special attention for use as patsies”.

      THE POWER OF THE SUPER-ESTABLISHMENT actually exists and is not a flight of fancy. It is entirely manipulative and runs the country with a close-knit Mafia-like clique, This “Super-Establishment” is made up of a handful of powerful, but low-key, City brokers and Financiers; definitely the top brains at the Foreign Office, the Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and the Trade Department particularly input from Big Pharma and MIC, and key figures in the Security Forces, although not necessarily the top person for identification reasons – would be included, and so would at least one key member of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. At least until recently, it would also have included the top Courtiers who “run” the Royal Family.
      While the Police and Judiciary might not be directly part of this clique, through the Home Office they are definitely manipulated.
      The Super-Establishment’s power is based upon its ability to manipulate the ‘level below it’…, ”The individuals that most people believe are Governing our country” in fact, is all but irrelevant to the overall power of the Super-Establishment. They are simply puppets.
      The world in which the Super-Establishment exists is a grey and murky world in which sensitive matters of state are planned and executed in Masonic Halls and GENTLEMEN’S CLUBS (Reform and Oxford and Cambridge preferred). It is where manipulation plots are hatched. Whether it be manipulation of a certain Minister, with blackmail if necessary, or the wholesale orchestration of a Foreign Office ploy to bring down a foreign government… (with false flags)
      This secretive form of Government called “twilight politics,” because it never enjoys the spotlight or the slightest glare of sunlight. And if it is ever in danger of doing so, manipulation normally sorts it out. In the interests of the Super-Establishment it is almost the divine mission of the Secret Services in the UK to protect the status quo, and hitherto it has been their intention to thwart anyone who tried to disrupt it. (Princess Diana?) Even under the guise of democracy and being ‘answerable’ to the Government, it exercises a great deal of power behind the scenes.
      The British Monarchy “is a sham power”. Allowed to exist simply to distract the proles. All of the royals without exception, particularly Prince Charles, are constantly manipulated by a small clique of very powerful Mandarins and Courtiers who in turn work hand-in-glove with top Civil Servants in such ministries as the Foreign Office.

      It is no wonder that the world is in such a mess, and that we mere mortals cannot truly unravel their greasy ball of string..

    • A crime fiction book where the victim is murdered by poison smeared on his doorknob would get laughed out of the bookshop. It’s unbelievable. Doubly so on a snowy day in March, because of the possibility of gloves.

      Follow the cat. Never mind the humans: see what happened to the cat.

  62. Clearly innocent. Set up by the British, who want to keep the case alive to sully the image of Russia as it attempts to liberate Syria from NATO-backed terrorists. I’m guessing they’re more than friends and their business may not be entirely above board, which is why they’ve been targeted and why they appear so tense.

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  63. Thomas Peterson says

    I think they are indeed just tourists. I don’t think these guys would be involved in trying to murder anyone.

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  64. My view is that I can see why they are the subject of police enquiries, as their visits to Salisbury do correlate with the date of the purported attack.

    My personal view is that the whole Skripal saga is so riddled with evidential inconsistencies, story changing and farcical nonsense that how anyone can have a case to answer about anything is fairly ridiculous.

    However, the evidence presented publicly is laughable. Correlation is not causation.

    If they are guilty:
    1) Evidence they approached Skripal house (require to,apply Novichok);
    2) Evidence showing them passing the sute where perfume bottle was dumped;
    3) Evidence that they are actually in GRU or whatever Russian security service agency is called;
    4) Interview with Skripals to cast light on what actually happened that day.

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    • Tim Clacy says

      “their visits to Salisbury do correlate with the date of the purported attack.”

      Or could it be that the date of the puported attack correlates with their visit to Sailisbury?

      In other words, the Skripal poisoning script was pre-written to demonise Russia but it had to wait for a Russian, or Russians, to be in Salisbury. Then the script was complete and the unwitting actors in place.

      It was unfortunate that Yulia happened to be visiting when the stage was set and the nod given for the operation to commence. Maybe that’s why Sergei was so agitated when he found out from his handler that today is the day?

  65. Njegos says

    The GRU must be aware that there are CCTV cameras all over the UK. And yet they sent two assassins to strike in broad daylight.

    You can just see Putin saying: “Trust me comrades, it’s so dumb no one will believe we did it!”

    The Russians did look nervous though. Their reluctance to talk about their health supplements business and clients suggests to me that maybe they are involved in sports doping.

    Another possibility; perhaps they are a homosexual couple who somehow felt exposed on camera. Russia is not the UK.

    Meanwhile nobody ever seems interested in what Sergei Skripal might have to say (assuming he is still alive) nor can we account for his whereabouts between 9:10 and 13:30 on the day he was poisoned.

    I don’t think we are any closer to learning what actually happened.

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    • Eric McCoo says

      Exactly.

      They obviously aren’t comfortable talking about what they were doing. Perhaps sports health supplements are actually illegal performance enhancers for athletes. It would make them the perfect patsies. They look like frightened rabbits caught up in something way out of their depth.

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      • Eric

        I agree your overall sentiments but I would like to add that there is an enormous market out there, worldwide, for illegal body building and muscle toning drugs, even among everyday amateur fitness fanatics and incidentally it is a very popular obsession amongst gay men. Just to give you a personal anecdote, a few years ago when I lived in a small Devon hamlet in the middle of nowhere, my neighbour and good friend (a 40 year old gay man who was into body toning and took numerous legal supplements) came home to find a sports bag of pharmaceutical pills and potions left beside his porch. When he looked into it they included various illegal steroids etc which he duly handed over to the police. To this day no one knows how they got there and why.

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      • Adrian E. says

        The mere nervousness and fright is hardly suspicious. If my picture was shown all over the world in news in connection with a murder attempt with high stakes implications for world politics, I would certainly be frightened even or particularly if I had nothing to do with the matter.

        I would expect both innocent tourists and people caught in something out of their depth to be frightened and nervous in such a situation. Less so secret agents in their home country, but if they are good, they may be able to play the role of someone who is surprised, frightened and nervous.

    • Paul X says

      Nor hear Sergei confirm they didn’t return to his house after the ‘assassins’ are now said to have sprayed the door handle. As for their identity they present as a bit thuggish, like bouncers. It’s hard to believe they were there at the crucial time by coincidence. They came essentially with Julia. Maybe Julia’s boyfriend hired them to watch over her? They are more Bodyguard than Agents.

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  66. 1) The Russians were trying to get as much information as possible about Christopher Steele because of the infamous dossier. They start travelling to Europe roughly at the time of Trump’s victory and the accusations that followed. Makes sense.

    2) After lots of meetings with sources all over the Europe, they finally identify the Steele-Miller-Skripal connection.

    3) GRU contact Skripal and ask him for a meeting. Skripal tentatively agrees. Then, being a loyal MI6 agent, immediately reports the conversation to his handler Pablo Miller.

    4) The higher-ups at MI6 decide to use this opportunity to frame the Russian agents for attempted murder. Takes the pressure off Brexit etc. Guaranteed to unite Europe. May can say that Britain is useful in countering the Russian threat etc.

    5) Skripal is not told of the real plan (that he will be sprayed with an incapacitating agent on the park bench) but IS told that the two Russian agents will be harmed in some way. He sets up a meeting with Petrov and Boshirov. Worried that the ensuing international scandal of these two being harmed will result in him never seeing his daughter again/ some harm coming to his daughter, he asks MI6 to arrange for her to come to Salisbury as well. This explains why Yulia and the agents arrived in the UK at practically the same time.

    6) Saturday: Petrov and Boshirov arrive at Skripal’s house for the meeting, but no one’s home. After ringing the bell and knocking on the door a couple of times, they decide to leave.They come back the next day. Still the same. Fingerprints and DNA all over the door handle. A cctv trail all over London/Salisbury.

    7) Skripal is agitated at Zizzi as he thinks he is going to be late for the pre arranged meeting with Petrov and Boshirov at the park bench. But Petrov and Boshirov have not been told of any meeting. They go to Skripals house as they did the day before – again tricked into leaving a cctv trail across Salisbury.

    8) Meanwhile Skripal has been told by MI6 that he is meeting the two Russian agents at the bench and they will be arrested there. MI6 arrange for the Skripals to be taken out on the bench.

    9) the Novichok (manufactured at Porton Down) in the Nina Ricci container is dumped in the hope it will be found by the local plod. Annoyingly for Mi6 it is moved by someone after being dumped after the hit. Soldiers in hazmat suits look for it for several weeks but then its found by Charlie who gives it to Dawn.

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    • The least plausible part is the idea any meeting with GRU would take place at Skripal’s house. Besides, why not just have a Skype chat?

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  67. Paul X says

    It sounds as if Putin is putting the dairy on those responsible and hanging them out to dry along with whoever controls them. A bit of a master stroke.

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  68. Notice that the same people rallying it’s a slam dunk Russian agent case were/are mute on the Skripals not being allowed to be interviewed and then Yulia releasing that totally directed statement video. But now crying the RT interview is a sham and all organised by the state.

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  69. Eric McCoo says

    “Investigators believe they have identified the suspected perpetrators of the novichok attack through CCTV and have cross-checked this with records of people who entered the country around that time. They [the investigators] are sure they [the suspects] are Russian.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/19/police-identify-skripal-novichok-salisbury-poisoning-suspects

    Isn’t it an astounding coincidence that the two men on CCTV are Russians who happened to be winter tourists in Salisbury ? They must be connected to the story in some way. My guess is that they are either MI5 stooges or deliberately set up patsies.They would have to provide me with much better reasons for being there than they have up till now.They don’t sound like tourists.

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