On the first of May, the UK’s National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill told MPs that the agencies he oversaw – MI6, MI5 and GCHQ – had no information on who was responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter two months earlier.
Three days later police searched the room in the City Stay Hotel used by “suspects” Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, and took swabs which were “found to contain Novichok” by Porton Down. The police did not make this information public until September 6th, when they chose to break the story of the now notorious “Russian assassins”.
As I have speculated before, and as is now becoming increasingly clear, the “suspects” put in the frame by the UK government were evidently known to its intelligence agencies long before Mark Sedwill’s denial, and in fact before they even reached London, on their way, we are told ad nauseum, to hit the Skripals with toxic perfume.
Obviously that story is not true, but it now appears that the mission assigned to the unwitting Russian couple was much more than simply to be caught on CCTV in the vicinity of the elusive Skripals, and that they were a pivotal part of “Operation Nina” – both in the planning stages and in the extended “action phase”, currently playing out in the media and institutions of the Western world.
The researches of Elena Evdokimova, explained in systematic detail on her twitter account, allow us to turn what was previously just informed speculation into solid assertions which now look “highly likely” to be true, and which then become a basis for further well-informed speculation. I use the term “highly likely” with reservation, having previously argued that it lies a long way from certainty. In this context however, it’s only fair to adopt Mark Sedwill’s own interpretation of the phrase as meaning “100% certain”, bizarre as that is.
This adjustment to the standard of proof by the UK’s intelligence agencies was contained in an intelligence briefing to NATO’s chief Jen Stoltenberg, made public on Friday April 13th – the day before the combined US/UK/French missile attack on Damascus. Without labouring the point, it’s worth quoting from Sedwill’s letter to NATO.
I would like to share with you and allies further information regarding our assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian state was responsible for the Salisbury attack. Only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and the motive. The term “highly likely” is one commonly used by the intelligence agencies when they believe something is 100% certain – since they are unwilling to express that opinion without a caveat in case of error.”
Sedwill wisely left himself a caveat however, concluding that: “there is no plausible alternative explanation.”
So how might we classify “implausible” on the scale of probability? Implausible certainly doesn’t mean impossible, nor perhaps even “highly unlikely”. But to say something is “not plausible” is to make a judgement that reflects one’s point of view, or in this case the UK’s strategic attitude. The “explanation” for the attack on Sergei Skripal being offered by the UK government and its top advisors is clearly not plausible in Russia’s eyes, nor in those of most independent observers and commentators.
In fact the UK’s story – its cover story for “Operation Nina” is virtually impossible, besides being highly improbable and completely inexplicable in its finer details; those have been sufficiently explored not to need repeating, nor do they merit any further attention. It’s already evident that no amount of scientific analysis and careful reasoning can counter this intricately constructed spy story or its stranglehold on Western mainstream media and the public mind.
Ironically it is now the one area of weakness in Russia’s defence against these delinquent charges that offers the greatest opportunity, centring around the question of what exactly Petrov and Boshirov were doing in Salisbury. This has been a weakness that the UK and its minions have exploited to the full, and that also challenges those of us trying to defend the Russians’ innocence.
What has been revealed by Elena Evdokimova and her sources however, appears to show that UK agencies were selecting and cultivating suitable Russians to use as patsies in psy-ops against Russia, with Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov picked out for “Operation Nina”.
The whole story of her research and discoveries is told on Elena’s twitter thread, and should be read in detail, but in essence it goes like this: (it focuses on Ruslan Boshirov – who Eliot Higgins/Bellingcat claim to be Anatoly Chepiga and a GRU agent.)
Ruslan Boshirov applied for a replacement 5 year foreign passport in 2016 through a private agency, submitting copies of his previous passport from 2011 and his Russian ID from 1999. As Elena says:
- #Skripal None of the photos Bellingcat produced were the photos of Chepiga. All 3 – are the photocopies from the documents that were needed to apply for a 5 year foreign passport and they were all photos of Boshirov. But the plot is much more sophisticated than we imagined.
Not long after Boshirov submitted his application to this private firm:
- 30-40 sets copies of people’s documents (those who applied for a foreign passport through that firm) were stolen by a criminal in 2016. That’s why the passports Bellingcat is forging have the same series and consecutive numbers – they were stolen at the same time & place.
- The criminal sold those documents to a foreign entity.
These documents also included details of the individual’s work history and military service.
- They also had the photocopies of people’s new foreign passports they stole, including Boshirov’s passport. One photocopy was already used to fake the “Shirokov’s” passport (see Montenegro’s 2016 coup False Flag).
- So those to whom that criminal sold the photocopies knew where to contact people whose documents they stolen. They had their places of employment.
- That’s what they done- they offered Boshirov & Petrov (a gay couple who seem to be involved in something a bit shady- steroids?human growth hormones?) to deliver something to somebody Salisbury, somewhere near the #Skripal’s house or, maybe, maybe even to Skripal himself(?)
- Boshirov and Petrov were handsomely paid and did not even think twice – who does not want to have a paid holiday just to deliver/pick up a small thing, maybe documents, prescription drugs, steroids or whatever.
- But whatever they picked up/delivered was not quite legal, so both did not want to mention it. As Putin said- not much of a criminal they were. That’s how they were in Salisbury at the right place at the right time. And suspiciously spent only 3-4 hours there each day.
- While being in Salisbury they were also sightseeing, looked at famous cathedral, which is actually amazing. When they came home- people who used them stopped sending them overseas. There was no reason to- the patsies done what they were planned to be used for.
- Meanwhile, Boshirov and Petrov discovered in horror that they were used, accused in poisoning #Skripals and, being not the brightest people – they decided not to tell about their shady delivery, especially on TV. So they looked even more suspicious.
Which all sounds rather plausible. In the plausibility stakes in fact, this whole story – which as Elena observes is only hypothetical – rates at least as “highly likely”, if not quite “beyond reasonable doubt, and is a substantial base on which to mount further speculation and prediction on the conspirators’ next moves.
That the UK government, its agencies and assistants are the conspirators, with everything that this implies, can however no longer be in doubt.