45

The Skripal Case: An Alternative Narrative

Michael Antony

Sergei Skripal at his trial in Moscow, August 2006

The recent titbit fed to us by Bellingcat (reputedly close to MI6) that a third Russian agent was booked on the flight from Heathrow to Moscow on the night of 4th March 2018 — the flight taken by the two alleged GRU officers filmed in Salisbury — but didn’t show up for it, has pointed to a possible solution to the baffling Skripal puzzle. What if the third man, or perhaps the man who was supposed to take his place, was by then lying in Salisbury Hospital in a coma from opiate poisoning? What if Sergei Skripal was a triple agent trying to escape back to Russia to tell the world the truth about the Steele Dossier, which he had helped to concoct as a scurrilous, obscene joke and which had unexpectedly become the new bible of the insane war party in Washington?

This is the alternative narrative I will set out in detail here so that the reader can judge whether it forms a more plausible and coherent story than the mishmash of improbabilities, absurdities and contradictions served up by the British police and MI6. Of course in the absence of all the facts we must sometimes use imaginative reconstruction to fill in the gaps, but the point is to see how many thorny problems, raised by the facts we do have, can be solved by this narrative and cannot be solved by the official one.

It is not necessary to decide whether Skripal was a triple agent from the start (that is, a plant sent across in a spy swap, a classic Cold War way of infiltrating the enemy) or whether he became a triple agent when he realized how important this grotesque Steele Dossier had become and how much the Russians would pay him to come back and demolish it. What evidence there is (his phone call in 2012 to his old school friend, Vladimir Timoshkov, whose account of it three weeks after the poisoning gained widespread UK media coverage) suggests he started out as a purely mercenary traitor.

Disillusioned by the collapse of the USSR into a gangster capitalist state run by Yeltsin’s mafia cronies, he decided he might as well profit from it by selling the corpse of what had once been his country to the highest bidder. The Russians didn’t seem to think of him as much more than a common criminal (only worth a moderate 13-year sentence, instead of the death penalty he would have got in the USA for betraying 300 agents) or they wouldn’t have let him survive six years in their prison. Perhaps when they exchanged him in the spy swap they gave him a wink and said: “Since you’re just a money-grubbing whore, any time you want to come back with some interesting stuff learned from working for MI6, let us know and we’ll discuss the price.”

He soon got to learn that interesting stuff when he was sent to Salisbury, the home town of his MI6 recruiter and handler, Pablo Miller. Miller had recruited him in Spain in 1995 and later handled him from Estonia, when he was posted there as a diplomat. It is a little too much to believe Skripal’s move to Salisbury was a coincidence. The two men became friends again, met regularly in the pub, and there is every reason to think Miller resumed his role as handler. Miller was now working for Christopher Steele, his old boss at MI6, in his private intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, based in Mayfair. This is one of the private intelligence-gathering outfits run by ex-spies of the kind Litvinenko used to work for. Just as Litvinenko got Lugovoy (his accused assassin) to help him out with due diligence reports on Russian businessmen because of his more up-to-date information, so Miller would have used Skripal in the same way.

His help became vital when Steele got the commission from the Democratic Party to dig up Russian dirt on Donald Trump, and they had to invent some GRU set-up of the Donald with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. Miller, the old Russia hand, would have done a good part of the work on this dossier and would have needed all the authentic detail his Russian agent could provide. Perhaps it was Skripal who came up with the scenario of Trump getting prostitutes to urinate on the bed the Obamas had slept in, which hidden cameras filmed. He must at least have given it his imprimatur as a typical GRU blackmail ploy to turn somebody into an asset. And that obscene fiction, the core of the Steele Dossier, became the basis of the neo-con legend that Trump was a Russian stooge — the insane underpinning of the whole mad Mueller probe into “Russian collusion”.

When Sergei the mercenary realized the vast importance this farcical, obscene Steele Dossier had taken on, that it was gospel truth for the whole anti-Trump, anti-Russia war party in Washington, he began to see how much it might be worth to the Russian state to blow it sky-high. If he were to describe on a prime-time Russian talk-show how he invented these obscene details over a beer with Miller and Steele in a pub, it would not only have all of Russia rolling on the floor with laughter. Heads would roll in Washington. The neo-con war party would become a laughing-stock. MI6 would be run out of town. Steele might face FBI perjury charges. The CIA might have its budget cut. Trump would be able to talk to Putin again. And the rewards for Sergei might be considerable. Not only seeing his 90-year old mother again, but perhaps even a swanky villa with a sea-view in Crimea or Sochi instead of that dank, shabby row-house in darkest Salisbury.

Was it Sergei who broached this subject to Yulia on one of her visits to Britain, or was she recruited by the GRU to put it to him? My bet is the latter, since after the poisoning her cousin Viktoria claimed Yulia’s new boyfriend and his mother both worked for the Russian secret services (before disappearing from view.) With all of Sergei’s communications monitored by MI6, the only way he had of talking to the GRU was through his daughter, living back in Russia again but able to visit Britain. Through her he must have managed to negotiate a deal for his return. Somehow MI6 got wind of their plans — perhaps Yulia, not a trained spy, was a bit naive or careless about listening devices. Steele became convinced they had made an escape plan for Sergei, to be carried out next time she visited Salisbury.

The thing that proves this was a British crime not a Russian one is the fact that Yulia was a prime target. The Russians had no motive to eliminate her, but if they had, they could have done it in Russia with a simple road accident with no questions asked. Only the British had to do it in Britain, since they didn’t have the resources in place to do it in Russia. And if she was not a prime target but collateral damage, why was Sergei not attacked when he was alone? Why wait for her to visit him? The fact they were both targeted the day after she arrived in Britain puts MI6’s signature all over it. She was a danger to MI6 because she knew of Sergei’s plan to return to Russia and trash the Steele Dossier, and she had to be stopped from revealing this to the world when he was killed. Silencing her at the same time was just as important to MI6 as silencing him.

To imagine that Putin would have ordered the assassination of an old double agent whom he had held for six years in prison (with ample opportunities to arrange his death) and then pardoned and swapped in a spy swap (part of the rules of the spying game on which his own life had been based), a week before the Russian elections and three months before the Football World Cup in Russia, which he hoped would lead to Russia’s re-acceptance into the community of nations, makes no sense. It carried only huge risks for a negligible benefit, and Putin does not take pointless risks, as his consistent prudence in Syria, even when his forces have been attacked, has shown. Compare the enormous gains this crime brought Britain. This assassination (as it was meant to be) gave MI6 a perfect opportunity to frame the Russians and incite a new anti-Russia frenzy to sabotage their celebratory Football World Cup (compared by the British Foreign Secretary to Hitler’s Olympics.)

It would also show the EU Britain’s value as an anti-Putin cheerleader, bringing Europe and Britain together in an anti-Russia hate-week to distract from their Brexit quarrel, and uniting a fractious parliament behind a floundering leader. With any luck it would derail the Nordstream2 gas pipeline, a priority target for the US neo-con plan to ruin Russia’s economy, overthrow the regime and break up the country — goals MI6 fully shared, as their propaganda wing, the Integrity Initiative, has since made clear. In fact MI6’s plans to work for the total isolation and economic ruin of Russia, including sporting bans and ending cultural exchanges, date from 2015 and were leaked recently by Anonymous. The enormous preponderance of motivation on the British side, as well as the low risk in carrying out such a crime on their own turf with a grovelling press, a brainwashed public and tame police, point clearly to MI6 as the perpetrators.

Steele probably turned to his CIA friends for suggestions on how to frame Russia. They came up with novichok. This nerve agent invented by a Soviet chemist who later moved to the US and published the formula could be pinned on Russia as a uniquely Russian “chemical weapon.” Never mind that any decent laboratory could produce it, as a chemistry professor at Cornell has testified. Never mind that the British-invented nerve agent VX had been used to assassinate Kim Yong-Un’s half-brother in Kuala Lumpur Airport without Malaysia screaming that Britain must have done it. Russia is different. Hysterical hatred can be instantly incited against Russia by the MI6-controlled media and MI6-brainwashed politicians. Anyone who doubts Russia’s guilt can be vilified as a Putin stooge. Whether the novichok was sent over from the US by courier or produced at Porton Down is not important. What is important is that MI6’s attempt to kill the Skripals with novichok failed disastrously.

Let’s take the famous Nina Ricci perfume bottle, laced with novichok, which was found in a rubbish bin (or charity bin) by a homeless man and given weeks later to his woman friend, who tragically died after spraying it on her wrist. The police/MI6 narrative is that this perfume bottle was used to transport the novichok from Russia in the baggage of one of the alleged GRU men caught on CCTV in Salisbury. The novichok was then sprayed on the door handle of the Skripals’ house. The assassins then callously threw away the bottle (which they knew contained enough novichok to kill more people) in a dustbin (or charity bin), demonstrating their indifference to loss of life as well as their indifference to leaving clues all over the place. There are problems with this narrative.

The homeless man claimed he had found the perfume bottle still in its box sealed in cellophane, proof it was not reopened after it had been laced with novichok and professionally repackaged. The bottle could not therefore have been used (as claimed) to spray the novichok on the doorknob, or the cellophane seal would have been broken. Assassins far from home don’t usually carry around cellophane-wrapping machines to repackage opened perfume bottles, especially when they are just going to chuck them in the bin. Nor would they take the risk, having fitted the separate spray nozzle onto the bottle and sprayed the doorknob, of disassembling it again to put it back in the box, knowing that a drop on their skin would kill them. And where would they perform this delicate operation? On the street? This poisoned perfume bottle was therefore never reopened, never used and it affected nobody until it ended up in the hands of the homeless man. So who or what was it intended for?

Ladies’ perfume bottles are normally intended for women. How many women are there in this story? Only one. The only possible explanation for the existence of this unopened, unused bottle of perfume laced with novichok is that it was a poisoned gift meant for Yulia Skripal. Why didn’t she open it? Because she had a spy father who took one look at it and said: “Don’t touch it!”

So here is the alternative narrative. MI6 had the bright idea of putting novichok in a Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sending it as a birthday present to Yulia Skripal at her father’s house. Her birthday was on 17th March, but the present was probably delivered on the 3rd, the day she arrived, so as to nip their escape plan in the bud. It was meant to seem like a present from her family or boyfriend. No doubt the parcel had Russian stamps on it, designed to frame the Russian state when the Skripals were found dead in their house with an open perfume bottle in Yulia’s hands. Unfortunately for MI6, Sergei took one look at this Nina Ricci perfume bottle and his spy instincts smelled danger. He refused to open it, but instead went for a long walk with it and put it in a rubbish bin or charity bin half-way across town. There it was found by the homeless man and given to his woman friend, a victim of MI6’s murderous callousness. Even after MI6 knew it had gone missing, they did not warn the public to beware of picking up a Nina Ricci perfume bottle because they didn’t want to give themselves away as the assassins.

The failure of the perfume bottle to kill the Skripals must have alarmed MI6. They followed the pair around Salisbury the next day. Where did they go? We can’t be sure since we have not been given all the CCTV footage. But let us engage in some more imaginative reconstruction to cover the gaps. The Skripals’ car made some unexplained journeys towards the outskirts of the town. The two alleged GRU men caught on Salisbury’s CCTV walked in some unexplained directions, with not a scrap of evidence they came within half a kilometre of the Skripals’ home. What if the two unexplained journeys intersected? Not necessarily in time but in place. What if they met at that hoary cliché of spy stories, the dead drop, the discreet delivery point for a package? The hole-in-a-garden-wall just big enough to hide something? A Mossad spy, commenting on the British police narrative, said that no GRU assassination team would ever have flown direct from Russia using Russian passports. But a support team delivering a package? Why not? What did they risk?

Now what would the GRU need to deliver to Sergei Skripal to help him escape from Britain back to Russia? Clearly, a passport. MI6, once they suspected his loyalty, would have put him on an airport watch list. He would need a passport in a false name to get out, and perhaps a flight ticket to Moscow in the same name so he wouldn’t need to make an internet booking, easily spied on. But the passport could not be blank. It needed a UK visa and entry stamp. So the third Russian agent who Bellingcat now tells us didn’t show up for the flight back to Moscow must have intended his seat to be taken by Sergei Skripal, who would use the passport and visa which he had flown in with a few days before (delivered to Sergei by his two colleagues at the dead drop that day.) Either Sergei and the third man bore a sufficient physical resemblance or passport photos were switched by an expert forger in London. Unfortunately, though Sergei now had a usable passport, he was hit before he made it to the flight.

MI6, after the failure of the perfume bottle attempt, knew they had to act fast to stop the Skripals driving to the airport. Once they observed the package delivery at the dead drop, they would have guessed it was a passport. There was now no chance of using novichok. The Skripals were unlikely to return home and pack a bag, so they had to be knocked out in a public place. Using novichok and risking the lives of dozens of other people was too much even for MI6. So they decided to spray them in the street with an opiate like Fentanyl, and later on to add novichok to the blood samples they sent to Porton Down for analysis (without of course any controlled chain of custody except their own.)

We know that the Skipals were knocked out with an opiate and not a nerve agent because of a simple incident — in fact, a slip-up. The first person on the scene when the Skripals collapsed on their bench was an army nurse, the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army, Colonel Alison McCourt, accompanied by her teenage daughter, Abigail. Does anyone believe she was there by chance and was not part of the MI6 team following the Skripals about and looking for an opportunity to drug them discreetly? Now Colonel McCourt had long experience both with Ebola in Sierra Leone and with the danger of chemical weapons during her service in Iraq, where protection against nerve agents was a priority. She knew the enormous precautions required in approaching a victim of a nerve agent attack. Yet Colonel McCourt encouraged her daughter to rush over to the collapsed Skripals and begin administering first aid to them, something very dangerous if a nerve agent had been used. She later even recommended Abigail for a medal for heroism for her action, which is why it got into the papers. How did Colonel McCourt know that a nerve agent had not been used on the Skripals, unless she was part of the team that had sprayed them with an opiate? Would she have allowed her daughter to touch the Skipals unless she was sure there was no nerve agent present? This is what is known as a smoking gun.

There has been extraordinary silence in the mainstream media about the fact that none of the first responders or the Salisbury Hospital staff were in any way affected by the deadliest nerve agent known to man, even though no precautions were taken against it for at least two days. The nurses assumed they were dealing with an opiate overdose. When the blood test results came back from Porton Down showing novichok present in the blood samples, the hazmat suits were donned and the hospital allegedly went into panic mode. We can assume most of this was a charade. Sergeant Bailey, allegedly contaminated with novichok though the police can’t decide where, recounts in the Panorama BBC film shown in November that the nurses who cared for him wore full hazmat suits, but his wife and children wandered in to see him wearing no protection at all. Clearly the nurses were engaging in an MI6-mandated charade but couldn’t bear to impose it on his family because they knew there was no novichok present. Bailey, no doubt also drugged by an opiate, had been selected as a fake British victim to stir up more indignation against Russia, and to add further fake proof that novichok had been used, which the total absence of contamination of first responders might cast doubt on. As part of this charade, all the poor man’s furniture and belongings were destroyed by the heartless brutes of MI6, which he recounts in tears, in order to incite more irrational hatred of Russia — which the British public, the most brainwashed on earth, came up with on cue.

Of course the failure of the perfume bottle assassination attempt, and the need to switch drugs and use an opiate instead of novichok, left MI6 and the police with the task of explaining how the phantom novichok was administered. The farcical story they finally came up with, that it was sprayed on the Skripals’ front door handle with the perfume bottle, has convinced nobody except the brainwashed masses. Even the clownish Foreign Secretary’s story that MI6 had shown him a Russian spy handbook which described how their spies had recently been practising putting novichok on door handles (a technical skill obviously requiring weeks of training and about to be unleashed en masse against Britain’s unsuspecting doorknobs) but unfortunately he couldn’t produce this handbook as it was classified, left people howling with laughter. It was worthy of a Monty Python sketch, something the Russians, who are great fans of British comedy, must have appreciated.

The idea that assassins could walk up to the front door of a terraced house in broad daylight, a door with clear glass panels in the middle and on both sides of it, so that anyone outside is visible from the hallway, and spray the doorknob with novichok while the Skripals were inside and their car was in the driveway, is simply not believable. These professional assassins did not even have a car or even bicycles to make a getaway if seen. And the two police versions of what time the attackers did this, first of all at 9.15 before the Skripals left home and then at 1.30 (after the police revised their timeline to fit the train schedule of the two Russians caught on CCTV) would both have left many hours’ delay before this deadly nerve agent took effect at 4.15 that afternoon.

We are asked to believe that two people of very different size, a man of 66 and a girl half that age, fell unconscious at the exact same moment either seven hours or three hours after being poisoned with a deadly “military grade” nerve agent. Why this delayed effect? Would this be useful in a battlefield chemical weapon — let’s leave the enemy active for several hours? And how to get a simultaneous collapse many hours later? No explanation. And if novichok was used to attack the Skripals, why was Abigail McCourt not affected when she gave them first aid and why did her highly trained army nurse mother allow her to touch victims of a deadly nerve agent?

The intelligent people who work in Salisbury Hospital cannot possibly be dupes to this grotesque deception, riddled with impossibilities. They are therefore accomplices and criminally responsible. I believe many of the hospital staff suspected MI6 was staging this whole thing but went along with it because of the high level of Cold War, anti-Russian brainwashing of the British population. They saw it as an exciting spy game they were taking part in with their wonderful secret services who had Won the War and Saved the World. It was a question of loyalty to Britain to defend this criminal lie.

They must have suspected the Skripals’ blood samples had been laced afterwards with novichok. Perhaps the OPCW did too, since they claimed the traces of novichok were “very pure”. Was that a hint it had never been through any human body? One can sympathize with the Russians for trying to hack the laboratory computers to find out if any of the experts had expressed doubts to each other or suspicions the OPCW had set this up. Since they knew they were victims of a shameless NATO conspiracy to frame them, all they could do was try to expose it by any means they had.

The Russians’ patience and calm in the face of this campaign of lies and hate have been almost saint-like. If the West is not wiped out by the nuclear war they are constantly pushing for with Russia, then one day Britain and all the other NATO vassal states which wrongfully expelled droves of Russian diplomats will have to make Russia an abject apology and pay compensation for the misery caused the Russian people by their illegal sanctions.

Is it too much to hope that some people at Salisbury Hospital or in the local police who know the truth will have the courage sooner or later to come forward and expose this vile warmongering deception, and the totalitarian media manipulation by the sinister forces that secretly govern Britain? Do they spare a thought for the Skripals and the state they are in right now — held incommunicado without any charge against them, not represented by any lawyer, and unable to communicate with their family or the public? Surely they are not fooled by that scripted video?

Where are the human rights campaigners protesting against this totalitarian sequestration? What world are they living in? Has it not occurred to them that in the era of MI6’s proven involvement in torture, whether in Guantanamo, Abu Graib, black sites or extraordinary rendition to places where people can be tortured to death, Yulia Skripal might be listening every night to her father whimpering in the next cell as the voice goes on repeating: “You Ruskie bastard, tell us when you started lying to us.”

The official narrative about the Skripals has been shot full of holes by various dissident commentators in the alternative media. That always begs the question: well, so what really happened? The above alternative narrative, combining both the known facts and speculations to cover the gaps where the facts are still missing, should allow the reader to judge its overall plausibility, compared to the official one. To prove an alternative narrative to the criminal’s story, a prosecutor does not need to establish every single event in the chain, many of which will remain unknown. He only needs to prove that certain key events in the criminal’s narrative are contrary to the known facts, and that these facts are compatible with the alternative narrative.

The key facts in this case are the state of the Nina Ricci perfume bottle, clearly never opened after it was laced with novichok and repackaged, and therefore never used to spray novichok anywhere; the impossibility of a deadly nerve agent having a three hour delay in its effects and then affecting two very different people at the same moment; the unlikelihood of a senior army nurse allowing her daughter to touch victims of a nerve agent; the unlikelihood novichok was used (rather than an opiate), given the lack of any effect on the first responders, and the fact Sergeant Bailey’s children were allowed to approach him without wearing hazmat suits, which the nurses, however, wore.

Put those basic problems in the official narrative together with the speed with which the UK government blamed Russia for this event, when there was no more link between Russia and novichok than between Britain and the use of British-invented VX nerve agent to assassinate Kim Yong Un’s half-brother in Kuala Lumpur airport. No nerve agent whose formula has been published is the monopoly of any nation, nor does its use incriminate any nation. This rush to judgment reveals a premeditated plan by Britain to use this event to sabotage Russia’s Football World Cup (which they compared to Hitler’s Olympics) as part of a long-term British goal to isolate, discredit and economically ruin Russia.

The need for MI6 to prevent Skripal exposing the Steele Dossier, produced by Skripal’s MI6 handlers, since it would show the degree of Britain’s cynical interference in the American election to discredit Trump and destroy any rapprochement with Russia, formed the motive for MI6 to commit murder, for which it has a considerable reputation. Combining the two things, killing the Skripals and crucifying Russia for it, was no doubt seen as a great coup by MI6.

It was seen as even more ingenious to follow up this alleged “chemical weapons” attack on British soil with the fake chemical attack at Douma staged by the White Helmets, founded and financed by MI6. This was aimed at relaunching the war to overthrow Assad and dismantle Syria, giving the Americans and the Israelis its oil fields, and allowing Qatari gas to be piped to Europe to replace Russian gas. All of these fit Britain’s and NATO’s known strategic goals. The speed of the knee-jerk response of NATO countries in expelling Russian diplomats, without any debate or demand for evidence in any parliament, raises the suspicion that this was planned not by MI6 alone but jointly with the CIA and other NATO secret services, which largely control supposedly democratic governments.

The continued NATO harassment, sanctions and campaigns of lies and false accusations against Russia, including the blatant war rhetoric of the British Defence Secretary, do not bode well for the future. For the US to tear up nuclear arms treaties and then blame Russia is beyond shameful: it is destroying all possibility of negotiations to avert war. The Kerch Strait incident staged by the puppet regime in Kiev, sending gunboats into the Kerch Strait without observing the 2003 Protocol requiring them to notify in advance the Port of Kerch (a protocol observed by the dozens of ships that go through the Strait peacefully every day) was clearly part of a NATO plan to set up a major naval clash in the Black Sea.

That clash (followed by an attempt to recapture Crimea or at least blow up its magnificent bridge, a reproach to a man who cannot even build a wall) may be expected in coming months, perhaps as a distraction from Brexit or a way of derailing it. NATO, in short, is on a clear trajectory towards war with Russia, which their deluded worldview convinces them they can win. Their initial use of Russia as a scapegoat and bogeyman to unite the NATO vassals against a common threat, keeping Europe in subjection to America, has got out of hand, and is heading, under the impetus of hysterical rhetoric, towards actual war. Unless decent people unite to stop this escalation then the nuclear catastrophe will occur. Exposing the barefaced lie of the Skripal false flag attack may be a step towards averting that global cataclysm.

Originally published at The Saker
Michael Antony is a writer based in Switzerland, and his next book, about the coming nuclear war, is called Requiem for America. You can read his previous articles on his blog.
avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Dissidents_unite
Reader
Dissidents_unite

A well put together alternative view of the Skripal affair. However, I must disagree with the alleged bottle of perfume with Novichock in it. The homeless man stole it from Boots that day to give to his girlfriend. The fact it was never opened. Also, I do not and cannot buy the narrative that Charlie and Dawn were killed by Novichok. Their health was already very fragile due to their lifestyles – I strongly suspect they had taken an overdose of opiates such as those which can be brought from drug dealers and an excess of alcohol. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest anything other than accidental death. However, by virtue of the fact they lived in the Salisbury area and with Brexit going pear shaped, the Government saw its opportunity to use it as further propaganda to support it’s obviously fake story about the Skripals death. Other than that, it looks as though Sergei had made an approach to Russia to be allowed to return home.

You are absolutely correct though about their continued illegal detention held without communication and without their legal right to request a Russian Embassy visit and no legal team. Shame on the MSM who lack any sort of integrity and who are now, merely the official propaganda machine of the Tory Party, for not supporting and encouraging robust and sound investigative journalism. As you say correctly, shame on international human rights groups who are failing to mount an even basic campaign not just about the Skripals but about Julian Assange. One Party Fascist State is here folks!

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

This stacks up with the letter to The Times by the Salisbury emergency medicine director saying that nobody in Salisbury had shown the symptoms of a nerve agent but that three people had shown to be poisoned. This is not mentioned in this article maybe to protect the whistle blowing doctor.

foolisholdman
Reader
foolisholdman

At last an account that makes some sort of sense! Of course I realise that it too is a speculation, but it covers most of the known facts and draws them together in a story that makes some sort of sense. Just one thing that I think needs further attention (not that it detracts from the story, but is to say the least curious!) the “homeless man” turns out to be a recently retired senior policeman. Now! Howzat for strange?

Wilmers31
Reader
Wilmers31

Skripal had taken down 300 colleagues when he was nabbed. just add 1 relative each and you have 600 (sixhundred) enemies of Skripal.

Russia needs to stop looking towards the west or the world for applause. Russia’s re-acceptance into the community of nations will only happen when she signs over all assets to US companies. Since that is not going to happen, it is best to give each other a wide berth. Western Europe will soon enough learn that the US only wants colonies who they can fleece and canon fodder.

Einstein
Reader
Einstein

Excellent analysis, Mr Anthony.
Sending a bottle of novichok-spiked perfume in the post doesn’t sound likely, especially if it’s so lethal.
Did some spook personally deliver it to their postbox about the time the postman would call anyway?
When DS Bailey went to the house, he was presumably interested in the passport (and any original draft of the dossier?) as well as the perfume. Doubtless, the passport, faked or otherwise is “classified”.
But, having failed with the initial plan, why wouldn’t Bailey have taken away the bottle instead of just removing the “Russian” cover and stamps? It would have avoided Dawn Sturgess’s death, for starters.

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

Meanwhile, back in the real world, well aside from soap-operas, NOBODY wishes to discuss how NATO has been engineering Climate Change and the implementation of Weaponised Weather, to determine everything-everything from commodity markets to the news agenda of the day, as dictated by >>>
Deep State elites !

It’s obvious that the case of the Skripals was a successful distraction from daily actions by NATO:-
actions far worse in every sense !

The Deep State is severely worried & acting in a sociopathic fashion, so best not play their games & instead focus on ‘Intel-inside’, Harmonie & HarmoniEPS, Hirlam & Aladin Consortium, Atmospheric & Environmental Research inc. working with HAARP & NSA intel. , all of whom focus upon short term weather forecasting of severe weather, using Hectometrics, (for the dumbed down public awareness), rather than any referencing to HAARP’s ability to WARP the shape of the ionosphere, altering the Turbulence & flows of Energy created in the upper atmosphere, with Jet Stream Currents that unequivocally direct the Climate Change & weather patterns of behaviour, below, with the potential for Military & Stock Market gains … connect the dots & start focussing 😉

notheonly1
Reader
notheonly1

This exact thought has been plaguing me for some time now. When I look into the sky, it is obvious. However, the same tactics to discredit, smear and ridicule as ‘conspiracy nut case’ have been used for ages now and are at its shrieking height today. It appears all to be distraction – every little bit of it. The entire ‘geo-political’ charade serves only to occupy the minds of the people, to create divisions and confusion among the masses – rendering them incapacitated in their potential resolve.
All the while the shit has already hit the fan and is coating the world over. Everything ‘military’ is off any limits. The demand to reduce the insane amounts of productivity wasted for the sole benefits of the few hyper rich, is now anti-semitic. Any dissent to the Fascist NATO mafia is met with the destruction of whatever career one professes. The only solution appears to be to disconnect in entirety. There is quite simple nothing one, or even a large number of dedicated folks can do to stop the Fascist machine. It can only be destroyed by letting it destroy itself. Unfortunately, scores of gullible and callous people might meet their alleged creator – or just vaporize in a mushroom cloud.

There is no easy way to post an image here, but I do have a toe nails curling image taken a few days ago – where one can see the massive spraying operations here in South America. To know that those in the respective governments must know about this aerosol spraying in their sovereign air space, makes it clear that the entire geo-engineering is foremost perpetrated by the military of the countries in question. The oddity, or better insanity about all this is extremely repugnant. Because the military forces all over the planet are in cahoots with each other if they are not at war among themselves. This shows especially obvious with Saudi Arabia. When they go on a shopping spree to purchase military hardware to exterminate those they deem a nuisance – like the Yemenites – all the military industrial complexes of the world will be ready to sell them whatever they need to achieve their goals.

It’s some very sick free-for-the-elites scheme and what is done to the planet and its life goes under in the constant threats of wars and terror. Meanwhile, the insects are checking out. With the insects, those who eat insects. With those who eat insects go those who eat the insect eaters. Its nothing less than a massive extinction event – perpetrated, not steered against by the hyper rich and their minions.

There might only be one advice to be given. Coming from Lord Helmet played by Rick Moranis in ‘Spaceballs’: “Smoke ’em if You got ’em.”

Question to the board: Is it possible to post images? Or can they only be linked to?

Refraktor
Reader
Refraktor

Too many glaring absurdities and contradictions in the official narrative lead me to believe that it was always intended to look like some sort of false flag operation.
Surely a genuine false flag would never be prosecuted in so ham-fisted a way.
A CID sergeant attending a suspected source of nerve agent wearing a hazmat suit as Nick Bailey claimed? Even as the medics suspected opiate poisoning? Too daft to contemplate.
The fact that the first responder proved to be a colonel in the British Army and that this “inadvertently” slipped through the media lockdown via local press reporting?
I can’t fathom it at all but suspect that Mr Putin may just possibly somehow be in on the wheeze.

Martin Hawes
Reader
Martin Hawes

A false flag false flag involving a double or possibly triple agent? My head’s hurting…

Portonchok
Reader
Portonchok

Before this thread goes cold, and whilst I have a few spare minutes, I’d like to share a few random thoughts of an alternative theory I’m working on. It’s random and way incomplete , but I’d like to share some initial thoughts and gain some feedback please.

My whole premise is based on facts, minimal conjecture, essentially that Skripal was a treacherous scoundrel and as such is “highly likely” to continue with such a psychological trait, deserving no benefit of the doubt. Here are my random initial thoughts:

Skripal Alternative theory….

Fact: Skripal betrayed Russia.

He was exchanged for other agents, why was he so important? He clearly must have high value. To whom?

The spy exchange was in respect of a US swap not British, so why Skripal included?

Why did he come to the UK not stay in the US? Strange?

If no longer active, why was he located in the military town of Salisbury, not London where lots of Ukrainian and Russian émigrés live?

Perhaps his day job working for British Intelligence required him to be in Salisbury, plus easier to guard him there, especially with a state of the art CCTV system in place?

It’s suspected that Skripal continued to work against Russia for years and recently contributed to the Dodgy Dossier. What else did he work on against Russia and on behalf of Ukraine : NATO? The Russians will know.

Why is Skripal so active against Russia?
Answer: he was born in Kiev, he’s a Ukrainian!
A Ukrainian nationalist?
Certainly working against Russia, this is an indisputable fact.

More facts: NBC manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain for three weeks prior.

UK Establishment was ready for this incident, announcements and attributions of guilt were made very quickly.

This was a highly planned operation.

UK allies also were lined up to accuse Russia with little or no evidence…or did they have irrefutable evidence of a Russian hit?….

It’s then plausible to have the following alternative theories:

1)
Skripal is not some poor homesick Russian, he’s an ongoing agent working for Ukraine / NATO against Russia. He deserves no benefit of the doubt.

The Russians, or a small group of them, were out to deal with Skripal. He was complicit in not only destroying their reputation as a Ukrainian nationalist working against them, but also working to destroy Trump, the only major western leader willing to sit down with Putin and talk peace.
That’s a clear motive for Russia, understandably so.

Who were the two GRU guys really? Sent to scout things out and walked into a MI6 trap?

More to follow…

reenmac
Reader
reenmac

He was born in Kaliningrad, not Kiev

thorella
Reader

I almost entirely agree with your version. On 4 March I sumitted a similar but far simpler account in the comment section of OffGuardian’s previous article.

However, I disagree with your analysis that the perfumed bottle was sent to Julia as a present and I don’t think MI6’s actions were pre-planned; they were made up as things developed. I think MI6 found out what was going on that day.
and used fenatyl to put him out of action asap. Then to cover up and make most of the situation, they developed the novichok theory but things hadn’t been planned and there were huge holes. The public were sceptical so they had to add on and in doing so create more drama. There was then the declaration that novichok had been sprayed on the door and the introduction of the perfume bottle. I suspect it was somehow handed to the couple.

Baron
Reader
Baron

Nobody really knows, thorella, but the people who orchestrated the charade, how likely are they to talk, ever?

Here’s another speculative musing on parts of it:

No Novichok anywhere in the public, not a tiniest drop of it, all the samples got spiked. The stuff’s by far too dangerous for a false flag op in a Western country. It was the name that whoever cobbled it up needed, just the label, from now on it will be enough to whisper ‘Novichok’ for people to associate it with the evil Russia.

If Novichok or a nerve agent of equal potency were the tool of the attack, tens of people would have been dead on that fateful day (the two who allegedly sprayed it on the door knob included), more dying still today, Salisbury would have been evacuated, fully decontaminated, possibly erased to the ground, we would be in war with Russia.

It wasn’t the Skripals who got hit by whatever opiate the substance was, nobody has seen the faces or even bodies of the two bench victims at the time of the crime, when they got shipped to the hospital, in the hospital, and after their discharge from the hospital. You recall the sad face, shaven head of Litvinenko? It was on display 24/7? If it were the Skripals that got hit on the bench, one can bet we would have seen them sad, suffering, in pain, also 24/7.

The Russians must have been involved helping the old man to flee, not to poison him, he would have been a valuable asset what with spending years with the operatives of the security services here (he would be able to see his mother who he seems to worship). That would explain the rather strange behaviour of the Russian authorities, too much protesting, too little doing anything like applying for a habeas corpus. The politicised courts may have refused to grant it, national security and all that stuff, but why not try go for it?

Sergei wasn’t on the charade, he did want to flee, if he were co-operating with the spooks setting it up, we would have seen him after the tragedy giving interview after interview blaming the Russians.

The foolproof guidance of the old Romans (who’re supposed to have furnished us with the tenets of our system of laws) has been totally ignored. Cui bono – who benefits? Today, everyone can see who has benefited from the charade, it ain;t Russia.

And lastly, as the great Mark Steyn says ‘the harm is done in the process, the outcome seldom matters’. He’s spot on, nobody is any longer interested, the damage has been done, sanctions imposed, more may be added, even if the old man were to surface tomorrow, totally contradicting the official nonsense, the MSM poodles would either ignore it, or claim he was clinically brainwashed by the evil Russians.

Rather frightening this.

John A
Reader
John A

The simplest explanation for Charlie getting the cellophane wrapped perfume bottle was that he shoplifted it from the Boots where he got his methadone prescription. The same Boots that was closed by the police for weeks in the summer. Charlied knicked it, failed to flog it, so gave it to his partner. She died of an overdose or due to a badly cut dose of heroine or similar (which Charlie survived, being bigger and stronger). The police then used this as a perfect excuse to pad out the narrative. Her body, like the Skripal pets, was also rapidly cremated.

Paul
Reader
Paul

Your version sounds more likely I think. This was some weeks after the initial drama and there was widespread scepticism that the substance could have been a nerve agent when so many in contact with it survived or suffered no symptoms at all. When Dawn died it might have seemed like an opportunity to declare the nerve agent responsible thereby “proving” nerve agent was used.

Brian Eggar
Reader

The same thought had occurred to me. The fact that no passport photo of the third man was never issued to the press as if it looked like Skripal, everybody would have come to the same conclusion. Another point that might back this up is that Putin described Skripal as a scumbag. If he had thought that the whole incident was a set up, this would be his reaction.

This incident occurred just a few weeks before Trump stated that he was going to remove all US troops out of Syria, so there is another country, highly skilled in false flag operations that might have wanted to get involved.

The article makes no mention of the BZ which is just an incapacitating agent found in the samples given to the OPCW which was also found to have had added A234 at a later date.

However, I have had another unsubstantiated thought that has emerged since this event. If you start to read about the $2.1 billion bioweapon research programme under the title “Insect Allies” and how a large amount of money went to Porton Down, you do wonder if the two events might be connected.

If Skripal had come across evidence that there were plans to infect Russian and Chinese pigs with a form of African Swine Fever or to attack their crops, could he have wanted to get information and samples back to Russia.

The danger of CRISPR technology being misused is almost certain and the fact that African Swine Fever has been discovered in Georgia and Vietnam where the US has testing facilities and from there has moved to Russia and China makes it all very suspicious. If this is the case, then I can see that the seeds of destruction for the whole of the human race are already in place and in operation.

Just who would put in hand an operation so stupid that they would wipe themselves out at the same time as the enemy unless they have great faith in Monsato’s patented pig?

Stonky
Reader
Stonky

I don’t believe a word of the British authorities version of events, but with the best will in the world, from the words “Ladies’ perfume bottles are normally intended for women…” the whole perfume bottle scenario in this account is just daft nonsense – as implausible as the official UK authorities’ version.

If Russia had wanted to kill Sergei Skripal, there are a million simpler and less convoluted ways of doing it than sending two GRU agents from Russia with some perfume bottles laced with Novichok to wander around Salisbury and then spray the stuff on his door handle etc etc etc…

If MI6 wanted to kill the Skripals and frame Russia, there are a million simpler and less convoluted ways of doing it than sending Yulia some perfume laced with Novichik in a package with Russian stamps on it, in the vague hope that she might open it and kill them both and nobody else would be affected but only her father the ace spy realised what was going on so he walked all he way to the centre of Salisbury and hoyed it in a charity bin etc etc etc…

I’m not sure why Michael Anthony is being allowed to spread this daft nonsense all over the alternative media.

michaelantonyblog
Reader

Stonky (good choice), no doubt there are lots of simpler ways this could have been done. The point is to account for evidence of how it was done. The perfume bottle was found and unless we accuse the police and hospital staff of all lying outright over a verifiable fact it contained novichok. How did it get there, and why was it found unopened? The sending of poisoned presents is a very old and much-used tactic, particularly by the old KGB (but also by the CIA and Mossad) with a good rate of success. For MI6 to use it in a false flag to be blamed on Russian agents is by no means implausible. Your phrase “in the vague hope she might open it” is bizarre to say the least. What else do you with presents you receive, especially near your birthday and coming from your country? It was exceptional that it was NOT opened because of Sergei’s paranoia. Your remark about me being allowed to spread this stuff on the internet suggests you’re not in favour of freedom of speech. We are still waiting for your coherent version of what happened instead of know-it-all assertions of how daft everybody else’s theory is.

Stonky
Reader
Stonky

The perfume bottle was found and unless we accuse the police and hospital staff of all lying outright over a verifiable fact it contained novichok… Your phrase “in the vague hope she might open it” is bizarre to say the least…

There could not possibly have been any novichok. Why? Well, my full phrase was “in the vague hope that she might open it and kill them both and nobody else would be affected…

Would HMG and MI6 even entertain the risk that she might, for example, take the present to a public place and open it there, causing the deaths of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of civilians? No.

Please note, I’m not saying that they are too noble to do such a thing. Tony Blair was happy to sign the death warrants of hundreds of British service personnel for his financial gain.

It’s the issue of consequences. It was essential that Russia be blamed for the Skripal affair – indeed that was the whole point of the operation. How could you blame Russia for killing thousands of British civilians on British soil with a deadly nerve agent, without treating it as an act of war? We’re not quite ready for that yet.

Baron
Reader
Baron

Why do you buy the official version of the bottle being found, Michael?

This fits well with the desire of the authorities to throw as much confusion as possible into this already bizarre story. How did the bottle survive in the bin for so long, doesn’t;t the Council empty the bins? How come the bloke cannot recall where he found it?

John A
Reader
John A

“The perfume bottle was found and unless we accuse the police and hospital staff of all lying outright over a verifiable fact it contained novichok”
There is no such thing as ‘novichok’ in this whole sorry saga. Charlie shoplifted a genuine bottle of perfume from Boots where he gets his methadone prescription. His partner died of a drug overdose. One minute the perfume si supposed to have been cellophane wrapped, the next that Charlie got it all over his hands but could wash it off. You dont wash novichok off and survive. The whole saga is a cock and bull story.

michaelantonyblog
Reader

John A, what you’re saying is perfectly plausible. But it would involve a degree of official lying it might be difficult to sustain. There is the coroner’s certificate for Dawn Sturgess, which I imagine mentioned cause of death. Would he be a party to the conspiracy? As for Mr Rowley surviving (but getting ill nonetheless) the novichok probably suffered some degradation in quality after four months mixed with perfume in a perfume bottle. Enough degradation to be lethal only in larger doses when sprayed directly on the skin and left there.

John A
Reader
John A

Dawn Sturgess’s inquest was opened and then adjourned. Ie kicked into the long grass. So no cause of death certified. The body was also cremated, making further investigation futile! You are just clutching at straws with the novochok might have degradated etc. How many people need to be in on the ‘conspiracy’ as you call it.
Well, there is some dispute as to when the perfume was found. The perfume line appeared several days after Charlie’s flat was thoroughly searched. It was various found in plain sight and hidden away. That is was cellophane sealed or torn open…. The local plod were elbowed out of the way very early on so it is special forces doing the detective work. Anyone who speaks out will fall under a train, get stabbed to death in a random attack, fall down a lift shaft, have a mysterious car accident…. you name it. All incentives not to whistleblow.

Rhys Jaggar
Reader
Rhys Jaggar

The British State has a long and undignified history of evidence fabrication, perjury and stonewalling to build and maintain false narratives.

The 1970s IRA pub bombings were perhaps the most glaring. Basically the Govt had to be seen to bang up some terrorists from the bogs and when they could not get their hands quickly on who dunnit, they framed some local Paddys, got a reliable forensic forger to concoct some cock and bull evidence which they perjured themselves with by trotting it out under oath and on top they ensured a suitable judge (i.e. one who would direct proceedings to suitable convictions) was on hand.

Several years on, with the IRA openly stating that the real bombers were alive and free, Home Secretary after Home Secretary kept up the charade and the supine Press backed them up.

There is nothing the British State will not do when tasked with doing it. They will sacrifice children to paedophiles to gain leverage. Once they will do that, mere murdering of some wastrels, banging up innocent men for 25 years and a bit of perjury under oath is small potatoes.

MI6 is part of the unaccountable and fascistic Dark State, operating extra-judicially and with contempt for electoral democracy.

They are the last place on earth you would look for any value system encompassing decency, democracy and evidence-led framing of international law.

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

This whole Skripal affair happened because Corbyn’s an anti-Semite.

Probably…

L
Reader

Dear Sir, I believe that Skripal was indeed the “source” of Steele at Orbis. Here is what I wrote: On This Day — The Skripals Drama Begins (March 4 2018) FYI: I was interviewed about this by Channel One Russia a few days ago…. Regards, Intel Today

https://gosint.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/on-this-day-the-skripals-drama-begins-march-4-2018/

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Excellent and genuinely “highly likely” narrative.

Just a couple of random observations/thoughts, of little or no consequence to the case presented by Michael Antony:

1. This narrative gives possible credit to nursing staff for not wishing to impose hazmat suits on the wife and children of DS Bailey. I think it’s more likely that those involved were so caught up in the amateurish, fictional drama (complicitly or not) that it didn’t even occur to them to think this aspect through properly, as with many of the inexplicable inconsistencies e.g. – people in hazmat suits at the Skripal house, or handling supposedly contaminated items, but standing next to people in civilian attire.

2. Having been told officially early on that DS Bailey was a first responder (even THE first responder) it now appears, even according to the more recent official accounts in the face – no doubt – of witness testimonies, that he was nowhere near the incident in Salisbury town centre. His first involvement was when he went to the Skripal’s house that night, before it was even known to be a ‘nerve agent attack’. No one has officially explained why he went there and seemingly carried out a thorough search of the property (Do police always go to the empty homes of suspected drug overdose victims, gain entry themselves, seemingly without speaking to neighbours first about who lived there, and search the premises with such haste?). Clearly he was looking for particular items (the perfume bottle sent to Yulia? Documents? Packed items?) but this has never been officially explained, or at least not with any credibility. But his actions would be consistent with Michael Antony’s scenario of the events.

3. Can it just be a coincidence that a fictional joint UK/US TV crime drama series “Strike Back” featured a ‘Novichok’ episode in November 2017?

4. With regard to why some of those complicit in this fake narrative do not come forward, this would indeed be the heroic thing to do but we really do not know what may have been said to them behind the scenes. When you have John Bolton threatening the (then) head of the OPCW in 2001 with “we know where your kids are” is it any wonder people with information might be scared to reveal all? David Kelly? Hilda Murrell? etc etc.

Einstein
Reader
Einstein

The British seem to have sunk to the level of the Mexican or Colombian Mafia – ‘plato o plombo’?
Or our government has already been taken over by the Mobsters and their laundered buying power.

michaelantonyblog
Reader

JudyJ, some good points. You may be right about the general confusion and inconsistency of all the precautions taken, which could well explain the nurses letting Sgt Bailey’s family visit him without hazmat suits, even though the nurses wore them. I suggested their motive was humanity; it could have been stupidity. I think what Sgt Bailey was looking for on his visit to the Skripal house that night was in fact the perfume bottle, to see why it hadn’t worked — and remove it before the real (Wiltshire) police got there, he being an undercover MI6 man. Since he didn’t find it, he removed the wrapping paper with the Russian stamps on it, as it might raise questions. Since he had to be tested for novichok after touching it, they decided to make him a fake victim to add to the indignation. Clearly MI6 knew from that night that a Nina Ricci perfume bottle was out there somewhere with novichok in it. They sent out no alert to the public mentioning that brand so as to protect themselves. This makes them guilty of Dawn Sturgess’s death. Your point about novichok featuring in a TV film — I have no doubt if gave them their idea. Shades of 9/11, also foretold in 2 films, one Israeli, one US. I take your point about the witnesses and unwilling accomplices on the hospital staff being too terrified to talk. I was trying to encourage them if ever they read this. Sooner or later things might well come out. If one of them decides to live in Russia? Who knows?

kingfelix
Reader

Why not fit bottle with RFID for GPS tracking?

Paul
Reader
Paul

There were two reports in the Mail recently that said both Skripals were living “in their own country but in contact with UK officials’. It was said twice and hasn’t been questioned or highlighted so far as I know. It seems very unlikely but why say it?

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

To curb any more investigations and deflect questions from the gullible public?

Paul
Reader
Paul

This account makes a lot more sense than the official line. When it first broke the media reported, presumably following a briefing that Skripal had written to Putin asking for permission to return to see his mother who was too ill to travel. The briefing made much of the fact that ‘Putin hadn’t replied’. It’s reasonable to assume this was a serious request. He was a sentimental man in many ways. It seems possible that it was Julia bringing Putin’s answer and Skripal found it acceptable. It would have become an immediate No-No with MI6 and the CIA if he had any information about Steele. It could have come to a crunch on the day of the attack; if Skripal wanted permission to go then his anger over lunch suggests he’d already had the argument with the spooks. It was then a case of stopping him – which they did very effectively given he hasn’t been allowed to speak since! The intelligence Agencies must still fear Trump turns up the heat on UK interference in his election and it’s best to keep Skripal under wraps, if he’s still alive.

Philpot
Reader
Philpot

Magnificent theory. I am convinced, anyway. Well done. The conclusions as to motive are certainly correct even if one or two of the scenario’s facts can possibly later be proven to be slightly out. I do say possibly.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

Seems to me that either or both of the Skripals could be paraded on UK television without any danger. All that is needed is a camera an interlocutor and an anonymous studio which could be anywhere from London to Johannesburg Washington or Australia. Then the two persons could give an accurate account of how the wicked Russians tried to assassinate them and how grateful they were to the British authorities for rescuing them from the evil clutches of the Russian security services. I would have thought that this would have been a gift-wrapped propaganda coup for the Anglo-Zionist empire.

Instead we get nothing, absolute silence. This more than anything else undermines the whole concocted farce. The AZ security apparatus needs to put up or shut up.

Martin Hawes
Reader
Martin Hawes

If there had been a military grade nerve agent in the ‘discarded’ perfume bottle, Charlie Rowley would have died within minutes. (He spilt it on his hands, recall.) It’s even less likely that the UK would have deployed such an agent on its own soil, risking dozens if not hundreds of fatalities, than that Russia would have sabotaged its credibility by doing so for so little gain. There was no need to. The entire operation, including the so-called poisoning, could be and was accomplished by sleight of hand, thanks to a sycophantic media. As Mr Anthony suggests, fentanyl or something similar was the most likely knock-out agent.

Portonchok
Reader
Portonchok

Well done Michael Antony, you may have hit upon a “highly likely” scenario, at least way more likely than the ridiculous official narrative.

There are still several things that puzzle me though:

– given the importance of what Skripal had done in regard to the dodgy dossier, he and others would know that he wouldn’t be allowed to leave the country. Recognition systems at the airport and elsewhere would pick him up even with a false passport. Why wasn’t he flown out by a team via an unwatched insignificant airport or on the road via the Channel instead? Perhaps leaving is even impossible?

– it’s likely the Skripals are dead, assuming they know way too much, so how or why did Julia even appear on British TV?

– For three weeks prior to the incident there was a military exercise on Salisbury Plain where lots of personnel were donning NBC suits. This all seems to be part of a very well planned operation, not a feck up by MI6 with a last minute attempt to stop Skripal escaping?

– who were the other couple caught on CCTV and made public? Not the Skripals. Where is this couple now?

I have more questions, but as an insomniac my brain isn’t working too well at this moment in time.

michaelantonyblog
Reader

Portonchok, some good points. I agree Skripal would know MI6 would never let him fly back to Russia: that’s why I don’t think for a minute he asked them for permission. He planned his escape with the GRU through Yulia. Your point about face recognition systems at Heathrow: I haven’t been through there lately so I don’t know if such systems are in place or were a year ago (as they are in China, for example.) That’s why I added the possibility of the passport-owning GRU man visiting a forger in London to switch passport photos before his passport was delivered to Sergei. As to the question of planned or unplanned: I agree the Salisbury Plain army chemical weapons exercises which ended two weeks before point to long-term planning. I think the novichok attack sending a poisoned perfume bottle to Yulia for her birthday was planned well in advance, as soon as they knew she was coming. It is what MI6 did when that attempt failed that was improvised. They realized they couldn’t use novichok out of doors or it would kill others. Their observation of the passport delivery at the dead drop made them think they had to act at once. Hence the improvised opiate attack in the town centre and then the struggle to come up with an explanation of how the phantom novichok was administered by invisible Russians. Since MI6’s initial plan had been to poison them with novichok at home through the perfume bottle birthday present from Russia, and they planned a major decontamination exercise of the house and local area afterwards, they stuck to their idea of the novichok being applied to the house, but just switched to the doorknob theory. Someone else asked about Sgt Bailey’s mission in going to the house the same evening: I think it was to remove the wrapping paper with the Russian stamps, now that plans had changed. He is obviously one of the police working for MI6. After he touched the wrapping paper they had to test him for novichok so they decided to make him a fake victim to stir up more indignation.