Yulia Skripal Is Plainly Under Duress 777

Only the Russians have allowed us to hear the actual voice of Yulia Skripal, in that recorded conversation with her cousin. So the one thing we know for certain is that, at the very first opportunity she had, she called back to her cousin in Russia to let her know what is going on. If you can recall, until the Russians released that phone call, the British authorities were still telling lies that Sergei was in a coma and Yulia herself in a serious condition.

We do not know how Yulia got to make the call. Having myself been admitted unconscious to hospital on several occasions, each time when I came to I found my mobile phone in my bedside cabinet. Yulia’s mobile phone plainly had been removed from her and not returned. Nor had she been given an official one – she specifically told her cousin that she could not call her back on that phone as she had it temporarily. The British government could have given her one to keep on which she could be called back, had they wished to help her.

The most probable explanation is that Yulia persuaded somebody else in the hospital to lend her a phone, without British officials realising. That would explain why the first instinct of the British state and its lackey media was to doubt the authenticity of the call. It would explain why she was able to contradict the official narrative on their health, and why she couldn’t get a return call. It would, more importantly, explain why her family has not been able to hear her voice since. Nor has anybody else.

It strikes me as inherently improbable that, when Yulia called her cousin as her first act the very moment she was able, she would now issue a formal statement through Scotland Yard forbidding her cousin to be in touch or visit. I simply do not believe this British Police statement:

“I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 9th April 2018. I was treated there with obvious clinical expertise and with such kindness, that I have found I missed the staff immediately.
“I have left my father in their care, and he is still seriously ill. I too am still suffering with the effects of the nerve agent used against us.
“I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me.
“I have specially trained officers available to me, who are helping to take care of me and to explain the investigative processes that are being undertaken. I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them.
“Most importantly, I am safe and feeling better as time goes by, but I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do. Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves. I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s.
“For the moment I do not wish to speak to the press or the media, and ask for their understanding and patience whilst I try to come to terms with my current situation.”

There is also the very serious question of the language it is written in. Yulia Skripal lived part of her childhood in the UK and speaks good English. But the above statement is in a particular type of formal, official English of a high level which only comes from a certain kind of native speaker.

“At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services” – wrote no native Russian speaker, ever.

Nor are the rhythms or idioms such as would in any way indicate a translation from Russian. Take “I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s.” Not only is this incredibly cold given her first impulse was to phone her cousin, the language is just wrong. It is not the English Yulia would write and it is awkward to translate into Russian, thus not a natural translation from it.

To put it plainly, as someone who has much experience of it, the English of the statement is precisely the English of an official in the UK security services and precisely not the English of somebody like Yulia Skripal or of a natural translation from Russian.

Yulia is, of course, in protective custody “for her own safety”. At the very best, she is being psychologically force-fed the story about the evil Russian government attempting to poison her with the doorknob, and she is being kept totally isolated from any influence that may reinforce any doubts she feels as to that story. There are much worse alternatives involving threat or the safety of her father. But even at the most benevolent reading of the British authorities’ actions, Yulia Skripal is being kept incommunicado, and under duress.

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777 thoughts on “Yulia Skripal Is Plainly Under Duress

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  • Alexander Paulsen

    I have heard they want to put them in WITSEC, that is a great to guarantee neither will talk out of class.

  • acementhead

    No duress at all is needed. If Yulia is the daughter of Sergie, and after seeing photos of both I’d assign a probability of 1, money is a perfectly adequate explanation. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    Apologies if the above has already been suggested, I’ve not, yet, read the entire board, which I certainly shall. Highest quality discussion that I’ve seen on the topic.

  • irena

    Something sinister is happening there. They starved to death Scripal’s pets and and it seems Yulia doesn’t allowed to have a phone and internet access. BTW the mother of Scripal (and Yulia’s grandmother) is still alive and she’s 90. It’s impossible that Scripals don’t want to reassure her about their well-being. Russans generally have strong family bounds.

    • John Goss

      Exactly Irena. I thought we believed in freedom of speech. It is supposed to be what we fight all these senseless wars to prevent the loss of, if you believe some people. The free west is anything but free – in all senses of the word.

  • John Goss

    There is certainly something strange about this. I agree with practically all of this. If somebody loaned her a phone I doubt it was another patient since I am almost sure the Skripals would have been segregated, not for cross-contamination reasons but because our government does not want their story heard. Similarly the protective custody is not for Yulia Skripal’s benefit but to protect the government. It is a bit like Julian Assange, keeping someone ‘imprisoned’ so his/her voice cannot be heard. It is shocking.

    • copydude

      I think it’s obvious she did not write the statement and may not even have seen it.

      What I do find curious is the reference to ‘investigative processes’. To be more precise, ‘interrogation’.

      I have been going over all the assertions and disinfo from the beginning and I’m convinced the whole novichok thing is a red herring. The propaganda story was cooked up between March 4 and March 8. I’m convinced the couple were poisoned after they left Zizzi and that’s why there’s no CCTV. What with? Something pretty nasty that wouldn’t kill them. Between medical confidentiality and Official Secrets gagging no one will ever know. The hospital bulletin posted at the time of Yulia’s discharge describes treatment that could apply to a number of poisons. If I read correctly, the blood samples for the OPCW gave nothing away.

      Imagine a game of Cluedo. They have the ‘Who’. They need the ‘Where’ and ‘The Murder Weapon. The story, possibly influenced by the TV series (real coincidence that), is knitted into: ‘It was Putin at the Front Door with the Novichok’. Everything that follows is propaganda showtime remarkably similar to the Litvinenko episode in format, with the same holes and inconsistencies in the plot being made up on the hoof and the Novichok red herring taking everyone’s eye off the ball.

      On March 6, Craig wrote a piece that ‘Skripal was no Litvinenko.’ This is a very important difference. Quote:

      “Skripal is a traitor who sold the identities of Russian agents abroad to the UK, in exchange for hard cash. This may very well have caused the deaths of some of those Russian agents operating in conflict zones. If this is indeed a poisoning, there are a great many people who may want Mr Skripal dead – nor in this murky world should we overlook the fact that he must have known interesting things about his MI6 handlers.”

      I think anyone looking for the real story has to start here. ignore the novichoks and the doorknobs and anything post March 8. Skripal had no skruples when it came to money, he would do or say anything. And there are perfectly plausible reasons for wanting him alive as well as dead.

  • squirrel

    This might have already been noted, but the reference to ‘specially trained officers’ reveals who composed the statement.

    • copydude

      For Russians, following on from ‘interrogation’, ‘specially trained offers’ would read as toenail pullers.

  • shortchanged

    Has anyone considered that the request by Yulia’s father to return to Russia, is something the Brits and US security services could not allow . They would be terified that Sergei would do a deal and tell all. Now, wouldn’t that be peachy. This failed and clumsy attempt by the CIA, and I believe it was them, is akin to the rather stupid attempt to kill Fidel Castro by planting exploding cigars in his house. Google it, if you don’t believe me.

  • CanSpeccy

    Having reworked and extended my piece Novichok: Russia’s Antidote to Seafood Poisoning I am more inclined than before to believe it possible that the Skripals were treated with Novichok as an antidote to botulinum toxin, it being the case that the one nerve agent, because of a difference in mode of action, could be an effective antidote to the other nerve agent, as I explain in the piece linked above.

    To be credible, the theory must presume orchestration of the entire sequence of events. Thus, the botulinum toxin must have been deliberately administered as a sub-lethal dose in the seafood lunch that the Skripals consumed several hours before they were taken ill. (Although botulinum toxin can occur in seafood, it does not occur in fresh seafood — as opposed to canned food, since Clostridium botulinum only produces the toxin under anoxic conditions.)

    But if the affair was orchestrated, the Skripals were surely participants rather than victims in the operation, a plausible assumption since Sergei Skripal is known to have worked for MI6 and may have resumed his service to them on release from Russian gaol.

    So how was it worked?

    I suggest that there was a small dose of botulinum toxin added to their seafood lunch, which caused illness several hours later, but not the vomiting and convulsions as reported by the doctor who attended on them and asked that her name not be released to the public. Rather the illness would have been manifest as the paralysis characteristic of botulism. If that assumption is correct, then we must assume that the attending, unidentified doctor who described the Skripals’ symptons as those of poisoning by a nerve agent of the Novichok type, is an agent of MI6 and that she deliberately misled the media.

    Once received at the Salisbury Trust Hospital, experts in nerve agent poisoning at the nearby British Chemical and Biological Weapons research establishment would have been consulted, which would have created the opportunity for them to supply the hospital with British-made Novichok as an antidote to botulinum toxin, the mechanism whereby one nerve agent counteracts another being described in my above-linked post. The identity of this antidote may well not have been disclosed to the Hospital staff.

    After that, the Skripals may have been kept in a more or less comotose state with, perhaps repeated small doses of botulinum toxin, which would have necessitated continual infusions of Novichok to prevent paralysis and death by asphyxiation. That would explain why, weeks after the initial poisoning, blood samples of the “victims” still contained detectable quantities of Novichok. It would also explain why Yulia Skripal, though released from hospital, is in UK police custody.

    The objective now, if the above scenario is a more or less accurate representation of actual events, must be to keep the Skripals out of the hands of the Russian state, where they could be forced to disclose their complicity in a psyop. perpetrated to undermine the credibility and moral standing of the Russian government. That would explain the offer by the CIA to give the Skripals new identities.

    • copydude

      What an extremely long and complex process. Why would anyone bother. Forget the whole Novichok thing.

      The hero British Policeman, also said to be at death’s door from Novichok . . . oh, should I have said death’s doorknob . . . . was up and about in a couple of days. DS Nick Bailey later described his experience as ‘surreal’. Magic mushrooms?

      You wrote: “That would explain the offer by the CIA to give the Skripals new identities.”

      Did you mean, ‘re-arrange their faces?’ Mr Skripal was supplying intel to Christopher Steele for the anti-Trump dossier.

      • CanSpeccy

        I wrote:

        “The objective now, if the above scenario is a more or less accurate representation of actual events, must be to keep the Skripals out of the hands of the Russian state, where they could be forced to disclose their complicity in a psyop. perpetrated to undermine the credibility and moral standing of the Russian government. That would explain the offer by the CIA to give the Skripals new identities.”

        Not up to the literary style of, say, Titus Livius, but it makes sense, surely?

        • copydude

          You could argue a case for many different scenarios. And i think few people agree that the Russians had the only plausible motive, as our leaders insist.

          Were the Skripals complicit in faking their own attempted assassination? It’s worth considering. It would be more believable if it were only Sergei. But would he involve his daughter? The poisoning that doesn’t quite kill you seems me a rather risky business. Would you sign up for that? Sergei wasn’t in the best of health. It’s the reason his original sentence for treason in Russia was lightened.

          Surely the less they know the better. They can’t be kept under house arrest 24/7 forever. Unless, of course, they will be popped in the incinerator with the pets shortly after being disappeared.

    • Rosie Brocklehurst

      Not plausible to control levels of B.T. enough to stop death. Why bother when CIA can get hold of Novichok which was the objective.

  • tony

    Lavrov statement on RT (3pm Ap14) claims that OPCW redacted part of swiss lab report

  • Colin

    The excerpt that also strikes me is when Yulia says, ““I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago…..”.
    This is very similar to what Constable Bailey, who attended the Skripals, said, “’My life will probably never be the same”.

    It seems it’s all terribly scripted, what a coincidence they would say almost the same thing. Furthermore, what makes it more suspicious is that really, their lives will not change because unlike what the public were told originally, it appears none of the “victims” of this attack will suffer permanent damage.

    • copydude

      Colin. ‘Terribly scripted’ . . . yes. What they do say is as worrying as what they don’t.

      I rather think the title of Craig’s piece should have been ‘Yulia Skripal is Plainly Under Arrest’.

    • Rosie Brocklehurst

      Their lives will change if the Secret Services have anything to do with it.

  • Peter

    I am strongly inclined to accept this assessment of the origin of the statement ascribed to Yulia Skrypal, and the conclusions we might justifiably infer from it.

    The whole narrative is rancid with untruths and cobbled-together innuendo highly reminiscent of the build up to the Iraq pantomime, the ‘dodgy dossier’, the fabricated images of mobile laboratories, and the farce of the US Secretary of State’s bra ndishing a phial of supposed anthrax in the General Assembly. These people think us to be gullible fools, and – no doubt – enemies of State too. But we must continue to point out their reckless deceptions and wicked intentions. They must not prevail.

  • Graham

    After more than a decade’s experience working for OFFI (the Hungarian State Translation Bureau), which also processes Russian translations, I can state that I fully concur with Mr Murray’s opinion that the contents of the statement in question do not comprise a legitimate translation of Yulia Skripal’s words into English.

    I also believe it is clear to all that the formal and rather stilted language used in the statement is not a natural representation of her own words spoken in English.

    • Rosie Brocklehurst

      Undoubtedly true or the Government would have put Yulia in front of camera.

  • carrelli

    Lucky, in France we hate english governement but french people respect and like president Putin and “la mére patrie” russia …

    • Rosie Brocklehurst

      I understand hatred of British Government particularly IDS, Gove, Johnson and May. But Putin? Really?

  • BALD11

    I would like to draw your attention to the Russian Federation’s international rights, in the matter of the safety from injury and further harm to, either or both Mr S Skripal and Miss J Skripal, as the father and daughter both being both Russsian Federation citizens, notwithstanding the obviously perceivable : right of abode in the UK of the father, and it is the basic right of the Russian Federation Government entities, being the in fact the Russian Ambassador: to ensure the safety and well-being of any Russian citizen where-ever if they are in danger?

    Indeed the British Monarchy and its duly appointed representatives in Government are apparently failing to permit the Russian Ambassador such facility by refusing such recognition, and allow the Ambassador first-hand evidence as to the well being of the Russian Father and Daughter.

  • Neil Newman

    “Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me”.

    The irony of this not being a recording, and thus by definition “Someone talking for me” when the statement was read out, seems to have gone over the head of the MI flunky who wrote it.

    Imagine if North Korea grabbed a UK citizen, and refused to allow UK consular access to them. BloJo would never be off TV.

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