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.


777 thoughts on “Yulia Skripal Is Plainly Under Duress

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    • Folky McFolkface

      Don’t you mean we are against UK strikes on Syria?
      By the looks of things the majority support Russia’s continued bombing of Syria.

      • zoot

        seems your credulity and hunger for war puts you in a decided minority among the uk population. but keep fighting.

        • Pyotr Grozny

          British public love blaming Russia for everything as long as it brings no danger. As soon as there is danger they backpedal.

          MAKING RUSSIA THE ENEMY MAY ENDANGER YOUR HEALTH

        • Folky McFolkface

          I don’t think the UK should attack Syria and I doubt they will. Folk assuming that we will attack seem to be more eager to see this unravel and bring down the govt. It’s as if a war is acceptable if it kicks the tories out and makes the UK look bad… again.

      • Merkin Scot

        “By the looks of things the majority support Russia’s continued bombing of Syria.”
        .
        Correct.
        The Russians are fighting against a terrorist organisation part funded by us and the majority of Brits welcome this.

  • TFS

    As we wonder when WW4 will kick off, lets take a look at someone cut from the same rock as John Pilger.

    Go to Youtube and search for Eva Bartlett and watch a proper journalist at work in relation to Syria.

    Watch her educate the ignorant and slay the smug imperialist famiLIARS….

  • jazza

    slightly off topic but nevertheless highlights the hypocrisy of our self proclaimed elites – did anyone notice the Zuckhead interview yesterday when he was asked which hotel he was staying at? His reply was he wouldn’t say – it went very quiet – one rule for them etc …

  • Abulhaq

    Currently reading Faisal of Iraq by Ali Allawi. The childlike belief in the moral rectitude of interfering in deemed less well developed territories requiring a good lesson in Anglo-Saxon political knowhow quicky emerges.
    The spirit of ‘towelhead’ runs through the story. Arabs are there to be manipulated, bribed and condescended to. Few Europeans involved speak Arabic or understand the cultures and ethnic complexities of the ‘Arab world’. From the Atlantic to Iran ‘Arabs is Arabs’, a barbaric, venal and corruptible people.
    Nothing has changed. Is there such a term as ‘political autism’. If not there ought to be as Western régimes have a serious and long standing case of it.

    • Robyn

      Thanks, jazza, important article – BBC journalist tweets the truth about staged chemical weapons attacks (before promptly deleting it).

  • Tony M

    None of my replys thread correctly mods, whats up with that?

    Sharp Ears
    April 12, 2018 at 11:26
    Quoting Trump: “Ridding the region of ISIS. Hah!”

    These people are certifiable, Trump has over-done his meds. They armed financed trained and put them there in the first place, their Air Force supports them when things get tough for their kiddie-raping head-chopping friends, Israel patches them up when they get poorly, all their ‘Special’ Forces – special in that they’re psychopaths too – are the backbone cadre of ISIS augmented by the lowest murdering scum from the Al-Saud family prisons. The governments of the U.S. along with the other members of the real axis of evil: this far-from united Kingdom, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are a blight on all humanity, second only to religious belief which is the surest ever sign of mental derangement.

    • RAC

      To be fair Trump was left with a mess created by the CIA under the reign of saint obama.

    • Clark

      Tony M, I use the NoScript script blocker, and I’ve recently found I can’t reply to a comment unless I permit scripts from craigmurray.org.uk and cloudflare.com

  • Ahimsa

    I reckon that it’s too much of a coincidence that Yulia arrived in the UK just before the alleged attack on her and her father.

    It seems obvious that they have a close relationship and if he had been invited to take on this role with a guaranteed escape to USA along with a massive pay cheque and a fresh identity, then i’m sure he would have discussed this with his daughter and invited her in to the equation….

    The other option being that they never saw each other again in this life.

    From what i can tell it doesn’t appear that she had a really dynamic life in Russia, as i’m sure there would have been a fair amount of media articles from her close friends and colleagues…. If anybody has information that can expand on this matter then it’s appreciated.

    The temptation to walk away from her life in Russia and begin again in the USA with no financial worries for the rest of her life would be attractive.

    Could it be that she’s not being held under duress, but as part of the gameplay which she understands, until she can ’emigrate’ once the dust has settled a bit and the ‘next big thing’ occupies the mind of the masses?

    Of course, once she has completely dissapeared from public life, it will become obvious to the Russians that she has defected but by that time it will be too late as the conflict will have escalated.

    Just a theory this in amidst the mystery.

    • Ophelia Ball

      she is independently wealthy in Russia, and there is no suggestion of any kind of connections (whether family or business) outside Russia, other than her father.

      if, on the other hand, she does now defect – and does so without any public appearance – that would surely add weight to the notion that this was perhaps a set-up from start to finish, and far from being in nay way helpful to the UK, would completely demolish the “Russia dunnit” narrative

      news just coming out on RT about the OPCW report

      • Michael McNulty

        If she “defects” and is never seen again I shall conclude she is dead and has been for some time, killed by our own government. One phone call possibly made by another and one statement issued certainly by another do not constitute proof of life. Only her clear and undoubted appearance can do that. For me, anyway.

    • Jo Dominich

      Ahimsa, I’m not sure about your post but it’s interesting. She chose to go back to Russia after coming here with her father as part of the Spy swap. She has a fiance in Russia, has just bought a flat and has 200,000 dollars inherited from her brother’s death. Also, Sergei Skripal, as part of the spy swap was offered to go to the USA and he refused, relocating here instead. Yulia came with him but returned to Russia not so long afterwards to be with her fiance. So there is something highly suspicious about her whereabouts not only now but also since the incident. I never thought I would have this thought but for the past two weeks I have tended to the view that her whereabouts was definitely not a hospital. At the moment the evidence is clearly pointing to an illegal detention by our security services without any to contradict that, then it’s the only evidence we have. Also, I doubt very much that she has requested or been offered Political asylum – had she been at risk in Russia then I am in absolutely no doubt the would have been dealt with whilst living there, not over here. These days, people from Russia do not need to defect, they are free to come and go as they please.

      • Dan

        If she’d been in detention instead of the hospital, I doubt she’d have been able to obtain the phone to call her cousin.

      • Ahimsa

        Thanks Jo… I’m not sure about any of this, and i imagine that’s true for everybody beyond the various threads of speculation.

        I feel that she hasn’t been killed though as some people are understandably suggesting…

        I know that MI6 etc are more than capable of this and have done so in the past, but now, given the timeline and the story that has been built up around her, if she was found dead now, or declared dead, then it would all come back as an obvious act of our secret services.

        Perhaps ‘defected’ wasn’t the proper choice of word from me… Betrayed would be more accurate…. Her 200,000 inheritance would be easy to let go of when promised treble that or more, for her acting role here.

        I’m still open to the possibility that she was badly poisoned though and is in a vulnerable state and in need of privacy so as to recover and come to terms with it all, before stepping out into the public arena…. Time will reveal.

    • Robyn

      Ahimsa, Yulia going along ‘as part of the gameplay which she understands’ is feasible until you consider the pets – she would have made sure they were not left to die a horrible death from starvation.

    • Ophelia Ball

      “Independent chemical weapons scientists have confirmed that novichok was used in the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.”

      Good old Sky News – tell it as it is, without any spin: He was a BRITISH spy, that’s why the Russians imprisoned him and the British bailed him out

    • Bayard

      “Good old OPCW”
      Not as far as TM is concerned, they haven’t said it was novichok, only that it was a high purity toxic chemical.
      Good to see that they haven’t bowed to pressure though: they’ve not even said it was a nerve agent.

    • jazza

      don’t forget it was nearly 3 weeks before OPCW arrived in britain – we have no knowledge of the samples they analysed – once again there is very little evidence made available to the public- this is unacceptable but not unexpected – OPCW are a bunch of volunteers chaired by a brit!

  • Jones

    so applying the same judgement of UK government to findings of OPCW & Porton Down in Skripal case we can assume the alleged chemical attack in Syria was done by whoever developed the chemical that was supposedly used.

  • Republicofscotland

    Bearing in mind Yulia and her father have survived poisoning by one of the deadliest nerve agents known to man.

    The OPCW has now concurred with the British government on the findings at Sailsbury.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/423911-opcw-skripal-russia-investigation/

    How can this be, how can the OPCW believe that the Skripals are alive and well after the exposure. Surely they cannot believe a Novichok was used, it all reeks of a concerted effort to demonise Russia.

    Should we expect the same findings in Douma from the OPCW, I’m beginning to lose faith in the OPCW as a fair a neutral body.

    • IM

      Don’t forget just how miraculously quickly the DS fell ill with it and subsequently recovered from it!

    • Jo Dominich

      Republic, I thought this at first but, if you read the executive summary it does not name Novichock just refers to a high purity toxin. However, they were only invited in by the Government after 3 weeks so there are some questions to be asked. I too am beginning to have doubts about the OPCW but, I haven’t lost faith in them yet. Remember, the UK failed to follow the international convention on chemical weapons because they should have referred this matter to them straight away. On the plus side, there is no way the Skripals would be alive if it was a military grade nerve agent – and note, the OPCW do not refer to the toxin being a nerve agent at all in their report.

  • snickid

    The OPCW executive summary of its Srkipal poisoning report is curiously vague, as reported just now by the Guardian (see appended). Maybe the full report is more specific?
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/apr/12/uk-russia-tensions-rise-over-syria-attack-and-salisbury-poisoning-live-updates?page=with:block-5acf3d27e4b0507b415bc221#block-5acf3d27e4b0507b415bc221

    OPCW backs UK over Salisbury poisoning
    The international chemical weapons watchdog has backed Britain’s findings as to the identity of the chemical used in the Salisbury nerve agent attack, PA reports.

    The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said an analysis of samples taken from Sergei Skripal, his daughter, Yulia, and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, confirmed the UK’s assessment.

    The government has said that its analysis by military experts at Porton Down showed they were affected by Novichok – a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia.

    But the executive summary released by the OPCW does not mention novichok by name.

    It states: “The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirms the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.”

    • Dieter

      Novichok is a name invented by a Russian dissident in the West. The term was never used in Russia or the Soviet Union. Vil Mirzayanov published the formulas of Novichok type nerve agents 2008 in the US. One of these substances (A-234) has been confirmed by the OPCW as having been found in Salisbury. There is nothing new in the summary, except that we now know the exact type of nerve agent of the so-called Novichok series. It is still not possible to say where it was produced, much less, who used it, even if Boris Johnson pretends otherwise.

  • Dec

    The English is bizarrely taut, architectural, Fowleresque: you do not develop that style without selective pressure for compressed precision of the kind that prevailed in the civil service and now exists only in the domains of analytic philosophy and law. Even if the structure was imposed in translation no ordinary linguist would have deviated from her likely much more colloquial style.

    This is like an inversion of a fishing email…

    • Ophelia Ball

      note also that Sky News is asserting that “A UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office source said the OPCW has “explicitly confirmed our findings” and the high level of purity indicated a “highly capable state actor”.

      This is what Scientists refer to as ‘a Lie’ because the published OPCW report does not contain any reference to “a state actor”, whether highly capable or Boris-standard

  • Simon CH

    Craig is insider-informative about the deviousness of UK authority. No problems with that. Refreshing. What he writes here about the style of English used in Yulia’s statement makes sense.

    But, my friend, your credibility is undermined by your lack of objectivity. Any enemy of Her Majesty’s Government appears to be a friend of yours – including (and, it seems, preferably) Putin’s Russia. No one but the Kremlin’s manic revenge-merchant could conceivably have wanted Skripal dead, a week before the Russian elections. If I read you right, Yulia got some rogue Salisbury nurse to loan her her a phone and called her cousin, who just happened to record this unanticipated call, then pass it on to State propaganda TV? Come on, pal ! The cousin is under surveillance by Putin’s henchmen and either too scared – or complicit – to speak out. If I were Yulia I wouldn’t want her loving embrace, either.

    • Ophelia Ball

      “Putin’s henchmen”

      my friend, your credibility is undermined by your lack of objectivity

      • Sharp Ears

        That from Simon CH is just the same sort of comment as those on the Times today. There were 250 comments within an hour, mostly rushing to war.

        Copied from behind the Mr Murdoch’s paywall as I see two articles a week for free!

        Theresa May prepares Britain to launch assault on Assad regime in Syria
        . PM seeks cabinet approval for Syria attack
        . Tensions mount as US and Russia trade threats http://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/msg/1523512787.html

        There are now 951 comments. The article has been updated too.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Simon CH,

      Craig has historically been highly critical of Russia. With regards to the phone call to Yulia’s cousin, well she could probably remember the number, and of course the Russians would record it. They even recorded Ms “Fuck The EU” Victoria Nuland, and then released the conversation. I am not a fan of the EU, but I thought she was very rude, even though I generally agreed with the sentiment.

      Tony

    • Jo Dominich

      Simon CH, please do some additional research, Russia had nothing to do with this, it was just a false flat operation to create anti-russian hysteria to pave the way for the false flag attack of a chemical weapons attack in Syria to allow the USA and UK to invade Syria. Hey presto, that’s happened. What next? WWIII started by a megalomaniac in the White House and a complete buffoon as Foreign Secretary and a compelte idiot of a Prime Minister.

  • SANDRA CRAWFORD

    I note that in the Guardian today quotes from the OPCW. One of these was
    ” -The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirms the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.”
    I also note how ambiguous this statement is – confirms what? What Poaton Down scientists said? Or what May/ Johnson said?
    The article says before that “The government has said that its analysis by military experts at Porton Down showed they were affected by Novichok – a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia.”
    It is entitled “OPCW backs UK over Salisbury poisoning.”
    The article is obviously trying to mislead the reader into thinking that the Government were right, but the wording is so weaselly that unless you had read other sources, and thought carefully, you would not know that the government had lied about this.

    • Bayard

      What the OPCW report says is precisely what one would expect from an organisation being put under intense pressure to say something that they know not to be true. If they agreed that it was Novichok, why not say so? Meanwhile this lets them off the hook if it is not, because if it isn’t, then Porton Down (the UK) know it isn’t and all they are doing is confirming Porton Down’s findings.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    We all are under duress.

    It’s only Putin’s response to Trump’s bluff and bluster which is preventing a serious war.

    He also called Erdogan, the key ally, to get him to change his attitude about who caused the gas attack in Syria.

    Sure he talked to the Turikish President too about the Americans shooting down that IL-76 with all those Algerian soldiers and Polisario leaders on board for peace-making in the region. This is what Washington always does in preparation for regime change through war,

    Never thought I would see the hated Russians save our necks.

    n.

    • johnf

      The uncouth and evil Russians have quite a long history of saving our necks – 1812, The Second World War. Always our enemies in peacetime, our allies in war.

      • Jiusito

        To be fair, on both occasions they were saving their own necks, because some megalomaniac made the stupid decision to attack their country. Fortunately for us.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        As I recall, the Russians also saved the European empires during the 1848 revolutions by invading parts Austro-Hungarian empire.

  • Je

    “We are issuing the following statement on behalf of Yulia Skripal, who continues to receive police support following her release from hospital”

    When police statements are written they don’t hand out a piece of paper and a pen… and wait a few hours for the alleged criminal whoever to emerge with their statement. This may be the same sort of thing… a policeman wrote it… with prompts… and got a signature or an agreement that this was her statement.

    “Yulia Skripal Is Plainly Under Duress ”

    You don’t know that Craig. You’re making lots of inventions… like your “There is no such thing as a delayed reaction nerve agent. “… completely wrong – and I provided a link, but that assertion is still there in bold as a ‘fact’ that’s wrong… its because you know some stuff… but not as much as you think you do. Its your feeling about things, its not facts.

    • Ophelia Ball

      you and Simon CH wouldn’t by any chance have suddenly come out of the woodwork solely in order to distract the discussion from the breaking news about the OPCW report, would you? Your comments – whilst certainly relevant to Craig’s blog post – appear to be more than slightly out of context

      • Je

        I’m one of those people who doesn’t support the British government on anything. My views on who was behind the Iraq war… and the links I can’t provide on that… aren’t acceptable in this forum… I’m usually on the other side of these things…

        I don’t know stuff so I have to look things up and find what’s true… Craig said blah about the nerve agents. I looked it up – it was wrong… but that doesn’t bother people here, and his post still boldly proclaiming it.

        I’m giving my reaction to Craig’s post… and there’s a criticism about it being out of context! That’s this site on this… come up with something completely tangental…

    • Jo Dominich

      Je, it’s a contradiction in terms to say a nerve agent can be delayed. It cannot, it is a weapon used for war and for instant death. How can you build in a delay to a military grade nerve gas 10 x more powerful than VX? The only outcome is death

    • IM

      Clause 7 is very very very interesting! What exactly was this “briefing” did the UK give mass-spec of “Novichok” to the OPCW and then said “compare against *this*”?

      • Ophelia Ball

        Paragraph 7 contains No reference to Novichok:

        ‘The team was briefed on the identity of the toxic chemical identified by the United Kingdom and was able to review analytical results and data from chemical analysis of biomedical samples collected by the British authorities from the affected individuals, as well as from environmental samples collected on site’.

        The word does not appear anywhere in the report, and nor does any reference to a ‘state actor’

        • IM

          It expressly states “briefed on the identity of the toxic chemical by the [UK]” translating into plain English: we were told by the UK what this “Novichock”-thing is.

          • TJ

            No,the UK told them is was something, sheep dip or whatever and the OPCW confirmed it was sheep dip or whatever.

          • IM

            @TJ,
            “briefed on the identity” means something told us about the thing in the first place. Nowhere in the report does it say that OPCW had hi-res mass-specs of the substances independently nor that OPCW had independent knowledge of this “Novichok”

      • nevermind

        I find clause 12 to be most important, because it makes it obvious that another report, for state actors, has also been produced, very likely with more detail.

    • Iain

      Interesting that “the toxic chemical was of high purity” ( so presumably little degradation which is not usually a good property for CWs.)
      A “Military Grade” chemical would have impurities as it would be bulk manufactured ( several 1000 kilos at a time) with out any extensive purification, to maximize production. (Same would hold true if a binary CW)
      Also as “the toxic chemical was of high purity” it is obviously not very effective as no-one died.

      This could indicate that a few grams of the “toxic chemical” may have been synthesized and purified in a laboratory.
      The actual chemical synthesized may have been chosen from the “Novachok” family with the deliberate intent of using it for a one off operation. Problem being this particular members lack of effectiveness as a CW.
      Which tends to indicate that whoever synthesized it did not know which members of the “Novachok” family were the most toxic.
      If Russia were responsible you would have expected them to use something that that they knew would work.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      This is highly suspicious from the OPCW report. One would expect the samples, whether taken from eg. a door knob, park bench, vomit, human or cat blood, to be full of impurities, and not to appear as if they have just come off the chemical weapon production line, after refinement.

      11. The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities

    • snickid

      Appended is the full summary report (from https://20years.opcw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/s-1612-2018e.pdf).We don’t know what chemical is being referred to in 10 (“The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people”) – or even what “the findings of the United Kingdom” refers to. Therefore, we cannot know whether this report confirms that a novichok was used or not.
      ________________________________________________________________
      S-2018-0991(E) distributed 12/04/2018 *CS-2018-0991.E* OPCW Technical Secretariat S/1612/2018 12 April 2018 Original: ENGLISH NOTE BY THE TECHNICAL SECRETARIAT SUMMARY OF THE REPORT ON ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN SUPPORT OF A REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE BY THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND (TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE VISIT TAV/02/18)
      1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested technical assistance from the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) under subparagraph 38(e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention in relation to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical—allegedly a nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals. The Director-General decided to dispatch a team to the United Kingdom for a technical assistance visit (TAV).
      2. The TAV team deployed to the United Kingdom on 19 March for a pre-deployment and from 21 March to 23 March for a full deployment.
      3. The team received information on the medical conditions of the affected individuals, Mr Sergej Skripal, Ms Yulia Skripal, and Mr Nicholas Bailey. This included information on their acetylcholinesterase status since hospitalisation, as well as information on the treatment regime.
      4. The team was able to collect blood samples from the three affected individuals under full chain of custody for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories, and conducted identification of the three individuals against official photo-ID documents.
      5. The team was able to conduct on-site sampling of environmental samples under full chain of custody at sites identified as possible hot-spots of residual contamination. Samples were returned to the OPCW Laboratory for subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories.
      6. The team requested and received splits of samples taken by British authorities for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories. This was done for comparative purposes and to verify the analysis of the United Kingdom.
      7. The team was briefed on the identity of the toxic chemical identified by the United Kingdom and was able to review analytical results and data from chemical analysis of biomedical samples collected by the British authorities from the affected individuals, as well as from environmental samples collected on site. S/1612/2018 page 2
      8. The results of analysis of biomedical samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the exposure of the three hospitalised individuals to this toxic chemical.
      9. The results of analysis of the environmental samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the presence of this toxic chemical in the samples.
      10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.
      11. The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.
      12. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.

  • Berlin Calling

    The FAZ is reporting that the OPCW has stated that the nerve agent came from Russia.

    • Jiusito

      The BBC Radio 2 news headline said that the OPCW had confirmed it was “a Soviet nerve agent”. The brief report that followed then changed that to “Soviet-era nerve agent”. This is how disinformation is spread among the great majority of the public who don’t listen or read carefully but just come away with impressions.

  • SA

    OPCW makes an announcement which cannot be read because the website is inaccessible. So meanwhile we get second hand interpretations of what has really been said. Is this a coincidence or is it planned?

    • Ophelia Ball

      SUMMARY OF THE REPORT ON ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN SUPPORT OF A REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE BY
      THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND (TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE VISIT TAV/02/18)

      1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested technical assistance from the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) under subparagraph 38(e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention in relation to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical—allegedly a nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals. The Director-General decided to dispatch a team to the United Kingdom for a technical assistance visit (TAV).

      2. The TAV team deployed to the United Kingdom on 19 March for a pre-deployment and from 21 March to 23 March for a full deployment.

      3. The team received information on the medical conditions of the affected individuals, Mr Sergej Skripal, Ms Yulia Skripal, and Mr Nicholas Bailey. This included information on their acetylcholinesterase status since hospitalisation, as well as information on the treatment regime.

      4. The team was able to collect blood samples from the three affected individuals under full chain of custody for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories, and conducted identification of the three individuals against official photo-ID documents.

      5. The team was able to conduct on-site sampling of environmental samples under full chain of custody at sites identified as possible hot-spots of residual contamination. Samples were returned to the OPCW Laboratory for subsequent analysis by OPCW
      designated laboratories.

      6. The team requested and received splits of samples taken by British authorities for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories. This was done for comparative purposes and to verify the analysis of the United Kingdom.

      7. The team was briefed on the identity of the toxic chemical identified by the United Kingdom and was able to review analytical results and data from chemical analysis of biomedical samples collected by the British authorities from the affected individuals,
      as well as from environmental samples collected on site.

      8. The results of analysis of biomedical samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the exposure of the three hospitalised individuals to this toxic chemical.

      9. The results of analysis of the environmental samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the presence of this toxic chemical in the samples.

      10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.

      11. The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.

      12. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.

  • SO.

    NOTE BY THE TECHNICAL SECRETARIAT SUMMARY OF THE REPORT ON ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN SUPPORT OF A REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE BY THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

    (TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE VISIT TAV/02/18)

    1.
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested technical assistance from the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) under subparagraph 38(e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention in relation to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical—allegedly a nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals.
    The Director-General decided to dispatch a team to the United Kingdom for a technical assistance visit (TAV).

    2.
    The TAV team deployed to the United Kingdom on 19 March for a predeployment and from 21 March to 23 March for a full deployment.

    3.
    The team received information on the medical conditions of the affected individuals, Mr Sergej Skripal, Ms Yulia Skripal, and Mr Nicholas Bailey.
    This included information on their acetylcholinesterase status since hospitalisation, as well as information on the treatment regime.

    4.
    The team was able to collect blood samples from the three affected individuals under full chain of custody for delivery to the OP CW Laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories, and conducted identification of the three individuals against official photo-ID documents.

    5.
    The team was able to conduct on-site sampling of environmental samples under full chain of custody at sites identified as possible hot-spots of residual contamination.
    Samples were returned to the OPCW Laboratory for subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories.

    6.
    The team requested and received splits of samples taken by British authorities for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories .
    This was done for comparative purposes and to verify the analysis of the United Kingdom.

    7.
    The team was briefed on the identity of the toxic chemical identified by the United Kingdom and was able to review analytical results and data from chemical analysis of biomedical samples collected by the British authorities from the affected individuals, as well as from environmental samples collected on site.
    S/1612/2018 page 2 8.
    The results of analysis of biomedical samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the exposure of th e three hospitalised individuals to this toxic chemical.

    9.
    The results of analysis of the environmental samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the presence of this toxic chemical in the samples.

    10.
    The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.

    11.
    The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity.
    The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.

    12.
    The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.

    • SA

      Thanks for that. I couldn’t find this anywhere.

      “The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.”

      Does that include Russia?

      • snickid

        ““The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.”Does that include Russia?”
        ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

        Yes, it does. The Guardian says that Britain has the authority to release as much or as little of the OPCW report as it wants. People should demand publication of the report in full.

    • SA

      The OPCW refrains from naming the toxin they found, but confirm that it is the same as what PD found. But PD found something related to something or of the same type as that thing. But what is that thing?

      • SO.

        Dunno.

        I could tell you if i could see it’s structure so I’m very interesting in finding out.

    • Orford

      I find it interesting that the only reference in the summary to “nerve agent” is qualified by the word “allegedly”. Thereafter the notation is “toxic chemical”. Perhaps this is simply the standard manner of report presentation by OPCW, but my recollection is that Porton Down went no further than “Novichok or from that family”, which seems to leave some wiggle-room as what constitutes “family”.

      • Barden Gridge

        This sounds rather like the pattern in the NHS statement on 10 April, which at no point says that the three victims had been poisoned by a nerve agent.

        https://www.england.nhs.uk/south/2018/04/10/updates-on-the-salisbury-incident-7/

        It only says they had been exposed to a nerve agent.
        Well, everyone is probably exposed to various nerve agents every day.
        It’s a question of what kind and how much.

        The statement goes on to say:
        “We then needed to use a variety of different drugs to support the patients until they could create more enzymes to replace those affected by the poisoning. We also used specialised decontamination techniques to remove any residual toxins.”

        The NHS could probably issue the same statement perfectly truthfully if they had been treating three people who happened to get food poisoning after walking past a garden where someone was using weedkiller.

        They really are a sneaky bunch of bastards.

  • Hmmm

    If one of my cousins did that to me I’d de-friend them from Facebook at the very least…

  • Tony M

    What a complete fraud. The Tory government announced it was novichok before any possible analysis could ever possibly have taken place, even with a chemical/biological weapons factory on the doorstep and a large scale drill taking place at the same time also in the same town. And then claim it could only have come from Russia, when anyone could mix it up in their kitchen sink. Then backtrack. It’s all too pat, far too many highy improbable coincidences and leaps of bad faith for my or anyone’s liking. Now their tame ‘independent’ OPCW itself under obvious duress come out with the most woolly and imprecise conclusions possible, leaving interpretation in the hands of coke-head politicians and the Sun’s vacuous Z-list sleb correspondent moonlighting as boffin-extraordinaire.

    quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    • Ophelia Ball

      To be honest – and I profess no special knowledge about any of this – all I am able to derive from that Report is that the identity of the 3 victims was confirmed, they had been poisoned by a toxic agent, and traces of that agent were found at specific locations the OPCW inspectors were directed to

      I can’t read anything into it which points the finger in any particular direction – certainly not at Russia or any other “state actor”.

      How the British Government can interpret this as an endorsement of their decision to vilify Russia, expel diplomats and incarcerate the Skripals continues to baffle me

      • TJ

        The can interpret it that way because traitors are going to commit treason, that’s what they do, that is who they are.

    • Soothmoother

      Quite often after a court case, for instance, lawyers or police make statements on the families behalf. If you look close enough you can always find what you want to see. Just like May and BoJo did.

  • Dave G

    The Guardian is reporting the OPCW agreeing with Porton Down that it was novichok that was used in Salisbury as if it is some kind of victory for the UK in the war of words with Russia.
    But it doesn’t change anything. Nobody knows what country the novichok used in Salisbury was made in, nor the nationality of the person who administered it. And as the chemical formula for novichok is in that Russian defector’s book, any country with decent lab facilities (like the ones eight miles from the Salisbury crime scene, in Porton Down) could have made it.

    • snickid

      “The Guardian is reporting the OPCW agreeing with Porton Down that it was novichok that was used in Salisbury”
      __________________________________________________________________________________________

      The summary report doesn’t even mention ‘novichok’. It says, “The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties”. It also says, “the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people”. However, since we don’t know what the is being referred to by “the findings of the United Kingdom”, we are none the wiser.

      The obvious solution is for the British government to publish the entire report (as it is allowed to by the OPCW), and if it can’t do that, to publish all the bits which it can publish, explaining precisely why there are bits which it can’t publish.

      More light all round would be a very good idea.

  • JimmyJazz

    I want to know how much this folky chap earns for his incessant leaps into no logic, tempered with weak arsed passive aggressive swipes at other contributors to the thread.
    His probable connection to the security service is indicated by the frequency of his ‘first posts’ since the sheet sniffers will be reading everything Craig writes as he types it. A coupla years back when the graun still had CiF, any thread below an article critical of the morons in intelligence agencies would always have a post defending the derps up long before any other post.

    Does talking utter dross in a vain attempt to dis anyone questioning of the myriad cock-ups of MI5 & the SIS pay better or worse than a net based Viagra sales person cum spammer earns?
    If it pays more, is it because the derpy MI5 troll feels much grubbier at the end of a hard day sweating over a hot keyboard?

    • Ophelia Ball

      go easy on him – his Mum is probably proud of him, and the Summer Term starts next week

    • D_Majestic

      Was the same with the Indy. I once got a reply back there before I had finished typing my rant!

  • Republicofscotland

    According to this the OPCW doesn’t actually name the substance as a Novichok, nor do they assign blame.

    However the FS again has blabbered out that there’s no doubt Russia is guilty.

    In my opinion, the OPCW according to the link cannont or are not openly identifying the substance, nor blame any country in particular, however the innuendo directed at Russia is overwhelming and damaging.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/423911-opcw-skripal-russia-investigation/

  • Golubitsa

    From BBC:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43741140
    “The international chemical weapons watchdog has confirmed the UK’s analysis of the type of nerve agent used in the Russian ex-spy poisoning.
    The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons did not name the nerve agent as Novichok, but said it agreed with the UK’s findings on its identity”.

    So, that’s it then, hey? All that was confirmed is that ‘salt tasted salty’ . In other words, OPCE confirmed that BoJo and May were lying to British public.

    • Republicofscotland

      This is what the PM and FS said back then.

      UK Prime Minister Theresa May declared on March 12 that the Skripals had been poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent identified as A-234, also known as Novichok.

      How could they possibly know that? And know exactly which Novichok? In my opinion they couldn’t have known.

      Nor could it have been a deadly military nerve agent more dangerous than Sarin and VX, otherwise both the Skripals would be dead now.

      It’s beginning to look like some other state players carried out a mild attack on the Skripals, and are attempting to pin a more deadlier serious attempt on their lives to Russia. It could even be that the Skripals are not aware of anything else other than being told that Russia has tried to kill them, hence their silence and their detention.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think the return to the Skripal saga is currently unfortunate.

    Right now complete focus should be on Mrs May, Boris Johnson and the ‘what readies have their earned for their post Parliamentary bootfilling by going so hastily, unquestioningly and dutifully to war?

    My personal view now is a missile strike on the Uk Parliament is more than justified. The sockpuppets have agreed to spend billions we do not have repairing an unrepairable relic in SW1 which should consigned to a museum piece with a modern 21st century Parliament costing under 1 billion replacing it. So purely on economic grounds we should thank whoever did it…..could someone get the Mossad to organise it? They organise false flags very well, after all…..and they tend to let people know in advance to steer clear of certain places on certain dates….

    It would also send a strong message that few have gripes with British people but many have gripes with our sociopathic politicians.

    A good message to send…..

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