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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  • Robert Graham

    This whole fabricated Hollywood style fiction has been going on for some time , the Psychopaths who seem to have control of the media cant help themselves instead of the subtle inference of wrongdoing its in your face lies easily countered but its getting out there before the Truth has got its Boots on , by the time that happens Hey Presto another Drama pops up its a continuing avalanche of Dross .
    Its easy to see why this propaganda is targeted at a certain section of the population who quite frankly would believe anything just look at some of the comments in certain newspapers comment pages , i usually end up thinking ” are these people actually allowed out on their own without adult supervision ” . Its so bad its getting Scary now ,there really are people out there with batshit loony ideas who believe anything .

  • Tony M

    No chain of evidence, all samples from allegedly from Skripal family or from alleged contaminated sites were supplied to OPCW by UK.

    • Jo Dominich

      Yes Tony M – and a 3 week delay in inviting the OPCW in. Now, the report is going to be misreported as it already is being. The OPCW should have conducted the investigation from the outset but of course, the British Government didn’t want that did it?

      • Ophelia Ball

        Without yet having seen the full report (will we ever?) , I am not at all sure that the findings published so far by the OPCW will help the UK Government in any way at all

        This isn’t over yet – not by a long chalk – and I very much doubt the Russians are going to let this one slip down the Memory Hole any time soon

        • D_Majestic

          Just watched BBC’s Frank Gardner telling us, I think, that there are two reports. One is the Public report. The other is, to coin a phrase, ‘The Secret One’. Which the rest of us will have to simply take on trust. YCNMIU. Except they are doing. My money’s still very much on May not taking the military action matter before Parliament.Too risky!

      • Nasir Ali

        ‘This toxic chemical’ could be anything. How does it confirm the British narrative? Only once is the word ‘neEve’s is mentioned, it says, ‘ allegedly’ a nerve agent!

        • Kempe

          ” 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. ”

          I think that’s clear enough.

          • Bayard

            OK, How about this for a scenario:
            OPCW: Here’s the report.
            UK security operative(after reading it): It doesn’t mention Novichok.
            OPCW: That’s because the poison wasn’t Novichok.
            UKSO: The report has to say it was Novichok. That is the official line.
            OPCW: Look, you know it isn’t Novichok, what’s more, so do your scientists here at Porton Down.
            UKSO: So do you agree with the scientists about what it is?
            OPCW: Yes
            UKSO: Put that in your report and we’ll accept it.

      • Tom Smythe

        There is nothing in the report that distinguishes the chemical agent from common insecticides, such as might have been used at Skripal’s house or restaurant for vermin control.

        Note the restaurant may have been under pressure to clean up its act, as Zizzi’s Liverpool was recently fined £30,000 for rodent droppings contamination: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/zizzi-restaurant-owners-sentenced-over-12974767)

        They don’t actually say the three’s acetylcholine esterase was inhibited, suggesting only that the hospital assayed for it, according to “received information”. They don’t actually identify the door handle as contaminated opposed to the restaurant table or chairs or the park bench.

        Note the wording: in the non-custodial environmental samples, they could “demonstrate the presence of this toxic chemical” whereas the analysis of custodial biomedical samples could only “demonstrate the exposure” of the three hospitalized individuals to this toxic chemical.

        There is a huge problem here with “this”. They are saying the labs could NOT recover the chemical itself from blood or urine samples, only indirect indications of something with similar action in enzyme assays. Problem is, thousands of organophosphates would look very similar. That’s because organophosphates are quite reactive, are chemically unstable in the acetylcholine esterase active sites (leaving groups are lost), and age in various ways in the several weeks that had gone by.

        OPCW is disingenuous claiming chain of custody of the environmental samples given they had been sitting out in the rain for three weeks before they were called in on Mar 19th. They ‘surely’ meant, subsequent to OPCW taking their own.

        They go to state the specific chemical identified by Porton Down matched that in their non-custodial environmental samples and imply that it also matched that of biomedical samples, whereas as OPCW itself notes [above], they could not identify the specific chemical in those samples by mass spectrometry.

        Nowhere do they actually give any clues to the chemical identity of the agent. Nowhere do they even state it was a nerve warfare agent. Purity means little since they had no custodial samples, other than biological in which they could not possibly assess purity.

        Subsequent to the 1998 Edgewood Arsenal public domain patents and the open source Iranian peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Spectroscopy, there are no secrets involving the five common novichoks (of the several hundred synthesized according to Iglev). It is most kafkaesque that the accused is not able to view the technical report itself, even at a superficial level of naming the agent.

        The reason for this may be that L Rink stole a specific batch of a specific novichok. According to Iglev, every batch was traceable to its lab of origin, presumably like printer cartridges that have combination of colored microdots.

  • Republicofscotland

    Sky news now saying that it’s more than likely they’ll be a military strike in Syria by the US, France and Britain in the next few days.

  • Stu

    The media are running with the angle of the UK vindicated.

    However the report only states that the OPCW conclusion is in agreement with UK conclusion. However the UK conclusion has never been published.

    The only “official” UK statement is the Porton Down frontman saying “Novikock or from that family” which seems deliberately vague.

  • Ivan

    “I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves”

    – UK police on behalf of Y.Skripal

    To me – Russian, that is a strange language construction. Do you native english speakers see a contradiction here?

  • Norfolk eagle

    Well I suppose it narrows the questions down a bit. I still do not buy the door knob theory and so much still does not make sense.
    How much agent was found in the blood samples? Was it just a trace and therefore not life threatening? Given that it has been stated that no antidote was given and the agent was ” pure”, it is remarkable that they have all recovered.
    Where were they between 9am and 1pm on the Sunday morning with their phone trackers disabled? Possibly at Porton Down being given a very precise amount of agent, enough to show symptoms but no more?
    If you have a media blackout and provide no information whatsoever, outlandish theories will flourish to fill the void.

    • Folky McFolkface

      The full details of which are in the classified report which is available to state parties as detailed in para 12, including Russia. Perhaps the Russians would like to make this report public to discredit the OPCW & the UK Govt? Nope I didn’t think so!

      • Ophelia Ball

        I don’t think the Russians necessarily want to ‘discredit’ anyone – they are just interested in establishing some facts. I would be frankly astonished in they do not have something to say about it – presuming, of course, that they get a copy any time soon, rather than being blocked due to some procedural gambit

  • Thomas Bergbusch

    It could just as easily be that Ms. Skripal dictated what she wanted said to an anglophone with the writings skills to put it into clear English.

    We are right to be skeptical of the UK or US claims; we should also be careful not to jump to conclusions that exonorate Russia or implicate the UK and US.

    It may be less satisfying to abstain from judgement, but that is what is needed — acceptance of uncertainty.

    • SA

      Yes of course. The problem is that the story from beginning to end is full of holes and inconsistencies. As this has been extensively covered here and elsewhere I will leave you to do your homework.

    • MarkSpencer

      Not only the language, but also the substance of the statement is ill-fitting: so many thanks to the British side (hospital staff, specially trained officers etc.) and complete disregard for the Russian side, be it the Embassy or her own relatives (in fact, “she” sharply puts down Victoria Skripal). Even the pets are not mentioned, whose unfortunate demise must have wounded her. The decision to completely close herself off from any and all contacts is bizarre to say the least: anyone in her position would at least wish to speak to family and friends, and most would likely want to speak to the press as well.

      Judging from both language and substance, it’s more like someone dictated the text to Yulia, who then dictated it to an interpreter with high language skills… Or more likely that Yulia wasn’t involved at all, and the entire statement was composed by UK authorities.

  • SA

    It is difficult to predict what will happen. The west cannot stand down without losing face and this is a real test for Russian resolve. It is rumoured that in the first instance a limited attack on some Syrian basis and so called (non-existent) CW facilities (why haven’t the our intelligence told the OPCW where to find them?). This would serve as the threatened ‘punishment’ and with a combination of a small number of missiles getting through and the mobilisation of air assets, means limited damage to the Syrian army and save face on both sides. The danger would be if the Russians did carry out the threat to attack bases or ships, which would lead to escalation. My feeling is that Russia will try not to escalate unless thier actual bases are hit and that a limited attack on Syrian bases may be tolerated. This is my interpretation from this websites analysis:

    http://www.shaamtimes.net/103987/%D9%85%D8%A7-%D9%87%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A8-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89/

  • Tony M

    Do not mistake ‘high purity’ for high-strength, it simply means lack of impurities. It could be completely ineffectual, could be very weak in effect but still high-purity. The alleged contaminated sites could have been contaminated by the UK with anything they wanted the OPCW to find. The incapacitated Skripals could have been given very weak and almost ineffectual poison, once unconscious and carted off to hospital.

      • Barden Gridge

        Nothing in that NHS statement that says they were poisoned by a nerve agent or that the treatment they received was for poisioning by a nerve agent.

        • Rod

          As evidenced by the now missing doctor who wrote to the newspaper indicating that nobody at Salisbury hospital had been treated for nerve agent poisoning.

    • burned_carbon

      If it was ‘very weak in effect but still high purity’, could it still have been a “novichuk” nerve agent? Presumably a ‘weak-in-effect’ nerve agent would have breakdown products in the samples, in which case, it really couldn’t be considered of ‘high purity’, could it?

  • Strangerthings

    I can’t be the only pet owner who is obsessed by their animal, I can’t imagine someone who has a pet not making reference to it in their statement. I also agree it sounds like it was written by an Official who may have a lot of experience drafting correspondence but doesn’t have any experience writing something from a person. If I was writing a statement I would speak about my family first including my pet.

    • Folky McFolkface

      The pets were her father’s not hers. Do you suggest Sergei’s pets should be mentioned before or after the man himself? Or perhaps if she was going to mention a third party at all she might mention the Policeman who too was contaminated?

  • Folky McFolkface

    So, the OPCW has reported,
    Para 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. ”
    So there you have it a confirmation that this chemical is as the UK described.
    No doubt most on here will dismiss this as a conspiracy and that there is no such thing as “novichok” or of it’s code name, the details of which are in the classified report which is available to state parties as detailed in para 12, including Russia. Perhaps the Russians would like to make this report public to discredit the OPCW & the UK Govt? No? I didn’t think so!

      • Ophelia Ball

        oh, let him get on with it – he;s harmless enough. The weather outside is pretty lousy today, and you can’t keep kids couped up inside all day during the holidays: it’ll be back to Big School again next week, and then he’ll be distracted by having the sh1t kicked out of him by the Year 7’s, so we’ll probably not hear a squeak out of him from then onwards

    • Pat

      Neither portion down nor opcw have said that a novichok has been detected. You’re not very good at this are you?

    • Norfolk eagle

      All Porton Down said was that it was a nerve agent or related compound. So we need to see the full report. If it is clear that this is an agent developed in USSR no doubt it will be leaked to the British press

    • nevermind

      Folky Mc Folkface sounds just like the banned Habbakuk who just can’t let go of this blog. he’s our mucky pet that needs hosing down now and then.

    • MarkSpencer

      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

      Let’s remind ourselves of these “findings” by the UK:

      1) Porton Down – “exposure to a nerve agent or related compound… presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely
      related agent”
      .

      2) Gary Aitkenhead – “we identified that it is from this particular family and that it is a military grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured probably something only in the capabilities of a state actor”.

      Where do these findings ever say “Russia did it”? In fact, they are just as fitting for “Britain did it” (or USA, or whoever else has the capacity and motive).

      that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people

      We haven’t seen any “severely injured” people. In fact, we haven’t seen any of these three persons at all since the incident. Even according to official statements both Yulia and Bailey have not been injured at all and have only experienced temporary sickness, and Mr Skripal is getting better with no “permanent damage”.

      In short, OPCW’s assessment is even more vague than UK’s prior claims. None of these conjectures would stand in court as conclusive proof of anyone’s guilt.

    • Bayard

      “CONFIRM the findings of the United Kingdom”
      That depends on who or what is meant by “the United Kingdom”. Obviously not all of us, most likely, the scientists at Porton Down. They are the only ones who have found out anything in the area of chemical analysis. So the OPCW and Porton Down agree. That is what they are saying nothing more. That still doesn’t tell you that the poison was Novichok, and, if it was, why not say so? It would save everyone a lot of speculation. What possible motive could the OPCW have in not naming the poison as Novichok if that is what they and Porton Down agree on? On the other hand, if they and Porton Down agree that the chemical wasn’t Novichok, this is exactly the wording that would be expected.

  • Tony M

    Has anyone any news of Carla Ponsati? I’ve only skim-read today’s National and understand her extradition appeal is proceeding if not today then tomorrow? As her lawyer has said, the proceedings against her as against the other Catalan heroes is ‘grotesque’.

    • MarkSpencer

      Woops, was supposed to be in response to a guy who advised Mr Murray to buy tinfoil hats.

  • Folky McFolkface

    You can’t say that while his drones are buzzig around….. “quick he’s attacking the Queen!”
    Expect more denial, diversion and conspiracy, they don’t understand occam’s razor.

  • Adrian

    The OPCW report is careful to confirm only a “toxic chemical”. It does not confirm a “nerve agent”.

    This does bring again to mind the letter written by Stephen Davies of the NHS – which said no one had been treated for nerve agent poisoning at Salisbury District Hospital.

    • Ophelia Ball

      Oh, come on Adrian, you can’t be that slow, surely?

      You must realise by now that “Dr Stephen Davies” is an anagram of “Dead Shriven Pets” and he is no more a real person than Litvinenko’s hamster or “The White Bellends”?

  • Jack

    A special mention must be given to the Daily Mail for all those extremely humorous articles they have feverishly written up on this whole sorry tale. If it wasn’t for these, heck I think I may have actually bought into some of this stuff. Difficult to judge which particular story was the most ridiculous, but the one they put out early doors which informed us that the police were looking to trace a mysterious ‘Russian’ couple who had been captured on the towns CCTV cameras, close to where the Skripal’s were found that evening still makes me chuckle. How the f*** does one determine that anyone is ‘Russian’ from a CCTV image, never mind ‘mysterious’?

  • bj

    UK urgent cabinet meetings, UNSC meetings, half-assed tweets.
    Looks like the USUK criminals are blethering and windbagging, and are daunted by Russia’s firm stance against their warmongering rhetoric.
    I bet the Russians can’t wait to drown that pathetic UK sub. Me neither.

    • Merkin Scot

      “I bet the Russians can’t wait to drown that pathetic UK sub. Me neither.”
      .
      I rather suspect that all they will do is ‘light it up’ electronically to show that they can.

  • Barden Gridge

    Feckin FAZ corrected its original report saying the OPCW had stated that the nerve agent came from Russia.
    But now they’re saying

    “The OPCW has confirmed the information given by the British, that former Russian double-agent Sergey Skripal was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent. The OPCW experts do not say anything about the origin of the poison, but it was notable for its “high purity”.
    The OPCW does not state the name of the warfare agent.”

    This is in an article with the headline:

    ‘Boris Johnson on the Skripal affair
    “Only Russia has the means, a motive and the experience”‘

    Followed by a picture of Johnson

    http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/opcw-bestaetigt-im-fall-skripal-britische-ergebnisse-15538646.html

    • Folky McFolkface

      Have you even read the report? The details of the toxin be it “novichok” it’s code name, the details of which are in the classified report which is available to state parties as detailed in para 12, including Russia. Perhaps the Russians would like to make this report public to discredit the OPCW & the UK Govt?
      The Russians haven’t published anything.

      • Barden Gridge

        So the FAZ is a “state party” now?
        What they are publishing is conjecture. That’s good enough for you apparently.

    • Ophelia Ball

      last seen in the foyer of NatWest, banking that large cheque drawn on the Citibank branch in Langley (Virginia, not Berkshire)

  • Martin Kernick

    Doing some reading between the lines.

    The OPCW report leaves us only slightly further on. They have only confirmed that the agent they have tested is either a novichok or related agent (which is what the UK actually said).

    Novichok is a term used for a variety of compounds. Some of these compounds were originally manufactured in the Soviet Union, but have been manufactured elsewhere too – the chemical structures are in the public domain. Many countries will have manufactured them if only to develop antidotes, and, of course, they will also have manufactured related, as yet unreleased, variants. (They are supposed to tell the OPCW when they find a new one but no country ever does). So the use of the term ‘or related agent’ can refer to a similar compound for which there is no evidence that it was ever manufactured in the Soviet Union or Russia.

    However, though the OPCW statement doesn’t say what the compound is, it DOES say that the chemical structure is known and has been published in the report made available to states. This means that enough of the substance was recoverable to completely identify its structure, which would have been true when Porton Down were doing their testing, and when Porton Down said it was a novichok OR RELATED AGENT. So they know what the chemical is exactly, but they are still not willing to call it a novichok without qualifying what they are saying with the phrase OR RELATED AGENT. To me that points to a compound that is not one of the published novichoks – ie not necessarily even invented in the Soviet Union.

    • bj

      [OPCW] have only confirmed that the agent they have tested is either a novichok or related agent (which is what the UK actually said).

      Are you deliberately using ambiguity and weasel words here, or just sloppy?

      • Martin Kernick

        bj, to be precise, the OPCW’s statement only says it confirms the UK’s findings as to the nature of the compound. The UK found it to be a novichok OR SIMILAR AGENT.

        • TJ

          To be actually precise, the OPCW have confirmed that the substance tested to be the same as what the UK government told the OPCW it was, which we don’t know, it could have been completely different to what the government has told us. This aligns with the end of the summary that they aren’t naming the substance or its chemical composition i.e. not Novichok.

      • MarkSpencer

        “Ambiguity and weasel words” have been the trademark of UK’s stance on this entire affair from the very beginning. And as soon as some stooge like BoJo steps beyond the invisible line (like he did with the Die Welt interview), he’s yanked back into the “ambiguity and weasel words” area.

        OPCW’s note is an example of even greater ambiguity, as it consists basically of a rather ambiguous reference to UK’s own quite ambiguous “findings”.

        Anyway, even if the substance was found to be “a Novichok or from that family”, it points the finger less at Russia than at UK, USA and other actors with both capability and (unlike Russia) motive and form in pursuing such a provocation.

    • Ophelia Ball

      Folky, do you think that just mindlessly parroting the same vacuous gibberish over and over and over again is actually going to achieve anything? Anyway, haven’t you got some beetles to pull the legs off, or your Lego to play with or something?

    • Martin Kernick

      Folky McFolkface, it will be interesting to see what the Russians do. They may well be waiting until the UN Security Council have met before making any statement. Let’s face it, if it IS a novichok known to have been manufactured in the Soviet Union, it would be ing the UK’s interest to make its exact identity known. They haven’t done so. Either way, it wouldn’t discredit the OPCW.

  • jazza

    UK Column on the ball about this – saying we live , not in an elective democracy, rather it is a Gulag Psychiatric System – brill!

  • Soothmoother

    The report is “surprisingly” vague. Presumably the OPCW did a report on the Kim Jong-nam assassination which was more detailed or was it available only to State Parties?

  • Abulhaq

    Seeing current events within the context of Anglo-Russian Great Game of over a century ago clears the stage of clutter. Then the game was securing the way to India via Afghanistan. Spheres of influence in Iran and for the British, occupying Mesopotamia particularly Basrah, creating client states such as Saudi Arabia and Gulf emirates. This defensive ring of steel around the Russian empire attempting to push southward through the Caucasus constrained any expansionist landward plans towards the Jewel in the Crown, that great holy milch cow, India.
    Russophobia still grips the Anglo-Saxon mind and the inheritors of the existential DNA, the USA. It too imagines a ring of steel
    Russians in Syria means the nightmare of Russians in the Mediterranean and Russians in Iran means the pro-West, minority Wahhâbis feel the fear.
    With Nato member Turkey seemingly softening to Russia the ring of steel is looking feeble. Plainly time for rattling those smart weapons.

  • VanZandt

    ‘OPCW has confirmed that former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with Novichok’.

    Any which way you look at it, this can mean only one thing, that Porton Down DOES have the Novichok.

    • bj

      “Any which way you look at it, this can mean only one thing, that Porton Down DOES have the Novichok.”

      “Any which way you look at this quote, this can mean only one thing, that Porton Down DOES have the Novichok.”
      FTFY.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    In any dispute situation. it is always a good idea to imagine yourself in the position of your opponent, and think what you would do if you were him. This is true, even if the result is relatively trivial, if you want to avoid a disastrous confrontation. Even minor disputes can rapidly escalate, and even become fatal.

    So lets just suppose the roles were reversed. A small town on the outskirts of London had been infilrated with Terrorists, who kept lobbing mortar bombs into Central London (not that hard to imagine – that’s what the IRA did in the 1980’s) These Terrorists were being covertly backed by a foreign power, and being supplied, with funds, arms, ammunition, and even TV cameras. The UK Government was then accused by Russia and China, of killing around 100 small children in this small town, with Chemical Weapons. The UK Gov, responded, well we have been there, we have liberated the town from the terrorists, and there is no evidence of any chemical attack whatsoever.

    The Russians and Chinese replied, we don’t believe you, and we are sending submarines, aircraft carriers, and other launch platforms, to teach you a lesson and bomb you with hundreds of missiles.

    So the UK Government forms a Cobra meeting, and thinks what shall we do, as the submarines and ships approach. “If we wait for them to let off all their missiles, our missile defences will be completely overwhelmed.”

    “Has anyone got any good ideas?” Boris pipes up with his idea, and they all look at him as if he is completely crazy. “If we do that, we will start a nuclear war” Boris replies, “Well what’s the point in having them, if we are not prepared to use them?”

    It really is that crazy, even Blair wasn’t quite this mad.

    Tony

  • Paul

    The summary of the results as provided by the OPCW says that all three the victims indeed were exposed, From what we already know we can conclude that they were exposed to the chemical with codename A234. Apparently they also found this chemical in environmental samples. What again strikes me as remarkable is that only the Skripals and detective sergeant Mr Bailey were poisoned by the chemical and nobody else. It is known that medical personnel came in close contact with the Skripals directly after their colllapse. If Bailey attended to the Skripals directly after their collapse (as has been reported) how come he got ill while for instance the female doctor attending to the Skripals did not? We can now be sure that this nerve agent was applied but where and how and by whom? This is all still totally unclear. And of course, as should be stressed, even now there is no clue about where the nerve agent came from. The OPCW only confirms the identity of the chemical, not more.

    • TJ

      The OPCW have confirmed that the substance tested to be the same as what the UK government told the OPCW it was, which we don’t know, it could have been completely different to what the government has told us. This aligns with the end of the summary that they aren’t naming the substance or its chemical composition i.e. not Novichok. Do I have to correct everyone in this thread on simple English language comprehension?

  • TonyT16

    The rules which supposedly justify the US, UK and France to intervene in Syria surely apply equally to justifying intervention in Yemen.

    What is the difference? In both instances, the lives of the local population are being wrecked by external forces who have no business interfering and have no interest in the lives of the unfortunate people they choose to oppress, displace or slaughter.

    The only real explanation of this polarisation is that the US, UK and France receive huge amounts of money from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. For that money all three are actively engaged in the war in Yemen, and I believe that part of that money is buying our bad faith and hostility towards Syria.

  • HotFlash

    I have read reports that Ms Skripal has been offered a new identity, either in Britain or in the US, again, ‘for her own safety’, one reason given is that she has a stalker boyfriend who is ‘aligned’ with (perhaps it ‘was associated’ with? Putin. (Cue scary music).

    I concluded that she was being disappeared in plain sight. If someone wanted Skripal senior dead, why not just do it right the first time? Ms Skripal is in an awful position, they are holding her father hostage.

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