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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  • Maureen

    Can anyone clear this up
    Early on in the whole saga , I was questioning the Bellingcat’s in house chemist Dan Kaszeta about novichoks
    He pulled me up on the use of the word “toxin”

    “Also, let me clear up your terminology a bit. You use the word “toxin” incorrectly. If it is a nerve agent, by definition it isn’t a toxin.”

    The summary OPCW uses the words “nerve agent” only once ..as in “the alleged nerve agent” then drops it to use the words “Toxic chemical” five times


    So is it a nerve agent we’re talking about or not?

    Also did anyone think it odd that that Blanshard head nurse type woman described the Skripal’s symptoms as “Hallucinations and illness”

    • Ophelia Ball

      I think you perhaps misunderstood what Blanshard was saying – it was Boris and Theresa who suffered hallucinations as a result of this incident, not the Skripals

    • MarkSpencer

      “Toxic chemical” is a term from the Chemical Weapons Convention and means:

      “any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or elsewhere.

      This term is used to define chemical weapons:

      “Chemical Weapons” means the following, together or separately: (a) Toxic chemicals and their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes


      For the purpose of implementing the Convention, toxic chemicals which have been identified for the application of verification measures are listed in Schedules contained in the Annex on Chemicals.

      Porton Down referred to the “compound” as an “unscheduled chemical” (https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/sshd-v-skripal-and-another-20180322.pdf), so it wouldn’t be listed in the Annex. So officially OPCW is not aware that this compound is a “toxic chemical”.

    • SO.

      Yeah. He’s a moron basically.

      A toxin is a chemical or compound that has negative metabolic or toxic effects.

      Venoms are toxic. Poison’s are Toxic. Nerve agents are toxic

      We don’t have a metabolic “poisonousness” or venomicity.

      We use toxicity to describe the effects of a toxic compound…. which is kinda why the subject is called toxicology.

    • Jen

      Dear Maureen,

      Here is a link to Dan Kaszeta’s LinkedIn account:

      See much evidence of expertise in chemical study and research? He did a course at US Army Chemical School in Alabama in 1993.

      What did the writer Alexander Pope once say way back in 1709, writing “An Essay on Criticism”? … “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”?

  • Sharp Ears

    What a nerve. On the Forum here.

    ‘Made by Dom’ says: Please try to delete debunked conspiracy theories on this site

  • Bayleaf

    This looks very much like a TRAP. The stilted officialese style of writing leads us to draw the “obvious” conclusion, which is just too obvious. These guys already have a game-plan worked out and I think we should be looking farther than one move ahead in this game of virtual chess.

    If this is a sucker trap, “they” will allow a good head of steam to build up and, at a time of their choosing, will produce the Skripals to the waiting world. The Skripals will confirm the official conspiracy theory that it was the Russians wot dunnit and then they’ll retire with a large wodge of cash safely in the bank. Yulia’s mother is dead, so she’ll not be abandoning her. If this is how it pans out, we can reasonably conclude that this was a piece of planned theatre from the beginning and that the Skripals’ lives were never at risk.

    People should try to think several moves ahead. They certainly are, and they’re professionals at the game. People should not underestimate their guile.

    • bj

      It may yet be a trap. One that I described here a week or two(?) ago. Namely that, in passing, it has been established and commonly accepted as fact, that Iran was able to synthesize some chemical that would come close to what the UK alleges was used here. They, the Iranians, reported that dutifully to the OPCW, but that’s not the issue, if you want to point fingers and start a war.

      • Bayleaf

        The trap in this context is that by questioning the wording and then proposing that Yulia is being held against her will (“under duress”), and in fact the Skripals are actually a complicit part of the theatre, it provides an opportunity to discredit those who question the official narrative. So all the perfectly good questions about improbable timelines and dodgy doorknobs will be swept away in a coordinated media attack on “conspiracy loons”.

        So while it is correct to question her whereabouts, suggesting that she is under duress might well provide potential ammunition for the attack dogs of the press, should the need arise.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      God help us, if this lot are professionals. They are frightening the Russians to death. They have come to the conclusion, that they are all completely mad. Newsweek claim, that Russian mainstream TV, are telling the Russian population to prepare for a nuclear war. Whilst it might have been meant as a comedy show, a lot of people will not find it funny (including me).


      Russia will not capitulate. They will shoot back, if not shoot first. In situations like this people misinterpret orders and make mistakes.

      Nuclear powers escalating the situation to a hair trigger position is complete insanity.

      It is all based on lies, by psychopaths.

      • Bayard

        “Paragraph 12 explicitly states that all documents including the classified ones have been passed to all states parties.”
        Here is Para 12:
        12. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.
        It’s amazing the difference in meaning one small word (all) makes.

        • RAC

          I would add to that “passed to” would imply delivered whilst “available to” would imply it’s there if you ask for it.

  • Hatuey

    It’s clear to me that Sturgeon and the SNP are up to their eyeballs in supporting Russia and have been for several years. Look at Alex on RT, look at their opposition to any sort of military action in the Middle East, going right back to 2003, then theres the headquartering of Sputnik in Edinburgh of all places.

    Does anyone recall the SNP condemning Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Crimea?

    Most worrying and telling of all, take a look at how Scottish whisky distilleries are suddenly devoting themselves to producing vodka. Maybe Mr. Murray can explain all that.

    Is it really surprising that the SNP want to dismantle Faslane, a keystone of British defence against a Russian attack, in this context?

    I could go on all day but it’s medication time.

    • Nikko

      “Does anyone recall the SNP condemning Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Crimea?”

      Does anyone recall or has evidence that Russia actually invaded Crimea?

      • Jo Dominich

        Nikko, There isn’t any is there? The Crimean people voted to be annexed didn’t they as they were deeply unhappy with their own USA pet President. Oh how things get so distorted. There is evidence though of plenty of USA invasions into countries

      • MarkSpencer

        Annexation means “forcible transition of one state’s territory by another state”.

        Chronologically, Republic of Crimea declared independence (by a referendum, something Kosovo never had), was recognized by Russia, and then opted to join the Russian Federation. This can only be viewed as annexation by those who do not recognise Crimea’s right to secede from Ukraine – which itself seceded from the Soviet Union in 1991. But these persons should then also reject Kosovo’s right to secede from Serbia, for example (and there was no referndum in Kosovo, as opposed to Crimea). Following this line of thought, West Germany’s reunification with East Germany (no referendum either) should also be regarded as “annexaton”.

        On the other hand, Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and Golan Heights is universally acknowledged – with zero sanctions and only vapid condemnation (and firm support from the USA).

        As for the old adage of “Crimea referendum was illegal due to Russian military presence” – well, U.S. troops are present all over Europe, in Afghanistan, in Iraq etc., yet votings and elections held there are not declared to be illegal (though perhaps they should be).

      • Silvio

        Dmitry Orlov is a Russian-American (left Russia just before the fall of Communism when he was a young teenager to emigrate with his family to the USA). He runs his own blog at http://ClubOrlov.blogspot.com. He posts twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays with commentary lately being mainly on the US/Russian relationship and exploring the ongoing sparring and controversies between Russia and the West. His Tuesday posting are freely available for anyone to read, however his Thursday postings are only available to his Patreon subscribers who contribute a minimum of $1 per month.

        In his latest posting from yesterday (Thursday, therefore subscription required to view), he gives these details about recent Russian involvement in the Ukraine and Crimea:

        “You may have heard that Russia had invaded the Ukraine in 2014. Well, again, no, what happened in the Ukraine was that the constitutional government was overthrown in a violent coup, and the newly installed nationalists threatened the rights of the Russian population living in the east of the country. It had been part of Russia for many centuries, up to less than a hundred years ago, when it was reassigned from Russia to the Ukraine by Vladimir Lenin. Russia did offer it help, both political and humanitarian, but well short of invading, and has withheld political recognition.

        You may have heard that Russia had invaded and annexed Crimea. But Crimea had been part of Russia from 1783 and ended up as part of the Ukraine when the USSR fell apart (a transfer of questionable legality). After the unfortunate events of 2014 in Kiev, 97% of Crimea’s residents voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia. Russian troops, already stationed in Crimea under an international agreement, successfully kept the peace during this transfer.”

        Just as a matter of interest here is what he has to say about Russian involvement in Syria.

        “You may have heard that Russian troops are in Syria to prop up a ruthless dictator, Bashar al Assad, who uses chemical weapons against his own people. But the reason Russian troops went into Syria was to fight ISIS (a.k.a. the Islamic State or the Caliphate). You see, there were hundreds of thousands of ISIS fighters in Syria. Something like half of them were from Russia or from former Soviet republics, and the Russian language was as common within ISIS as Arabic. The Russians wisely decided that it was safer and cheaper to stamp out this scourge in Syria, rather than wait for it to spread to countries further north and closer to Russia. Saving Syria from destruction was a welcome side-effect, but the self-interested goal was to be proactive in saving Russian lives.”

        Link (will need Patreon subscription to read): http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2018/04/where-is-russian-counterpropaganda.html

        For those without a subscription to his blog, his Tuesday posting as usual is free to read and might also be of interest:

        The Importance of Looking Dangerous

        It’s a hard job being a global hegemon and the world’s sole superpower. You have to keep the entire planet in line. Every country needs to be taught its place, and kept there, by force if need be. Now and again a country or two has to be conquered or destroyed, just to teach others a lesson. Plus you have to relentlessly meddle in other countries’ politics, rigging elections so that only US-friendly candidates can win, run regime change operations and organize colored revolutions. Stop doing this, and some countries will start ignoring you. And then the rest will quickly realize that you are losing control and go their separate ways while ignoring you.

        Is the United States still the world’s greatest power, in control of the entire planet, or has that moment in history already come and gone? We are constantly hearing how the situation is becoming dire: relations between the US and NATO countries and Russia are going from bad to worse; there is a trade war going on with China; North Korea remains an intractable problem and an embarrassment. Many people maintain that we are very close to a world war. But does “very close” actually mean anything? It is quite possible to stand for hours with your toes hanging over the edge of a cliff and never jump. Suicide is a big decision: big even for a person, much bigger for a large country.


    • The OneEyedBuddha

      what are you smoking Hatuey?

      1. SNP supporting Russia? as nationalists have been denied a proper voice in UK mainstream media, do you blame then for using another platform to be heard? sure Russia are allowing it annoy the UK, but am sure the BBC world Service has done similar stuff to other countries..

      2. The SNP just parroted the UK line over Skripal poisoning, so sure that will make up for any lack of condemnation over Crimea

      3. Whiskey switching to vodka production? All the major distillers use the whiskey infrastructure in Scotland to produce and bottle other drinks as well as whiskey, been doing it for decades. Remember there are really only two major drinks companies, Diageo and Period Ricard. and under them you have everything from whiskey to vodka to gin and beer and wine!! Also (Diageo have always bottled and produced a lot of there very popular Vodka Smirnoff in Scotland)

      4. As someone who grew up 10 miles from Faslane and used to have nightmares as a 5 year old of trying to run away from nuclear attack (I never got away btw), you want them, have them moved beside your house, as a keystone of defence they are crap. The last missile test went the wrong direction, anybody I knew that worked on the subs or in RNAD Coulport (hollowed-out hill where nukes are kept) died around 40 years of age with weird cancers, (feel free to apply for a job there!!)

      also if you want a good WMD as deterrent, Chemical and Bio weapons don’t require a Nuclear reactor to make, don’t take 1000’s of years to be safe again and the warheads are a lot smaller… but apparently they are bad, but nukes and conventional weapons are cool!

      5. You replied to a previous comment of mine saying that dirty Russian money couldn’t be traced (how did Bloomberg and UK national Crime agency get those figures? a complete guess?) pretty sure is based on some real research, and even if they can trace the money that’s already came in, you can make it ALOT harder for new inflows to come in(and thus pushing up the cost of money Laundering, making it less worthwhile)

      • Hatuey

        So, the SNP with all that membership money and the technology that’s freely available in the evil West, can’t work out a way of getting its message out there without relying Russia?

        In the digital age with money moving from account to account in milliseconds, it is much harder to trace the flow and origins of money than it ever has been. I’m sure it isn’t impossible but it must come pretty close in many cases.

        Everything else you say was emotion driven and I’m not qualified to help with and deal with emotional responses.

        • The OneEyedBuddha

          “So, the SNP with all that membership money and the technology that’s freely available in the evil West, can’t work out a way of getting its message out there without relying Russia?”

          so what are you suggesting? the SNP set up its own broadcaster purely to ensure its voice can be heard without bias? or they could use other, already operating broadcasters (who are allowed to broadcast and are regulated by OFCOM) -which by the way- all the other parties do (pretty sure its not only SNP and ex-SNP politicians that appear on RT/Sputnik)

          “In the digital age with money moving from account to account in milliseconds, it is much harder to trace the flow and origins of money than it ever has been. I’m sure it isn’t impossible but it must come pretty close in many cases.”

          Just because transactions happen almost instantly, doesn’t make it easier to hide especially after MiFID reporting came in 2007. The idea of making the money disappear in a “paper trail” is old hat, all transactions are logged and reported back to Regulatory bodies (which they are audited on, also all communications are logged now (including traders company mobiles)) and with modern computing and data mining, you could trace it back with going through a mountain of papers and ledgers like the old days!

          Not saying its perfect, and money laundering still goes on in a huge scale, but if you really want untraceable money, move it in to Cryptocurrencies…

          Also sorry but where is the Emotion in this? its actual knowledge gleemed from having family that work in the drinks industry

          “3. Whiskey switching to vodka production? All the major distillers use the whiskey infrastructure in Scotland to produce and bottle other drinks as well as whiskey, been doing it for decades. Remember there are really only two major drinks companies, Diageo and Period Ricard. and under them you have everything from whiskey to vodka to gin and beer and wine!! Also (Diageo have always bottled and produced a lot of there very popular Vodka Smirnoff in Scotland)”

          Yes there is emotion in here as I (I think quite understandably) didn’t want to be nuked, but I think my point on Trident being a crap deterrent has some valid points, plus as human beings we do have emotions so why be scared to show them? don’t let them run you but they are a handy guide in some situations…

          “4. As someone who grew up 10 miles from Faslane and used to have nightmares as a 5 year old of trying to run away from nuclear attack (I never got away btw), you want them, have them moved beside your house, as a keystone of defence they are crap. The last missile test went the wrong direction, anybody I knew that worked on the subs or in RNAD Coulport (hollowed-out hill where nukes are kept) died around 40 years of age with weird cancers, (feel free to apply for a job there!!)

          also if you want a good WMD as deterrent, Chemical and Bio weapons don’t require a Nuclear reactor to make, don’t take 1000’s of years to be safe again and the warheads are a lot smaller… but apparently they are bad, but nukes and conventional weapons are cool!”

          • Hatuey

            No, I’m not suggesting the SNP set up a broadcaster. I’m suggesting they use the Internet. If some halfwhit who came 8th on America’s Got Talent can make a success of YouTube, I’m sure the SNP could too.

            And before you say “but not everyone has access to YouTube and the net”, or something of that order, you should consider how many as it stands have access to RT and subtract from that number the people who regard/dismiss it as a propaganda tool of Russia.

            I’m a Confucian existentialist so please don’t expect me to give any credence to your emotions or your inability to control or understand them for what they are.

            Wallowing in self pity and self love will get you nowhere. It wasn’t that sort of thing that got us out of the trees or facilitated the last 500 years of progress.

  • Chris Abbott

    Agreed 100%. This was not written/drafted by someone who is not mother tongue English standard. Avail? Please! As you say, it sounds as though she got a phone off someone and made the call before they knew. But if I was her, I would certainly be toeing the line demanded, in case my symptoms or those of my dad “suddenly got worse again”. There is a huge amount at stake here, not least the political survival of May, Johnson and Williamson. Haven’t heard much on it from Rudd and Hammond, or Rees-Mogg for that matter. And I wonder what UK Media reaction would be if two British citizens were similarly held incommunicado in Russia.

    • James Devine

      “And I wonder what UK Media reaction would be if two British citizens were similarly held incommunicado in Russia.”…. after we tried to kill them….

      Nothing will convince you of the UKs version of this would it?

      • Bayleaf

        What a preposterous thing to say!

        Of course we will believe the British government once (a) they have earned our trust and (b) have established a strong track record of demonstrably operating in the interests of the British public.

        Until that day arrives, the precautionary principle will remain fully in force.

        • MarkSpencer

          And (c) have provided at least a shred of actual evidence that would implicate the country they want to attack, rather than discarding all of those “rule of law”, “due process”, “innocent until proven guilty”, “beyond reasonable doubt” principles that the British system is purportedly based on, and which constantly serve as moral high ground against all those “authoritarian” nations we like to criticize so much.

      • Bayard

        Well, nothing is about what we have been given. No independently verified evidence, just statements from the very people who have produced the unlikely story in the first place.

        In any case, why should anyone be convinced? Even if you have no feelings one way or the other for the Russian or the UK government, the whole UK government version of events is so unlikely that even someone knowing nothing about politics would be sceptical.

    • Alexander Reid

      would you put her in Iraq-like prison?You know,looking at the way you people word your experience which is most likeky is based on nothing save your own kid”s saying u r fu///d/.
      What I am trying to say boils down to the simple truthfulness^

      You are being had.Me too,sure.

    • James Devine

      Why don’t they back up their claim that novichok wasn’t used?
      “The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.”
      Come on Russia publish and tell us it was flu!

        • James Devine

          Because if they didn’t have a copy they would quote the following to the OPCW…
          ““The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.”
          Unless of course they don’t want to know, because they already know.

          • Bayard

            For the umpteenth time it says the report is available to “states parties”. That means some states parties, not all. It does not mean that it has to be available to Russia.
            In any case why do you think that the non-mention of Novichok in the OPCW report doesn’t mean that the poison wasn’t Novichok, while the non-publication of the confidential part of the report by Russia means it does?
            Again, for the umpteenth time, if the poison was Novichok, why on earth didn’t the OPCW say it was? The UK government would certainly liked them to do it. Or do you think that the OPCW is under the control of the Russians and have hidden the identity of the poison in the confidential part of the report to help them? Is it not more likely that they have done this to help the UK government and not embarrass them by saying outright that it is not Novichok?

      • MarkSpencer

        To quote the relevant part:

        “the UK has never made clear what it means by saying “developed by Russia”. Neither Russia nor the Soviet Union have ever developed an agent named “Novichok”. While Soviet scientists did work on new types of chemical poisons, the word “Novichok” was introduced in the West in mid-1990s to designate a series of new chemical agents developed there on the basis of information made available by Russian expat researchers. The British insistence to use the Russian word “Novichok” is an attempt to artificially link the substance to Russia.

        Meanwhile, in a 2007 US-published handbook and a 2008 book by the defector chemist Vil Mirzayanov, detailed information on several dozen “Novichok”-type substances was published. Thereafter, this type of agents was described in numerous publications of US, Czech, Italian, Iranian, Indian researchers who, judging by their works, did actually synthesize them. Given the broad scientific literature, it is safe to say that any modern chemical laboratory is capable of synthesizing “Novichoks”.

        For these reasons, speaking of a nerve agent “of a type developed by Russia” is as relevant as speaking of all personal computers as being “of a type developed by the United States”.”

        I would add – it’s about as insane as blaming Samuel Colt for the death of every person killed by a revolver (not necessarily even a Colt).

      • Clark

        James Devine, 17:22:

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

        So if Russia published, they’d be breaching the OPCW’s classification.

      • Bayard

        It may have slipped your notice, but nothing has been seen of or heard from Yulia Skripal since she was taken into hospital, apart from one telephone call that the UK authorities themselves are saying is fake. In what way would it invalidate their story to show video footage of her, with some sort of evidence that it was contemporaneous? She doesn’t have to speak, just be seen moving about. I think we need to know that she is still alive before we can speculate what she might or might not say in an interview.

        • Andrew H

          She is going to appear. It would not even surprise me if one of the major US networks is already in contract negotiation. (I don’t know how much interest there is in this outside the UK, but its not unthinkable that this could be a dateline special). I am 100% sure, she will appear on camera and will talk freely about this experience – there must be a million broadcasters/glossy magazines lining up for an interview and show. We also haven’t heard from the doctors yet (again they are not permitted to talk about specific cases, so without Yulia’s blessing there are likely legal issues why they can’t even talk in general terms about novichok treatment because of the wide publicity of this case). – It also needs to be written up in a journal anonymously (in the form patient 1 was given xyz etc etc). All of this is going to happen over the coming weeks. [My prediction – and if i’m wrong, I’ll eat my shorts and start to have suspicions about the deep state]

          • Bayard

            Andrew H, you’re probably right, but by that time we will be at war and no-one will care.

    • MarkSpencer

      That probably depends on whether Yulia is ready to support the official narrative. So far all “victims” have been held in total isolation, which points towards certain issues in this respect.

      • James Devine

        They haven’t been held in complete isolation as the OPCW have been to visit these “victims” and take blood samples. Don’t you think they could be targeted again by whomever tried to poison or kill them (as corroborated by the OPCW today)?

        • Jo Dominich

          James, I think you will find that the Government put on a brilliant charade of going to the Court of Protection to get consent to blood samples being taken from the victims as they were allegedly in a coma and would allegedly suffer severe cognitive deficits on recovery which would render them lacking the capacity to make these decisions for itself. Now, go figure! These people were in hospital in a coma at the time. Not the case now, the case now, to all intents and purposes appears to be that Yulia is being detained by our security services with the CIA seemingly willing to offer them new identities and relocation to the USA. Yulia’s Facebook presence has been taken down completely therefore she really is incommunicado – no access to her Consulate, to her friends and to her family. Now you must find that totally and utterly suspicious musn’t you?

  • James Devine

    Craig Murray,
    Now the Russians have the details of the toxin as detailed in para 12 of the OPCW report, why don’t they publish the details and diffuse the UKs “story”?

    Para 12 “The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.”
    Come on Russia publish!

    • RAC

      What do you want them to publish? They’ve already denied knowledge of the crime. Your agenda is becoming obvious and tedious.

    • Bayard

      As someone has already pointed out, but you have chosen to ignore, being part of the OPCW means respecting the rules on confidentiality and classification, just as much as not stockpiling chemical weapons. So you want Russia to flout one part of the agreement, whilst excoriating her for flouting another part.

  • Sebastian

    I’m sure we would have heard if Yulia had succumbed to stockholm syndrome, and the allure of the role of damsel in distress rescued from the tentacles of the beast in the east. (Edward Bernays might be impressed by the skilful placement of the message in the weather report! And he wrote the book on it.)
    Six weeks is quite some time, with the use of medication.
    Problem is they know the message is being received with huge quantities of British post imperial cynicism, but it makes no difference. In the post modern, post truth,post reality, world its all fake news about fake news and has been for some time. And their script is well advanced.

  • Hatuey

    The precarious and fragile order that exists in the world may be taken for granted. When it’s gone I look forward to you all coming on here and telling us how much better your lives have become.

    First of all, nobody is saying that the global order and how it is maintained is perfect. Nobody is saying US or British foreign policy is pleasant or that it has any moral logic or consistency to it. It isn’t required to.

    Do you think when Britain, Russia, and America confronted the Nazis that they were angels? No nation state is an angel. We might encourage women and children to look and act like angels but realism, realpolitik, and reality itself would obliterate any nation state that even tried to do so.

    The truth is that the west and civilisation needs bad and imperfect men, if only to keep the other bad men from the door. It’s s fine thing to come on here and hold things up to the light, to scrutinise and judge from the comfort of your salubrious lives, but that light like so much else is only there because of provisions made and demanded on levels you dare not even contemplate.

    Secondly, is there anyone here — really? — who would choose to live in a Russian or Syrian democracy rather than any given western democracy? Is there anyone here who would choose Russian or Syrian justice over US or British justice? No.

    In objective terms, Russia is absolutely a violent, rogue state. Nobody could dispute that with any seriousness. Relative to western interests, in relative terms, it is a hindrance to stability and the global order.

    If there are angels at work in international affairs then I very much doubt that even they would shed any tears for Putin or Assad. Maybe I’m old fashioned; in the old days idealists were more discerning.

    • lysias

      When a system of government becomes visibly immoral enough, it becomes impossible for men with a conscience to support it. I suspect Russian government is better now than ours, but I am not familiar enough with conditions in Russia to be able to say that with certainty. But what I do know is that I cannot support Western governments such as they are now.

      I am a retired officer of the U.S. Navy and a veteran of the Cold War, in which I was a true believer. I thought the evils of Communism were manifest. But Russia is no longer Communist. In fact, Putin’s government seems more clearly Christian than Western governments.

      • Hatuey

        You clearly don’t understand the international system and the interactions and relations of states therein. Levels of what you are calling morality in terms of the behaviour of states within the system are determined by the culture of system as a whole.

        It follows that in different circumstances, of course, it would be appropriate for the US and others to behave differently. If peacefulness and cooperation prevailed, then, you could expect dominant states to behave more peacefully and cooperatively. So far, so simple.

        But we don’t have an international system where peacefulness and cooperation prevail. We have a system wherein competition and aggression are prevalent. Much depends on and follows from this.

        This isn’t theoretical nonsense. If you look at democracies that more or less have the same cooperative and peaceful approach to international relations, it is noteworthy that no two of them have ever gone to war with one another.

        • lysias

          It is now Russia that is defending the system of international law that I learned about in law school in the U.S. and the NATO countries that are flagrantly violating it.

          • Jo Dominich

            Iysias, you are quite correct. Also, it is true that when a Government has become so immoral and liars like ours, people have a right no longer to have faith in it. I have toured extensively around Russia and I can tell you that the Russian Government is a far better one than ours. Yes there is poverty (largely sanction-based due to western sanctions) but there is also hope. It is a fledgling democracy which has to grow slowly. What it is not is a Dictatorship. Ours is increasingly looking like a Dictatorship fuelled by the mass media which serves only these days, as a Propaganda machine for the Tory Party. What did Orwell say when considering ‘Totalitarian States’ – it is important that the media control the masses in order to control public opinion. We’ve got it right here and now!

  • Blissex

    The oxbridgian legalese of the document is pretty obvious, it looks drafted by a London lawyer.
    The most likely reason is that the Skripals are under the “duress” of a large-ish payment of cash, and have agreed to take the cash in exchange for sticking to a script, and signed a non-disclosure agreement where the text of everything they say, if they say anything, is to be written by a government lawyer and signed by them, or else they say nothing.
    Most security services quite like to buy people, it is standard operating procedure, and Skripal senior has already demonstrated his proclivity.
    As to that also remember that the english security services have saved him from russian prisons in a spy exchange, so he and his daughter should be at least grateful.

    • Jo Dominich

      Hi Blissex, wow, brilliant post. As someone posted online, Skripal seemed to have quite an expensive lifestyle, at 60yrs old he had just purchased a semi detached house – now that takes a lot of wonga – he drove a BMW, dined out in pubs and restaurants – all this on a British State Pension seemingly – gosh, I can’t wait to get mine – I’ll be a hell of a lot better off than I am now. I am not sure but, as Skripal was a double agent, it could be that he was involved in some double dealing we don’t know about. let’s not forget Yulia arrived in this country having access to $200,000 allegedly inherited from her brother. It now turns out that, although she had told her friends in Russia she worked for Pepsicola, for the past year she hasn’t and has been doing something else she would tell her friends what. She had just purchased a flat in Russia also. There seems to be an awful lot of sudden money in this family doesn’t there?

  • Alexander Reid

    i dont think that you Craig is a trustworthy kind of a former whatever/
    If you think it is possible to junk comments I reserve the fight (right)to recomment,sooner or later.

  • Моисей Гельман

    Премьер-министр Великобритании Тереза Мэй причастна к отравлению российского экс-полковника ГРУ Сергея Скрипаля.

    Так мне кажется с вероятностью не менее 51% согласно норме британского права о презумпции виновности
    Премьер-министр Великобритании Тереза Мэй, не приводя никаких объективных доводов, обвинила Россию в причастности к отравлению бывшего российского полковника ГРУ Сергея Скрипаля. Все это напомнило мне английское расследование убийства Александра Литвиненко.

    Судья сэр Роберт Оуэн, возглавлявший «общественное» расследование по засекреченному делу об отравлении Литвиненко, 21 января 2016 года представил 328-страничный отчет, в котором, в частности сказано: «Принимая во внимание все доказательства и результаты расследования, доступные мне, я прихожу к выводу, что операция по убийству Литвиненко, вероятно, была санкционирована господином Патрушевым, а также президентом Путиным». При этом он употребил слово «probably», которое на русский переводится как «вероятно». Но в британском праве «probably» трактуется как вероятность, равная не менее 51%, и такая оценка является критерием доказанности события. Иначе говоря, британским правом узаконен принцип презумпции виновности. С той же примерно вероятностью метеорологи прогнозируют погоду: то ли Солнце, то ли снег, то ли будет, то ли нет.

    Мой субъективный анализ произвольных действий служителей британской Фемиды подробно изложен в публикации «Убийство Александра Литвиненко санкционировали британский судья Роберт Оуэн и премьер-министр Соединенного Королевства Дэвид Кэмерон. Так мне кажется с вероятностью 51%…». Замечу, что шум подняли, а суд по делу так и не состоялся. Очевидно, то же ожидает и расследование отравления Скрипаля.
    Полный текст здесь http://www.promved.ru/articles/article.phtml?id=2904&nomer=98

  • Ann

    Won’t be surprised to hear her father’s ‘condition’ getting worse in next few days. Really feel her pain & isolation, this is so corrupt. What can we do?Ann

  • phildidge

    Seriously, what have you got against the UK?

    All your views are at best, opinions and nothing substantiated.

    You at first claimed before that it could not be such a military grade chemical weapon and now this has been confirmed by the OPCW.

    I expect in time, both victims will give their views to the media on air and what will you say then?

    Why not be honest to your followers on here, that you got it wrong.

    It was a military grade chemical weapon used on them

    She is not being kept under duress, as how on earth can you even claim that?

    You cannot and only speculate, based off your bias against this country.

    I dispair at people like you. You are the sort of person that would deny the Russian involvement at The Katyn massacre.

    When are you going to stop spreading false information that has no bases and is nothing more than your opinion.

    I ask you to actually present some evidence and not poor unsubstantiated claims

    • bryan Jones

      The UK government sacked him years ago. That’s what he has against them. Oh and he’s Scottish. It was over 20 years ago but he still has all these sources in the FCO?? Really ?? The FSB more like. I wonder how much they are paying him. As for all these idiots who believe this stuff, get a life or better still emigrate to Russia.

    • MarvellousMRchops

      Please do me a favour and put the patriot card back in your pocket. I’m so proud of my country and haven’t our politicians been doing such a wonderful job in the last 50 years….. ha ha ha. No NHS, no Police, no free education, housing crisis, pension crisis, food banks, austerity based on a lie, war based on a lie and in the last month totality of the MSM lying through their back teeth.
      And you “despair” at the one person who has the balls to question the “facts” with “false” information. Who made you the master?

    • Bayard

      “You at first claimed before that it could not be such a military grade chemical weapon and now this has been confirmed by the OPCW.”
      Please direct me to the words “military grade” and “weapon” in the OPCW report.

    • Andrew H

      I totally agree it is about time Craig puts an end to some of the more outrageous claims that are being made on his site. Instead of just trying to discredit the official position, perhaps he might apply his shrewd intellect to countering misinformation and innuendo being propagated here. (see below for example, that Yulia is now a war criminal)

      • Bayard

        You may be the exception, but I think Craig trusts that his readers can tell when a comment is from a complete nutcase and scroll past it.

        • Andrew H

          I have probably not explained myself well – see last para of my response to Nevermind below for another attempt. In any case, I’m probably heading back to the Guardian…. at least they believe they have principals, even if they don’t always give readers enough choices to come to their own informed opinion.

  • Tom

    There is clearly something odd going on. However, I think the stilted wording of the statement could be explained by Yulia perhaps not feeling able to communicate fully, and officials doing their best to fill in the gaps with her agreement. I think a true hoax would have been better crafted.

  • flamingo

    Yulia Skripal owes the world a frank explanation. Her circumstance has brought us to the threshold of war as it forms half of a story that includes an alleged attack in Syria. There is no right to privacy when humanity is threatened with the consequences of superpowers confronting each other.

    We are waiting for a full and frank disclosure from Yulia and Sergei and that should include the medical diagnoses and treatment strategies plus any evidences given to all authorities. Failure of the Skripals to speak openly in this dire situation goes well beyond causing a public mischief or alarm. Should there be war as a consequence, the Skripal’s silence could be a crime against humanity.

      • nevermind

        What utter rubbish, it has everything to do with Syria and this Governments flight forward into insecurity, Russophobia and very likely war.

        In relying on terror groups to do the fighting for the west, Syria has been largely destroyed, some of its population spread all over Europe. We had the temerity to carry on for 3 years without doing very much at all, feeding the war with munitions and arms paid for by Saudi head choppers and Quatar.

        Then Russia started to hit IS hard, we saw terror groups crumbling, having to be let out of lost enclaves with their families, over and over again they were free to go after their terror regime on Syria civilians, and you Andrew, are an apologist for the murder of civilians by Jaysh Ul Islam, Al Nusra and Al Quaeda.
        The west failed more than once to achieve their goals of ‘removing’ Assad, this time the rebels could not stick a large knife up someone’s backside and declare victory.

        You lost in Syria, Israel sofar lost in Syria, this Government made a cock up of Brexit by being lackadaisical with the interests of this country, they have hurt our future prospects and have no plans whatsoever apart from trying everything to stay in power.
        Russia elected Putin for another term , they are successful in Syria and then there is the world cup to come, another problem. Because we have to keep the likes of you Andrew, away from causing trouble over there for our fans, after the atmosphere was so successfully sabotaged and ruined by this crap psyop poisoning you pulled of in Salisbury, what a nutjob.

        Now we see St. terroresa, who won the last election with the help of two terror events, put on her Gangster chain and talk tough as if the Empire looms large. What a pathetic show.

        A little message to the clown Foreign secretary, ‘go away, resign you liar.’

        • Andrew H

          Perhaps you could clarify how the failure of the Skripals to speak openly is contributing to rising tensions between uk and russia? What prison sentence do you imagine they deserve for their crime against humanity of silence? Do they get time off for the period when they were in a coma?. Bare in mind, they probably know nothing beyond that were feeling dizzy, sat on a bench and woke up in hospital. Their voice will mostly be a human story of the fish that got away.

          Your accusations against me are baseless and incorrect. You will find no post from me on this forum or any other where I have supported war in either Iraq or Iran. For the record I am against any military response to the chemical attack in Douma. I don’t find the UK government position credible that they have proof of a chemical attack. I also do not find the Russian position credible that it was faked. (we’ve all heard the story of the boy who called wolf, and I ‘m afraid most of our governments are well past 3 lies). Mostly I think it is irrelevant – we should not get involved – sometimes the right choice is to impotently watch while atrocities take place. (If the uk has a role, it is offering new homes to refugees fleeing this conflict – demonstrating our humanity in the face of evil).

          All of my posts on the Skripal’s are simply about common sense and trying to separate what is obviously true (Skripal’s were poisoned) from what is debatable (who done it). If I am biased, it is against theories involving multiple actors in collusion – things like Salisbury hospital helping to stage some elaborate plot to draw us into war with Syria. (Occam’s razor says excludes such possibilities). One of the major problems facing people today (and perhaps historically) is the lack of trustworthy information, and I am afraid to say Craig isn’t filling that niche either. To try and nail this down more, I feel he has many good insights, but his overall tone is of nit-picking the governments position without ever stating what he accepts as true. On the hand he is able to categorically state that Assad didn’t drop chemicals on Douma, but is yet to unequivocally state that he accepts the Skripal’s were actually poisoned and ultimately that erodes credibility.

  • Konrad E. Wolter

    Date: Friday 13 April 2018

    Time: 1700

    Location: Downing Street, London, SW1.

    Detail: VFP members will be attending the Don’t Bomb Syria protest at Downing Street.

    Statement: The British Government is once again considering the use of military force against Syria.

    Since 2001 we have attacked; Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    We have carried out covert operations in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and numerous other countries.

    Our attacks have failed, leading to the deaths of thousands, injury to thousands more, the destruction of homes and the destruction of infrastructure.

    Our attacks have fueled a cycle of violence that will only be accelerated through further intervention.

    Bombing Syria is not the solution to the problems we face in the 21st Century.


  • 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.

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