Yulia Skripal and the Salisbury WUT 1465

It was happy to see Yulia alive and looking reasonably well yesterday, if understandably stressed. Notably, and in sharp contrast to Litvinenko, she leveled no accusations at Russia or anybody else for her poisoning. In Russian she spoke quite naturally. Of the Russian Embassy she said very simply “I am not ready, I do not want their help”. Strangely this is again translated in the Reuters subtitles by the strangulated officialese of “I do not wish to avail myself of their services”, as originally stated in the unnatural Metropolitan Police statement issued on her behalf weeks ago.

“I do not wish to avail myself of their services” is simply not a translation of what she says in Russian and totally misses the “I am not ready” opening phrase of that sentence. My conclusion is that Yulia’s statement was written by a British official and then translated to Russian for her to speak, rather than the other way round. Also that rather than translate what she said in Russian themselves for the subtitles, Reuters have subtitled using a British government script they have been given.

It would of course have been much more convincing had Sergei also been present. Duress cannot be ruled out when he is held by the British authorities. I remain extremely suspicious that, at the very first chance she got in hospital, Yulia managed to get hold of a telephone (we don’t know how, it was not her own and she has not had access to one since) and phone her cousin Viktoria, yet since then the Skripals have made no attempt to contact their family in Russia. That includes no contact to Sergei’s aged mum, Yulia’s grandmother, who Viktoria cares for. Sergei normally calles his mother – who is 89 – regularly. This lack of contact is a worrying sign that the Skripals may be prevented from free communication to the outside world. Yulia’s controlled and scripted performance makes that more rather than less likely.

It is to me particularly concerning that Yulia does not seem to have social media access. The security services have the ability to give her internet risk free through impenetrable VPN. But they appear not to have done that.

We know a little more about the Salisbury attack now:

Nobody – not Porton Down, not the OPCW – has been able to state that the nerve agent found was of Russian manufacture, a fact which the MSM continues to disgracefully fudge with “developed in Russia” phrasing. As is now well known and was reported by Iran in scientific literature, Iran synthesised five novichoks recently. More importantly, the German spying agency BND obtained novichok in the 1990s and it was studied and synthesised in several NATO countries, almost certainly including the UK and USA.

In 1998, chemical formulae for novichok were introduced into the United States NIST National Institute of Standards and Technologies Mass Spectrometry Library database by U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Defense Command, but the entry was later deleted. In 2009 Hillary Clinton instructed US diplomats to feign ignorance of novichoks, as revealed by the last paragraph of this Wikileaks released diplomatic cable.

Most telling was the Sky News interview with the head of Porton Down. Interviewer Paul Kelso repeatedly pressed Aitkenhead directly on whether the novichok could have come from Porton Down. Aitkenhead replies “There is no way, anything like that could…leave these four walls. We deal with a number of toxic substances in the work that we do, we’ve got the highest levels of security and controls”. Asked again twice, he each times says the security is so tight “the substance” could not have come from Porton Down. What Aitkenhead does NOT say is “of course it could not have come from here, we have never made it”. Indeed Aitkenhead’s repeated assertion that the security would never have let it out, is tantamount to an admission Porton Down does produce novichok.

If somebody asked you whether the lion that savaged somebody came from your garden, would you reply “Don’t be stupid, I don’t have a lion in my garden” or would you say, repeatedly, “Of course not, I have a very strong lion cage?”. Here you can see Mr Aitkenhead explain repeatedly he has a big lion cage, from 2’25” in.

So the question of where the nerve agent was made remains unresolved. The MSM has continually attempted to lie about this and affirm that all novichok is Russian made. The worst of corporate and state journalism in the UK was exposed when they took the OPCW’s report that it confirmed the findings of Porton Down and presented that as confirming the Johnson/May assertion that it was Russia, whereas the findings of Porton Down were actually – as the Aitkenhead interview stated categorically – that they could not say where it was made.

The other relatively new development is the knowledge that Skripal had not retired but was active for MI6 on gigs briefing overseas intelligence agencies about Russia. This did not increase his threat to Russia, as he told everything he knows a decade ago. But it could provide an element of annoyance that would indeed increase Russian official desire to punish him further.

But the fact he was still very much active has a far greater significance. The government slapped a D(SMA) notice on the identity of Pablo Miller, Skripal’s former MI6 handler who lives close by in Salisbury and who worked for Christopher Steele’s Orbis Intelligence at the time that Orbis produced the extremely unreliable dossier on Trump/Russia. The fact that Skripal had not retired but was still briefing on Russia, to me raises to a near certainty the likelihood that Skripal worked with Miller on the Trump dossier.

I have to say that, as a former Ambassador in the former Soviet Union trained in intelligence analysis and familiar with MI6 intelligence out of Moscow, I agree with every word of this professional dissection of the Orbis Trump dossier by Paul Roderick Gregory, irrespective of Gregory’s politics. In particular this paragraph, which Gregory wrote more than a year before the Salisbury attack, certainly applies to much of the dossier.

I have picked out just a few excerpts from the Orbis report. It was written, in my opinion, not by an ex British intelligence officer but by a Russian trained in the KGB tradition. It is full of names, dates, meetings, quarrels, and events that are hearsay (one an overheard conversation). It is a collection of “this important person” said this to “another important person.” There is no record; no informant is identified by name or by more than a generic title. The report appears to fail the veracity test in the one instance of a purported meeting in which names, dates, and location are provided. Some of the stories are so bizarre (the Rosneft bribe) that they fail the laugh test. Yet, there appears to be a desire on the part of some media and Trump opponents on both sides of the aisle to picture the Orbis report as genuine but unverifiable.

The Russian ex-intelligence officer who we know was in extremely close contact with Orbis at the time the report was written, was Sergei Skripal.

The Orbis report is mince. Skripal knew it was mince and how it was written. Skripal has a history of selling secrets to the highest bidder. The Trump camp has a lot of money. My opinion is that as the Mueller investigation stutters towards ignominious failure, Skripal became a loose end that Orbis/MI6/CIA/Clinton (take your pick) wanted tied off. That seems to me at least as likely as a Russian state assassination. To say Russia is the only possible suspect is nonsense.

The Incompetence Factor

The contradiction between the claim that the nerve agent was so pure it could only be manufactured by a state agent, and yet that it failed because it was administered in an amateur and incompetent fashion, does not bother the mainstream media. Boris Johnson claimed that the UK had evidence that Russia had a ten year programme of stockpiling secret novichok and he had a copy of a Russian assassination manual specifying administration by doorknob. Yet we are asked to believe that the Russians failed to notice that administration by doorknob does not actually work, especially in the rain. How two people both touched the doorknob in closing the door is also unexplained, as is how one policeman became poisoned by the doorknob but numerous others did not.

The explanations by establishment stooges of how this “ten times more powerful than VX” nerve agent only works very slowly, but then very quickly, if it touches the skin, and still does not actually kill you, have struck me as simply desperate. They make May’s ringing claims of a weapon of mass destruction being used on British soil appear somewhat unjustified. Weapon of Upset Tummy does not sound quite so exciting.

To paint a doorknob with something that if it touches you can kill you requires great care and much protective gear. That no strangely dressed individual has been identified by the investigation – which seems to be getting nowhere in identifying the culprit – is the key fact here. None of us know who did this. The finger-pointing at Russia by corporate and state interests seeking to stoke the Cold War is disgusting.


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1,465 thoughts on “Yulia Skripal and the Salisbury WUT

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      • snickid

        “I don’t think fake news is fake when the reporting organisation honestly (and reasonably) believes it to be true…”

        Plenty of times when the BBC reports stuff it doesn’t believe to be true. WMDs in Iraq, anyone? Iran’s current nuclear weapons programme (claimed falsely to exist but to be ‘on hold’ on the Today programme a few weeks ago; I put a complaint in, for which I am still awaiting the result).

        The Guardian is also quite an active ‘fake newser’ (so are the Telegraph and Times, of course – but they hardly even pretend to be honest news outlets).

      • Republicofscotland

        Or the broadcasters could’ve been in on it. Either way this botched debacle hightlights the know machinations, of the US highly influenced Ukrainians.

      • SA

        So Kempe and Martinned, we all now agree that it is not the Russians who only stage events and fake news?
        Actually in this year the count for fake news and events is West and acolytes 3 , Russia nil.

          • SA

            Call it what you want but it was a manufactured entrapment so badly botched up that there is a lot of egg on many faces.

          • SA

            The so called ‘sting’ operation could also be called false flag. But the fake news is the authoritative analysis that was immediately regurgitated by the BBC.

          • SA

            Even the BBC is now bemoaning that this will now help Russia in exposing the concerted Russophobia campaign. The subcontractors here unfortunately were not so slick.

          • Kempe

            One arrest has been made and the life of an innocent man saved. I wouldn’t call that botched.

            It’s certainly got the Putinbots rattled.

          • SA

            An arrest was made and an innocent man was saved from fake bullets. I would call this a stunt, perhaps becoming of theatre or circus. As to Ekhlas is rattled, the use of the term ‘Putibot’ indicates that you are the one who is rattled and using knee jerk insults.

          • Dave Lawton

            Kemp are you that stupid surely not.Because it was stupid stunt and they could live to regret it because it seems they have never read Aesop`s fable the boy who cried wolf and in the story it showed what happened after that silly game.

    • Andyoldlabour

      That is going to be a severe kick in the nuts for the MSM who try to push the Ukraine whiter than white angle. Although to be fair, whiter than white does sum up their love of Facist/white supremacist groups.

    • John Goss

      “KGB must be losing his killer’s skill”

      I’m inclined to think FSU might have agents behind the Glushkov murder (and that of Berezovsky).


      The method appears to be the same – strangulation. Unfortunately this is a real attempted murder, rather more successfully executed than the Skripal pantomime. It is as though Russia said “You want a murder, we’ll give you one.” I could be wrong of course.

      Bill Browder should be able to sleep quite easily since he only owes about £16 million in unpaid taxes, which is peanuts to the Berezovsky/Abramovich/Glushkov milkings of Russia and Russian small investors in the “loans for shares” deal.

      • John Goss

        I should have said:

        “Bill Browder should be able to sleep quite easily since he only owes about £16 million in unpaid taxes, which is peanuts to the Berezovsky/Abramovich/Glushkov milkings of Russia and Russian small investors in the “loans for shares” deal and other financial jiggery-pokery.

  • Tatyana

    there are 101 entries in russian news on Babchenko topic

    At 5 o’clock in the morning police came to his house to check cameras, in the evening he was shot (3 bullets into his back, why none in the head?). Later he is reported dead.
    The next day police detains a man in the street
    I can’t make out, why at all they staged a murder? Gave several hours to the suspect assassin to call the organizer and say it is not his action?
    It is said that the suspect was offered $ 30 000 to kill 30 persons in Ukraine. Unbelievable money for serial assassination.

    • Bayard

      “As it’s gone quiet (too quiet perhaps)”
      Pleasantly quiet: all the usual suspects have moved to the next post, leaving only those here who are actually interested in the Skripal affair.

  • Tom Smythe

    Summarizing what, if anything, we learned from the Newsnight interviews of Salisbury Hospital staff:

    — hospital confirms later DS Nick Bailey admission on with similar symptoms.
    — the time of transfer of Skripals from ICU to hospital ward is not clear but sounds like early on
    — pinpoint pupils reported by bystander confirmed, consistent with both opioids and organophosphates, inconsistent with AChE receptor poisons such as BZ
    — unclear when treatment switched from opioid suspicion to OP diagnosis, atropine either way, available already in ambulance.
    — no mention of gastric lavage, hospital had no idea whether peroral vs respiratory vs percutaneous.
    — time of change from initial endotrachial breathing tube to tracheostomy not clear. “Over time, sedation was reduced and ventilation switched from the mouth to the trachea.”

    — Dr Dukes: symptoms range very small pupils and profuse sweating to diarrhea, urinary incontinence, low blood pressure, falling heart rate

    — Dr Murray: “The vast majority of the improvement and the success… were attributable to the very good generic, basic critical care.” Which is to say, nothing specific to the specific OP, no magical antidote to prevent ‘aging’ of agent on the serine, no mention of BChE sponging of left-over OP.

    — Hospital states much of the stay is waiting around for the ACHE gene to make more AChE protein (which has a fairly rapid turnover like almost all human proteins) to replace inoperative AChE. As with any irreversibly covalently bound organophosphate

    — Dr Murray makes a good point on OP poisoning kinetics (what I was early calling Peak Symptoms): they had no idea initially whether symptoms were just getting underway or had already peaked. They were already in dire straits at the bench; Yulia would have died there without re-positioning by the passerby physician.

    — One of the drs offered an alternative explanation for long-term sedation: to reduce brain signaling resulting in downstream neurotransmitter pile-up. (Plasma drips, catheters, oral intubation, and tracheostomy tubes are genuine nuisances but not invasive nor painful — Skripals were already unconscious, why sedate. People go home with the latter and maintain them for months.)

    The only thing of interest from a biomedical standpoint: “Once the Skripals were stable and able to speak, the key concern for medical staff was how their production of the key enzyme acetylcholinesterase – needed to re-establish their normal body functions – could be stimulated.”

    Stimulate gene expression? Whoa … that sounds like they gave the Skripals retinoic acid. There is a limited basis for that but experimental medicine (with no controls) for two patients well into recovery?

    “Regulation of Human Acetylcholinesterase Gene Expression
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4899-1051-6_13 [1995[

    …Retinoic acid treatment of NT2/D1 cells induces AChE enzyme activity greater than 30 fold and mRNA levels 50 fold, while the rate of gene transcription remains unchanged. These data indicate ACHE transcription is activated by SP1 or similar factors, AP-2 represses ACHE transcription in vitro, and mRNA levels are controlled by changes in mRNA stability.”

    • FB

      Here is a simple question…

      Why did the doctors at Salisbury diagnose initially as opioid overdose…?

      If they were poisoned by an organophosphate [either a nerve agent or agricultural] how is it that they did not diagnose that…?

      The small pupils are a symptom common to both, but that is where the similarity ends…

  • SA

    I think it is extremely important in these controversies to keep a clear head and not fall into diversions. Some of the medical facts that have been discussed here fall into that category. This I have to start by disagreeing with Craig about his use of the term WUT to describe what three individuals went through medically.
    There is no doubt in my mind that three individuals suffered serious poisoning in Salisbury and that all three recovered. What they were poisoned with is not entirely clear but they were all saved by modern medicine and the NHS. Intensive care has advanced very rapidly in the last few years, helped and supported by availability of monitoring facilities, laboratory, imaging and electronic monitoring and so on. It is therefore not entirely unlikely that modern medicine can save people with serious conditions that were considered untreatable a few years ago. This is also why this recent news night coverage was important for the government and its argument.
    The focus should therefore be on other background factors and these are still multiple. Interestingly one of the major sources of information dealing with nerve agents in the world comes from PD. Over a period of about 33 years from 1953 to 1986, PD carried out controlled experiments on several hundred ‘volunteers ‘ mainly from the forces, in the name of understanding how to deal with CW. The results have been published and available in medical literature. These include one well known fatality, so it is in a way not surprising that these three have survived with the unique expertise available next door.
    The inconsistencies in the story however lie elsewhere as has been pointed out extensively in this blog and others.

    • Tom Smythe

      I’m not following you. The devil is in the scientific details — they’re much much harder to fake, even the smallest.

      As the chief doctor said, this had nothing to do with modern medicine. There was no imaging. Atropine has been in use since the 4th century BCE. Tracheostomies are shown on Egyptian clay tablets. The Skripals would have gotten nearly identical nursing care fifty years ago.

      A couple dozen theories have been presented here and elsewhere, sometimes with great certainty mixed with equal measures of intolerance to other views and indifference to conflicting details. Quite a few of these theories are inconsistent — ruled out in fact — by these first post-bench medical statements from other than Met Police.

      Yes it was an orchestrated public relations follow-up to Yulia’s appearance. Yes, some of the staff were speaking in generalities of OP poisoning rather to the cases at hand. No, this many medical professionals aren’t plausible lying through their teeth. No, we haven’t gotten clarification of Dr Steven Davies’ letter to the Times.

      No one at Salisbury Hospital mentioned novichoks. No one there would be familiar with specifics of their chemistry. The hospital lab would not have the instruments or staff to identify complex trace organic compounds. The differential diagnosis was limited to opioid vs organophosphate, no farther. A&E is very familiar with both opioid and ag OP insecticide poisoning. BZ and fentanyl are ruled out. Fakery is ruled out; DS Nick Bailey ruled in as collateral damage. This represents moderate progress.

      Which OP: insecticide, classical nerve gas, novel novichok? Who did the deed, with what, on whose orders? No credible information has been put in the public domain on those.

      • SA

        I think you make strange claims. Not having possession of how exactly what they were treated with and how, you make some claims that all available treatment given was from the 5th century. It is exactly these wild claims that I am warning against, there are enough holes in the rest of the story to make this into a diversion which then is easy to refute.
        The difference between intensive care medicine in 2018 and 5th century medicine is that we are better at sustaining patients on life support for longer until they recover. I do not know how much knowledge you have or if you have ever stepped into a modern ITU. Concerning ‘antidotes’. This term usually means a substance that reverses or blocks the effect of a poison and is usually specific to that poison. Administration of such antidotes at the early stages of a poisoning can mitigate against the action of that poison by neutralising any further effect. However, when no such antidote exists, the poison will run its full course and be eliminated or metabolised and the organism, the human body can then start remaking the enzymes or other elements affected by the poison. It is in this crucial time when the body function is affected that sustaining vital functions, such as heart beat, respiration, detoxification function such as dialysis are maintained artificially. Deep induced coma is also often used in these stages of the process. These are the modern advances (equipment, monitoring, drugs, training etc…) that have led to increased survival where this was not achievable before.
        Now there are enough holes in the official stories to pick rather than these allegations and innuendos that all scientists and doctors are conspiring with the government. Of course there are restrictions slapped on by governments but in essence the medical story is consistent with current developments.

      • SA

        And incidentally it does not matter at all which poison is used for this sustaining treatment to be used until recovery.
        The most bizarre unexplained facts in this case for me are:
        1. When and how were the Skripals and DS Bailey poisoned? The door knob hypothesis is total untenable and no plausible explanation has been made.
        2. The initial response was muted even after it was alleged that a nerve agent was used. This included advise to citizens of Salisbury and the initial juxtaposition of people in hazmat gear with ordinarily clothed police officers. The advice about baby wipes was derisory. This was then followed up weeks later by an overreaction but this overreaction appeared to be centred around objects and not people.
        3. To this day there is no suspect and no measures taken to stop suspects from leaving the country at that time. This is very curious if you take the line that this was a terror attack, surely the priority was to apprehend suspects especially someone on the loose with a supposedly dangerous nerve agent. This to me is the most bizarre fact of the whole matter.
        Please do not misunderstand me. I am no defender if the official line, just careful not to mix up things and chase loose ends that seek to divert.

        • Tom Smythe

          I still am not following you in the slightest. You are imaging divergence, then repeating exactly what I wrote. Look back a few posts, people are scribbling about it not really being Yulia, the scar being fake plastic surgery, the Skripals volunteering for near-death experiences for $$$, DS Bailey never being poisoned, on and on. That is what I am addressing and it needs to be addressed.

          The interviews provided significant new information. Not the greatest, not what we wanted, not what we needed to fully resolve the matter, but enough to winnow down theories. We have to work with what we are given, rare trickle-downed clues with no questions taken. It is way outside the hospital’s remit to name culprits You seem frustrated with small progress and lack of answers to the big questions but then we all are.

          Clinical medicine … after a brief stay in A&E, it was routine nursing care here as far as we know. You are confusing possible medical heroics with what was reported, contradicting the chief of surgery who says there were none. There is no mention of dialysis or transfusions, the reason being they have been tried and found ineffectual with organophosphate poisoning for reasons that I explained in detail earlier. There is vast experience with OP in agricultural workers and also with OP chemical warfare experiments on soldiers.

          Bizarre that you fret about ‘someone on the loose with a nerve agent’ but can’t connect the dots to the Skripal treatment details which might really be needed later on. Have you not read Prof Collum’s instructions for home synthesis of novichok-like OPs? Anyone can make them and a lot of countries have.

          The drs did make an interesting point, effectively pooh-poohing the idea that Porton Down played a significant role, talking instead about international consultants and listening to all but reserving all responsibility for clinical care to themselves.

          The topic here is not a general theory of antidotes but specific antidotes to specific organophosphates targeting a unique human protein. While that seems terribly narrow, there are many hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles on just that topic. Go back and read earlier sections where we discussed these in some thirty posts.

          For example, a great deal is known about small molecules binding to the 3D structure of the active site of AChE, many tens of millions of dollars have been spent on that alone. Do you understand the scientific reasoning behind that level of funding? Do you understand how peculiar that active site is among human enzymes? Do you think it is advisable to skip over research entirely, substituting personal theories?

          The treatment details and patient response provide incredibly important clues to the plausibility of novichok A-234. That’s central to the whole Russian blame game, hardly a divergence.

          Points 1-3 are well-taken and have been raised here dozens of times by others, notably that the door handle scheme cannot possibly result in near-simultaneous abrupt onset several hours later in two such physiologically different people. The contamination clean-up seems to have been hastily concocted theatre, all those swipes put in bags now sitting in the police evidence warehouse, untested as far as we know with no reason to test them really.

          The Russian embassy ridiculed the investigation early on, saying Sherlock Holmes must be rolling over in his grave. However it is one thing to reject the desperate nonsense of the door handle and another to explain what really happened, especially considering DS Bailey, who has not resurfaced nearly 90 days after release from the hospital.

          Again, we got important confirmation from the hospital yesterday that he too was poisoned by the same (?) OP. About the only theory left standing is Market Walk spray, with Bailey catching a bit of ‘pesticide drift’. A king’s ransom just spent on Salisbury cctv and none of it released? Since it was not plausibly a Russian state actor, the UK is not looking too hard for the culprit, as someone else only undercuts the Russian bashing, so the culprit has no reason to flee.

          I would add a #4 to your list: how did it happen that the US had a list of 60 Russian diplomats all ready to expel, more than all the poodle countries combined? The US assassinates people quite regularly, why the sudden concern about Russia maybe assassinating one of their own.

          • Jiusito

            Tom and SA, you both seem to be clinically knowledgeable. Can you tell me: should we be surprised that a woman who has been brought back from death’s door by an induced coma and a lot of painful invasive treatment should look so (if I can put it this way) sleek and plump? Wouldn’t she look even a little haggard?

            Forgive me for asking if it’s a stupid question. Maybe it’s already been commented on.

          • SA

            Not a stupid question at all. It really depends on several factors. If she was previously young and healthy and there has been little organ damage through her being in ITU, she could make a good recovery. It has been commented from her photos that she seems to have lost some weight. As to her father, it seems that he may have suffered more as he took longer to recover. He is also much older and I believe was diabetic.

          • Jiusito

            Thank you, SA. If you do a Google image search for Yulia, I honestly can’t detect the slightest difference in her appearance before and after her near-death and her weeks in intensive care.

            I was very struck by the sample videos, posted (IIRC) near the top of this thread, that demonstrated how convincingly video can be doctored, with one person’s facial movements being imposed on the features of another. It would have been easy to prove that it was Yulia in the video, I would have thought, by showing the tattoos on her right shoulder; but the dress she wore primly covered her shoulders. It’s all very odd.

          • Sean Lamb

            Jiusito: “Tom and SA, you both seem to be clinically knowledgeable”

            I don’t think they are – at least Tom Smythe certainly. He just has some scientific training which he pads out with a lot of fudging, For instance he doesn’t seem aware that fetanyl is an opioid.

            The reason Yulia Skripal looks so well is the only thing she has really suffered from is a profound bout of heavy sedation – initially in Salisbury (either BZ and fetanyl) and then in the hospital.

            As far as I can tell the scientists in Porton Down were acting in good faith, the medical staff were acting in good faith, albeit probably in a panic. The police and intelligence who immediately swooped in were not acting in good faith.

            BZ incapacitation would only last 3-4 days, so intelligence needed to work out the medical staff quickly before the two woke up. If police were spiking diagnosis EDTA blood collection tubes with A-234, this would both result in Porton Down detecting A-234 in good faith – it would also result in a completely diminished acetylcholinesterase enzyme levels. So police and intelligence needed to get a diagnosis of nerve agent poisoning to medical staff within three days and persuade them that the only treatment course was assisted ventilation and heavy sedation. And the medical staff would be sufficiently panicked and alarmed that they would readily accept outside expertise.

            The Skripals then would remain under heavy sedation until their acetyhcholinesterase activity levels improved – and since this was entirely controlled by the amount of A-234 being spiked into blood collection tubes, this was entirely under control of the police. Once they stopped spiking novichoks in, diagnostic assays would determined enzyme levels were back to normal, heavy sedation could be ceased and the patients would regain consciousness.

            So the “excellent medical treatment” they received was just unnecessarily being kept unconscious by the drugs the doctors were pumping into them.

          • SA

            “So police and intelligence needed to get a diagnosis of nerve agent poisoning to medical staff within three days and persuade them that the only treatment course was assisted ventilation and heavy sedation. And the medical staff would be sufficiently panicked and alarmed that they would readily accept outside expertise.”

            Sean, I am not sure you know what you are talking about. Medical diagnosis is based on clinical observations not on advice by outside experts. Spiking EDTA tubes by police is also fanciful, EDTA stock tubes in hospital would not be handled by the police, unless you are now proposing that the police were involved in direct clinical care.

          • Sean Lamb

            “unless you are now proposing that the police were involved in direct clinical care.”

            Well, they say they were – “for security” you understand. This is one instance I am inclined to take them at their word:

            “But when police became aware of Mr Skripal’s former career as a Russian spy, they told the hospital and discussed the possibility that he may have been the victim of a targeted attack.A major incident was declared at the hospital and police moved in to protect the Skripals.” [BBC]

            And the doctors also admit they were dependant on outside experts:
            “The hospital received advice and help processing tests from international experts including from the Porton Down defence research laboratory, renowned for its chemical weapons expertise, said Murray.” [Guadian]

            In general when someone is in a coma for many weeks it is because they have experienced oxygen deprivation from respiratory arrest and suffered some level of brain damage. In order words the nerve agent will have been cleared, enzyme levels restored but the body is still trying to recover from damage it has caused. This doesn’t seem to have happened here – there seems to be a heavy emphasis on “heavy sedation” and “restoring acetylcholinesterase activity levels”

          • SA

            Switching EDTA tubes laced with A231 or whatever. This is the sort of talk that gives conspiracy theories a bad name.
            Sean if I were you I would stick to what you know. Hospitals don’t work like that. If you saw the interview on newsnoght you will have seen that the doctor said that they sought advice but ultimately were guided by what their clinical judgment dictated. Police protection in hospital means a policeman or woman sitting in the ward by the exit but not meddling with EDTA tubes. It happens everyday in hospitals as either a victim protection measure or in case of a victim being a criminal or suspected criminal.
            It is common to start blaming professionals as colluding with authorities, a road ultimately leading to refusal of vaccines or any progress, as a conspiracy. This as I pointed out is a distraction, if we stick to some basic facts the government story has so many other holes without trying to make up some more.

          • Sean Lamb

            So if I understand you correctly the idea that MI6 – terrified that Sergei was suddenly going to develop a conscience and blow the whistle on the Steele dossier (which there is absolutely no evidence he had a hand in) – decided their only course of action was to poison him and his daughter with an exotic nerve agent that initially appears identical to an opioid overdose, yet leaves them both with no detectable signs of brain impairment after weeks in a coma, is the height of rationality.

            But the idea that MI5 might have helpfully inserted themselves between Salisbury ICU and Porton Down and spiked small quantities of A-234 into blood collection tubes is completely insane?


  • Tatyana

    Syria, chemical attack – witnesses are alive and go to the OPCW press conference in Hague
    Salisbury – both Skripals are alive
    Babchenko – alive
    I wonder, if Berezovsky is alive too? Galina Sapozhnikova says his grave is very modest and abandoned, having 3 wives and several children – it is extremely strange! It also could explane why his wives smiled at his funeral.

    • J

      Regarding the Babchenko story, I can’t find a plausible reason for Ukraine to willingly inflict so much damage to their credibiliy. And the ripples have spread far and wide. If the intention had been to injure the west’s propaganda machinery, they couldn’t have done a better job of it.

      • Tatyana

        Unbelievable news on this case today! The person detained is Boris German, the executive director of joint Germany-Ukraine weapons facility “Schmeisser”. Supposedly he took $40k to keep $10k for himself and to hire a killer for the rest of money.
        Official report by Ukraine security service https://ssu.gov.ua/ua/news/1/category/2/view/4857#.VU2XP31e.dpbs
        Lawyer defending him in the court https://www.facebook.com/andriysmyrnov sais his client knows only Security officer and his phone number.
        Babchenko himself says Security Service asked him to take part in staging, he doesn’t know if there are any russians in the case.

          • Bayard

            Would you care to summarise what is said on that link? My Russian is non-existent and Google translate doesn’t do a good enough job for me to understand the text.

          • Tatyana

            Ukrainian State Security Service (SBU) claims they carried a special operation to discover Russian secret service’s (Rus) intention to kill Babchenko and 30 more ukrainian citizens, and to stock weapons in several hidden places in Ukraine for terroristic purposes.

            “Victim” – Babchenko is russian citizen, journalist, he received threats after his (rather unhuman must I say) reviews on some facts. Moved to Czech republic, then to Israel and settled in Ukraine at last, Putin hater. Babchenko says SBU asked him to participate in the operation about a month ago and he agreed. His ‘death’ was widely discussed and Russia was blamed of it immediately.

            “Rus-Ukr link” – Boris German, the person who hired the killer, is the executive director of “Schmeisser” joint Ukraine-Germany weapons facility. Supposedly he is paid by Rus, but according to his lawyer in the court, the only contact details of “the organizer” are phone number and the name of a SBU officer.

            “Killer” – Alexei Zimbaluk, Ukrainian patriot, former soldier in Donbass, there are a lot of photos and shares of rasist actions at his Facebook, like Ku Klux Klan dress with national ukrainian embroidery or beating “чебуреки” at a market place. Russia hater. He says he was hired by Boris German to kill Babchenko and went directly to SBU with this info from the very beginning.

            SBU said the purpose of the staged Babchenko death was to get the payment as an irrefutable proof.
            There’s a video record of money passing, dated April 27, made by secret camera, I suppose it was the “killer” who shot the video. I can’t understand why didn’t they arrest German the same moment and why they at all staged Babchenko death on May 29?
            Anyway, today’s news – Prosecutor in the court rejected Boris Cerrman’s claim about his connection with SBU.

          • Tatyana

            long story short – all participants were sure they are working on SBU operation 🙂 Putin haters are cleared of any suspicions, but not the director of the weapons facility. Though he is also Ukrainian patriot, he was Ukraine army supplier.

          • Tatyana

            And that’s explanation of possible russian involvement – there are Babchenko passport details in the ‘dossier’ for killer. Nobody but russian secret service could ever get it!

          • Bayard

            So it was an SBU “sting” operation all along. It’s a pity, for the Russophobes, that the SBU didn’t anticipate the embarrassment that the operation could cause in the Russophobic media. Perhaps they did and just didn’t care.

          • Tatyana

            I’m sorry, the lawyer defendant of Boris German exact words:

            “…задержанный подозреваемый в деле Бабченко настойчиво заявляет, что заказчиком всего происходящего было МВД, называет анкетные данные конкретного куратора и его номер телефона.
            Но следствие непоколебимо и в вручённом подозрении заказчик «неустановленное следствием лицо»…
            …UPD: вношу коррективы по «заказчику». Не МВД, а ДКР – Департамент контрразведки СБУ.”

            “…detained suspect in Babchenko case insistently declares that the customer of all events was Ministry of Home Affairs, he tells personal data of the defined curator and his phone number.
            But the inquiry insists on “unknown person” in their document (notice of suspicion).
            …UPD: I make adjustments to the “customer”. Not the Home Affairs Ministry, but DKR – counter-intelligence Department of SBU.”

          • Bayard

            “SBU said the purpose of the staged Babchenko death was to get the payment as an irrefutable proof.”

            That seems bizarre. How can the payment be “irrefutable proof” that the FSB was responsible? I would have thought it was what spies learned in spy school on day 1, how to make an untraceable cash payment to someone. Either the SBU think the FSB are stupid or this was another elaborate disinformation operation.

          • Tatyana

            I don’t know, SBU also said they don’t disclose all information now, because investigation is still ongoing.
            German says he was ‘invited’ into the operation. And this claim corresponds with what he’s done – ‘hired’ one of ultimate russia-hater to ‘kill’ another russia-hater. If only German worked for Russia, this is a very strange choice!

          • Tatyana

            and for those, who are still interested – Boris German claims today in the court that he had been working for 6 months on the secret operation to discover russian criminal activity in Ukraine.
            Putin has his private fund, kremlin representative in Ukraine is Vyacheslav Pivovarnik, Putin funds the ukrainian party “Розумна сила” and highly likely Sergei Pashinsky.
            I think, that is the goal of the staged murder – to attract international attantion to the case and to make this claim. Ukraine begins pre-election campaign this autumn.

    • lenka.penka

      I wonder, if Berezovsky is alive too?

      Probably not… his mouth is too loud and we would have heard something by now… unless he is in captivity 🙂

  • truthwillout

    Like everyone else with an enquiring mind, I’ve been trying to make sense of the Skripals poisoning and recovery for months. Thank you Tom Smythe for your excellent summary, and it has set off some off my own almost redundant neurones.

    It didn’t really sink in about an organophosphate being responsible, until I watched the Newsnight programme the other night. I don’t know how many people here are aware of this, but there was quite a plausible theory going around at the time of BSE that organophosphates were the real cause. This was because cows reared organically failed to get BSE. When Tony Blair got elected, there was going to be a full public enquiry about BSE, but that never really happened. Indeed, that was the first of many disappointments with the Blair government.

    Could the sensitivity about organophosphate use in fertilisers be a factor in this case? I know this is a bit of a curve-ball, but it is good to read so much sensible scientific dialogue on this thread, and to see speculative theories without evidence being but to bed.

      • truthwillout

        Pesticides are the normal use of organophosphates, and Salisbury is a rural area. I should imagine that Salisbury hospital staff would be well prepared for such poisoning and would have atropine “at the ready” for the characteristic symptoms described. Yet I haven’t read this anywhere.

        • Tony

          The medical staff state that the Skripals were treated as opioid overdose, thus the treatment would have been to give Naloxone, which blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. It was the Tuesday when they changed to OP, the giving of Atropine only prevents the nerve agent binding to the receptor, it is unable to free any that have already done so. Given the amount time between exposure and recognition, it would seem unlikely that Atropine would have been of any benefit.

          However the US as patented a method of using galantamine as a treatment for animals exposed to Novichoks

          • truthwillout

            In that case, Tony, it appears that there was an initial misdiagnosis, despite the reported OP poisoning symptoms (e.g. pinprick eyes), and it is even more of a miracle that they survived. It is the enzyme blocking effect that would have done the damage, allowing acetylcholine levels to go out of control. I suppose that wouldn’t have been confirmed until lab analysis had come back on Tuesday. Still so much doubt, but the Newsnight program was helpful and I’ll watch it again. OP poisoning into the blood from an aerosol would have had a pretty instant effect, but ingestion and poisoning via stomach… perhaps about half an hour later. Back to Zizzis?

    • flatulence

      The deep state may well be sensitive to stories on organophosphates (OPs). Farmers were forced to use a specific sheep dip (OP) by law which destroyed thousands of families by killing or permanently crippling some of the people who came into contact with it. Some believe there was a conspiracy to test these OPs on the farmers etc, more believe there has at least been a cover up.

      Looking back the news stories seem quite recent, maybe 2015, but I thought I’d read that this has been going on since the war. Cold war seems more likely though, because ‘they’ probably acquired some nice new OP formulae to play with then.

  • Monster

    After her catastrophic Salisbury false flag May is considering another fantastic stunt that will sink the World Cup once and for all. She wants MI5 to carry out a raid on the Skripals’ luxury prison in Hampstead, kill a few minders, leave the Skripals unharmed and escape into obscurity. May will then announce that the Russians did it and failed. I am not joking.

    • truthwillout

      It was a resounding success, Monster (!) “Sexing up” the Salisbury incident has given the Tories a 3 point lead in the opinion polls, whereas they were 4 points behind Labour pre-Salisbury. And like Blair with his WMD rhetoric, WUT still seems to indicate to many that we are in real and present danger.

      • Pyotr Grozny

        Short term success only. Now France and Germany are cosying up to Vlad because of Trump’s tariffs they are not going to feel too pleased with Britain for encouraging them to expel diplomats.

        • truthwillout

          Fingers crossed! But maybe May doesn’t care… after all the Tories are still three points ahead and the BBC are still onside. After Gavin’s latest disaster she’ll have to be “strong and stable” now anyway until after the World Cup.

          • Bayard

            The Tories are safe so long as the civil war in Labour goes on and, if the right side wins, they’re safe for a lot longer than that.

          • flatulence

            She’ll have to be “strong and stable”


            Nowhere to be seen. Probably due another holiday by now anyway, if she’s back off her last one.

  • FB

    Latest news now is the BBC interview with health staff at the Salisbury hospital…

    What is curious is that the doctors diagnosed the Skripals’ condition as an opioid overdose, not a nerve agent poisoning…

    Now some people may think that a nerve agent poisoning would be unheard of and so doctors would not be expecting to see it…but that is not the case at all…

    It turns out that common pesticides and herbicides contain organophosphates, which are also the active ingredient in nerve agents…

    ‘…Like most functional groups organophosphates occur in a diverse range of forms, with important examples including key biomolecules such as DNA, RNA and ATP, as well as many insecticides, herbicides, and nerve agents…’


    ‘…Many “organophosphates” are potent nerve agents, functioning by inhibiting the action of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in nerve cells. They are one of the most COMMON CAUSES OF POISONING worldwide…’ [my emphasis]

    Yesterday on RT news with Rory Suchet, a former UN chemical weapons inspector talked about organophosphate poisoning and said that even paramedics are trained to recognize poisoning symptoms, and even carry a medicaation to be administered immediately…

    Certainly emergency physicians would be trained in recognizing the symptoms of organophosphate poisoning, since these types of herbicides and pesticides are quite common, even for garden use…

    So why is it then that the doctors at Salisbury diagnosed and treated for three days an opioid overdose…until informed by Porton Down [how convenient] that they were actually dealing with an organophosphate poisoning…ie a nerve agent..?

    This is an important detail that could blow this whole scam out of the water…

    It would be a simple matter of some basic investigative journalism to find out, firsthand, from emergency doctors anywhere, whether or not they are trained to recognize symptoms of organophsphate poisoning…which are quite different fromt he symptoms of opioid overdose…

    Nobody is asking that question…and already we see ludicrous spin from certain quarters that it is perfectly natural that doctors would mistake nerve agent poisoning for opioid overdose…

    Again on RT news yesterday, a supposed ‘expert’ guest was presented on the newscast with Andrew Farmer…who claimed to be a ‘biochemist’ and also a retired police officer…and who stated this malarkey…

    …and completely contradicting the words of the genuine chemical expert that appeared on set with Suchet earlier in the day…who quite clearly explained that doctors are indeed trained to recognize organophosphate poisoning…

    The symptoms of the two are quite different…and even a quick look in wikipedia makes this clear…



    So we have here two possibilities…either the doctors made an unlikely mistake and misdiagnosed…OR the Skripals did indeed come in with an opioid overdose and the doctors were right…

    In the latter case, we conclude that there was in fact no ‘nerve agent’ poisoning at all…which would certainly go a long way to explaining the tight secrecy around the Skripals and make sense of this entire charade…

    • Tony

      I would like to throw in an alternative.
      If it really was a nerve agent and left untreated for 2 days, would this result in an elevated level of acetylcholine with the consequences of repetitive muscle spasm
      The symptoms are more in line with an Atropine overdose, which during the medieval times was used as a poison. The level of Atropine causing low levels of acetylcholine and its relevant enzyme.

      • truthwillout

        As we’ve all agreed many times a nerve agent untreated would cause death in minutes (less if administered by aerosol). If muscles can’t work due to acetylcholine build up the body can’t function. Seems more likely that prompt action got the patients to hospital where they were kept stable, while the lab results came through. Then appropriate treatment was administered to help the body (presumably the liver) to start creating the enzyme again. Could be an atropine o/d but why would the medics give atropine first and then lie about it? I agree that there did appear to be an initial misdiagnosis and that was probably the real reason behind the initial statement that suggested that the Skripals were unlikely to survive.

  • Bayard

    Tatyana @ June 1, 2018 at 14:59 “can someone comment on the link, is it british governement companies? is it officers?”

    He was a director of a British limited company, now dissolved. All limited companies in the UK have to be registered with Companies House and give the information as displayed in the entry you link to.
    “Nature of business (SIC) 96090 – Other service activities not elsewhere classified” could mean practically anything.

    • Tatyana

      thanks, Bayard. I’m just found our russian news are picky 🙂
      In the Babchenko case there are several russian names (Boris German disclosure in the court) – and no mentions of it in Russia.
      In the Vyshynski case – no mentions of his medal for “re-joining of Crimea” and this fact changes everyting!

  • Sean Lamb

    Another lunatic variant being trotted out by “sources”


    “It’s likely the poison was left there the afternoon before they fell ill, during the five hours when Mr Skripal was away collecting his daughter from Heathrow Airport.

    “The would-be killers would have done a lot of planning and probably followed Mr Skripal to the airport to make sure he was away from the house long enough.”

    Errr, so how did the Skripals re-enter the house, as it appears they can’t have touched the door handle? You know, the door handle coated in Novichok in liquid form?

  • Bayard

    Tom Smythe May 31, 2018 at 02:23 “No, this many medical professionals aren’t plausible lying through their teeth. ”
    I fear you are a bit optimistic here. The government may have made a shambles of the whole affair, but the should still be able to get a few doctors to sing from the same hymn sheet.

  • truthwillout

    I’m not medical but I know plenty about science. If the medics continued to treat for opoid o/d they must have had good reason to think it was that. I think they only realized their mistake when the lab results showed the telltale lack of that enzyme.

    • SA

      It is not unusual to treat a condition according to the clinical state of the patient until further specific test results become available. In the case of someone who needs respiratory and other life support measures, this is what would be done whether the cause is opiate poisoning or nerve agent until further tests are available.

  • Michael Antony

    Your suggestion that Skripal knew too much about the dodgy Steele Trump dossier he worked on (and knew how fake it was) is the key point, in my view. You suggest he could have wanted to sell this information, but without spelling out that the ones most interested in buying it would have been the Russians. Put this together with two facts: back on March 28 the UK press was full of the story of an old school friend of his reporting a phone call he made in 2012 saying he was homesick and had written to Putin asking to go back. Then ask yourself why Yulia was included in this hit (which happened the day after she arrived from Russia for a visit.) It looks as if she was trying to persuade Sergei to go back, either under pressure from family or from the putative FSB boyfriend and his mother mentioned by cousin Victoria. If Yulia was seen as hatching a plot with Sergei to return to visit his 89 year old mother, alarm bells would have rung in Orbis Intelligence. Any visit to Russia would have meant a debriefing by the GRU or FSB and the truth about the Steele dossier would have been plastered all over Sputnik and RT. If the three MI6 agents, Skripal, Steele and Miller had concocted the pissing prostitutes over a beer in the pub, the laughter rocking Moscow would have also rocked Washington.
    Hence the need for MI6 to stop them leaving by a false flag attack, using a “Soviet” nerve agent. Given the fact it took the hospital 3 days to realize what it was and take precautions, it is unlikely this was the initial drug used. It seems as if this MI6 plot involved hospital staff as well, injecting the nerve agent at a later stage.

    • SA

      You were doing very well until the very end:
      “Given the fact it took the hospital 3 days to realize what it was and take precautions, it is unlikely this was the initial drug used. It seems as if this MI6 plot involved hospital staff as well, injecting the nerve agent at a later stage.”

      Really? If you believe that, you believe anything and you can’t really trust that the medication the GO is giving you, is not really a government plot at eliminating dissent.

      • Bayard

        It certainly answers the “why Yulia too?” question, though, and the advancing age of his mother is certainly a plausible reason for Sergei to want to go back to Russia, to see her before she dies. It also answers the ” why were the emergency services so prepared” question, too, if the intention behind the attack was not to kill them, but simply to incapacitate them.

  • SA

    Where is Clark when you need him? He was so good on the 911 thread when it was open at pointing out how inconsistencies in the story should not mean that we should build up a lot of false scenarios that become a distraction and help undermine the original cause or theory.

    • Moocho

      Confusion and diversion is part of the game. 9/11 has been all but solved, save some minor details. the war on terror was in the pipeline for a long time, but became “operational” on 9/11. this is documented clearly in this interview, which took place in the BBC studios before the towers were brought down but after the planes had hit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAueLjdKh1s the history of war on terror in relation to 9/11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuOsiMVlMBw further “must watch”, well researched 9/11 docs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK6VLFdWJ4I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJkl0GJu0Yc

    • Nikko

      The further Clark stays away, the better. On the 9.11 thread he ended up by repeatedly calling the moderators c*nts and worse to get the thread closed and he succeeded.

      • Clark

        If it hadn’t been for constant, concerted abuse, much of it from you, Nikko, I wouldn’t have been in such a bad mood.

        But every cloud has a silver lining; I am now much more aware of how groups bully dissenters to enforce concocted narratives. It is no excuse that your favoured false narrative is not the one most widely held; propaganda is propaganda no matter who promotes it.

    • Clark

      SA, yes, the enthusiasm for concocting false narratives has greatly aided the recent government deception. It actually helps their propaganda efforts by providing something for the government to feign outrage against. Only clarity and understanding can serve us; it is stronger and more honest simply to admit ignorance than to fill the gaps with misleading and confusing fiction.

      Please drop me an e-mail when you get the chance; click on my username to find my contact details.

      • Bayard

        Given the lack of available information, almost any narrative is likely to be a false narrative, apart form the official one, which is so riddled with inconsistencies that it is almost definitely a false one.

    • Clark

      SA, I find it highly ironic that the UK and US governments attribute a disinformation campaign to the Kremlin, when our very own home-grown conspiracy theorists – mainstream and alternative – would actually be difficult to compete with, particularly in quantity of output and diversity of speculations.

  • Frank

    As with all human constructs Laws apply, some are quite deliberately set to ensure discipline is followed others form naturally as a result of an organic process.

    One such naturally occurring Law is; A “Conspiracy Theory Will Endure As Long as the Evidence Allows.

    Which means the Skripal Fairy Story didn’t last very long at all. They weren’t Novichoked, it wasn’t even them on the bench (0/10)

    Kelly was much better (7/10). He was murdered but Hutton and Neyroud CHOSE to believe he died of a natural heart seizure whilst being detained at a “safe house” and interrogated by CIA Consultants.

    The best of these three (8/10) was of course that which must not be mentioned here. But now the counter-evidence has been gathered (sifted, sorted, indexed) and NIST are being taken to Court to force them to Correct the Official Record.

    Sadly all the 10/10’s we still accept as Real History.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Don’t know if you missed this, Just a thought…….

    Юлия Скрипаль Yulia Skripal
    ‏ @SkripalYulia
    Jun 2
    Мой папа подозревает, что нас отравила Служба Безопасности Украины. История с Бабченко его потрясла и он еще больше укрепился в своих подозрениях.
    Translated from Russian by Microsoft

    My dad suspects that we were poisoned by the security service of Ukraine. The story with Babchenko shocked him and he was further strengthened in his suspicions.


  • Tom Smythe

    “ this many medical professionals aren’t plausible lying through their teeth. ” a bit optimistic. The government shambles of the whole affair a few doctors to sing from the same hymn sheet.

    No, that runs up against strongly entrenched custom and culture. Hospital staff saw the scientists at Porton Down telling the Foreign Office to f*ck off on attribution and get full backup from the DSTL boss. NHS refused to attend the Court of Protection hearing, sent along some int’l consultant instead.

    Salisbury took in two people in very dire straits after exposure to a novel toxin, pulled them through a very difficult patch. Now Yulia is walking down the garden path, signing documents, talking –> no residual neuromuscular limb problems, writing clearly without parkinsonism, speaking normally, breathing without aid, facial nerves in o –> staff did a great job, AChE/BChE titres are back within the population gaussians, no sequelae.

    Next up, a victory lap: Small Rural Hospital pulls off Medical First. That calls for a Lancet or BMJ, maybe even Nature Medicine paper, the significance being the world may need the treatment knowledge gained at NHS on a large scale.

    You have to understand, journal articles are the only coin in the realm. Especially ones that will be cited hundreds of times in successive years. Did you not hear them laying the groundwork on BBC: not just another OP poisoning, treatment involved unusual angles? I sure did.

    The plot thickens here because NHS has already been slightly scooped by three U. Birmingham toxicologists cited in the last mediocre NYTimes piece. Now that publication, just a Comment piece rather than a peer-reviewed research article, is severely paywalled ($54 for 24 hour view) but thanks to a young Armenian-Russian neuroscientist, it may prove feasible to read the full article free at the ever-shifting url of sci-hub if you have the digital object identifier.

    https://sci-hub.tw/ DOI: 10.1080/15563650.2018.1469759

    Now NHS has the home court advantage here, first in actually having the Skripals’ medical charts and second in being uniquely positioned to obtain informed patient consent prior to discharge. I’m not saying they made this a condition of release, only that their hunkiest dr and cutest nurse resp. dropped by to make the requests of Yulia and Sergei. (Clinical histories are published all the time but can usually be kept anonymous, here the notoriety prevents it.)

    The note in Clinical Toxicology by JA Vale et al, ‘Novichok: a murderous nerve agent attack in the UK’ begins with an uncritical rehash of the msm narrative and CBW history, then digs into sarin vs tabun vs VX relative volatilities (22 vs 0.6 vs 0.01g/m3 at 25ºC), spontaneous reactivation, leaving groups, aging (monodealkylation), reactivation (or not) by pralidoxime or obidoxime. We went into all the chemistry here a couple weeks back.

    The aging half-lives of human AChE with soman, sarin and tabun are 1.3 minutes, 3 hours and 13 hours, ie so fast with sarin-like chemistry that aging sets in before any spontaneous reactivation of AChE and recovery of function depends on enzyme re-synthesis and replacement. This appears applicable to the Skripals.

    The authors explain how breathing, eating, and skin/eye exposure have distinct symptoms. Note this has never been disclosed at Salisbury — medical records alone could refute the door handle story.

    ‘Miosis can be painful and last several days occurs rapidly after ocular exposure; ciliary muscle spasm can impair accommodation, and conjunctival injection and eye pain can occur. This fits Yulia’s account.

    Skin contact with liquid nerve agent can produce localized sweating and muscle flickering. Inhalation results in chest tightness, increased salivation, rhinorrhea and bronchorrhea within seconds.

    In contrast, ingestion of food contaminated with a nerve agent causes abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and involuntary defecation. Miosis can also occur as a systemic feature.

    Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, involuntary micturition and defecation, muscle weakness and fasciculation, tremor, restlessness, ataxia and convulsions are common to all three routes. If exposure is substantial, death may occur from respiratory failure within minutes, whereas mild or moderately exposed individuals usually recover completely.’

    They write ‘DS Nick Bailey was also exposed to what appeared to be the same substance while helping the Skripals. He was initially discharged from A&E, but his condition deteriorated at home and he was readmitted to hospital and discharged on 22 March 2018’. That would be a 16-day stay. The notion of minor OP followed by remission followed the next by major OP symptoms is very odd in terms of exposure.

    Possibly he got a second larger dose from residue on his clothes. Maybe the initial exposure was inhalation, with skin exposure slower. Conceivably the second round was volunteered: he should be in far better shape than Yulia, so where is he 90 days in?

    • Bayard

      “No, that runs up against strongly entrenched custom and culture. Hospital staff saw the scientists at Porton Down telling the Foreign Office to f*ck off on attribution and get full backup from the DSTL boss. NHS refused to attend the Court of Protection hearing, sent along some int’l consultant instead.”
      OTOH, although we don’t know what happened to Dr Steven Davies, it is much more likely that they did. Pour encourager les autres?

    • truthwillout

      Thank you for the detailed Chemistry, Tom. Pleasing to see that the science behind their treatment and recovery could be about to come out via scientific journals. I agree with you that medical and scientific personnel wouldn’t be liars or wish to be seen as such. However, I disagree about DS Bailey. I think he probably did get a tiny amount of contamination but was OK. What happened after he was discharged from hospital is anyone’s guess, and we don’t know enough to be able to tell whether, for example, he had a reaction to his treatment (atropine? anti-opoid?). What is sure from the newspaper reports was that his father-in-law was part of stoking up the “Russian-dun-it” (with no evidence) rhetoric.

      • Frank

        It wasn’t the Skripals on the bench, the bench people weren’t Novichoked, Bailey wasn’t Novichoked he was poisoned by the same thing as of the bench people.

        Novichok was applied the the door handle a considerable time after the bench incident.

          • Frank

            We do know;

            1) The people on the bench were not the Skripals, the female on the bench had white hair (witness Freya Church), Yulia was caught on CCTV the day before in a Moscow airport with reddish brown hair
            2) It wasn’t a Novichok or type nerve agent, that kills, it hasn’t got a time delay from nothing for a few hours and then all of a sudden (both simultaneously) collapsing into coma. The symptoms were not nerve agent poisoning.
            3) Bailey was not Novichoked, he was poisoned by the same stuff as the bench people, he was admitted to hospital and then released only to be readmitted hours later.

            And then 11 days late an Oh Shit! went up, The OPCW are coming!, We better go and get his car.

            Bollocks from start to finish. The Medical staff at Salisbury hospital have nothing to be ashamed of, the spokeswoman / director should be ashamed or she may just have felt threatened and become a victim herself. Will we ever hear from Dr Stephen Davies again?

        • truthwillout

          Frank, this was meant to be a response to your later comment, but the system wouldn’t let me respond there…

          A hospital administrator is not a medic. Whilst the doctors would have principles, the spokeswoman would surely have been swayed by this statement from a voice of authority like this…


          Especially when the leader of the opposition was shouted down by his own side for daring to question that “Russia did it with a deadly nerve agent”.

      • Bayard

        “I agree with you that medical and scientific personnel wouldn’t be liars or wish to be seen as such.”
        How does that square with the likelihood, given above, that Salisbury Hospital would be familiar with OP poisoning from treating agricultural workers suffering from it and the initial “misdiagnosis” of opiod poisoning? Would not the medical staff be equally anxious not to appear incompetent, which the “official narrative” makes them out to be?
        As far as I can make out, medics are very very keen not to appear incompetent and there have been lots of well publicised cases where they have been extremely economical with the truth in order to prevent that outcome.

      • Sean Lamb

        “Thank you for the detailed Chemistry, Tom. Pleasing to see that the science behind their treatment and recovery could be about to come out via scientific journals”

        I have said it before and I will say it again. TS is a just a troll. He uses jargon he doesn’t understand because he wants to appear like he has expertise so that you will adopt his point of view. It is very easy to drop sciencey jargon, it takes a lot longer to deconstruct it. But let me take two examples:

        “within the population gaussians” – what he is trying to say it is back within the reference range of healthy individuals. But instead of using that terminology that most people will understand, he uses something he thinks sounds impressive but is in fact meaningless. If you google “the population gaussians” (in quotes) you will discover that TS is the first person to have used those 3 words, google “population gaussians” you will get approx 10 hits – all in a different context that used here. What he is trying to refer to is a gaussian distribution (often known as normal distribution), but a true gaussian distribution continues on to infinity so “within the population gaussians” is meaningless – what he is after is within 2 SD of the population mean. In any case most biological clinical chemistry parameters are right skewed and hence not a gaussian distribution in the first place. So why not use the term that is both correct and easily understood by non-experts “within the reference range”?

        But lets keep going: ” staff did a great job, AChE/BChE titres are back within the population gaussians,” What does “AChE/BChE titres” actually mean? Well, nothing actually, he means enzyme activity levels but he believes “titres” sounds more impressive. However the terms aren’t remotely equivalent. “AChE/BChE titres” rather sounds like a ratio calculation, in any case a titre has a specific meaning, generally it means doing an accurate drop-wise addition in order to measure the quantity of a compound. So for example an antibody titre involves doing step-wise dilutions until a detection threshold is reached. An acid-base titration involves drop-wise additions until a Ph indicator changes color. It has nothing to do with an enzyme activity assay. In fact you will get half a dozen hits googling for “enzyme activity titre” but these are all in the context of assaying a range of conditions to find an optimum, not a straightforward diagnostic assay. Thats two major errors in less that 10 words, but which it takes two paragraphs to untangle. So why drop all these jargon into his text – because he believes it will convince people he has expertise and should be trusted. Namely he is troll.

        Now why would a troll target this site – because people congregate here that are skeptical of the government’s narrative. So people with investment in the issue try to mould the views of these people. They know a full-frontal assault is pointless (or rather they leave that to people like Kempe) rather they tell skeptics things they want to hear, but try and influence them into less damaging positions for the government.

        In this case they desperately want you to believe the Skripals have suffered nerve agent poisoning – they don’t mind if you want to think it was the Russian mafia, or the CIA or MI6 and the Steele dossier – even the door handle theory can be cheerfully scrapped. But what they desperately want you to believe is brilliant British medical care saved two people at death’s door from a nerve agent attack. Everything else is negotiable.

        • Sean Lamb

          Of course, if your assessment is that the Skripals’ really did suffer a nerve agent attack, that is fine. It is what the BBC says, it is what the OPCW says, so you are certainly in good company.

          Just don’t come to that conclusion of the basis of any perceived expertise of TS.

    • truthwillout

      Well… If our prime minister said Russia did it, OFCOM will have to go with that and therefore any article suggesting that Russia didn’t do it is clearly “biased”. And for Jeremy Corbyn to doubt our great leader… And in parliament… Well some would no doubt call it treason (lol)

  • Tatyana

    You may miss another ‘Skripal’ case, unfolding just now in Ukraine! It’s astonishing! Just imagine:

    There’s a hieromonk (sic!) and ex-soldier and rasist Tsimbaluk. He gets an order to kill Babchenko, russian citizen living in Ukraine, blogger, Putin hater (everything russian hater, must I say).

    This hieromonk goes to Ukrainian security service (SBU) and they decide to carry a special operation. Babchenko agrees to cooperate and to fake his death. Operation takes place, Russia is blamed of ‘another journalist killed’.

    The next day a ‘customer’ is detained. It is Boris German, a weapons trader, ukrainian patriot and army supplier. He sais in the court (!) he is also a part of SBU operation! He explains, that his handler is counter-intelligence officer.
    SBU counter-intelligence department doesn’t confirm this info.

    Babchenko is ready to be interviewed for $50 000 🙂

  • Humbaba

    The German state broadcaster ARD just reported that according to a parliamentary committee of the Bundestag, the German government is still waiting for evidence from the British government in the Skripal case and that the German intelligence service has found no information implicating Russia:

    Machine Translation:


    Skripal case

    Berlin continues to wait for evidence
    Updated: 07/06/2018 04:57

    The federal government has not yet received any evidence from London on the Skripal case. The German intelligence services have no knowledge that Russia could be responsible for the poison attack.

    By Michael Götschenberg, ARD capital city studio

    The German government is waiting in vain until today: As the rbb Inforadio learned from parliamentary sources, the British government has still not presented any evidence to the German government that would prove that Russia is responsible for the poison attack on the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

    Yesterday, the federal government informed the secret parliamentary control committee of the Bundestag about this. So far it had only been known that the poison was Novichok – a chemical warfare agent that had been produced in the Soviet Union.

    No findings in Germany either

    Furthermore, the British government has not presented anything so far. Neither could the British government prove that the poison used came from Russia, nor that the Kremlin was responsible for the attack. According to rbb information, the German intelligence services have not gained any information from their own sources that would allow such a conclusion to be drawn.

    Father and daughter survive attack

    After Julia Skripal, her father Sergej has left the hospital again. Julia Skripal made a brief statement to the camera in the UK in recent days: she still finds it hard to believe that she and her father were attacked in this way, she explained. Her recovery had been slow and painful.

    The doctors at the hospital in Salisbury said the recovery of the Skriptals was a miracle, assuming that they would not survive.

    Massive diplomatic consequences

    The Skripal case had led to a dramatic deterioration in diplomatic relations between Russia and numerous Western states. After the British government declared that it was convinced that Russia was responsible for the poison attack on Skripal and his daughter, more than 140 Russian diplomats from 26 European countries, the USA, Canada and NATO had been expelled – a unique incident of this magnitude.

    Germany had also participated and expelled four Russian diplomats. In return, Russia had expelled the same number of diplomats from these countries.

    Other countries also had Novichoks

    The fact that the poison alos existed outside Russia has been reported by the media. According to media reports from NDR, WDR, “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and “Die Zeit” a Russian scientist offered the Federal Intelligence Service a Novichok sample in the 1990s.

    Since then it has been known that the neurotoxin had been exported from Russia – at least to the West. It is unclear into which other hands it may have fallen. The behaviour of the British government is also putting the German government in increasing need of explanation.

    Beyond the fact that the poison was identified as Novichok, there is no trace leading to Russia, let alone the Kremlin. The decision to participate in the expulsion of Russian diplomats thus seems more than questionable.

  • Visual Artist

    Craig, you have not said anything about people who wish to donate to your blog to support what you do whose finances are okay but who contacted you to make a donation upfront either monthly or for the full 12 months in advance but cannot pay via online methods due to cybercriminals but are willing to donate via personal/bank cheque or postal order?

    I am one such person.

    Best regards,
    Visual Artist

  • Visual Artist

    Craig, I agree 100% with everything you have said here, and have you seen what Independent journalist John Pilger and ex-MI5 spy Annie Machon has said on this case on RT and social media? I have and I agree with them.

    I voted for Brexit, I hate the EU and I cannot stand Russians or EU migrants of the benefit scrounging and criminal kind, many of which live in the UK as a result of our non-EU border, and I have always regarded Russia (and especially with Putin) as a ROGUE STATE…..many BREXIT voters on the right and left believe, whether rightly or wrongly, that this Skripal case was engineered by PM May so that she could botch BREXIT even further because she read John Pilger’s website which stated “as the Tories plot to get rid of Theresa May…” therefore the actual culprit for the poisoning and delivery attack will never be found and brought to justice.

    Why would the British authorities want to give Yulia access to Social Media whether through secure VPN or not because they like we and everybody else knows that a growing number of the public do not listen to or believe the MSM because Adolf Hitler was once named as Man/Person of the Year in Time Magazine in 1938 proving that the MSM is clearly UNRELIABLE or not as reliable as they would have you believe, and the BREXIT vote would not have happened if all voters simply relied on it!


    Person of the Year: A Photo History
    TIME looks back on its most compelling — and sometimes controversial — choices for Person of the Year

    It is transpiring that social media is becoming far more reliable than the MSM because there is less censorship and moderation on it, and in a free, democratic and open society we should keep it that way!

    Your blog is excellent, so do keep up the great work.

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