“Boshirov” is probably not “Chepiga”. But he is also not “Boshirov”. 994

UPDATE: The Kommersant Evidence
Kommersant publishes interviews with people from Chepiga’s home village. The article makes clear he has not been seen there for many years. It states that opinions differ on whether Chepiga is Boshirov. One woman says she recognised Boshirov as Chepiga when he appeared on TV, especially the dark eyes, though she had not seen him since school. Another woman states it is not Chepiga as when she last saw him ten years ago he was already pretty bald, and he has a more open face, although the eyes are similarly brown.

Naturally mainstream media journalists are tweeting and publishing the man’s evidence and leaving out the woman’s evidence.

But the Kommersant article gives them a bigger challenge. Kommersant is owned by close Putin political ally, Putin’s former student flatmate, Chariman of Gazprominvestholdings and the UK’s richest resident, Alisher Usmanov. That Russia’s most authoritative paper, with ownership very close to Putin, is printing such open and honest reporting rather belies the “Russia is a dictatorship” narrative. And unlike the Guardian and BBC websites, on Kommersant website ordinary Russians can post freely their views on the case, and are.

One thing this does stand up is that Chepiga definitely exists.

The evidence mounts that Russia is not telling the truth about “Boshirov” and “Petrov”. If those were real identities, they would have been substantiated in depth by now. As we know of Yulia Skripal’s boyfriend, cat, cousin and grandmother, real depth on the lives and milieu of “Boshirov” and “Petrov” would be got out. It is plainly in the interests of Russia’s state and its oligarchy to establish that they truly exist, and concern for the privacy of individuals would be outweighed by that. The rights of the individual are not prioritised over the state interest in Russia.

But equally the identification of “Boshirov” with “Colonel Chepiga” is a nonsense.

The problem is with Bellingcat’s methodology. They did not start with any prior intelligence that “Chepiga” is “Boshirov”. They rather allegedly searched databases of GRU operatives of about the right age, then trawled photos in yearbooks of them until they found one that looked a bit like “Boshirov”. And guess what? It looks a bit like “Boshirov”. If you ignore the substantially different skull shape and nose.

Only the picture on the left is Chepiga. The two on the right are from “Boshirov’s” Russian passport application file, and the photo of “Boshirov” issued by Scotland Yard.

Like almost the entire internet, I assumed both black and white photos were from Chepiga’s files, and was willing to admit the identification of Chepiga with “Boshirov” as valid. But once you understand is that – as Bellingcat confirm if you read it closely – only the photo on the left is Chepiga, you start to ask questions.

The two guys on the right and the centre are undoubtedly the same person. But is the guy on the left the same, but younger?

Betaface.com, which runs industry standard software, gives the faces an 83% similarity, putting the probability of them being the same person at 2.8%.

By comparison it gives me a 72% identity with Chepiga and a 2.1% chance of being him.

There is a superficial resemblance. But if you take the standard ratios used for facial recognition, you get a very different story. If you draw a line between the centre of the pupils of the two guys centre and right, and then take a perpendicular from that line to the tip of the nose, you get a key ratio. The two on the right both have a ratio of 100:75, which is unsurprising since they are the same person. The one on the left has a ratio of 100:68, which is very different.

To put that more simply, his nose is much shorter, and less certainly his eyes are further apart.

It is possible this could happen in photos but it still be the same person. The head would have to be tilted backward or forward at quite a sharp angle to alter these ratios, which does not seem to be the case. The camera could be positioned substantially above or below the subject, again not apparently the case. And the photo could be resized with height and width ratios changed. That would hard to detect.

But the three white dots across the bottom of the nose are particularly compelling (the middle one largely obscured by a red dot in the Chepiga photo). They illustrate that Chepiga has a snub nose and Boshirov something of a hook. Again, the software is reinforcing what they eye can plainly see.

However, there are also other ratios that are different. Chepiga has a narrower mouth compared to the distance between the pupils than the two photos of “Boshirov”, and that is measured on the same plane. The difference is 100-80 compared to 100-88. It is a ratio that can be changed by facial expression, but this does not seem to be the case here.

Professor Dame Sue Black of the University of Dundee is the world’s leading expert in facial forensic reconstruction. I once spent a fascinating lunch sitting next to her, while I was Rector. I shall contact her for her view on whether the guy on the left is the same person, and if she is kind enough to give me an opinion, I shall pass it on to you unadulterated.

This website is less definitive, but gives a nice clear result, and you can repeat it yourself without having to subscribe (unlike Betaface.com).

Again for comparison, I tried two photos of myself 12 years apart and got “from nearly the same person”.

It is worth repeating that the only evidence that Chepiga is Boshirov offered by Bellingcat is this photo. The rest of their article simply attempts to establish Chepiga’s career.

This is gross hypocrisy by Bellingcat, who have argued that scores of photos of White Helmets being Jihadi fighters are not valid evidence because you cannot safely recognise faces from photographs.

Yet Higgins now claims his facial identification of Chepiga as Boshirov as “definitive” and “conclusive”, despite the absence of moles, scars and blemishes. Higgins stands exposed as a quite disgusting hypocrite. Let me go further. I do not believe that Higgins did not take the elementary step of running facial recognition technology over the photos, and I believe he is hiding the results from you. Is it not also astonishing that the mainstream media have not done this simple test?

The bulk of the Bellingcat article is just trying to prove the reality of the existence of Chepiga. This is hard to evaluate, but as the evidence to link him to “Boshirov” is non-existent, is a different argument. Having set out to find a GRU officer of the same age who looks a bit like “Boshirov”, they trumpet repeatedly the fact that Chepiga is about the same age as evidence, in a crass display of circular argument.

This unofficial website does indeed name Chepiga as a Hero of the Russian Federation and recipient of 20 awards, as Bellingcat claims. But it is impossible to know if it is authentic, and by contrast there is no Chepiga on the official list of Heroes of the Russian Federation, for the stated 2014 or for any other year, which Bellingcat fail to mention. Their other documents and anonymous sources are unverifiable.

The photo of the military school honours arch, with Chepiga added right at the end and not quite in line, looks to me very suspect. My surmise so far would be that most likely Bellingcat’s source of supply is Ukrainian, and trying to tie the Skripal affair into the Ukrainian civil war via Chepiga.

My view of the most likely explanation on presently available evidence is this:

Boshirov is not Boshirov, and the Russian Government are lying.
Boshirov is not Chepiga, and Bellingcat are lying.
The whole Skripal novichok story still does not hang together, and the British government are lying.

I will continue to form my opinions as further evidence becomes available.

UPDATE Incredibly, at 13.15 on 27 September the BBC TV News ran the story showing only the two photos of “Boshirov”, which of course are the same person, and not showing the photo of Chepiga at all!

BBC News at One

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994 thoughts on ““Boshirov” is probably not “Chepiga”. But he is also not “Boshirov”.

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  • RogerDodger

    I used to think the film ‘Wag the Dog’ was silly because it was too implausible and unrealistic that people would try and manipulate the public discourse in such elaborate ways. I’ve come to a different opinion the more I read about the White Helmets and Bellingcats of this world.

  • Blunderbuss

    Just a thought. If Anatoliy Chepiga is a real person (and he is not Ruslan Boshirov) why doesn’t he come forward to clear his name?

    • SA

      Just think. There is something called a legal process. If anyone accuses someone else of a crime, let alone an attempted murder, it is highly unlikely that that person will come out and defend themselves, otherwise we can dispense with all laws and just have public accusations.

      • Blunderbuss

        I don’t follow. If the MSM accused me of being Ruslan Boshirov, I would want to go public and prove (a) that I’m not Ruslan Boshirov and (b) that I wasn’t in Salisbury on 3/4 March 2018.

          • Blunderbuss

            comment-789049 has now been deleted, presumably by moderators, but I’d like to know how somebody managed to fake a message from me. How many other fake messages are on this site?

          • Clark

            It seems the impersonator of Blunderbuss got lucky by choosing an e-mail address that produces a similar-looking Idenicon. It doesn’t mean the e-mail address was similar to the one original Blunderbuss uses; even a small change in e-mail address produces a large change in Identicon appearance.

          • Clark

            “How many other fake messages are on this site?”

            There was a craze of it, back when I moderated here. That was why I enabled Identicons. Obviously, anyone can post under someone else’s name, but they can’t see the e-mail address so they can’t fake the Identicon.

          • Dungroanin

            Nice one Clark. I hadn’t realised that the icons are identifiers!

            Now if only there was a way of checking my posts without having to remember where i posted, that would be cool.

          • Borishov

            I don’t think there is a need to hack an open forum is there? Run your page inspector (sometimes F12) and all email addresses can be found. This is not an encrypted site! There is no need for it to be.

          • Clark

            Borishov is wrong. Submitted e-mail addresses get stored in the site’s server, but do not get added to the page’s public HTML source code, which is what your browser constructs the visible page from and what your Page Inspector displays and analyses for you. And yes this is an “encrypted site”, ie. it’s delivered across the ‘net via https (encrypted) not http (plain text), which means your e-mail address can’t be copied en route.

            Thanks Dungroanin.

        • Dennis Revell


          Hmmm. And if the RUSSIAN mainstream media accused you of being other than who you are, or of adopting duel identities, would you REALLY give a rat’s arse?!?

          I suspect you would NOT. There’s the old British/Western ?racist? double-standard superiority bullshit raising its VERY ugly head again.


          Moreover, it’s possible that you wouldn’t even know about it, as I don’t expect you’re an avid reader of the Russian mainstream media.


        • Jo

          Ps….there have been several ” Jo”…I am a Jo and only been posting under my own Jo…never anyone elses Jo…..

          • Jo1

            Hi Jo
            I am Jo too. I used to post just as Jo but hadn’t visited in a while and when I came back I saw posts from you so I changed to Jo1 to avoid confusion.

    • Sc

      No official accusation, it’s all media. Even if it was official I’m not sure if positions were reversed a UK colonel would be giving interviews to explain away accusations especially if working in a secretive area. Pablo miller and Christopher Steele haven’t yet done that …

    • denny

      It is not so easy. Anatoliy Chepiga is real, but he is not civilan, even more he is in special forces, then he cannot do this. Because it dangerous at all for his family

      • Kempe

        At 39 plus I’d have thought he’d be getting a bit old for that lark but he’s been accused of murder or attempted murder by the British MSM which I’d have thought would’ve prompted some response. Craig was threatened with a libel action just for calling somebody a liar.

        • SA

          Attention to detail please.
          He has not been accused of anything. Can you please quote me a reliable source where this accusation was made? Even Petrov and Boshirov have not been processed through appropriate channels to start a legal process. Political and media circuses are no substitute for proper legal processes.

          • Kempe

            Chepiga is alleged to be Boshirov who’s accused of trying to murder either one or both Skripals. I’d have thought he’d have a case under English libel law and what a coup for the Kremlin if they won!

          • Resident Dissident

            Its not as though Russians are averse to use the English courts for libel and other actions.

        • Tom Welsh

          In the UK justice system, and most others, accusations and indictments are brought, not by the media, but by duly designated officials known as “prosecutors”.

          As I have pointed out before, I could easily accuse you (or anyone) of an array of vicious crimes. Would you then feel it necessary to go to considerable inconvenience and possibly embarrass your friends and family, just to deny accusations that have no authority behind them?

        • Igor P.P.

          In current political climate an accusation in British MSM would not mean much here. I can easily imagine people ignoring it.

        • Zoltan Jorovic

          You have to have a reputation in the UK to defend to launch a libel action. Neither Borishov nor Chepiga has any reputation as nobody ever heard of them here before this. A Russian police officer tried to take a libel action against Bill Browder for accusations of murder and it was dismissed for those reasons.

          • Kempe

            Boshirov, or whoever he is, could claim he has a reputation to defend in the UK on the basis of his much publicised interview claiming to be an innocent tourist; even if the majority of the population didn’t believe a word of it.

      • Tony

        I think a more reasonable assumption is the security services do not know what Chepiga cuttently looks like. If they did then he would have been placed on all the western media and named as one of the suspects.
        I am of the opinion that Bellingcat
        allegation is a ruse to get the Russians to out Chepiga

    • Igor P.P.

      Considering his occupation, there could be many reasons. One is that being an active intelligence officer he doesn’t want the World to know what he currently looks like. Or that he or his superiors decided to let UK media dig themselves into a bigger hole before he makes his appearance.

    • Yeah, Right

      “Just a thought. If Anatoliy Chepiga is a real person (and he is not Ruslan Boshirov) why doesn’t he come forward to clear his name?”

      Two points immediately springs to mind:
      1) He would be very wise to confer with a good lawyer first, and then discuss this long and hard with his wife before deciding to “come forward”. So a decision to “come forward” will not be instant.
      2) Even if he does come forward then the Eliot Higgins of the world will simply shout “That’s not the man!!!”

  • Anny Squire

    What could also be alarming is that a so called Colonel could be so inefficient or rattled in interview! Or is this rank not so much?

    • Ken Kenn

      Penny’sworth here:

      In my view the mugshot ( 3rd right ) is not the bloke who pitched up with his mate in the interview.

      The first left picture could be the bloke in the interview when he was younger.

      The middle picture looks photoshopped – i.e. an amalgam of the other two maybe?

      Lastly: when is the British Public going to have its own contrast and compare photo’s re: The Skripals?

      Green jacket or black jacket?

      Blonde hair or red hair?

      Duck feeding – Teal or Mallard officer?

      • Igor P.P.

        I also get the impression that the interview bloke is not the one on the right photo. The photo seems to is of an older and tougher man.

    • Igor P.P.

      I was wondering if this would come through to a non-Russian speaker as it did to me. Thanks for confirming. Colonel (“polkovnik”) is a hight rank, just before general.

      • Tom Welsh

        But as I recall, Igor, officers in the GRU (or equivalent) usually have rank of major or above. They don’t really select or have any use for junior ranks. So a colonel would be relatively low in the hierarchy, whereas in the field he might command several thousand men and their equipment.

        • Igor P.P.

          This is not true, search for “gru captain ulman” for a counter-example. There are examples of lower ranks too online, just nothing off the cuff in English. GRU is an army structure after all.

  • Dungroanin

    It is coordinated narrative control operation.

    To stop people paying attention to the political earthquake that is Corbynite Labour. It’s conference and policies. To keep the populace looking over there! at dem evil ruskies because they want to park their tanks on the Mall. Yeah yeah.

    If Maybot malfunctions again at conference because she just can’t carry on her infamy or the rollercoaster that is the rump Tory party falls to bits then there is no option but a GE or a coup.

    (Btw what is this awaiting moderation message?)

    • Blunderbuss

      Ah, yes. Corbyn is going to invite in Russian soldiers with snow on their boots and perfume bottles in their pockets.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Blunderbuss September 28, 2018 at 10:14
        Nearly as bad as the Yanks with their nylons and fags.

      • Paul Greenwood

        I hope someone is going to invite Russian soldiers to the Cenotaph in November rather than the idiot Steinmeier – at least the Russians have been on our side in both world wars unlike the Germans

        • Iain Stewart

          Alf Garnett:
          “Old Enoch’s against it, in’t ‘e, eh? He don’t want no more bloody foreigners over here. We got enough bloody foreigners here as it is. Bloody country’s swarming with Eities and Krauts and Froggies and Spagnollies and Brussel Sprouts. All coming over here and taking our jobs off of us, aren’t they?”

  • James Kennedy

    Dungraoning. So the politicians are trying to keep the news away from their massive PR exercises at conference? I think you need to gie yersel a shake!

    • Dungroanin

      It is not ‘news’ it is a trial by media.

      I expect that on of the first actions of the Labour government will be a completion of Leveson 2, extension to internet platforms and full implementation.

      I’m sure you’d welcome that.

      • Borishov

        Thats why evidence has been witheld for the trial to ensure it is fair and these two should come forward to clear their names (whatever their names are).

        • Dungroanin

          They should be identified and arrest warrants issued by our state if due process is their desire.

          Why hasn’t the local police been allowed to conduct the investigation? They are more than capable of undertaking major crime.

          • Heavy D

            Wiltshire police carry out the investigation into a chemical weapons attack? Surely that’s a job for the military or counter terrorism command?
            Are you new to this?

          • Dungroanin

            Heavy D,
            Wiltshire Police – with major military establishments and WMD facilities – are incapable of policing and running investigations in their own patch? Their backyard? So it takes some city police types from the big smoke who must be the only experts in assassination and cctv to do the job for them?

            You have very little respect for the police forces of this country and their professionalism and honesty – except of course the paramilitary MOD / spook run Met? Pull the other one.

            Get your police state off my lawn.

        • Agent Green

          No, this isn’t how it works. The individuals are under absolutely no obligation to do or prove anything.

  • Stephen

    I don’t know if this question has been addressed yet. I don’t know if Charlie has recalled where he found the bottle or whether they have released that information yet.

    Has the location of where the bottle was found by Charlie and has that location been cross referenced with the known locations of the two suspects ?

    • Blunderbuss

      This is shrouded in mystery. Charlie claimed that he could not remember where he found the bottle but a story (source unknown) has grown up that he found it in a bin behind a charity shop. Whether this was a rubbish bin or a bin for donated items is unclear.

    • Ken Kenn

      A bit of a long shot I know but is it possible that this was bought at Xmas ( pub or dodgy market vendor sale ) and someone genuinely donated it in March?

      There are many counterfeit Western brands doing the rounds.

      I’m reasonably sure that assassins don’t import fake perfume – but the Chinese make it and send it.

      Oily and an ammonia smell was one I heard but if that was the case why did Charlie give it to his girlfriend? More to the point why did Dawn even try it on her wrists as she would know it wasn’t perfume.

      What Dawn did makes no sense.

      However the liquid does remind me of electric cigarette e- liquid though. Nicotine on the skin could be dangerous to some people with health problems. Particularly if the nicotine concentration was very highly concentrated.

      Only opinion.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Squeeth September 28, 2018 at 10:42
      What do you think was in that delicious Cornish pastie you raved about some years back?

    • Blunderbuss

      The BBC often refers to RT as Russia’s state-funded broadcaster and seems unaware of the irony. If you asked the BBC about this, they would probably say, “Oh no, we’re not state-funded, we’re funded by the public. Very convenient.

  • Blunderbuss

    There are also unanswered or unasked questions about the poisoning of Dawn. The following is based on reports I have read so it may not be reliable. Charlie fitted the dispenser to the perfume bottle. In doing this, he spilt some liquid on his hands but washed it off immediately. The liquid had an unpleasant, ammonia-like, smell but Novichok is said to be odourless. Dawn then picked up the bottle, sprayed the liquid on her wrists, and became ill almost immediately. One thing has always puzzled me. The liquid was obviously not perfume because of the ammonia-like smell. Why, then, did Charlie give it to Dawn and why did Dawn spray it on her wrists?

          • Borishov

            Errr wrong. If it was just alcohol it would evaporate immediately. They contain essential oils for starters.
            You need to check your wife’s/GF/Husbands/BF fragrances. Oh I see a problem there! hahaha

          • Blunderbuss


            Errr wrong. I don’t mean it’s pure alcohol, I mean the solvent is alcohol. There are other constituents that give it the smell. The alcohol does evaporate immediately (it’s meant to) but the smell-producing chemicals evaporate more slowly. I’ve got a bottle of Cedar Wood Cologne here and it’s not at all oily.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Cheap perfumes are diluted with alcohol, the more expensive ones with Jojoba oil or mineral oil.
            The types of oil used for the fragrance include – Sandalwood, ylang ylang, rosehip, lemongrass, peppermint, vanilla etc.

          • Borishov

            Errr no Blunderman, you are completely wrong (of Course) alcohol is not really a solvent is it?
            Maybe you have cheap alcoholic eau de parfum or parfum as opposed to eau de toilet or eau de cologne? You don’t have to be a scientist to know the difference, you just have to get out a bit more.
            Maybe your account has been hacked again and you aren’t really as stupid as that post makes you look?

          • Zoltan Jorovic

            Mr Borishov, alcohol most certainly can be a solvent, as can water, or indeed any liquid that other chemicals dissolve in. Alcohol IS widely used in perfume. The difference between perfume and eau de parfum or eau de cologne is in the % of aroma compounds. Perfume has higher proportions. These compounds may be oils, or esters or other things. Blunderbuss is correct in asserting that many perfumes contain alcohol. A purely oil based perfume would be unusual – particularly in one that was applied using a spray.

    • Sharp Ears

      Right at the beginning (feels like centuries ago in view of the billions of pixels consumed in commenting on it) Hamish de B-G described it at ‘oily and gloopy’. He should know, shouldn’t he?

      • Zoltan Jorovic

        That would be the pure chemical. VX is described as similar to motor oil, so quite thick. Assuming Novichok is similar, it could not be sprayed from a perfume sprayer – it would just clog it up. So, it must have been in a solvent so that it could be sprayed. Also, it is odourless, so any smell would have been from the solvent. Ammonia seems an odd choice for something to be hidden in a perfume bottle. Perfumes that smell of ammonia are not big sellers.

    • Tom Welsh

      Given that the whole HMG story about the original business with the Skripals is completely shot to pieces, the yet further-fetched Amesbury fairy tale is hardly worth notice.

      Having journeyed to the remote fastnesses of Salisbury to poison Mr Skripal, the expert GRU hit team behaved like Keystone Cops in mufti, created an immense public fuss, and utterly failed to kill anyone.

      Then, we are told, instead of getting rid of any leftover poison (and why would there be any?) they chose to put it in a perfume bottle and wrap it so as to appear new, then dispose of it in a charity bin where it could be expected to cause great harm and perhaps many deaths.

      Yeah, right. That is even less credible than a Tom Clancy tale.

    • Tom Welsh

      We know, from numerous statements by HMG and the UK police, that three people were contaminated with “novichok” in Salisbury; one recovered quickly, while the others took a few weeks. All, as far as one can ascertain, returned to perfect health (iatrogenic scars apart).

      So the balance of probabilities must be that, whatever Dawn Sturgess consumed, it was NOT “novichok”. After all, we know of only three people who definitely contacted “novichok” and none of them came to any long-term harm.

      My personal suspicion is that the powers that be got tired of people like us continually pointing out how un-fatal “novichok” seemed to be. So they arranged for the media to get an actual “novichok” fatality – by whatever means.

    • Igor P.P.

      Can someone get a hold of this type of bottle and see how easy it is to fit the dispenser? And how likely it is to spill from it? In my limited experience with perfumes bottles have very narrow outward passages so spilling is very difficult. Perhaps that’s why the story initially was that the bottle splintered.

  • Sharp Ears

    Johnson’s got some face. As an ex- member of May’s government and ex-Foreign Secretary, he sees the need to issue his Super Canada’ Brexit.
    9 minutes ago

    Boris Johnson has set out his own plan for Brexit, arguing that the UK should “chuck Chequers” and negotiate a “Super Canada” free trade deal instead.
    The ex-foreign secretary, who quit over Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan, called her strategy “a moral and intellectual humiliation”.
    He said his vision would not lead to a hard Irish border, with any checks carried out away from the crossing.
    The PM says her plan is the only one which will avoid carving up the UK.
    And ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve, who backs a new referendum on Brexit, told the Evening Standard up to 40 Tory MPs were prepared to vote against any Canada-style deal if Mrs May ultimately opted for it.
    What is a ‘Canada-style’ trade deal?
    European Research Group Tories won’t back PM’s plan
    BBC deputy political editor John Pienaar said Mr Johnson’s 5,000 word article, published two days before the start of the Conservative Party conference, was a reminder that the PM’s plan had very little support in the party and it was going to be a difficult week for her in Birmingham.


    Great crowd aren’t they?

    • Jo1

      His sister Rachel is currently on Politics Live saying he’s probably just “setting out his door” ahead of his Conference speech.

  • Sc

    I’m the opposite of a super recogniser and have no idea if they are photos of the same person, but I do think it surprising if they were, that our police and secret services with plenty of resources (for this case, apparently) and heavily into facial recognition software, didn’t find it first. Also if you look for people who look the same, you end up with people who look the same. More work needed to show they actually are the same. Maybe failed to find anything solid so falling back on media excitement. Aim not to build a good case, nor to uncover the truth, just to give an impression to the public. Or maybe, hoping once the idea is out there someone will confirm it.

    • Blunderbuss

      “… if you look for people who look the same, you end up with people who look the same”. Quite true. I’ve got a double in the town where I live.

      • Jude 93

        A Chinese girl came up to me in the early hours of the morning at a train station in Dublin once and greeted me effusively. I was puzzled at this show of unsolicited affection, but it turned out she had mistaken me for a guy who had been her teacher. She took a bit of convincing I wasn’t the guy. I once started in a new job and one of the staff there genuinely thought I was a chap who had taken a career break from the same office a few years previously – returning to work. I could recount many similar incidents – as I’m sure most of us could.

    • Dungroanin

      I still have to convince friends whose kids are convinced they seen me ice skating at the rink regularly like a natural born – I have never skated.

      It is actually quite common for peoples with similar genetics to look almost the same. I come across it often.

      I’m sure that if anyone can be bothered to look through the net at a few million faces they will see themselves.

      It doesn’t mean the claim is false and I am not an expert like the Bell End cat.

      What is extremely irregular is that a supposed serious investigation over 6 months using the states most powerful resources apparently being trumped by a failed media studies and erstwhile lingerie business apparatchik, computer game addict and proven liar now supposedly in the employ of a Nato backing US based shady organisation.

      That is the real news.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Dungroanin September 28, 2018 at 11:42
        My great-grandmother used to say if I looked in the mirror long enough I’d see the Devil….

        • Dungroanin

          Hmm … is that a threat? ?

          Or did your great relative know something of your origin? ?

          Since i became hirsuitly challenged some time ago i have had no need for mirrors, evil things. ?

    • Tom Welsh

      “I’m the opposite of a super recogniser…”

      Sc, the Dunning-Kruger effect suggests that, if you think so, you are “highly likely” to be a better-than-average recogniser. Whereas those among us who boast of their superb recognition skills…

  • Radar O’Reilly

    So if they are going to use reall effective PR to rebrand Salis-novichokgrad-bury, are we allowed to suggest names?


    Of course, it could just be sold as the best place in UK to fall ill, with an unbelievable cure rate for lethal stuff, and a fleet of super-ambulances that arrive within seconds, almost before being called!

    My suggestion would be “Upper-Porton on the downs”

    Amazingly, unrelatedly to anything russophobic, a similar case of NBCW poisoning (bio-weapon) here in Lancaster seemed to require a twelve-hour wait for the NBCW capable ambulance. We obviously need more MI6 ambulances!


  • remember kronstadt

    Can’t work out which has the momentum – ignorance or confusion? The soviet union has been recruiting twins and even triplets to the secret services for decades. oops, cats out of the bag now it’s gone three dimensional.

  • Paul Greenwood

    It seems clear that Medvedev should not have pardoned Skripal and exchanged him for dept S Illegals but simply have expired him as a traitor. It would have obviated all this palaver. Instead we learn Skripal was hawked around multiple Intelligence Services after exchange and yet his daughter could still live openly in Moscow and his son could visit St Petersburg. UK wanted him as part of a US-Russian Spy Swap in 2010.

    For Skripal to be of interest to anyone – he must have been engaged in illicit activities that made him a target. Litvinenko was also known to Pablo Miller and he was engaged in illicit and criminal ventures with Berezhovsky.

    We also have an interesting report in Voltairenet.org that a UK jet flew from Akrotiri on 17 Sept to land in Iraq and violating Syrian airspace to test defences – 1 hour later Israel attacked a scientific research centre to kill engineers and scientists – and France fired missiles. That UK has used DA Notices to silence UK press on UK role in downing Russian ELINT plane.

    • N_

      For Skripal to be of interest to anyone – he must have been engaged in illicit activities that made him a target.

      Don’t assume he was an assassination target.

    • Charles Bostock


      “It seems clear that Medvedev should not have pardoned Skripal and exchanged him for dept S Illegals but simply have expired him as a traitor.”

      You mean execute him, I suppose.

      Russia is a member of the Council of Europe. As you know, membership of the Council of Europe is not compatible with having capital punishment on the statute books.

    • Tom Welsh

      Nothing that Mr Medvedev could have done would have prevented evil people in England from doing evil things. It’s what they do.

      • Tom Welsh

        Old men (and women) tend to become embittered because they have been around long enough to start making out the vague outlines of the way the world is run. Also, of course, one has a lot more time after retirement.

        Of course Charles’ whole line of argument is just another form of poisoning the well. It doesn’t matter if someone is old or embittered, or even a man. What matters is whether (s)he is right.

        • Clark

          Oh it’s not only how the world is run; it’s human nature itself. Even here, with comments from ordinary people, the polarisation is plain to see. There are two large minorities; one wants the culprit to be the Kremlin, and the other wants the opposite.

          The urge to compete, to win, is an aspect of our evolutionary heritage, but with advancing technology, it will be the undoing of us all:


          • sc

            Clark, so true! Hard to detach from it. Us vs Them. When people choose a side they tend to defend it and attacks make them more sure not less. Often, anyway.

          • sc

            I don’t usually follow internet controversies with any enthusiasm but this one has annoyed me from the start. No evidence (or secret evidence) and using it to whip up public hysteria. May making confident accusations before any investigation, and saying only Russia had a motive, Boris Johnson saying no-one but Russia could possibly have made something the old Soviet Union was working on decades ago. What happened and who did it is completely opaque so far and I can’t say I’m determined it should be anyone in particular, but I don’t like being manipulated. And the silence of the press was also very annoying. Very few people asking very simple and obvious questions.

            And if they ever do find solid evidence and it does turn out to point to Russia, they’ll say look we were right, when actually they are not at all right.

            If a someone said Oh that burglary was definitely Joe Bloggs, he’s got form, lets just lock him up …. if it did eventually turn out to be Joe Bloggs that wouldn’t mean the person was right and people should have just listened and not bothered with evidence! In fact being too sure it would turn out to be Joe Bloggs would be a problem for investigating. Just find the kind of evidence we want ……

          • Clark

            “And if they ever do find solid evidence and it does turn out to point to Russia, they’ll say look we were right, when actually they are not at all right”

            So very, very true.

            There is clearly a UK government agenda to conceal the overall picture. The likelihood is that the only evidence that will be released will be that which incriminates the Kremlin – and we will never discover what their narrative is crafted to conceal. If there’s one thing worse than a bunch of liars, it’s a bunch of unbearably smug liars gloating over their successful concealment.

            sc, I saw your 10:53 comment on the comment feed. It wasn’t until I opened the page that I saw that it followed on from your reply to a comment of my own.

  • DailyShocker.news

    For the love of god CRaig, drop this nonsense that it isn’t the same person.

    Even the slightly higher right nostril is visible.

    To anyone with a brain not fried by tinfoil, IT IS THE SAME PERSON.

  • Blunderbuss

    Warning! This blog is being hacked. I’ve just sent this message to Craig Murray:

    This message (using my username) is a fake. I didn’t write it:


    Comment-789049 has now been deleted but I’d like to know:

    1) How was it faked?

    2) Was it deleted by moderators or by the original poster?

    3) Are there other fake messages on this site?

  • DailyShocker.news

    Even the slightly different right bottom side of the lips is the same, slightly more shortened and upturned, identical in ALL THREE PHOTOS.

    This does nobody any credit and makes anyone seriously challenging the official story look like a lunatic.

    Cheers Craig.

  • Node

    Given the connections Bellingcat seems to have, it’s quite possible that rather than ‘manually’ search for a similar likeness to Boshirov, they would have used face recognition software to trawl databases and come up with some matches, then a human would choose (and perhaps tweak) the most convincing one.

      • Node

        It seems to me and many others that Bellingcat has connections with intelligence agencies, so my statement didn’t need fixing, thanks all the same.

        • Tom Welsh

          Why does that seem? Other than because they say so. And of course the “intelligence agencies” say so too, as they are paying Bellingcat to give the false impression of an independent opinion.

    • Yeah, Right

      No, Bellingcat explicitly says in the article that they tried trawling using face recognition software and came up empty. That’s why they had to resort to “deductive reasoning” which came up with the NAME first, and then they had to hunt through hacked databases for a photo with that NAME on it.

      It’s all nonsense.

      I have no doubt that “The Insider – Russia” came to Higgins with that photo and that passport application form, and the first half of that article is him attempting to hide that inconvenience.

      You can see it play out in the article:
      a) Higgins just happens to ring a Russian who mentions a military school called DVOKU (riiiiiiiiight)
      b) Higgins then stumbles over a photo that doesn’t include anyone of interest but *does* pique his interest in the words “Chechnya” and “Hero of the Russian Federation” (why, exactly?)
      c) Higgins then enters all three search items into Google (of course, wouldn’t you?) that leads him to a “Volunteer Union website” and out of all the items in that web site the name “Anatoliy Chepiga” just leapt out at him (because of course it would, right?)

      Higgins has to carry out those utterly preposterous leaps of logic to get to that name.

      He was either outrageously lucky or – anyone need to ask which I believe? – he started out with that name in his hot little hands and has to backtrack to find an explanation for how he came by it.

  • Anon1

    Oh dear, Craig has made himself into a laughing stock. Hasn’t he friends on here? Can’t one of you do something to stop him before he completely destroys himself?

    • N_

      @Anon1 – You didn’t fall for the little bits of sugar saying “Boshirov is not Boshirov” and “the Russian government are lying” that he stuck on to his main message that “Boshirov is not Chepiga” then?


      But wait.. “That Russia’s most authoritative paper, with ownership very close to Putin, is printing such open and honest reporting rather belies the ‘Russia is a dictatorship’ narrative.

      Snow can of course get on to boots for a number of different reasons.

    • Tom Welsh

      I think what you have observed is the effect on perfectly normal, rather intelligent women of being in charge of HMG for a few years. Having more vestigial conscience than male politicians, it eats away at them. As I have remarked before, that’s why poor old Mrs May is coming to resembler the empreror from Star Wars.

  • Clark

    Bellingcat have used the same “methodology” as Chris Spivey; comparisons of low resolution photos. But they’ve gone one better. The compared the “Boshirov” photo only with photos of other spies. So if they were to get a ‘hit’ at all, it was bound to be to a spy.

      • Node

        How about the methodology of conflating all ‘conspiracy theories’ so that if you can disprove one, it devalues all the others? Cheap trick, no?

        • Charles Bostock

          It’s not cheap trick or indeed any sort of trick. Just healthy common sense based on precedent and experience : as more and more conspiracy theories get shown up for what they are, one becomes more and more sceptical whenever a new one arrives (and, by God, there’s a lot of conspiracy theories around these days. God knows why, they probably fulfill some sort of deep psychological need in people of a certain persuasion).

          • sc

            Mostly the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ seems to be used to try and make anyone questioning anything look stupid. A recently quoted example is Jack Straw, saying in 2005 that only a conspiracy theorist could believe we were involved in Special Rendition.

          • Charles Bostock

            “Mostly the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ seems to be used to try and make anyone questioning anything look stupid.”

            You mean like the expressions “troll”, “shill” and “who’s paying you” seem to be used in an attempt to discredit anyone questioning majority opinion on this blog?

          • sc

            Yep, exactly so. That kind of term. Though I haven’t noticed that many of those really. On a blog where anyone can post a comment you get all kinds of stuff. Here is very polite and constructive compared to many places.

    • Tony_0pmoc


      In my view Chris Spivey has lost the plot on his look-a-likes, though he actually used to make a lot of sense, and I agreed with some of these analyses. However, he was given a very hard time, over a long period. It may have caused psychological damage, or he may have come to some agreement, such that they would leave him alone, and stop smashing his door down at 2:00 am, and dragging him out to a police cell.

      He was one of the very first people in the UK, I am aware of, who spotted that some “incidents” were not as they appeared, and analysed all the photographic and other evidence in very great detail. Of course hardly anyone believed him, but the authorities went to great detail, to try and shut down his blog. So far as I remember, he then moved it to Iceland. He is now again free to post whatever he likes, providing it seems, he also posts a lot of crap too – which serves to discredit him. David Icke did much the same for many years with his shape-shifting lizards, yet some of his books are very good indeed, and years ahead of the time, if you realise these limitations.

      Many more people are now very much aware, that some of these “incidents” really have been faked, including the current one that’s been going on since last March…

      This is a pretty good analysis. I see Craig has got an article on Off-Guardian too.

      Operation Nina – the Novichok Hoax



    • Isa

      That farce wby operation grange will go on and on until the 15 years statute of limitations apply in Portugal .

      I suggest anyone who wants information on this to read the police files of the first criminal investigation which are available to public and duly translated to English by Volunteers .


        • isa

          Totally. Although lately they have only been getting the equivalent of 2/3 salaries for 6 months (90K) . Doesn’t seem like much of an operation anymore.

          The Portuguese investigation has also been reopended in 2013 and passed to the Porto delegation. But there have been zero leaks from it and I sincerely don’t know what line of enquiry they are following. they only stated it is different from the Met. We currently have a new PJ director who was involved in the first criminal investigation , maybe he will have the will and the strenght to carry the premises of the first investigation to the end. let’s see.

      • Charles Bostock

        That’s absolutely correct. Kim Philby remained a traitor till the end, showing zero remorse for the numerous deaths caused by his vile actions. Idem the other poshboy traitors of his circle Burgess, Maclean…).

    • Igor P.P.

      Hard to believe, considering that he was exchanged and hence has been deemed not dangerous. He could do did this before he was busted, but then this is much less plausible as a motive.

  • Sharp Ears

    O/T Is Oliver Mundell, Con Dumfriesshire, in the Scottish Parliament related to Fluffy in the HoC. I have just seen Oliver speaking in a Human Rights debate, Ch 232.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Father and son. The talk of the steamy up here in salad dodging land is the ongoing preamble to a libel trial between an acerbic Indy blogger and ex-leader of Labour (Scottish franchise) Kez Dugdale. The root of the libel trial being a joke concerning Mundel minor not being in a position to embarrass himself if Mundel senior had “found his true vocation” early in life.

    • Jo

      Good link…..cheers….revealing methods of Mossad
      ….a splash from a can of “coke”…inducing a heart attack 24 hrs later……

  • Julian Bond

    It occurs to me that the symptoms of the “poisoning” of Pussy Riot’s Pyotr Verzilov bear a superficial resemblance to some of the reported symptoms of the Salisbury Four. Could there be some connection there?

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