Lynch Mob Mentality 1896


I was caught in a twitterstorm of hatred yesterday, much of it led by mainstream media journalists like David Aaronovitch and Dan Hodges, for daring to suggest that the basic elements of Boshirov and Petrov’s story do in fact stack up. What became very plain quite quickly was that none of these people had any grasp of the detail of the suspects’ full twenty minute interview, but had just seen the short clips or quotes as presented by British corporate and state media.

As I explained in my last post, what first gave me some sympathy for the Russians’ story and drew me to look at it closer, was the raft of social media claims that there was no snow in Salisbury that weekend and Stonehenge had not been closed. In fact, Stonehenge was indeed closed on 3 March by heavy snow, as confirmed by English Heritage. So the story that they came to Salisbury on 3 March but could not go to Stonehenge because of heavy snow did stand up, contrary to almost the entire twittersphere.

Once there was some pushback of truth about this on social media, people started triumphantly posting the CCTV images from 4 March to prove that there was no snow lying in Central Salisbury on 4 March. But nobody ever said there was snow on 4 March – in fact Borisov and Petrov specifically stated that they learnt there was a thaw so they went back. However when they got there, they encountered heavy sleet and got drenched through. That accords precisely with the photographic evidence in which they are plainly drenched through.

Another extraordinary meme that causes hilarity on twitter is that Russians might be deterred by snow or cold weather.

Well, Russians are human beings just like us. They cope with cold weather at home because they have the right clothes. Boshirov and Petrov refer continually in the interview to cold, wet feet and again this is borne out by the photographic evidence – they were wearing sneakers unsuitable to the freak weather conditions that were prevalent in Salisbury on 3 and 4 March. They are indeed soaked through in the pictures, just as they said in the interview.

Russians are no more immune to cold and wet than you are.

Twitter is replete with claims that they were strange tourists, to be visiting a housing estate. No evidence has been produced anywhere that shows them on any housing estate. They were seen on CCTV camera walking up the A36 by the Shell station, some 400 yards from the Skripals’ house, which would require three turnings to get to that – turnings nobody saw them take (and they were on the wrong side of the road for the first turning, even though it would be very close). No evidence has been mentioned which puts them at the Skripals’ House.

Finally, it is everywhere asserted that it is very strange that Russians would take a weekend break holiday, and that if they did they could not possibly be interested in architecture or history. This is a simple expression of anti-Russian racism. Plainly before their interview – about which they were understandably nervous – they prepared what they were going to say, including checking up on what it was they expected to see in Salisbury because they realised they would very obviously be asked why they went. Because their answer was prepared does not make it untrue.

That literally people thousands of people have taken to twitter to mock that it is hilariously improbable that tourists might want to visit Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge, is a plain example of the irrationality that can overtake people when gripped by mob hatred.

I am astonished by the hatred that has been unleashed. The story of Gerry Conlon might, you would hope, give us pause as to presuming the guilt of somebody who just happened to be of the “enemy” nationality, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Despite the mocking mob, there is nothing inherently improbable in the tale told by the two men. What matters is whether they can be connected to the novichok, and here the safety of the identification of the microscopic traces of novichok allegedly found in their hotel bedroom is key. I am no scientist, but I have been told by someone who is, that if the particle(s) were as the police state so small as to be harmless to humans, they would be too small for mass spectrometry analysis and almost certainly could not be firmly identified other than as an organophosphate. Perhaps someone qualified might care to comment.

The hotel room novichok is the key question in this case.

Were I Vladimir Putin, I would persuade Boshirov and Petrov voluntarily to come to the UK and stand trial, on condition that it was a genuinely fair trial before a jury in which the entire proceedings, and all of the evidence, was open and public, and the Skripals and Pablo Miller might be called as witnesses and cross-examined. I have no doubt that the British government’s desire for justice would suddenly move into rapid retreat if their bluff was called in this way.

As for me, when I see a howling mob rushing to judgement and making at least some claims which are utterly unfounded, and when I see that mob fueled and egged on by information from the security services propagated by exactly the same mainstream media journalists who propagandised the lies about Iraqi WMD, I see it as my job to stand in the way of the mob and to ask cool questions. If that makes them hate me, then I must be having some impact.

So I ask this question again – and nobody so far has attempted to give me an answer. At what time did the Skripals touch their doorknob? Boshirov and Petrov arrived in Salisbury at 11.48 and could not have painted the doorknob before noon. The Skripals had left their house at 09.15, with their mobile phones switched off so they could not be geo-located. Their car was caught on CCTV on three cameras heading out of Salisbury to the North East. At 13.15 it was again caught on camera heading back in to the town centre from the North West.

How had the Skripals managed to get back to their home, and touch the door handle, in the hour between noon and 1pm, without being caught on any of the CCTV cameras that caught them going out and caught the Russian visitors so extensively? After this remarkably invisible journey, what time did they touch the door handle?

I am not going to begin to accept the guilt of Boshirov and Petrov until somebody answers that question. Dan Hodges? David Aaronovitch? Theresa May? Anybody?


1,896 thoughts on “Lynch Mob Mentality

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  • Gary Littlejohn

    It is not just the Sun that has come out with this story about the cannabis and loud sex in the hotel in Bow. It can be seen in the Daily Mail and the Observer.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/russia/article-6172497/Novichok-suspects-drug-fuelled-night-cannabis-prostitutes-75-night-London-hotel.html

    This depends on what they call the “much respected” Bellingcat source. I wonder who else still believes that But that enables the report to link to alleged new proof of links with the Ministry of Defence (and not therefore the GU – yet another change in what is being claimed, as the earlier version wilts under the spotlight). That point is also taken up by Andrew Roth in the Observer, giving perhaps slightly more emphasis on the Russian website that seems to have collaborated with Bellingcat on this story.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/15/documents-show-novichok-salisbury-suspects-alexander-petrov-ruslan-boshirov-links-defence

    So I looked at The Insider, which is in Russian. It is not to be confused with Russia Insider, which is mainly in English.

    https://theins.ru/politika/117161

    It is basically the same story, but showing rather poor quality images of the supposed secret notes on Petrov’s passport, and it differs from those English accounts claiming that the two passports had sequential final digits, claiming instead that there was a passport number in between those two and then confusingly .providing two numbers in between. There is also the claim in one of these reports that the airline tickets were bought at the last minute, so that the trip was not planned months in advance. Unless they had repeat visas, that is extremely unlikely, since it takes at least a couple of days to get a visa, normally

    It would be easy to get lost in such details, but instead I would draw attention to the claim that a woman was smuggled in to the hotel for sex. From the Daily Mail report, that claim is based on supposition from another guest who was upset by the noise, but it is merely supposition. If there was no woman involved that would tend to fit with speculation that the two men were closet gays involved in selling ‘fitness products’ that made clients look more muscular.
    .

  • John Bull

    RboG – great comment. Re Falkland Island, the history has NOT been written. Yet. It was a NATO plot to keep Thatcher in power, not because they thought she was a good PM or anything like that, but simply because Foot would have scuppered the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty being negotiated at that time, and the arms race – and the cold war – would not have ended. What a shame that the current government in this great nation (ex-great nation), has now undermined all that effort and deliberately rekindled the cold war – no doubt in preparation for a hot war which we will lose hook line and sinker. In fact, everyone will lose. Does any sane person think that a little nation like ours, who has a Secretary of State who tells Russia to ‘go away and shut up’ stands a chance on the world stage? We have become a laughing stock.

  • Pyotr Grozny

    Russians can find Britain very cold because where Russian cold is dry, British cold is a damp. A friend of mine says he has a cleaner from Siberai who complains about the cold in Britain. I have spend several winters in Moscow and love it when the Mercury gets to minus 20. So there is in fact nothing to mock in B and P complaining of the cold.

    • Farpoint

      Pyotr, I fully agree with your comment. I spent 20 years living and working in Eastern Europe and experienced some very cold winters, but as you say it’s a dry cold and all you feel is a surface tingling on the skin. As long as you keep your ears covered up it’s quite comfortable. When I returned to England I found myself shivering like a leaf during the first winter. The damp cold got right into my bones.

  • Alyson

    Well maybe I’m wrong, but I still think the novichok was on the perfume box cellophane, outer wrapper. I think that if it was these 2 guys, they, or someone else, took it out of a vacuum sealed airport bag and gave it to Julia. I think that when Julia and her father became ill, the ambulance and police attended. The police officer may have picked up the perfume box. When Julia didn’t want it he discarded it, then went to check their house doors were locked, touching the door knob, before he too became ill

  • John Berry

    I know most people are asking why the police took 4 months to publish these 2 individuals’ photos and ask for help identifying them. However, another question (if they actually wanted them to stand trail in the UK) is why didn’t they create an international arrest warrant secretly and just wait for them to travel to a country which will extradite to the UK, or even to the UK itself. The UK authorities tell us they regularly travel to EU countries, Switzerland etc.

    • Dish-Washer

      Maybe because May felt a further need to distract people from Brexit and wanted to keep the Russophobia and Putinphobia pots boiling.

  • Matt

    There’s apparently CCTV footage from a private camera that puts the Skripals car on India avenue, near to their home, at 13:33 of the day of the poisoning…..that could suggest they had been home and were leaving again.

    • MaryPau!

      We are still stuck with the fact it seemed to take 4 hours for the poison to work. on both of them. I wonder, if he was not taken unconscious at once, whether Sergei was able to contact someone on his mobile phone which was how Sgt Bailey was despatched to investigate.

      • Dish-Washer

        Sgt Bailey is a much bemedalled police officer, probably working for special branch and liaison with MI5. He was probably first on the scene as, as such, he would be shadowing them and may well have been eating at a nearby table to try and overhear or record what Skripal and Julia were saying. The agencies were probably interested in the degree of loyalty Skripal had to the UK and whether he intended to return to Moscow and reveal what he had learned while dealing with agents in the UK. If Skripal had been helping with the Trump Russia dossier pedalled around the US press, then revelations by him to Putin could be very embarrassing for Theresa May, seeing how she desperately needs support from Trump. We know the sarge was sent to investigate in Skripal’s home, and that tells us too that he must have very high security coverage to be trusted into a house where there might be very revealing documents stored.

  • Blunderbuss

    Presumably the time stamps on CCTV pictures depend on the time set on the CCTV system and that could be hours out. My digital camera sometimes freezes so I have to take the battery out and put it back in to unfreeze it. I don’t bother to reset the clock afterwards so the time stamps on my photos are all wrong by up to 12 hours. I don’t think we can rely on the time stamps on CCTV pictures.

  • Doodlebug

    Just heard on BBC 10 o’clock news:

    “Emergency services called to a restaurant in Salisbury after two people are reportedly taken ill”

    Have B and P crept back into the country unnoticed?

    • Doodlebug

      A ‘medical incident’ according to police who are not linking it to the earlier poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Well they can’t be expected to associate every drug induced collapse with ‘Novichok’. It wouldn’t be fair. They’ve enough on their plate dealing with the first two ‘linked’ cases.

  • Clarityn

    Police seen bagging up objects in the street outside restaurant in Salisbury following 2 taken ill according to Sky news. 1 Russian apparently.

    • __alex__

      it looks like at least a couple of russian drugdealers presents at Salisbury every single day.
      and it explains all.

      • Borncynical

        Alex,

        Or maybe the word is spreading like wildfire in Russia that Salisbury is THE place to go in England!

      • Dish-Washer

        possibly it was food poisoning with the Skripals from the start, off sea-food can produce the same sort of symptoms as Novichok. Maybe the hospital administrators in Salisbury have been listening to special branch and secret service threats all along (you’ll never get another job again!) and felt it was better to go along with the government narrative. The much decorated police sergeant would be there to listen to the dialogue between Skripal and Yulia and find out if the old man intended to return to Russia. Jlle just ordered the same off sea-food and left precipitately without eating much of it when the Skripals left for the park, where he gave the alert when they collapsed.
        Why haven’t we heard the Skripals’ version of when they last touched that door knob? Because HMG know it would not fit the narrative?

        • Dish-Washer

          Don’t know quite what happened with the Jlle – but it originally said something like ‘Maybe he (the sarge) just ordered the same sea-food dish’

        • Steve Jones

          The OPCW took blood tests from both the Skripals (and from the policeman who first dealt with the them and was contaminated), and they did so under full custodial control. They also took a blood test from Charlie and a tissue sample from Dawn (at her autopsy). The OPCW confirmed the British findings (as they did with other samples they took from the site). The summary reports for both incidents is available from their website and the full, confidential, report has been made available to all OPCW members. If that didn’t show Novichok was the cause, it would have been shouted from the rooftops.

          • Humbaba

            The public OPCW report doesn’t say anything about Novichok. The full details of the OPCW report are only given to the British. The Russians and other OPCW members didn’t get the full details. Otherwise, the Russians wouldn’t have had to to hack into the OPCW lab in Switzerland to get at the data.

          • Steve Jones

            @Humbaba

            “The full details of the OPCW report are only given to the British. The Russians and other OPCW members didn’t get the full details.”

            What you right is entirely and absolutely untrue, and it only takes a few seconds to demonstrated that by bothering to read the OPCW’s own website. Your contention is laughably easy to disprove :-

            This is what the OPCW posted on their site.

            On the original Salisbury Incident

            https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/

            “he UK’s delegation to the OPCW requested that the Technical Secretariat share the report with all States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and to make the Executive Summary of the report publicly available.”

            On the second incident involving the Amesbury couple

            https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom-regarding-toxic-chemical-incident-in-amesbury/

            “The UK’s delegation to the OPCW requested that the Technical Secretariat share the report with all States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and to make the summary of the report publicly available.”

            The summary reports are here :-

            The original Salisbury incident

            https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/S_series/2018/en/s-1612-2018_e_.pdf

            Bullet point 12

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

            On the second incident :-

            https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/S_series/2018/en/s-1671-2018_e_.pdf

            Bullet point 13 states :-

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

          • HJS

            Congratulations! Up to this moment I consider the findings of the OPCW the only somewhat tangible evidence in the whole Skripal/Novichock affair. Thanks for pointing us to these documents.
            However, I am not at all satisfied or convinced by the work of this supposedly impartial organisation. The reason for my suspicion comes from the fact that they clearly violated their own protocol by not allowing the accused party, the Russian State, to be present and involved with every step of their investigation. In addition to that I can not accept the full results being held secret as the public has THE RIGHT to be informed of every detail in a case that is about war or peace among European nations.
            The economic sanctions and the diplomatic public beating of Russia, both of which affects the lives and the future of millions, has been delivered on accusations so flimsy and contradictory, that no decent court of law in this world would ever dare to speak a guilty verdict. I have great sympathy and admiration for both, the British and the Russian people and I hope that in the near future we will see many tourists from Western Europe visit the Eremitage in St.Petersburg, just as there are many more Russian visitors to the world famous Salisbury Cathedral! Peace and friendship to all people of good will!

          • Steve Jones

            @HJS

            “The reason for my suspicion comes from the fact that they clearly violated their own protocol by not allowing the accused party, the Russian State, to be present and involved with every step of their investigation.”

            At the time of the investigation the OPCW had no mandate to assign blame, so this is a clear nonsense. The OPCW did no identify any possible culprit, and their sole responsibility was to provide technical support as the organisation states in exactly those links I refer to. Consequently the OPCW carries out its own investigations, takes its own samples and appoints its own independent laboratories. They also requested UK taken samples in order to corroborate (or otherwise) the findings of the UK laboratories with their own. At no time has the OPCW blamed Russia. The sole scope of their report was on whether or not the Skripals or the policeman in Salisbury and Charlie and Dawn in Amesbury had been infected with a chemical warfare agent and as to whether there were samples of this at the key locations (such as the famous door knob). Given that those samples were taken by OPCW representatives under full custodial control, from then on there was involvement from any country.

            As it happens, the mandate of the OPCW has since been changed to allow it to assign blame in new investigations following a vote by 82 to 24 (comfortably exceeding the required two-thirds majority). For what it’s worth, Russia opposed the extension of this mandate.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44634434

            In any event, it’s entirely irrelevant, as it’s the UK that is making the allegations, not the OPCW. All the OPCW has done is confirm the nature of the agent on the victims and in the locations.

            As seems to be the case on comments on this site there is a singular lack of familiarity with the role and nature of the OPCW and what its role has been.

  • Doodlebug

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/16/emergency-services-attend-medical-incident-in-salisbury-restaurant

    ‘A source briefed by the emergency services told the Press Association that medics alerted the police because the symptoms were consistent with novichok poisoning but stressed the symptoms could have other causes.

    ‘“The ambulance crew at the site took the decision that the symptoms seemed consistent with novichok poisoning, which is why they called their colleagues in the police,” the source reportedly said, adding: “The symptoms of novichok poisoning and particular types of narcotic abuse are very similar.”’

    You don’t say.

    • FobosDeimos

      Soon the dishwashers and waiters of Salisbury will be able to spot Novichok symptoms with 99% accuracy. Moreover, they will be able to smell the traces and determine that the “nerve agent” was produced in Russia, more precisely within the walls of the Kemlin.

  • Matt

    Clearly we’re telling a pack of lies. But has anyone stopped to think that maybe the Russians are in on this too? I mean, they like big military budgets just as we do, they stand to benefit from a constant standoff with Britain, since it makes Vlad popular and makes it easy for him to justify military budgets.

    It’s all theatre, on both sides.

    • __alex__

      without big mil budget we cannot protect ourselves. look at map and find there russia – small unvisible country. compare with britain for example.
      neither britain, nor putin play any role.
      to withstand nato, china, islamic asia we need significant mil budget.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Yes when that RS-28 pops over the horizon a British military budget spent on aircraft carriers and Yak-141s disguised as F-35s will be most useless.

        When you scour the demographic for manpower don’t forget the prayer mats and leaving the boys with Fridays off because the ones making the babies are not ones you might chose to arm – then again you have stopped using pig fat in the cartridges.

        As for spending more on weapons – simply abolish Pension Fund tax relief and introduce Schedule A on housing to fund it

    • Avery

      “It’s all theatre, on both sides.”

      I am with you on this one. It’s politics and bollocks – the thing normal people try to keep their distance from. Even more – none of the participating sides actually would like there to be a 100% clear resolution and guilt fully put on one party. It’s all too interconnected in the modern world – economies, resources depleting political influence outside of the states themselves and so on.

      This partly is what diplomacy for – preventing open conflicts and crossing the line. Bad piece is better than good war and all that.

      • Yeah, Right

        Saudi Arabia’s military budget makes perfect sense if you view it as a combination of:
        A) extortion money paid to prevent the USA from starting a “color revolution” against the House of Saud
        B) as a way of repatriating petro-dollars back to the USA.

        After all, even a solid-gold limo doesn’t cost as much as one F-15 fighter-bomber, with the added bonus that it means you have Boeing lobbying for you in Washington.

        The Saudis have no idea how to use any of that stuff, but that was never the point.

        The point has always been about doing something to help “balance” the trade between the USA and Saudi Arabia, which would otherwise be obscenely in the Saudi’s favour.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Chinese were forced to import opium to reduce their trade surplus with East India Company. Saudi has to buy weapons to A) reduce its rate surplus with UK, US, France, Germany. B) to fund the US taxpayer subsidy to Israel which has become entrenched since USS Liberty

    • Tom Welsh

      ” I mean, they like big military budgets just as we do, they stand to benefit from a constant standoff with Britain, since it makes Vlad popular and makes it easy for him to justify military budgets”.

      That turns out not to be the case, in at least three different ways.

      The Russians do NOT “like big military budgets just as we do”. Because the Russian defence industry is largely state-owned, and certainly state-controlled, defence is just a cost to the state budget and as such is kept as low as possible. By the way, do you personally really like big military budgets? If so, why? Are you an owner or shareholder of an arms manufacturing corporation?

      The Russians do NOT “stand to benefit from a constant standoff with Britain” – not that such a state of affairs exists anyway, as Britain is far too weak to threaten Russia. They seem rather bemused by the torrent of abuse directed at them from the UK, having done nothing to deserve it.

      As I have explained above, Mr Putin does not want to “justify military budgets”, which is why he keeps them low and has announced further reductions in spending. And the hostility expressed by the UK government does not particularly make Mr Putin popular or unpopular – it just makes Russians puzzled. They feel as if they have somehow stood in dog shit and brought it into the drawing room.

    • Humbaba

      The Russians don’t benefit from this. The only plausible motive of creating an anti-Russian alliance precludes Russian involvement. Unlike Western democracies, Russian guided democracy doesn’t need to create pretexts for increasing military spending. If anything, Putin would rather reduce military spending at this point of time. The Russians simply can’t afford it. That is a strong motive for the West to try and ruin the Russian economy by an arms race.

  • remo

    No surprise at ‘the hatred unleashed’ Craig. This unfolding drama is Orwell., 70 years of 5 minutes of HATE later. ‘It’ just looked different on TV and in the movies so those now living it, bred and fed by the Wurlitzer BBCNN cannot recognise it ‘in-the-real’.
    A condition of madness resulting from the truth/lie dichotomies run out of MOT IIO/Psyops especially since WW2.
    like nine eleven. So big, It creates madness.
    ” I would persuade Boshirov and Petrov voluntarily to come to the UK and stand trial, on condition that it was a genuinely fair trial….”etc.
    I think modern History proves a most profound alteration in the fabric of time and space occurs when deception operations like Skripal/Pablo Millar/Steele/Trump and Syrian regime change, come up for “fair trial.”

    Habeas Corpus died in Guantanamo with Judge POHL.

    • Steve Jones

      Glad to see Wiltshire Police are doing their job, and it was initially suspected that Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess had been affected by contaminated drugs and this was ruled out, then that’s not related to their case. That’s unless the NHS consultants are also being accused of taking part in a conspiracy.

      Note to mention the fact that the OPCW independently took and tested blood samples from Charlie and tissue samples Dawn confirming the findings of the UK government authorities.

      https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/S_series/2018/en/s-1671-2018_e_.pdf

      However, it is good to know that the latest event in Salisbury is not due to a nerve agent, a fact which was announced within a few hours. Not surprisingly, all the precautions were taken first.

      So, what point are you trying to make, if any?

      • Max_B

        We don’t officially know what the Salisbury or Amesbury substance is yet. Neither it’s chemical name, chemical family or chemical structure have ever been officially released.

        • Steve Jones

          Really? The UK government has announced its a Novichok agent, the OPCW have confirmed the findings of the UK authorities in official reports for both the original incident in March with the Skripals and the one in Amesbury in July (I linked to the summary report for the latter above). The full technical reports have been given to all members of the OPCW. If you want to know the chemical makeup of a Novicholk agent, then it’s well known and in the public domain (one of the original designers is not in the USA and went public).

          If you want to know what the structure is, then this article and the twitter thread by a chemist in reply to Craig Murray will tell you all you need to know.

          https://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/scientist-brilliantly-tears-conspiracy-theory-about-russian-spy-to-shreds/

          • Ken Kenn

            Last one I read OPCW said that it was Novichock OR something else.

            It either is or it’s not Novichock.

            The latest incident is described as a ” substance ”

            I need a book of synonyms just in case there’s more incidents.

            OR I should have gone to Specsavers

          • Dish-Washer

            There is little doubt that Porton Down sent Novichok to the OPCW in the Netherlands. The doubt is whether that substance came from the Skripal door-knob, or straight from Porton Down onHMG orders. Mark you, if there was stuff on the doorknob, that could have been placed there later by someone from PD. You do know that HMG has possessed the formula for Novichok since the early Yeltsin years? It would have been amiss of PD not to have investigated its properties a couple of decades ago at least, seeing as they knew the formula. They could even have actually received a small amount of the substance as made in the Soviet Union, since a Russian agent brought it to the West and handed it over to a NATO country.

          • Steve Jones

            @MaxB

            I just gave you the evidence. You just make claims which are manifestly false. The UK government said it is Novichok, the OPCW confirmed the UK findings. The full technical reports are with OPCW members, including Russia. If those OPCW findings had not been for Novichok, then the Russian State would have shouted it from the rooftops. There is no doubt what poisoned the Skripals (and killed Dawn). The issue is who did it and why. Note even the Russian state is contesting what they were poisoned with.

          • Elly

            Really? Russia very much contested the report, at the top of its lungs, basically. The formal procedure had not been followed. It was not OPCW who had taken the samples. The findings were ‘funny’ -BZ and deadly concentration of very pure non-metabolised A-234 3 weeks after the exposure. The only explanation is that the samples had been spiked up by a healthy dose of Novichok…

          • Max_B

            @Steve Jones

            Fentanyl’s meet the definition of “A Novichok”, in particular Carfentanil.

            Neither the chemical name, chemical family or chemical structure of the Salisbury or Amesbury substance have ever been officially released. That’s just a fact Steve, I can’t help it if you don’t like it, but that’s how it is.

          • Steve Jones

            @Max_B

            They have been officially released to all members of the OPCW. You are just dancing on the head of a pin.

      • Mighty Dunken

        Thanks for the link very illuminating.

        Whether the agent is novichok or not doesn’t mean much, other than catching the government in a blatant lie. The information around novichoks are very hazy and it includes a class of compounds which apparently range from fairly toxic to extremely toxic. They can be solids or liquids and many other properties will differ and still be called novichock.
        The OPCW report does not say what the compound is. They say it is what the British authorities told them it is, but is that the same thing they told us? They merely describe it as a toxic compound with the same properties as a nerve agent. Which to me is saying it is a acetylcholinesterase inhibitor like many other chemicals.
        The illuminating parts are that they couldn’t determine if it was from the same batch as the Skripal poisoning. The perfume bottle had neat,97% of the compound which strongly suggests the compound is not particularly toxic.
        Sarin is lethal at about 10 micrograms, 10 millionths of a gram. If this compound was as toxic then simple hand washing wouldn’t do much. The Skripals and Charlie would have left a wake of dead behind them and died within minutes.

        • Max_B

          @Mighty Dunken: “They merely describe it as a toxic compound with the same properties as a nerve agent. Which to me is saying it is a acetylcholinesterase inhibitor like many other chemicals.”

          I would be less certain about that. Currently the OPCW still has *very specific* definitions for what types of chemicals can be defined as “A Nerve Agent”. These are agreed by member states, and they can’t be changed without further agreement by member states.

          When the OPCW say “…which displays the toxic properties of a nerve agent…” it’s an admission that the Salisbury and Amesbury substance does not meet the current OPCW definition of “A Nerve Agent”. Otherwise they would use a less ambiguous statement, that the substance is a Nerve Agent, rather than saying it displays the properties of a nerve agent.

          That does not mean that the Salisbury and Amesbury substance is not a nerve agent in a broader definition, it obviously is a nerve agent, and can affect the CNS. It just means that it is not a nerve agent by the OPCW’s narrower definition, by which it is currently constrained

          As a direct result of the Salisbury incident, the OPCW is currently going through the process of changing it’s definitions. They single out Carfentanil for special mention in their recent presentations to diplomats, as an example of a chemical which does not currently meet the OPCW definition of a “Nerve Agent”, yet is of similar toxicity to chemicals that are currently defined as Nerve Agents by the OPCW. They use this example to show that the OPCW’s current definitions, and current method of defining substances is out of date.

    • Tom Welsh

      I remember reading long ago about some scientific study that showed most British doctors could not distinguish between the symptoms of heart attack, pleurisy and indigestion.

      Perhaps the modern equivalent would be fentanyl, novichok and food poisoning.

  • Radio Jammor

    The Daily Fail site (https://archive.fo/fTxux) is now alleging that Boshirov & Petrov had a sex and drug orgy with a woman – suggested to be a prostitute – at their hotel, the night before going back to Salisbury and supposedly put the Novichok on the door. This disturbed other guests and led to an argument with staff.

    Don’t believe in keeping a low profile, do they, these current day GRU officers. And let’s not forget that the Met Police evidence says they had the Novichok with them at the hotel. But there’s more…

    “Travel documents used by a Russian agent using the identity of Alexander Petrov are marked as ‘top secret’ and include a phone number for the Russian defence ministry.”

    Really? So, this operation was so incompetent, it almost literally left arrows and clues on their documents that indicate that they work for the GRU.

    Jeez, did they check the occupation on the documents to see if they said “Assassin” or “Spy”? That would have clinched it for me…

    • Dish-Washer

      yes, Russian Military intelligence put stamps and telephone numbers in their agents passports nowadays, so their colleagues in MI5, MI6, CIA, DIA, Mossad etc. can know who they are and allow them to pursue their work unhindered in their respective countries…

      • Paul Greenwood

        I thought Russians had TWO passports – one internal and one external. Those who work for UN or international agencies have a Un Passport plus a personal passport. Government Passports are a different colour so it would have been obvious when applying for a Visa who these people really were

      • Yeah, Right

        Bellingham is talking about the paperwork for a Russian internal travel “passport”, not a passport in the sense that you or I would use.

        But your point still holds true: the database is easily accessible to the lowest-ranking Russian official (that’s what it exists for, after all, and that’s why Bellingcat could get their hands on it so easily)

        So it is ludicrous to believe that the GRU would leave such easily-found clues in what the GRU knows is an insecure and easily-compromised database.

        I mean, even Eliot Higgins was able to get his grubby fingers in there….

    • TJ

      Causing the outing of these two men as gay in a hostile environment like Russia could fall under the very broad “hate crime” laws in the UK. The prostitute story is a CYA move by HMG and Police.

      • Tom Welsh

        Those laws don’t apply to the government or the police, silly. They are for the proles like us.

  • S.N.

    This Blackstone Intelligence Network video from yesterday, I just found, is more related to previous Craig’s post “The Impossible Photo”, but because the last already fade out, will post it here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2r5lY1sF08
    The most important part starts @ 8:20…
    How credible do you think is?

    • Moocho

      I think Blackstone Intelligence is a very good researcher, not seen a lot of his material but I have been impressed with his fearless, meticulous approach and the output that I have seen. lots of presentations and research relating to the deep state and Israel. recommended

    • MaryPau!

      This was all very good until the end when he suddenly assumed it was a plot by the UK intelligence services to discredit Russia. While there is no doubt Russia’s motives on the international scene are regarded with deep suspicion, throughout the EU, Russia is not the bogieman in the British political imagination that it is in the American one.

      In the UK we have never been obsessed with threat from Communists like the Americans were, we have never had McCarthy show trials or blacklisted people from working as being members of the Communist party. We have no trade links with Russia ( apart from possibly oil,) and it is too far away for its daily news to feature much apart from in the World News pages. It only really features in our press in relation to major foreign news incidents like Syria or invading Crimea.

      The idea that to blacken Russia’s name, British intelligence would use a dangerous nerve agent to kill a former Russian spy, in a way which contaminates a historic and beautiful city and endangers thousands of UK citizens, plus the clean up involved, well it strikes me as ludicrous and reflects I think the different attitude towards Communism which exists in the US.

      • Tom Welsh

        “The idea that to blacken Russia’s name, British intelligence would use a dangerous nerve agent to kill a former Russian spy, in a way which contaminates a historic and beautiful city and endangers thousands of UK citizens, plus the clean up involved, well it strikes me as ludicrous…”

        The idea that the idea strikes you as ludicrous strikes me as ludicrous. Haven’t you noticed the incessant drumming up of hatred against Russia for many years, going back to the Litvinenko farce and beyond? Haven’t you heard the ravings of Theresa May, Boris Johnson and the rest of that mob of crazy ratbags masquerading as the UK Cabinet?

        • Borncynical

          Tom

          Re your second paragraph, and with all due respect to @MaryPau!, surely one would have to be living in a bubble not to recognise the manic Russophobia that’s been drummed into us over the years. It’s no exaggeration to say it’s virtually a treasonable offence, and certainly viewed as a certifiable mental condition, to say anything nice about Russia or Russians. I have gauged as much by trying to get people I know and meet to engage in conversation about Russia. They very quickly move away from me or swiftly change the subject.

      • Borncynical

        But it gets back to the question as to whether there ever was “a dangerous nerve agent”. You’re presuming there was, and that the Skripals were the victims, and presumably that ‘Novichok’ was smeared on the door knob, and that Charlie and Dawn were affected by ‘Novichok’. If that’s so then you’re believing a lot more than many other people are. Living up to my ‘pen-name’, I find that, based on the little substantive ‘evidence’ we have been given, I have little reason to believe any of the official narrative so I am not even trying to make any sense of it, based on nothing reliable. Personally, my focus is purely to identify holes in the official narrative which are proof we are being lied to and not very convincingly, or (to be kind) are evidence that those dealing with the investigations at all levels and at Government level are incompetent to an incomprehensible degree.

    • Tom Welsh

      The Blackstone video seemed very convincing to me. It’s a bit slow, but that too is convincing. Genuine techies have little sense of drama and are not good salesmen.

      The key finding is that the two photos were taken by the same camera, based on dirt patterns on the lens. Sounds like good solid forensic science.

    • Clark

      Jake Morphonios’ (Blackstone) idea of comparing lens smears is a clever one. The two CCTV screenshots are available on the Met Police site:

      http://news.met.police.uk/news/counter-terrorism-police-release-images-of-two-suspects-in-connection-with-salisbury-attack-320534

      You don’t need to modify the photographs. Smears are easily visible on the two photos, and they obviously do not match. In fact you can see that the barriers are in different positions, the backgrounds look different, the cameras are mounted at different angles, and the stalls have different stickers on their walls.

      Even after Jake Morphonios’ modification of the photos, the features he points out do not match. This guy’s seeing what he wants to see.

  • Keith McClary

    Sputnik citing the Sunday Mirror:
    ‘Dr. Novichok’: Two More Suspects Wanted in Skripal Case – Reports

    While the identities of the alleged suspects in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal were released days ago, the British media now claim that two more individuals are wanted.

    UK authorities are looking for a medic, nicknamed Dr. Novichok, and a fourth individual who allegedly helped Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov perpetrate the attack on former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March, the Sunday Mirror reported.

    “It’s believed they could have met a handler who was working at the embassy and a fourth, the medic, might have had oversight of the whole thing to make sure they didn’t risk ruining the operation by getting themselves contaminated,” the Sunday Mirror cited an unnamed government source as saying.

    The insider claims that the duo could have met with the two other suspects after checking into the City Stay Hotel in East London.

    Other sources cited by the media outlet said that the police knew the real identities of Petrov and Boshirov.

    “They’ve had hundreds of officers trawling CCTV and the facial recognition software meant they could match them with passports used in the years leading up to the attack.”

    • Dish-Washer

      presumably the harlot they spent the night with was the helper, if not Dr Novichokova herself…

      • Ken Kenn

        So, are we looking for two dodgy Spire loving Russians and a Lady of the Night
        swinging her handbag on the corner near the Skripal household between 12 noon and 1.25?

        If any CCTV emerges of that particular scenario – You’ve Been Framed will give you £500 for that.

        Pass it on.

          • Tom Welsh

            More seriously, irony may diminish your instinctive loyalty to your government, police and media.

          • Dish-Washer

            I feel sure that at times HMG would like to abolish irony, were it only possible. But what I meant was that ironic comments here can be taken as seriously meant by readers. That’s why so many people nowadays are adding irony warnings to their comments.

          • flatulence'

            People killing people. People enslaving their own people. Countries enslaving countries. Corps rule. Caught in a rat race where the prize is the destruction of humanity, or the end of the human race, while constantly banging your head against a wall of ignorance where the planet isn’t ready for open source governance and may never get the chance to be.

            I can take all this, but I don’t want to live in a world where people need to give irony warnings.

            Goodbye.
            *bang*
            *splat*

          • Clark

            Mistaking irony is a problem with text-only communication, which removes all the tonal and expression cues we would normally use to recognise it. The original pioneers of the Internet and e-mail recognised this decades ago; conversations can blow up into flame wars very easily. That is why many Usenet groups etc. came to be moderated, and why Wikipedia has a rule “assume good faith”.

    • Yeah, Right

      The British authorities have clearly clicked to the implausibility of Boshirov and Petrov walking through Gatwick immigration with highly toxic nerve agents in their backpacks, just begging for a suspicious Customs officer to ask “Hello? What’s this then?”

      It has always struck me as a no-brainer that if the Russian Federation wanted to poison someone in Britain then they would bring the poison into the country in a diplomatic bad, precisely because that would make the bottle of Novichok immune to interception.

      But this would also – of necessity – required a handoff from someone on the Russian embassy staff to Boshirov and Petrov.
      Right on queue: “It’s believed they could have met a handler who was working at the embassy”

      No shit, Sherlock.

      But this bit did make me laugh out loud: “and a fourth, the medic, might have had oversight of the whole thing to make sure they didn’t risk ruining the operation by getting themselves contaminated,”

      Yeah, sure, because everyone knows that if you spill a bottle of deadlier-than-VX nerve agent on yourself then it’ll be alright – no problems – if you have a medic on hand ready to slap a band-aid on you.

      • Piotr Berman

        No bandaids but ethanol at a concentration not available in British retail (called spirt in Russian).

        It still remains mindboggling who would use perfume bottle to smuggle a potent poison? The bottle should be enough for hundreds of lethal doses, assuming that Mrs. Sturges did not drink a nice swallow of it, and it is not good at all for surreptitious applications. Smuggling in onboard luggage is risky because controls specifically focus on bottles of liquid, you are supposed to keep them in pouches and show when you cross controls, and X-rays find them without fail. And if smuggled in diplomatic luggage, why use a phony bottle at all?

    • George_Cardiff

      I think they also must have brought in a cook, to make sure they don’t get a stomach upset and confuse the doctor. This operation has been conducted with such attention to detail, so please look out for the cook too.

  • Peter Schmidt

    I have seen that on Moon of Alabama, regarding the Skripal case:
    Freedom of Expression in the UK:
    Prominent British Scientist and Critic of the Skripal Poisoning Story Arrested

    [Dr. Christopher] Busby was arrested and detained under the explosives act. last week.
    He never believed in the story.

  • Rowan

    The Sun yesterday plumbed new depths of concrete stupidity. The ‘samples’ did not constitute’ ‘spillage’. Maybe they were in sachets!

    The hotel guest complained a second time as he left for work on Mar 4. When he returned later that day he was told the pair had an “altercation” with hotel staff as they were confronted over their behaviour before checking out. He added: “I threatened not to stay there again. I said: “Why have you let these people to stay here?” I understand there was an altercation before they left. Words were spoken. They had a row with staff. When I returned, staff apologised, saying it won’t happen again. The cleaner apologised to me when I came back, as she was still cleaning their room. She’d been in there all day cleaning the room. She said there’d been trouble. A month later, counter-terror police found samples of Novichok in the room. The guest, who is too terrified to be named, added: “If it had gone wrong and they’d spilled that stuff in the hotel, we could all have been done for.”

  • Alzheimer

    I can almost picture Putin at the daily meeting urging his ministers to stop laughing when the Skripals item pops up on the agenda….

  • Sir Keef

    A thought occurs. If MI6 wanted to frame the Russians for the attack, they may have just sat and waited, monitoring flights from Russia, keeping potential patsies under surveillance and picking their moment to pounce. The two hapless Russian tourists whose slightly erratic and inexplicable movements on that day would have been a perfect fit for the rap, and they may have unwittingly dovetailed terribly neatly into the plot line that had was effectively built around them. Whilst seemingly convoluted and far fetched, this theory is far from impossible to conceive, but would explain many things e.g. the patsy’s apparently genuine incredulity at being thrust into the limelight, the palpably feeble narrative that they just happened to be there by coincidence when the attacks were taking place (a factor which the UK has clearly milked for all its worth), their absurd reliance on public transport, the way they didn’t try to avoid surveillance cameras, in fact their general conduct, being being extremely atypical of the way that one might expect a pair of highly trained assassins to operate….and so on and so forth.

    Of course I might just be losing the plot myself, but the way this thing is playing out, anything seems possible…

    • Yeah, Right

      “This stuff from journalistic sources”
      You mean Bellingcat, don’t you?
      That well-known shill for the Atlantic Council
      That one?

      “Files related to Mr Petrov’s internal passport – a mandatory ID for Russian adults – are marked with a stamp reading “do not provide any information” and a phone number.”

      “The Independent called the number prefixed with a Moscow area code and was told it was for the reception of Russia’s ministry of defence.”

      Hahahahah. So the top-secret deep-cover fake-identity document has a phone number on it, and that phone number directs you to the RECEPTION DESK of the Ministry of Defence!!!! And you really believe that the fate of deep-undercover GRU operatives is left in the hands of the RECEPTIONIST at the front desk of the Ministry of Defence? Really? You honestly find that in any way plausible?

      “Another page reserved for biographical information in Mr Petrov’s passport files is left blank except for a hand-written note reading “there is a letter ss”. The abbreviation “ss” is commonly used to denote “top secret”.”

      Hahahah. Read that again. Out loud. A BLANK PAGE is marked “Top Secret”.

      A. Blank. Page.

      And that sounds plausible to you, does it?

      “The passport contains no data about Petrov’s past before 2009, when it was issued.”

      It’s an internal travel document. When, exactly, were all the disparate records merged into a single Russia-wide computer database?

      It wouldn’t happen to be…. 2009… would it?

      “Other documents uncovered by the two investigative websites include an Aeroflot flight manifest which appears to show the two suspects bought tickets to the UK only hours before travelling, ”

      No, it would have shown them checking into that flight only hours before travelling, which is perfectly normal – buying the tickets to fly is not at all the same thing as carrying out check-in.

      That newspaper article is nothing more than a reheat of the Bellingcat post, and that Bellingcat post is riddled with risible nonsense.

  • Mary Paul

    This is an updated timeline. The main difference from the previous one is that I have tracked down the time the Skripals fed the ducks in Avon Playground to around 13:45. This is between arriving in the car park in the Maltings and going to the Mill pub. For some reason this episode is omitted from the Met Police time line. (see below).

    This may be a significant incident – they went to the Playground before going to the Mill pub. Where did they get the bread to feed the ducks, had they gone home on the way first before going to the town centre and parking?

    Also I cannot find the time of the train back to London which P+B caught on Sunday afternoon. Anyone know what time it was?

    4th March 2018 Salisbury (Updated 17/9/18)

    08:05: Petrov + Boshirov leave London to travel to Salisbury by train– total journey time just under 4 hours
    09.15 Skripal’s car seen in area of London Road, Churchill Way North and Wilton Road Salisbury – heading out of town to North East
    Both Skripals’ mobile phones off and no further sightings until 13:30 – see below
    11:48 Petrov + Boshirov seen on CCTV leaving Salisbury train station
    11:58 Petrol + Boshirov seen on CCTV in Wilton Road Salisbury near path to Skripals house.
    According to police, if P+B had walked to Skripals house from here, they would have arrived shortly after 12.00 noon
    Met Police say this is moments before poison smeared on front door handle of Skripal house
    13:05 Petrov + Boshirov next sighting – filmed in Fisherton Street Salisbury (direction of Salisbury train station)
    13:30 (33?) Skripal car seen CCTV on India Avenue, just before junction with Devizes Road, approaching Salisbury town centre
    This is a short distance by car from Skripals home on Christie Miller Road. Image said to be on private CCTV. (Source Daily Mail and Daily Mirror)
    13:40 Sergei and daughter Yulia arrive upper level car park in Maltings.
    13:45 Sergei and Yulia go to Avon Playground.. Invite local boys to help them feed the ducks.
    CCTV must exist of this incident as, according to one set of parents: ”The police showed us CCTV of Aiden and his friends with the Russian gentleman and you can see him handing my son and his friends some bread.” (Source:Sun)
    The duck feeding episode was omitted from the official Met Police time line which said:“At approximately 13:40hrs on Sunday, 4 March, Sergei and Yulia arrived in Sainsbury’s upper level car park in the Maltings. At some time after this, they went to the Bishops Mill Pub before going to Zizzi Restaurant at approximately 14.20hrs, where they stayed until around 15:35 hrs”.
    Circa 13:55? Sergei and daughter walk from Avon Playground to Bishops Mill Pub in town centre
    13:55 (?) – 14:20 Sergei and Yulia in Bishops Mill pub in town centre
    13:50 Petrov+Boshirov seen on CCTV in Salisbury train station
    14:20 (approx.) Sergei and Yulia leave Bishop’s Mill pub and go to nearby Zizzi’s Restaurant
    14:20 – 15:35 Sergei and Yulia dine at Zizzi’s in the Maltings
    15:35 Sergei and Yulia leave Zizzi’s. Not known where they go. Seen on CCTV outside Snap Fitness (Source Dail Mirror)
    ? Petrov+Boshirov catch train back to London (assumed to have been waiting in the station beforehand)
    16:15 Sergei and daughter Yulia found unconscious on park bench in town centre. Emergency services called.
    16:45 Petrov+Boshirov arrive back in London
    17:10 Sergei and Yulia taken separately to Salisbury District Hospital by ambulance and helicopter
    18:30 Petrov + Bashirov board London Underground to London Heathrow airport
    19:28 Petrov + Bashirov pass through Passport control at London Heathrow airport
    22:30 Petrov+Bashirov return to Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2585

    • Blunderbuss

      It has been suggested (earlier in this thread) that the Skripals went to the pub after (not before) dining at Zizzi. Thus the alleged time that they were in the pub might actually be the time they were feeding the ducks. The ducks obviously have to be airbrushed out because they didn’t die of Novichok poisoning.

    • FobosDeimos

      Since the Police have by now realized that P&B’ moves around Salisbury on March 4 rules them out as the assassins they are portrayed to be, and because P&B went on national TV just a few days after the UK published their pictures and explained their trip to England, the UK is now (six months after the facts) saying that two other evil Russians took part in the not-so deadly attack with the faulty, 10-times deadlier than VX “Novichok”. Now comes the part when the Brits publish dozens of CCTV images of these two evil Russians, and possibly their identities too. Which will be followed by their appearence on RT, preceded by a statement from Putin, who this time will not be able to stop laughing loudly…

    • Andyoldlabour

      @Mary Paul,
      Do we know which London station they would have travelled back to, because according to the current timetables, trains from Salisbury to London on a Sunday run at the following times in order to arrive in London at 1645 –
      Salisbury depart 1427 arrive London Waterloo 1559 no changes.
      Salisbury depart 1436 arrive London Paddington 1645 2 changes
      This is assuming that the timetable was the same then, and that the snow had not disrupted the trains as normally happens.

      • MaryPau!

        Well the official version is they got back to London at 16:45. The only train which gets back to London at that time is as you say the 14:36 with two changes which arrives at Paddington station. (They got to the station at 13:50 so catching it would have involved them hanging around Salisbury station for an extended period, in which case they will almost certainly be on its CCTV). I will need to check the Met police timeline to see if it says which actual station they returned to, or just London.

        • Radio Jammor

          According to the Met Police: “They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo Station, arriving at approximately 4.45pm”

          They were at the station at 13:50 and would have been able to get the 14:27, arriving Waterloo at 15:59. Even if there was a 14:36 train on the Sunday (there wasn’t), why would you wait to get it? The route is operated by South West Railway (formerly South West Trains). Why change trains twice and travel with more than one provider, costing you more money, just to get to Paddington about 45 minutes later than getting to Waterloo?

          Anyway, this seems to be an aside – they got back to Waterloo, not Paddington.

          This arrival time however does not make sense unless there was a 45 minute delay to the train. Distinct possibility though, with the weather and with it being a Sunday. There could have been maintenance as well as weather clear-up.

          That Met Police paragraph in full reads: “They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo Station, arriving at approximately 4.45pm and boarded the London Underground at approximately 6.30pm to London Heathrow Airport.”

          Hang on, where did they get on the Underground for Heathrow, 1hr 45mins after getting back to London? Was it the underground at Waterloo? It’s all rather vague…

      • Radio Jammor

        Andy, can you give details of this 14:36 train, including the train providers (GWT, SWR, etc). I have not been able to replicate this information from current or previous timetables. I think you may have made an error.

  • Paul Barbara

    Re MH 17:
    ‘SUMMING UP RUSSIAN MILITARY BRIEFING ON MH17 INCIDENT: MISSILE’S SERIAL NUMBERS, FAKE VIDEOS AND INTERCEPTED RADIO COMMUNICATIONS’:
    https://southfront.org/summing-up-russian-military-briefing-on-mh17-incident-missiles-serial-numbers-fake-videos-and-intercepted-radio-communications/
    ‘…The military unit 20152, which received the missile, is 221 anti-aircraft missile brigade then located in the town of Terebovlya in the western part of Ukraine. After the collapse of the USSR, by the decree of the president of Ukraine this unit was renamed into 223 anti-aircraft missile regiment.

    Now, 223 anti-aircraft missile regiment is located in the city of Stryi of the Lviv region. The regiment has Buk missile systems and has particiapted in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    The Russian side provided this information to the international team of investigators led by the Netherlands.

    Fake videos
    The Russian side also studied video footage used by the UK-based group Bellingcat and then international investigators to allege that the Buk launched involved in the incident was transported from Russia and was belonging to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces. During the press briefing, the ministry of defense said that this video the footage had been manipulated (start 12:46-18:19):….’

    Once again, the West provides video fakery and false allegations, whilst the Russians present authentic documentation.
    And ‘Bellingcat’ is up to his chops in it.

  • Njegos

    Must-read thread on the ongoing campaign to shield Bill Browder from criticism and investigation.

    https://twitter.com/John_Frank1954/status/1041710797137895424

    Browder and his lawyers continually prevent distribution of Andrei Nekrasov’s devastating expose of Browder lies. “The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes”. Most recently it was taken down from Vimeo following legal threats.

    Now they are using the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to do their dirty work and act as a tool of censorship. Not only that but MEPs are moving to sanction Cyprus over its collaboration with Russia in investigating Browder’s offshore activities.

    https://cyprus-mail.com/2018/09/13/meps-threaten-sanctions-over-cooperation-with-russia/

    This is becoming insane.

    • AlvaresReyes

      Yes. Watched the film this summer and while I don’t necessarily believe that the Russian side is totally blameless, Browder appears to be dishonest.

      I wish Craig would research this and write a major post about the matter. It’s totally outrageous how this guy first went to Russia to enrich himself while the Russian people were suffering, and when the tax authorities (and Putin?) said enough is enough, he started this political campaign. And the EU just seems to go along with this, if this is how legislation is drawn up in the EU- for the benefit of the few, not many – I really want my country to exit the union as well. (Also due to their Israeli policies and some other stuff.)

      Some sources, if Craig or anyone else wants to research the Magnitsky case:

      https://populist.tv/2018/01/20/bill-browder-links-and-resources-to-understand-controversy/

      https://ahtribune.com/politics/2285-bill-browder.html

      A 2-minute clip from his deposition, but if you have time, there are hours more to watch in the youtube:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AQfP5R4Du4

      For more information, check also Torstein Grude’s twitter account:

      https://twitter.com/TorsteinGrude/status/1041671604898594816

      • Doodlebug

        “Browder appears to be dishonest”

        Something of an understatement there. In light of those incontestable facts Nekrasov points to, Browder’s ‘dishonesty’ is deliberate. Even in Russia, If you train as an accountant you qualify as an accountant, not a lawyer.

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