Skripals – The Mystery Deepens 3063

The time that “Boshirov and Petrov” were allegedly in Salisbury carrying out the attack is all entirely within the period the Skripals were universally reported to have left their home with their mobile phones switched off.

A key hole in the British government’s account of the Salisbury poisonings has been plugged – the lack of any actual suspects. And it has been plugged in a way that appears broadly convincing – these two men do appear to have traveled to Salisbury at the right time to have been involved.

But what has not been established is the men’s identity and that they are agents of the Russian state, or just what they did in Salisbury. If they are Russian agents, they are remarkably amateur assassins. Meanwhile the new evidence throws the previously reported timelines into confusion – and demolishes the theories put out by “experts” as to why the Novichok dose was not fatal.

This BBC report gives a very useful timeline summary of events.

At 09.15 on Sunday 4 March the Skripals’ car was seen on CCTV driving through three different locations in Salisbury. Both Skripals had switched off their mobile phones and they remained off for over four hours, which has baffled geo-location.

There is no CCTV footage that indicates the Skripals returning to their home. It has therefore always been assumed that they last touched the door handle around 9am.

But the Metropolitan Police state that Boshirov and Petrov did not arrive in Salisbury until 11.48 on the day of the poisoning. That means that they could not have applied a nerve agent to the Skripals’ doorknob before noon at the earliest. But there has never been any indication that the Skripals returned to their home after noon on Sunday 4 March. If they did so, they and/or their car somehow avoided all CCTV cameras. Remember they were caught by three CCTV cameras on leaving, and Borishov and Petrov were caught frequently on CCTV on arriving.

The Skripals were next seen on CCTV at 13.30, driving down Devizes road. After that their movements were clearly witnessed or recorded until their admission to hospital.

So even if the Skripals made an “invisible” trip home before being seen on Devizes Road, that means the very latest they could have touched the doorknob is 13.15. The longest possible gap between the novichok being placed on the doorknob and the Skripals touching it would have been one hour and 15 minutes. Do you recall all those “experts” leaping in to tell us that the “ten times deadlier than VX” nerve agent was not fatal because it had degraded overnight on the doorknob? Well that cannot be true. The time between application and contact was between a minute and (at most) just over an hour on this new timeline.

In general it is worth observing that the Skripals, and poor Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, all managed to achieve almost complete CCTV invisibility in their widespread movements around Salisbury at the key times, while in contrast “Petrov and Boshirov” managed to be frequently caught in high quality all the time during their brief visit.

This is especially remarkable in the case of the Skripals’ location around noon on 4 March. The government can only maintain that they returned home at this time, as they insist they got the nerve agent from the doorknob. But why was their car so frequently caught on CCTV leaving, but not at all returning? It appears very much more probable that they came into contact with the nerve agent somewhere else, while they were out.

“Boshirov and Petrov” plainly are of interest in this case. But only Theresa May stated they were Russian agents: the police did not, and stated that they expected those were not their real identities. We do not know who Boshirov and Petrov were. It appears very likely their appearance was to do with the Skripals on that day. But they may have been meeting them, outside the home. The evidence points to that, rather than doorknobs. Such a meeting might explain why the Skripals had turned off their mobile phones to attempt to avoid surveillance.

It is also telling the police have pressed no charges against them in the case of Dawn Sturgess, which would be manslaughter at least if the government version is true.

If “Boshirov and Petrov” are secret agents, their incompetence is astounding. They used public transport rather than a vehicle and left the clearest possible CCTV footprint. They failed in their assassination attempt. They left traces of novichok everywhere and could well have poisoned themselves, and left the “murder weapon” lying around to be found. Their timings in Salisbury were extremely tight – and British Sunday rail service dependent.

There are other possibilities of who “Boshirov and Petrov” really are, of which Ukrainian is the obvious one. One thing I discovered when British Ambassador to Uzbekistan was that there had been a large Ukrainian ethnic group of scientists working at the Soviet chemical weapon testing facility there at Nukus. There are many other possibilities.

Yesterday’s revelations certainly add to the amount we know about the Skripal event. But they raise as many new questions as they give answers.

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3,063 thoughts on “Skripals – The Mystery Deepens

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  • FobosDeimos

    In spite of the scepticism that seems to be prevalent after the two Russians were interviewed by Simonyan, I would like to point out the following: (1) the guys came forward and confirmed their identities, as well as the timeline of their March trip to London and Salisbury; (2) if they were military intelligence officers, like May says, especially if they had anything at all to do with the Skripals’ poisoning, they would have never been allowed to appear on TV;, it would have been sufficient for Putin to say that the two guys in the CCTV pictures had been identified, that they were innocent and that nothing else would be informed unless the UK stopped acting like an arrogant bully and decided to share its own info with the Russian authorities, (3) they surely visited Salisbury Cathedral; that is why they so confidently challenge the British authorities to publish CCTV pictures of the area; they also took their own pictures and they seem to be confident that they can present the pictures as evidence, if needed; (4) they confirm that they left Salisbury at a time when (had they been really involved) two professional killers would still be there quietly checking for the outcome of their actions. Overall, my feeling is that the British official story keeps sinking in quicksands.

    • Anders Novichok

      Yes of course, Anna “Chapman” never appeared on TV either, despite her being hailed as a Spy in her own country?
      Tell me FobosDeimos, what is your level of evidence for this case? What would convince you that they attacked the Skipals using a nerve agent?

      • FobosDeimos

        I have no level of evidence whatsoever. I only know that we began with a “weapon-grade CW ten times more lethal than VX agent”. The three primary victims of the alleged attack recovered within days/weeks. We have been bumbling around with the lethal substance alternatively described as a gel or a fluid. The latest iteration was a gel applied to the door knob, which presumably the Skripals touched at around 1pm (this is new, because up until a few days ago the Skripals were supposed to have left their home in the morning, never to return). Anyway, we are asked to believe that the Skripals endured quite well the following three hours, strolling around, having drinks and lunch,etc., until about 4PM, when they both suddenly and simultaneously collapsed. Then we were told that it was no gel after all, but a fluid disguised as a Nina Ricci perfume, found by chance two months later by two poor fellows. Nobody cared to correct the standard version about the gel spread on the door knob. Moreover, the police are still firmly maintaining the door knob sgiry. Fnally, like five months after the poisoning we have Theresa May and the police swearing that two GRU guys posing as Petrov and Bushirov perpetrated the attack, though they left Salisbury way before the Skripals collapsed on the bench, and flew out of Heathrow way before any report of this incident and its outcome was made public. I see that you are satisfied with that “level of evidence” and that is fine with me.

        • FobosDeimos

          Excuse me and then we have Petrov and Bushitov going on national TV saying that those are their real names, etc. What now?

        • JohninMK

          Up to the point when they were identified in Russia wasn’t it just May and not the police that has said they were Russians?

    • Martin Kernick

      If they had visited Salisbury cathedral, surely they would have brought along thier pictures to the interview. I know I would.

      • Anders Novichok

        FobosDeimos I think the bottom line is nothing would convince you or the other doubters on here as they have one function deny, deny and obfuscate then deny again, they do not believe in Occam’s Razor and believe what they are told no matter how quote “fantastical” a theory is. They aren’t even able to realise when they are being taken for fools.

        • FobosDeimos

          I have no “function” at all. Occam’s razor plays against the UK Govt. story, as formulated. I am all against conspiracy theories, but I am afraid the official story has a thousand holes and this latest episode of Petrova and Bushirov is a clumsy distraction. Good bye

  • Republicofscotland

    RT news channel to show the whole interview of the Russian’s around 2.30pm, said the presenter. So far I’ve only seen a short Q&A.

  • Deborah Harris

    The 2 suspects in the Skripal case have been interviewed on RT, it’s a transcript of interview as well as videos of the interview and other articles. Check out the website.

  • John Bull

    On 20-22 March 2018, at the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice of the application for permission for OPCW to take blood samples from the Skripals, a Porton Down analyst said under oath that:-

    “Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound.”

    This is not some fake news, coinspiracy theory or Kremlin press release. It is as stated in the Judge’s Report, Para 17 i). The link to the full report is here:-

    So it would seem that Porton Down were not able to confirm it was a nerve agent. Which is odd, considering they are world leaders in that sort of thing.

    But one thing we can be certain of is that Prime Minister was mistaken in thinking it was definitely Novichok, and she misled Parliament, the general public, our allies and the rest of the world when she claimed this was definitely the poison used.

    She – or rather her briefers – cannot be trusted.

  • Republicofscotland

    Right then, I’ve just watched the whole interview of the two Russian’s suspected of carrying out the Skripal affair, and in my opinion, those men are not telling the whole truth.

    Firstly the two men, claimed they were going to on a site seeing tour of Salisbury suggested to them by their friends. However they claimed they stayed in Salisbury for just an hour, and headed back to London. One of the men then said we planned to visit London first, they seemed a bit sketchy on where they wanted to visit first.

    Secondly, they both claimed they’d never heard of the Skripal case, until the commotion surrounding their lives took hold. Yet when asked in a prior question did they go to the Skripals house, both said they didn’t know where the house was.

    Thirdly British security services said that the men visited Switzerland on a regular basis, both men denied this, but they knew exactly the quickest way to get to a specific city in Switzerland from France.

    Both men were very cagey on devolving any information surrounding their business activities. Which I’m sure under the circumstances would’ve helped absolve them to a certain extent, unless its a front.

    Both men who travel prolifically due to their business interests, must’ve seen their faces in the international media yet they took their time in coming forward to clear their names why?

    Finally both men are now playing the victims card claiming a bounty is on their heads. In my opinion, both men are not what they claim to be.

  • TJ

    The Boshirov and Petrov interview –

    A few interesting points to note-

    1. Boshirov seems the more nervous, he makes a strange point about there only being 1 bed in the hotel room shown they were supposed to have stayed in, then goes on about other rooms with more beds in them, the interviewer says people don’t care about that. Have HMG deliberately outed a Russian gay couple here? Is this a “hate crime”?

    2. Boshirov does not want to talk about their fitness business, as it might effect their clients. If they are gay, maybe their clients are, and are not out, given the situation in Russia this would certainly explain the nervousness and reluctance to divulge more.

    3. Boshirov talks about not only Salisbury Cathedral including the spire and clock, but Old Sarum Cathedral. He says the Police must have images of them at Salisbury Cathedral. The question is if this is true, why have the pictures not been seen or even mentioned, it would change the timeline that has been put forward by the Police.

  • FobosDeimos

    I was thinking the same thing. They may be gay and feel uncomfortable about the world-wide exposure. For example when they a ask what would have a customs officer thought of them if they found the perfume. Being gay in Russia apparently is not so easy. Also, on a completely separate note they may have some shady business in Russia, so they probably are nervous when asked about how they make their living. The least probable conclusion from this interview is that they had something to do with.the poisoning, and above all that they are GRU professional killers.

    • Blunderbuss

      I think their only function was to get caught on CCTV and draw attention away from the real culprits.

        • Blunderbuss

          We now have improbable stories from both B&P and the British government. I don’t believe either of them. I think the truth is more likely to be found in the theories put forward by some of the contributors to this blog.

        • Blunderbuss

          I’ve just watched the whole video (I’d previously only seen extracts) and I now find it more convincing than I did at first. They don’t look at each other much for cues but at no point do they contradict each other. I don’t think they are gay because, if they were, they would look at each other more.

  • A.C.Doyle

    I’d be curious to know if Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov left some trail in advance of their plans for a short visit Salisbury from their London hotel base. For example purchasing tickets or maybe internet searches for attractions in Salisbury, or even on their visa application. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that an already planned false flag operation for Salisbury would have been activated by a tip off that Russians were coming who fitted nicely in the frame.

  • Jean

    It is clear that the Skripals did expect to be returning home as they had left their guinea pigs and cat in the house. The vet phoned the police and told them about the animals but no one bothered to so much as put water and food in a window for the cat and all the animals died a horrible death of thirst and starvation.
    I did wonder at one point if the whole thing was a set up as there is no proof that the Skripals were ever poisoned, not one person saw them in the park or being taken to hospital, well not that was reported to the media. All I saw was that a doctor said they had thought it might be an opiod overdose – that would certainly have caused them to be slumped on the bench.

  • Ken MacIntyre

    This is an obvious, clumsy scam that recalls AJP Taylor’s withering advice to the government of Anthony Eden at the time of the Suez invasion:

    ‘Like most respectable folk, they make very poor criminals. In future, they had better stick to being respectable because they are not going to be any good at anything else ‘

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