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.

3,063 thoughts on “Skripals – The Mystery Deepens

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  • Stonky

    I don’t know why people keep dissing the professionalism of these two Russian agents. Anybody who walks up to a door and smears the handle with the deadliest nerve agent known to man, while wearing no protective gear at all, and walks away grinning and laughing, deserves the utmost respect in my book…

    • Sean Lamb

      Especially someone who then disassembles the perfume bottle, replaces it in its original packaging and chucks it into a nearby charity bin

        • Igor M.

          So why put it into a charity bin where it’s patently obvious that someone would take it and USE it thereby increasing your plane of exposure?! Like I said, C-O-M-I-C-A-L

          • Proof Positive

            The answer is obvious. Russians are SO rich that they mistook the charity bin for a garbage bin and just assumed it’d make its way to the dump and be lost forever.

            The old story of Russians discarding the Mercedes when the ashtray was full comes to mind.

            Besides, isn’t the two sets of hats, jackets and shoes for a two day trip proof enough? They contaminated the first set with novichok, then may a quick change.

          • Proof Positive

            Of course, mon ami. Just the fact I had you guessing speaks volumes about this nonsense.

            Chances are 100:1 that Ukraine’s SBU was behind it all. Motive, means and opportunity. All there in one neat package. Cui Bono, mes amis. Now write it 1000 times on the blackboard before the bell.

          • Igor M.

            Didn’t care about being exposed and linked to a piece of hard evidence?! What sort of a clown are you???

          • V

            And we all know intelligence agencies always execute everything perfectly, right?

            Do you know what SNAFU stands for, Igor? It’s an abbreviation originally from the US military. “Situation normal – all fucked up”?

            Even if they could do everything perfectly, why would they need to when they have people like you eager to call all fuckups as evidence it couldn’t really have been them.

          • Igor M.

            So you’re saying that they have colossally by being allowing themselves to be lit up, but in their handling of the supposedly more toxic than VX agent they did everything so as not to get contaminated, yet they messed up the dose so that the toxin magically managed to strike down a man and a woman of different age and body type (father and daughter Skripal) at the same time AT LEAST four hours after the supposed exposure yet the policeman who “happen to stumble across them” fell ill to the toxin much-much faster, yet ambulance crew nor the physicians at the hospital who initially treated them for a suspected drug intoxication showed any sign or symptom?

            The story you believe in is so full of holes only a brainless idiot who is brainwashed beyond belief would take it at face value… By the way, have you found those Iraqi WMD yet?

            Oh hold on, are you talking about the British Intelligence SNAFUed this case?

  • mike

    From Ruth, this morning: “There were no direct flights from Moscow to Gatwick on 2 March. There was a flight from St Petersburg, SU6619, which landed at Gatwick at 2.45pm. The Met said the inward flight was SU2588 from Moscow to Gatwick and outward flight SU2585 to Moscow.”

    This is key.

    • MaryPaul

      I think there a certain amount of Russian originated muddying of the waters underway at present .

      • Proof Positive

        How can you further muddy a muddled mudflat? It’s like trying to put lipstick on a pig.

        One thing is sure. Sherlock would solve this mystery but then, likely be offed in the process.

    • MaryPaul

      So Ruth would you like to tell us how the men arrived on. non existent flight on 2 March. ? Maybe Russian timetables are out of date perhaps?

    • Geoffrey

      Someone else has suggested that Ruth’s post of this morning was a deliberate red herring, designed to get people to believe that Aeroflot was lying,and therefore in on the plot (devious Ruskies).
      In which case mike might be doing the same , pete will post later.

      • isa

        There is no implication that she was lying. Aeroflot probably checked their 2019 timetable and said no there are no flights. simply because the flights to Gatwick have been cancelled for the Summer 2018 and onwards and moved to the LHR route. They will not show in the system anymore. Easily done.

    • alasdairbuchanan

      Incorrect & misleading.
      Aeroflot flight SU2588 Moscow/Gatwick operated on Friday 02/03/2018 as recorded by the airline monitoring site Airportia.

  • Ignacio

    We first learned, according to the british government, that the Skripals were attacked by a “military grade” nerve agent of russian origin. Such claim was not backed by the institution (that located in Porton Down) that should most likely be the source of the government. Now we learn that, according to the british government, two “russian agents” have been identified as authors of the attack. Again, such claim is not backed by the institution (the Met) that should most likely be the source of the government. You see the pattern? Theresa May has a history of making stuff up against Rusia and has exhausted her credibility. Even if it is true that these guys are russian agents that tried to kill Mr. Skripal with military grade russian Novichok you cannot publicly make an accusation if you cannot show convincing evidence. And not, CCTV images are not convincing evidence.

  • MaryPaul

    There are reports that the actual identity of the two men is known to the security services but they have not released it – probably to keep the Russians in their toes – which is why they are able to state they are GRU operatives. As for them being Ukrainian, they clearly applied for visas as Russian from Russian addresses and I wonder why Ukraine would target the Skripals on British soil? There are hints from sources familiar with the case of a third party sleeper Russian agent who is operative in Salisbury. That might explain discarding the fake perfume in Salisbury several months later but it still seems remarkably reckless. As for lack of signal, I read not so long ago that your mobile phone still emitted a location signal, even when turned off. Is that incorrect?

    • laguerre

      Wallace was quite clear on R4 this morning. That these are GRU operatives comes from “intelligence” which he refused to release. So it’s just an allegation. Any government official can make up a story, and tell you “we know, but we’re not giving you the evidence”. In that case, it generally is a made-up story which they’re unable to prove. Otherwise, they would tell us. The sign is in the extremely unprofessional behaviour of these supposed assassins. Nobody but a complete idiot would behave like that, but that’s what we’re expected to believe.

    • Stonky

      “here are reports that the actual identity of the two men is known to the security services…”

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the actual identities of the two men were known to the security services. In fact, I’d be a lot more surprised if they weren’t.

    • Igor M.

      “There are reports that the actual identity of the two men is known to the security services but they have not released it – probably to keep the Russians in their toes …”

      You wrote that for a comical effect, right? Why would it “keep the Russians on their toes”—if they did send them, they’d know whom they sent and they’d be “on their toes” in the first place, right?! And why would two “highly trained” in “precision delivery” of a “lethal toxin” “agents” wander around and light up so much all over the place?!

      If those two guys are truly Russians, my most plausible explanation is that those are the only two Russians who had the misfortune of traveling to the UK between those dates and decide to go for a wonder around Salisbury! And the investigators had a task and they needed to find the evidence to fit suspects. That’s all.

      • Jacque

        These two guys are definitely extremely fishy, whether they had anything to do with Skripals or not. If they were just some legit tourists or on a business/personal trip, it would take some 10 seconds for the Russian authorities to request the passenger list from Aeroflot, get their passport numbers, request all the info from the office where these passport were issued, get all the personal info that had to be provided in order to get such passport (including their real addresses), find these guys and figure out their real identity and explain why they can’t be GRU agents. Since we haven’t heard anything of the sort from russians, it’s… fishy.

        • Igor M.

          “If they were just some legit tourists or on a business/personal trip, it would take some 10 seconds for the Russian authorities to request the passenger list from Aeroflot, get their passport numbers, request all the info from the office where these passport were issued, get all the personal info that had to be provided in order to get such passport (including their real addresses), find these guys and figure out their real identity and explain why they can’t be GRU agents.”

          So every time the UK produces some names the Russian authorities need to do that exercise? For what? What basis would it be on, there’s no request from the British Authorities for anything from the Russian side, save for “admit your guilt;” and the Russian requests to the Brits about the details about those guys so that the Russians can do their own checking go unanswered—Russians requested the details including the passport numbers and finger prints that the Brits have used to issue the visas—guess what the British answer was (or was not in the case)…

          If I were to accuse you of being a pedophile because I happen to have a photo of you walking past a primary school, would you say to me “prove it” or would you go out of your way to prove that you’re not?!

          Or, how would you respond to my asking “have you finally stopped beating your partner?”

        • Patrick Mahony

          The only logical reason I can think Jacque is they were genuine GRU/FSB but couriers not assassins.
          Incompetent couriers, admittedly, but either that or the world’s worst assassins.
          They were bringing cash/gold to Sergei.
          The snow stopped them on Friday.
          Sergei wasn’t there on Saturday.
          Sunday they gave him the package and went home.
          If Sergei was a triple-agent the Russians are caught out. They can’t admit it and are having the uselessness of operatives like Ruslan and Alex exposed.

      • MaryPaul

        Yes they are architectural historians no doubt. Nipped down to Salisbury for a wander around the Skripals housing estate?

      • MaryPaul

        actually I meant the British government is not yet showing all its hands, to keep the Russians guessing about how much information it has on these guys. If they are ordinary citizens, safely back in Russia. they can go on state TV and explain how it is all a fabrication by the British government. And they are just two history buffs who popped over to the UK for a couple of days to look around around Salisbury.

        • Igor M.

          What do you not understand about the principle that an exposed operative is an exposed operative- that’s a binary principle- there’s no “lightly,” “slightly,” “moderately,” or “utterly” in terms of a “spy” operative- the other side either knows who they are or they don’t! So your premise is naive if one were to be kind to you.

        • FobosDeimos

          You have a point Mary Paul. These are not “normal circumstances”. Therefore, even though the Brittish are being arrogant and self righteous from the beginning, and even though the whole story as presented by the unsufferable Theresa May has more wholes than a Swiss cheese, I do believe that the Russian government must come forward and explain why the story is false, who are these two guys, if they obtained passports using their real names, and I even agree that these two guys (the ones who actually traveled to the UK between 2-4 March, went to Saliisbury, etc) if they are clean, should appear on national TV and show to the world that they were simply tourists. Otherwise, the Russian government can surely show evidence that these guy’s passports were stolen or forged, etc. For people like me, who are fed up of Western hypocrisy and crimes, people who think that Russia under Putin has played an indispensable role in keeping a modicum of balance after the US went berzerk detroying countries, it is crucial that Russia stops using lawyerly jargon and chicaney and puts all their cards on the table now. I am sorry but this is how the real world works.

    • Paul Greenwood

      You really believe “they applied for visas as Russian from Russian addresses” ? If that were true they certainly are not GRU officers.

      They would use the Mossad trick of using British or Romanian passports and boarding planes in Bucharest or in Cyprus or Prague and flying separately. This is such cartoonish behaviour that Daily Liar today had to show comic strips.

      Even Stalin didn’t use a Russian (or a Georgian) to kill Trotsky with that ice pick……

      • MaryPaul

        The UK government has said that they were Russians travelling under false Russian aliases. There has been no suggestion they were using EU passports. They have been traced travelling from Moscow to the UK and back, on specific Aeroflot flights from and to Moscow. I assume they appear under
        these assumed names on the relevant flight maifests.

        I don’t know if you have done much international travelling recently but coming from outside the EU they would have needed a visa to get into the UK which requires both a home and a destination address to be supplied. They were photographed arriving at Gatwick and later in Salisbury. Presumably admiring the local architecture. Overseas residents are probably not aware just how many CCTV cameras there are in public places in the UK.

  • Sean Lamb

    “Boshirov and Petrov” plainly are of interest in this case. ”

    Only if the materials presented by the British are authentic. As far as i can tell the only evidence outside of the custody of the police/government will be a hotel booking for two nights in London.

    First steps will be to see if the Russian and British governments can agree if people by these names actually departed and arrived in Moscow on the days the British specify. You would imagine the Heathrow side would have a passenger manifest or something for the departing flight at least.

    I don’t believe this a carefully executed plan, I think it is a cock-up.

    The carefully executed plan was Yulia was to be poisoned by a perfume bottle slipped into her luggage by her two-faced fiancee with links to the Russian security services. The fiancee would disappear and he and Yulia would be given a large wad of cash and new identities in the West. Meanwhile the Russian govt would be scrambling at air trying to interview the fiancee to discover just what was going on. It fell apart when Nick Bailey got sick spraying novichok contaminating traces along the Skripal’s route that morning and authorities hastily resorted to the door knob theory.

    Now the fiancee has still vanished – and never expressed a single word of interest about Yulia’ fate, Yulia has made no mention of wishing to continue with her nuptials – but there is no role for him to play in the pretend assassination.

    In desperation the British authorities have employed the Robert Mueller gambit – issue lengthy indictments in confident expectation no one will ever turn up in court and the evidence will never be tested for authentication. In this case, while the two individuals must exist, they may not be Russian or anything to do with Russia – so ever better than Robert Mueller, the British government is issuing arrest warrants against completely fictional Russians, so they can be doubly sure the evidence will never be tested for authenticity.

    In this case, while the British police would never PLAN to use photoshop/video editing techniques, when backed into a corner and with a confidence that there is no oversight body or court that will ever probe the matter, they may have absolutely no inhibitions falsifying anything to get them out of this hole they have dug themselves.

    • MaryPaul

      of course there will be passenger manifests for planes arriving and leaving the UK. I think we can safely assume these guys are listed as passengers on the aeroflot flight numbers provided

      • Sean Lamb

        “I think we can safely assume these guys are listed as passengers on the aeroflot flight numbers provided”

        Is this the Royal We? You can assume whatever you wish.

        • Borncynical

          In all honesty I would even doubt the UK Govt’s tale of Russians travelling from Moscow on British visas until I am shown evidence. I just checked information on flights from Kiev and note that Turkish Airlines operate a flight which picks up passengers at Kiev on a daily basis and has a scheduled Gatwick landing at 16.00. I have no reason to think that similar scheduled services didn’t exist back in March. Just saying. That’s the reason why it is the responsibility of the UK to provide the Russians with as much evidence as possible – unless of course they have their own reasons not to do so. Without supporting evidence to back up the UK’s claims the Russians could be looking for a needle (which doesn’t even exist) in a haystack.

          • MaryPaul

            As previously explained the Met Police’s super recogniser unit has tracked their movements around the UK on CCTV.

            This approach only works if you have enough CCtv cameras in public places like airports railway stations and town centres and the UK has the most in the western world. I read an interview with one of these super recognisers a couple of years ago and what they can identify is frankly scary.

            Injured indignation is all very well but Aeroflot should be able to identify their Russian identities from the flight manifests, the passports used and how they paid presume by credit card, or other direct transaction. The Russians, could if they wanted to, identify them, unless they have reason not to want to?

          • Borncynical

            My point is that WE don’t have any evidence that these men are even Russian (only what the UK Govt tells us) or that they arrived on a flight from Moscow (other than the fact that the UK Govt told us they did). So to express wonderment that the Russians haven’t identified them on the basis of extremely flimsy (photographs are all we have in reality) – almost non-existent – information is a bit naïve. As for the second-to-none capabilities of the ‘…super recogniser unit’, well, bully for the Met Police and others. So to reach a logical conclusion from your argument and your earlier sceptical comment that they were ‘presumably admiring the local architecture’, you’re saying that there is no need for court cases at which circumstantial evidence can be presented by defence lawyers and considered by judges and juries…because random CCTV footage is sufficient to prove someone’s role in a crime? With this superdooper super recogniser unit system, have we got CCTV footage of them carrying out the crime they are accused of? No? I thought not.

  • Sandra

    Connecting the questionable professionalism of Boshirov and Petrov and Sergei’s ties with Steele: I read that Steele was not only gathering material for his dossier but also, with Bruce Ohr, attempting to get information about Russian organised crime. (I posted this on another thread but may be pertinent here as it raises the question of gangland activity.) From the Gateway Pundit (02/09):

    “Between 2014 and 2016, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department unsuccessfully tried to turn Mr. Deripaska into an informant. They signaled that they might provide help with his trouble in getting visas for the United States or even explore other steps to address his legal problems. In exchange, they were hoping for information on Russian organized crime and, later, on possible Russian aid to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, according to current and former officials and associates of Mr. Deripaska…
    …Two of the players in the effort were Bruce G. Ohr, the Justice Department official who has recently become a target of attacks by Mr. Trump, and Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled a dossier of purported links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
    The systematic effort to win the cooperation of the oligarchs, which has not previously been revealed, does not appear to have scored any successes. And in Mr. Deripaska’s case, he told the American investigators that he disagreed with their theories about Russian organized crime and Kremlin collusion in the campaign, a person familiar with the exchanges said. The person added that Mr. Deripaska even notified the Kremlin about the American efforts to cultivate him.”

    • Paul Greenwood

      Russian Organised Crime is simply embraced by visiting Florida or Brighton Beach or spending time in Private Banking dining rooms in The City of London

  • Brian

    These two people look very familiar to me. I am sure I have seen their faces on the internet in connection with some other event. Does anyone else get the feeling that they have seen them before? BTW I wasn’t in the UK in May so couldn’t have seen them there.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Was it the Alexander Litvinenko assassination? Were they connected to him? Did they work for Boris Berezovsky?

  • Peter Allen

    Can anyone confirm that the picture of these men at Salisbury station was actually taken there? There appears to be a change in the location of the ticket barriers since I was last there in 2016.

    • Doodlebug

      Nice one! Maybe the street corner supposedly within sight of the Skripals’ house was, in reality, a street corner elsewhere, i.e. a location to which the pair were actually traced (or perhaps even pursued at the time?)

  • Charles Roberts.

    Interesting. Portand Down is 5 miles from Salisbury where they keep the UK’s stockpile of nerve agents. Why wouldn’t the UK government give samples to the Russians? Would that have shown that the batch had been made at Portand Down?
    If this attack was carried out by Russian Assassins then the Skirpols would have been dead. If it was just to frighten the Skirpols then he would have found a note on his bed when he woke in the morning say ‘we know where you are we can get you anytime we want.’
    It is alleged that the nerve agent was sprayed onto the door knob. An assassin would have found a better place, if they wanted to kill. Also they wouldn’t have simply discarded the bottle the agent was in.
    Skirpol was an embarrassment to Britain and the States as well as Russia.
    This mission was so botched that it stinks of amateurism. So amateur that I would put it down to the CIA or MI5 I think that this government had to come up with something to distract the population of Britain away from the total mess they are making of Brxit and the economy.

  • Doodlebug

    This may seem like a trivial ‘aside’ amid all the heated discussion of photographs, but I should still like to know how the Met. were able to publicise information with regard to the London hotel at which the two desperadoes are reported to have stayed on arrival in the UK.

    This fact cannot have been determined from CCTV images located as far apart as Gatwick and Salisbury. Nor is it possible to practise surveillance in retrospect. Mi5 are well versed at doing it in real time however, which suggests that these individuals were of interest to the security services for some reason prior to the mishap involving the Skripals.

    • MaryPaul

      ok as I posted here before, the Met police superecognisers unit has been traveling through CCTV footage tracing their movements.. Also being British myself, i not know how British visas work but certainly for other countries I have visited when you apply for a visa you have to provide accommodation address you are travelling to on your arrival.

        • Doodlebug

          A propos your earlier response to someone else (‘You really believe “they applied for visas as Russian from Russian addresses” ? If that were true they certainly are not GRU officers’) the point you make is relevant to my own question as regards tracing the hotel in question. As Mary Paul has suggested, it might have been possible with reference to Visa applications originally lodged with the Consulate (in assumed names?).

          So they are just two stray aliens, whom the security services happen to have located at Gatwick, Heathrow, Salisbury, and a quaint London B&B in between. Or they are indeed GRU, who dispensed with the whole visa thing. In which case, how then do we arrive at the hotel?

          Of course they may yet prove to have been GRU, and known as such to Mi5 before touchdown in the UK never mind Salisbury. If that were the case then Mi5 would have had ‘eyes’ on them continuously, including their hotel check in. Surveillance in retrospect is a non-starter in my book.

          • Proof Positive

            The whole thing is ridiculous. Even an amateur assassin wouldn’t do the things these two did to leave a trail on a TWO day stay, UNLESS they WANTED to leave a trail.

            Guaranteed…it’s Ukraine’s SBU at work, with or without UK help.

    • Borncynical

      I’ve been thinking about this and I wondered if the investigators might have had CCTV footage of them getting into a taxi and have been able to trace the cab company to find out where the passengers were dropped. This worked on an episode of Starsky and Hutch I watched about six weeks ago but that was to track down a fare from only a day or so before! Not sure if UK cab companies keep all such details at all and for how long.

      • Doodlebug

        Not a bad idea, but something of a long shot I think. Longer If the pair travelled on London Transport. Given the density of a cabbie’s daily work, I wonder whether a question from Head Office along the lines of, ‘does anyone remember collecting these two as fares from Gatwick last week/month’ would meet with much success.

        Since you raise the point, it puzzles me now as to how the Met. managed to work backwards from CCTV images recorded on a Salisbury street, apparently, to locate the pair’s arrival, departure and points in-between, when there are no corresponding images, as far as I am aware, of the two anywhere in the vicinity of Queen Elizabeth park, or the bench where the Skripals succumbed – a factor thought significant enough early on for us to be shown a CCTV still frame of a couple (i.e. a man and woman, not two burly ‘assassins’) walking together not far from the location of the incident.

        The chain of photographic evidence appears broken to me.

        • Borncynical

          I wouldn’t disagree! I used to watch all the 1970s/80s detective series and they were all good for inquisitive and analytical minds. They don’t seem to make ’em like that anymore.

    • MightyDrunken

      In the same article.
      “Peskov said Russia had not received any official request from Britain for assistance in identifying the two suspected Russian GRU military intelligence officers that Scotland Yard believes carried out the attack

      She (Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry) called the British refusal to allow Russia to study the alleged GRU officers’ fingerprints records “a gross rudeness”. The UK had refused to share evidence through official channels, she said, and had staged an “absurd and funny provocation”.

      Zakharova claimed Moscow was still open to cooperating with London in the investigation into the attack in Salisbury. The British embassy was not immediately available for comment. ”

      Sounds fair to me.

      • MaryPaul

        why do they need the fingerprints? I can easily be identified from my passport photo? Can’t they? How did they pay for their Aeroflot tickets? With a credit card? Seems like Russia can’t or doesn’t want to identify and defend them.

        Incidentally does anyone remember a Russian plane being held at Heathrow shortly after the original incident while it was searched by security/ customs officers?

        • Igor M.

          “why do they need the fingerprints?”

          For the same reason that Brits require fingerprints and iris scans for visas- photos throw up a ton of false positives, you use fingerprints to eliminate those false positives!

          Why would Russia do any of the mindless digging around when the Brits fail to give the most basic details of the suspects?! So, let’s assume that Russia did go off on their own and proved the British allegations were false, then what, what’s stopping the next round of allegations from turning into “those are not the people we meant!” You use the fingerprints to tie the side alleging a wrongdoing to a specific set of facts, cf. some photos and potentially fanciful names! The Brits gave visas to those two so they know exactly who they are- they have biometrics and six or eight pages of a questionnaire that doubtless was thoroughly checked by the British officials prior to the visas being issued.

        • Jeremn

          I think the Russians are waiting for the British to identify the pair using the data from their visa applications and their biometric passports. That is a lot of data to work with.

          • David Clarke

            What on earth do you think is held on a biomentric Passport? When did you last pick one up? Did you unbdergo a retinal scan? Fingerprints? Nope, Height and Eye colour on most.

          • Proof Positive

            Well, the way the Brits work, we should see the next batch of unverified info from them in another year or two.

          • Igor M.

            @David Clarke,
            UK visa requirements are different from the biometric requirements for a UK passport, and Russians need to apply for a visa to come to the UK!

          • Isa

            David , everything is held on your biometrics passport : mine has 10 finger prints , iris scan , cranial measures , all in a little chip in my Id card and passport and linked to the nacional identification archival , social security services , electoral commission and criminal records.

        • Agent Green

          The UK should have over all biometric data, visa data and anything else to assist identification. I see no possible reason for not doing this.

        • Mighty Drunken

          Strange question, “why do they need fingerprints?”. Who says the NEED them, it would be very helpful. As a biometric that is recorded at every opportunity for the last 100 years which is searchable by computer query.
          The first question should be, why does the UK government not go through official channels and provide helpful information to Russia and help track down the suspects?

          If the two men used legit credit cards wouldn’t the UK be able to get the records too and then can use their real names and not the assumed names?

    • George K

      This is indeed a problem: If these were two innocent guys, they would have already appeared on Rusian TV, laughing about it. This means either: 1) they are not Russian (pretending to be so, with false passports and flying from Russia) or 2) they are GRU officers. In the second case, what brought them to Salisbury on that day? I still can’t accept that they came to poison Mr Skripal, as they made sure their identities were found and their weapon was chosen such that it suggested who has sent them.
      So I am disappointed that their identities have not yet been revealed by Russia or by others. Have to keep an open mind.

      • Proof Positive

        …OR Ukrainian SBU agents. Needless to say, it’s elementary my dear Watson, for a Ukrainian to hold or to get hold of a Russian passport.

        • MJ

          If the Skripals had died. Failing that, if either of the Skripals had given interviews recounting their experience. If the police had conducted a proper manhunt to apprehend the would-be assassins. If May or anyone else had insisted on awaiing the results of a proper investigation before leaping to pin the blame. If the hospital consultant had not written the letter he did. If the whole thing didn’t seem like a ridiculous fairy-tale.

          • Blissex

            «If the hospital consultant had not written the letter he did.»

            There is also the OPCW carefully wording their press release saying it is a “toxic chemical” (there are very many) with “same toxic properties of a nerve agent” (there are many), explicitly saying that it is a nerve agent; an d stating that there is indication that the two samples are related.

            To me it all smells not of false-flag plan, but of a cockup by someone that was then turned into an opportunity to smear the russians with a series of bizarre conspiracy theories pushed by the Conservative Party government.

    • gbrbsb

      The article itself is less tendentious than its headline as Russia is not refusing to investigate merely saying that the UK government has not made an official request for them to do so, i.e.: “For us to be able to do something in this direction, we need to receive a request,” Peskov said. “This is usual international practice.”, and as I would image would be expected in such cases.

      What is extremely interesting if true is that the the UK/British Embassy is refusing to give Russia their fingerprint records and I also read somewhere the passport numbers too. Now presumably as most countries, apart from the UK and a few others, Russia has fingerprint ID for all its citizens so it would be dead easy for them to trace them. So why, if the Russian’s have asked for these in order to look into it, which is clearly an offer of help to investigate in itself even without there being a formal request, why would the UK authorities refuse to help them. And it’s no use saying because it’s like asking an arsonist… blah blah blah, because as they say, nothing ventured nothing gained and it would be difficult for Russia to not come back with something about 2 passport numbers and/or finger prints, and even if false the UK would have the option to not beleive it or demonstrate that the info was false.

    • Tom Smythe

      Hmmm, whether aliases or not, Ruslan Boshirov has a Facebook account with a Ukrainian girlfriend that apparently is still active. There seem to be (or have been) real people with both names and both birthdays. The authentic Boshirov hails from Tajikistan. His VKontakte site, also still active, has him graduating from the geography department of MSU in 2004 with a emphasis on hydrology. (Yulia’s geography major was at MSHU, 2008 graduation.)

      Seymour Hirsch went on about Russian mafia taking revenge for Sergei ratting on them but never produced any concrete sourcing. So freelancers on contract, blackmailers, drugs, Ukrainian state actors … hard to know. The timing and motivation for a Russian state action escapes one and all. Sergei was awash in money from something, the $100k he got as double agent was long gone.

      Fontanka at the link up-forum has the two air-traveling a lot together to European destinations. Their passport applications were very close together in time as the serial numbers differ by two.

      It has to be the worst-kept secret of all time, the true names and backgrounds of these two. Excellent facial photos are all over the global internet. Do they not have parents, friends, schoolmates, co-workers, travel history by age 40?

      The hotel room swabs are the only link implicating these two … so conveniently still possible months later, later occupants unaffected, missed by several dozen rounds of cleaning staff. Yet so low that no threat to anyone, no need for OPCW, no need to decontaminate.

      F’s Russian language article: There are almost no open sources of information about Boshirov. According to the Fontanka, he was born on April 12, 1978 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, was registered in Moscow in a 25-story house on Bolshaya Naberezhnaya street.

      Fontanka phoned long-term residents of the ‘Boshiro”‘ house on the Great Embankment. They live on the same stairwell. “In the apartment you named, only an elderly woman lives,” the correspondent replied. “We carry her money, she collects for cleaning the cleaner.” A man was never seen in the apartment and was not seen at the entrance. We can only assume that this is the son of the hostess, who is registered at the address, but who has never lived here. ”

      Boshirov’s network activity is no different either. On Facebook, Boshirova has one friend registered, a girl from Ukraine. The profile “VKontakte” contains information that Boshirov graduated in 2004 from the geography department of Moscow State University in the direction “Hydrology of the land”.

      • MaryPaul

        I read that the hotel where they stayed was busted months ago but not revealed up till now due to D notice news blackout.

          • Mary Paul

            I meant to write raided and wrong word came out….but I did read that the police raided it not long after first poisoning and there were police in hazmat suits as well. It did not make the press due to the D notice. Been back in business and operating normally for a while now.

          • Tom Smythe

            “I meant to write raided and wrong word came out….but I did read that the police raided it not long after first poisoning and there were police in hazmat suits as well. It did not make the press due to the D notice.”

            Can you share with us then how you happen to know about it, if it was never reported?

            Do you have a date for the raid? Are we talking July or March? Surely police in hazmat suits would have created a spectacle.

            Do you have any basis for believing a D notice was issued here? None of the other hazmat appearances were covered.

    • Tom Smythe

      Yes, back in April, authorities were rather sure it was ‘Gordon’ wot dun it. Someone stayed behind in Salisbury (or perhaps just lives there) to account for the recent perfume bottle dumpster
      discard but that would not have been a known entity like Mr. G.

      On 4 March 2018, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer and …. who acted under several code names including ‘Gordon’ and ‘Mihails Savickis’. ….. A former KGB and FSB officer, Boris Karpichkov, who operated in Latvia and later defected after refusing to poison ‘Gordo’ Detectives believe there was a team of six behind the novichok chemical ­attack …’Gordon’ shot an organized crime boss in Latvia during the 1990s. He is 5ft 9in with no distinguishing marks, law degree from Latvia’s State University in Riga. Our exclusive picture [pixelated to oblivion] of the man police want to talk to – handed to us by Boris – shows the wanted spy three decades ago.

  • FobosDeimos

    Excellent post, as usual. I am still puzzled by the strange case of the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, published yesterday in the Sputnik News website, where the Russian government refers to the two men in the pictures as “our two citizens”. Perhaps Craig can do a little research and find out: (a) if the statement actually came from Lavrov’s Ministry; (b) why was it that Sputnik News took it out just a couple of hours after posting the report (I had to track it down later using Google, and (c) why does the Russian government appear to acknowledge without any questions that the guys are “our two citizens”?. I find it odd.

      • N_

        Sputnik News is government owned and unless there is good reason for doubt you can assume that if they say a statement was made by the Russian foreign minister then it was. In this case they source the statement to the foreign minister’s website, which is at and publishes in seven languages. You can read the statement in English translation there. Interestingly it is different from Sputnik’s version. Sputnik has

        British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in the British Parliament on September 5 on the so-called ‘Skripal affair’ and the incident of poisoning two British subjects in Amesbury has an absolutely unacceptable tone, and contains a number of categorical accusations against the Russian Federation and our two citizens… We strongly reject these insinuations,” the statement published on the ministry’s website said.” (emphasis added)

        The ministry’s website has

        British Prime Minister Theresa May’s remarks at the British Parliament on September 5 regarding the Skripal case and the poisoning of two British nationals in Amesbury were delivered in an absolutely unacceptable tone. They contain a number of presumptuous accusations against Russia and two allegedly Russian citizens. We strongly reject these insinuations.” (emphasis added)

        So check the Russian original, which is here:

        “Выступление премьер-министра Великобритании Т.Мэй в британском парламенте 5 сентября с.г. по так называемому «делу Скрипалей» и инциденту с отравлением двух британских подданных в Эймсбери выдержано в абсолютно неприемлемой тональности. В нем содержится ряд безапелляционных обвинений в адрес Российской Федерации и двух, как утверждается, наших граждан. Решительно отвергаем эти инсинуации.”

        My translation:

        British prime minister T May’s statement in the British Parliament on 5 September on the so-called ‘Skripals affair’ and the poisoning of two British subjects in Amesbury has an absolutely unacceptable tone throughout. It contains a series of peremptory accusations against the Russian Federation and two persons who are allegedly our citizens. We strongly reject these insinuations.

        So no, the Russian government has not accepted that the men are Russian citizens.

        • FobosDeimos

          Thank you very much. I checked the Foreign Ministry’ site yesterday and the statement wasn’t theŕe. The latest piece of news or statement was from September 4. Anyway, I can see now that Sputnik News appears to have skipped the key word “alleged”. I still believe that Russia should take a more pro-active stance, even if the British are acting arrogantly by refusing to share the most basic information. For example, they should issue a clear statement saying whether or not they have ever issued passports to the two named individuals, if such passports were ever reported stolen, etc. If the names reported by Scotland Yard are too common in Russia, I am sure that their authorities will be able to verify in a few hours whether or not the names and the pictures match, etc.

          • gbrbsb

            “I still believe that Russia should take a more pro-active stance, even if the British are acting arrogantly by refusing to share the most basic information. ”

            I’m am pretty sure our Government and officialdom would not do any differently if another country were accusing us of murder by way of two citizens they claimed were from MI5 or MI6. We would certainly want an official request too as we don’t do anything without all the correct paperwork, just look at the case of the 6-year old stranded in Brussels, any normal compassionate country would have let him through and sorted the mess out later as in the end we issued the passport in the first place.

            And why is the UK refusing to give fingerprint and passport numbers etc.? Is it just arrogance or something much worse? With that info the Russians could immediately come up with whether the passports were stolen, if they were false, etc., as well as with a definite id for the two guys from the fingerprints if they are Russian so what do we have to lose giving them that data since we can always not beleive it and if the case show Russia up even more. It is the British stance in this instance that is not understandable not the Russian one waiting for a formal request but still asking for these basic details which is an offer of collaboration in itself even if it might be as some would beleive another try at doing the dirty.

    • Blunderbuss

      I read somewhere that the passports were genuine so I assume they were stolen. The legitimate owners of the passports may be Russian citizens but the thieves may not.

      • FobosDeimos

        Well, if that is the case it would have been very easy for the Foreign Ministry to say so, instead of just complaining about the way their “two citizens” were being treated.

  • Roy Moore

    The blog is nothing, if not consistent, as are most of the comments, in there insistence that the Russian state had nothing to do with this. I wonder if the same reaction would be present if, instead of May & Co. it was the French, German or Canadian leader’s who were pointing the finger (with good reason in my opinion) at Russia. I suspect the same people who are grasping at straw-men to have a go at May & co., would be tripping over their own feet to support the French, German or Canadian governments’.

    • Blunderbuss

      I think most of us would agree that the assassins are probably either Russian, or from a former Soviet republic, but there is no evidence they were working for the Russian state.

      • Doodlebug

        What assassins? There is no evidence whatsoever that the two individuals now the focus of everyone’s attention either are or were assassins. Furthermore, we have been led to believe that neither of the Skripals has died (although only one has since come forward). The insinuation that someone directly connected with the Skripal poisoning might be considered guilty of the manslaughter of Dawn Sturgess is, frankly, ridiculous – but for one exception, and he does not travel under the name Borishov or Petrov.

    • Sean Lamb

      French, German and Canadian leaders don’t seem to point fingers with these kind of accusations.

      It is in Britain – and Ukraine – that peculiar things happen.

        • Borncynical

          Your comment is a response to the first point made by Sean. His second observation is far more significant…any thoughts on that? I don’t have a source but I recall long ago hearing someone say on TV that Germany has far more ex Russian/Soviet spies resident there who never appear to encounter Kremlin assassins, whilst the UK has by far the largest number of (anti-Kremlin) oligarchs resident and seems to have far more issues with assassinations or mysterious deaths of ex KGB personnel.

    • Agent Green

      Nope. French, German and Canadian all fall into the same boat as US vassal states. I wouldn’t believe them any more than I’d believe May.

        • Igor M.

          Isn’t innocent until PROVEN guilty an age-old principle of the English legal system? Just go to a Crown court near you and ask for a count of all trials where CPS “had enough evidence to charge” but a jury found the defendant not guilty—a simple exercise under FOA.

    • Stonky

      I’ll have a pahnd of your apple’s Roy. I believe there luvvly. In fact I’ll have two pahnds’.

    • TJ

      Well when the PM refers to the GRU, which has not existed since 2010 when it became just GU it is hard to take anything HMG says seriously. As for who these men actually are, or if they had anything to do with what happened to the Skripals, no evidence has been provided, it’s like the Iraq Dodgey Dossier all over again, except with even more easily disproved nonsense.

  • Deb O'Nair

    These are stills taken from CCTV footage so why not just release the CCTV footage? Once they identify their location on CCTV at a given time it is a simple exercise to piece together all the other footage. Anyone who has watched an episode of ‘Murder on CCTV’ or any other crime investigation documentary will know the police do this routinely. One would imagine that practically every step they took at the airports would be recorded.

  • John2o2o

    Well Craig, I’m not sure that they “left traces of novichok everywhere”. In fact, I’m not actually sure that it has been proven that such a substance was ever used in the first place. Despite the occasional gentle assurance of the MSM on this point.

    My money (such as it is) is still on the synthetic opioid Fentanyl as the agent, especially as Rowley and Sturgess – heroin (opioid) addicts – were apparently poisoned by the same substance.

    Odd that these characters always seem to be in pairs. Julia and Sergei, Sturgess and Rowley and now Boshirov and Petrov.

    By the way: “Boshirov” seems an odd name. Given that Russian surnames ending in “ov” are supposed to indicate “of the family of”. So, petrov is “family of peter”, borisov would be “family of boris”. I’m not sure what sort of name “boshir” might be – the nearest I can get so far is “Boshir” al Assad (lol) which might make some sort of twisted sense, I suppose.

    Personally I think Laurelov and Hardyov are just as plausible. What bunch of jokers the British establishment are.

    “Another fine mess you got me into Stanley!”

    • Doodlebug

      I’ll put my money where your mouth is it that’s alright with you. Following extensive discussion with Max_B on a previous thread the opioid link is by far the more realistic – further cases in Salisbury and Avon, Rowley and Sturgess look-alikes captured together on CCTV, the lady carrying a red bag, a red bag being recovered nearby the park bench and taken into evidence, an eye-witness reporting an older man sitting with a blonde (which Yulia Skripal was not) and so on. As for the perfume bottle being resurrected after four months, that’s Charlie Rowley’s get out of jail free card courtesy of the Met.

  • Colin Glazebrook

    N ot sure if I believe the Russian security services would be stupid enough to use a weapon known to have been developed by them if they really wanted this man dead. It’s a bit like having your name engraved on the bullet you use to shoot someone. I’d have thought they’d be more likely to “arrange” an accident. Unless of course ours isn’t the only country governed by incompetents.

    • N_

      Not sure if I believe the Russian security services would be stupid enough to use a weapon known to have been developed by them if they really wanted this man dead. It’s a bit like having your name engraved on the bullet you use to shoot someone.

      You should think about that comparison for a while.

  • N_

    How many jackets did Alexander Petrov wear during his short stay?

    1) arriving at Gatwick, 2 March (police link says 15:00, time stamp says 16:22): all blue jacket, ribbing just discernable;
    2) at Salisbury railway station, 16:11, 3 March 2018: all blue jacket, clearly ribbed, probably the same jacket as 1);
    3) Fisherton Road, Salisbury, 1.05pm, 4 March 2018: two-tone jacket: bright blue torso, either black or very dark blue sleeves, clearly NOT the same jacket as 1-2);
    4) Heathrow, 4 March 2018, 19:28: there is some sort of strange violet lighting on his scalp, shoulders, and sleeves: the jacket is probably all one colour, black or dark grey, not ribbed – it is not the same as 1-2) because not ribbed; I don’t think it is 3) either; it seems to be a third jacket.

    Do these photos all show the same man? Compare 3) with 4). The man in 3) is wearing bulkier clothing on the upper half of his body, but aren’t his thighs also thicker?

    If they are the same man, where did Petrov leave his wheeled suitcase when he went walkabout in Salisbury on 4 March?

    • Jeremn

      I am not sure Petrov in CCTV3 (Salisbury 3 March) is the same man as Petrov in CCTV6 (Salisbury 4 March). Different clothes, different shoes, different build, hat with no logo?

      And no bag on 3 March. You leave your bag in an east London hotel room?

    • Blunderbuss

      In the Fisherton Road photo, the men are surrounded by halos. This makes it look as though their photos have been pasted on.

    • Sandra

      Images of Petrov and Boshirov in Salisbury on 4 March show that they only have a backpack between them, which I don’t think looks full enough to hold all their be-longings – change of jackets, shoes and crossbody bags etc shown in other images. However, Petrov is seen with a case at Heathrow. The timeline given has them re-turning to Waterloo from Salisbury at 4.45pm before catching their train to Heathrow at 6.30pm. So, I can only think that they picked up their other stuff during that time – from a locker at the station or, if they had time, (given changing lines and Sunday service), from their hotel.

      • N_

        1) What did they say on their visa applications was the purpose of their visit?
        2) What did they say were their occupations?
        3) Which British visa centre did they attend to give their fingerprints?
        4) Have the CPS or police written to them at the addresses they gave to tell them they have been charged? If not, why not?

        The Russian government asked the British embassy in Moscow to provide their fingerprints, and the embassy refused. What legitimate reason could there be for that? The British authorities want an English court to try them for murder, right? What are they doing to bring that about?

      • John A

        Not many stations in Britain have had left luggage lockers for years due to the risk of bombs with timers being deposited in them.

        • Sandra

          Duh! Thanks. Someone told me that Waterloo does have a left luggage facility, though, and I looked it up:

          You can leave luggage at Excess Baggage Co by exit 6 (Southbank).
          • Monday to Sunday 07:00 – 23:00

          Also, I was told that the train journey from Waterloo to Bow Rd would take about half an hour, but on Sunday there is often works carried out in various places.

    • Tom Smythe

      I noticed that too, they seem to have conflated multiple individuals on the secondary photographs at train stations. The Borishov seems to have sprouted full sideburns connecting up to his chin plus puffed-out cheeks and Petrov now has a long and lean jaw. The hats also change, from a baseball cap whose writing I cannot make out, to a polypro knit. Shoe change too. Mostly they seem to be going on the odd whitish zipper pocket on the jacket. The facial recognition by itself is not all that persuasive.

    • Curiosity Killed the Cat

      Oh, like the British Defense Minister once said: “Just shut up and go away”. LOL

        • Igor M.

          No, it’s a stupid question that can’t be answered without incriminating self, and denying by saying that you’ve never laid a finger on your partner would be interpreted as a failure to answer the question—the question is the equivalent of the accusations of the Brits to the Russian State.

  • Sharp Ears

    Still going strong on the news channels. Accusations are followed by denials. Wallace to the fore.

  • Tom Smythe

    I wonder why the UK doesn’t just ask Sergei what this is all about. He is up and about, the tracheotomy tube was taken out a month ago, surely he would know. And he is still in captivity. Maybe the explanation is an explanation would not serve the UK’s propaganda purposes, they have dug themselves too deep in a hole. Has the BBC or Reuters demanded an interview with the Skirpals … I must have missed it.

    • David Clarke

      Skipal is a traitor and probably knew something the Russians didn’t want the UK to know but then again they didn’t mangage to kill him because they wanted to make a point. So by the sound of it, the point was don’t be a double agent, because if we do let you go as part of a deal, we will hunt you down and make you feel ill for a few months. Any information he had couldn’t have been worth anything otherwise he would have been killed.

      • Xavi

        Yes, a largely pointless gesture that i’m sure Putin would have been happy to get demonized for on the eve of hosting the world cup. Makes perfect sense.

      • Republicofscotland


        It might have escaped your attention but, Putin could’ve eliminated Skripal at anytime when he was in prison in Russia.

        It all reeks to high heaven of a bodged attack by external anti-Russian forces, possibly as Craig said the Ukranian’s, who have an axe to grind.

        The PM backed by her ever obedient salivating right wing media, will push for more sanctions, but not war, as Russian forces aren’t Argentinian forces, and would more than likely rout the English armed forces.

        Of course May could plead with Macron to send his more effective fighting force, the scallop fishermen.

      • Mighty Drunken

        “Skipal is a traitor and probably knew something the Russians didn’t want the UK to know”

        Sergei has been in the UK for 10 years. If there was something, he probably would have told the UK by now and the Russians would never have released him. More likely he knew something that people didn’t want Russia to know.

        The are so many curious things about this. Maybe the biggest one is, where are the Skripals? If they believed Russia carried out the attack it would be great for the UK government to have them speak up in accordance with their theory.
        I suspect the Skripals either have another suspect in mind, or that the poisoning didn’t happen or they were in on it.

    • Blunderbuss

      If Craig Murray is right, it seems very likely that Sergei met the suspects and was poisoned by them during the meeting.

      • gbrbsb

        Could be, but I think I prefer Bay Kurley’s, (could that be Kay Burley?), theory in the daily shocker, ( that Petrov and Boshirov were spotters, (and possibly a plan B), for another two that were arranged to meet with the Skripals in Salisbury and it was they that did the deed which my bet took place on or very near the bench because one thing UK investigators cannot square with facts we do kno is that they were contaminated via the door handle but didn’t collapse until some 4 hours later and did so simultaneously. I don’t go with all of Kurley’s theory only the bit that they were spotters which is quite compelling.

  • David Clarke

    Widely reported? WHere do you get this rubbish from? oh yes the times and the BBC, two sources you have on numerous occasions told us not to trust. So the rest of your conjecture is reliant on two of your “unreliable sources”.
    Utter tripe

      • Borncynical

        What ‘official narrative endorsers’ fail to grasp is that the rest of us use intelligence, logic, common sense and, in the case of refuting ‘Novichok’ evidence, scientific data to identify the holes in the official narrative. We do not need to rely on definitive ‘sources’ to establish that we are being lied to. There is nothing wrong with then suggesting possible alternative, and indeed more plausible, scenarios if so wished. In the light of what we have been told by the Government it is they who are residing in ‘a parallel universe’ (to quote Karen Pierce).

    • N_

      They could be deliberately getting good shots of themselves on camera or checking whether they are being followed. Such methods are preferable to looking over your shoulder or taking a backwards glance when tying your shoelace.

    • Tom Smythe

      Note there is a shoe-shot towards the end. It agrees well with an earlier unusual Petrov shoe but differs from the b&w running shoes the pair were wearing in one of Met’s other official photos. An erroneous identification there may change the chronology slightly. Mostly though it undermines Met’s investigative credibility … how could they not see these were different individuals?

      It is also very disturbing that during many months of a massive cctv investigation that Met never asked to see shopkeeper cctv, even long after they had the mug shots and train station clothing to pass around. Dauwalders of Salisbury is on a busy street Fisherton about halfway between “the bench” and QE Gardens.

      One wonders if some of the more relevant shops around Market Walk (or the city’s cctv cam there on the corner) don’t also have applicable cctv.

    • Doodlebug

      Excellent work from yourself once again. According the DM’s carefully illustrated course of events, Charlie Rowley recovered the perfume dispenser from QE Gardens. But the declared (walking) route of B & P takes them along Fisherton Street from the Skripal home. Are there really no litter bins at all along that road. Even if not, would anyone seriously detour to the park in order to dump the unwanted vessel. Since the new CCTV sees the pair walking back toward the railway station by all accounts, and barely minutes after their supposed assault on the Skripal door handle, are we to suppose they spent those intervening minutes re-packaging the perfume on the hoof for CR to discover months after the bins had presumably been emptied?

      (Are there any accounts of what Yulia was wearing on 4 March btw?)

  • Neil N

    Skripals – Ukraine – Steele Dossier – Mafia Connections/(Investigations) – NBC ‘training’ – BS ‘OPCW’ false reports – holes in Govt story –

    The only thing we really know is the Tories are lying to us, have a separate and hidden agenda, and have form in chemical false-flags.

    And are hell-bent on getting Russia thrown off the UNSC!

    Lucky they found Putin’s passport left behind at the crime scene…

    • Agent Green

      No changes can be made at the UN level without the agreement of all members of the UNSC. It was specifically designed to be this way and so there is no way to remove Russia.

      In any event, China would never permit it.

    • N_

      No permanent member of the UNSC can be thrown off it without its consent. The UN Charter would have to be amended, and for that all of the permanent members must agree, as do two-thirds of the General Assembly. (Article 108 of the Charter.)

      • Agent Green

        The idea of the UN working without the largest country in the World is an absurdity in any event.

  • Simon

    Thanks Craig for the tremendous amount of effort you put into exposing the whole Skripal fantasy for what it is.

    I think Skripal and his daughter are both MI5 agents who both agreed to take part in a staged assassination attempt on them. And so no chemical substances were ever used in this operation.

    Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey is also an MI5 agent (and one who has mysteriously disappeared from view), as are Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowely. Sturgess (or whoever the agent is) is not dead. If she had died there would have been media coverage of her funeral. There wasn’t. There was only a single video clip of a hearse with a coffin in it going through a gate to some sort of “compound”. There were no onlookers or family members present.

    The whole operation was designed to serve as a false flag in order to enable the UK and US to sanction Russia and further demonise it for wanting to be independent geopolitically and not a poodle of the US like the UK and most of Europe is.

    • James MacDonald

      What would convince you that Russia was involved. Be careful what you post as I too will claim it could be fabricated.
      Why are the SNP supporting the UK Security Services?

  • mike

    Now a joint statement from the countries who will be attacking Syria within the next few days.

    There is of course no connection.

    • Agent Green

      Russia has a massive amount of hardware both offshore and onshore (airbases, integrated air defence etc). Any attackers should probably think very carefully.

    • N_

      Don’t forget that on 25 August the Russian defence ministry claimed it had intelligence that there will be another chemical attack soon and that it would be wrongly pinned on the Syrian government.

      (I am careful with the use of the term “false flag”, restricting it to where the perpetrators claim to be working for a force opposed to the side they’re really on, which does not cover attacks which the perpetrators dont claim or which didn’t happen.)

  • Gary Littlejohn

    This is an email to the Guardian before I read your latest piece, which raises even more questions. Gary Littlejohn

    From: Gary Littlejohn [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: 06 September 2018 16:28
    To: ‘[email protected]
    Subject: allegation of GU involvement in Skripal case

    From: Gary Littlejohn, 14 St. Clements Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 8LU. Tel: 01423-548443.

    Dear Editor,

    There have been many problems with the official narrative on the Skripal case, many of them highlighted at from Rob Slane and at Craig Murray’s website. Among other issues not noted on either website, to my knowledge, is the inaccuracy of the head of UK intelligence in claiming on the 13th April that the site of Russian manufacture of Novichok [Shikhany] was near Volgograd. In fact it is near Saratov, and it was apparently demolished in the 1990s, contrary to reports in, for example, the Daily Express and Daily Mail on the 29th April.

    The mayor of the town Shikhany has said on the 27th April that in the 1990s when Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, the “Americans arrived here and inspected everything. All processes in the Institute were conducted under their supervision.” He made it clear that under US supervision the Institute had begun to develop technologies required for the elimination of chemical weapons. This makes sense since Shikhany was never a manufacturing facility. It was an R&D institute, with the testing being conducted in Uzbekistan (at a facility visited by Craig Murray after the US had cleaned it up and emptied it of all stocks) and actual manufacture being in Kazakhstan. My source for the latter point is a non-Russian scholar living within the EU who knows a lot about Soviet history. The claim that Novichok was manufactured in Russia is simply wrong, and the Shikhany buildings seem to have been demolished when they had developed the technologies to eliminate chemical weapons stocks under US supervision. So has the UK government contacted the US government about this? In fact, the UK should have some record of this itself because according to a retired Colonel [US Army] who specialised in Soviet weapons technology, the late Dr. David Kelly was involved in the process of eradicating chemical weapons in Russia, but he did not get to Central Asia.

    Another minor inaccuracy is that the government is still calling the organisation supposedly responsible for the Salisbury poisoning the GRU. It stopped being that some time ago, as one can see if one checks on Wikipedia. It is now called the Main Directorate of the General Staff (of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation), or GU for short. This gives the impression that no one is fact checking public statements, either in the Prime Minister’s office or in the intelligence services. Shades of that fake rock in the park in Moscow, planted by MI6, and the subject of much derision at the time.

    This brings me to the inevitable weaknesses in the latest developments in the official UK narrative. Firstly, the Prime Minister claimed yesterday that the perfume bottle picked up by Charlie Growley was the same one as that used to contain the Novichock used against the Skripals, but Charlie Growley stated quite clearly in a TV interview that he had broken the seal on that perfume bottle. There is a photo in the public domain of the (formerly sealed) plastic or cellophane which we were told was covering that same Nina Ricci bottle that had been taken to Amesbury and used by Dawn Sturgess. Why is there such a clear discrepancy between that earlier claim and the claim made yesterday that it was used by the two alleged assassins?

    Then there is the lack of clarity in the Guardian’s treatment of information about these two alleged assassins. The Prime Minister’s claim yesterday was that the names used by the two alleged GU assassins were probably false. Today’s report in the Guardian reports on details of those people to whom the names apparently really belong. It is not clear what light that throws on anything except that, if true, then someone used the identities of real people. Thus we are told on page 2 that the (Russian) news agency Fontanka had reported that Ruslan Borishov, 40, was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and that no one in the apartment block where he has his registered address recognised him. That would be the case if someone was using his identity in the UK and that person’s photo was shown to them. Less is known about the other one, Alexander Petrov, but the claim that these two had passports with consecutive serial numbers, differing only in the final digit would be consistent with identity theft. So why not say so? It seems that the Guardian reporters are themselves confused as to the implications of what they are reporting.

    Finally, there is the comparison of the photos of the two alleged assassins said to have been taken at Gatwick airport. Craig Murray has shown that both photos have an identical time stamp, to the second. This would require a detailed explanation if it were to have the slightest chance of convincing anyone that these are not fake. It seems that neither UK intelligence nor the Metropolitan Police can get the staff. We are apparently back in the comedy days of that fake rock in a park in Moscow.


    Gary Littlejohn

    • JameDavid Clarke

      I gather you haven’t read Craig’s update on the photos and he now agrees they are genuine before you wrote you novella?


      “I am prepared to acknowledge that, given the gate design, they could have passed through different gates in exact synchronicity and this may be a red herring. I am leaving this post up here as it is good to acknowledge mistakes”

  • James MacDonald

    What would convince you that Russia was involved? Why couldn’t your required evidence be faked?

    Why are the SNP now supporting the UK Security Services?

    • Republicofscotland

      Indeed James, the SNP, don’t get everything right, on that I agree. I suppose with regards to Russian complicity, they don’t have the luxury to disagree, especially so when defence and foreign affairs are retained powers of Westminster.

      Who knows what line would be taken, on this affair, in an independent Scotland.

      • Goose

        Craig isn’t ruling anything out. And Occam’s razor is calling out loudly in this now with this evidence.

        The only other explanation, and its a longshot. Is security services knew of continued Russian interest in Skripal and hatched a plot around built that interest.

        • Doodlebug

          What evidence?

          ‘Two men, possibly Russians, were seen walking together in Salisbury’


      • James MacDonald

        So retained powers at westminster are never challenged by the SNP? Well that is Shite!
        Ian Blackford went on the record saying he had seen more evidence than is available to the public as a Privy Council member and he supports the security services, that Russia carried out an act of state terrorism in Salisbury.

        Republicofscotland, as I have your attention, please explain what evidence would convince you that Russian agents were responsible?

        • Republicofscotland

          “Republicofscotland, as I have your attention, please explain what evidence would convince you that Russian agents were responsible?”

          Coherent evidence that isn’t easily shot full of holes, as in this case.

          Of course that’s two way street James, can you’ve provide evidence to the contrary, if you can.

          “Well that is Shite!
          Ian Blackford went on the record saying he had seen more evidence than is available to the public as a Privy Council member and he supports the security services.”

          Like I said James, the SNP doesn’t always get it right. Strange though why all these attack happen predominantly in England, one wonders why that is, any suggestions as to why James?

      • Xavi

        Not yet, but the “evidence” the intelligence agencies presented for their existence was compelling.

        Compelling enough for many to trust them forever more.

  • mike

    As you rightly pointed out earlier, Agent Green, Russia are miles ahead in terms of missile tech and electronic warfare.

    • Igor M.

      … and anyone who denies that should go and ask the US sailors who resigned their commission after USS Donald Cook was buzzed by a Russian jet in the Black Sea.

    • MJ

      “Russia are miles ahead in terms of missile tech and electronic warfare”

      Especially when it comes to NATO gear. Probably thanks to their access to Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server with its direct link to the Pentagon’s most classified files.

      • Igor M.

        Except that recently it was revealed it wasn’t the Russians who had a free-roam of her patently illegal mail server, do keep up!..

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