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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  • John Rothery

    I think that the police should be considering employing Craig Murray on their investigation into the attacks in Salisbury. He clearly has the deductive reasoning that would assist them.
    Plus I am guessing that he would be a lot cheaper than the hundreds? of London detectives currently being employed, who, if what I read is correct, are desperately needed back in the capital.
    John Rothery (Tauranga)

    • james

      as if anything from bellingcat is relevant? reading the comic section of your local paper would reveal more, lol…

      • V

        Yes! Whatever you do, don’t read the post on Bellingcat showing that there are multiple identical non-return gates you can go through at Gatwick. Evidence, pah, who needs it! There’s probably just one of those gates at Gatwick anyway!

      • Lydia

        It seems to me the ‘tunnel’ seen in the CCTV shots could be a reflection of some kind. Are the rear gates with brownish coloured walls not a reflection of the gates the men are walking through? Where this reflection comes from, I don’t know, but it could be a possible explanation for the tunnel. There are glass doors in the gate design.

    • Martin Elvemo

      “Better a useful idiot than a useless one”, I read somewhere. Your “stop digging” motto for investigative reporting is much appreciated. Thank you for your invaluable contribution.

    • V

      His comment section is flooded with conspiracy theorists, sent here by Russia’s crude social media manipulation. I doubt he reads this far.

      • Martin Elvemo

        So what you are saying is Russia sent a bunch of conspiracy theorists to inundate the comment section here? Nice one

        • Martin Elvemo

          Unintentional irony, was what I meant. The ultimate conspiracy theory: Putin directed a hoard of conspiracy theorists to flood CM’s comments section.

      • Ash

        Russians? Really? At least a quarter of the comments here are so very British that I’m never fully sure I understand what they mean…

      • Agent Green

        Because of course anyone who doesn’t agree with the established UK/Western narrative must be a Russian agent or a conspiracy theorist?

    • Yeah, Right

      Glad to see Bellingcat “debunking” a story no less than 24 hours after Craig had already concluded that it was erroneous. Excellent work, Eliot! But how about getting ahead of the curve next time, OK?

  • giyane

    MI6 is so sloppy. They think we will believe a version of events that has less credibility than a Brian Rix farce.
    All of this government and BBC tripe is a smokescreen for the Zionists forcing the Labour Party to accept the legitimacy of the apartheid system of Israel in order to qualify for democratic recognition.

    Mrs May and her bunch of failed toffs whose ideas bankrupted the world in 2007 are projecting their own “”parallel universe ” of hiring violent proxy terrorists to conduct their colonial policies on our behalf onto the Russian who have had the common sense to control those terrorists who have destroyed Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria Libya, Lebanon and many others in our recent lifetimes.

    Projection for those unfamiliar with the term is a psychological flaw by which a person who is ill ” projects ” the illness they are in denial about onto a third party. In reality USUKIS have lived in a parallel universe in which they have destroyed one country after another for the sole benefit of Israel. Trump opposes these neo-cons, as also does Jeremy Corbyn.

    Hrs May , like Dr Jekell, stands on a platform of decency and morality, while her former Foreign Secretary stood up in the HoC and praised his own terrorists in Iraq like Mr Hyde. Foaming bonkers Tories who have been placed in military straight-jackets by Russia. The only weapon they have left is their lying tongues.

    • Antoine

      You seem unaware that Trump is the most pro-Israeli President since Nixon, or probably ever, or that Putin and Netanyahu are friends. You might also notice that UK-Israel relations have been poor for decades. Your idea of USUKIS as a world conspiracy challenged by Trump flies in the face of the most basic facts.

  • Gary

    I can’t understand why there are ‘minute traces’ of Novichok at ‘the Russians’ hotel in East London. They are alleged to have brought it with them, so why would they open it in their hotel room?? It’s ‘ten times deadlier than VX’ so why open it in an enclosed space where you will be eating and sleeping?? Even IF they actually received the Novichok whilst here, it’s still UTTER stupidity to do anything with it in your hotel room.

    But NONE of this makes sense the way the government are putting it across…

      • Doodlebug

        ‘Please can we go to the park before we leave? I must get rid of this spray I’ve been carrying for I don’t know how long. I wouldn’t want it to leak onto my sandwiches.’

  • Yonatan

    More grist for the bullshit mill.

    In 2003, someone from the GRU created a Facebook account for themselves. The name of the person? Ruslan Borishov!

    I wonder if this is where the UK SIS got the information from.

    The two men arrived at Salisbury railway station at 11:48 and the police claim they were spotted at or near the Skripal’s house at 11:58. The house is about 1.2 miles away from the station, so that means they travelled (walked?) at an average of 7 mph not allowing for time to cross busy roads etc. A reasonable walking pace is about 3.5 mph and a jogging pace is about 5.5 mph, so these guys ran all the way without breaking into a sweat. Miraculous.

    • Blunderbuss

      Perhaps they took a taxi. Oh no, somebody will now have to test all the taxis in Salisbury for Novichok.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Prepare for CyberWar’ – Anonymous sources brief right-wing press on May’s ‘revenge’ against Russia
    Britain’s super secret security services have been anonymously briefing the right-wing press over Theresa May’s plans to launch a cyber war against Russia, in retaliation for the alleged involvement in the Salisbury poisonings.
    6th September 2018

    ‘As well as cyberwarfare, the UK is planning more financial sanctions, travel bans and conventional espionage against Russia, as detailed in all three pieces.
    On Thursday morning, during an interview on BBC Radio 4, UK’s Security Minister Ben Wallace on retaliation against Russia said: “We do all the time, but we retaliate in our way.
    “We are not the Russians, we don’t adopt the sort of thuggish, destructive and aggressive behaviour that we have seen.
    “We choose to challenge the Russians in both the overt and the covert space, within the rule of law and in a sophisticated way.” ‘

    • Jo

      Betchya “bottom dollar” that all this has been planned for months as there has been previous hints in April of a hit squad from 2-6 people and clearly the so called “evidence “has been available since then…….so it must be about the timing now…..Idlib…midterm US elections and bring down Trump…return of Parliament…extended sanctions and more “ingenious” revenge methods….UK jets harassing Russian jets in international areas of Black Sea….build up of USA bases and defences in Syria…IDF still taking action against Iran oops Syria and trying to justify that still….Macron and Trump and co summoning up false courage over Idlib chemicals and their last stand ……positioning of various fleets…..complete disgrace by EU of failure of Minsk and even more lethal weapons to Ukraine…tje list goes on…what can Russia now do?

  • james

    the uk intel groups and the uk gov’t under may continue to put egg on their face… looking good!!

  • Karl Dankbars

    Craig Hi,

    I feel you have such a lot of common sense to put up about the episode that I’m reluctant to do any on my own since I have so much respect for yours.

    Spent the last few hours on with the UN broadcast in bkg.

    It’s totally obscene and needs shouting about . I’m rather hoping that you may some bullets.



  • The Tax Man


    Yulia Skripal was not collected by her father. Her flight arrived into 14:40 on the Saturday. The two boys arrived in Salisbury at 14:25pm.

    We have been told that Sergie didn’t really have any friends in Salisbury and didn’t have much going on, plus it was a Saturday. What was he doing that he could not go down to collect his only daughter who was visiting him and instead asked an old friend to collect her.

    The two boys left Salisbury at 4:10pm. That would have been the time his friend would have been arriving back after collecting Yulia. Presumably he would have had to invite his friend in for a chat, cup of tea and couldn’t have had two big eastern Europeans in the house.

    The police have said that the two men were doing a reconnaissance on the house so its reasonable to assume that they can see them heading towards the house.

    I have always wondered why he didn’t collect her, it just didn’t make sense. It makes sense now.

  • John Edwards

    Listened to the UNSC debate. Interesting that the UK have refused to disclose to the Russians the information in the visa applications made by the two suspects which would have included fingerprints among other things. Why?

    • N_

      I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me if British ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow gets a Russian boot up his crapper and finds himself declared persona non grata and boarding a plane back to Blighty faster than he can say “I went to Trinity and I’m an Ezra Pound specialist”.

      Accusing a foreign country of carrying out an assassination on your territory and then sticking your fingers in your ears and blowing a raspberry when they ask you to tell them some identifying information about the suspects doesn’t strike me as good diplomacy.

    • MaryPaul

      game of poker – they do not want to reveal their hand ie show how much information they have to go on in discovering the real identity of the two men

      • Agent Green

        The visa would be a semi-public document anyway. No intelligence involved. They could share it with the Russians quite easily and not give anything secret away.

        Absolutely no reasonable reason not to provide it.

      • gbrbsb

        “They do not want to reveal their hand, i.e., show how much information they have to on in discovering the real identity of the two men”… Uh ??? !!!

        The Russians already know the UK has their fingerprints, copies of their passports, and all the usual info, probably lies, you have to give for a visa so how does that work in respect of not revealing their hand?

        If anything more than just being bloody minded and trying to wrong foot the Russians, it could be the UK doesn’t want the Russians to get to them first, or that they are just not interested in getting to the facts because blaming the Russian state rather than some operatives getting their revenge on a traitor, or the Russian opposition, another country, or the Russian mafia, wanting to cause problems for the Russian state, all of which are possibles however credible or not they are.

      • gbrbsb

        I forgot to finish the sentence which mean to say, “…because blaming the Russian state rather than some operatives getting their revenge on a traitor, or the Russian opposition, another country, or the Russian mafia, wanting to cause problems for the Russian state, all of which are possibles however credible or not they are, is much more useful for what is going on in Syria and Ukraine.”

      • Yeah, Right

        Mary, that argument beggars belief. The Russians specifically asked to see the visa form, and they are quite open about why they want to see it – they know that those forms contain a record of the applicant’s fingerprints.

        There is absolutely no “information” that can be compromised by agreeing to that request.

  • Anon1

    As further events unfold which refute the various conspiracy theories here, Craig and his loons won’t admit they got it wrong. No, they will double down and invent more conspiracy theories. If X disproves the theory, it will be claimed that X is part of the conspiracy. And so conspiracy theory will be built upon conspiracy theory, until the level of denial becomes ridiculous and you change the subject (while the more crackpot of your followers carry on digging).

    You can’t actually lose (just keep saying X is part of the conspiracy), but you can make yourself look like a fool.

    • N_

      What does spitting out the word “refute” at people when you don’t know what it means make you look like?

    • Garth Carthy

      If you think you’re so smart, Anon1, perhaps you can explain the numerous inconsistencies in the official version of events.
      If you have answers to these discrepancies, then we might take notice of your sneering remarks.

      • Republicofscotland

        He can’t, all the 77th Brigade can do is push the official narrative, which we all know is utter bollocks.

    • Borncynical

      I haven’t been presented with any facts by the UK Govt to suggest that conspiracy theories are not justified. Perhaps you would care to enlighten us as to how photographs and CCTV ‘stills’ of two unidentified (if we accept the UK’s word that they were using aliases) men (Russian, if we accept the UK’s word that they are Russian) travelling from Moscow (if we accept the UK’s word that they arrived in the UK on a flight from Moscow as opposed to the flight from Kiev which would have arrived at about the same time ) actually proves that they were behind an attack (if we accept the UK’s word that there was an attack) on the Skripals – bearing in mind that according to the UK Govt’s timeline and ‘facts’ to date the Skripals were poisoned when leaving their house which occurred hours before the ‘assassins’ even arrived in Salisbury? Ms Pierce at the UNSC didn’t even bother to respond to the Russian request to explain that one! Even if these men were up to no good, I take it you can demonstrate to us all that they didn’t just have a planned rendezvous with Sergei and Yulia for private reasons?

      • Mary Paul

        It would be easy enough to check they came in from Moscow by checking the Aeroflot manifest for the flight. I assume this has been done or Aeroflot would deny they flew on that plane.

        • Borncynical

          “[I assume this has been done] or Aeroflot would deny they flew on that plane”. Why exactly do you say that? Strikes me as rather a bold, presumptive and defamatory statement, along the lines of something Boris Johnson would say.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I haven’t been presented with any facts by the UK Govt to suggest that conspiracy theories are not justified. ”

        What’s facts got to do with it?, we live in a post truth era, where whoever shouts the loudest for the longest gets the biggest amount of attention.

        Say Russia did it loud enough and long enough, and some will begin to believe it is so.

        Remember Iraq, and the WMD’s?

      • Blunderbuss

        It appears that the Skripals left their house about 9.15 am to visit the cemetery. They returned at an unknown time and were probably in the house when the two suspects arrived. It appears that the poison was put on the door handle in broad daylight between about 12 noon and 13.30 when the Skripals went out for a second time for their meal. Link:

    • flem

      “Projection as an Interpersonal Influence Tactic: The Effects of the Pot Calling the Kettle Black ”
      ABSTRACT: “…In his analysis of Nazi propaganda, Ellis Freeman identified an influence tactic based on projection: accusing another person of the negative traits and behaviors that one possesses and exhibits with the goal of deflecting blame away from one’s own misdeeds and toward the accused. ”
      I see you’ve added the ad hominems “loons” and “crackpot” in there for good measure too!

    • Republicofscotland

      “As further events unfold which refute the various conspiracy theories here, ”

      Is that what you’re calling it evidence? More like wishful thinking.

      • Doodlebug

        It seems that in trying to relate two visitors from overseas to the Salisbury poisoning, via the front door knob of the Skripal house, the Met. have completely overlooked the impossibility of that hypothesis in the first place. If that is indeed where the Skripal’s were intoxicated by a lethal nerve agent they wouldn’t have made it to the car, much less Zizzi’s restaurant several hours later. (It only takes one person to close a door btw.)

    • Goose

      Why do you come to Craig’s forum and post then, if you believe it’s all crap?

      People discussing things on an little-known forum is not hurting you.

    • MaryPaul

      speaking as someone who thinks the Russians are the most likely candidates but I am not sure whether rogue or official and still have non-insight nto the motive, I would say we are still some way from arriving at the truth. The Skripals “missing” hours for example, if he knew the two men, the origin of the perfume bottle and how it turned up several months later. Still many questions to answer.

    • Philip Cross

      Anon1 – so that’s how it works, incredible, thanks for your incredible insight… tool

    • Agent Green

      I’ve yet to see any evidence from the UK Goverment yet. So we are waiting for that first.

    • Charles Bostock

      Anon1’s comments must surely rank as the definitive statement about the dynamics of this thread (and indeed others). They are incontrovertible and are surely shared by many readers.

    • Yeah, Right

      “As further events unfold which refute the various conspiracy theories here,”…..

      Those events being….?

      Surely not the photos released showing the two suspects walking through Gatwick. Because in that particular event…..
      “Craig and his loons won’t admit they got it wrong.”
      sits very poorly against Craig’s own update….
      “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.”

      So not that, then……. so I’m genuinely curious what “event” you are referring to that “refutes” the “conspiracy theory”.

  • N_

    The Fontanka news site has published an interesting piece in Russian. They say as follows.

    1) Boshirov and Petrov had tickets from Heathrow to Sheremetevo for both 4 March (evening) and 5 March (night)

    (I suppose if they’d wanted to tell MI5 even more clearly to watch them, they could have gone one better and spent the time between 4.45pm and 6.30pm on 4 March 2018 outside Thames House doing some Cossack dancing while raucously singing “Skripal, Skripal! / You’re not our pal! / We’re from the G R U / And We’re Going to Deal With You!”)

    2) Boshirov was born on 12 April 1978 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

    3) According to VKontakte, Boshirov graduated from Moscow State University in 2004 in geography, specialising in hydrology

    4) Boshirov and Petrov got passports about two years ago, and from Sep 2016 to Mar 2018 they visited Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan and, a number of times. Paris.

    (Which of these cities did they visit in March 2018?)

    5) Petrov was born on 13 Jul 1979

    6) Petrov visited London at least once before the Salisbury event, from 28 Feb to 5 Mar 2017. A person with that birthdate and name works at the national manufacturer of immunobiological products (vaccines etc.), Microgen, which comes under the Health Ministry.

  • V8

    Gotta get me one of those £20 Puffa Jackets as the protection afforded as shown during testing whilst smearing nerve agent on door handles is amazing. Should be standard .gov issue for all Hazardous Chemical situations…


    Apparantly all the Emergency Services Vehicles involved have been disposed of in land fill sites, but cant find a link for that. How many vehicles would that be, police, ambulance, fire, army etc etc….

  • Vlad

    “Is it not the case that working only in straight-lines whilst others are not, means others will run rings around you?” (K T Frog). The point being this government have clearly and obviously manufactured the poisoning in relation to pointing it at Putin. Why? Because everyone knows they are responsible for interfering in elections and we had missed it. We’ve egg on our faces and we do not believe Russia are happy. But Russia are guilty. Of attacking democracies. What we are guilty of, I dread to think.

  • Sharp Ears

    They all fell into line.

    US, France, Canada and Germany pledge to join Theresa May’s campaign against Russian GRU spy agency
    The group of nations also backed the UK’s allegations that two Russian agents were behind the Salisbury novichok attack
    2 hrs ago

    Reassuringly, they go haywire at the end.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes absolutely disgraceful that those countries would get behind Westminster’s half-cocked story. It’s pretty obvious that a concerted effort to damage Russia’s economy is well underway on the basis of flimsy evidence and hearsay.

      The British government are a bunch of charlatans.

    • Jo

      Have wars started for less reasons? Perhaps it is full on hybrid warfare now…in that anything and everything can be further weaponised against Russia…..continuing from directed and manipulated public opinion built up over many years.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    A match-off here between two parallel reports on the Skripal madness
    Apparently a complete and total deep-state narrative misdirection from the above article, of course I might be wrong. . .


    A seemingly sensible and balanced report that tries to inform, without repeating bull-carp, Thomson Reuters wins.

    • Agent Green

      Reuters is classic mouthpiece for the Western agenda. Same goes for virtually all the Western media. They have very little credibility.

    • Dave Lawton

      Radar O’Reilly
      “A match-off here between two parallel reports on the Skripal madness”
      Yes you are right the author of the Foreign policy article has infiltrated our 1960`s Counter-culture magazine IT with anti Russian propaganda.

  • Jarek Carnelian

    Hawkins: I’ve got it! I’ve got it! The perfume with the Novichok’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from Ricci palace has the brew that is true! Right?

    Griselda: Right. But there’s been a change: they broke the Ricci chalice from the palace!
    Hawkins: They *broke* the chalice from the Nina Ricci palace?

    Griselda: And replaced it with a flagon…
    Hawkins: A flagon…?
    Griselda: With the figure of a Russian dragon.
    Hawkins: Flagon with a RUSSIAN dragon???
    Griselda: Right.

    Hawkins: But did you put the perfume with the Novichok poison in the vessel with the pestle?

    Griselda: No! The perfume with the Novichok poison’s in the flagon with the Russian dragon! The vessel with the pestle holds the brew that is true!

    Hawkins: So the perfume with the Novichok poison’s in the flagon with the Russian dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!!
    Griselda: Just remember that…

    Hawkins: Yes. Thank you very much!

    After “The Court Jester” Danny Kaye (1955)

  • RobG

    The Salisbury and Amesbury ‘poisonings’ are so ridiculous that I can barely be bothered commenting on them (folks, we are ruled by complete psychopaths). One thing that did strike me, though, about this latest nonsense, is the time stamp on the photos that Craig included in his previous post. The time stamp contains the number ’22’; and yes I know that many will now label me as a ‘wacko conspiracy theorist’. From what I’ve seen, not many people have commented on this latest number game that runs through just about all of these false flag events. Before you switch off, let me explain: the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017 was carried out (so we’re told) by a 22-year-old man, who killed 22 people on the 22nd day of the month…

    This attack came exactly 2 months after the Westminster Bridge attack, which took place on the 22nd of March 2017. The Westminster Bridge attack took place exactly one year after the suicide bombings in Brussels on 22nd March 2016. I could go on and on with this numbers game (which will be no surprise to those who understand the significance of these numbers to certain groups).

    The Westminster Bridge attack took place in the run-up to last year’s general election campaign. The Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge attack took place during the election campaign (London Bridge just days before the vote, with the usual suspects in the press running stories that Corbyn is a ‘terrorist sympathiser’). This was political violence, plain and simple, right out in the open in the UK, and aided and abetted by the mainstream media.

    The people who perpetrate these false flag events often like to take the piss out of the gullibility of the public.Hence you get the numbers game, amongst other things. Go look it up if you don’t believe me. The odds on such numerical coincidences are absolutely astronomical (the number 22, for instance, has no meaning in Islam, by the way).

    • N_

      Thanks for this, @RobG. Interesting stuff. Magic is alive and kicking everywhere. A more pleasant example is the way the number 33 was working when those coalminers got trapped in a pit in Chile and fortunately were all saved. That number has huge connotations in much of South America. (There is even a town “Thirty-Three” in Uruguay.) As for in Korea, the numbers are usually odd, such as 105 = 3 x 5 x 7. Which only touches the surface. Moon Jae-In and Kim Jong-Un made a yin-yang sign together and I didn’t see a single comment in the western media. Nor about the meaning of that big North Korean envelope that got given to Trump. Even when shown the picture of the yin-yang many whoopsdaisyist loonies will find their “quick – think of something to protect me against acquiring a broader understanding” circuitry kicking in.

  • oleg petrov

    To accuse Russia is a nonsence. First and foremost there was no motive for Russia to poison Skripals.
    1. Scripal was in Russia custody after having been arrested for spying. He cooperated with the investigators and got a rather mild sentence of 9 years in prison. He had served 5 of them before was exchanged for Russian spies arrested in the USA. If Russia wanted to kill him, it had all the opportunities to do so while he was in Russia.
    2. Scripal didn’t possess any military or political secrets after he had been released from Russia custody. Unlike Litvinenko, he was not involved in any public or secret anti-Russian activity. There was no reason to consider him a threat or a harm to the Russian state.
    3. By no way Russiia could benefit from killing Skripal. Already under heavy economic & political sanctions, Russia was not interested in getting more. The timing for the poisoning was very unfavorable. It happened on the eve of Presidential election & 3 months before Football World Cup in which Russia, as a host, invested billions of dollars. How could Russia put on risk the possibility of such an important event?

    Who could benefit from poisoning? Russia’s enemies & rivals. Ukraine & rusophobic establishment in the USA & UK waging economic war on Russia. And they got what they wanted: heavier additional economic & diplomatic sanctions on Russia & more fuel for rusophobia.

    • MaryPaul

      I agree with you on lack of visible Russian motivation. I cannot see any but nor can I see any reason for the UK government to have self inflicted it. Leaving aside why ithe UK would inflict such damage on one of its own cities, there is very little interest in the UK in Russian affairs. We hear about the odd reported skirmishes over oil pipelines far away or when it makes international headlines eg Ukraine or Syria. but Russia is too far away for UK citizens to take any interest in its daily affairs and there are not many trade links. I doubt if the average UK citizen thinks about it from one day to the next.

      In the USA echoes of anti Russian feeling may be stronger but Trump is trying to cosy up to Putin not make things worse. So then I think Russia’s enemies and wonder about a false flag by Ukraine. But why Skripal and why in the uK.?

      Then I think again about UK involvement overseas. I know there are people concerned about Uk in Syria, Idlib, chemical weapons but I still don’t think the UK would stage a Niichok agent attack on their own doorstep in Salisbury. And certainly not throw away the perfume bottle in a bin in the shopping centre months later.

      So what about the two “GU” guys just identified? Maybe they were actually friends of Sergei, or maybe something else was going down, maybe there was a double cross? . I am coming round at present to the idea of a Russian sleeper agent in Salisbury, hinted at recently in the MSM. If there is one I suspect the UK authorities have not identified him/ her/them.

      But as to motive, I am still baffled.If someone was settling scores there are lots of easier ways.

      • giyane


        All the peoples that have been colonised by the British from, Cornwall to Nepal, from Wales to Australes, all know the British are liars. It’s good to know that there may be some corners of the world who have not been touched by the tentacles of the British deceit. The former colonies Canada, US, and former partners France, Germany, all know the British are lying. If they were to mention that in public the British would start lying about them as well.

        All you need to know about your partner is whether or not they are lying. If they are, you choose your moment to kick them out the house and call 999 when they can’t open the door.

    • N_

      You’re right, Oleg. But what do you see as the British regime’s motivation? They are not yet Russia’s “enemy”. And “Russophobia” is irrational. They are using Russophobia but that is different. Some of them believe their own lies for sure, but underneath it’s about money. I think the flavour of apocalypticism differs between the two regions. The poshboys in Britain have a view of the population as Morlocks who when they exist for a period of time without doing everything the poshboys want are basically thieving from the poshboys and wronging the universe by breathing. I cannot emphasise this enough as essential to the British specificity. Those who are not familiar with it, or disagree, or don’t get what I’m saying, should browse to somewhere such as, pick a place that isn’t super posh (so don’t try Sonning), and then click on “worst things” and read the comments.

  • HoBoJo

    The black puffer jacket being warn is quite distinctive. The quilting slopes diagonally all across the front, and the big white branding. Anyone recognize it? The next piece of the story should be that the police have discovered one of the jackets somewhere – perhaps left at the hotel – and it has a micro-contamination on one sleeve. Thereby giving the final proof of guilt.

    They’re a bit of a laugh, though, these Russian spies. One pointed out the CCTV warning sign in the coin collector’s window to his mate, and then made sure they were both fully captured on screen. Does anyone think there’s anything odd about the train station image looking at the lighting behind their legs?

    • N_

      Ah a CCTV warning. I noticed the gesticulation at 0:07-0:08. You could well be right that that was the reason.

      There’s also Boshirov’s glance back at 0:22. And there’s the third guy, who was there before they were and whom they may be wondering about. What is it that he takes out of his pocket before he does the double dip? He might be a non-player having a Tic-Tac. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if more than one agency had people in the area that day.

      Dauwalders the stamp dealers will know some interesting stuff too. Rare stamps can be a useful way to dodge tax (such as inheritance tax) and to cart large amounts of value about without your suitcase getting too heavy or attracting too much interest from sniffer dogs or officials looking at X-ray screens. The Philatelic Traders Society are “dealers with integrity” 🙂

  • Goose

    Channel 4 news reporter Alex Thompson stated these men had been to various EU countries’ capitals. If they are GRU, presumably doing reconnaissance on other people of interest to the Russian state? When exactly did the UK find out they were GRU, and how?

  • Ort

    I tried to plow through the entire comments thread, which is sprouting like Jack’s beanstalk, but I admit I increasingly skimmed as I went along. So I’m not certain if this point has already been made:

    I think it is entirely misguided and wrong to take the position that now, Russia has some explaining to do. After all, the UK authorities have attempted from the first to not only smear and slander the Russian government, but to make increasingly wild, contradictory, and frankly preposterous assertions about Russian complicity.

    Meanwhile, as with similar “scandals” and crimes blamed on Russia, both UK/Western political and technical authorities have simply refused point-blank to participate in established investigative protocols and procedures. This outrageous and illicit exclusion, no matter how solemnly and self-righteously defended by UK officials in that distinctive Posh Voice of Authority, reflects heinous bad faith.

    A few idioms come to mind: “cold shoulder” “stiff-armed” “stonewall”. In short, when it comes to professional, convivial, cooperation in investigating alleged criminal conduct, Russia has been “sent to Coventry”.

    Russia’s sober, respectful requests and demands that the UK and other involved governments merely conduct investigations in accordance with mutually agreed and (formerly) accepted mechanisms has been consistently flung down and danced upon by the dubious UK accusers.

    Only credulous or submissive persons who have taken the false-flag bait would insist that the ball is now in Russia’s court to clarify and sort out the long-term Big Lie operation, and to counter spurious allegations and charges. The UK/Western false-flaggers are working for this very result– putting Russia, another victim of the skulduggery, on the defensive.

    The Russian government has been remarkably patient and tolerant in the face of repeated, cumulative calumny. It quite rightly resist being drawn further into the Skripal quagmire on the quagmire-makers’ terms.

    I wish Craig would address this point; I’m interested to see if he agrees, but if not I’d appreciate knowing why not.

    • Borncynical

      Ort, I agree with all you say. And we witnessed Karen Pierce at the UNSC today blatantly lying or, if I was being kind, being disingenuous with the truth. She declared sanctimoniously that (1) the Skripals had been given the opportunity to meet with the Russian Embassy staff but hadn’t taken up the offer (2) the Russians had refused to co-operate with the investigation (3) the UK has complied all along with international law (4) the fact that the UK is presenting the evidence it has proves that they “unlike the Russians” believe in the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ (oh how I laughed at that one!). I mean, it was unbelievable. It’s what she didn’t say i.e. the context of the circumstances behind these claims, that was telling.
      I missed Pierce’s opening salvo but saw Nebenzya’s presentation and Nikki Haley’s monstrous comments as the US envoy. One intriguing thing that struck me immediately though was that when Pierce was responding to some of Nebenzya’s challenges and talking about consular assistance she very clearly referred to having concerns and considerations for YULIA’s welfare and well being and she was pleased that she had made such a good recovery…there was absolutely no reference to Sergei. I wonder why.

    • Doodlebug

      Hear, hear!

      And Born Cynical’s mention of the absence of any reference to Sergei makes one think too…..

  • Yonatan

    If the incident is a false flag set up to frame the Russians – and that seems plausible given how of the seems seems intended to be observed – it would not beyond the powers of the SIS/whoever (with access to nerve agents) to hire a couple of Crisis Actors to play the part of Russians, flying into the UK, travelling to Salisbury, being in the right place at the right time, parading in front of CCTV cameras and so on.

    Contrast this charade, dominated by its trial-by-media-not-the-courts, with real SIS/whoever hits on David Kelly, Gareth Edwards, al Hilli and so on. The events remain under investigated and the state seems totally uninterested, preferring to sweep things under the rug.

    • Ken Kenn

      Bide your time.

      The problem is that due to the global reach of the internet ‘ community ‘ some people somewhere
      will know these two persons of interest.

      No doubt the people who really know them ( possibly for cash ) they will tell all.

      Even Crisi Actors have friends who know them.

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