Skripals – The Mystery Deepens 3063

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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3,063 thoughts on “Skripals – The Mystery Deepens

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  • Mary Paul

    Can I just ask again, in relation to Tom Smythe’s suggestion that the novichok was decanted into an existing perfume bottle, does anyone know where that type of perfume dispenser is sold? Certainly not in the UK and I don’t think in Western Europe.

    • Greg Park

      I suspect it was given directly to Dumbov and Dumberov by Putin himself from his wife’s dressing table. Whaddya think?

      • Year, Right

        If you look at the original packaging there is a little gift card that reads (translation from Russian, of course) “with all my love, your dearest Vladimir”.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      From the COINTELPRO, Troll manual; Techiques for site disruption.
      Forum sliding.
      Inoculating against the truth.
      Turn a news group into a gossip corner.
      Data mine forum members.
      Identify violent forum members.
      Gain full control.

      Only saying ’cause your preoccupation with perfume bottles verges on gossip.

      • Tom Smythe

        Mr de BG did not have access to the perfume bottle or any of the forensics on it but from looking at the pictures he could determine “it was probably made out of special toughened glass, ceramics or plastics … the ‘sophisticated’ perfume bottle would have cost thousands to build from scratch and required top scientists to achieve. made by top scientists from the ‘Q-ski’ branch of Russia’s military intelligence, took months to build and cost thousands of pounds. The one-way valve technology in the bottle was very sophisticated and no doubt took a great deal of expertise to produce.” No doubt indeed but those Asians are very clever at imitating western products.

        • Tom Smythe

          Mr de BG frets about airport scanners and the wildly non-standard Nina Ricci dispenser being noticed but skips over the bit of how this foolproof container made by top James Bond scientists at the hush-hush Q-ski branch inexplicably leaked back in the hotel room on its first outing (despite exhaustive testing known to Mr de BG from his readings of spy novels).

          As a reminder, the airport duo have not been connected in any way to the wheelie bin perfume box nor seen skulking around with eau de parfum dispensers, there is no evidence in support of the perfume bottle, or any fraction of its contents, having been used in the Skripal attack. We discussed earlier safer transport in diplomatic pouches; indeed those can be of shipping container size.

          Basu alluded to undisclosed forensics on the packaging and bottle. As discussed earlier, fingerprints might be avoided but it would be impossible to keep the DNA off of anyone who ever handled any part of it. Very small amounts are enough to completely sequence the mitochondrial genome. That would enough to pinpoint maternal ancestry and approximate ethnicity. But they could do a lot more, such as hair and eye color, from the nuclear genome. For this, they need to discount samples of DNA from Charlie and Dawn as well as the police who bagged it up for PD.

          • Tom Smythe

            The dumpster in question is in back of a parking garage though also in back of a restaurant. The owner has not been disclosed but is probably the latter. The duo did not rent a car nor is there cctv of them in a car.

            Rowley spilled novichok all over his hands trying to assemble the pump mechanism on the bottle, despite all the scientific talent that went into its idiot-proof engineering safety for just this scenario. The sealed cellophane wrapper that originally enclosed the thick-walled box is not shown in Met photos.

            It is not clear that Met realized its tremendous forensic significance for fingerprints and retained the cellophane. It came in a box with pump detached so presumably had a screw-on cap, more thousands of rubles to reinvent threads and gaskets? The cap is not shown — surely Met did not lose that as it would have traces of novi inside. Met included a cm ruler in the photo. 17 fluid ounces, why so big?

            A small simple squeeze bottle of nasal spray or saline would be a whole lot safer for the assassin. They have tight caps and strong protective seals to stop the extra-strength excedrin type incidents. The box’s label says Vaporisateur Spray… mists or aerosols are for assaults on a bench, not daubing door handles. But talk about dangerous for the applicator — just a gust of wind and you join the victims.

            The perfume box may have been intended as a gift for Yulia. However there was no access to her once hospitalized, even for gifts. The messy misting applicator is a good fit for how eau de perfum is actually applied as Dawn discovered.

          • Tom Smythe

            Having blown up the packaging in photoshop, I can now clearly see the decimal points in the numbers 5.5 ml and .17 fl. oz. (0.17), so using online conversion. 5.5 ml would be 0.19 imperial fluid ounces or 0.186 US fluid ounces, neither getting us quite to 0.17 on the label. Nina Ricci offers 3.3 oz EDP Spray online at Walmart which is 97.6 ml, a lot more. So it is actually quite a small volume, more like a sampler.

          • Tom Smythe

            Measuring the three dimensions of the packaging with a photoshop tool that can follow the angle and crumpling and assuming ‘metric’ on the ruler means cm, I find ~ 328 x 225 x 82 with 5 cm being 231 in Met photo pixels. So it is not a cube as Charlie was quoted as saying but rather more like 7 cm high by 5 wide by 2 long. So enough for a gift sampler.

            Measuring the bottle in a better photo, I get 7.5 cm from glass bottom to the top of the aluminum cylinder. Its diameter is 1.7 cm. The white teflon pump adds 1.9 cm in height, supporting the notion of it being stored separately. Its handle is shown at an angle but after correction it appears to be about 5 cm end-to-end. So it all fits in the box and allows for the reported cardboard padding.

            There appears to only be ~50 micro-liters of fluid left in the bottom and perhaps some yellowish liquid left in the smaller tube (see below) The novi could have been removed prior to the photofor safety’s sake, or put in storage, or studied by PD and OPCW. The press has not asked Charlie if it was full when found, before his spill.

            The pumping mechanism is not entirely clear. The aluminum cylinder appears to sit outside and on top of the glass vessel but inside a plastic sheath. It is not clear how it could serve as a leakproof cap prior to pump attachment. There is a larger transparent tube coming down 0.5 cm from it with a smaller tube within extending to the bottom of the glass. The teflon part fits inside the aluminum cylinder and could possibly be depressed 1.8 cm in a pumping action. This could pressurize the fluid forcing it up and out the smaller tube into the channels of the teflon part. There is a small circular depression at the end of the pump hand; it could have a tiny exit hole that accomplishes the atomization of liquid when the central part of the teflon is pumped.

          • Tom Smythe

            Above tl;dr?

            — The perfume is a trojan horse, a gift for the intended victim (Yulia, random street person)

            — It is totally unsafe to install the pump because it spills (Charlie)

            — The design is totally unsuitable as a nerve agent applicator by assassins (exposes them, disperses residues)

            — It is totally unsafe to use as an atomizer even with elbow-length rubber gloves and respirator (physics 101)

            — It has no known connection to the two travelers (Met claims room spills)

            — The UK deserves high marks for permanently disbanding H de BG’s regiment* but should have done it sooner.

            * former commanding officer of the UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment, and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion, now product manager for military contractor

      • gbrbsb

        Try the following link I found on Ebay. Enlarge the picture and the third is sold as a Nina Ricci bottle which is very similar in shape to the alleged one used of 5.5ml. Are they counterfeit, I don’t know but I would have thought counterfeiters would make larger bottles as more cost effective. I think the package is genuine too albeit Nina Ricci say all are counterfeit but imo, they would say that wouldn’t they, not least because their brand could be at stake here.

        Certainly, I am not convinced at all convinced the bottle cost thousands of pounds to specifically design, produce, and if they did test it was safe for the handlers, they forgot to test if the contents were deadly for the intended subjects.

  • Dumbsky and Dumbersky

    In the days preceding a once every 6 year presidential election and a $14b World Cup, Putin sent two Telford bashirovs to carry out a double hit using a novichok weapon of mass destruction, but with a miserly imprest just enough for them to carry out the hits on foot and return to their hotel by public rail. Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha, next we will have Dame Hodge telling us she saw a corbyn like bearded Russian suspiciously tailing the skripals in a trabant with Russian plates.

  • Jeff

    Very strange how they keep on about the Door being the place where they were contaminated if that was true then why were Police in normal uniform standing in front of the very same Door 24hrs a day, yet the bench were the Skripals collapsed they had covered with special covering and the men attending to the bench wearing chemical suits. Doesn’t make sense! It also doesn’t make sense that the Skripals would turn off their mobile phones for approx 4hrs so that no geolocation could be found of where they went and possibly who they met! I don’t think this is a Government level job due to the amateur way it has been carried out, it could just possibly be an assassination ordered by Organised Crime or perhaps an amateur attempt by the Ukrainian Government to bolster support and finance from the West.

        • Yeah, Right

          Or a potential victim.

          Nobody seems to be considering the possibility that what those two Russians were doing in Salisbury was couriering that nerve agent to Skripal so he could use it in some nefarious deed.

          Only the ol’ coot got careless and ended up contaminating himself.

          After all, that is just as plausible as the government narrative which is that Putin personally ordered the GRU to make a hit on a harmless old retiree, and the GRU then proceeded to send their two most conspicuously careless agents to carry out that need.

      • Martyn

        Who can track mobile phone locations in the UK? I would’ve thought that can only be done by the UK security services and the service provider. So if Sergei Skripal (MI6) was meeting Pablo Miller (MI6), why the need to switch his phone off?

        However, in the case of Yulia Skripal, there may be a case for her to switch her (Russian?) mobile phone off if they were both meeting Pablo Miller.

        But, from what I understand, they both switched their phones off on that Sunday morning. We can conclude that neither wanted to be tracked by anybody. (That seems a bit odd to me, though, because they’re concealing themselves from both sides). They could’ve kept their phones on and left them at Sergei’s house. That wouldn’t have aroused any suspicion if they suspected their movements were being tracked via their mobile phone.

        Another possibility is that the story they switched their phones off on the Sunday is a planted story by the security services. The story broke in The Sun, as I recall. It saves the security services/police having to reply to the inevitable media questions regarding the whereabouts of the Skripals during the day and what they were doing. By planting that ‘phones-off’ story, they don’t have to provide the movements of the Skripals that day – which might’ve been very revealing!

        • Matt

          “Another possibility is that the story they switched their phones off on the Sunday is a planted story by the security services. The story broke in The Sun, as I recall. It saves the security services/police having to reply to the inevitable media questions regarding the whereabouts of the Skripals during the day and what they were doing. By planting that ‘phones-off’ story, they don’t have to provide the movements of the Skripals that day – which might’ve been very revealing!”

          Quoted for emphasis.

        • James Fleming

          “Who can track mobile phone locations in the UK?” Pretty much anyone. They’re designed to be trackable by all sorts of apps. You have to work very hard to stop them telling the world where you are at all times.

          • nevermind

            What? Like removing the second battery?
            To be recommended. If ypur phone does npt allow it or does not work without it….get a new phone that does.

          • Yeah, Right

            Walk into your nearest supermarket and buy some aluminium, then go back home and wrap your phone in that metal foil.

            Walk around all day with that in your pocket, then when you return home remove the foil and let the phone connect to the nearest tower.

            Then go online and look up your movements that day.

            I would suggest that as far as the Internet is concerned you spent the entire day at home minding your own business.

        • joeblogs

          GPS does not work that way. ‘Switching off’ the device does nothing to stop it functioning, albeit at a different level – a bit like ‘sleep’ mode on a computer.
          The only way one can be sure the device is truly off, ie, at the hardware level, is to remove it’s battery.
          It seems, therefore (being an ex-spy) Sergei would know this – it suggests the pair were more interested in not being interrupted by calls from their ‘phones, and were not at all worried about their whereabouts being known to the ‘authorities’.

        • Tom Smythe

          Good point. I was just wondering how we came to “know’ the phones had been turned off for four hours. So little has been disclosed, why share this and who would actually have access to phone location data? Salisbury police for one. Phones keep pinging back to the towers unless batteries are removed (not always feasible) or the phone is put in a faraday cage. A phone will still ring when put in a refrigerator though a freezer will shut it down. Another option is to drive somewhere out of cell tower range (like my house).

          • Colin Smith

            Google know better than the phone companies. All they have to go on is the cell tower, while google have cell tower, gps if working, and wifi hotspot mapping. Possibly also scanning other nearby devices with better locating abilities.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Anyone with a Trojan. You also recall you can track iPhones of anyone in your family. You should also recall NFC allows you to be tracked by local shops. Facebook and Google can track you even when their app are out of use.

          Why do you think BMW makes execs take out the battery and put it in a Faraday Cage or why Police use these……

          to stop people wiping phones remotely ?

    • SO.

      The probability of the door being the source of the agent is… extremely remote.

      If you ignore both the media confusion and various government claims there’s only one actual likely/possible explanation for simultaneous symptom onset in 2 very different subjects..(close aerosol)

      The more accurate picture of real skin exposure, absorption and symptoms would be Dawn and Charlie what’s his name. (2 different body masses, different exposure concentrations, different exposure areas etc = large time discrepancy in symptomatic expression)

      Same way the time difference ensured the compound would be found at Charlies house and couldn’t have been in the park.

      Same way there’s (in all liklihood) 2 applicators considering charlies was reported to be sealed.

      Same way it was already in the country in the first place.

  • mike

    Skripal nonsense has vanished from the state broadcaster’s website. They went big on it yesterday, saw how badly it was playing, and so they’ve yanked it. SOOOO many holes in this shite. But they are fully on-message when it comes to Idlib.

    There is of course no connection.

    PS Note to the Board: Tony Blair is TOXIC – do not use him to sell ANY message. Didn’t you get that memo? He cannot be rehabilitated, no matter how many times you try.

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      Nor do Brown and Major play well as elder-statesmen to head up a Groko, as seems tohave been tried the last fe weeks

      • Ultraviolet

        I don’t think any of our living former Prime Ministers play well, but of them all, I suspect John Major probably plays least badly.

    • TJ

      I think Blair should be rolled out every time they have a new Dodgey Dossier to sell, even the most distracted and addled brains will twig it’s all a load of rubbish just seeing him.

    • nevermind

      Well said Mike
      His vain attempt to carve out a niche for himself and whatever other ‘power dogs’ is a.futile attemt perse.

      He is a WAR CRIMINAL WHO HAS HAD 1000s KILLED WITH HIS LIES AND BRAVADO. Since he left, much thanks to his tracket Komodo, hes done nothing but enrich himself in dubipus deals with dubious men.

      His idea of gathering power dogs who gnawl on vested interest bones forming another party, fcuknig each other like mongrels is never going to provide any economic stability, security or democratic Schmalz for the masses.
      we are not going to be foolef by a war crminal who has unprecedwnted access to the media…Now…

      He should be expelled for bringing the party into disrepute and strife. What a selfserving cretin, i hope he and his followers/ media whores rot in hell.

      • Yeah, Right

        “His vain attempt to carve out a niche for himself”…

        His net wealth would suggest that his efforts have not been in vain.

  • Jeff

    I also forgot to mention that when poor Dawn Sturgess and her friend Charlie Rowley found the bottle of perfume which was the source of her dying, it was confirmed by the Police and reported that the bottle was in a box and sealed and unopened, which was confirmed by Charlie Rowley, then how now is this the same bottle used to contaminate the Skripals door, the same door where officers stood guard for days on end without any protective clothing.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Sturgess was a junkie with impaired immune system. It is conceivable anything could have terminated her existence including medical error

    • Martyn

      Yes, but who says it’s the same bottle of perfume that was used on Skripal’s front door?

      My understanding of the current official narrative is Charlie Rowley found an unopened perfume box, which he later opened at his home – and then assembled it. Dawn Sturgess then used it on her skin.

      I haven’t seen the police say it was the same perfume bottle (which would’ve been already assembled) that the alleged assassins used in March on Skripal’s front door.

      So I assume the police believe there must have been a minimum of two perfume bottles brought over by the alleged assassins – and one is still missing.

    • Doodlebug

      The door knob and perfume bottle sagas are the two planks supporting the case as argued by the Met. Unfortunately neither corresponds to even a common sense interpretation of events. There is as yet no genuine case for Russia to answer.

      • Doodlebug

        Is that why the GRU (supposedly) needed to field two operatives d’you think – to carry a bottle each?

      • giyane

        Too many has-beens or nearly has=beens in this Mid-summer murders screening. The only good thing is May and Johnson can’t re-appear in this series. Remember Al Qaida Paint? The stuff they could never get to stick?

        The only thing that’s sticking in this episode is the worry that the red aerosol I use against cockroaches in my bathroom might actually contain novichok. Too much information , I know.

    • Yeah, Right

      If these two were couriers bringing their goods to a third person who would attempt the assassination then, yes, it is very likely that they brought more than one “laced” with them.

      Courier: We got yer’ poison-tipped umbrellas, veerrrrry popular.
      Killer: No, that’s too Bulgarian for my taste.
      Courier: You do knows yer’ history. How about a poison perfume bottle?
      Killer: No, have you seen the target? Not the perfume type.
      Courier: Right you are. Laced tube of toothpaste?
      Killer: No, I’d have to break into his house.
      Courier: We have a pen-shaped injector, good for lacing the odd cuppa tea…..
      Killer: I used that on Litvinenko. I don’t want to get into a rut.
      Courier: I see your point. How about a gel applicator, great for doorknobs?
      Killer: [slow grin] Now you are talking……
      Courier: A man after my own heart. And a pleasure doing business with you, sir.

  • Mikael Kall

    September 5.
    ”The UK must provide fingerprints of the suspects in the Skripal case to Interpol, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on Wednesday on the Rossiya-1 channel.
    “We should start the conversation with facts, that is, with fingerprints. If according to the British side, these people have come from Russia, they must have received British visas, so, please, “fingers at the table”. Because none of us can work without Interpol here,” the diplomat stressed.
    Earlier, she stated that British Ambassador to Moscow Laurie Bristow declined to provide the fingerprints to the Russian Foreign Ministry.” (TASS)

    • N_

      Have the British authorites written to the men? Have they asked the Russian authorities for permission to interview them? Or find them? Or is the plan, shared with readers of the British media, to wait until the next time they leave dark dark Russia to go somewhere such as Switzerland, and then swoop?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    For the second time the whole Salisbury thread has descended into speculation and prattle about perfume bottles and cellophane. Everything that was worthwhile to say about the recent developments has been said. Methinks time to walk away ’till something new arises.

  • N_

    Citing a “security source”, the Torygraph are saying that the men who entered Britain on passports and visas in the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov “posed as businessmen”, which I think is their way of saying that when they applied for visas they gave the reason for their intended travel to Britain as commercial. I wonder whether they applied for and were given long-term visas rather than the usual six-month ones. Apparently they applied in St Petersburg. (I don’t know whether that is still possible now the British consulate in that city has closed.)

    This doesn’t surprise me because if Fontanka are right that they bought two inward plane tickets, for 4 and 5 March, that would ring alarm bells if they’d said they were coming here for tourism or to visit friends or family.

    The Torygraph also says they were “senior officers” in military intelligence, which doesn’t fit well with the story at all. And they say both are in their 40s, although Fontanka says Boshirov is 40 and Petrov 39.

    According to the source, they told the UK authorities that they were working in international trade and produced both business cards and bank accounts showing thousands of pounds in assets. Visas are only handed out if visitors to the UK from Russia can demonstrate they have the wealth to return.

    The claim will bolster Britain’s insistence the men worked for GRU, Russia’s disruptive military intelligence unit, which had provided them with full but fake identities.

    Will it?

    Got to wonder why Britgov doesn’t publish stuff about the guys’ visa applications officially, but prefers to leak it anonymously to MI6’s house newspaper the Torygraph.

    UK authorities have said it would have been impossible to spot the men coming into the UK two days before the nerve agent attack in Salisbury

    Oh really? Did they swim here in frogsuits?

    but the source claimed: ‘They had compiled some history, but given how difficult it is for Russian people to get a visa you would think that these two men were exactly the kind of people who should have raised red flags.’

    Why? London is full of “businessmen” from Russia. Good chance to mention “red flags”, though, triggering a mouth-foaming response in half the Torygraph’s readership.

    New CCTV footage emerged of Petrov and Boshirov engaging in casual window shopping as little as half an hour after making the attempt on Col Skripal’s life by smearing Novichok on his front door handle.

    “New footage emerged”. Got to see the funny side of this.

    They even appeared to enter the shop before realising it was closed on a Sunday.

    Oh what silly Russkies, eh? Rather than not knowing about Sunday closing in Britain, their real reason was more likely to be to ensure they showed up well on camera, and possibly it was also to do with the whole counter-surveillance dance they were doing at that time, in which the role of the “third man” looking in the window is unclear.

    If they’re supposed to be GRU professionals on an illegal job abroad, at least assume they know a bit about countersurveillance, eh, rather than compulsively painting foreigners as ignorant of British ways and so strange and inhuman as to be spontaneously interested in coins or stamps right after trying to whack someone.

    Paul Dauwalder, Mr Oh-so-innocent Stamp Trader, said “It was a Sunday and they had just attempted a murder, but they still tried to come in the shop. From the way they were behaving, they looked like coin enthusiasts or collectors. The mind boggles. I’m just glad we were closed.

    Yeah, mate, I mean if they didn’t drop foreign Russian fleas on your premises they might have killed you too, right? Foreigners can be so killy! This doubtless goes down a treat with Torygraph readers, but I don’t believe for a moment that Dauwalder is really so stupid.

    Notice the very different way this is being reported from, say, the Mossad murder of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010. Nobody was reported in the western media at that time as saying something like “I’m bloody glad those murderers didn’t come near me.” (Perhaps that would have been anti-Semitic under the IHRA definition?)

    I like this bit:

    Locals in Salisbury expressed confusion at the route the pair took from Col Skripal’s house to the station, with one saying they had ‘deliberately gone out of their way’ to walk through the centre of town, where there are large numbers of CCTV cameras.” (emphasis added)

    • Paul Greenwood

      Perhaps they were looking for their Windrush papers ? I thought (Craig ?) a joint FCO-Home Office/MI5/SIS Department that handled Visas especially from Russia and screened them.

      I still opine these travellers had existing open Visas and had been to UK before

    • Colin Smith

      Visas are given out unless there is a good reason not to give them, ie obvious lack of funds, or reason to return (plus specific intelligence). Otherwise it is standard to issue them. That’s why we have a burgeoning tourist sector and sky high immigration.

  • Paul


    Although I’m from the Netherlands this Skripal affair really intrigues me.

    Right from the start the scenario that the Russian state would use a chemical weapon to murder an ex-spy on UK soil, right amidst the constant karfuffle about chemical weapons in Syria, has struck me as very very very unlikely. And that it was supposed to be done using ‘novichok’, the same agent which appeared in a recent TV spy film in the UK, just added to that. The scenario is just ‘too good’ to be true.

    Putting all the info we now have together I would say that the Skripals in reality were never intoxicated with nerve agent. They were decapacitated using BZ agent (by the police officer who also suffered symptoms?) and they were then brought to hospital (initially thought to be a fentanyl intoxication). Them not being intoxicated with nerve agent is in agreement with the lack of health complaints by the medical docter who took care of the Skripals when they were outside in the Salibury park and the report by the medical docter at the Salisbury hospital emergency unit that no patients were brought in with nerve agent symptoms on that day.

    The operators responsible for the set-up (secret agents) had already practiced the trick of how to insert contaminated blood samples into the investigation process in Syria (Khan Sheikhoun) and they applied this trick repeatedly in the Salibury case. (The chemists at Porton Down doing the chemical analyses may be perfectly sincere, as will be those at the designated labs used by the OPCW.) That doctered blood samples were analysed explains the fact that the concentrations of nerve agent as found in the Skripal blood samples by the OPCW were impossibly high (they could never have survived such high levels and note that these measurements date from weeks after the event). Now with the release of the pictures of the two supposed culprits we see that the plot included laying out this video trail of the “GRU-men”. Remarkable how strongly these guys were attracted to the street video camera’s of Salisbury! Notice how at Salisbury train station they stand still waiting for the video camera to catch them. They may be patsies or they may have done this trip with full knowledge. For the secret agents behind the whole thing it surely is no problem finding some suitable guys who were willing to do this trip from Moscow to London and then on to Salisbury. Contacts with this or that oligarch or some other secret service (Ukranian?) would be enough. The fact that the UK authorities refuse to supply their Russian counterparts with the finger prints of the two indicates that they do not want them identified.

    The mismatch in the police timeline between the time of arrival of the two men in Salisbury and the time when the novichok supposedly was applied to the door knob makes clear the UK police is still not there as to a consistent version of the (mostly fictional) events.

    Anyway, this is what I make of it at this stage. Best,Paul

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Paul, You have understood this very well. The scientists at Porton Down, and at the OPCW both maintained their integrity.

      At Porton Down : “They want a sample?” – “We will give them a sample at 98.02 % purity.”

      At the OPCW : “We have received a sample at 97.76% purity.”

      I did pass my Chemistry “A” level, but was lucky to survive my “O” levels.

      We did convince our Science Master, that we had created Nitro-Glycerine in our lunch break.

      We burned a big hole in a piece of wood, with a bunsen burner. We mixed glycerine with water (totally harmless)

      I ran downstairs to the Staff Room, and said Sir, Sir – you have got to come quick.

      I showed him the evidence, and he believed us. I said, we have got to phone the fire brigade.

      I said, I just dropped one drop from a pipette – and it did this…

      He went into a panic – went through all his chemistry books to try and find how to neutralise nitro-glycerine

      He really believed we had done it.

      Eventually he noticed the smiles on both our faces.

      We were winding him up.

      He was a brilliant science teacher and it was the end of the year. I have never seen anyone look so relieved.

      This was 50 years ago. We were 15 years old. If kids tried this now, they would be in jail if not dead.

      Once we made nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and left it bubbling away at the back of the science lab during a lesson.

      That is another story, but he knew we had form.

      We never even got told off. We always confessed.


      • joeblogs

        You made my evening with your story – LOL!
        Reminded me so much (back in the day, before the Health & Safety madness) of my old school days.
        One favourite trick was putting an unlit Bunsen burner in soapy water, turning on the gas (coal gas, then) waiting for the bubbles to appear, and setting fire to them with a match. The effect was of a large burning fireball rising up, owing to the hot gas, into the air.
        Needless to say, our teacher gave us choice between a stroke of the cane, or one hour’s detention – we chose the former – ‘just get it over with, sir, we don’t want to miss any telly.’
        Taught me all about time management and priorities, that did.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          joeblogs, We used to fill up a balloon with hydrogen gas, and when the wind was right, float it over the school playground, with a lighted taper. We never got told off for that either. I won’t mention the sodium/water bombs, but none of them hurt anyone either. It was only a few years after WWII, and my older brothers and sisters lived through it. I guess I had a great childhood, even though some of it was playing in bombed out mills, on my way home from school. We had absolutely no fear. We had won the war…even if parts of Oldham were still bombed to sh1t. I didn’t know anything better.


          • Borncynical

            A close friend of mine went to Pimlico secondary school in London just after it was constructed in the early 1970s as a new innovative design with huge glass panes forming the walls of the building, presumably to let in more light as it was in a city centre location. During one of the chemistry lessons (familiar theme here?), and whilst the teacher had popped out of the laboratory, the pupils poured a flammable liquid (not sure what exactly) round the base of the windows in the laboratory and ignited it. Flames shot up the panes to very impressive effect. I think the flames extinguished themselves very quickly and in fact before the chemistry teacher even knew about the event. Unfortunately not before a very observant citizen had called the fire brigade, thinking the whole building was going up. Those were the days when strict construction standards had to be complied with. I don’t know whether the pupils ever confessed or just left the innocent bystander to take the rap for wasting the fire brigade’s time. Truth’s out of the bag now!

          • Ort

            I conducted a more modest experiment along these lines.

            I don’t remember where I got my information prior to the Internet, but when I was about 10 years old (c. 1965) I learned that if one held a lit match in front of an aerosol can of hairspray, or insecticide, and pressed the nozzle, it produced an impressive “flamethrower” effect.

            One night, while my parents were busy watching TV, I decided to test this scheme in the basement laundry room. Sure enough, to my great satisfaction I made several fireballs appear– they seemed to bounce harmlessly off the cement wall.

            However, I failed to consider that I was doing this right next to the back door, with its panes of frosted glass. I don’t remember hearing the telephone ring, but suddenly my parents came charging down the basement stairs.

            Some neighbor had noticed the mysterious fireworks through the window and alerted my parents that our basement was apparently on fire.

            I had the sense to hide the can (and matches), but they could tell by the smell of matches and burnt hairspray that I had been doing something of an incendiary nature. They grudgingly accepted my assurance that I’d only tried it “once”.

            I suppose we were all lucky that the can hadn’t exploded in my face.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    They pushed it too far. At some point there was bound to be a reaction. Most people aren’t the slightest bit interested, but they are not raving Zionists, even in the Labour Party. My heart bleeds for them NOT. When the vast majority of people neither cared one way or the other, this small group of people, by THEIR OWN ACTIONS, have succeeded in getting large numbers of people to seriously dislike them..

    Next time, try a bit of Christian based love and peace. It’s far more effective at achieving your objectives.

    I need to order some more Jesus Sandals. I have extremely large feet and am soon to travel to foreign hot lands where you can’t buy them.


  • Bob Dixon

    The more you think about this story the crazier it gets! Why not hire a car at Heathrow and drive to Salisbury, whats this staying in a cheap hotel in Bow about? Heathrow to Salisbury is a drive of about 90mins. If theyd driven they could have made an earlier flight back to Moscow among other advantages. Bizarre! . interestingly; flights from Moscow on Friday and to Moscow on Sunday are all British Airways flights!

    • Bob Dixon

      Interesting that Petrov and Boshirov were seen on CCTV quite close to “the Bench” and to Zizzis even though it is in the opposite direction
      to the Skripal’s house. The park where the perfume bottle was found is also a lot closer to Zizzis than to the Skripal’s house.

  • Rolf

    Boshirov and Petrov must have known that the Skripals will be in Salisbury on March 4th. Just planning such a trip with a return flight to Moscow without being sure that you will find the Skripals doesn’t make sense.

    • Yeah, Right

      It totally makes sense, but only if you consider the possibility that they flew from Russia to Britain precisely to attend a pre-arranged meeting with Sergei Skripal.

      • Borncynical

        Exactly – if there is a connection it seems to me this is more likely, especially as they would have all been in and around the centre of Salisbury at about the same time.


    Thank you for your position and this article.
    I wish to contribute and share with you my observations based on photos of suspects published by UK.
    1. THERE ARE RESIDUES OF SNOW, if timing is correct as of beginning of March, this amount of snow left in the shade will be typical for the south of Russia or Ukraine
    2. There is a woman seen from her back, IN A WINTER COAT WITH SHABBY FUR COLLAR, a very typical babushka on a postsoviet space (I know them, i was born in the USSR), one cannot mistake her for a British resident.
    3. The road , road marking, and damaged pavement doesn,t remind me Britain terrain (I live here for 15 years)

  • Isa

    The hotel owner stated he was never told this was in relation to Salisbury and Novichoc nor does he know in which rooms the two shambolic assassins stayed . The police were there first on May 4th and have been back regularly .

    So the authorities don’t advise the public or the hotel owner and staff of novichol in the bedrooms , 10 times more potent than VX, nobody even gets ill and the hotel was not closed immediately?

    And what kind of forgery is that silly bottle of perfume ? A 7 cm tall box for a bottle with 5.5 ml of perfume ( roughly a soup spoon of liquid ) and the incorrect corresponding fl oz volume ? Very Sloppy forgery for a bottle meant to pass airport security for anyone used to metric systems and decimals .

    The only countries who are not used to the metric system are from the commonwealth . Russia has been using it for many years . Nobody packages perfumes or indeed any liquids in 5.5 or 10.5 . It’s always 50 or 100 or 20. No decimal points .

    • Sean Lamb

      “The hotel owner stated he was never told this was in relation to Salisbury and Novichoc nor does he know in which rooms the two shambolic assassins stayed ”

      Translation: I don’t recognise the people in the CCTV images. Seriously – what hotel doesn’t have a reservation system and a guest register?

      • Isa

        Precisely . But what if they were never there ? Which is beggining to be the only thing that fits that scenario . Either that or the hotel manager is lying . I don’t see why he would do it .


    I continue
    This kind of infrastructure look is typical in postsoviet states
    4. Details of guys outfit at the rail station and as if “walking in Salisbury” DIFFER IN MANY POINTS: sport boots are changed to brown leather and grey swede boots!, both hat and cap vary in details of white decoration, blue jacket looks different for me, for example the sleeves, etc. LOOK YOURSELF AND SEARCH FOR SMALL DETAILS.
    Professionally, I have a good faculty of face identifation. Despite a bad quality of some images, I GOT A FEELING THAT THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT PAIRS OF SUSPECTS.

    • Sandra

      The images in Salisbury are over two days – 3 and 4 March, which explains most of the change in clothing.

  • nwwoods

    I stopped counting Charles Bostock’s comments at 30. Hope he’s not concern trolling on company time.

    • John A

      I stopped reading his comments long ago. I think if him as Charles Bostick, a kind of residual glue that keeps sticking on every page of comments without serving any useful purpose except slow things down.

      • nevermind

        He been plaguong under the name Habbakuk for some time. Obfusecation is his middle name and hes paid in shekels.

        And he is talking to himself and his handler/best mate/ somebody with a name like Schmuel or Johnathan.

        Try not to tease him out from under the bridge.

  • Bryan Hemming

    Of course, Boshirov and Petrov couldn’t possibly just be a one pair of tourists out of tens of thousands from all around the world eager to see Stonehenge, Salisbury and Salisbury Cathedral. Thomas Hardy, perhaps even more famous among lovers of great literature and poetry in contemporary Russia than in the UK, featured Salisbury Cathedral and Close in Jude the Obscure and The Hand of Ethelberta. He also devoted two poems, ‘The Impercipient’ and ‘A Cathedral Façade at Midnight’, to the cathedral. His sisters went to a training college for schoolmistresses at the King’s House in the Close, and he used that as the basis for the college that Sue Bridehead attends in Jude the Obscure. Constable’s painting of Salisbury Cathedral is famous through the world. There are many other historical, literary and art connections to Salisbury, and its surrounds. But then again, a couple of Russians would just want to go there to assassinate a retired spy.

  • M. Goltsman

    Every comment had missed the one main evidence: The whole incident is connected to arriving of daughter Yulia on March 4, 2018.
    The attack on Skripal , if somebody planned that, could be executed in any day, or month. But somehow the date was chosen upon arrival of his daughter. Please, thinking about that.

      • Blunderbuss

        The use of a perfume bottle, rather than an after-shave bottle, would seem to support this.

        • Tom Smythe

          If you go back to the 50-60 times that Yulia has been proposed here as primary target, you will find a number of motivations put forward. As noted, a gift of novichoked perfume is a gender-specific trojan horse — a woman opens it and the damage is self-inflicted, with the assassin never coming near the scene. It is similar in tradecraft irony to Israel loading up a Palestinian cell phone with explosives which then detonate in the victim’s ear when a call relays some bad news. Painting a door knob is requires a risky on-site presence, provides an unpredictable dosage, and is non-specific like a roadside bomb … letter-carrier, cat-sitter, UPS, fireman, charity solicitor, neighbor, landscaper homeowner, etc might all come to the door.

          • N_

            Or to come at this from a slightly different angle: the reconnaissance for this kind of job would have involved more than a visit by the two-person execution team the day before.

      • Yeah, Right

        “Is your point that the intended victim was Yulia, not Sergei?”

        I don’t know, but I do know that the basic point that was raised is still worth pondering.

        After all, Sergei Skripal is an old man who lives alone. The easiest of targets.
        If you plan to kill him then why choose a time that he has someone staying with him?

        These are supposedly GRU agents acting under orders from the very highest levels of the Russian govt, with the full resources of the Russian Federation at their disposal.

        She is a Russian citizen. The timing of her visit to Britain would have been known to the Russians, as would her scheduled return.

        Yet the GRU launched their attempt at the very time that she was in Salisbury, when it would have been the easiest thing in the world for the planners of this assassination attempt to delay until she was safely out of the way and back home in Moscow.

        So it may not have been Yulia who was the target, per se.
        But maybe her visit determined the timing of the attack e.g. she brought something with her.

        Maybe she was bringing a message, maybe, or an offer, or an inducement of some kind. Maybe something as mundane as a list of questions that only Sergei knew the answers.

        Something like that, and this is what dictated the timing of the hit.

    • Tony_0pmoc


      Do you still live in France? I know we used to go to some of the same gigs in London, about 30 years ago, from what you said. We have now got Grandkids. Lived in the same place since 1993, and London since 1981. I am still with the same girl. I love her to bits…originally from Lancashire

      Our next door neighbours do Air B & B and they get visitors from all over the world, currently probably Germany – with their kids. This is just normal for us..We have a quite long garden..though the fence is a bit overgrown, and we keep hearing these voices and different languages. We hardly ever engage, except when they lose their keys..and convince us, they really do live next door for a week or turn up early and can’t get in.

      It’s cheap for a Family but they are paying off our Neighbour’s Mortgage, and We Really Like Them.

      They are Great Neigbhours, We have been together since 1993

      What should I do with the Football which arrived today? My wife insists it is ours, but I reckon it may have come from the German family over the fence staying for a few days next door.

      Probably meet them down the local pub tomorrow night, if they can find a childminder.


      • nevermind

        Is that the fence round the pond to stop your grandchildren from drowning Tony?

        And why would it be that the ball becomes German because of a family holidaying next door.
        soon it will be wraps of fentanyl from Goldman Sachs sharks, not footballs. Greece was.just the soft EU underbelly, the Uk will be a much juicier feast for them.

        And Trump will be cheering them on.

        • Tony_0pmoc


          1. yes. not seen the frog since.
          2. it is almost certainly an old English football, but it does get kicked around a bit
          3. I have never tried fentanly, but after my wife was recovering from getting run over by a car, she had to inject herself with drugs, not to do with the pain, but to do with other stuff, with regards to the physical recovery of her body.
          4. I love the Greek people, as do all my family, and we will be back there soon
          5. On a good day, if I fake it a bit, I reckon I could look like an older version of the bloke who wrote the song, though no one has called me Kurt yet, though I have got some of the rest including Boris. My hair is still growing out of my skull.- loads of it
          6. My wife and I took our children swimming from the age of 3 months.


      • RobG

        Tony, such is the climate of (contrived) fear at the moment that many people are afraid to speak out; but like you I don’t give a shit about all that.

        I still live in a remote part of south west France, where we run a large gite. As you can imagine, I see it all running such a business. All of human life: the good, the bad and the ugly; with the caveat that most of our guests fall into the good category.

        The police state stuff aside, and all the war, in my humble opinion the biggest problem remains Fukushima: three commercial size/massive reactors that have been in complete and ongoing meltdown for more than seven years now (it makes Chernobyl look like a boy scout’s outing). The media cover-up on this is absolutely breathtaking. The North Pacific has just about been killed by it (literally billions of people rely on this ocean for their livelihood).

        It’s why I said in an earlier post that there needs to be Nuremburg-type trials to bring all these cockroaches to account.

        Alas, when it comes to Fukushima and the death of the Pacific Ocean, it’s probably now too late.

        The psychopaths have got their way.

        And we let them do it.

    • N_

      @RobG – Thanks for this story. There will be more on Glushkov, I suspect. Timing suggests a Glushkov-Salisbury link.

      Is Harding telling the truth when he says “The Kremlin says it sees no reason to pursue Petrov and Boshirov”? (Linky?) I thought they asked for their fingerprints so they could identify them.

      (D)etectives working on the Glushkov investigation have struggled to find leads“. Ha ha! Yes indeed – finding out too much about the Glushkov hit might easily cost more than a police commander’s job is worth! Met police appeal on Glushkov, 14 Aug 2018, containing photograph of black van. Actually it looks more like a car to me – probably a Mercedes Viano.

      The police say they have taken 286 witness statements and 159 witness questionnaires and amassed 1,086 exhibits in the Glushkov case. I wonder how many of those witnesses are Korean, whether from North or South.

      The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (…) as a precaution (…) is retaining primacy for the investigation because of the associations Mr Glushkov is believed to have had.

      Oh? Bit of a naughty boy, was he? In association with whom?

      Harding omits to mention that Russia had asked for Glushkov’s extradition but the poshboy British regime refused, or in other words Britgov was harbouring this major crime boss as it also harboured his friend Berezovsky.

      • N_

        From the Guardian itself, also today: “Russia asks Britain for help in identifying novichok suspects“:

        Moscow has claimed it wants to ascertain as soon as possible the identities of the two men named by Britain as suspects in the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Salisbury, and has asked London to help.

        ‘We need to establish who these people are, if these are [Russian] citizens or not,’ said Maria Zakharova, the foreign ministry spokeswoman on Friday. ‘We want to do this with maximum haste and effectiveness, and so we are again appealing to Britain for help in ascertaining the identities of these people.’


        Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin, said on Thursday that Russia would not investigate the two suspects because it had not received a formal request for legal assistance from Britain.

        – which is standard. He probably said “until”, or in Russian “пока … не”. What’s Britgov’s problem?

  • Anne

    How would you cover up an accident in Porton Down – they mixed a fake bottle of nerve agent with a real one at an exercise? The public would not be amused if you were honest. So a good story about Russian agents and a few fake videos and photographs would be very practical and the opportunity of a further Putin-bashing would be a nice side effect.

  • Sharp Ears

    Reality 1.
    Sergei Skripal’s house is being decontaminated! BNC SouthToday earlier.

    Reality 2.
    At Salisbury District General Hospital which has a £12m deficit, probably not helped by the extra demands placed on it this year.

    ‘Around 400 staff could have their employment transferred to a private company rather than being employed by the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

    Salisbury District Hospital have started a formal month-long consultation period which will decide whether or not to make the transfer.

    The staff facing the move from NHS to a ‘arms-length private company’ employment include porters, switchboard operators and couriers – not medical staff.

    If it goes ahead, it means that the nearly 400 staff will no longer be employed by the NHS, but receive their pay from a private company.’

    A spokesman from the unions at the hospital spoke on BBC South Today, pointing out the hypocrisy of the management who heaped praise on all the staff, not only the clinical staff, for their work and efforts this year dealing with the Skripal situation. He said praise also came from far and wide including from politicians.

    The same management now reward those same staff with lower pay and worse conditions than those currently received.
    Episode is available until 7pm tomorrow.

    • giyane

      As I mentioned at the time, last year an agency that was recruiting me for electrical work at my local hospital made me sign a form giving the agency sole rights of representing me in the event of a disagreement. That was a red line for me. Corporate managers behave extraordinarily badly because they are allowed to spy on your private life through your mobile and computer by law, and as institutions they always protect their own interests first.

      Suppose you get a massive electrical shock from a light fitting, as happened yesterday to a colleague somewhere else, and you fall backwards off the steps and crack open your head on a toilet door. Obviously they will say you should have isolated the circuit, but, if you did, you wouldn’t be able to see if it was working.
      In the real world you mention it to your more sympathetic colleagues and on Monday morning you mention it to your boss.

      In this toxic privatised scenario, your contact with your employer which is the agency is a spotty youth who can’t spell and knows nothing about health and Safety, employment law , or indeed anything else. Spotty youth diligently phones his employers who are the hospital managers. The outcome they decide on is not what suits you, but what suits the privatised company and the hospital.

      Actually it’s not possible to work under these conditions of communication isolation IMHO. The important question you need to ask is whether the hospital has the funds to pay you enough to isolate every fitting above the ceiling which means working by the book, or whether they want you to touch live luminaires as before.

      They want you to present yourself to work with your head tucked underneath your arm, but with your hands and legs working as normal.

  • Moocho

    Very interesting article in the fraudian here, a de facto propaganda tool of the intelligence agencies in the Uk. first you’ve got the headline, speaking of a “Sense of Closure” in Salisbury, potentially significant as the authorities will likely try to wind this big pile of turd down now, it completely stinks, so flush it down the toilet which is commonly referred as “the history books”. They’ve got their men, found them guilty and charged them without any sort of trial or evidence, but this is modern Britain, we don’t give a fuck, trial by media with no evidence is where we’re at with our criminal overlords right now in the Uk. The main character in the article is the ever eager to please Councillor, Matthew Dean, who is of course, as a councillor, totally on board with the official version and more than happy to weigh in for his masters and say all the right things. We learn that the military are going in to decontaminate the Skripal’s house, BUT…………here’s the BIG NEWS, QUOTE……”It has emerged that people who live near Skripal’s house were offered the chance to move out while the decontamination work is carried out but they have decided to stay put. It has also been revealed that the agencies involved had to seek permission from Skripal to carry out the work. He gave the go-ahead.” WOW. So Sergei is alive and well, we are led to conclude, at least

    • Blunderbuss

      Since we’ve discounted the “Novichok on the door handle” theory, why do they need to decontaminate the house at all? Is it just to keep up the “Novichok on the door handle” theory? Another possibility is that the policeman who attended the Skripals in the town centre was contaminated there and accidentally brought the contamination to the house with him.

    • Toneio

      Appalling contrite reporting by the Grauniad as you say attempting to consolidate HMG version of events. Repeat the lie loudly enough and the misinformed will believe it. Yes, just reprint what you have been told without enquiry. Yes, that is the act to tie it all up, they know these people will never be arrested so can be forgotten as job done. Really poor, and I mean really really poor reporting as no due diligence has been done to the investigation by MSM. No questioning the many holes in the office story, simply accepting official (and unofficial) narratives however nonsensical. This will now be the last act before everything goes very quiet and never mentioned again (just like the Las Vegas mass shooting). That the Skripals are still alive I have no doubt as the event was a warning to keep distant/quiet about something too sensitive to be revealed at the present time.

  • Olaf S

    Russian commentators seem to have fun commenting on this advanced GRU operation, ”в результате которого погибли кот, хомяк и наркоманка (which resultet in the death of a cat, a hamster and drug addict).

    • N_

      That’s such a disgusting way to talk about Dawn Sturgess. But one can understand why elite Tories, far from being Russophobes, and even while willing to use Russophobia for weapons-contract and London money reasons, get along like a house on fire with elite Russians.

    • Doodlebug

      You’ve got to admire their sense of humour. Theresa May has single-handedly navigated the government ship into waters where tragedy and comedy converge. Health service personnel and police have been required to compromise their professional ethics (not so much a problem for the Met. I accept – they’re quite used to doing so) while being exposed to ridicule. I hope someone in the HoC has the decency and moral courage to make her squirm when this issue is debated on the 12th, although that too is a long shot.

      • nevermind

        Yes, doodlebug, and like Maggie she willuse war as am excuse to to recuperate her fainted popularity.
        She is more toxic than any nerve gas.

  • N_

    Karen Bradley says that when she became Britgov’s Northern Ireland secretary she “didn’t understand things like when elections are fought, for example, in Northern Ireland – people who are nationalists don’t vote for unionist parties and vice versa“. Got to wonder why someone who knew so little about government and politics got appointed to such an important job, given that the concept of “power sharing” in a legislature is surely familiar to anyone who has an all-round political knowledge and if they have looked at the recent history of any of several areas of the world, not just Northern Ireland, and if they know anything about conflict resolution. As far as I know she doesn’t come from one the few hundred elite families and went to “the local comprehensive” in some part of Newcastle. She went from Imperial College to KPMG, one of the accountancy Big Four who have their fingers raking off cream from many pies, so presumably she got herself spotted as “well-behaved idiot who is good at learning her lines” somewhere along the way. I wonder how far she will go in British politics. Could be a long way. Sounds as though the civil service would be fond of her.

    • N_

      The Betfair market have Karen Bradley at 530\1 as next prime minister. It’s much more likely in my opinion to be a strong man, a person who is marketable as a visionary and a Gordian knot-cutter, and who has a backstory that works with that kind of branding, rather than a ditzy ignoramus whether male or female, but…

    • Sharp Ears

      She was completely useless when, as DCMS Secretary of State, she was dealing with Murdoch’s bid for the rest of Sky. She kept prevaricating. Handed it on to Ofcom, the Monopolies and Competition Authority and similar. He got from her successor in the end.

      She is expert at obtaning large donations from individuals and companies, including £5,000 from Alexander Temerko!
      [ – Rosnef/Yukos – Enough said!]
      Also numerous free tickets.

      She had the use of a car from KPMG until 25 May 2010 plus health insurance. She became an MP earlier that month. Amazing that in just 8 years, she has been an assistant whip, a whip, SoS for DCMS and now for Northern Ireland as well as a Minister in the Home Office for Prevention of Exploitation, Crime etc. She must be as thick as two short planks not to have known about NI politics. It is general knowledge.

      She employed her husband as her office manager until October 2016. ie we paid him a salary for 6 years so she is not completely stupid.

      She discriminated against a black female applicant for a Channel 4 board appointment by vetoing it. Later the applicant was appointed.
      See Controversy –

      She is awful.

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