Bellingcat’s Very Obviously Fake Chepiga Photo 580


Bellingcat’s attempts to gild the Chepiga lily are now becoming ludicrous. The photo they published today is a very obvious fake.

Many people have noticed that the photo of Chepiga on this wall appears to be hanging in completely different lighting conditions from the others. That is indeed a good point.

But there is a more important point here, and that is to do with sequencing. Except for Chepiga and Popov, who according to Belligncat also became a Hero of Russia in 2014, all of the people here are indeed openly and officially listed Heroes of Russia or, in the majority of cases, Heroes of the Soviet Union.

What is more, they are, as you would expect on a military honours wall, ranked in date order. ONLY CHEPIGA IS OUT OF DATE ORDER. The order runs top row let to right, then second row left to right, then bottom row left to right.
The bit of the bottom row we can see runs:
Karpushenko (2000), Ribak (2005), Maclov (2012), Popov (2014).

So why is Chepiga in a row of much earlier Heroes of the Soviet Union? Next in sequence in fact to Grigory Dobrunov who got his award in 1956!!!! The pictures are definitely otherwise all in date order.

The glaringly obvious answer – in line with the reflections anomaly – is that Chepiga’s “picture” has been photoshopped onto this wall. The military do not suddenly insert photos out of order and at random on an honours board. Bellingcat, however, have a track record of image manipulation.

None of which proves or disproves the Boshirov identification. It is however an important reminder to take Bellingcat as a source with a pinch of salt.


580 thoughts on “Bellingcat’s Very Obviously Fake Chepiga Photo

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  • Albert A

    Think of the fun you are alll going to have when Bellingcat publishes the “name ” of the secong tourist as the promised to do on Rhod Sharp’s program on Radio 5 earlier this wee.k

  • Agent Green

    Apparently it’s fine for the US to spy on the UN, everyone in the World and the leaders of most nations (see the Snowden documents), but any spying by Russia is completely not allowed.

    This is ludicrous. Even if these people in Holland are Russian, it would just be a ‘standard’ intelligence operation. The kind that the US, UK and any other advanced nation carries out the whole time.

    Or is the West really saying that it has no teams of agents in foreign nations and has never attempted to spy on any World body or any similar organisation?

    • Deb O'Nair

      Also, the British were tapping Koffi Annan’s phone at the UN in the lead up to the Iraqi war crime of 2003.

    • laguerre

      The threatening noises against Russia are intended for domestic consumption only – they don’t care what people think in the rest of the world, or indeed outside the Beltway. No worse than what British politicians say now officially about the EU – like idiot Hunt and the EUSSR. That a Pole like Tusk should be able to read what is written in English in the British Press is quite unimagined. Indeed that the EU should have a role at all in the Brexit negotiations is an irrelevant side-point among the Tories.

      It’s just that language lambasting the chosen bogeyman has become more extreme recently, as the debates in Washington and London turn more intestine.

      • Agent Green

        Indeed. There is no isolation of Russia. Putin is in India today, signing contracts for many things – including the S400 missile system.

      • Not

        The idea that EU represents European countries beyond a steady cleptomanic oppression is farcical, and so Britain is fair to show its disdain.However the fact that “our” prime minister behaves with all the air of a second rate Brusselian , or should that be Luxembourgish, politician really is making people wonder just what the story is here.

        Those niceties aside, you are misleading readers dangerously by dismissing the stance of the Anglo-saxon world towards Russia. This may indeed be bluff or domestic theater, but the facts are that there is a major geopolitical standoff occurring across the middle east, where future global positions are at stake, not to mention short term stability.

        Only someone obstinately stuck in a perpetual propaganda loop defending their own irrelevant supra-legal dominionless office of political ideology would fail to observe the unfolding real life drama occuring around them.

        I don’t write this to be unkind to you, but to save others from unnecessary distraction, so that they might actually address any folly of their own nations and leaders … not that I expect that to occur.

      • Aslangeo

        Unfortunately in the age of mass media, there is no such thing as pure domestic consumption. Anything said anywhere by a politician is seen throughout the world. Crass statements likethose by the Tories comparing the EU to the USSR will no go down too well with Eastern European politicians whos goodwill is needed for a semi orderly departure from the EU.

        • Jo Dominich

          Aslangeo, alas, De Gaulle foresaw all this – he was very against the UK joining the EU – what I find deeply embarrassing as a British citizen is the language our government are using against the EU. Someone here said it right, as far as the Tories are concerned, the EU has no right at the negotiating table – the Tories want what they want and are adopting bullyboy colonial tactics, threats and language to achieve their own goals.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    We can have fun right now with the Dutch letting the four Russian hackers be expelled back to Moscow so they can do more rather than prosecuting them for spying which comp-pent countries would do.

    • laguerre

      The Russians were on diplomatic passports. That’s why they couldn’t be put on trial.

    • Andrew H

      Its a swap. (possibly informal). The Dutch are not incompetent. No country wants to see agents getting prosecuted and imprisoned followed by messy and complicated swaps at a later date. They are just employees, (kind of like diplomats, but unofficial). They will be barred from future travel and that is sufficient punishment. Russia bares a slight cost in having to train new people, and that is how the game is played.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        What crap. What has Moscow said about it, and what Dutch agents did the Russians return to Holland? Who is being barred from traveling anywhere? This is just Western unilateral action which includes covering the internet.

  • SA

    And the article in the Guardian is strange to say the least. Why, if the Russians tried to hack the OPCW and the Dutch in turn have expelled 4 spies ion 13th April has this just been announced?
    Todays edition of the Guardian is wall to wall Russia.

      • Deb O'Nair

        Literally everyday the Express has a headline with “World War 3” in the title. It’s click bait in order to drive up traffic to satisfy the advertisers whom they depend on for revenue.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Well we know that Putin has not. However Israel/UK/USA seem desperate to start something though I doubt this time the UK will survive and I am convinced Israel is entering Endgame through pushing its luck.

        The real problem is that Putin will not survive much longer. He is the best option the West has. Israel hiding behind a French warship and a Russian ELINT plane to attack a scientific research institute in Latakia has weakened Putin vis-a-vis the Military who know the US/UK plan to attack. His balancing act will not hold out against the Military in China and Russia who know war is imminent.

        • Jo Dominich

          Paul I agree with you here – Putin, at this stage, is the best statesman we have in all of this. Things are getting interesting though because China has just sold off a significant number of billions of dollars of USA debt they are holding. Coincidentally, at the same time, the world stock markets seem to be in turmoil. China is now going to assist in rebuilding Syria alongside Russia, Iran and Turkey. Turkey has refused IMF aid in order to move to greater independence away from the Dollar and Europe. Putin has just hosted a large and very successful Eastern international economic forum in St Petersburg. He is a Leader who has got his eye firmly on what is best for his country. He doesn’t appear to be concerning himself too much with the USA, UK Europe etc. He is doing the intelligent thing – building allies in the Eastern region and an intelligent, high successful collaboration with the Chinese Government. The USA and we, are the fools here!

    • Andrew H

      I think this news was previously reported. Today they have more information and detail – also there is a lag between Dutch expelling and USA officially filing charges (so that they can’t enter the USA either now -meaning these agents will now effectively be prevented from worldwide travel). Its not uncommon to get a short news article when something happens and then months later to get a more complete write-up.

      • ivo

        One thing is to soubt if it is him and another thing is to say that the photo on the wall does not exist like this guy said it. I bet our comments will be deleted from this site.

        • Andrew H

          No, your comments won’t be deleted. Its not how this site works. Look how many pages comments there are…. some comments are deleted, where they violate actual rules, but a tiny percentage.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            I have had many posts deleted here. complaining how former Home Secretary Theresa May mistreated many;leakers and innocent subjects.

          • Andrew H

            Those are probably not the exact words you used…. I have had posts deleted too, when I have crossed the lines of civil discourse. My point to ivo above is that they won’t get their posts deleted for merely posting an alternative opinion to Craig or picking holes in his theory. When people complain that large numbers of their posts are disappearing, it is usually obvious from the ones that are not as to why this might be – its far less mysterious than you might suppose.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            I was talking about cruel murders of leakers. and setting up innocent citizens for the same end.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            As an American citizen whose government has tried to murder many times in Portugal, Sweden, and in the States themselves,I find your reaction to similar action by HMG incredibly stupid. Murders and set[-ups for others to commit massacres are vile, and cannot be discussed in a calm, nice manner.

            With people like you, no wonder the world is in such a mess.

          • Harald K

            That’s right, usually they’re just buried by a lot of conspiratorial junk comments.

            I haven’t noticed anything getting deleted, but then again I’ve never noticed Craig admitting any of the blunders he’s made in this case either. We’ve now got so many pictures of that wall, verifiably uploaded years before this mess – and Craig still acts as if his personal “Chepiga was photoshopped in” theory is just as likely as anything else.

  • Julian

    Not sure if this has been mentioned before – no time to read all comments.

    Why is Chepiga is civilian dress (as per the passport photo) whilst the rest are in military dress?

    • Yeah, Right

      “Why is Chepiga is civilian dress (as per the passport photo) whilst the rest are in military dress?”

      If I was to hazard a guess it is because the forger couldn’t find a photo of Boshirov where he is in military dress.
      So the forger had to go with what he has, pasted a HoRF medal on it, and then inserted it into that wall of photos.

      The “real” Chepiga would never allow himself to be photographed, much less photographed with a Honkin’ Big Gold Medal pinned on him.

        • Yeah, Right

          Which all rather reminds me of Woody Allen’s mythical beast The Great Roe.

          It was a beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion. Though not the same lion.

      • Harald K

        A funny forger, who can produce damn convincing high res photoshops, consistent from many angles, and upload them to various different social networks making them look like they were uploaded years ago… by many different people, with social media accounts established enough to convincingly look like real people.

        But faking a uniform? Clearly impossible. You got him there, YR!

        • Yeah, Right

          Harald, how many different photos do you think you are talking about when you mention “various different social networks”?

          How many photos – and from how many different angles – do you think are actually out there?

          “But faking a uniform? Clearly impossible. You got him there, YR!”

          I’m going to put out a notion that you might want to consider: what if this fakery is intended to be outed as a fake?

          As in: it’s a trap, Eliot!!

  • Goose

    No doubt the Russians have been caught red- handed in the Netherlands trying to gain access by wi-fi password stealing attempts at the OPCW.

    But what I don’t understand, is why they’d want to see the results, if guilty? Surely they’d know the results already?

  • Goose

    No, not at all. If Russia are guilty of everything claimed they deserve all the international criticism. But if not:

    Firstly, Russia should stop denying everything it makes their spokeswoman Maria Vladimirovna Zakharova look absolutely ridiculous.

    Secondly, if they didn’t poison Sergei, they should explain why they wanted to hack the OPCW – to spy to get information.

    Thirdly, if the two men are GRU( I think they are) they should come clean about who they are and why they went to Salisbury, and if they were merely in the process of betraying their country lured by Sergei, explain that.

      • Goose

        Russia’s denials of absolutely everything, are starting to look absurd.

        Even to those skeptical about the whole Skripal story.

        • Jo Dominich

          Goose, Russian denials are genuine and true. If you didn’t do it Gov you just didn’t do it and of course you are going to deny it.

      • Goose

        Assuming Craig is wrong, and the two really are GRU, if they’re jailed in Russia it’s a pretty good indication that they were in the process of betraying their country. If not, the probability has to be the whole story is in fact true.

        • Hmmm

          But what about the timing? Not in Salisbury early enough to do the deed. Skripals not getting affected til hours later? Most deadly toxin only slightly annoying 4 out of 5 people? Neither side is telling the truth ( or enough truth to get a proper picture)

          • Andrew H

            That is the basis of all conspiracy theories. No doubt the UK is still sitting on plenty of information that they have not released (that doesn’t count as lying). If you accept that the Russian government is lying through their teeth then that means the UK is telling the truth. Vice versa, if you think the UK government is behind the Skripal poisoning then you have to accept that B&P are civilians in the “fitness” industry. All the other random theories that require both the UK and Russia being up to no good, probably in collusion, and now lying about it just don’t stack up .

          • Goose

            Well, that’s why I stated it is possible they were patsies or fall guys. Imagine Sergei lured them there to swap information etc on the promise of a big pay day. It would explain Putin’s recent fury with Sergei.

            And, they were caught on CCTV smiling and laughing supposedly on a deadly mission. Back in Russia they looked gravely worried. That’s odd , no?

          • Dave Lawton

            This is a lie in this statement from the State.”“with the first use of a nerve agent in Europe for the first time since the Second World War”.

          • Andrew H

            Its not a lie – it’s an exaggeration – you also have to allow room for misunderstandings, misinterpretation of information, politicians making misleading and deceptive statements, people without knowledge speaking out of line etc, etc. All of that is normal and means nothing. A lie would be the UK being directly involved in the assassination and then covering it up by blaming Russia. A better argument on your part would be to say Putin didn’t lie when he said P&B were civilians – he just didn’t know (but I personally don’t buy that)

          • Dave Lawton

            Andrew H
            “Its not a lie – it’s an exaggeration – you also have to allow room for misunderstandings, misinterpretation of information, politicians making misleading and deceptive statements”
            It was not a politician. Get your facts right it was the head of MI5`s statement.

        • Igor P.P.

          Any plausible theory about P&B being something other than tourists needs to explain why it was necessary to bring two people.

          • Andrew H

            How many people does it take? I’d suggest 2 is about. Unless you have some experience working as a special forces hit-man. Other people were recently suggesting it would take dozens, so 2 is somewhere between 1 and dozens.

            Any plausible theory about P&B being tourists needs to explain where their Russian fitness business is. (customers and the like – perhaps a web-site – surely someone in Russian intelligence ought to be able to knock up one of those to give these people some actual background)

          • Igor P.P.

            I don’t understand why you need two people to smear something on a door handle. It seems to be the opposite: the more people, the higher the risks.

          • Yeah, Right

            Now might be a good time to remind people that when the Israelis – who do not have anything like the resources of the Russians – assassinated Mahmoud al-Mabhouh the team that carried this out consisted of at least eleven and perhaps as many as thirty Mossad agents.

          • Phill

            I would suspect you would need more than 2 people to carry out an operation like this. If you look at when they allegedly put the novichok on the door handle, there was a window of just 30 minutes. Would you really send assassins all the way here in the hope that the Skripals wouldn’t be at home during that 30 miute timeframe? No, you would have at least a 2nd team trailing the Skripals to let the assassins know it was safe to approach the house.

          • Igor P.P.

            Why trail the Skripals, just observe them leaving and go do the deed. Or better yet, come at night. No need for the second person at all.

          • Ken Kenn

            Phill

            You could in theory only need one person.

            Dressed as a Postie and do it on a Saturday slickly pasting the door handle with Novichokck or
            another nerve agent.

            As all Russian assassins know from training Posties don’t work Sundays.

            What we need however is absolute proof ( not available at the minute ) that the Skripals were in Salisbury town centre duck feeding with three kids and their parents.

            That way if we could see lovely photos of the Skripals on the Sunday and match them up with
            the lovely photos of the alleged assassins at the same time period then that would be useful as backing for the ” narrative. ”

            The problem is that if the Skripals were shown then Yulia’s hair colour and Mr Skripal’s clothing would become known.

            Now – if those clothes and hair colour doesn’t match the bench witnesses descriptions when they collapsed some people will have a lot of explaining to do.

            Apparently the alleged assassins were in Salisbury on the Saturday. The question is why did they return on Sunday?

            Perhaps someone or someones asked them to return?

            If they did return – who asked them?

          • Harald K

            Same reason Jehovah’s Witnesses work in pairs, Igor? Among other things, top keep an eye on each other, in case they’re not as unshakeable in their faith as they want to appear.

            Tell me, what did that guy Skripal that they were after do again?

            Oh yeah, he defected. Like many, many spies before him. Maybe spies keeping an eye on each other makes sense?

            Look over Wikipedia’s list of Mossad assasinations in foreign countries. How many were by solo agents?

            Spies are not perfect, spy agencies mess up. But in this case, GRU did not mess up, sending two people was the obvious thing to do. No, we did not need to explain that, but there you have it anyway.

          • Yeah, Right

            “Why trail the Skripals, just observe them leaving and go do the deed. Or better yet, come at night. No need for the second person at all.”

            Nah. You would need at least one team to observe your two hitmen, there to call the whole thing off if it becomes obvious that they are being tailed.

            And another team to tail the Skripals to make sure they aren’t under some kind of heightened protection – again, call the whole thing off.

            And probably one more team to keep an eye on the house when the Skripals are out so that they can spot if a trap is being set for the two assassins. Once again, call the whole thing off.

            The very worse thing is to be caught in the act, so you need a support crew around the two assassins to provide the maximum warning if/when it looks like the UK authorities are already onto them.

    • Yeah, Right

      Those are all valid points, but to admit to any of them is to admit to conducting espionage on foreign soil.
      No country is willing to do that. Certainly the USA isn’t, nor is the UK.

    • Yeah, Right

      “Did Bellingcat fake this one too?”

      Bellingcat don’t fake anything. They are a clearing-house for misinformation i.e. they publish stuff that has been falsified, but they don’t themselves manufacture the fakes.

      • Jim

        If they do they are very good at it. Unlike Russia which has been caught out several times blatantly lying and promoting false narratives. The denials desperate attempts to obfuscate get more and more laughable each time. Magnitsky, Litvinenko, Crimea, MH-17, East Ukraine, Montenegro, Doping etc. Etc. Quite frankly anyone who believes their line on the Skripal affair is delusional.

        • Yeah, Right

          “Quite frankly anyone who believes their line on the Skripal affair is delusional.”

          Their “line” is very simple: they didn’t do it, and those who claim otherwise are attempting to stitch them up.

          The UK “line”, by comparison, is quite frankly ludicrous.
          The Russian assassins flew in from Moscow, and then flew out to… Moscow.
          The Russian assassins used fake passports that identify them as… Russians.
          The Russian assassins travelled together, both to the UK and within the UK.
          The Russian assassins took public transport to and from the place of the attack.
          The Russian assassins decided to time their attack (on an old man who lives alone) so that it occurred when his daughter was staying with him.
          The Russian assassins used a deadly nerve agent that lingers for hours with no effect, at which point it instantaneously strikes down both an old man and his much younger daughter.
          The Russian assassins chose to use a super-deadly nerve agent that didn’t kill their victim.
          The Russian assassins chose a method of delivering that deadly nerve agent so that it would strike down their victims when they were *out* of the house.
          The Russian assassins chose to apply that deadly nerve agent in broad daylight (and then went window-shopping) when they could have applied it during the night.
          The Russian assassins chose not to simply knock on the front door of his house and then shoot him when he answered that knock.

          Sure, it’s the RUSSIAN narrative that is delusional…….

          • Andrew H

            “The Russian assassins decided to time their attack (on an old man who lives alone) so that it occurred when his daughter was staying with him”:
            You obviously are not entirely familiar with the nature of vengeance – suggest you (re)-watch Last of the Mohicans.

          • Yeah, Right

            Andrew, your thinking is beyond bizarre. Just listen to yourself: Putin ordered Sergei to be killed and, oh, yeah, also teach him a lesson by killing his daughter at the same time.

            Helloooooo. Am I the only one who sees a whopping big logical flaw in that theory?

          • Andrew H

            Yeah Right, its not to teach him a lesson. Its about preventing further disloyalty. That’s why using poison was desirable, so those that back home would know that it was not some kind of accident. His life is irrelevant to Putin (as you have correctly repeatedly pointed out he is a washed up old coot). What is important is that others who sign on for this type of role understand their employers expectations.

          • Andrew H

            I know you are struggling to come to grips with the needless cruelty of this, but it is logical and surgical.

          • Yeah, Right

            “Yeah Right, its not to teach him a lesson. Its about preventing further disloyalty.”

            Do you honestly, truly believe that potential traitors think about such things when someone like Pablo Miller sidles up to them and attempt to recruit them? Really?

            “That’s why using poison was desirable, so those that back home would know that it was not some kind of accident.”

            Sure, because two bullets in the chest and then a final tap to the head can be misconstrued as “an accident”.

            “His life is irrelevant to Putin (as you have correctly repeatedly pointed out he is a washed up old coot).”

            I’m not talking about the worth of *his* life, but of *her* life.

            She has done nothing – absolutely nothing – to warrant Putin’s ire, even according to your own logic, and so there is no reason for the GRU to launch an attack on Sergei’s life at the precise moment that she was staying with him.

            “What is important is that others who sign on for this type of role understand their employers expectations.”

            Again, that *might* explain why Putin *might* want Sergei Skripal dead.

            It does not explain why the GRU chose to make an attempt on his life at the precise moment when he has someone else staying with him.

            Someone who even by your own logic does not deserve to be assassinated by agents of the Russian state.

            Someone who will be back home in Moscow in a few days time.

            Wait till then, and then whack him when he is alone.
            Message sent, loud and clear – Traitors Must Die!!!
            or
            Whack him when he has his innocent daughter staying with him.
            What useful message does that send that warrants the extra complication?

            Honestly, you can’t see that?

          • Andrew H

            People are often willing to take a chance when it is just their life at stake (there are lots of rock climbers). Less willing when it is also their children. The USA actually justified dropping a nuke as saving lives. For a long time in the UK we used to believe displaying peoples heads on spikes would deter others from treachery. How many lives would killing Yulia have saved? (whether these plans are actually effective is unproven, but they are justifiable)

          • Andrew H

            I forgot to mention that the people the USA dropped the nuke on were INNOCENT civilians. By contrast, Russian methods are far less barbaric.

          • Yeah, Right

            Andrew, you are just arguing for the sake of argument.

            I am perfectly willing to entertain the notion that Putin might have some motive to kill Sergei Skripal, though it would have to be much better than All Traitors Must Die!!!

            I have not seen any cogent argument from you – or from anyone – for why Putin would want Sergei AND Yulia Skripal killed.

            And this is axiomatic: if the assassins had acted a few days early or a few days later then they wouldn’t be acting against Sergei AND Yulia Skripal, they’d be whacking JUST the old coot.

            I find it incomprehensible that anyone can’t follow that very simple logic to its very logical conclusion.

          • Yeah, Right

            “I know you are struggling to come to grips with the needless cruelty of this, but it is logical and surgical.”

            Well, yes, I am struggling to find a cogent argument from you why “needless cruelty” would be required, and especially so when it does not seem to occur to you that “needless cruelty” is actually the antithesis of “logic and precision”.

            Yet there they are, in the same sentence. How odd.

            They can send a message by killing him which – need I remind you, since it is your argument – is the point of the exercise.

            But they don’t send any more effective a message by killing him AND his daughter. Quite the opposite, because it undercuts the notion that this is a result of a “logical and surgical” calculation on the part of the Russians since – du’oh – they are indulging in “needless cruelty”.

            Or, in short: you are simply assuming “needless cruelty” for reasons of…. reasons.

            But there is no reason for Putin or the GRU or the Russians in general to be “needlessly cruel” about it, not if they want to send a “precise and logical” message.

            And this remains true: if they want Sergei Skripal’s death to be handed out with “precision” then the “logical” way of doing it is when he is on his own with no-one else around to potentially complicate matters.

          • Andrew H

            Assuming evidence will ultimately surface that B&P are not civilians in the fitness business just visiting the cathedral, then flight booking databases likely contain information on whether B&P booked their flights after Yulia or well in advance but just couldn’t be bothered to re-arrange their plans or were unaware of Yulia’s trip. I would suggest that B&P knew about Yulia’s trip and therefore there was intent. (its too coincidental that they would just turn up at the same time).

            Also, I think it is unlikely that Putin initiated this action (although I think he would have been briefed on it before hand. The two are slightly different). It is more likely that over time there have been promotions within the GRU. For example, a person with particular ill-feelings towards Skripal (we’ve all had co-workers we despise), or just someone with more hawkish views on employee turnover and retention (the D Rumsfeld type).

            I really don’t think it is me that is arguing in circles here, but I think we are unlikely to come to a conclusion until we make progress on the first point (B&P being civilian visitors?). Your position seems to be that Russia is incapable of wrong, yet western powers do nothing but.

          • Yeah, Right

            “I would suggest that B&P knew about Yulia’s trip and therefore there was intent. (its too coincidental that they would just turn up at the same time).”

            You are simply shoe-horning things to fit your pre-determined preconceptions.

            Here, another alternative: Boshirov and Petrov were sent to Salisbury to put an offer on the table for Ol’ Sergei: return to Russia, spill the beans on Pablo Miller, Christopher Steele and the entire Trump Dossier, and all will be forgiven.

            But there’s a problem: having two oh-so-obvious GRU guys turn up on his doorstep is likely to freak out Sergei. How to prevent that?

            Answer: brief his daughter, convince her that the offer is genuine and these two guys can be trusted, and then she can then talk to daddy and vouch for the seriousness of the offer.

            That would explain what Boshirov and Petrov were doing in Salisbury, it explains why they timed it for when Yulia was visiting Sergei, and it explains why someone who **doesn’t** want Sergei to return to Russia would decide that this is the time to strike i.e. not only do they silence the old coot but they get to pin the crime on those two Russians.

            I’m not saying that **is** what happened, but what I am saying is that there are other alternatives that you aren’t even considering, and those alternatives are actually more compelling that “oh, well, it’s just back luck, isn’t it”.

            But those alternatives don’t even occur to you, because you can’t break out of the box of your own preconceptions.

          • Andrew H

            “I’m not saying that **is** what happened”: You can’t reasonably sit on a thousand different theories whilst trying to shoot holes in the others and never coming to any form of conclusion. (or you can, but those are the “I don’t think we know anything” people).

            Have you even ruled out B&P being sent to poison Sergei? What other theories do you still consider viable? If B&P are being set up then by who? (UK? CIA?). If not the UK, then wouldn’t Yulia have mentioned to UK police that the people in the pictures are her buddies she was going to introduce to daddy? or are you arguing that Yulia probably doesn’t remember how she even got to Salisbury after weeks in a coma? I’m really not convinced that there is a plausible line here (let alone lots of them).

            Second question: if you are of the opinion that B&P are most likely Russian agents (I hadn’t realised you had moved on from the tourist scenario), then why are you so keen on the idea of B != C? (why does it matter if B = C?). Or is that more just a case of you don’t really have an opinion, but don’t think Bellingcat’s research is flawless?

            Perhaps just answer this as new post on pg 4 of comments.

          • Year, Right

            “Have you even ruled out B&P being sent to poison Sergei?”

            Yes.

            Lack of motive. Lack of motivation.
            Everything they did that is inconsistent with the idea that they are professional assassins and a state-sanctioned hit:
            a) Travelling from and returning to Russia
            b) Travelling on Russian passports
            c) Travelling together
            d) Travelling around the UK on public transport
            e) Travelling to the scene of the crime during daylight

            Any one of those things would make them unlikely assassins. But combined they require a suspension of belief that is, frankly, unbelievable.

            “What other theories do you still consider viable?”

            A) They are exactly who they say they are, and they are being stitched up
            B) They are GRU who went to Salisbury to meet with Sergei Skripal and offer him a way of returning to Russia in exchange for him double-crossing his current employers.

            “If B&P are being set up then by who? (UK? CIA?).”

            By anyone who has a motive to want Segei Skripal dead.

            In no particular order…..
            a) Christopher Steele, who doesn’t want Sergei Skripal to double-cross him
            b) Pablo Miller, for exactly the same reasons
            c) MI6, for exactly the same reasons
            d) The CIA, for exactly the same reasons

            Basically, if Sergei Skripal was the main source for the information that made up the Trump Dirty Dossier (and I suspect he was) then the list of potential enemies is going to be a mile long.

            “If not the UK, then wouldn’t Yulia have mentioned to UK police that the people in the pictures are her buddies she was going to introduce to daddy?”

            Who is to say that she didn’t?

            “or are you arguing that Yulia probably doesn’t remember how she even got to Salisbury after weeks in a coma?”

            I would suggest that anything Yulia says she does or does not remember is not going to make the slightest bit of difference to anyone in any position of authority in the UK.

            Remember, no charges have been laid against anyone in a British court. Absolutely none. This is pure theatre, and it is being played out entirely in the court of public opinion.

            “I’m really not convinced that there is a plausible line here (let alone lots of them).”

            That I do not doubt.

          • Andrew H

            “a) Travelling from and returning to Russia b) … c) … d) Travelling around the UK on public transport e)”
            I don’t find any of these particularly compelling, other than perhaps d) where I would agree trying to commit a murder without a car would probably make anybody want to do several more.
            Also d) implies e) since public transport shuts down at night.

            Possible reasons for not wanting to hire a car: driver’s license required; VISA card required (follow the money: probably the strongest reason); M25 has lots of cameras that track license plates so it won’t avoid getting onto CCTV; Timothy McVeigh syndrome (risk of being stopped on some petty traffic violation like driving the wrong way around a UK roundabout); London traffic is a mess with cameras everywhere and not staying in London means missing out on prostitutes and vodka which is one of the few perks of this job (also London is more anonymous for Russians than rural Sussex) ….
            But on balance a car seems useful.

            You have omitted f) the doorknob – which to me is proof that the UK govt is either lying or there is some very weird science that is not being explained. [This stuff is definitely weird – you touch it but it has no effect, no tingling fingers, nothing until hours later when is strikes you down very rapidly]. However, my take on that, is that those involved in the investigation would have had the same reaction as me (ehhh, that’s not possible), and therefore would have gotten to the bottom of it (they are not all dumb and every scientist/investigator would have had the same questions and wanted answers). There has to be a good answer, but I don’t know the reason we are not being told and the only information that was provided looks like misinformation.

            “a) Christopher Steele b) Pablo Miller c) MI6, d) CIA”.
            The first issue is that Skripal has no information to give to the Russians. When you switch teams they don’t start sharing stuff with you. He has nothing to give the Russians in terms of intelligence. If the Russians were willing to offer him a retirement package, I think the UK would have said good riddance and washed its hand of the expense.

            Christopher Steele and Pablo Miller are individuals and it would have been hard for them to acquire Novichok without state support (yes, they may know a dealer who sells it, but I doubt it comes cheap – and from the size of the perform package, it doesn’t appear to be 1 test tube, but perhaps looks are deceptive). If all they wanted was him dead, they could easily have killed him and people would have still blamed Russia but without the outcry and without the investigation.

            There has to be greater motive than simply wanting Skripal dead.

            I’m not sure MI6 has authority to kill people inside the UK (not a great argument). But I’m not a believer in the deep state and the Metropolitan police would not have tried to cover for them, so it would have to have been done well enough that the police investigation didn’t point to MI6 (that’s not necessarily impossible to achieve especially as the initial presumption was that we were looking for Russians)
            Now the CIA does have authority to kill people inside the UK, but again they could not expect support from MI6 or Metropolitan police.

            “I would suggest that anything Yulia says she does or does not remember is not going to make the slightest bit of difference to anyone in any position of authority in the UK”

            Perhaps not directly, but to those actually doing the investigation, Yulia’s information would have been important. Since I don’t believe in the deep state, I don’t accept that the investigation has been corrupted from the top down in the interests of MI6/CIA/”national security”. These things could not been kept secret in the UK.

            “Remember, no charges have been laid against anyone in a British court. Absolutely none.”

            As pointed out on the other thread this appears to be a theory that is only being promoted by yourself. (Craig Murray wrong on this also?)

            “That I do not doubt.”
            Common ground at last.

        • Phill

          Well, all of the examples you gave about Russian lying are debatable (for instance, I class what happened in Ukraine in 2014 as a coup whereas I’m sure you’d call it a “revolution”) but lets just go with the easy one – would you like to explain how they lied about Crimea? If anything, it’s the west that lies about the situation with Crimea. All we hear about is how “Russia invaded Crimea” and “Putin sent it 25,000 troops”. I’ve even seen media pundits talk about “the lives lost in Crimea”.

          Russia never invaded Crimea. When the democratically elected government of Ukraine was overthrown in the coup, the residents of Crimea had a referendum and voted overwelmingly to be an independent state but a subject of Russia.
          Putin didn’t send in 25,000 troops – they were already stationed there as it is the location of their biggest naval base (this arrangement has been in place since 1954 when the USSR handed over Crimea to Ukraine).
          The new illegitimate government of Ukraine DID send troops in but had to recall them because a: the majority of people in Crimea were fine with the situation and b: over half of the Ukrainian troops based in Crimea left the Ukrainian army to join the forces of the newly independent republic of Crimea. So, no-one died in the annexation. Not a single shot was fired and it was the most peaceful transfer of a significant piece of land to take place anywhere in the world in the past 100 years. And yet all we hear is “invaded Crimea”, “sent in troops” etc

          • Yeah, Right

            “You obviously are not entirely familiar with the nature of vengeance – suggest you (re)-watch Last of the Mohicans.”

            Oh, please. Vladimir Putin wants to whack this old coot because he is outraged – outraged!!! – that someone could be a traitor to his country. So he has him killed. And his daughter.

            Remind me again, Andrew, when that daughter was a traitor to her country?

            No, honestly, think about it: Putin would be undercutting his own message (Traitors Must Die!) if he goes around killing non-traitors to underline that message. It becomes meaningless.

            Heck, if we are going to take your Mohican-logic seriously then why didn’t he also order his goons to kill Sergei’s mother, his niece, and his cat?

          • Andrew H

            His mother? Do me a favour.
            You kill a guy by killing his children, not his mother, his wife, his other in-laws or niece (or the cat).
            Bernie Madoff (another old coot) was quite content to be sent to prison – his only regret in life is that his son then committed suicide.
            Absolutely, Yulia was meant to die.

          • Yeah, Right

            “You kill a guy by killing his children, not his mother, his wife, his other in-laws or niece (or the cat).”

            I would agree with you if they kill his children first, all the while gloating about it until they finally decide now is the time to put the distraught old coot out of his misery.

            But when you strike them both down so quickly that neither has time to raise the slightest alarm?

            Pointless, because at the moment that the kiddies are dying the old coot has more important things to worry about. You know, things like…. his own death.

            Honestly, and you tell *me* I don’t know how cold revenge works?
            Andrew, matey, it doesn’t work at all if you kill everyone at the same moment.

          • Andrew H

            The order is mostly irrelevant – again I refer you to Last of the Mohicans. (I’m probably slandering Huron nation here since I doubt the film is entirely factual). The message is if you want money then go work in the gas industry or become an oligarch or anyone of a thousand other jobs – but if you choose of your own free will to join the elite services of the GRU then loyalty is a must and those that are tempted into betrayal will have their seed erased.

        • Jo Dominich

          Jim I don’t agree that Russia are responsible for all the things you quote. Since 2014 there has been a concerted campaign against Russia by the USA, UK and now other European countries. A retired French Intelligence Officer set this out clearly in a book/article he wrote. It is a fact that the USA is losing a lot of ground internationally at the moment, the dollar is now under serious threat and Europe appear now not going to pay for Iranian oil in dollars rather in Euros. This starts the beginning of the end of the petro-dollar. Not only this, China have just sold off billions of pounds of USA debt they are holding – consequence appears to be international stock markets in turmoil. The USA are crating havoc around the world just to hang on to their power. The only good thing about Trump he has inadvertently brought about the start of the demise of the USA and the rise of China.

    • Brian O'Blivion

      It’s called “News Front”, meaning it’s a front for “news” Russina speakers lose the hilarity of this name….. Ha ha ha ha halfwits

      • Robyn

        News Front isn’t the only medium Dilyana has been on. Do you have any views on what she says rather than where she says it?

  • Golden Retriever

    Bellingcat …. fact or fiction? He reminds me of the one man band, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in Coventry.

    Both Bellingcat and SOHR owe everything to a media which promotes and republishes their output uncritically and without corroboration. The real question is, however, why did the media put such trust in these guys in the first instance – who else is behind them?

    https://thewallwillfall.org/2017/01/09/bellingcat-fact-or-fiction-everything-you-need-to-know/

    • Andrew H

      The media doesn’t necessarily put trust in Bellingcat. He writes an interesting story, that makes good publishing. (Now that all information is online there are fewer people willing to pay for for professional journalists than in the past – why should I buy the Guardian when I can read it for free?). But to survive they still have to produce stories that people want to read – and if Bellingcat does all the work, and all they need to do is write a cover story its a no brainer. [Craig Murray’s blog, in contrast, is too under researched to warrant a major media outlet referencing – its also not what normal patriotic UK citizens want to read]

      • Golden Retriever

        I beg to disagree. As far as I know, Bellingcat is just a solitary person investigating stories of public interest.

        And yet Sky News describes Bellingcat:

        “One of the men suspected of poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury is a colonel in the Russian military intelligence service.

        He was identified by British police earlier this month as Ruslan Boshirov but now an investigation by the ORGANISATION BELLINGCAT has revealed his real name is Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga.”

        So Bellingcat is an organisation? Or Sky News are spreading misinformation.

        https://news.sky.com/story/revealed-salisbury-suspect-is-colonel-in-russian-military-intelligence-11509532

        • Andrew H

          I fail to understand your point. Bellingcat isn’t an individual. His name is Eliot Higgins. Perhaps, you don’t want to read Sky News. Every media outlet plays to what its readership wants to read. You can get even more crap from the Daily Mail, if you want.

          • Golden Retriever

            “Every media outlet plays to what its readership wants to hear”

            I agree with you there. If the Sky News readership knew the “Organisation” called Bellingcat was just one person called Eliot Higgins (with a few volunteers), who only a few years ago worked for a lingerie company, do you really think the public would not question his authority on these stories?

          • Andrew H

            No, I don’t think if people knew that Bellingcat was one person it would make any difference to what people think. Smart people look at multiple sources for information, including visiting the Bellingcat website and reading their nicely presented information and then make up their own minds. Does this blog convince people of the truth? No doubt there are lots of gullible people in this world, but the danger comes just as much from misinformation spread by alternative news feeds, foreign governments trying to influence elections, corporations selling their world truth as it does from the mainstream media. Ultimately as a species we have to be less gullible and listen to good argument, but that could take evolution.

          • Andrew H

            The number is irrelevant. It is not uncommon for 1 person to be smarter than a 1000 others combined. Modern egalitarianism isn’t supported by historical fact. A larger organisation run by a fool, may not be any better than the fool.

        • Yeah, Right

          Eight people work at Bellingcat, apparently.

          How many of them really work for MI6 is anyone’s guess, but it is not out of the bounds of possibility that the correct answer is “eight”

          • Manfred Neuhaus

            Your math seems completely off there. The number of people contributing to Bellingcat stories is around 20 (including their Russian partners).

          • Yeah, Right

            Eight people work at Bellingcat.
            The staff of Bellingcat is eight.
            Higgins has eight people on his payroll.
            Eight people are paid wages by Higgins.

            What is there not to understand?

            “The number of people contributing to Bellingcat stories is around 20”

            And a book publisher can have hundreds of authors, but still have a staff of eight.

            “Your math seems completely off there.”

            Your understanding of the English language appear deficient.

            Try this: compare and contrast the two phrases
            “Works for”
            “Works with”

          • Manfred Neuhaus

            “Eight people work at Bellingcat.”

            You’re already wrong from the get go, and it gets worse from there. I already posted the article.

            “Your understanding of the English language appear deficient.”

            It’s perfect, thank you. I’m just much better informed than you are on the subject, that’s all.

          • Yeah, Right

            “You’re already wrong from the get go, and it gets worse from there. I already posted the article.”

            Here’s a tip: go straight to Bellingcat’s web site, because it has a helpful list of the number of staff that it has. There are, in fact, only three:
            Eliot Higgins, Christiaan Triebert, and Narine Khachatryan.

            That’s it, that is the sum total of everyone who WORKS AT BELLINGCAT.

            There are also contributors, sure, just as any online or print magazine has contributors, some of whom will work from commission and some of whom will submit on spec. But contributors aren’t “staff”. They don’t “work at” the magazine, even if (as I expect they would) they get paid for their efforts.

            Got that?

            Staff WORK AT BELLINGCAT
            Contributors DON’T WORK AT BELLINGCAT.

            *sheesh*

          • Manfred Neuhaus

            “Here’s a tip: go straight to Bellingcat’s web site, because it has a helpful list of the number of staff that it has.”

            Here’s an even better tip for you: Stay current! From just a few days ago:

            “”Up until about a year ago, we were mostly volunteers and I had three or four people working with me,” he says. “Over the last year we have expanded to 10 members of staff plus a translation team and our volunteers. So we’ve expanded quite significantly.””

          • Yeah, Right

            “Here’s an even better tip for you: Stay current! From just a few days ago:”

            Thanks, so even your most current! link has Higgins describing Bellingcat as having a staff of… ten. Making my original estimate of eight out by… doin’ the sums here… two.

            So I said Bellingcat has a staff of eight.
            Higgins said Bellingcat has expanded to a staff of ten.

            And you said “The number of people contributing to Bellingcat stories is around 20 (including their Russian partners).”

            One of us is the odd-man-out. It isn’t me. It isn’t Eliot Higgins.

            Care to hazard a guess at who that leaves?

            I am talking apples. You are talking oranges.

          • Manfred Neuhaus

            I was correct on all counts. You were wrong about:

            “Eight people work at Bellingcat”

            and

            “Eight people work at Bellingcat.
            The staff of Bellingcat is eight.
            Higgins has eight people on his payroll.
            Eight people are paid wages by Higgins.

            What is there not to understand?”

            and:

            “There are, in fact, only three:
            Eliot Higgins, Christiaan Triebert, and Narine Khachatryan.

            That’s it, that is the sum total of everyone who WORKS AT BELLINGCAT.”

            and:

            “I am wrong: it does not have a staff of eight.

            It has a staff of three.”

            I’m just correcting your incorrect information (that you sticked with even though I told you a number of times that it is not accurate) and adding crucial additional details that show how Bellingcat is expanding at a rather impressive rate, which explains their increased output and expanded focus.

          • Yeah, Right

            No, sorry, you can’t weasel your way out of this.
            I said: “Eight people work at Bellingcat, apparently. ”
            Higgins said: “Over the last year we have expanded to 10 members of staff”

            So I was out by two. Shoot me.

            You said: “The number of people contributing to Bellingcat stories is around 20 (including their Russian partners).”

            That is a non-sequitur. You have continued to argue on and on and on by returning continuously to that non-sequitur.

            Here, let me spell it out to you:
            I said there were eight apples at Bellingcat.
            Higgins said there were ten apples at Bellingcat.
            You keep pointing out how many oranges there are that Bellingcat fondles.

            You, sir, are an idiot, and you don’t get any smarter by constantly reiterating your idiocy.

          • Manfred Neuhaus

            It’s ok, you were wrong from the start and kept getting more and more off track, this being your latest “revelation” you found and so confidently proclaimed:

            “It has a staff of three.

            You can even see the photo portraits, and very nice they are.

            Go have a look. It is conveniently labelled “staff”.

            All. Three. Of. Them.”

            I’m glad I could point you back in the right direction, and you now have a much better picture of the actual size of the organization. Apology accepted.

          • Yeah, Right

            “It’s ok, you were wrong from the start and”….

            … and from the start I said this: “Eight people work at Bellingcat, apparently.”

            I was wrong by the grand total of two, apparently. Big whoopie.

            “It has a staff of three.”

            And that’s not what I said at the start, despite your desperate attempts to pretend that I did.

            I said this: “Eight people work at Bellingcat, apparently.” and you were so insist that I was wrong that I went to Bellingcat’s own web site, which stated in black and white that it had a staff of three.

            Foolishly I assumed that something that is on Bellingcat’s web site would be factually-correct. But (and an object lesson for all, this) nothing on Bellingcat’s web site can be taken as being true.

            Once again, one more time, for the last time:
            I said that Bellingcat has a staff of eight.
            Higgins says it has a staff of ten.
            You are indulging in non-sequiturs, because you are an idiot.

          • Manfred Neuhaus

            “I was wrong”

            Indeed. And you were doubling down on it even, ultimately reaching the following conclusion:

            “I am wrong: it does not have a staff of eight.

            It has a staff of three.

            You can even see the photo portraits, and very nice they are.

            Go have a look. It is conveniently labelled “staff”.

            All. Three. Of. Them.”

            I’m just glad we have now established the facts together, and no amount of name-calling on your part is going to change them. There’s always more to learn, and nobody’s perfect.

    • Manfred Neuhaus

      “Eight people work at Bellingcat.”

      You’re already wrong from the get go, and it gets worse from there. I already posted the article.

      “Your understanding of the English language appear deficient.”

      It’s perfect, thank you. I’m just much better informed than you are on the subject, that’s all.

      • Yeah, Right

        I have gone to Bellingcat’s website because you are so insistent. I am wrong: it does not have a staff of eight.

        It has a staff of three.

        You can even see the photo portraits, and very nice they are.

        Go have a look. It is conveniently labelled “staff”.

        All. Three. Of. Them.

      • info

        The main issue is – what is their business model? Who pays them for what?

        From Wikipedia
        Higgins launched the Bellingcat platform in 2014 with the help of private donations received through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.[9] Half of funding comes from grants and donations, the other half from running workshops training people in the art of open-source investigations.[10] For example, Bellingcat has received grants from Google Digital News Initiative, Adessium, and the Open Society Foundations.[11] The organisation publishes guides on how to analyse data and how to create reports, such as “How to Scrape Interactive Geospacial Data” and “How to Identify Burnt Villages by Satellite Imagery”.[10]

        As of 2018, the company has four full-time staff plus Higgins, 11 members of its investigation team and 60 contributors.[10] The office is in Leicester.[10]
        It is misinformation for hire. They have got a perfect line to newsrooms where journalists are not paid for investigations but to aggregate information for the desired narrative.

        • info

          add
          Bellingcat’s methods are not science. This is science.
          https://7mei.nl/2015/06/01/about-bellingcats-claim-russian-sat-pics-fake/
          This report is on the quality and validity of the Bellingcat report. This report makes no assertion that the images were or were not faked; it simply points out the almost completely fallacious basis for the Bellingcat report and its conclusions.
          The Bellingcat report is hopelessly flawed from the very start. It relies on unsophisticated use of a (free) online ‘image checker’ to detect ‘evidence’ of forgery and relies on Google dates for imagery dates. Neither reliance is at all justifiable and any conclusions made from them cannot be used by any serious party.

          They also rely on EXIF data as evidence of manipulation without addressing the very simple point that images have to be prepared for publication and so will naturally be processed by photoshop or equivalent to trim and enhance and annotate.

          Any journalist quoting Bellingcat is not doing due diligence.

      • SA

        you Seem to have got the wrong end of the stick as it were and inserted your answer in the wrong place. Anyway who cares how many people work for Bellingcat. We know thier sponsors and thier agenda.

  • ZigZag Wanderer

    The story now permanently located in Russia. Hastily moved away from the City Stay hotel where Novichok was found … yet the hotel was allowed to remain open for business !
    I’m surprised the Bellingcat wizards haven’t found the hooker or the weed dealer . Shouldn’t be all that difficult surely . They may be able to provide vital evidence to investigators.
    Our own multi billion pound security apparatus has been proven to be not fit for purpose . I am fully confident that Teresa won’t dance around the issue and will fire the heads of these organisations.

    Where would we be without Eliot and his laptop ?

  • Andrew Roberts

    Interestingly Labour’s Tom Watson has called for a Mueller style inquiry into Russian interference in Brexit. Not sure if he thinks David Cameron, and all the top Tory’s are Russian agents, or he just wants an excuse to ban Russia Today. I rather suspect the latter.
    What is interesting is who is supporting Tom Watson’s tweet. They seem to be a rag bag of Cyber security bandwagon trough feeders, and Blarites.
    Chasing your tail about photo’s is a pointless endeavor. Cui Bono as usual. There is Cyber Security gold in them thar hills. Lots of money to be made by consultants and experts and other bottom feeders. And if they don’t go too far, nobody gets hurt and journalists get plenty to entertain themselves with. I note the BBC has brought all their old Cold Warriors out of retirement. The wikipedia page for Gordon Corera who was running with this story is interesting. Used to work on Bill Clintons campaign before joining the BBC. Laura Kuenssberg’s father is a Tory Party constituency chairman. See the pattern yet… Some swamp draining is required on this side of the Atlantic.

    • Igor P.P.

      If they wanted to ban RT they would already have. Russia made it clean that it will not allow UK media of any kind to work on its terrirory if RT UK is closed down. Which on the whole will leave UK worse off on the propaganda front.

    • Aslangeo

      I think the attempt to link Russia with the Brexit referendum is an attempt to discredit the referendum. Basically members of the remain side are still in denial that a majority of the British public voted to leave the EU despite the 5hreats of dire collapse and the support for remain from virtually all sectors of the establishment. While I personally voted remain I accept the result was free and fair. The desire to associate so called Russian meddling with Brexit is a purely internal British affair, a way of getting a rerun in a referendum by the losing side. The anti Russian mania in Britain is frankly insane, next Russia will be blamed for storms, floods or poor performances by British sports teams. I do wonder what the aim of this demonisation is?

  • The Novichockle Brothers

    Clowns running around Europe with Chemical Weapons from the Soviet era and phones from the 90s, the smart phones they were using were used to organise travel and expenses. The Russian military needs a cash injection by the sound of things.

  • Dungroanin

    The SCL media goons are redoubling their narrative and consent manufacturing efforts.

    No wonder they were so keen to shelve Leveson2 and it’s recommendations of independent news and media regulation.

    The Groaniad being the worst offender – their turncoat behaviour towards the Inquiry and employment of propagandists, silencing of individual commentators and total anti-Corbynite future government that would threaten all their illgotten gains of decades of political ‘one party’ control.

    I expect many tens of thousands of us will be proscribed from the internet (even interned) by a flick of a switch prior to any election – if we are even allowed one.

    Time to get tech savvy people, to keep the channels of communications open as we are forced into open revolt.

    For our grandkids and future generations and a democratic world that creates leaders from the bottom up – not top down – prepare to fight the maniacs.

  • martin

    “Also, there are light reflections on some of the images in the photo above, but not others that are literally next to them.”
    Actually, you can just about discern a continuation of a reflection of the vertical striations present in the Chepiga photo in the photo literally next to it !

  • MattR

    Bit of light relief (if you have a grim sense of humour) in the Dutch excuse for not arresting those Russians supposedly caught red-handed in April. According to the BBC, the head of Dutch military intellegence said: “I don’t want to describe this as ‘letting them go’. We disrupted an operation. That’s how we do this type of operation.” I shall remember that next time I’m arrested for breaking and entering. “Oh dear, the game’s up officer, you have well and truly disrupted my operation. Its a fair cop. Well, if you don’t mind I’ll be on my way now.”

  • TJ

    There is only one solid piece of evidence that can be relied on in what has been presented by the Dutch government, namely the MAC address which has been blanked out of the photograph of the WiFi Pineapple. For those who don’t know what a MAC address is –

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC_address

    The manufacturer can tell from that specific MAC address who it was sold to, the only reason for the Dutch government to blank it out of the photo is to stop anyone else from knowing who actually purchased that unit and showing that their story is in fact not true.

    • Clarityn

      The manufacturer cannot tell who bought the device from its Mac address at all. Pay cash in a shop without CCTV. Simple, like whoever told you the theory you’ve just posted above.

      • TJ

        We are talking about the physical sticker on the side of the unit put there by the manufacturer with the original MAC address.

  • copydude

    I don’t believe this thread.

    You are all getting knitted up in the third layer of wool pulled.

    The only link between our ‘tourists’ and the Skripals is the deadly, military grade nerve agent on the hotel room key, which got there because they were simultaneously groping a tart, smoking weed and playing with a bottle of deadly, military grade nerve agent. As one does.

    I do think the Russians have missed a trick here.

    Instead of RT, Russia should have given Reuters the opportunity to film the couple at a secret location reading a prepared statement, a la Yulia. They could have flitted down some steps into woodland wearing matching, Laura Ashley print dresses.

    The statement would be nicely written in civil servantese, thanking Mrs May for her offer of meeting the CPS but that they did not wish to ‘avail themselves of their services.’

    After signing the statements in English and Russian, the Smirking Hitmen would then give a plug for their latest single, with a chorus of, ‘Won’t You Come Home DS Bailey’.

    (‘You did the cooking honey, we know you’re bent’)

    Until Bellingcat produces the crucial photo of the Russians in a telephone box placing a call to Damascus, I simply can’t be bothered.

    • SA

      Next Bellingcat story will be definitive and there will be no refuting it. It will show how some GRU agents have been caught by White Helmets smearing novichok on door handles in Idlib. They will even produce the exact manuals that Boris has found in early March and told us about with an addendum of how to reseal Nina Ricci perfume bottles and how to pose innocently in front of CCTV to avoid detection.
      Apparently the manual has an addendum on the correct way of escape by taxis and also how to claim expenses from head office in the most unobtrusive manner.

  • SA

    I mean what have spying come to. Claim your taxi expenses from head office of GRU and it is all traceable? Just going through a routine Gov.

    • Evgenya Antonovna

      SA – you’ve obviously never lived in Russia. Being an international spy is scary and tense – but it’s nothing compared to facing Tatyana Vasilyevna from accounting……..

      • SA

        It explains the terror and utter devastation in the last movement of Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony.

  • JCalvertN

    OK. I’ll concede there is enough stand-alone evidence that it is not a fake photo.
    It’s a just a rather blurry photo of someone called ‘Chepiga’.
    How does that relate to the person that HMG call ‘Boshirov’?
    A vaguely similar hairdo?

    • Yeah, Right

      “OK. I’ll concede there is enough stand-alone evidence that it is not a fake photo”

      It is a faked photo that has been digitally inserted into the wrong location on a wall display.

      “It’s a just a rather blurry photo of someone called ‘Chepiga’.
      How does that relate to the person that HMG call ‘Boshirov’?”

      It is a photo of Boshirov, obtained from God Knows Where, and it has been digitally inserted into those photos to support the notion that Chepiga = Boshirov.

      In my opinion we have not once, not ever, seen a photo of the “real Chepiga”, for the simple reason that no such photo has ever been taken precisely because he has spent an entire cloak-and-dagger career refusing to have his photo taken.

      For any reason, on any occasion, at any place.

  • Yeah, Right

    No idea what to make of this, but just after midnight (GMT) on Saturday morning 6/10/2018 the photo at http://dvoku.mil.ru/Multimedia/photo/list/46564/ went missing for around 10 minutes.

    I thought it might have been taken down by the Russians, so I went to Andrew’s archival link at
    https://web.archive.org/web/20171204084317/http://dvoku.mil.ru/Multimedia/photo/list/46564/
    and it was missing from there too.

    The other six photos popped up fine, not problem, so I wasn’t having difficulty with the site itself. But that seventh photo refused to open up when I clicked on it. I tried three different browsers and two different computers.

    So, I think to myself: OK, someone is going around scrubbing all the evidence by deleting the photos.

    Only less than ten minutes later that photo was back up again, at both sites, as if nothing had happened.

    I have no proof except my own observation, but it looked to me that last night someone took down that photo and then ten minutes later uploaded a new version of it.

    So apparently hackers can hack into photos at the website of the Far East All-Arms Military School.

    • info

      The web archive does not save photos – the links go back to the original site.

      Bellingcat’s methods are not science. This is science.
      https://7mei.nl/2015/06/01/about-bellingcats-claim-russian-sat-pics-fake/
      This report is on the quality and validity of the Bellingcat report. This report makes no assertion that the images were or were not faked; it simply points out the almost completely fallacious basis for the Bellingcat report and its conclusions.
      The Bellingcat report is hopelessly flawed from the very start. It relies on unsophisticated use of a (free) online ‘image checker’ to detect ‘evidence’ of forgery and relies on Google dates for imagery dates. Neither reliance is at all justifiable and any conclusions made from them cannot be used by any serious party.

      They also rely on EXIF data as evidence of manipulation without addressing the very simple point that images have to be prepared for publication and so will naturally be processed by photoshop or equivalent to trim and enhance and annotate.

      Any journalist quoting Bellingcat is not doing due diligence.

      • Andrew H

        Just as any person claiming your link is science is not doing due diligence. Your supposed ‘scientist’ is simply another amateur pushing his own viewpoint. Publish it in a peer reviewed scientific journal if it is science.

        • Keith McClary

          If that is the standard, then the onus is on BC to publish it in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

    • Andrew H

      Many people will have taken hard copies of the original files (Bellingcat and whoever looked at the meta-data, for example). If there has been any change at all these people will be able to do a simple file compare. I suspect there is a less nefarious explanation for your observations. Why would a hacker remove a file and then 10 minutes later re-add the same file (assuming it hasn’t changed)? If wanting to change the file, why not just overwrite the file in-place so as not to cause a missing file? I’m not sure that even if I was doing this it would take me ten minutes to sort out.

      • Yeah, Right

        “Why would a hacker remove a file and then 10 minutes later re-add the same file (assuming it hasn’t changed)?”

        I’m assuming it has, probably to cover up something in the metadata that would give the game away.

        “If wanting to change the file, why not just overwrite the file in-place so as not to cause a missing file?”

        Because you not only need to replace the file, you also have to cover your tracks by removing all the traces of your actions.

        “I’m not sure that even if I was doing this it would take me ten minutes to sort out.”

        Well, since you’re not even sure what happened I’m going to suggest that you don’t know how long it will take.

        If the web server is Linux-based (I don’t know, I’m just suggesting this) then maybe the hacker has to wait 10 minutes for the daemon to update so that he can slip the changes in without it being logged.

        • Andrew H

          “I’m assuming it has, probably to cover up something in the metadata that would give the game away.”:

          I was going to suggest the same thing, but then I thought it would then be too easy for someone who took a copy of the original file, do a file compare and find out exactly what minor detail was changed which would totally give the game away.

          As for the rest, I really cannot comment…. (having no experience on hacking of any kind I can’t shed light on why it might take 10 minutes or what the actual process might involve). But based on the first point, I’m doubtful the file was changed???

          • Yeah, Right

            A thought experiment: you hack into a web site and digitally-alter a photo. It has your desired effect – everyone is fooled, and it creates a huge stir. Except…. you subsequently notice a subtle flaw in your own handiwork.

            Wadda’ Gonna’ Do?

            Do you:
            a) Do nothing, and hope that nobody else spots that flaw?
            b) Go back in and fix it, and hope that nobody spots your 2nd hack?

            “I was going to suggest the same thing, but then I thought it would then be too easy for someone who took a copy of the original file, do a file compare and find out exactly what minor detail was changed which would totally give the game away.”

            That may be true, but what choice does the hacker have?
            He either corrects his original mistake, which is risky.
            Or he leaves that mistake intact, which is risky.

    • Kempe

      Just a remarkable coincidence that they were spotted wandering round near the Skripal’s house without a sound explanation on the very day the Skripals were poisoned.

      • Aslangeo

        Just like the Birmingham six needed a sound explanation while they were all at new street station on the evenings of the bombings. When I was a child in the 1970s and 80s it was are you innocent or Irish now it is are you innocent or Russian

      • Igor P.P.

        The closest they are to Skripal’s house on released CCTV stills is near Shell petrol station on Wilton Road. This is a large road, and the location is 12 minutes walk from Skripal’s (Google maps). If you have any other evidence, please share it with us.

        • Kempe

          It’s even further away and in the wrong direction from the railway station than the cathedral they claim to have wanted to visit.

      • Dungroanin

        How many Russians were in Salisbury over that weekend?
        Please provide link to the full list.

        Just for full understanding please identify how many foreign nationals and from which countries were there on the same days too.

        I am not denying that the two Russians are involved – but we haven’t been presented with ANY evidence by the police that they were either.

        • Kempe

          During 2017 133,000 Russians visited the UK on tourist visas.

          Given the weather, the transport problems and it being out of the normal tourist season I reckon it was just those two.

  • JMF

    @craig you wrong on this one
    October 6, 2018 at 13:05
    Really? Why then does the ‘added text’ i.e. first name, last name and other details not line up with the set licence text.
    Look at the lines here: https://ibb.co/hqyrye

    • Bayard

      More to the point, why does the name line up and the rest not and why is the name in the same dark grey type as the set text and the rest in black?

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