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The Poison Russians

The Skripal case is almost forgotten, even though the Us only just a few days ago used the case again to justify new Russia sanctions. But precisely because the case has already faded into the background, it is interesting to look at the things that happened in 2019 and which have not been reported in Germany, or only in passing.

The Russians did it

The deed

On March 4, 2018, at around 1.40 pm, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia arrived at the Maltings shopping centre, briefly going to the Pub The Mill, before eating at the Italian restaurant from 2.20pm to 3.35pm. After that, they suddenly felt bad and went to the air. The emergency doctor was called at 4.15pm and at 5.10pm the pair were taken to hospital unconscious. A police officer was also hospitalized but released in March while the Skripals were still in a coma.

In the days that followed, there was wild speculation about what might have happened, and on 7 March the British side announced that it was a rare nerve agent, but did not give details at first. On 12 March, the British Prime Minister @theresa_may announced that it was the nerve agent Novichok developed in the Soviet Union.

There was various speculations during this time about where and when the Skripals should have come into contact with the poison, and hundreds of people who had been nearby on 4 March were asked to wash their clothes thoroughly.

It was not until 28 March that it was announced that the highest concentration of the poison was found on the doorknob of Skripal’s house. Both Skripals must have touched the doorknob when leaving the house, but then, more than two hours after contact with the nerve agent, they were completely symptom-free in a pub and restaurant before they began to feel bad. This is strange because Novichok is a poison that works immediately, but we get to that in detail.

It was Russia screaming the noble Brit

After Prime Minister May announced on March 12 that it was the nerve agent Novichok, she immediately accused Russia of the act and issued Russia with an ultimatum to “declare” itself by midnight. Russia rejected the ultimatum, saying it had nothing to do with the case and requested samples of the poison to investigate it. Russia has subsequently repeatedly called on the British to provide samples and also to give embassy staff access to The Russian citizens of Skripal, which is governed by diplomatic and agreement.

Imagine, for example, that Turkey would deny German authorities access to German citizens in a Turkish hospital, something that is inconceivable. The British, however, refused access and refused it to this day.

However, we now know that the formula for Novichok has been known since 1992, when a Russian defector passed it on to Western intelligence services, and that many countries subsequently experimented with it, including Germany, England and the Czech Republic. It can therefore come from the stocks of many countries. Nevertheless, the US was the first to follow the British verdict, followed by NATO and the EU and its members.

On 14 March, Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats in response, to which Russia also responded three days later by expelling 23 British diplomats.

On 14 March alone, Der Spiegel published ten articles on the Skripal case, all of which more or less openly named Russia as culprits. But at the same time, the Western media spoke of a “campaign” in Russian media. More reports of the case appeared in the West than in Russia, as the example of Spiegel-Online shows.

As I said, at that time there were only the claims of the British Government, which other Western governments joined. But at that time, THE EXPERTS of the UN of OPWC had no access to the Skripals or to samples of the poison. So there was no neutral confirmation. Nevertheless, the case was already clear for the Western press and politics.

Western “Evidence”

The next goal of the British was to persuade other countries to expel Russian diplomats. To this end, press briefings were held. In Moscow, the British embassy invited journalists and presented the British view of things in a presentation consisting of six pages including cover page. This presentation would not suffice for a sufficient school grade in a tenth grade, but it seemed to be very convincing for the British and their Western colleagues.

We are now looking at this presentation completely, because what has been shown is so absurd that you have your hair up when you understand that Western politicians and parliamentarians make far-reaching decisions on such a basis.

On the first page, therefore, there is nothing more than a very rough chronology, with only the first entry related to the poisoning. After that, it’s about the British reaction, the ultimatum and the like. The last two points are remarkable, because the question arises as to why the OPWC team arrived only two weeks after the incident, and in the last point the 23 expelled Russian diplomats are referred to as “secret service officers”, which is what of course, it sounds more negative than “diplomats”.

The second page was about Novichok itself under the heading “A new phase of Russian aggression”. First, it says that Novichok has been identified by the British Laboratory, which will turn out to be a lie, as we will see in connection with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s tweet.

In the second point, we learn that Novichok was developed “only” by Russia, which suggests that no other country can possess this poison. The fact that it was developed by Russia is not entirely true either, because it was the Soviet Union, but the British wanted to paint a negative picture of Russia, because such details only disturb. But here the important information is omitted that this poison was also produced after 1992 by many Western intelligence services, which was not known to the public at that time.

It was then pointed out that the use violated the ban on the use of chemical weapons and that it was the first use of poison gas in Europe since the war. It goes on to say: “We have no doubt that Russia is responsible. No country except Russia has the combination of ability, intent and motive. There is no other plausible explanation.” And in the end comes a quote from Prime Minister May in which she calls it “highly likely” that Russia is responsible.

The word “highly likely” in English became a winged term in Russia, which was very ironic and sarcastic. The reason is that after that, all the allegations against Russia were “highly likely,” whether it was alleged election meddling, the alleged conspiracy with Trump, hacking attacks, and so on. Everything that Russia was subsequently accused of was never proven, and so the term “highly likely” appeared in all Western accusations.

On page three there is some information about the mode of action of Novichok as well as information about the persons concerned and the number of persons involved in the case. However, there is no explanation as to why it took more than two hours from contact with a highly effective military nerve agent to the first symptoms.

On page four, it is no longer about the incident itself, but about “the long trail of malicious Russian activities”. It becomes interesting when you look at this “long track” point by point.

First of all, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in England, although it is concealed that there is still no definitive clarification here. On the contrary, we have nothing but the accusations of the British.

Then there is a 2007 hacking attack on the Internet in the Baltics, where it is also not clear who is behind it.

In August 2008, Russia is accused of “invasion of Georgia”. Russia has continued to do so by the Western media to this day. The Western media completely ignores the Council of Europe’s investigative report. There it was found that the attack came from Georgia, Georgia shelled residential areas with artillery for one night and only the next day Russian troops emerged, which the Georgians threw back.

In order to avoid a repeat of such an incident, Russian troops then occupied parts of Georgia for a short time, but soon withdrew completely. This temporary occupation was described as “disproportionate”, but Georgia’s previous attack was a clear violation of international law. All these were, as I said, the findings of the Council of Europe and not Russian propaganda.

Nevertheless, both in the media and in politics to this day it is claimed that Russia was the aggressor, and that the British were not too bad to repeat this lie in order to fabricate a list of Russia’s “malicious activities”.

“February 2014” cited the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of Ukraine. There is no mention of the fact that the western-backed Maidan destabilised Ukraine took place and that Russia had nothing to do with it. And the fact that Crimea is by definition not an annexation, but a secession is concealed, as is the fact that it is by no means clear under international law whether there is a violation of international law.

On July 17, 2014, Russia is accused of shooting down flight MH17, killing 283 people. Here, too, it is concealed that, despite media reports to the contrary, it is still unclear who is responsible for this.

For 2015 to 2016, Russia is accused of famous interference in the US election, and no evidence has been provided on this, only allegations have been made. We now know from the results of the Mueller report that there was nothing wrong with the whole story. The same applies to the other alleged hacking attacks on Denmark and the Bundestag mentioned, where, for example, the BND stated quite clearly that there is no evidence to russia: they are unproven accusations in the British presentation.

For 2016, the “Lisa Campaign” and a coup attempt in Montenegro are still being cited, also very dubious accusations against Russia.

The last slide is all about the measures that Britain now wants to take.

So in this presentation there were no objective facts pointing to Russia. Instead, the Prime Minister’s statements and a lot of lies about Russia’s “malicious activities,” of which nothing is left when analyzed.

In addition, on 22 March, the British Foreign Office published a tweet claiming that the British chemical weapons laboratory had now clearly demonstrated that the nerve agent used was Russian-made. This tweet was deleted, on April 4 because this chemical weapons laboratory had contradicted it and informed that the origin of the poison could not be clarified.

Foreign Office Tweet

This disgrace was downplayed in the Spiegel with the following headline:

“British Foreign Office reportedly deleted tweet about alleged poison evidence.”

The Russian embassy in London also reported that the British Foreign Office had since deleted a tweet from 22 March. It said that analyses had shown that the deadly poison Novichok had been produced in Russia. ‘Why could the State Department delete the March 22 tweet?’ the embassy asked on Twitter.

The clearly demonstrable fact that this tweet was deleted was presented by the Mirror as if it were merely a claim by the Russian embassy in London.

It goes on

Julia Skripal was able to leave the hospital on 10 April, her father on 18 May. Since then, both have disappeared. According to the British, they are hidden “in a safe place”. Julia Skripal only issued a statement in May by the Reuters news agency in which she said she was fine and did not want to have any contact with the Russian authorities. However, the Russian embassy is calling for a meeting with the Skripals to ensure that they are not held against their will.

On April 12, the OPWC published an abbreviated version of its report that did not contain much usable. The crucial details have been classified as secret and are only accessible to the member countries of the OPWC. In principle, the OPWC confirmed that the poison was Novichok. Two days later, however, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed doubts, citing the details in the secret part of the report. It was then stated that the investigating laboratory in Switzerland had found traces of the warfare substance BZ. This active substance also fits better with the symptoms described in the Skripals and the course of the health consequences.

BZ acts with delay after at least one hour, which fits the course in the case of the Skripals. The two incidents with Novichok described so far show a different course. In 1987, in an accident, a chemist in a Soviet laboratory came into contact with Novichok and the symptoms began immediately, as did a Russian banker who was assassinated with Novichok in 1995.

The OPWC stated on 18 April that BZ had been used as a control sample to check the quality of the laboratory’s work and that BZ had nothing to do with the Skripals. The Russians were not satisfied with this and again demanded that samples of the substance used in the Skripals be obtained for their own investigations, which Britain refused to do. At the latest here, there is no need to pursue the case further. It simply stinks of another Western aggression that wants total war and thus destroys itself.

However, the OPWC was unable to find any indication of the origin of the poison. Given that both the BND had to admit that it had owned Novichok as early as the 1990s, and the Czech Republic admitted that it had produced Novichok itself in 2017, it can be assumed that other services and countries also had the poison. Therefore, the fact that the Soviet Union developed the substance at the time is not enough for an accusation against Russia. It would have been important if the OPWC could have determined from which laboratory the substance used originated. But it is completely unclear who was behind the attack.

Russia was in the final weeks of the presidential campaign at the time of the attack, and Putin was leading the way. He couldn’t need negative news because his victory was certain and he had more to lose than to win. Russia was also preparing for the World Cup, which Russia saw as an important opportunity to polish its image, which is regularly badly done in the Western media, and to show football fans and television viewers that Russia is different from what it is. the Western media. In this context, too, the Skripal case came to an untimely state of view from Russia’s point of view. If Russia had actually wanted to kill him, it would probably have chosen a different date.

At the beginning of September 2018, the British Prime Minister presented two suspects to Parliament, who are now being sought on an international arrest warrant. However, again this time there was no evidence that could actually be used in court. Only photos from surveillance cameras were presented to prove that these two Russians were in Salisbury at the time of the crime. However, the photos also raise questions.

The accused allegedly sprayed the poison, which is even lethal in the smallest quantities, onto the door handle of the Skripals in broad daylight at around 11 a.m., without any protective suits, in the fresh air, possibly in the wind. Traces of Novichok were also allegedly found in her alleged hotel room. However, none of the men appeared to be ill, as they then flew back to Moscow calmly and later, when the British allegations came to light, gave quick-lived interviews in which they denied the allegations.

In January it was announced that, contrary to the official version, it was not a police officer who found the Skripals, but Abigail McCourt. She is the daughter of Colonel McCourt, who is a british army nurse and was also at the scene. Neither the older nor the younger McCourt have been sickened by the substance applied to the Skripals. Remarkably, Colonel McCourt is a British Army nurse specially trained for poison gas operations, who happened to be there with her daughter, but the British had previously kept it secret.

As always in such cases, the “disclosure platform” Bellingcat plays a key role. It is she who has published many alleged findings. In March, there was an article in the Mirror, which, with the necessary prior knowledge, contributed a lot of illuminating. Der Spiegel reported on Bellingcat’s key partner in the Skripal case, the Russian platform “The Insider”. And the Mirror revealed that not only bellingcat is funded by NATO-affiliated organizations, but also “The Insider” receives 10,000 dollars a month from the West. So much for the “independent” platforms.

In 2019 there was also news from the Skripal family. His niece, who lives in Russia, reported that Julia Skripal sold her Moscow apartment through middlemen and that the Skripals from England had called several times, they were doing quite well and that they were in a secret place.

I don’t think her niece is very credible, because she’s looking for the public and she’s just published a book about the story. But a call took place when no one was at home, and it was recorded by the answering machine and published in the Russian media. The voice there should actually belong to Sergei Skripal, so it is possible that the niece will tell the truth.

What I did not mention are the homeless people who, months after the poisoning of the Skripals, allegedly found a perfume bottle containing Novichok and sprayed themselves with it, with one person dead.

The story is too abstruse to take seriously. There is a simple reason for this: the Russian suspects who accuse London of the crime allegedly thrown the bottle carelessly into a garbage can after the crime, where it was found months later by homeless people. Sorry, but even in England, bins are emptied more often than every few months.

Even if London’s accusations against the men were true, the bottle would have disappeared into a landfill long ago.

I don’t know what this aspect of the story is, but the story, as London tells it, can’t be true.

Cui bono?

But did Russia have a reason to kill the former double agent? In 2004, Skripal, then a Russian intelligence officer, was arrested for spying for MI6 and convicted in 2006. In 2010, he was pardoned and exchanged for other agents. He has lived in England ever since. If he had known important russian state secrets that he had not yet betrayed, Russia would not have exchanged them. If Russia had wanted to punish him or set an example, it could have done so from 2004 to 2010. From the Russian point of view, there is no motive for killing a former double agent 14 years after his arrest and eight years after his exchange. Russia had nothing to gain.

But who could have had a motive? If you look at the result, an anti-Russian media campaign that was successful in the West, which provided further pretexts for sanctions and cast Russia in a bad light, then Skripal was perhaps just a “random” victim. It could have hit anyone else to launch such a campaign. Conspiracy? I would just like to mention Gladio once again. This fact was described as terror in Brussels in 1990 in connection with NATO. Western ideology is an enemy image, war, occupation and robbery.

And if you see that Western politicians and the media aren’t taking the truth too seriously, if you want to discredit Russia, that could be a motive. I would just like to remind you of the presentation of the British and of the ‘malicious Russian activities’ mentioned on page four, which were all false. Now another “malicious Russian activity” has just been added.

Of course, there are now other theories about Skripal’s secret knowledge or intentions to return to Russia, and many more. These are nice theories and it’s exciting to read them. But there is no reliable evidence for any of these versions, even if there are some interesting chains of circumstantial evidence.

But regardless of these theories and possible versions, the simple question remains: Who had an interest in it and who benefited from it?

There is no sign of Russia’s interest for these reasons. If Skripal had important knowledge, Russia would not have replaced him. And Russia had no advantage from the Skripal case, which brought only new sanctions and a worldwide anti-Russian media campaign.