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Russia to expel UK diplomats as crisis over nerve toxin attack deepens

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By Olzhas Auyezov and Guy Faulconbridge

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The British keep hiding the medical assessment from us

Why not allow the Russians to sample the toxin as well.

Hiding something?

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

It was the Russians who hide the existence of the nerve agent for many years.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

If the free world wants to get Putin in line -- there is but one solution -- start freezing his assets and those of his oligarchical buddies in accounts held in financial institutions in the free world.

Russia is a terrorist state and Putin is its leader.

The time for patience is over when he publicly laughs about killing his enemies in other countries with nerve agents.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

> Why not allow the Russians to sample the toxin as well.

Hiding something?

They already have samples.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

They may be alive, maybe not, maybe nothing happened at all.

Ha ha! Yeah - "maybe nothing happened at all."

All going according to textbook: fake concern and sow doubts.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Putin is very good at hiding his assets like his $25 billion wealth.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Seize all of those Soukas's assets in the UK.

Let's show Putin we mean business

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Sickening that they would kill a man and his daughter on foreign soil using nerve agents.

And the right wingers in America still want to defend Putin for his regime's supposed role in helping Trump get elected.

Disgraceful.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Let's see what Craig Murray has to say about all this. He actually knows what he's talking about:

"Were I the British police, I would inquire very closely into Orbis Intelligence.

There is no doubt that Skripal was feeding secrets to MI6 at the time that Christopher Steele was an MI6 officer in Moscow, and at the the time that Pablo Miller, another member of Orbis Intelligence, was also an MI6 officer in Russia and directly recruiting agents. It is widely reported on the web and in US media that it was Miller who first recruited Skripal. My own ex-MI6 sources tell me that is not quite true as Skripal was “walk-in”, but that Miller certainly was involved in running Skripal for a while. Sadly Pablo Miller’s LinkedIn profile has recently been deleted, but it is again widely alleged on the web that it showed him as a consultant for Orbis Intelligence and a consultant to the FCO and – wait for it – with an address in Salisbury."

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/russian-to-judgement/

Well, well, well. This Skripal was run by MI6 officer Pablo Miller, now of Orbis Intelligence, at the same time time Christopher Steele (founder of Orbis Intelligence) was in Moscow. Orbis Intelligence is the company that created the infamous "dirty Trump" dossier. The plot thickens.

"It was of course Christopher Steele and Orbis Intelligence who produced for the Clinton camp the sensationalist dossier on Trump links with Russia – including the story of Trump paying to be urinated on by Russian prostitutes – that is a key part of the “Russiagate” affair gripping the US political classes. The extraordinary thing about this is that the Orbis dossier is obvious nonsense which anybody with a professional background can completely demolish, as I did here. Steele’s motive was, like Skripal’s in selling his secrets, cash pure and simple. Steele is a charlatan who knocked up a series of allegations that are either wildly improbable, or would need a high level source access he could not possibly get in today’s Russia, or both. He told the Democrats what they wish to hear and his audience – who had and still have no motivation to look at it critically – paid him highly for it."

So, what do the Porton Down scientists and the British government actually say about the nerve gas?

"I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday."

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/of-a-type-developed-by-liars/

Why is it worth listening to Murray? Because:

"If Porton Down can synthesise it, so can many others, not just the Russians. And finally – Mirzayanov is an Uzbek name and the novichok programme, assuming it existed, was in the Soviet Union but far away from modern Russia, at Nukus in modern Uzbekistan. I have visited the Nukus chemical weapons site myself. It was dismantled and made safe and all the stocks destroyed and the equipment removed by the American government, as I recall finishing while I was Ambassador there. There has in fact never been any evidence that any “novichok” ever existed in Russia itself."

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/the-novichok-story-is-indeed-another-iraqi-wmd-scam/

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Every time I see Russian Foreign Minister Sergel Lavrov (pictured above), I remember seeing those pictures of him in the Oval Office and Trump insulting FBI Director Comey and it makes me sick to my stomach.

I question whether Trump is all in or not with the UK on this problem of nerve agents being used to assassinate British citizens.

A sad state of affairs indeed.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Should the world look to May to counter Putin?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

start freezing his assets and those of his oligarchical buddies

And what about the assets of those oligarchs who are not his buddies? And if all the assets get frozen, who will fund the Conservative party?

Putin is very good at hiding his assets like his $25 billion wealth.

He can't be that good if you know about it.

I'm surprised at the tone of the comments. It would be good to have a little more information. If it was the Russian government, what was the motive? Why nerve gas? Did anyone else have a motive, including other Russian groups? Was it actually murder or was Skripal complicit and accidentally released the nerve agent. (He doesn't exactly have an untarnished background.) Somehow I doubt we'll ever learn the truth.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Should the world look to May to counter Putin?

You must be joking:

"How dare anyone oppose the Government at this crucial time? We must all get behind them now, as they can be relied on to stand in determined opposition to the Russian menace. This is why the Conservatives have taken £3m in donations from Russian oligarchs since 2010. The plan is to take so much money off them that they’ve none left to spend on poison.

The Tories say that just because the money comes from Russians, it doesn’t mean it’s from supporters of Putin’s regime. This is a fair point. For example, Lubov Chernukhin, wife of Putin’s former deputy finance minister, paid £160,000 to play tennis with David Cameron and Boris Johnson. And I can’t see any reason why we should suspect she was ever a supporter of Putin."

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/russia-spy-poisoning-putin-responsibility-sergei-skripal-tories-money-theresa-may-a8257446.html

You just couldn't make it up if you tried. Tennis with Boris Johnson? You're having a laugh.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Soory but, why would Murray's FCO colleagues be still in touch with him?

The man is a fantasist and conspiracy theorist. His support for Putin's Russia should be under much more scrutiny.

That's not saying I'm a fan of the May govt, either, btw.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well, the message is loud and clear: if you’re against Putin, even as a foreign citizen in a foreign country, you may be assassinated at any time, even with a chemical weapon, and the only response will be a few stern words and maybe expulsion of some diplomats who will be rotated around again soon. Then you will be forgotten forever

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Reading this morning that the Porton Down scientists are not sure of the exact composition or origin. They complain that they are being bullied into accusing Russia. Also, the Brit govt refuses to share any samples. Very suspicious as the pair have been declared by media straight away and Russia was blamed and the retaliation stated in 5 minutes, before any investigation was inplemented.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Thing is Russia's become an ideal global scapegoat (credible villain, plenty of enemies, former spies etc) for western democracies/media.

Not saying they are beyond reproach, far from it, but the smear campaign against Russia we've seen in the West in the last few years has reached new and imo unjustified levels. Let's not forget our very own western democracies know how to conceal/withhold the truth when deemed necessary.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Russia can certain deny it and say it's not them. But the basic question would be if someone(s) in possession of such a rare and deadly nerve agent, why would they only seek to target a speicic Russian agent and his daughter. Or in a general scope, why is it 100% only Russians who are ever targeted in the UK (past and present)?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Let's not forget our very own western democracies know how to conceal/withhold the truth when deemed necessary.

Agreed. It could be some other nation behind it. But we've now seen widespread official condemnation from European nations and the US, I feel that they wouldn't just point the finger unless there is definite proof who's behind it.

Mind you, these days, with so much misinformation doing the rounds it's sometime difficult to know just what the dickens is going on.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Look to May to do what? She is no Margaret Thatcher; a lightweight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sickening that they would kill a man and his daughter on foreign soil using nerve agents.

Indeed, this attack is sickening. But the big question is WHO did it. All they have to connect Russia or Putin to this attack is that apparently the poison used was developed by the USSR.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Why not allow the Russians to sample the toxin as well.

They're untrusted and untrustworthy, and frankly, not very likable. Not exactly helpful on the Litvinenko case or the shooting down of MH17.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

McCarthyism is on the rise, gentlemen. Thankfully, I'm in Japan during this period of idiocracy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They're untrusted and untrustworthy, and frankly, not very likable. Not exactly helpful on the Litvinenko case or the shooting down of MH17.

The West is untrusted and untrustworthy, and frankly, not very likeable. They lied in 2003 about Saddam's WMD when it suited they needs, they'll lie again when they feel like it.

But thanks that you remember MH17. I also remember, four years ago it was a storm in media (including this JT board) about it, even mass hysteria - "Putin did it, Putin killed innocent people". This storm raged for a couple of months and then suddenly died down. Anybody knows about the progress of the investigation? I think nobody heard anything, because the Holland/UK investigation team works in big secrecy (Russia and Malaysia wanted to make it as open as possible). Why that? Because the Western investigation wants to hide a very ugly truth -- the plane was shot down by the Ukrainian, Western-installed and Western-supported, regime that came to power as the result od 2014 coup (another crime of the West).

Now the story of the same making - Brits stage a false flag hit (they have the nerve agent, the US/UK received all the documentation about it back in 90s, and the inventor of the agent, his name Mirzayanov, since then lives in the US), then start a massive media propaganda campaign, as they did with MH17. And (no surprises!!) they do not show what "proof" they have, because the thuth will come out. The Skripal story will rage for a month or two, then it will also end as a dud.

What a pity that many people have memory span of an aquarium fish, and the same critical thinking.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Soory but, why would Murray's FCO colleagues be still in touch with him?

Because many sympathized with him over the way he was fired as British ambassador to Uzbekistan after complaining of the Karimov human-rights violations?

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

His support for Putin's Russia should be under much more scrutiny. The man is a fantasist and conspiracy theorist.

He doesn't support Putin. If you read his blog you'll see he has castigated Russia for years over the Litvinenko poisoning, the attempts to undermine western countries and all the rest of Putin's dirty tricks. He worked all over the world for the FCO for 20 years, rising to be Ambassador to Uzbekistan. Have you ever heard of a pro-Putin British ambassador? Nope, me neither.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/skripal-no-litvinenko/#tc-comment-title

He's a Scottish Nationalist, very well-informed and on the right side.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/06/the-bleating-of-the-blairites/

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

its impending exit from the European Union

This has nothing to do with Brexit. Russia isn't affected by it, and Britain would gain nothing by fabricating a Russian attack. If anything, we'd be tying a noose around our own neck.

suggested London fabricated the attack to whip up anti-Russian hysteria

This sounds like paranoia. Besides, Putin is doing a good enough job of provoking people into being anti-Russian what with the annexing of Crimea and him bragging about his new nukes. He doesn't need our help to turn people against him and his country.

Dmitry Peskov reiterated Moscow's line that there was no "clear evidence" for any Russian involvement in the attack

Other than the fact that it was a nerve agent created by Soviet Russia and used to try and eliminate a Russian double agent who betrayed dozens of Russian agents to British intelligence. That makes him an enemy of Russia (and Putin) which is more than enough reason for Putin to order this attack.

we do not have access to the patients

Of course not! Someone just tried to kill them with a nerve agent, of course access to them would be tightly restricted. We wouldn't want a Russian hitman to come in and finish the job. We need answers, Skripal has them, Putin doesn't want that to happen.

The truth will out, eventually. I just wonder what Putin would do if it was proven, without doubt, that he ordered the attack? Oh wait, deny it and claim that the evidence was fabricated, as all liars do.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The West is untrusted and untrustworthy, and frankly, not very likeable. 

That's a separate issue, and when the British release a nerve agent in a public space in a Russian city, maybe people will listen to you.

I was telling someone who suggested that we call in the Russians to help crack this case why that's not desirable, especially as the Russians are at fault here. As they have poisoned not just a couple of Russians but a dozen or so UK nationals besides, we don't owe the Russians an opportunity to meddle in the handling of this case. Their opinion has already been made clear: they didn't do it.

But thanks that you remember MH17

Quite difficult to forget, really.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Indeed, this attack is sickening. But the big question is WHO did it. All they have to connect Russia or Putin to this attack is that apparently the poison used was developed by the USSR.

And you know that is the only connection because you're part of the investigation?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The Russian chemist who revealed the existence of the novichok family of chemical agents to the world has dismissed the notion that a non-state actor could be behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Vil Mirzayanov, 83, said the chemical was too dangerous for anyone but a “high-level senior scientist” to handle and that even he – who worked for 30 years inside the secret military installation where novichok was developed and gained extensive personal experience in handling the agent – would not know how to weaponize it.

“No one country has these capabilities like Russia, because Russia invented, tested and weaponized novichok,” he said.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Lavrov is like an evil Comical Ali. Komikal Krusty.

Russia needs to be isolated. Seize all their European assets and decline that their citizens enter our territories until they stop acting like baddies in a Bond flick.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Interesting that while many, albeit, western nations have come to the defence of Britain, it seems none are prepared to back up Russia and its claim? Not even its allies in the old soviet bloc! Mind you Syria may as they share common ground in Chemical Warfare!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Russia needs Britain a lot more than Britain needs Russia. Kick out 99% of the Russians, let Russia do the same with the Brits, and it won't hurt Britain. While they are at it, Britain should seize the British based assets of Putin and the Russian oligarchs. Just in the last few weeks Putin has had at least three ex-Russians living in Britain murdered.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the plane was shot down by the Ukrainian, Western-installed and Western-supported, regime that came to power as the result od 2014 coup (another crime of the West).

Fiction can be fun eh. It's a shame that the Kremlin backed separatist militia leader claimed responsibility for it on the same day then. And it's a shame that is was a Russian made missile, that came from Russia, fired from a Russian controlled area, that was confirmed and celebrated on Russian TV, and then hastily shushed when they realized it was civilian.

(Russia and Malaysia wanted to make it as open as possible).

Just plain wrong again. That would be why Russia vetoed the Malaysian-proposed International tribunal.

Terrorism, annexation, assassination, corruption, supporting regimes that gas their citizens, Russia hasn't been winning many awards for good behaviour in the past decade or so eh.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in he Hague will travel to Proton Down to analysis the nerve agent or may return to their HQ and analysis the sample there. They could also obtain a sample and divide into two and retain one sample and sent the other to a licensed private lab for analysis.

The analysis will identity the agent but will be unable to say which country was involved in the terrorist attack.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Four Star General Barry McCaffrey (retired) yesterday on Twitter:

Reluctantly I have concluded that President Trump is a serious threat to US national security. He is refusing to protect vital US interests from active Russian attacks. It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr Putin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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