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Kremlin Killers?

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, September 6th, 2018 - 272 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, class war, Deep stuff, health and safety, International, Politics, Russia, uk politics - Tags:

UK Police have identified the two Russian spies they claim attempted to murder Sergei Skripal and poisoned several others.

Police say the two men used Russian passports under the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov and arrived in the UK on an Aeroflot flight shortly before the attack.

The men have been charged were various offences related to the use of the nerve agent, including conspiracy to murder the Skripals and policeman Nick Bailey, who fell ill after going to the Skripal home after the poisoned Russian pair were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury.

UK PM, Theresa May, told the House of Commons on Wednesday (UK time) that the two men had been identified as officers from Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU.

The police have provided a clear time line from the arrival of the two men in the UK to their departure from Heathrow back to Moscow. CCTV footage shows them travelling from London to Salisbury and back. The nerve agent Novichok was administered to the door handle of the Skripal home via a modified perfume bottle.

The discarded bottle was later found by locals Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley and both were also poisoned, Sturgess dying. However, no charges have yet been laid regarding that situation.

The Kremlin is denying knowledge of the two spies, who presumably used false names (though they used genuine passports).

The difficulty facing the UK Government is that there is little they can do to bring the killers to justice. As we learned here in NZ after the Rainbow Warrior terrorist attack, when a powerful sovereign Government refuses to play ball, the outcome is a stalemate.

The two spies will disappear, either figuratively or literally. Britain will huff and puff and Putin will say nothing, presumably smiling enigmatically while stroking a white cat.

Still, there is one curious upside to all this. It’s proved the worth of the tens of thousands of CCTV cameras in Britain. They’re the most surveilled country on earth, which has turned out to be rather useful in this case.

 

Edit for D’esterre’s benefit: MOSCOW, Thursday. A journalist (deceased) asks Putin about the case:

272 comments on “Kremlin Killers?”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Ah yes, the British government. That font of all decency. That guarantor of human rights. That defender of freedom. Oh yes.

  2. reason 2

    Help kill millions in Yemen …. the two russians will provide a huge smokescreen and fill the news

    That’s what I’d do if I were a bloodthirsty pom

  3. reason 3

    Get jenny to hold a protest at the Russian embassy ….. she’s always a starter for that ….

  4. Sanctuary 4

    The question that boggles the mind is WHY did the Russians do this?

    Skripal was long out of the game. He was living quietly in a provincial city after a prisoner exchange. It seems the only logical explanation is this was an act of gangsterism authorised at the highest level of a deeply corrupt gangster state. And that is pretty frightening, because Russia might be a pygmy economically these days but it still has a nuclear arsenal – and that arsenal seems to be in the hands of a vast kleptocracy that operates at the moral level of a street gang.

    The next question is if the British are convinced that these GRU agents did it, what will they do about it? This is an act of war, really. Legally the British have every right to declare war over something like this. No sovereign state can allow this sort of thing to occur with retaliating in some way if it can. The obvious solution is to locate these guys and assassinate them, perhaps dressing it up as something like a Chetchyn attack. That is a bit James Bond though.

    Mark my words though, the British will do something extra-judicial.

    • Andre 4.1

      What they did about Litvinenko’s killer(s) might give us a pointer to the Poms’ next actions.

    • D'Esterre 4.2

      Sanctuary: “……a deeply corrupt gangster state.”

      And your evidence for this claim is…..?

      “Russia might be a pygmy economically these days but it still has a nuclear arsenal – and that arsenal seems to be in the hands of a vast kleptocracy that operates at the moral level of a street gang.”

      Again: evidence, please. Actual citations from credible sources that don’t involve CIA mouthpieces. Yes, we all know about the nukes: it’s the kleptocracy stuff, of which I’d like credible evidence.

      When it comes to the use of nukes, best that the Brits don’t initiate anything: I think that they’re outnumbered on that score. In any event, where nukes are concerned, history says that we all have more to fear from the Yanks. And aren’t their nukes under the control of a crazy person in the WH right now?

      “Mark my words though, the British will do something extra-judicial.”

      In addition to what they’ve already done, you mean?

    • Kevin 4.3

      Do somehting ‘extra-judicial’ and you lose the moral high ground.
      You are stating that you are really no better.

      • Professor Longhair 4.3.1

        The British have “the moral high ground”? When did they claim that? On what basis?

    • mikesh 4.4

      The father in law of Sergei’s late son, Alexander, was Gennady Grishchenko, a colonel in the GRU. Alexander had 200,000 pounds in a Russian bank account, and this now belongs presumably to Sergei as Alexander’s next of kin. The Salisbuy incident could well be an attempt by Grishchenko to prevent Sergei from claiming the money. Yulia had apparently been provided with a power of attorney, presumably to claim the money on Sergei’s behalf.

    • D'Esterre 4.5

      Sanctuary: “Russia might be a pygmy economically….”

      Not very pygmy-like, really. An aside: isn’t “pygmy” a politically incorrect term nowadays?

      “12. Russia

      Nominal GDP: $1.52 trillion

      GDP (PPP): $4.01 trillion

      Russia, the largest country in the world in terms of landmass is the twelfth largest economy in the world with a nominal GDP of $1.52 trillion. Russia moves up the ladder to the sixth spot for rankings with a $4.01 trillion GDP based on PPP.

      The 1990’s were a rough period for its economy since it inherited a devastated industrial and agricultural sector along with the fundamentals of a centrally planned economy. During the next decade Russia witnessed growth at a healthy pace of 7%, however, this growth was led by the commodity boom. The dependence of the Russian economy on oil was exposed during the 2008-09 global financial crisis and eventually again in 2014. The situation worsened with the imposition of sanctions by the West. The economy contracted by 0.2% in 2016, however, it rebounded with a 1.5% growth in 2017. IMF projects a growth of 1.7% and 1.5% during 2018 and 2019 respectively.
      https://www.investopedia.com/insights/worlds-top-economies/

  5. gsays 5

    The notion of cheering about CCTV cameras sends a shudder down my spine.

    • Quite right, gsays. I was trying to take the piss in that paragraph, but the joke fell flat. (see reply to Siobhan below).

      • Professor Longhair 5.1.1

        That was a joke about as funny as shooting more than 15,000 peaceful protestors.

        By the way, when did the British government say anything about that?

        • te reo putake 5.1.1.1

          No idea what you’re talking about, Moz. But they have google on computers now, so no doubt you’ll be able to answer your own question with a bit of diligent sleuthing. Do let us know what you find out.

      • gsays 5.1.2

        Ahh, Chur.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    millions of bytes have been expended about this online, and I am still unconvinced by any of the parties accounts!

    the most obvious explanation according to the Poms and TRP is a revenge hit on a spy that turned, well the Israeli’s go to the ends of the proverbial to get just one unfortunate they may have in their frame–so maybe that simple “Smileys People” type scenario is the correct one

    but something remains whiffy about this case, and the delayed release of the alleged CCTV vid pics

    • D'Esterre 6.1

      Tiger Mountain: “but something remains whiffy about this case, and the delayed release of the alleged CCTV vid pics”

      Indeed. And the lethal novichok sprayed on the Skripals’ door handle via a modified perfume bottle; and traces of novichok found in the accuseds’ hotel room.

      Whoever dreamed that one up has been reading too many John le Carre books.

      • Gabby 6.1.1

        Le Carre knew a thing or two d’esty.

        • D'Esterre 6.1.1.1

          Gabby: “Le Carre knew a thing or two d’esty.”

          Again: This is neither witty nor informative. Do you have anything pointful to contribute? If not, desist with this sort of thing already!

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            The funny thing is that by choosing Le Carre, you actually selected one of the most realistic authors of spy thrillers who also had direct experience working as a Cold war spy.

            Fleming turned into all space lasers and out-and-proud identities. Le Carre is much less fanciful.

            • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Fleming was part of the much more flamboyant war time operations of William Stephenson, which included actions amongst friendly or neutral powers, doing such things as trying to prevent the French Mediterranean fleet from entering the war under German command. Fleming himself was more of a commando than a spy per se, and his stories tend to go that way too.

              Le Carre’s focus is much more on the cold war, but seems to be sufficiently close to what went on that if one were to read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy concurrently with Wright’s Spycatcher, one might put names to the moles Le Carre hinted at.

              • McFlock

                Oh, I never thought of doing that comparative reading exercise. Fascinating idea.

                Yeah, there are a number of elements of Bond that come from Fleming’s possible wartime activities / plans that were considered (there was a TV series about Fleming during the war a while ago, but was heavily fictionalised as I recall).

                The tuxedos, casinos etc might have been based on a spy Fleming might have encountered in Portugal. Apparently one of Bond’s “jobs” was based on a 1940/41 BSC plan against a Japanese diplomat in New York. That sort of thing. Lots of mights and maybes, though.

                I also have a wee pet theory that part of the reason that the yanks started their intelligence services with such dickishness was because they learned a lot from Stephenson’s extreme activities in the dark days of 1941. I wonder if the yanks would have been quite so coup-oriented if they’d learned more from the traditional intelligence services – the ones who are more about decades-long methodical operations, rather than “get in, assess, execute, get out”.

                • Stuart Munro

                  One of Stephenson’s operations was a large scale mail interception thing based in one of the Caribbean islands. They also conducted an op against a nearby French possession that held significant funds for naval operations, and ran a Matahari type sting to get the French naval codebooks – all of which were kind of the resort/casino circuit kind of thing. But they were active in the sabotage of Norway’s heavy water plant, and cut short numerous low level agents entering the US as neutral seamen too, so it wasn’t all martinis and skittles.

                  • McFlock

                    Heh.

                    Must put “A Man Called Intrepid” down on the re-read list, too 🙂

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Like T E Lawrence’s triumph it’s not completely reliable, but it does put things like the French resistance into perspective: did the work of eighteen divisions tying up the enemy – cost as much as one.

                • Exkiwiforces

                  If you want a good spy book to read? Give this a book a good nudge as it’s a bloody good read:-

                  Kim Philby, A story of friendship and betrayal by Tim Milne, CMG OBE

                  Tim was Kim’s closest and oldest friend from school though to MI6, also the book was banned by MI6 even though Tim had retired from MI6 and it wasn’t published until after Tim’s death in 2010.

          • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.2

            Oh a smart incisive mind at work are you desterre. Yake care everyone.

    • Gosman 6.2

      What reason would the British have for making up their allegations and doctoring the evidence?

      • dukeofurl 6.2.1

        geopolitics my friend, its geopolitics.
        Just think about a very recent example.
        Have you asked yourself why the US doctored the evidence for WMD and Saddam Hussein ?
        pro tip -that involved ‘poison gas/liquids’ too

        UK as well has a history or faked police/military narratives around real events- Bloody Sunday, Hillsborough Soccer disaster

        Have you asked yourself ‘why would they do that ‘?

        • dukeofurl 6.2.1.1

          Think about narratives I found this about the film ‘Michael Collins’ and the Croke Park massacre in Dublin IN 1920. Oh that too involved a Brit coverup

          The Croke Park Massacre on the afternoon of Bloody Sunday is usually blamed on the Auxiliaries. While the police raiding party was composed in part of Temporary Cadets from Depot Company and commanded by an Auxiliary officer, Major Mills, eyewitness reports make it clear that the RIC did most of the shooting at Croke Park.[44]
          The film Michael Collins shows an armoured car driving onto the pitch. This did not happen: the armoured car in question was outside the ground and seems to have fired into the air, rather than at the crowd. The director, Neil Jordan, later stated that he changed the scene because showing policemen do the shooting would have made it “too terrifying” for the film’s tone.

          -Wikiepedia
          Even a fictionalized reconstruction for a film 80 years couldnt show the whole truth – Im wondering if the Brits used leverage on that one.

        • Anne 6.2.1.2

          Have you asked yourself why the US doctored the evidence for WMD and Saddam Hussein?

          I understood Bush and Blair dreamed that one up between them and their respective intelligence agencies revealed afterwards they had found no evidence of WMDs.

      • D'Esterre 6.2.2

        Gosman: “What reason would the British have for making up their allegations and doctoring the evidence?”

        Yeah, it’s a puzzle, even when one looks at history. Dukeofurl has it right: geopolitics is the broad brush explanation.

        Hatred of Russia has a deep history in the UK, going back centuries. It was born originally perhaps from a prevailing terror that Russia might conquer india, which – in Britain’s eyes – only it was allowed to do. And, of course, Russia is a huge country, while the UK is minuscule by comparison.

        The Crimean war was in part fuelled by British fears that Russia would expand its influence south as the Ottoman Empire weakened.

        A foreign section report of the late nineteenth century notes that France is conquering Algeria, Britain gobbles up another Indian state every year while brutalising the Chinese (who, the author observes ‘have apparently offended them in some way’) all while branding Russia an aggressor and a menace to peace. Heh! A classic case of pot: meet kettle. Sorry, I don’t have a link for that: will try to find one.

        In contemporary times, as we know, the UK is allied to the US. When Blair was PM, he did Bush jnr’s bidding in everything, including – notoriously – colluding in the fabrication of evidence so as to pursue illegal war in Iraq. With all the consequences of which we’re all now too well-aware.

        It’s very likely that the British hatred and fear of Russia spread to the US rather than the other way about.

        In any event, we should all treat this entire episode with the scepticism it deserves. The UK doesn’t have clean hands, in this matter as in so many others.

      • Marcus Morris 6.2.3

        It could well be Theresa May’s “Falklands moment” – a massive diversion when you are in deep trouble domestically – she is using all the right rhetoric.

  7. D'Esterre 7

    Te Reo Putake: “Putin will say nothing, presumably smiling enigmatically while stroking a white cat.”

    If you would post commentary on this story, as if you believe every damn thing the UK asserts about it, at least do us the courtesy of refraining from adducing memes from third-rate Hollywood movies.

    It’s taken the Brits long enough to concoct this fiction, and here it comes: just before the next false-flag chemical attack in Syria. And right on the heels of that will be the next air attack on the unfortunate Syrians.

    A great deal more scepticism would save many lives.

    • Gabby 7.1

      Pooty’ll be interviewed saying he dunno nuffink with the 2 suspects grinning in the background d’esty.

      • Anne 7.1.1

        He will say it’s not the suspects, just two people who look like them.

      • reason 7.1.2

        Gabby ,If your going to abbreviate names. could you call me ‘big R’ please …… reasy sound so Aussie …. in which case you’d be a ‘GabbO’

        Name playing is a needless needle though ….

        I’d advise recipients to not take offense, on something that is not even the lowest form of humor …. an 8 yr olds ego baiting .

        …..we choose to take offense or not …. and its way to trivial …. at least with road rage some-one may have attempted to kill you with their driving …

        Choose when to take offense wisely I say .

        I’m intending calling Puckish Rouge ….. Puck-n-Suck … needling with humor is more mature 😉

    • The Bond films are British productions, not Hollywood. Perhaps you were thinking about Austin Powers?

      I’ve updated the post just for you. Enjoy 😉

      • D\'Esterre 7.2.1

        Te Reo Putake: “The Bond films are British productions, not Hollywood”

        Makes no nevermind; they’re all crap.

    • McFlock 7.3

      “adduce” is a funny word.
      Apparently it means “cite as evidence”.

      I’m not sure that’s what TRP actually did with the Bond comment…

  8. corodale 8

    Cricket resumes after a rain delay.

    Seems the official story has an obvious hole. The timing of the two CCTV photos, proves it’s all bullshit.

    www (dot) moon of alabama (dot) org

  9. Truth is stranger than fiction isn’t it?

    I’m pinning it on Mr Peacock with the cosh in the dining room.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    Perhaps our resident Putinistas expect that investigative and judicial processes should not be followed in this instance.

    The constant cries of “Would we be so stupid as to implicate ourselves in this fashion” seem to have been answered in the affirmative.

    • dukeofurl 10.1

      The GRU would always use Aeroflot, Im sure they get preferential booking. Any sort of intell agency would have spycraft to not do the obvious. After all thats why Mossad was harvesting both NZ passports ( in Auckland) and later exposed in Christchurch earthquakes ( likely to be international travellors passports)

      Its too silly for words.

      Didnt we see some photos that showed ‘proof’ of certain high level Russian commandos in Crimea or Ukraine that were later found to be faked.
      https://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2014/04/22/evidence-of-undercover-russian-troops-in-ukraine-debunked/
      Normally how it works is the story is created first and the evidence is then created to fill in the gaps. Indeed the GRU story and movements was esssential to the narrative and to make sure it would be created afterwards for the CCTV.

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        Blah.

        Even Putin admitted (after the fact) the widespread use of Russian forces in the Crimea. If faked photos exist they were probably created by Russia – the faked photos of the fighter released by Russia during the MH17 investigation demonstrate they have the capacity, and they’re not afraid to use it – irrespective of the cost to their credibility.

        • One Two 10.1.1.1

          Stuart, do you ever pause to assess your extreme prejudice towards Russia, and consider how having a mind which holds such imbalanced beliefs could be negatively impacting other areas of your life ?

          • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.1.1

            One Two, do you ever consider that long experience and study might have more weight than your idle fancies?

            • One Two 10.1.1.1.1.1

              So in ignoring the question, you managed to come back with a question, or more of an assertion, which if I am interpreting correctly, seeks to elevate your own self, while simultaneously denigrating (via flawed assumption)…my handle…

              I’ll simplify it for you….

              Ignore
              Deflect
              Dismiss
              Insult

              Do feel free to elaborate on your ‘long experience and study’…it will provide even deeper insight to your life prejudices….

              While you’re there, I would be interested to get your position on my own experiences and education, as they exist on a lesser trajectory than your own…

              Include, if you can…’how your long experience and study’ facilitates such elementary ‘failings’ …

              Go ahead…

              • Stuart Munro

                Nothing you have ever said has led me to believe your opinion is to be trusted on matters of heteronymous taste, much less political judgement.

                You’re sufficiently naïve to uncritically swallow and repeat Putin’s propaganda – but you nevertheless have the hubris to imagine you get to psychoanalyze me. If you’re so amazingly clever, why stop there – go psychoanalyze Poland. Our experience of Russia is not dissimilar.

                • One Two

                  And you have blatantly not recalled our exchanges, Stuart….

                  You and I have had this precise conversation more than once regarding Russia…look them up… and come back with the evidence to support your slander… or you can retract it…

                  So, Stuart, you are reacting from a position of complete and unabashed ignorance…created by your shameless prejudice….

                  As I alluded to…you have not paused to assess where else your prejudice and imbalance is having a negative impact on your life…memory recollection and/or denial for a start…

                  I don’t need to analyze you , Stuart….you provide all the content…and it is base level interpretation requirements only….

                  • Stuart Munro

                    ….you provide all the content…

                    And you never provide any content – you seem to run on undiluted ignorance.

                    Your vagrant prejudices loiter eternally without support, as blustery and as meaningless as the wind through the trees.

                    Get yourself some facts you ignorant buffoon, and I will treat your opinions as they deserve.

                    Just as I do now.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Ask the Ukrainians about Poland and their experience of their overlordship. before WW2 Poland was essentially a quasi facist state.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @dukeofurl

                      Does that mean you’re kicking the tyres of a “the Poles had it coming” argument? I think they’d beg to differ.

                    • One Two

                      Your vagrant prejudices loiter eternally without support, as blustery and as meaningless as the wind through the trees.

                      Get yourself some facts you ignorant buffoon, and I will treat your opinions as they deserve.

                      Avoidance
                      Deflection
                      Projection
                      Insults

                      You are not the custodian of ‘facts’, neither are which ever sources have evaporated your capacity for independent cogent thinking…

                      Had you access to ‘facts’, and were long on experience and study as you claim to be….you would surely understand how much value to put in, ‘facts’…or at least how to evaluate and critique them….

                      Instead you have formed, and seemingly proudly… an imbalanced prejudice with regards to Russia…

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ One Two

                      Facts.

                      Grown ups use them to argue.

                      Use them, when you grow up.

                    • McFlock

                      1-2, who made you the arbiter of who is custodian of what?

                    • dukeofurl

                      Changing the topic much
                      ” psychoanalyze Poland. Our experience of Russia is not dissimilar”

                      Just saying the Polish szlachta were far harder on their own polish or ukrainian peasants than the German or russian nobility.
                      The poor ukrainians in the interwar period stuck between Poland and Russia. The jews had a hard time too, but its now a crime in Poland to say so.

        • dukeofurl 10.1.1.2

          Russia had a large military bases and forces in Crimea under the agreement with Ukraine. That wasnt news
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kharkiv_Pact and its predecessors

          For some reason they had to make up other individuals.
          same goes for the MH17 photos, not a government backed release.
          “The Russian television stations stood by the report, saying their source was the Russian Union of Engineers, an obscure Moscow-based group that had previously issued a report claiming that the Malaysian plane had been downed by Ukrainians. ”
          Not quite Putin saying it.

          Did you realise that Ukraine shot down a Russian airliner over the Black sea- by accident back in 2001.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberia_Airlines_Flight_1812
          No westerners on board so those lives lost were of no concern to western media
          The Russia backed separatists in Ukraine had shot down quite a few Ukrainian military planes in the weeks before MH17 so they ‘made a mistake’ in tracking what they might have thought was a military plane -Same mistake the US navy made in Persian Gulf
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ukrainian_aircraft_losses_during_the_Ukrainian_crisis

          • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.2.1

            “The Russia backed separatists in Ukraine had shot down quite a few Ukrainian military planes in the weeks before MH17”

            Though you’re correct about the downing of Ukrainian aircraft, “Russian backed separatists” in this instance is a misnomer. The BUK responsible for MH17 was a Russian regular force vehicle on loan to the separatists, with a regular crew temporarily detached to serve with them, BUK crews needing extensive training and practice to reach combat effectiveness.

            Americans were want to call such folk military advisers or peacekeepers, I’m unsure of the appropriate designation but the actual separatists were necessarily Ukrainian residents.

            • dukeofurl 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Thats probably correct about ‘extensive training’ to be effective. But it still could be used by those with less training and with less than desired results.
              Even our military with its lauded high training has instances of being completely clueless, not that other western nations havent done huge stuffups.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunduz_hospital_airstrike

              Like the Iran Air shootdown, by some remarkable coincidence the western media is largely but not completely forgiving.
              Even you would know that a plausible narrative is manufactured to do all that and more

              • Stuart Munro

                Yes, though I think learning under fire can probably be pretty rapid.

                In the case of MH17 however the crews were experienced – the whole trace back happening because of stunt acrobatics and commentary on them on Facebook, eventually leading to a tapestry of satellite and mobile pictures that traced the route of vehicle from its base and its return. The unit was celebrating its success in downing what they initially thought was a Ukrainian ground attack aircraft.

                Yes it’s similar in character to Iran Air, but also to the Korean passenger plane (the memorably designated flight 007) likewise downed by Russia, which also resulted in sanctions of some kind I believe.

                • dukeofurl

                  South Korea had a history of using its civilian airliners for intrusions on Soviet Airspace
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_902 [ 1978]

                  • McFlock

                    That’s some impressive spin right there.

                    At least the soviets shot down aircraft that strayed into their territory. Shit happens, mistakes on both sides, etc.

                    Iran air and MH17 were in regular civil flight paths doing their regular civil flight thing, and incompetent, paranoid pricks who saw only what they wanted to see blew them out of the sky.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      BUK operation is a ticklish business, according to a retired operator.

                      The team have perhaps one or two seconds to launch on a ground attacking aircraft before it destroys them – a consideration that may make them faster on the trigger than is healthy for nearby civilian aircraft..

                    • dukeofurl

                      many decades ago when I lived in melbourne , I was testing some security alarms during the day, a normal monthly process.
                      There was one that was labelled intruder alert, which sent a message to the police, despite the test mode switch being on. Within 5 mins there were armed police there with literally revolvers drawn

                    • McFlock

                      In particular, the Vincennes crew perceived an aircraft in a regular ascent as being in a descending attack vector. This was attributed in part to expectations caused by frequent pessimistic intelligence reports, and information overload due to the fact they’d moved out of position to attack small Iranian vessels. There were also UI issues in the weapons and sensor systems.

                      The point being that whatever the cause of the mistakes, MH17 and the Iranian airliner did nothing wrong whatsoever – the cascading fuckups were the sole responsibility of the people who shot them down.

                      And the vincennes crew got medals, just as a headdesk postscript

            • corodale 10.1.1.2.1.2

              More likely it was downed by Ukranian air to air. The Ukranians had vito rights over the Dutch report, which took years. This situation was corrupt, even by Ukranian standards.

              • Stuart Munro

                Vanishingly unlikely – the Russians were prepared to fudge the boundaries as far as ground forces lent to separatists – not aircraft (which might trigger armed US interference). So Ukrainian aircraft would be conformed for ground attack against the Russian tank formations “on loan” to the separatists, and in this instance their sheltering anti aircraft unit.

              • Exkiwiforces

                If you referring to the dodgy photo of SU 25 Frogfoot shooting down MH17.

                You might to read up on SU 25 spec’s. As the Su25 would’ve been struggling to climb to effect in intercept in visual conditions as they are equipped with radar and most the MH17 Missile damage is to the forward part of aircraft which means either a radar guided or a semi active missile as IR Missile tends to hit from the rear not the front part of the aircraft even if it’s fired off from a40deg angel from the boresight

                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-25

          • Exkiwiforces 10.1.1.2.2

            The Ukrainian Military suspended all military training on BUK, removed all BUK units from its Order Of Battle (ORBAT) and placed all remaining BUK Systems under a care and maintenance regime after the shooting down FLT 1812 as the resulting Court of Inquiry found a lack of money to maintain training standards and SOP’s won’t followed prior to the conduct to of the live fire ex.

            From what I can remember from the Janes Defence article it got very untidy and murky IRT the Ukrainian Government and the Ukrainian MoD over funding and money disappearing etc etc.

    • D'Esterre 10.2

      Stuart Munro: “…..our resident Putinistas….”

      Posted by one of our resident Russophobes. Since name-calling seems to be a substitute for actual argument in this neck of the woods….

      • Stuart Munro 10.2.1

        Cetainly name calling is the only argument you have ever produced.

        Putinista is accurate. Zapatistas were Zapata supporters, Putinistas are Putin supporters. Own it.

    • marty mars 10.3

      + 1 yes the dawn chorus will warble away. Oh look it can’t be vlad he’s nice and everyone loves him just look at his election results lol

  11. Anne 11

    So, a couple of Russian military-backed gangsters came to Britain and tried to assassinate a Russian born and bred father and daughter out of revenge because one was a ‘turned’ former Russian spy and the daughter was likely just collateral damage. But despite all the detailed evidence of the trail which leads straight back to the gangsters some say it is all lies.

    I suppose these are the same people who believe in Chem Trails . You know, those pesky contrails of vaporised ice-cold air which emanate from high flying aircraft.

    I suppose these are the same people who believe the moon landing was contrived and never happened even though a rocket with two men on board was seen taking off and flying to the moon and landing back on Earth.

    I suppose these are the same people who believe the planes which flew into the World Trade Centre were piloted by CIA operatives, or who claim they didn’t exist at all and it was a bomb underneath the Centre – even though thousands of people were there and saw the planes with thier own eyes.

    • mauī 11.2

      It’s only taken 6 months to identify possibly the dumbest spies ever. Two comrades who used public transport to commit their crime, travelled together, were seen together in broad daylight all to smear some poison on a door handle that ended up killing the household pets.

      The Boston bombers were identified by CCTV within a single day or two if I remember correctly.

      • marty mars 11.2.1

        Maybe the child crisis actors are still on route eh?

        • mauī 11.2.1.1

          Well children are open minded and rational and more likely to question what they’re told. They could probably help a few people out here.

          • marty mars 11.2.1.1.1

            Nah they’re still getting prepped for the cameras donchano.

            • In Vino 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Ummm… I thought that the French agents who bombed the Rainbow warrior were the dumbest in the world. Someone said that they as good as left a baguette and camembert on the wharf…
              Do we have a new world record?
              I am getting tired of my credulity being constantly stretched by so many adamant people.

      • veutoviper 11.2.2

        It’s only taken 6 months to identify possibly the dumbest spies ever.

        No, its taken 6 months for the UK authorities to release the identity and details and to lay charges against possibly the dumbest spies ever.

        • mauī 11.2.2.1

          That is incorrect. They say they don’t know their names, only their aliases. Can you charge someone you don’t know the name of? Also they’re Russian citizens so they can’t be extradited to face charges. So what would be the point of laying charges? Surely you would only lay charges if that person could face that charge.

          Therefore what’s the point of showing the photos of them now? Pressure the Russians to dob them in and ship over to the UK. Bizarre…

          Wouldn’t it be better to not release any information until you have located them and got them in the UK for questioning etc. Now they know they’re wanted and can stay in hiding.

          • te reo putake 11.2.2.1.1

            Can you charge someone you don’t know the name of?

            Yes: https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/drafting-indictment

            Why lay charges?

            Because they’ve apparently committed crimes. Cases aren’t abandoned before they’ve even started just because an accused person is overseas. Ask Roman Polanski.

            The UK police are well aware that they are unlikely to ever catch these guys, if they’re still alive. But that doesn’t mean the police don’t have an obligation to tell the public what they think happened.

            • dukeofurl 11.2.2.1.1.1

              Obligation ?

              I see Chief Justice May has already handed down the sentence

              “Theresa May last night ordered a covert war on Vladimir Putin’s spy network.

              As chilling pictures were released of two smiling Russian agents carrying out the Salisbury poison attack, the Prime Minister said the security services would target the GRU, the military intelligence unit the pair work for.

              Cyber warfare, espionage, financial sanctions and travel bans could be used, sources said. Interpol has been put on red alert to detain the two agents, who use the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.”

            • mauī 11.2.2.1.1.2

              I thought in practice the justice system worked by gathering all the evidence or as much as you can and then laying charges. You don’t get a few scraps of evidence, lay charges and then hope that more damming evidence will come to light when you find out what their names are and when they decide to come back to the country for questioning.

              • veutoviper

                You don’t get a few scraps of evidence, lay charges and then hope that more damming evidence will come to light…

                Happens all the time. Called holding charges.

              • xanthe

                Not in NZ. Here we decide who is guilty and then find evidence in support and discount evidence to the contrary. After that fails we introduce secret cellmate witness. Usually works OK

          • veutoviper 11.2.2.1.2

            What TRP has said re laying charges of people you don’t know the real names of.
            Yes, Russia does not extradite their own citizens to other countries.

            What is the point of laying charges? Quite simply, their photographs, aliases, the charges that have been laid against them are now with police and other government agencies worldwide – such as Interpol, immigration and customs etc and on their computer systems etc with automated checking facilities such as facial recognition.

            If they leave Russia regardless of the names they use, they may well be identified and detained while checks are made – and then extradited to the UK if they are detained in a country with an extradition treaty with the UK.

            Not bizarre at all. Effectively their careers as operatives outside Russia are now over.

            • mauī 11.2.2.1.2.1

              If the story is/was true, interpol would have lost any chance of intercepting them now, as now every man and his dog knows about this story and these guys. They would be idiots not to go to ground. There is also no need to go through the media to inform interpol.

              Every facet of this story is bizarre or unexplainable. In fact is there anything about it that makes an ounce of sense….

              • Ed

                The story is utterly ludicrous.
                And yet we are told to believe it.

                Still, when you got to believe this, you know people will believe anything….

              • veutoviper

                maui, do you really think that Interpol was informed through the media about these two?

                You obviously have had no experience in these types of situations. Interpol and many other such authorities would have been informed about the UK suspicions etc about these two people months ago, long before the details released in the last few days were made public. Get real.

          • Ed 11.2.2.1.3

            Unbelievable how so many people fall for the propaganda…..

            • veutoviper 11.2.2.1.3.1

              Unbelievable how so many people are so naive and ignorant…..

              • Ed

                Did you believe the story about Iraq and wmd?

                • veutoviper

                  My comment was aimed at you, Ed. Did I believe the story about Iraq and wmd. No, I have too many years and experience under my belt. That does not mean I believe for one minute what you put up here as so called evidence etc. Quite the opposite. You have not a clue – and as for actual experience in the real world, you’re a joke. Grow up.

                  • Ed

                    Shoot the messenger, why don’t you?
                    And ignore the actual message.

                    OK if you don’t believe me, try these sources of news
                    Craig Murray, George Galloway, Patrick Cockburn, Eva Bartlett, John Pilger, Jimmy Dore, Vanessa Beeley……

                    • Morrissey

                      Don’t count on him having even HEARD of those journalists, Ed, leave alone actually reading their work.

                    • Ed

                      @ Morrissey.
                      There are some hardcore neocons commenting here today.

                    • Morrissey

                      And I note that many of them are Labour Party supporters.

                    • Ed

                      That’s what Blair, Clinton and Douglas created….

                    • I don’t know all of those people you recommend, Ed, but those I do know are not sources of news. They are sources of opinion. Two exceptions; Pilger (who I’ve met and chatted with on a couple of occasions) has done journalism in the past, but I would say film maker and occasional polemicist is closer to the mark there. Vanessa Beeley is a propagandist for some loathsome dictatorial regime or other, I forget which.

                    • veutoviper

                      You and Morrissey – both jokes.

                      And yes, I have heard and read all of them. I even referred to Pilger yesterday in a comment here. But neither of you obviously read very carefully here.

                      For example, Morrissey, who’s this ‘him’ you refer to?

                      And you Ed – my adulthood and political development predates Clinton, Blair and Douglas by quite a number of years.

                    • Morrissey

                      [Only warning, Moz. Author abuse is a no no. TRP]

    • RedLogix 11.3

      Invoking silly strawmen does not invalidate reasonable scepticism. Of course there are extreme examples of imbecilic theories out there; with so many billion people connected to the internet it would be shocking if there wasn’t. But they’re still a tiny marginalised minority in the bigger scheme of things. (It’s more concerning that more Republican voters believe in demonic possession than they do in climate change. )

      But in this era of mass misinformation it’s irresponsible to believe every damn thing the media tells us, at least without considerable scrutiny and testing. Anything less is naive.

      • D'Esterre 11.3.1

        RedLogix: ” (It’s more concerning that more Republican voters believe in demonic possession than they do in climate change. )”

        No! Really? Christ…. we really are in the shite, aren’t we. Or they, I suppose I should say.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.3.2

        But in this era of mass misinformation it’s irresponsible to believe every damn thing the media tells us, at least without considerable scrutiny and testing. Anything less is naive.

        QFT

    • marty mars 11.4

      Yes they are the same people – they believe in fema camps, child crisis actors, lizard overlords, haarp causing chch earthquakes, illuminati and so on. Sad really.

    • corodale 11.5

      Dear Anne of Hobbiton,

      I do agree, gangster is very cool right now.

      But this time the Brits have added concrete evidence to their lies, to admit it was just lying. Sanctions against another nation State is an act of war… sure they played chicken for a bit, but even bankers would be affected by a world-wide blanket of radio-active-ash.

      Living between the airports of Dusseldorf, Paris and Amsterdam, one can confirm that the condensation trails from planes where persistent for all of summer 2016 and 2017, but not 2018. The trails would spread to cover the whole sky and at midday there was never blue sky, always haze (which did reduce the temperature). Blue sky would only return for a few hours after sunrise, or during the day only after rain.

      Perhaps the moon landing film was faked, and the real events of the actual moon landing was classified as top-secret. Just a rather obvious possibility, or?

      The World Trade Centers!, Towers One, Two and Seven all fell to the ground at free-fall-speed. Two planes, three buildings. Full stop.

      Should your adventures ever lead you beyond the maize fields of the Shire, my best wishes to you. Keep well and don’t forget to enjoy it!

      • Ed 11.5.1

        Ah, the conspiracy theory smear to shut down dissent.
        We know where you’re coming from, then.

        • corodale 11.5.1.1

          ya replyin to me or her… yeah, I’m going through a “truthing phase”, it’ll pass.
          Oh, I just milk cow… I don’t have to worry about what my workmates think 😉
          Anyway check this for a conspiracy theory,
          This dude on CNN actually said, “McCain put to death.” Plenty more examples like this… this is becoming a full banana Republic gangster show down.

    • Kaya3 11.6

      I thought that was satire and was chuckling away to myself and then I realised you are serious…………we are doomed as a species.

    • D'Esterre 11.7

      Anne: “But despite all the detailed evidence of the trail which leads straight back to the gangsters some say it is all lies.”

      Dukeofurl has it about right: “Its too silly for words.” Read the rest of that comment.

      This entire story is an obvious piece of false flaggery. We would say the same thing, had an incident of a similar sort happened in rural Russia. Except, of course, that the Russians wouldn’t be so appallingly stupid.

      “I suppose these are the same people …….etc”

      Crikey: that’s a bit of a leap. A spot of fallacious reasoning there, if I may say so.

      • dukeofurl 11.7.1

        The ‘too silly for words’ used to be a description for the lightest most frivoulous Hollywood movie during the ‘golden years’
        Funnily enough it had to be like that with the most implausible scenario and tissue thin plot essential for the audience they aimed for.
        The Brits Security service would know this well, aim the revelations for the ‘entertainment’ end of the public as thats the only way to get breakthrough.

    • veutoviper 11.8

      I am really finding the latest in this saga really interesting – not so much that these two people have been identified with pictures, timeframes, travel means etc – but the silence here from certain people who commented here continually a few months ago as the situation unfolded and were scathing of others who considered that Russia might be behind the whole sorry saga.

      So far the only one to show up has been D’Esterre. Where are all the others? LOL.

      Anyway IMO, I don’t believe that this attack was aimed at Skripal Senior. I actually think that Yulia was the main target – and not just collateral damage.

      Why else disguise the nervegas as a female perfume? Nina Ricci, no less. My favorite perfume of all time was/is Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps. Gone are the days when I could afford it.

      • D'Esterre 11.8.1

        veutoviper: “My favorite perfume of all time was/is Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps. Gone are the days when I could afford it.”

        My heart bleeds for you; in this household, resources still allow purchases of that sort.

        • veutoviper 11.8.1.1

          That OK D’Esterre – your heart does not need to bleed for me. I actually still have some unopened bottles of ‘Joy”, Arpege and Opium. I’ll get by.

      • veutoviper 11.8.2

        I was adding to the above, when it popped up as a final without additions, so here they are.

        Why Yulia? Because it follows a pattern. While her mother’s death in 2012 was apprently from cancer, Yulia’s only sibling, an older brother, died just last year (2017) at 43 years old of liver failure while on holiday in St Petersburg – leaving a lot of unanswered questions about his untimely death.

        Also, Yulia had spent a couple of years living with her father in the UK after he went to live there following his spy exchange in 2010 but had returned to live in Moscow, IIRC working for the UK or US Embassy. She had become engaged to a man there with a rather interesting background and family. Wish I could refind the articles on that part of her life but seem to have got rid of them in a recent clean out and cannot really be bothering refinding them. But here is an article on Yulia that gives some background.

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/08/yulia-skripal-from-suburban-moscow-life-to-nerve-agent-mystery

      • mikesh 11.8.3

        I was one of the doubters who commented at the time. Nevertheless I have made a comment (above), along the same lines as one of the comments I made at the time.

        • veutoviper 11.8.3.1

          Found it. Very interesting …
          Lots of interesting relationships in this whole thing.

      • greywarshark 11.8.4

        Thinking along those lines vv = about the perfume. The plan might have been to get at mr Skripal through Yulia. If it is well known that the perfume is well regarded, then she would think it was a present from father or ? and be tempted to use it. But then something was smeared on the door handle. Was that for him and the perfume to make sure of her? It’s probably all laid out in the GRU manual page X for deaths.

        Is there a possibility that there is another faction separate from Putin and vying to undermine his leadership and follow their own line? There are always competing views and ambitious shits and he has been at the top a long time.
        Then again, Stalin killed millions. Is it necessary to show deadly force for a dictator or elite to retain the top job?

        • veutoviper 11.8.4.1

          Really hard to know, grey – and we probably will never know.

          But to put things in context, Skripal senior would not be a threat to Russia this far down the track in terms of what he might know. He was arrested in Russia over 13 years ago in Dec 2004, sentenced in 2006 to 13 years in prison on treason charges, and then released in 2010 as part of a high profile prisoner exchange involving 10 deep-cover sleeper agents planted in the US by Moscow, and flown to the UK to start a new life, where his family joined him.

          The info Skripal had had when he was arrested in 2004 would have been well out of date by that time (2010); and if Russia was concerned about what he could tell western authorities by 2010, then he would not have been part of the exchange. Obviously he would not have obtained any job position in the UK where he would have been a security threat, so he would have been of little use to either side after his release.

          Hence my opinion that he was not the main target – unless the death of his son and then an attack on Yulia were intended as reminders to him of his treason. I don’t believe that would have come from official plans/sources etc per se, but may have been part of some form of personal revenge by person(s) who had suffered etc from his treachery.

          Obviously mere speculation on my part, but not unlike some similar instances involving ex Russian operatives.

          • Exkiwiforces 11.8.4.1.1

            Actually it’s not that silly at what you are saying as it’s quite plausible and if you going back in time with USSR and Imperial Russia. They had a habit of knocking of a traitors close family members or extended family members and work their way in towards their intended tgt so either the tgt commits suicide or they do the job themselves.

            Very brutal but effective way of saying we know where you are, we can still hurt you in many ways for what did to the Motherland. The other useful tool to this is its show’s to any other would be traitors that this will happen to your family as well.

            • veutoviper 11.8.4.1.1.1

              Exactly,Ex. Also check 4.4 above.

              Must track down the Tim Milne book you recommended. It was on my to read list but had forgotten about it.

      • Anne 11.8.5

        Hi veutoviper,

        Only just picked up your comment. You could be right about Yulia although the fact it was disguised as perfume doesn’t mean it was related to her, given the way it was used – the smearing of a door handle.

        Regardless, it looks like it was the work of the Russian GRU, but in my view was more likely signed off by a senior GRU officer rather than Putin himself. In fact he may not have been told because ‘ignorance’ gives him plausible deniability in the event the facts become public knowledge.

        • veutoviper 11.8.5.1

          Which comment of my many – rhetorical question! Had a ball yesterday on a nasty cold, wet Wellington day. LOL. Interesting how certain people only turn up when certain subjects get discussed.

          Seriously, I expanded a bit on the Yulia theory at 11.8.4.1 and also see Ex’s reply. Also earlier at 13.5.1.1. Also of interest are 4.4 and 11.8.3.

          Now off to read off-guardian at the suggestion of past tense and kay a 3 – Not!
          Still, if they are reading those sites, it is keeping them off the streets.

  12. One Two 12

    There has been some fanciful story telling over recent decades….some of it has even been plausible….

    The fabrications are becoming ever more transparent and clumsy, which could be interpreted as a positive sign of heightened desperation of failing nation states….

    Heightened desperation can also lead to escalated tensions

  13. Siobhan 13

    “Still, there is one curious upside to all this. It’s proved the worth of the tens of thousands of CCTV cameras in Britain. They’re the most surveilled country on earth, which has turned out to be rather useful in this case.”…words never ever before said by a ‘Left-wing’ blogger..ever..

    • Kaya3 13.1

      Spot on. I’m still in a state of shock. I was sure I had gone to Kiwiblog by mistake.

      • Professor Longhair 13.1.1

        You were “shocked” by what this chap Te Reo Putake wrote? You are obviously not familiar with his oeuvre. The fellow is like the product of an illicit and evil coupling of Christopher Trotter and Stuart Nash.

      • Ed 13.1.2

        This thread demonstrates how some on the left got captured by neo-con thinking.
        They would have voted for war in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan……

    • D'Esterre 13.2

      Siobhan: “words never ever before said by a ‘Left-wing’ blogger..ever..”

      Indeed. Something I never thought to see. Truly creepy, no?

    • Wayne 13.3

      The CCTV issue is an interesting angle (not the Russian spy aspect) but rather how ubiquitous they are in the UK.

      Although the UK seems to have way more than most western countries, the UK is still a functioning democracy as much as it always has been. Which goes to show that their use doesn’t automatically turn a country into a dictatorship.

      So perhaps CCTV is not really a left/right issue at all. After all the libertarian right would object to them as much as the left.

      • One Two 13.3.1

        UK is still a Functioning Democracy

        UK is still a Functioning Democracy

        UK is still a Functioning Democracy

        • dukeofurl 13.3.1.1

          Waynes never heard of the ‘UK D notices’ – apparently.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSMA-Notice

          “is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security. The system is still in use in the United Kingdom.”

          ‘In 2017, a notice was issued against British journalists revealing the identity of the British author of a controversial dossier alleging collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.’

          democracy isnt there at all when the PM can make ‘things disappear’. Just imagine if Trump had those powers

          • Wayne 13.3.1.1.1

            These (D Notices, etc) are the very reasons why I said “the UK is still a functioning democracy as much as it has always been.” D notices are probably around 100 years old.

            Not many people would say the UK is not a democracy.

        • Ed 13.3.1.2

          “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

          • veutoviper 13.3.1.2.1

            Let us know when you have moved past reading text books and moved to living in real life.

      • veutoviper 13.3.2

        Not just ubiquitous in the UK, Wayne.

        Wellington CBD, for example, is pretty much fully covered these days. And part of the role of the Wellington Local Hosts foot patrols is being safety/security eyes. People don’t seem to be jumping up and down about that here.

        Agree re it not really being a left/right issue at all.

        • One Two 13.3.2.1

          Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

          Benjamin Franklin

          Quite aptly sums up the lack of ‘jumping up and down’….

          • Ed 13.3.2.1.1

            “You are a slow learner, Winston.”
            “How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
            “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

      • Morrissey 13.3.3

        the UK is still a functioning democracy as much as it always has been. …. goes to show that their use doesn’t automatically turn a country into a dictatorship.

        Could there be a more perfect demonstration of the oafish complacency and intellectual vacuity of the average National Party minister?

        • Wayne 13.3.3.1

          Do you think the UK is a dictatorship?

          • Ed 13.3.3.1.1

            Closer to a corporatocracy

          • Morrissey 13.3.3.1.2

            It’s not—but that happy fact has nothing to do with the supporters of massive government surveillance, and everything to do with Britain’s honorable heritage of liberal thought and radical defence of human rights. Not by the British government, of course, but by political activists, protestors, and campaigners.

          • dukeofurl 13.3.3.1.3

            “Do you think the UK is a dictatorship?

            What other country has the PM appointing the head of the largest Church.

            I think even Stalin thought that the British PM could do far more administratively than he could.

            Rather than have a real constitutional Monarchy that have an administrative one, where the Monarchs powers have devolved to the PM.

            By convention those powers arent used – thats the only thing preventing Britain being moving to the next step – a Guided Democracy

            After all even Putin is elected, the Duma is elected all indications its a democracy, but in fact its a guided democracy in that the Russians largely consent to.

            • Cantabrian 13.3.3.1.3.1

              Nonsense dukeofurl. Where is the opposition? Navalny is often in jail on all sorts of trumped up charges. Russia is no democracy.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.4

      I tend to agree that the streets should be on camera. It’s not going to stop crime but it will allow criminals to be identified and tracked.

      And before you get upset with the idea consider that it’s all public information. Theoretically the police could go round and ask people and get the same information. There are two problems with that though:
      1. It takes up a huge amount of resources and
      2. It’s highly inaccurate as people’s memories and recollection is imperfect

      There’s room for abuse, there is in any system, but we can put in place processes and checks to prevent it.

      • Siobhan 13.4.1

        When even the Tories Surveillance Camera Commissioner sounds nervous about CCTV you have to think there’s a problem.
        And sure “Its about how you use it..processes and checks etc etc”.
        So, starter for $100..name me one Government you’d trust to be entirely reliable not to abuse the system when under perceived or real threat from any political ideology opposed to the Government or their sponsors

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/14/public-faces-mass-invasion-of-privacy-as-big-data-and-surveillance-merge

        • Draco T Bastard 13.4.1.1

          When even the Tories Surveillance Camera Commissioner sounds nervous about CCTV you have to think there’s a problem.

          IMO, whenever a Tory/conservative complains about something that will help find and convict criminals it’s because they’re a criminal that will likely be one of the criminals caught by it. That seems to be why they’re always complaining about speed cameras and accusing them of only being revenue gathering devices.

          So, starter for $100..name me one Government you’d trust to be entirely reliable not to abuse the system when under perceived or real threat from any political ideology opposed to the Government or their sponsors

          All of them – if we have the proper checks and balances in place which will include jailing the government if they even try to change them so that they can abuse the system.

          • Siobhan 13.4.1.1.1

            “All of them – if we have the proper checks and balances in place which will include jailing the government if they even try to change them so that they can abuse the system.”
            ..Well, indeed Draco…but I mean in the world as we know it and as it has always been. I’m highly sceptical of any Government managing to pass, interpret and act on laws in a way that would lead to it imprisoning itself or any highly placed officials acting in its own self interests.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.4.1.1.1.1

              but I mean in the world as we know it and as it has always been.

              In the world that we know it the governments have actually put in place reasonable regulations. We can expect them to continue to do so and get better at it – especially if we push for it to happen. THat’s what democracy is all about after all.

              I’m highly sceptical of any Government managing to pass, interpret and act on laws in a way that would lead to it imprisoning itself or any highly placed officials acting in its own self interests.

              That doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.

    • Yeah, I probably didn’t get the tongue in cheek tone quite right there, Siobhan. I do find it ironic that with all those cameras the UK plods struggle to find evidence when black men are stabbed to death. It’s like it’s not really a priority.

      But in this case, the cameras at train stations, shopping centres and airports are pretty helpful in identifying the two spies. Still doesn’t mean they’ll face justice in the UK, though it could well be that Putin disappears them to avoid later embarrassment, which would be karmic, I suppose.

      • Siobhan 13.5.1

        CCTV is helpful in identifying the existence of people. In this case two people who may or may not be spies, and who may or maynot be working under Putin’s authority.

        CCTV sounds very ‘definite’, but of what?

        Unfortunately this case will never get to Court, which is lucky for the UK agencies involved because while some people seem willing to accept an image of two men arriving in the UK at exactly the same second, and then walking down the street together as ‘evidence’ I’m not sure the Court would.

        “Gordon Ferrie, a former senior police officer and head of security at the Royal Bank of Scotland who chairs the new group, said:

        “Our research shows that up to 90 per cent of CCTV installations fail to comply with the Information Commissioner’s UK CCTV code of practice, and many installations are operated illegally.”

        The failings have “profound implications”, he added, not least for police and prosecutors trying to bring criminals to justice.”

        https://www.standard.co.uk/news/most-cctv-cameras-are-illegal-watchdog-claims-6586943.html

        However I do agree with the idea of Putin ‘disappearing ‘ these two, if for no other reason than their inexplicably obvious travel and accommodation arrangements, and having a dismal 1 in 5 death rate for a substance with an 80% kill rate. Even then the only death was of someone with incredibly compromised health issues.

        Mr Bean could have pulled the whole thing off better.

        • veutoviper 13.5.1.1

          Unfortunately this case will never get to Court,

          You cannot say that definitively, Siobhan. There have been many instances of people in similar circumstances being picked up when travelling overseas even under different names, different country’s passports etc. After all that is why things like Interpol, intergovernment agreements on things like immigration, customs etc exist – and why all their coordinated computer systems, exchange of information etc exist. You might not like it but these things exist and will continue to do so – and get better with improvements in technology such as facial recognition, voice recognition, pupil recognition etc.

          While these two may disappear completely, as I said elsewhere here*, now their photos etc have been released worldwide their careers as operatives outside Russia are effectively over – but if they do travel outside Russia for any reason, they may well be picked up and could be extradited to the UK to face the charges laid against them.

          * /kremlin-killers/#comment-1521570

  14. Kaya3 14

    All that CCTV coverage comes in handy doesn’t it! Or maybe the Russians broke in to the Met HQ and photoshopped it!? Wouldn’t put it past those dastardly Russkies!?

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/09/the-impossible-photo/

    “These CCTV images released by Scotland yard today allegedly show Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov both occupying exactly the same space at Gatwick airport at precisely the same second. 16.22.43 on 2 March 2018. Note neither photo shows the other following less than a second behind.

    There is no physically possible explanation for this. You can see ten yards behind each of them, and neither has anybody behind for at least ten yards. Yet they were both photographed in the same spot at the same second.

    The only possible explanations are:
    1) One of the two is travelling faster than Usain Bolt can sprint
    2) Scotland Yard has issued doctored CCTV images/timeline.”

    Get a grip ffs.

    • Bill 14.1

      heh. I notice the Guardian stills have had the time stamps removed.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/05/salisbury-poisonings-police-name-and-charge-two-suspects

      I have to say though – the idea that such an intricate fabrication was put together and that someone forgot, or everyone missed a howler in time stamps is quite mind blowing. Surely, those responsible (in that scenario) would be alert to the fact it’s one of the first things anyone skeptical about the whole thing would look for, no?

      Or have we gone so far through the looking glass that “the authorities” reckon everyone will just mindlessly take them at their word no matter what, and that as a result, they’ve become incredibly lazy and careless? It’s possible.

      I’d like to hear an official explanation for how it can be that two people are shown on a CCTV still in separate shots, at what looks like the same location, but with identical time stamps. I’m sure the perfectly reasonable explanation is on its way down the wires at this very moment.

      edit – someone has suggested the following (beneath Craig Murray’s piece) – “Doesn’t the “Pause” indicate the point in the tape, not the real time of the event? In which case no reason it would not be identical.”

      • D'Esterre 14.1.1

        Bill: “Or have we gone so far through the looking glass that “the authorities” reckon everyone will just mindlessly take them at their word no matter what, and that as a result, they’ve become incredibly lazy and careless? It’s possible.”

        The “authorities” think that we’re all as stoopid as they obviously are.

    • SPC 14.2

      There might be two different passages … at the same time.

      More likely someone decided to put the same time on each photo, as the “evidence” the two were working together.

      So the public would add one and one …

    • D'Esterre 14.3

      Kaya3: “The only possible explanations are:
      1) One of the two is travelling faster than Usain Bolt can sprint
      2) Scotland Yard has issued doctored CCTV images/timeline.””

      I suspect that the Tardis was involved somehow.

    • Adrian Thornton 14.4

      @Kaya3, That is fucking hilarious,thanks, I have no idea what this whole poisoning episode is all about, but it has looked like dogs balls from beginning to end…at times exasperating to follow, at others comical.

      The worst part is seeing good people just completely turn off their critical thinking, at the very least why not sit on the fence for a while?

    • veutoviper 14.5

      Or much more likely is that they were going through different queues and exit doors at the same time. Gatwick Airport is not small and does not have just one exit facility of that type.

      Get a grip ffs.

      • marty mars 14.5.1

        The Russians are serial blunderers – duffed the deed, stuffed up the doctoring of the tapes – I spose they’ll blame anti putin elements soon. Keystone cops stuff.

      • Kaya3 14.5.2

        The fact you can even consider it a possibility that 2 Russian spies managed to synchronise their walk down identical tunnels gives some insight into your desperation to believe the official narrative.
        “Or much more likely……..” – you sound as delusional and grasping as Luke Harding at The Guardian.

        He says “likely” – “probably”, “suspected” and other conjecture words A LOT. So does Theresa May who actually said the people photographed were “alleged” GRU officers and “it is likely” that they put poison on the door knob of the Skripal home.
        This all happened (apparently) a couple of hours after the Skripals had gone out and didn’t return – making it hard to explain how they managed to get the novichok on themselves but hey, don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

        Go and read the transcript of what she ACTUALLY said, obviously intended for inattentive people who have skim read as intended and arrived at the same totally implausible conclusion. That it was Miss Scarlet, in the dining room, with the candlestick. In defence of the person posting they have referenced the Guardian, a known purveyor of fiction masquerading as bastion of liberal free speech and truth.

        Next, read this factual piece written by someone using actual evidence to demolish Luke Harding and his (and your) conjecture without any reference to the photographs. They are damning enough of the total bullshit around this story, but apparently you need more evidence.

        Take your time. I look forward to your rebuttal and the logic behind it.

        https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/06/skripal-case-luke-hardings-latest-work-of-fiction/

    • Draco T Bastard 14.6

      A number of people have pointed out a third logical possibility, that the photographs are not of the same place and they are coming through different though completely identical entry channels.

      This must be true as the cameras obviously have a significantly different angle.

      One more conspiracy theory shot down.

      • Poission 14.6.1

        They both arrived at different entry channels at the same time?

        Where are the other people?

        • veutoviper 14.6.1.1

          The next person in each queue will be at the desk behind that particular door being questioned by the immigration officer. The officer only releases the door when they have finished questioning and clearing each person seeking entry.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.6.1.2

          They both arrived at different entry channels at the same time?

          Certainly looks that way.

          Where are the other people?

          What makes you think that there should be other people in the same frame? After all, the reason as to why they’d have multiple channels is to separate people.

          • veutoviper 14.6.1.2.1

            SNAP again, Draco* – but this time we managed to post our comments at exactly the same time, 12.30pm. Its a conspiracy. LOL.

            *See 14.6.2

          • dukeofurl 14.6.1.2.2

            isnt this about the two photos taken on ‘airbridge’ from the plane ?

            If its Gatwick that wont have ‘customs’ right next to the plane gangway..

            • McFlock 14.6.1.2.2.1

              Firstly, what makes you think it’s an air bridge?

            • Draco T Bastard 14.6.1.2.2.2

              isnt this about the two photos taken on ‘airbridge’ from the plane ?

              Not bloody likely.

            • veutoviper 14.6.1.2.2.3

              That is definitely not an airbridge.. I take it you have never been through Gatwick?

              PS See the photos at 14.3.1 below.

              • dukeofurl

                Google images for ‘inside air bridge at airport’ show these narrow low ceiling spaces are indeed airbridges.
                Some are glass sided others are a sort of formica enclosed square tube.

                Even airport toilet entrances are higher and wider – its called architecture

                • veutoviper

                  So you have not been through Gatwick or many other international airports, nor know the terminology for various facilities at airports.

                  See Carolyn Nyth’s comment at 14.7.1 below and joe90’s comments at 14.7.1.1. etc and his links.

                  They are ‘anti-return gate corridors’ used to prevent passengers from returning to secure areas such as the immigration area where arriving passengers are held for clearing through immigration prior to them collecting their baggage. Once cleared through immigration, arriving passengers then go through these corridors to collect their baggage. The anti-return gate corridors are used for photographing each passenger AND preventing them returning to immigration and other secure areas after collecting their baggage.

                  ‘Air bridges’ are the mobile corridors mounted on vehicles which connect the parked aircraft to the airport building allowing passengers and crew etc to move from the aircraft to the building without mounting/dismounting the aircraft via steps onto the tarmac and having to walk or be driven to/from the airport building.

                  • veutoviper

                    Amendment – some air bridges are not mounted on vehicles but are static fixtures to an exit from the building where the aircraft is moved alongside and temporarily attached to the static air bridge to allow crew, passengers, cleaners etc to go in and out of the parked aircraft via the air bridge.

      • veutoviper 14.6.2

        SNAP Draco – but some here would argue that we are in cohorts because our comments are two minutes apart. LOL

    • Gabby 14.7

      Are those the images as released?

  15. Bill 15

    Teresa May says they are two GRU officers.
    Teresa May also says Russia had researched “smeary door handle” techniques.

    Maria Zakharova (Russian spokesperson) says eh?

    I say, for what it’s worth, (not a lot) that the most likely person to have taken toxins into the UK is already in the care of UK authorities.

    Meanwhile, “antisemitism!” & “Russia did it!” (everything bad in the world). And no oxygen given to the domestic issues people really care about and are hurting from – homelessness, healthcare, poverty…

    And no worthwhile mainstream reporting on the political challenges being mounted against the war mongering, liberal status quo that would place the tackling of those issues front, centre stage.

    • Kaya3 15.1

      What Theresa May ACTUALLY said, unlike the subtle but important difference as reported by The Guardian:

      “based on a body of intelligence, the Government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU.”

      Concluded. No evidence of any kind. Conjecture.

      She is very good at it, and The Guardian is very good and leaving those subtle details out.

      “So this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.”

      Almost certainly. No evidence of any kind. Conjecture.

      If you examine this case in a logical fashion as a number of people have done there is no other conclusion that it is a load of bollocks made up by the UK intelligence services for a number of possible reasons. Distraction from political strife at home, Russia bashing as an ongoing national sport and PR damage to Russia to justify unjustifiable military attacks and support of terrorist groups in Syria. Possibly at the behest of Israel and the US. (Or am I being anti semetic?????)

      Here are 3 good links to proper analysis of the Skripal Case from the beginning for anyone who actually cares about the truth rather than agendas.

      I would encourage anyone who cares about the truth rather than conjecture to take the time to read these. Feel free to rebut, not to me directly, to the authors. I am reasonably comfortable that they are all able to handle themselves quite well in any intelligent debate.

      WARNING: If agendas and conjecture and propaganda are your thing then I highly recommend you don’t go anywhere near these links. They may destroy your belief in official narrative. I won’t be held responsible for destroying you fantasies.

      https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/06/skripal-case-luke-hardings-latest-work-of-fiction/

      And this, the amount of actual analysis is substantial, be warned.

      https://www.theblogmire.com/petrov-boshirov-and-the-missing-42-minutes/

      And this, a shorter version of the one above, but just as compelling.

      https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/05/skripal-case-suspects-named-questions-raised/

      • Ed 15.1.1

        The Guardian has become as full paid up member of the corporate media.

        • Kaya3 15.1.1.1

          It has been for quite a while. The beauty of Off Guardian (which someone has accused of being a “fake news” site) is that they actually support their assertions with other links to other sources of information. Unlike the Guardian who just make claims that apparently some people think is more reliable information than the stuff that has been researched. Go figure.

          “fake news” is the “conspiracy theorist” label de jour for those who have completely lost the ability to actually debate in a factual manner. It is their go to dismissal of anything that doesn’t fit their world view.
          The beautiful thing is that for those of us who prefer truth to conjecture, we can spot this distraction in an instant and show it for the idiotic comment that it actually is.

          Sometimes the simple things are the best. Something the UK authorities should have worked out before concocting a story so full of holes it would make a block of Swiss cheese look like a brick.

  16. D'Esterre 16

    Bill: “Meanwhile, “antisemitism!” & “Russia did it!” (everything bad in the world). And no oxygen given to the domestic issues people really care about and are hurting from – homelessness, healthcare, poverty…

    And no worthwhile mainstream reporting on the political challenges being mounted against the war mongering, liberal status quo that would place the tackling of those issues front, centre stage.”

    Exactly. A false flag being used to obscure the really important issues.

  17. Gabby 17

    It’ll be interesting to see if any Russians in Britain quietly sell anything at a knockdown price to a Pooty mate any time soon.

    • D'Esterre 17.1

      Gabby: “It’ll be interesting to see if any Russians in Britain quietly sell anything at a knockdown price to a Pooty mate any time soon.”

      Er… How is this comment relevant to the post?

  18. Dorothy Bulling 18

    The 2 cctv photos are not identical, as I see fifferences in the surrounds. Also I believe just like the Rainbow Warrior bombing in Auckland, that the top dogs did not know what was being done. Someone in Russia at a certain level was afraid of what the former Russian spy knew, so tried to eliminate him. The daughter was collateral damage and not important.

    • veutoviper 18.1

      Skripal Senior has been in the UK for eight years, since he was traded in a spy exchange in 2010. Before that he had been in prison for several years in Russia as a traitor, so the Russians had plenty of time to eliminate him if they were afraid of what he knew.

      Personally I think Yulia was in fact the target. See my earlier comment here.

      Kremlin Killers?

      • commonsense 18.1.1

        If target is Yulia. Then simple questions arise.

        Why do it in UK? Why not eliminate her at home while she is in Russia? Would that not be much easier and would that not leave any trail of evidence for the foreign world. Evidence that has potential political repercussions which could lead to further sanctions. Sanctions that have already hurt the oil and gas industries, foreign investment, local currency and have had a negative impact on the Russ economy. Why would Russ shoot themselves in the foot? Are they total retards? Are you assuming everyone is a retard apart from yourself?

        What is this sophisticated and targeted operation by the elite GRU, that sends their agents abroad…. in broad freaking daylight… to a designated place… under 1000’s of surveillance cameras… knowingly that UK is big brother (the whole world knows this) walking around with open faces…. to the exact town where the murder is to be committed… at the exact time…..and then back in perfect timing? Thinking they might not be discovered? Did they think they might be slip through undetected?? Having flagged themselves in multiple locations, including public transport 10’s of times??? What???? Of-course NOT, what kind of special agents would they be???? They would be agents with special needs more like. Unless they wanted to be flagged!!!! So Russia did this on purpose? Knowingly they would be caught…. to shoot themselves in the foot?

        Makes no freaking sense. Murder and crime is almost always committed for a reason… there is a motive. What was Russia’s motive? To shoot themselves in the foot obviously.

        This is why this whole thing smells of bullshit. People were indeed poisoned… but perhaps by other parties interested in causing more strife… as there are serious economic reasons to compete with the Kremlin and prevent them from furthering their exports of gas and oil into the developed European markets. Hundreds of billions of dollars/pounds of potential revenue at stake here… and the money argument makes all the motive sense to do something like this… and these spy vendetta fantasy arguments are full of bull – and others who believe in this bull are either blind, ignorant or plain naive. Money moves this world, not some “vendetta” spy bullshit. Wake up.

        Where as there are plenty of motivated reasons and potential parties in the UK who need to bash Kremlin and Pu,

        Additionally they are mostly using or calling it “Russia”. This gross over-generalizing of a whole population is an implication that all Russians are responsible for the suspected actions of a few. Its likely easier to be aggressive to a nation and it’s people in general, when they are dehumanized and bashed constantly. We can demonstrate the absurdity of this in a reverse example. How about we blame “Britian” for the few actions of Bliars government. Britain is responsible for the deaths of not only their own soldiers but also civilian populations of Iraq and Afghanistan. We should probably impose sanctions on Britain and bash them constantly in the world media! Yes that’ll teach the buggers… who do they think they are! Bloody British scum, we should invade, bomb and eliminate them when the opportunity arises! Oh wait they have nuclear weapons… well ok maybe not invade and bomb but use every opportunity to blame!

        Its easier for to shift blame instead of taking responsibility for the various critical issues in their own home countries. The problem is almost most world governments engage in this bashing and self cleansing… US, UK, Russia, China…. because the establishment risk loosing power for not solving critical issues and there are too many issues… even some that cannot be resolved in one generation.

        ~Thats it folks… use critical thinking.

        • veutoviper 18.1.1.1

          ROFL – The denialists/Russophiles doth protest too much, methinks.

          Also

          Kremlin Killers?

          Kremlin Killers?


          Plus 4.4

          And Yulia’s brother had died in Russia a year previously. So don’t use the same MO again.

          • joe90 18.1.1.1.1

            21st century tankies.

            • veutoviper 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Aaahhh – I am obviously behind the times on terminology.

              Thanks as always, joe90 – Dziękuję przyjacielu

          • commonsense 18.1.1.1.2

            Labeling somebody a “Russophile” or “Denialist” without addressing the points mentioned in the post, is not debate neither an argument. Its akin to belittling tactics of a person who does not engage in serious dialogue… someone who is unable to express points clearly without first causing a tantrum. Try and address the points made in the original post perhaps.

            Going to refrain from labeling or using stereotypes because that’s not what debate is about, and not what people with intellect do.

            Let’s try and engage in actual debate on the points you made.

            1) The fact that Yulia’s brother had died is not an argument for the argument you are trying to make. Which if I understood clearly, is that the untimely death of her brother leaves unanswered questions. Please express these questions. While answering these. Do you know the circumstances of his death? Have you been there and witnessed it or perhaps know information that you care to share? Coroners report? Is it uncommon to die of cancer or liver failure in Russia? Or anywhere in the world nowadays?

            2) A mother dying, followed by another member follows a pattern of “…” what exactly? Them having bad diets and living in polluted conditions? Having unhealthy lifestyles? What pattern does it follow? Please elaborate.

            3) Correlation is not causation, anybody’s death is not a precursor to conspiracy! People do die for many reasons. It is a substantial assumption that the whole family is being targeted for whatever crimes Sergei or someone in the family committed. If we assume that Sergei stared this chain of events, if these crimes / traitor behavior was so severe as to target family, why not eliminate the original target earlier, while he was in local prison? Just like they did with Magnitsky, he died of the most unusual circumstances in prison and this man did have someone to incriminate over large sums of money, relating to tax fraud. So why let go of such a high profile target? You yourself agree that the potential secrets he knew might be long expired in price.

            4) If the target is actually Yulia, and we dismiss Sergei as being the precursor to events. That’s just a huge new assumption that there might be some unknown dynamic there and its actually about Yulia! That’s rewriting everything, almost akin to a twist in the plot of a book or movie. This is not a book or movie. If Yulia is a target, she must be operating or in knowledge of something important, then she would have felt threatened and knew if something was off. You don’t just become a target by a being a regular Joe, living a regular life. If that’s the case, her being a high profile target, would she not have tried to migrate permanently, probably by seeking political asylum? Why is was she working in Moscow and getting on?

            5) To address the previous valid yet vague point Exkiwiforces has made that in “USSR” or “Imperial Russia” how “they” would target family members of target and “work their way in towards intended target”… We would first need to break that argument down and make it more specific. Who is the “they”? Are we talking about some kind of secret service / KGB group? Or is this behavior inherent in all of the members of society of the people of the “Motherland”? When was this behavior common? Are we comparing Soviet times post Stalin? Post Kruschev? Post Brezhnev? Have either of you lived in those times? Do you study history extensively and compare different sources and perhaps can provide a clearer picture of such events? These things did occur but what is the context? Did such similar behaviors never happen in the Western world or other parts of the world? Are we again generalizing bad human behavior and attributing exclusively to a sub group? Are you observing and studying all the events that are happening in Russia now to compare history with current dynamics?

            And pal, the above mentioned is an example of debate. And you cannot deny how it feels after breaking down these assumptions , that more questions arise and the feeling that common sense falls away as one looks closer… its like an impending dismay coming from smelling a nasty strangers fart on a public bus…. and it just doesn’t go away.

            Mate sorry but the arguments you make in this comment section and the vagueness, the lack of depth and the common dismissal of everything else makes one wonder what is the agenda? Is is like the best storytelling? If you dismiss all other stories, then your story is the one?

            If we do get serious about “Russia” and look closely at it, then we can discover that there is a myriad of serious problems with this country. Mostly the insane levels of corruption at the state level and complete disproportionate distribution of wealth and resource at state and private levels. There does seem to be an isolationist and ultra conservative agenda there too, and its like the iron curtain never went away. But there are other problems in the world and they’re not going to get solved by diverting attention to the problems of others. Left to it’s own accord, there is likely to be another revolution in Russia within the next 10 years. And this statement we can debate but this entirely another conversation.

            Its sad to see such events (Salisbury) take place in the modern western world. It’s unclear what the agenda was and why. Whatever the cause, one could only hope that Kremlin are not a bunch of commy cowboys OR that certain parties in the west do not sacrifice their own people to cause political strife, to further their own agendas (if it is false flag). In either case or if there is a third explanation…..all are regressive.

            If you are trying to dismiss valid arguments of people who tend to question, eventually you are going to get more questioning.

            Anyways done with this. Most people don’t even care, most won’t have the attention span to read this fully. Pointless exercise, wasted an hour typing… Best of luck and perhaps do try and make and effort in life… VV… to go a little deeper than “label” … “dismiss” … “belittle”.

            Good luck.

      • commonsense 18.1.2

        If target is Yulia or Sergei. Then simple questions arise.

        Why do it in UK? Why not eliminate her/him at home while she/he is/was in Russia? Especially in Yulia’s case. Would that not be much easier and would that not leave any trail of evidence for the foreign world. Evidence that has potential political repercussions which could lead to sanctions or further sanctions. Sanctions that have already hurt the oil and gas industries, foreign investment, local currency and have had a negative impact on the Russ economy. Why would Kremlin so blatantly shoot themselves in the foot with already enough existing pressure? Are they total retards? Are you assuming everyone is a retard apart from yourself?

        What is this sophisticated and targeted operation by the elite GRU, that sends their agents abroad…. in broad freaking daylight… to a designated place… under 1000’s of surveillance cameras… knowingly that UK is big brother (the whole world knows this) walking around with open faces…. to the exact town where the murder is to be committed… precisely on time just before the crime …..and then back in scheduled timing after the crime? Thinking they might not be discovered? Did they think they might be slip through undetected?? Having flagged themselves in multiple locations, including public transport 10’s of times??? What???? WHAT???? Of-course NOT, what kind of special agents would they be???? More like agents with special needs! So the only plausible explanation is they wanted to be flagged!!!! So Kremlin did this openly on purpose? Knowing they would be caught…. to shoot themselves in the foot?

        Makes zero sense. Murder and crime are almost always committed for a reason… there is a motive. What was Kremlins motive? To shoot themselves in the foot obviously!

        This is why this whole thing smells of bullshit. People were indeed poisoned… but perhaps by other parties interested in causing more strife – a rift between Kremlin and the world… as there are serious economic reasons to compete with the Kremlin and prevent them from furthering their exports of gas and oil into the developed European markets. Hundreds of billions of dollars/pounds of potential revenue at stake here… and a money argument makes all the motive sense to do something like this… at this level of risk…. and these spy vendetta fantasy arguments are full of bull – and others who believe in this bull are either blind, ignorant or plain naive. Money moves this world, not some “vendetta” spy bullshit. Wake up.

        There are plenty of motivated reasons and potential parties in the world and UK who need to bash Kremlin and P.

        Additionally they are mostly using or calling it “Russia”. This gross over-generalizing of a whole population is an implication that all Russians are responsible for the suspected actions of a few. Its likely easier to be aggressive to a nation and it’s people in general, when they are dehumanized and bashed constantly. We can demonstrate the absurdity of this in a reverse example. How about we blame “Britian” for the few actions of Bliars government. Britain is responsible for the deaths of not only their own soldiers but also civilian populations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should probably impose sanctions on Britain and bash them constantly in the media! Yes that’ll teach the buggers… who do they think they are! Bloody British scum, we should invade, bomb and eliminate them when the opportunity arises! Oh wait they have nuclear weapons… well ok maybe not invade and bomb but use every opportunity to blame!

        Its easier to shift blame instead of taking responsibility for the various critical issues in their own home countries. Unfortunately almost all major world governments engage in this bashing and self victim portrayal… US, UK, Russia, China…. because the establishment risk loosing power for not solving critical issues and there are too many issues to solve or the few are too difficult to solve… some cannot be resolved in one generation.

        ~Thats it folks… use critical thinking.

  19. Those photos of the suspects look real. Talk about textbook heavies lol

  20. adam 20

    Great to see a post on the wholesale destruction of the NHS,

    no,

    wait,

    it’s not really anything, but speculation we supposed to believe as truth.

  21. aj 21

    Kill one person and it’s called murder. Kill a thousand and it’s called foreign policy.

  22. D'Esterre 22

    aj: “Kill one person and it’s called murder. Kill a thousand and it’s called foreign policy.”

    So true….

  23. Ed 23

    Another lie perpetrated by the UK establishment, with a megaphone provided by the UK’s corporate media.
    And repeated obediently by New Zealand’s media.

    Now we await the chemical attack in Idlib……

    We know the playbook.

  24. smilin 24

    David Kelly comes to mind as to what the brits are capable of but these two are Russian
    So without some behind close doors negotiating it might be a an old style cold war trade
    Im sure britain have some people in Russia they wouldn’t mind back for various reasons
    One thing you can rely on the msm to keep us all guessing

  25. Ed 25

    “Skripal Case: Gaping Holes in New Narrative

    These are the new facts, but like all the previous announcements in this bizarre odyssey, they present more questions than answers.

    1. Why did two alleged GRU agents travel under false names and fake passports, but still use Russian names and Russian passports? If they had used EU passports – say from Lithuania or Estonia for example – they wouldn’t have needed a visa, thanks to EU freedom of movement agreements, and could still have spoken Russian without raising suspicion.

    2. Was the novichok gel or liquid? We’ve never been given clear information on the actual poison – how deadly it is, how it’s made, where it was applied, how long it takes to work – all of these are complete unknowns. What sparse information we HAVE been given is contradicted by today’s announcements.
    We were told previously that the novichok allegedly used on the Skripal’s was in “gel form” and “smeared” on the front door. Whereas the poison that Rowley and Sturgess later came in contact with was in a perfume bottle, and therefore a liquid capable of being atomised. These were never referenced as the same thing, until today.

    3. How did they re-seal the perfume bottle? Assuming that Basu is right, and the perfume bottle WAS used to attack the Skripal’s front door, how did they re-seal it afterwards? Rowley has always been very sure the bottle of perfume was in a sealed box and wrapped in cellophane – here’s a link, with a screencap below just in case it gets memory holed.

    4. Why did no one at their hotel get sick? The police have claimed that the hotel the two men stayed at was “contaminated with novichok”, and yet no one has reported and symptoms at all.

    How can a hotel room be “contaminated” with novichok? Novichok is not radioactive, it is a nerve agent. To contaminate the room the suspects would have to physically apply the poison to it, and since they allegedly left country on March 4th – the same days as the alleged attack – the contamination must have happened BEFORE Sergei Skripal was poisoned. How? The police are telling us the suspects must have opened their bottle of “deadliest poison ever” the day before they needed it AND in their own hotel room. Why would they do that?”

    https://off-guardian.org/2018/09/05/skripal-case-suspects-named-questions-raised/

  26. Ed 26

    “‘Skripals – The Mystery Deepens

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

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

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

    Read the whole article here.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/09/skripals-the-mystery-deepens/

    • Kaya3 26.1

      Because sometimes 280 characters is more than enough to explain bullshit and propaganda.

      “Skripal poisoning:

      Met police confirm they found “traces of Novichok nerve agent” in London hotel 4 months ago (May). Same hotel “two Russian GRU agents stayed in”.

      Have waited until today, for 4 months, before appealing to other guests who were there to contact police.

      What?”

    • Wayne 26.2

      Amateur assassins? Well, the French agents on the Rainbow Warrior were also inept.
      I imagine very few agents are as skilful as we see on TV, where apparently the “good guys” never make mistakes of any kind.

  27. Ed 27

    “The two suspects are more Austin Powers than James Bond” says George Galloway.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/RTUKnews/status/1037644073488674816/video/1

  28. Ed 28

    ‘Legitimate Questions:
    1. 2 people walk through at EXACTLY the same time on CCTV – how likely?
    2. ‘Assassins’ make no attempt to conceal their identity – why not?
    3. Why travel from London to Salisbury TWICE? Makes no sense.
    4. Novichok found in London Hotel? How could this happen? How ‘likely is this’ – given one of the most deadliest
    nerve agents on the planet – or not.
    5. Would UK government (via Embassy in Russia) have given a ‘visa’ for these people to travel to UK? Where are the details?
    6. Given these are supposed to be TOP secret service agents – how more amateurish could they be?
    7. Other ‘agents’ have the means – who has the motive? THAT is the question that should be asked. WHY did this happen? ,

    https://mobile.twitter.com/liamhennesce

    • Kaya3 28.1

      Stop asking difficult questions Ed, I can see panadol sales going through the roof……..

    • Stuart Munro 28.2

      1. Neither here nor there – this claim is false
      2.They have to use some identity – false ones can get them caught.
      3. Casing the joint.
      4. The polonium poisoners managed to leave a trail across half of London, so why not.
      5. Tourism is the easiest visa for short term travel.
      6. The difference between a Svengali and a klutz is whether they get caught. The POMs threw a lot of resources at this case, enough to get a result.
      7. Neither here nor there – what’s important is whether they did it – explanations come later.

      • Kaya3 28.2.1

        Any time you want a game of Cluedo let me know. Your reasoning and deduction is delusional.

      • McFlock 28.2.2

        also 2: they used real passports with different names. Because govt. So yes, their actual identities were concealed long enough to do the job and get away.

      • Kaya3 28.2.3

        1. It is asking us to suspend belief and trust that this was a mere coincidence, don’t be ridiculous.
        2. You are asking us to suspend belief and believe that they would use Russian Passports and travel under their own names, don’t be ridiculous.
        3. Already there and at an empty house so risk doing another trip all the while knowing that the UK is the most heavily surveilled state on the planet, don’t be ridiculous.
        4. We don’t know who was behind the Litvinenko case, most evidence would actually point to the CIA. But there is no proof who did it. So don’t be ridiculous bringing that up.
        5. Britain is in a heightened state of cold war with Russia due to their own stupidity and being a US poodle, getting a visa as a Russia to visit the UK wouldn’t be easy, especially using your own name and passport and the UK government knowing you are GRU agents, don’t be ridiculous.
        6. The Poms threw a lot of garbage at this case and did it very very badly indeed, I doubt such a false flag operation has ever been done so badly. It makes the Great Horse of Troy look like the ruse of the millennium, don’t be ridiculous.
        7. They didn’t do it. Where is Sergei? Where is Yulia? Where is the policeman who was “poisoned”? Why did the UK government put a D notice on the media when their story started unraveling almost the day they released it?
        You are being ridiculous.

        • Stuart Munro 28.2.3.1

          1. I am asking you to get your facts straight.
          2. Why shouldn’t they use Russian passports – anything else is harder.
          3. There’s no risk until they poison someone.
          4. We know perfectly well that Andrey Lugovoy, Dmitry Kovtun and Vyacheslav Sokolenko poisoned Litvinenko.
          5. Britain is at heightened alert against Russia because of a number of suspicious deaths including the most recent novichok related ones.
          6. This case has been a gift from God to the lackluster government of Theresa May – no British PM except Thatcher ever received an easier external source of validation to gloss over their myriad domestic failings. Not so clever after all were you, Putin.
          7. The police believe they have sufficient evidence to prosecute. You haven’t seen the evidence, so you have nfi whether or not that’s true. Chances are the Russians will be tried in absentia, which doesn’t improve their odds of acquittal.

          • Kaya3 28.2.3.1.1

            We don’t know anything at all about who killed Litvinenko. Even the bloody Guardian thinks the “official” story is bullshit and you don’t get any more partisan crap than The Guardian. If you are going to make claims at least make them plausible.

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/05/litvinenko-report-get-it-wrong-putin

            This is right up there with Thatcher’s Falklands “escapade” as a gift from God, you are correct. Except it has been orchestrated by the UK themselves for the same reasons as Thatcher decided to give Argentina a punch on the nose.

            The police have told you they have sufficient evidence, that doesn’t make it so.
            It is patently obvious it is you who has nfi and for some weird reason have decided to hang on to this particular bone and shake it even though there isn’t a shred of meat or sinew on it and the last bit of marrow was sucked out months ago.

            Come back to me when you have something to say that is worth my commenting on ffs.

          • Kaya3 28.2.3.1.2

            Actually come back to me when you have something that resembles evidence or close to it to support this fairy story. Otherwise I have no interest in what you have to say based on what I have read so far.

            • Stuart Munro 28.2.3.1.2.1

              Ok – so you’re a denialist – big whoop.

              Litvinenko’s story is not confusing. And the schmucks who killed him left a radioactive trail even the Met could follow.

              Don’t come back – we’ve a surfeit of irrational Russian pawns.

              • Kaya3

                You said it is not confusing so it must be so? No other evidence. Forgive me while I pick myself of the floor from laughing too hard.

                This is nothing to do with Russian pawns, I’m just someone who likes his information to come with at least some elements of truth and particularly evidence attached. So far I’ve had nothing from you except your beliefs.
                I gave you links to rational reports discrediting all of the nonsense you have spouted. I even gave you a link to that last bastion of the liberal free press which discredited the story on a point by point basis. You come back with another of your personal assertions? Excuse me while I chortle.

                Have you read the actual report from the inquiry into the Litvinenko death? Remember, this wasn’t a court of law and every rule in the legal book was broken to try and paint a particular picture. I’ll share one last bit of actual evidence, proven and factual and referenced for you but it is definitely the last. It is obviously wasted on you.

                “Although it cannot be said that the polonium 210 with which Mr Litvinenko was poisoned must have come from the Avangard facility in Russia, it certainly could have come from there.”

                “When Mr Lugovoy poisoned Mr Litvinenko, it is probable that he did so under the direction of the FSB.”

                “The FSB operation (that’s the probable FSB operation remember?) to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin. ”

                Judge Robert Owen, presiding over the Litvinenko enquiry
                https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/493860/The-Litvinenko-Inquiry-H-C-695-web.pdf

                Wow, those poms sure do love to speculate eh? But you obviously think that’s enough. Who’s the pawn here do you think?

                • Stuart Munro

                  Well then – you think you know something about it.

                  Astonish us – why was Litvinenko in the gun?

                  It has everything to do with Russian pawns – to whit fools like you.

            • McFlock 28.2.3.1.2.2

              The brits think they have enough to press charges.

              They’d love to present that evidence in court, but that’ll never happen.

    • dukeofurl 28.3

      “4. Novichok found in London Hotel? ”

      Hotel owner says police only told him ‘yesterday’ and he doesnt recall which room the ‘assassins ‘ used. Luckily MI5 can help with that.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6139871/Owner-hotel-Russians-hid-novichok-told-police-killer-guests-YESTERDAY.html

      Would fit with a story concocted after the event. Surely if they knew months back the hotel would have been cordoned off because of the ‘danger’

  29. Richard 29

    So many Putin huggers – they’d have denied Stalin’s crimes if they were in a different century.

  30. Ed 30

    Right on cue, the Guardian starts repeating US propaganda about Idlib and chemical weapons.
    Right after another bout of Novochok in the UK.
    How predictable.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/07/iran-russia-turkey-leaders-meet-talks-syria-idlib-putin-rouhani-erdogan

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