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The Skripal Case Is Being Pushed Down The Memory Hole With Libya And Aleppo

The Skripal Case Is Being Pushed Down The Memory Hole With Libya And Aleppo

On the fourth of March, in the sleepy British cathedral town of Salisbury, an ex-spy named Sergei Skripal was poisoned by an assassin with the most deadly nerve agent known to man.

The Russian government was immediately blamed by a shocked and outraged world. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson assured the people of Great Britain that “There’s no doubt” that Moscow was responsible. In a large and sudden leap forward in cold war escalations, Russian diplomats were thrown out of countries all around the globe, including my own Australia, in a show of solidarity with the United Kingdom. It was the largest collective ejection of Russian diplomats in history.

Two months after his earth-shattering assassination, as the world stared spellbound at the weekend’s immensely popular PR spectacle of a royal wedding, Sergei Skripal was quietly discharged from the hospital he’d been staying at. The BBC reports that he is walking and approaching complete recovery.

Wait a second. Haven’t I seen this Python skit before?

So to recap, an ex-spy who had been retired and strategically irrelevant for years was reportedly poisoned by the Kremlin with Novichok, a scary Russian-sounding word which refers to a group of extremely deadly and fast-acting nerve agents that start shutting down the body’s muscles and respiratory system within 30 seconds to two minutes. Except in the case of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia it was several hours with a leisurely stroll, a meal, and beers in between.

The poison was placed in Yulia Skripal’s suitcase. Actually no, they got that wrong, it was the air vents in their car. Wait, no, that doesn’t work either. Maybe it was administered via weaponized miniature drone! Wait, no, it was the family’s car door handle. Actually, scratch that, it was the front door of the house. Definitely the front door of the house. We’re absolutely sure.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Exposes British Lies on Skripal, but Trail Leads to US

Russia Exposes British Lies on Skripal, but Trail Leads to US

Russia Exposes British Lies on Skripal, but Trail Leads to US

Moscow says it has proof that the agent used in the UK attack is a chemical weapon patented in the US. So was this a covert operation aimed at ratcheting up tensions between the West and Russia?

The sensational case of the poisoning of the ex-MI6 agent and former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal on March 4 in Salisbury, in the UK, is becoming more and more curious. Under a blinding spotlight from Moscow, the British allegation regarding a Russian hand in the poisoning of Skripal is getting exposed. An engrossing plot in big-power politics is also unfolding. There is stuff here for a Le Carre novel.

Are we witnessing a replay of the false flag Gulf of Tonkin attack of August 1964, the imaginary “incident” concocted by the US military to provide legal and political justification for deploying American forces in South Vietnam and for commencing open warfare against North Vietnam?

To recap, Britain alleged without any empirical evidence that a military grade nerve agent of a type known as Novichok was used in Salisbury, saying it was originally developed in the former Soviet Union, and therefore, Moscow’s hand – possibly, even President Vladimir Putin’s hand – was “highly likely”.

Moscow has maintained, on the other hand, that it had destroyed all its chemical weapons and an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation verified and testified to that.

The British allegation quickly morphed into a large-scale expulsion of Russian diplomats (over 100 of them) by western capitals, under heavy pressure from Washington and London. The US alone expelled 60 Russian diplomats, while Britain expelled 23.

Egg on May’s face

Britain is studiously ignoring the Russian requests for samples of the chemical agent used in the Salisbury attack and for consular access to be granted to the former spy’s daughter Yulia. Meanwhile, Britain instead approached the OPCW to investigate.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Warns West Risks “Hot War” After Mass Expulsion Of Diplomats

After a legion of western nations announced this week that they would expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK, one Russian ambassador warned during an impromptu unscripted speech that, by hastily blaming Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy at a shopping center in Salisbury, the West was risking a return to the Cold War. A second Russian ambassador took the warning a step further, and claimed the West has inadvertently risked a “hot war” with Russia.

So far, 23 countries have expelled over 130 Russian diplomats since the UK pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of organizing an assassination plot that involved poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal with a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok.

The UK demanded that Russia explain how the nerve agent came to be used in the attack, if it wasn’t ordered by senior officials in the Russian government, per Newsweek.

Grigory Logvinov

Russia responded by demanding a sample of the chemical used, and offered to assist the UK in its investigation, but has been rebuffed. Meanwhile, the UK media reports say Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal may never fully recover from the attack.

Amid the escalating noise, Russia’s ambassador to Australia said on Wednesday that the world will enter into a “Cold War situation” should the West continue its “biased” attacks on Russia, according to Reuters.

“The West must understand that the anti-Russian campaign has no future,” Russian Ambassador Grigory Logvinov told reporters in Canberra.

“If it continues, we will be deeply in a Cold War situation.”

Australia said Tuesday it would expel two Russian diplomats, inspiring Logvinov to make his address warning of the dangers of deteriorating relations between Russia and its partners. So far, countries have at least stopped short of adding to the sanctions against Russia that were imposed following the annexation of Crimea.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Former OPCW official: no conclusive proof of Russian complicity in Salisbury attack

Former OPCW official: no conclusive proof of Russian complicity in Salisbury attack

But Russia’s denial of past ‘Novichok’ programmes is misleading

  • Nerve agent found in Salisbury does not conclusively prove Russian complicity
  • Russia’s denial of a Novichok programme is true but misleading — a secret nerve agent programme to create Novichok-type agents was run under a different name
  • Western states have extensively researched and synthesized the Novichok class of agents
  • Novichok was most recently synthesized by Iran, details of which were provided to the OPCW
  • Russian Novichok stockpiles were destroyed in the 1990s, but it is theoretically possible that some capability still exists, though no evidence for this is available

The US and its European allies have coordinated the largest collective expulsion of Russian diplomats in history. Russia has promised to retaliate in kind. Yet despite the sense of certainty around Russian culpability in the Salisbury incident, questions remain around the state of the available evidence.

As contradictory narratives proliferate amidst conflicting Western and Russian government statements and media reports, a clearer picture of the secret history of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury poisonings is emerging.

In an exclusive interview with INSURGE, a former senior official at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from 1993 to 2006, Dr Ralf Trapp, said that at this stage there is no conclusive evidence that Russia was the source of the nerve agent used in Salisbury. He pointed to compelling evidence that Russia did run a secret research programme to create Novichok-type nerve agents — and strongly criticised Russia’s denials of that programme. While justifying grounds for suspicion, there is as yet no decisive proof that Russia retained such a Novichok programme or capability today, he said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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