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VP959
8th Sep 2018, 19:32
It's not really comparable, but I spent over 20 years working in flight test, often checking stuff we had no real idea as to how it would behave in flight. Sure we had carefully planned sequences, where we gradually worked up through a range of flight conditions, to reduce the risk, but I can can say that after we'd completed the trial and were on the way back to base there was always a sense of euphoria. During the trials planning, briefing, pre-flight checks and the sortie up to the test phase, we were as tense as hell a lot of the time. Once you've set the MASS to safe, closed the bomb bay doors, or whatever, and are heading back home everyone on board gets a a heck of a lot more relaxed. It's not coincidental that returning trials crews would often request a low altitude, high speed beat-up of the airfield before landing.

I've no doubt that the moment the attackers got rid of the chemical agent they had been carrying, the whole world would have lifted from their shoulders. They knew that, from that point onwards, they were home and dry, as they weren't carrying anything that could incriminate them.

flash8
8th Sep 2018, 19:57
I've no doubt that the moment the attackers got rid of the chemical agent they had been carrying, the whole world would have lifted from their shoulders. They knew that, from that point onwards, they were home and dry, as they weren't carrying anything that could incriminate them.Well, VP, you very well could be right, in the end who knows how they felt. Interesting that this video bypassed the authorities and was sold direct to the Mail, otherwise my feelings are it never would have seen the light of day. It still puzzles me, but well, there's nowt so queer as folk.

The next logical step must be the identification of these two suspects, as their history will fill in quite a few gaps in the narrative, my concern as stated is whether they will actually ever be found. Given the passport images have been shared across the world with many millions it would be most curious if they simply don't exist. I am of course working under the assumption these passport type photos (obviously from a Visa application, can't think of anywhere else they could have been sourced) are actually real and not manufactured, after all the grainy videos could be anybody.

Also the traces of Novichok in the Hotel, how can that be? I'm not disputing that as I don't know enough, but surely that sounds rather odd?

TEEEJ
8th Sep 2018, 22:35
In the video from the coin shop that was flogged to the Mail (with the timing after the poisoning mechanism was placed) the pair look remarkably jovial.. there is something a little odd about that video, they just don't seem to be nonplussed in any way, not what you'd expect at all really, in any circumstances, this was a professional serious job, that pair looked like a pair of relaxed tourists. Yes, weak I know.. but watch it yourself with an open mind. It really is odd given human nature.


They could also be using the coin shop as a means to check for anyone following them? Feign interest in the coin shop so that they can take in anyone of interest or force them to pass them by. Note that the guy with the back pack points and then speaks closely into baseball cap man's ear? They then move on to the shop doorway with the angled glass. Was backpack guy using the angled reflection to his advantage? Backpack guy says something and then note at 0:22 baseball cap guy gives a long look back up the street.

Some people on other forums have noted the coin shop footage time. That could be simply down to the system not being set to the correct time which would seem to be the case as the pair were imaged at the station at 13:50.

01:49:02 PM is the time. (13:49)

https://dailyshocker.news/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/adadad.jpg

The pair crossing the bridge on Fisherton Road at 13:05 that would take them past the coin shop.

http://resources.mynewsdesk.com/image/upload/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_700,q_auto,w_670/hujnyddiy3zbvpd7d6n4.jpg

Image link.

CCTV6 = image of both suspects on Fisherton Road, Salisbury at... - Metropolitan Police (http://news.met.police.uk/images/cctv6-equals-image-of-both-suspects-on-fisherton-road-salisbury-at-13-05hrs-on-04-march-2018-1408005)

The pair further up Fisherton Road at 13:08 and past the coin shop.

http://resources.mynewsdesk.com/image/upload/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_700,q_auto,w_670/m1tcc64harjvlvrupuyv.jpg

Image link.

CCTV7 = image of both suspects (rear) on Fisherton Road, Salisbury... - Metropolitan Police (http://news.met.police.uk/images/cctv7-equals-image-of-both-suspects-rear-on-fisherton-road-salisbury-at-13-08hrs-on-04-march-2018-1408007)

http://resources.mynewsdesk.com/image/upload/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_700,q_auto,w_670/ro4ydlanx9h4mpspipz4.jpg

Image link

CCTV8 = image of both suspects at Salisbury train station at... - Metropolitan Police (http://news.met.police.uk/images/cctv8-equals-image-of-both-suspects-at-salisbury-train-station-at-13-50hrs-on-04-march-2018-1408008)

tY8ALEtcCvY

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/1463x859/salisburytimeline_150111c9f7696511e97adf9955bd7077115fd884.j pg

KelvinD
9th Sep 2018, 06:32
While sort of "half listening" to the BBC news at 07:00, I heard a report that the Mirror (I think) is claiming that 4 more suspects are being sought with a total of 6 being involved in this affair. I bet the outstanding 4 are a bit peeved that their 2 mates are getting all the limelight!

VP959
9th Sep 2018, 07:30
Interesting article from the BBC (so best read with due regard for normal BBC bias) about the effectiveness of social media disinformation campaigns: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45454142

The idea, it seems, isn't to spread one alternative narrative, but to spread many competing ones, so there are so many different "explanations" for what is alleged to have happened that the majority of people cannot determine easily which may be the most accurate one.

flash8
9th Sep 2018, 10:00
Interesting article from the BBC (so best read with due regard for normal BBC bias) about the effectiveness of social media disinformation campaignsLike you imply VP, the BBC has lost serious credibility in recent years, indeed, during the Brexit campaign I heard so much bias that it was genuinely starting to sound like Radio Moscow circa 1976. Even some of the presenters (Razia Iqbal on one notable occasion) sounded embarrassed at what they had to spout out.

This whole "fake" news concept itself seems to have arisen out of the mainstream media loss of control of the singular narrative, that is any news deemed not to tow a line a particular outlet articulates is presented now as "fake".

In the Skripal case the complete and utter lack of curiosity from the mainstream media coupled with a docile compliance to printing what they are told rather than a bit of analytical work and thought is an example of what leads us to "fake" news, i.e. alternate explanations that will never see the light of day in any mainstream outlet.

Fitter2
9th Sep 2018, 12:08
Hi Flash. In your eagerness to leap in, you seem to have overlooked the fact that it was a fairly dispassionate analysis of the maskirovka campaign in which you are playing an active part.

Whereas as in the Brexit campaign you use as an example, a wide variety of conflicting points of view were presented by the BBC and other non-government controlled news providers (with each side complaining the other was getting too much coverage), contrasting with the one sided picture imposed on the residents of totalitarian states.

Please read the question before parroting the Moskow line answer.

TEEEJ
9th Sep 2018, 12:57
Interesting that this video bypassed the authorities and was sold direct to the Mail, otherwise my feelings are it never would have seen the light of day. It still puzzles me, but well, there's nowt so queer as folk.

The shop CCTV footage has been in the hands of the Police since March. I contacted the shop via their website and Paul Dauwalder's son, Chris very kindly provided me with the information.

MFC_Fly
9th Sep 2018, 14:56
The shop CCTV footage has been in the hands of the Police since March. I contacted the shop via their website and Paul Dauwalder's son, Chris very kindly provided me with the information.

Really???? You contacted the shop about the CCTV footage and the police investigation???? :sad:

flash8
9th Sep 2018, 15:12
The shop CCTV footage has been in the hands of the Police since March. I stand to be corrected, however it was a Mail exclusive so I am assuming the Police never released this.

Hi Flash. In your eagerness to leap in, you seem to have overlooked the fact that it was a fairly dispassionate analysis of the maskirovka campaign in which you are playing an active part.Well, you are of course entitled to your opinion, and although I can just about see the Kremlin from my apartment balcony on Goncharnaya that is about the only connection I have with anything official. I'm only interested in the truth :)

atakacs
9th Sep 2018, 17:30
Swiss press is boiling with the revelation that those two have traveled here quite extensively over the past 18 months. Interresting...

TEEEJ
9th Sep 2018, 20:29
I stand to be corrected, however it was a Mail exclusive so I am assuming the Police never released this.

The Dauwalder's have obviously retained footage for their own records. Once the Met Police released the pics and other CCTV footage of the pair the Dauwalder's were free to use their own footage as they deemed fit. The likely reason why the Police didn't release the footage was due to the inaccurate time stamp for Fisherton Road. It carries the time stamp 01:49:02 (13:49) and is thus out of sequence for the 13:05 and 13:08 Fisherton Road CCTV stills.

VP959
9th Sep 2018, 20:42
The likely reason why the Police didn't release the footage was due to the inaccurate time stamp for Fisherton Road. It carries the time stamp 01:49:02 (13:49) and is thus out of sequence for the 13:05 and 13:08 Fisherton Road CCTV stills.

If I was to guess, I'd say that the clock on our home CCTV is out by anything between 10 minutes and an hour and ten minutes, as I never bother to re-set it for the GMT/BST change, plus I only really bother to look at recordings on the rare occasion that we think something may have happened. I would guess that a fair few stand alone commercial or private CCTV systems may well have time stamps that are pretty inaccurate.

flash8
9th Sep 2018, 20:49
I would guess that a fair few stand alone commercial or private CCTV systems may well have time stamps that are pretty inaccurate.The newer (Wifi) models probably connect to an NTP server for accurate time-stamps, the older ones that have no ip connectivity likely use a standalone timer, with possible drifting.

VP959
9th Sep 2018, 21:05
The newer (Wifi) models probably connect to an NTP server for accurate time-stamps, the older ones that have no ip connectivity likely use a standalone timer, with possible drifting.

A lot of the cheaper stand alone systems, of the type that a small shop might use if it's in a low crime area like Salisbury, seem to have pretty lousy clocks. Our system is a non-internet connected system, that's a pretty typical budget system, just like the sort of system that a small shop might use. It has four cameras, hard wired to a recorder, that records to hard disk whenever a camera is triggered by motion, and over-writes the older recordings after a few months or so, depending on how many times it's been triggered.

We forget all about the system for weeks or months at end, the monitor on the system isn't turned on most of the time, and we only bother to turn the monitor on and look at any recordings if we've seen something out of the ordinary. Last time I looked at a recording was when trying to find out what it was that had crapped on our drive...

TEEEJ
9th Sep 2018, 21:08
Swiss press is boiling with the revelation that those two have traveled here quite extensively over the past 18 months. Interresting...

Fontanka said people using the passports in the names of Petrov and Boshirov travelled to Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan and Paris on multiple occasions between September 2016 and March 2018. A person using Petrov's passport travelled to London at least once before the Skripals were poisoned, for a visit from Feb. 28.

Fontanka, an independent Russian media outlet with a strong track record of investigative reporting, did not disclose the source of its information.

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/russians-named-in-spy-poisoning-travelled-widely-in-europe-3440464

Sallyann1234
9th Sep 2018, 21:09
Our CCTV recorder resets the time against an NTP server every hour, and resets for summer time automatically. The time stamp is about one second slow due to digitising delay.
The time was accepted in a crown court case when the recording was used in a successful prosecution.

VP959
9th Sep 2018, 21:13
Our CCTV recorder resets the time against an NTP server every hour, and resets for summer time automatically. The time stamp is about one second slow due to digitising delay.
The time was accepted in a crown court case when the recording was used in a successful prosecution.

But a heck of a lot of these systems have no internet connectivity, so rely on the owner setting/checking the clock every now and again. Our system's about five years old, and at the time I bought it we didn't have internet connectivity (the house was a building site, which is why I'd bought it). A quick search shows that there are a heck of a lot of stand alone, non-internet connected, CCTV systems on sale.

Sallyann1234
9th Sep 2018, 21:19
But a heck of a lot of these systems have no internet connectivity, so rely on the owner setting/checking the clock every now and again. Our system's about five years old, and at the time I bought it we didn't have internet connectivity (the house was a building site, which is why I'd bought it). A quick search shows that there are a heck of a lot of stand alone, non-internet connected, CCTV systems on sale.
Yes there are but are they of any practical use?

VP959
10th Sep 2018, 07:05
Yes there are but are they of any practical use?

Yes, in as much as they will (hopefully) capture video of anyone committing a crime, or deter them from doing so, which is why most people fit the things (it's why I did - stuff was going missing from our building site and stopped once the cameras went up). Internet connectivity is a bit of a mixed blessing for those with limited technical skills (and a lot of these stand alone systems will have been DIY installed, I suspect). It certainly gives ease of remote access, accurate time codes, remote alarm operation etc, but it also opens up a potentially large security can of worms, too.

There have been lots of articles illustrating the very large number of IP cameras, baby monitors etc that have either been left on their default username/password settings or are easily hacked. This old story give some examples of a few tens of thousands of hacked CCTV cameras, for example: https://www.csoonline.com/article/2844283/microsoft-subnet/peeping-into-73-000-unsecured-security-cameras-thanks-to-default-passwords.html and this fairly old video shows (from about 4 mins 50 seconds in) how relatively easy it is to hack into an internet-connected CCTV camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZoslioj1zg

Given that most of these IP cameras are made in China, running Chinese firmware of unknown provenance, how much faith should we put in the security of any IP camera at the cheap to mid-range part of the market (the price range for most household and domestic CCTV)?

Pontius Navigator
10th Sep 2018, 07:25
I have two cameras by the same maker, branded but made in China. The older on does not have a video time stamp. It uses the computer clock for time stamping the files and on emails but sends.

The newer model has a time stamp. It is set manually and loses synch if powered off. It also need the computer time stamp on transmitted emails.

A_Van
10th Sep 2018, 08:50
The story and data about those 2 guys poses more questions than provide answers. Definitely, they are not "perfect strangers" . Rather a dumb and dumber. Looks like they did their best to be traced quickly and linked to Russia.

Just a few issues to mention below. Moreover, I assume that the data about these two suspect are correct and not "doctored" by UK services.

1. They had chosen the most straightforward route from Moscow and back on the days just before and after the event. Though it was clear that the search would start with this route and dates close to March 4.Expected crime preparation behavior would imply entering the UK well in advance by a ferry from the continent or Ireland. Also leaving to a 3rd country then.

2. Made two consecutive round trips to Salisbury by a public transport to make it even more suspicious than doing it once.Even not advanced criminals would send one guy for a reconnaissance and, later, another one or two for "implementation". Moreover, it would be much less suspicious if travelling in a car passing through Salisbury on day 1 to take a look, then drive to some tourist destination 50-100 miles away, spend a night or two there and do the dirty work on day 2 passing through Salisbury on the way back.

3. Were intentionally exposing their faces to cameras everywhere.It is well-known that UK is one of the most advanced and well-equipped countries as far as CCTV and other stuff like that is concerned. On the other hand, some gents on this thread who know the place wrote that in that particular Salisbury district the cameras could be avoided provided the action is really well planned.Also it is not a big deal for professionals to cheat face recognition software in such a low-res camera environment.

4. Carrying such a bloody dangerous substance they were not even wearing gloves and were wasting time at an "old curiosity shop" after working with it (spraying at a door knob, then walking to the park and disposing the used bottle that unavoidably would have substance on its outer surface after use). Real professionals who were supposed to operate without suits and masks should be accompanied by a car where some cleaning procedures could be conducted if anything goes wrong (and antidote shots).

So, IMHO those two might have been dumbs with a purpose to put the investigators onto a wrong path. With this regard, the hypothesis (already expressed in this thread by some gents) about Russian dirty money guys hiding themselves in UK and interested in discrediting the Moscow regime, seem to be valid. Or any other folks having the same purpose. Real plotters could hire those guys through a loosely-couple intermediary. Perhaps they were not carrying poison at all, this was done in parallel to them by somebody else, much more smarter. Or, if they indeed poisoned the door knob, they were just bloody lucky sons of a bitch not to hurt themselves.

Obviously, the professionals would not behave in such a way. Also, it was clear in advance for the "planners" that those two would be out of any game for their life time (Interpol, other head hunters). If they were special agents of the Russian regime, would not it be to high a cost to lose such guys for international ops?

Sallyann1234
10th Sep 2018, 08:52
The comments about lack of security with internet connected cameras are well made. There was/is is a website hosting links to cameras that are inadvertently open to the world.
The other problem with the cheap ebay cameras, and even with the more expensive connected-home branded types, is the limited definition. They have wide-angle lenses to cover a whole room, and limited definition - 720p or 1080p - which means that a face has to be close to the camera to give a good identification.

The burglars I referred to above were breaking into a house across the road, but the pictures were clear enough to identify two men known to police, who promptly visited their home and found the stolen goods. That camera has a longer focal length and a higher definition - 4Mp frames.

VP959
10th Sep 2018, 09:13
The story and data about those 2 guys poses more questions than provide answers. Definitely, they are not "perfect strangers" . Rather a dumb and dumber. Looks like they did their best to be traced quickly and linked to Russia.
Just a few issues to mention below. Moreover, I assume that the data about these two suspect are correct and not "doctored" by UK services.
1. They had chosen the most straightforward route from Moscow and back on the days just before and after the event. Though it was clear that the search would start with this route and dates close to March 4.Expected crime preparation behavior would imply entering the UK well in advance by a ferry from the continent or Ireland. Also leaving to a 3rd country then.
2. Made two consecutive round trips to Salisbury by a public transport to make it even more suspicious than doing it once.Even not advanced criminals would send one guy for a reconnaissance and, later, another one or two for "implementation". Moreover, it would be much less suspicious if travelling in a car passing through Salisbury on day 1 to take a look, then drive to some tourist destination 50-100 miles away, spend a night or two there and do the dirty work on day 2 passing through Salisbury on the way back.
3. Were intentionally exposing their faces to cameras everywhere.It is well-known that UK is one of the most advanced and well-equipped countries as far as CCTV and other stuff like that is concerned. On the other hand, some gents on this thread who know the place wrote that in that particular Salisbury district the cameras could be avoided provided the action is really well planned.Also it is not a big deal for professionals to cheat face recognition software in such a low-res camera environment.
4. Carrying such a bloody dangerous substance they were not even wearing gloves and were wasting time at an "old curiosity shop" after working with it (spraying at a door knob, then walking to the park and disposing the used bottle that unavoidably would have substance on its outer surface after use). Real professionals who were supposed to operate without suits and masks should be accompanied by a car where some cleaning procedures could be conducted if anything goes wrong (and antidote shots).

So, IMHO those two might have been dumbs with a purpose to put the investigators onto a wrong path. With this regard, the hypothesis (already expressed in this thread by some gents) about Russian dirty money guys hiding themselves in UK and interested in discrediting the Moscow regime, seem to be valid. Or any other folks having the same purpose. Real plotters could hire those guys through a loosely-couple intermediary. Perhaps they were not carrying poison at all, this was done in parallel to them by somebody else, much more smarter. Or, if they indeed poisoned the door knob, they were just bloody lucky sons of a bitch not to hurt themselves.
Obviously, the professionals would not behave in such a way. Also, it was clear in advance for the "planners" that those two would be out of any game for their life time (Interpol, other head hunters). If they were special agents of the Russian regime, would not it be to high a cost to lose such guys for international ops?

The slight flaw in that argument is that traces of the agent were found in the London hotel these two guys stayed in, which suggests that they were carrying the stuff themselves.

There's a large residential area around Sergei Skripal's house with no CCTV coverage, and there doesn't seem to be any imagery of them there, but it seems quite possible that they put on surgical gloves before handling the agent, then doffed them inside out quickly once the job was done and they needed to look normal again. If anyone saw them around that area (and we don't know if they did or didn't, as I don't think it's been reported) then would they have spotted if they were wearing surgical gloves? I doubt it, to be honest, people just aren't that observant. They could even have been wearing ordinary gloves over the top of them to disguise them, and have binned the lot somewhere (there are street bins around that may well have been emptied before the police had a chance to check them).

A_Van
10th Sep 2018, 09:38
The slight flaw in that argument is that traces of the agent were found in the London hotel these two guys stayed in, which suggests that they were carrying the stuff themselves.

I doubt that. Recall a strange context used while mentioning "the traces in the hotel"? Smth like "yes, the traces were found, but were so negligible that no alarm was raised, no procedures needed, etc." Sounds absolutely contradictory to paranoia that took place in Salisbury where large areas were declared "no go", ground taken away, etc.
Looks like the investigators spread this info for a possible back up. If they do not find stronger arguments and real bad guys, this could be put on the table. Anyway, a) nobody could cross-check and/or b) they could add such traces themselves as those substances are available at Porton Down. If they reveal new and real poisoners, this would not be elaborated further.

There's a large residential area around Sergei Skripal's house with no CCTV coverage, and there doesn't seem to be any imagery of them there, but it seems quite possible that they put on surgical gloves before handling the agent, then doffed them inside out quickly once the job was done and they needed to look normal again. If anyone saw them around that area (and we don't know if they did or didn't, as I don't think it's been reported) then would they have spotted if they were wearing surgical gloves? I doubt it, to be honest, people just aren't that observant. They could even have been wearing ordinary gloves over the top of them to disguise them, and have binned the lot somewhere (there are street bins around that may well have been emptied before the police had a chance to check them).

According to the timeline of those "tourists" they might have been in that area around noon and shortly after. I.e. an early Sunday afternoon, with potentially many people in the streets. And the Skripals were supposed to be at home at that time. Looks like quite an inappropriate and risky period to do something at the front door, isn't it?

flash8
10th Sep 2018, 10:49
The slight flaw in that argument is that traces of the agent were found in the London hotel these two guys stayed in, which suggests that they were carrying the stuff themselves. I haven't heard a satisfactory argument is to how traces were found and yet these two (and others) apparently remained unharmed. Surely with something as deadly around even the most minute contamination would be lethal. Whoever sourced this pathogen would know how to best transport it surreptitiously. I say that at least having a few years working on a US Task Order involved primarily in Pathogen tracking/storage throughout the CIS. Not an expert by any means, far from, but not stupid!

currawong
10th Sep 2018, 11:51
The apparently indiscreet execution of the operation is of no consequence. There was no compromise prior to, it did not preclude the execution of, there has been no real consequence as a result of.

Why try harder than you need to?

Sallyann1234
10th Sep 2018, 12:05
The apparently indiscreet execution of the operation is of no consequence. There was no compromise prior to, it did not preclude the execution of, there has been no real consequence as a result of.

Why try harder than you need to?
Exactly the point I have been making. The only secrecy needed was to avoid being caught in the act. Anything extra was superfluous.
As to the traces in the hotel room, it is entirely possible that the poison was delivered to them there. Which would explain why police are still looking for other suspects.

VP959
10th Sep 2018, 13:22
I haven't heard a satisfactory argument is to how traces were found and yet these two (and others) apparently remained unharmed. Surely with something as deadly around even the most minute contamination would be lethal. Whoever sourced this pathogen would know how to best transport it surreptitiously. I say that at least having a few years working on a US Task Order involved primarily in Pathogen tracking/storage throughout the CIS. Not an expert by any means, far from, but not stupid!

Although this agent can be lethal, it really isn't incredibly toxic - it takes a significant dose applied to the skin to kill, or even make someone ill, hence the reason that the Skripals, Sgt Bailey and Charlie Rowley have recovered. As far as I can find out, no one has actually assessed the LD50 for A-234, and the best estimates I can find as to its toxicity put it at probably around 5 to 10 times that of VX, but that is really just a guesstimate, based on the stuff some former Soviet defectors have said, and my view is that they may well have exaggerated their claims a bit.

It takes a few tens of mg of VX to kill via skin absorption, and although that sounds like a small dose, it's not, really. We can detect agents of this type down to a level of a few tens of µg, way below the sort of dose that would cause any symptoms in an adult.

atakacs
10th Sep 2018, 19:03
Obviously, the professionals would not behave in such a way. Also, it was clear in advance for the "planners" that those two would be out of any game for their life time (Interpol, other head hunters). If they were special agents of the Russian regime, would not it be to high a cost to lose such guys for international ops?

Not to mention the multiple trips, apparently under the very same identity, to Switzerland overt the past months.

I am trying to follow up on that part of the story and it is has all the sudden turned local.

TEEEJ
10th Sep 2018, 20:14
The slight flaw in that argument is that traces of the agent were found in the London hotel these two guys stayed in, which suggests that they were carrying the stuff themselves.

There's a large residential area around Sergei Skripal's house with no CCTV coverage, and there doesn't seem to be any imagery of them there, but it seems quite possible that they put on surgical gloves before handling the agent, then doffed them inside out quickly once the job was done and they needed to look normal again. If anyone saw them around that area (and we don't know if they did or didn't, as I don't think it's been reported) then would they have spotted if they were wearing surgical gloves? I doubt it, to be honest, people just aren't that observant. They could even have been wearing ordinary gloves over the top of them to disguise them, and have binned the lot somewhere (there are street bins around that may well have been emptied before the police had a chance to check them).

Of note the Police did cordon off and search the wooded children's play area just around the corner from Skripal's house. This play area is on Montgomery Gardens and on the most likely route taken. The wooded area could well have been used to prepare themselves?

A children’s play area near Sergei Skripal's home has been cordoned off by police investigating a nerve agent attack on the former Russian spy.

The Metropolitan Police said the operation in Montgomery Gardens was a “precautionary measure”.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said: “I would like to reassure residents that we have placed the cordons around the park, and officers will be searching it, as a precautionary measure.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/salisbury-russia-nerve-agent-attack-latest-play-area-sergei-skripal-police-investigation-a8279996.html

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/1786x909/playareastreetview_dd53792e2ad89a8cfbb56ed1df5e93e11266f2fd. jpg

Google Street view link

https://goo.gl/maps/pMtpo5GvYC32

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/772x773/playarea_60a6bf90358e8713108b944c4a14a1bc21f6819a.jpg

KelvinD
10th Sep 2018, 20:19
Re the Novichok traces found at their hotel; I read recently that traces were found and the hotel was revisited either the next day or within a couple of days and no traces were found. This was put down to the original trace gathering having cleaned the whole lot out.
Imagine that! All they had to d in Salisbury was swab for traces and they wouldn't have needed all the paraphernalia, the removal of park benches etc. Just send in the sample gatherers to do their bit and.. all gone!
As for the theories about this attack being a message from the Russian government as an example to other turn coats, I have always thought that if the government wanted to send a message, they would "off" one person quietly and professionally and then let the rumour mill do its thing.."You see what happened to X? Well, they may be coming for you next". The uncertainty and fear this would generate would be worth more than a couple of Aeroflot plane tickets back and forth, with the traceability that goes with that.
Incidentally, let's stop criticising the Russian government for having a policy of not deporting their suspects. Check out today's adolescent outburst from the US government re the threats being issued to anyone who dares to assist the International Criminal Court.

2unlimited
11th Sep 2018, 03:45
In 2011 - 2012, USA and Hillary Clinton tried to screw Putins election. Russia saw how Clinton and USA had Gadaffi slaughtered like an animal, in addition Mrs Clinton was filmed laughing of how primitively Gadaffi was killed.
So who was meddling with who's election first, shows that USA and UK are not as innocent as they appear to be in this dirty world of international politics. I am not trying to defend Putin, however people need to try to understand Russia in today's world.

When Germany was unified, NATO promised the Sovietunion they would not expand eastwards, what happen? They have intentionally provocated Russia by expanding to the borders of Russia. The EU and USA set in motion much of the reason for Ukraine going into civil war, deliberately trying to derail Russias partnership with Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova.

Similar with Syria, USA's and UK's politics in the ME, Iraq, Syria etc., has gone from disaster to disaster. It's easy for USA being far away from the all the chaos they have created, how many can say Iraq has improved after the country go destroyed, and what was the goal with Syria? To create more instability in the Middle East, more people killing each other, more people becoming refugees coming to Europe, they not going on boats to the USA are they?

Russia\s borders are much closer to Syria, Iraq and Iran, than USA's borders are, so greater security risk if another ME country descends in to further chaos and mess, just like USA have done with Iraq and Libya.
The EU refugee crisis is mainly because of the failed foreign policies of the USA, and UK and the EU have followed like puppets in supporting them, hence we have EU imploding, refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

Crimea's majority of population are Russian's, they had a vote where the overall majority wanted to be a part of Russia, this was not the first time the the Crimea population wanted to belong to Russia, also previous polls have showed this. I knew many Ukrainians with Russian ethnicity living abroad around Europe, and of all of them I did not find anyone who was against Putin. They ALL supported him and believed that Crimea and Ukraine should be part of Russia.
Millions of Russians was stuck behind when the Soviet union fell apart in East Europe, and they was treated badly, I know as I have friends who was born in East Europe from Russian parents, they had to change their names, to not sound like Russians. This was happening to children in countries like Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, etc. just to mention a few.

To many here are sitting with their news fed to them by anti Russia media, what would NATO and USA be if there is no longer is an enemy? NATO and the USA can not afford to loose Russia as a potential political threat, without Russia as a strong military power, who else are NATO going to build weapons to attack? Weapons industry = money - any war with Russia would be self destruction of the world, so this is all pretty pathetic - these war games that are being played.

Blaming this on Russia and Putin, feeds into the perfect narrative that Hillary Clinton as been trying paint of Putin since 2011.
Maybe this was Russians way of showing power, however somehow I don't believe Putin would be that stupid. The question you must ask, who has something to gain from this being blamed on Russia?
Who has the most advantages of this being blamed on Russia?

After the disaster with the Intelligence services and the WMD in Iraq, I feel we need to demand the bar of evidence gets raised much higher this time, for us to believe what news we are being fed, a truth full of holes like a Swiss Cheese.

Stan Woolley
11th Sep 2018, 07:50
2unlimited

Great post, but it’s unlikely to receive a warm welcome from many here. :ok:

Sallyann1234
11th Sep 2018, 08:04
Russia\s borders are much closer to Syria, Iraq and Iran, than USA's borders are, so greater security risk if another ME country descends in to further chaos and mess, just like USA have done with Iraq and Libya.
Exactly how has Russia's intervention in Syria prevented further chaos and mess? Russian weapons, and intervention by its own military forces, have created infinitely more death and destruction than would have happened if you had left them alone.

And if you were that interested in the welfare of the Syrian people who are apparently so close to your borders, why haven't you opened up refugee camps for them in Russia, instead of leaving them to the inadequate care of other local countries that can't support them?

And since you mentioned levels of evidence, do you accept that Litvinenko was murdered by the Russian state, and if not what additional evidence would you require?

currawong
11th Sep 2018, 09:38
Hard to see where it fits in on this thread Stan:confused:

The "Eve Of War" thread would seem a better fit.

Sallyann1234
11th Sep 2018, 09:49
Hard to see where it fits in on this thread Stan:confused:

The "Eve Of War" thread would seem a better fit.
It's just the usual 'whataboutery' to confuse the hard of thinking and divert from the subject.

Stan Woolley
11th Sep 2018, 10:05
Hard to see where it fits in on this thread Stan:confused:

The "Eve Of War" thread would seem a better fit.

Its all connected.

currawong
11th Sep 2018, 10:07
Its all connected.

So have we established now "who" and have moved on to "why?"

Seems a little premature...

Stan Woolley
11th Sep 2018, 10:19
So have we established now "who" and have moved on to "why?"

Seems a little premature...

The media and nice simple folk like Sallyann1342 think they have it all sussed, but my guess is that the truth would likely be stranger than fiction. ;)

2unlimited
11th Sep 2018, 12:12
Exactly how has Russia's intervention in Syria prevented further chaos and mess? Russian weapons, and intervention by its own military forces, have created infinitely more death and destruction than would have happened if you had left them alone.

And if you were that interested in the welfare of the Syrian people who are apparently so close to your borders, why haven't you opened up refugee camps for them in Russia, instead of leaving them to the inadequate care of other local countries that can't support them?

And since you mentioned levels of evidence, do you accept that Litvinenko was murdered by the Russian state, and if not what additional evidence would you require?

Let's have a look at Afghanistan, USA actively supported and trained Afghans to fight Russians, gave weapons and training to Bin Laden. Than suddenly Bin Laden turned, and attacked USA.

Lets go further back to Iran, USA and UK actively wanted the the Sjah removed, mainly because they was a afraid he would get to much power over the oil prices, they allowed Ayatollah Khomeini back into the country, and we can today see the result of this in Iran. Than of course USA supported Saddam Hussain, to go to war with Iran, where millions of people died.
Only for the USA to remove the only man who could control all there different fractions in Iraq, the removal of Saddam, left a Iraq open to the expansion of ISIS. Gaddaffi also was a threat on the US Dollar, as they looked to get more power over their own resources, Gaddaffi’s plan to introduce a gold-backed currency that would unite the entire African continent. This currency would then be used to sell oil in the global market, and the African continent would be less reliant on the American dollar, strengthening Africa’s position in the world economy to the detriment of NATO.

So back to Syria, first of all do you know who the rebel forces in Syria are? What they stand for?
Again we are led to believe the narrative that we are told by US, UK and other Western governments and media.
Assad is bad
Syrian Rebels are good
Kurds are good
ISIS are bad

This is the narrative we are led to believe, by the same politicians that once said Bin Laden was good, but I guess they got that one wrong. And you would be extremely naive to believe we have become any smarter. I still don't believe the Russians have killed as many as the USA and UK forces killed in Iraq, and the chaos created during the Libya conflict and the Iran Iraq war, so I don't believe any here can take the moral high ground on this.

Does anybody really believe that the Syrian Rebels/opposition will provide a better and more stable leadership in the Syria? Or are they puppet regimes in the waiting to serve the agenda of the USA's politics and protect their own interests.

Syria has supported the Turkish Kurds, which makes Turkey see them as an enemy. Russia have themselves a big muslim population, and the reason for their involvement in Syria is that they fear the power will be taken by Jihadists, who would be enemies of both Russia and USA, in addition Russia fear the region will be further destabilised with the removal of Assad that will allow other terrorist groups to grow.
USA's role in Libya and Iraq have showed Russia, that the USA created chaos after the removal Gaddafi, and Russia will never allow another country descending into the same chaos that was created in Libya.
Have in mind Assads government is a secular government, the rebels of Syria supported by the USA are not as open minded regarding freedom. Christians and followers of other religions in Syria are all protected by the state, nobody cares who and how you worship, as long as one doesn't offend others, their believes and faiths. There is a law in Syria that punishes sectarian slurs for up to 5 years in prison.

The Assad regime can be extremely brutal towards Muslim extremists. According to him, there is no other way to deal with these extremists.
Religious parties are outlawed in Syria. The regime doesn’t allow the meddling of religion and politics.

Russia have themselves suffered terrible terrorist attacks, some fare worse than the ones in Europe and more gruesome than even 9/11.
Example of this is the Beslan siege, where 344 people was killed, mostly children, and there are more. However I can't see why USA and UK should have monopoly on fighting terrorism, however I am not happy with the way our Western governments have handled the ME situation.

Some may ask what this has to do with Skripal, that's the point, if there are enemies of Russia, they will have invested interests that will try to damage Russia towards the world. Russia was invited by Assad to support them as an allied, USA was never invited to invade Iraq and Libya, based mainly on lies given by their intelligence services to the world.
My question is, why should we all of sudden now start believing them? When they only reason USA invaded Iraq, was that Bush Jr wanted to finish what Bush Senior did not do. The USA lied, we know that, they lied big, and it cost millions of lives, why are we so outraged now if the Russians are lying, if they tried to kill a traitor of their country - hypocrisy at its best.

One Outsider
11th Sep 2018, 12:31
Great post, but it’s unlikely to receive a warm welcome from many here. :ok:
But the useful idiots lap it up.

currawong
11th Sep 2018, 13:06
The media and nice simple folk like Sallyann1342 think they have it all sussed, but my guess is that the truth would likely be stranger than fiction. ;)

Possibly. But off topic.

Sallyann1234
11th Sep 2018, 14:23
Another page of whataboutery from you, 2unlimited.
Yes the USA - and China - have interfered with other countries. Does that give you a licence to flatten most of Syria and sent millions into exile? How about you stand back and shame the USA by not following their example? You didn't answer why you haven't supported those refugees.

Back to Skripal. Just about everyone on here has their own theory of what happened. Some credible and some far-fetched. The best way for you to disprove the UK's accusations would be to send the two accused to the UK so that all of the evidence - not just what has been made public so far - can be tested in court. I'm sure you could send a competent Russian legal team to defend them. What a triumph for you if the jury found them not guilty!

And you avoided my question about Litvinenko. Was the evidence against his alleged murderers not sufficient for you, or was that just another anti-Russia plot?

Stan Woolley
11th Sep 2018, 14:34
Possibly. But off topic.

I disagree. If you think that the Skripal affair is unconnected to the anti-Russia mania that the establishment is using to fool the majority of the public, then you haven’t been paying attention. Its all about Syria and the US, and probably Israel.

Do you think Peter Hitchins writes tweets like this for fun? From 2hrs ago:

“Please write to your MP *now*. You have almost no time. War, terrible war, may be on the way and we need to act if we are to keep this country out of it: hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2018/09/please…”

This could get serious.

flash8
11th Sep 2018, 14:50
So back to Syria, first of all do you know who the rebel forces in Syria are? What they stand for?
Again we are led to believe the narrative that we are told by US, UK and other Western governments and media.
Assad is bad
Syrian Rebels are good
Kurds are good
ISIS are badAlthough slightly off-topic, the Kurds are in fact good people. I have known some Kurds for a decade or so, and fundamentally more decent people I have yet to meet (including Europeans). They hate Arabs, Turks with a vengeance, and whilst many are Muslim I have actually yet to see one (of the few dozen I know) even enter a Mosque or be slightly religious. When pushed (I am curious) they really it seems a lot of the time to keep their feelings private and definitely never, ever impose anything on others, they are just ordinary folk devoted to their country. They stand out in the Middle East as completely unlike their neighbours (including Iraq proper) and the country is so safe you or I could take our families on vacation. I know this as friends have taken their families without problems, a safe haven.

I disagree. If you don’t think that the Skripal affair is unconnected to the anti-Russia mania that the establishment is using to fool the majority of the public, then you haven’t been paying attention.
Well I agree Stan (which won't surprise anyone) there does seem to be a concerted effort to whip up Anti-Russian hysteria. The odd thing is, here in Moscow, people actually like and welcome the British people, and bear absolutely no grudges against them. Come over here and you'll be surprised at the welcome you will get. The FCO have a cheek stating they delayed the Skripal suspects naming until after the World Cup due to safety concerns for British Tourists. I don't swear often but that is absolutely bollocks, it would have made not one iota of difference. But spin is spin.

DaveReidUK
11th Sep 2018, 14:57
Do you think Peter Hitchins writes tweets like this for fun?

No, of course he doesn't. He writes them because he's a self-aggrandising d*ckhead.

His premise seems to be that since we've entered two world wars in the last 100+ years in the months of August/September, it follows that the next few weeks are therefore fraught with danger. :ugh:

Hmmm.

Stan Woolley
11th Sep 2018, 15:17
No, of course he doesn't. He writes them because he's a self-aggrandising d*ckhead.

His premise seems to be that since we've entered two world wars in the last 100+ years in the months of August/September, it follows that the next few weeks are therefore fraught with danger. :ugh:

Hmmm.

It’s bugger all to do with the month, it’s to do with us messing with fire in Syria. Everyone’s so f*cking clever, calling people d*ckheads and bots/ useful idiots and so on.

I pray that you’re right. And if you are, it’ll be more luck than f*cking brains!

:ugh:

2unlimited
11th Sep 2018, 15:27
Another page of whataboutery from you, 2unlimited.
Yes the USA - and China - have interfered with other countries. Does that give you a licence to flatten most of Syria and sent millions into exile? How about you stand back and shame the USA by not following their example? You didn't answer why you haven't supported those refugees.

And you avoided my question about Litvinenko. Was the evidence against his alleged murderers not sufficient for you, or was that just another anti-Russia plot?

Should we now applaud USA for not flattening Syria? The only reason USA is not doing that, is because Russia is there now.
Obama's RED LINE was crossed, however Putin have put a much stronger RED LINE, that the USA dare not to cross.

You will discover that the Anti Russia sentiment is not so strong in the general population in the UK. I think USA have already flattened more than they fare share in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. So I don't see any reason for giving them plaudits for showing restraint in Syria, where they have actually been arming and training rebels / Jihadists to fight the Russians and Assad, who would have thought that USA learned anything from supporting Bin Laden fighting the Russians in Afghanistan.

Why do I need to answer about Litvinenko? Thats a complete different matter, and is of no importance for this discussion. How many times did the CIA try to have Castro and Chavez killed?

Let's get one thing straight, the Russians are not our enemy in Europe. The refugee situation is not just from Syria, it's the whole region of that part of the ME, because countries like USA and UK have bombed their countries back to the stone ages.

One important point, I have not said that Russia is NOT behind this, however I am personally not convinced they are, based on multiple factors and the history.
It's possible there are fractions within the GRU who have done this without government / Putin backing, and if that is the case, these guys will NEVER be seen again.

Skripal was exchanged by the Russian government without the knowledge / consent of the GRU. So there are many scenarios in play here, that we will never have access too. Who knows what damage Skripals betrayal hurt, and who might have still felt aggrieved with him.
Let's not make Skripal some innocent poor guy, this is someone who betrayed his OWN COUNTRY, a Qusling, and if the foot had been on the other side, there would not have been much sympathy for such a person.
We do not know how much damage his information created, and how many people got hurt or killed by the information he provided.
So stop acting like this poor guy Skripal was some innocent old pensioner living in Salisbury - he was the lowest of the lowest you can get - betraying your country is equally as bad as betraying your family and your own children.

Stan Woolley
11th Sep 2018, 15:31
Although slightly off-topic, the Kurds are in fact good people. I have known some Kurds for a decade or so, and fundamentally more decent people I have yet to meet (including Europeans). They hate Arabs, Turks with a vengeance, and whilst many are Muslim I have actually yet to see one (of the few dozen I know) even enter a Mosque or be slightly religious. When pushed (I am curious) they really it seems a lot of the time to keep their feelings private and definitely never, ever impose anything on others, they are just ordinary folk devoted to their country. They stand out in the Middle East as completely unlike their neighbours (including Iraq proper) and the country is so safe you or I could take our families on vacation. I know this as friends have taken their families without problems, a safe haven.

Well I agree Stan (which won't surprise anyone) there does seem to be a concerted effort to whip up Anti-Russian hysteria. The odd thing is, here in Moscow, people actually like and welcome the British people, and bear absolutely no grudges against them. Come over here and you'll be surprised at the welcome you will get. The FCO have a cheek stating they delayed the Skripal suspects naming until after the World Cup due to safety concerns for British Tourists. I don't swear often but that is absolutely bollocks, it would have made not one iota of difference. But spin is spin.

Hi Flash
I’ve no doubt your telling the truth. It is probably true of most people that have died fighting in wars, they probably spent their last breaths wondering how it came to this. So stupid. It’s nothing less than insanity.

2unlimited
11th Sep 2018, 16:05
Hi Flash
I’ve no doubt your telling the truth. It is probably true of most people that have died fighting in wars, they probably spent their last breaths wondering how it came to this. So stupid. It’s nothing less than insanity.


Most wars are fought for men and women who do not have the courage to fight them themselves. People in high places who can't agree amongst themselves, and they send their soldiers to resolve their disagreements. Russia still have the strength to make hard decisions to solve problems, Europe have become soft in tackling their issues, to much political correctness, and fear of upsetting someones nail polish. We allow our values and laws be abused without serious consequences, and there are many who will take advantage of our weakness. Our weakness to take action when needed, and to take the right action, and being able to sometimes take actions that is not always popular.

I know many Russians, some I might not agree with, but let's get this straight, Russia is not our enemy.

Sallyann1234
11th Sep 2018, 17:49
Why do I need to answer about Litvinenko? Thats a complete different matter, and is of no importance for this discussion.

So a discussion about the Skripals can be diverted by pages of smoke about Syria, Cuba, Afghanistan etc. etc. etc.

But mention of Litvinenko , another Russian killed by exotic chemicals in London, is 'irrelevant'.
I think that sums up your intentions pretty well.
I'll let you have the last words on this.

flash8
11th Sep 2018, 18:22
But mention of Litvinenko , another Russian killed by exotic chemicals in London, is 'irrelevant'.There is a strong argument that Berezovsky and Goldfarb played their hand in Litvinenko's demise, right up to the scripted farewell speech. Berezovsky of course came to his own highly contentious end a few years or so later. A lot of unanswered questions surround this case, it is not as simple as the media would like to portray, far from it. This is not to say the Russian state didn't have a hand in it, who can say for certain, but this isn't as cut and dry as some think by far.

So a discussion about the Skripals can be diverted by pages of smoke about Syria, Cuba, Afghanistan etc. etc. etc.Within a geopolitical context there probably is little doubt they are all entwined in some way, of course fathoming out how is probably beyond what information is publicly accessible :)

Pontius Navigator
11th Sep 2018, 18:31
2Unlimited, I don't want to give you much bandwidth but you have repeated, unchallenged, a false fact on which fake news flourishes:

Let's get one thing straight, the Russians are not our enemy in Europe. The refugee situation is not just from Syria, it's the whole region of that part of the ME, because countries like USA and UK have bombed their countries back to the stone ages.

Some refugees from Syria are women and children but many from the ME are young men capable of fighting for their country who chose to pretend to be children so as to get a better life in Europe. You mentioned refugees drowning in the Mediterranean. Some left Libya but more recently Morocco; they come not from Libya or Morocco but Somalia, Eritrea, sub-Saharan Africa, and West Africa, not countries that have been bombed by the USA but whose young men are economic migrants.

2unlimited
11th Sep 2018, 18:55
So a discussion about the Skripals can be diverted by pages of smoke about Syria, Cuba, Afghanistan etc. etc. etc.

But mention of Litvinenko , another Russian killed by exotic chemicals in London, is 'irrelevant'.
I think that sums up your intentions pretty well.
I'll let you have the last words on this.

Well if it's like that, why don't we speak about Leon Trotsky?
There many more interesting cases of Russians mysteriously dying around the world, and in the UK. Many.

I will talk about things I have done some knowledge, I did not know because I give my opinion I need to make a comment all previous assassinations. Litvinenko is not Skripal. But you can keep your narrow Hillary Clinton policy mind, that Russia is the big bear wolf of the world.

2unlimited
11th Sep 2018, 19:18
2Unlimited, I don't want to give you much bandwidth but you have repeated, unchallenged, a false fact on which fake news flourishes:

Some refugees from Syria are women and children but many from the ME are young men capable of fighting for their country who chose to pretend to be children so as to get a better life in Europe. You mentioned refugees drowning in the Mediterranean. Some left Libya but more recently Morocco; they come not from Libya or Morocco but Somalia, Eritrea, sub-Saharan Africa, and West Africa, not countries that have been bombed by the USA but whose young men are economic migrants.

I don't disagree that there are many economic migrants from the countries you mention, however many of the refugee boats have origin from Libya. However the majority has been from Syria. The immigrants from Morocco and other African nations is nothing new, thats been happening for ages. If you ever visited South Spain / Italy, France and the Canary Islands you would have seen this.
So your nonsense of using "FAKE NEWS" from the Stats in 2015: Half of those crossing the Mediterranean were from Syria, 20% were fromAfghanistan and 7% from Iraq.

So what exactly have I repeated which is a false fact? I was just explaining the major reason for sudden increase of refugees the last few years, and furthermore I would not consider nationals from eg. Morocco as refugees if they are economical migrants. So to confuse the 2 definitions is a false fact by itself.

currawong
11th Sep 2018, 22:50
Off topic but I will jump in anyway.

The current East/West mistrust is a legacy problem that predates anything present day.

It predates the Syrian conflict or indeed any of this "Arab Spring" nonsense.

It predates the Cold War and its proxy wars in the various spheres of influence.

It even predates Stalin doing a deal with Hitler to split Poland.

It stems from Western involvement in the Russian Civil War. Yes that one about a century ago. The new management held a grudge and it stuck. Benefit of hindsight? Probably a mistake for the West to get involved but given the assistance was for the legitimate government of the day it would have seemed the right thing to do at the time I suppose.

Not unlike another civil war playing out now that has entered the thread drift above.

Historical events are like watching dominoes fall. This leads to that and so on.

flash8
11th Sep 2018, 23:01
Historical events are like watching dominoes fall. This leads to that and so on.
Yes, and often we watch aghast whilst they fall before our very eyes.... and yet nobody seems to do anything!

currawong
11th Sep 2018, 23:28
Yes, and often we watch aghast whilst they fall before our very eyes.... and yet nobody seems to do anything!
Therein lies the conundrum.

Getting involved can be a mistake.

Not getting involved can be a mistake.

The correct way forward often only recognized in hindsight.

2unlimited
12th Sep 2018, 00:42
Therein lies the conundrum.

Getting involved can be a mistake.

Not getting involved can be a mistake.

The correct way forward often only recognized in hindsight.

Getting involved will never be an option, if Russia or China does something we don't like, USA and Europe know there is very little they can do to force Russia or China to comply. As the consequence could be the end of the world as we know it. I grew up during the cold war, I served in the military during this time, no doubt the view of the Soviet-union was pretty dim.
After the cold war, Russia had been brought to their knees by USA, however Russians are proud people, and Putin have managed to restore much of the Russian pride.

In an interview Putin had with Oliver Stone, 4 series mini series many interesting things got discussed, and Oliver Stone did not hold back, yet Putin seemed very wise and honest in his answers. As a small joke, Russia had suggested maybe they should join NATO, well why could they not join NATO?
NATO have Turkey as a member, the Baltic states, and surely they will be trying to get Ukraine eventually.
I guarantee you, that Turkey is less democratic than Russia, and probably have a much worse human rights record than Russia.

If we think a bit about this reality, Russia requesting/wanting to join NATO - what would NATO's purpose be?

currawong
12th Sep 2018, 01:55
Getting involved will never be an option, if Russia or China does something we don't like, USA and Europe know there is very little they can do to force Russia or China to comply. As the consequence could be the end of the world as we know it. I grew up during the cold war, I served in the military during this time, no doubt the view of the Soviet-union was pretty dim.
After the cold war, Russia had been brought to their knees by USA, however Russians are proud people, and Putin have managed to restore much of the Russian pride.

In an interview Putin had with Oliver Stone, 4 series mini series many interesting things got discussed, and Oliver Stone did not hold back, yet Putin seemed very wise and honest in his answers. As a small joke, Russia had suggested maybe they should join NATO, well why could they not join NATO?
NATO have Turkey as a member, the Baltic states, and surely they will be trying to get Ukraine eventually.
I guarantee you, that Turkey is less democratic than Russia, and probably have a much worse human rights record than Russia.

If we think a bit about this reality, Russia requesting/wanting to join NATO - what would NATO's purpose be?

I concur. I too grew up and served during the Cold War. As did many of us here.

However, Soviet Russia was not brought to its knees by the US. Soviet Russia was brought to its knees by Soviet Russia.

2unlimited
12th Sep 2018, 02:11
I concur. I too grew up and served during the Cold War. As did many of us here.

However, Soviet Russia was not brought to its knees by the US. Soviet Russia was brought to its knees by Soviet Russia.

Soviet could not keep up in the arms race with the USA, it nearly bankrupted them, weapons but no food.

currawong
12th Sep 2018, 03:10
The economic priorities of Soviet Russia were decided by Soviet Russia, nobody else. That is the legacy that the Russia of today inherited.

Let us imagine for a moment, that immediately post World War 2, Soviet Russia had accepted the economic recovery package offered to it (and the rest of Europe) by the US in the form of the Marshall Plan.

It then does not embark on the Cold War and goes on to become an economic powerhouse. No Cold War....where would we be now if not for that?

Let us imagine for a moment, that immediately post World War 2, Soviet Russia does not accept the recovery package due to pride or whatever, but takes the offer as a gesture of goodwill and so does not embark on the Cold War. Similar result, longer timeline.

That goodwill (and pragmatism) dried up soon after. I don't have to explain to you why - you were there.

Pontius Navigator
12th Sep 2018, 07:09
Currawong, well said. Been saying that about the Russian's justifiable mistrust. I submit it goes back much further, at least to Napoleon and perhaps even Swedish Wars.

A_Van
12th Sep 2018, 07:36
Sallyann1234,

Regarding Litvinenko, his case seems to be more clear than the Skripal's one. Berezovsky and his mob were obviously the main beneficiaries. Boris was shouting at that time at every corner that declared a war against Putin. And an unprofessional way the whole thing was done showed that it was "quite unlikely" that Russian or British secret services were involved. Also Litvinenko was not a defector, he did not "sell" any agents to MI-6 (just because he knew nothing about foreign intelligence during his KGB times) - a negligible character for the regime. Neither was he betraying anybody personally.
Lugovoy and his friend Kovtun (who was also poisoned but finally recovered) were simply "marked" with polonium to put the investigators on the needed (for the plotters) track.
By the way, in 2012 two British polygraphists arrvied in Moscow after Lugovoy agreed to be tested. And he passed the test, they even gave him a standard certificate or so. Here is the source in English I've found: https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/21/watch-through-sherlocks-eyes-the-litvinenko-poisoning/

An excerpt:
"....the team employed a British polygraph practitioner, Bruce Burgess, to question Andrey Lugovoi, one of Litvinenko’s alleged assassins, about his alleged involvement in the murder. The interview itself doesn’t appear in the film, but we see Burgess announce the results on camera. He says he asked Lugovoi three questions.
“Did you do anything to cause the death of Alexander Litvinenko?”.To which Lugovoi answered “no”
“Where you involved in any way in the death of Alexander Litvinenko?” To which Lugovoi answered “no.”
“Have you ever handled polonium?” To which Lugovoi answered “no.”
According to Burgess the result was “conclusive” on all three questions. Lugovoi was “telling the truth.”

I personally am rather skeptical about all this polygraph stuff, but it is very "popular" in UK and US, so the "ball was returned" through that guy Burgess.

P.S. Coming back to Skripals, I've just heard on radio in a car that Putin said at some get-together with some asian "CEOs" in the Russian Far East that (not word to word) "We have found those guys, they will soon appear. Nothing criminal there". Let's see what will be the next part of this show.

KelvinD
12th Sep 2018, 08:09
So Mr. Putin has declared that the two suspects in the Skripal case are civilians, known to the Russian government and will soon be appearing in public to give their account. That might be interesting!

Andy_S
12th Sep 2018, 08:38
So Mr. Putin has declared that the two suspects in the Skripal case are civilians, known to the Russian government and will soon be appearing in public to give their account. That might be interesting!

It might be interesting but it won't be remotely objective. The two in question will be carefully coached on what and what not to say. The normal suspects will lap it up and declare it to be the truth, of course.

Incidentally, isn't it odd that a new pro-Russian apologist appears just as another seems to have dropped off the radar?

Fitter2
12th Sep 2018, 08:40
So, Lugovoi passed a polygraph test, sponsored by a Russian News Channel, although

1. He was present at the lunch when Litvinenko was poisoned.
2. Traces of Polonium were present on the aircraft Luguvoi flew on, and his hotel room which Litvinenko never visited.

However, the polygraph proves him innocent. Unless perhaps, polygraph testing has no scientific basis ?

https://tinyurl.com/mx7v7j4

Incidentally, isn't it odd that a new pro-Russian apologist appears just as another seems to have dropped off the radar?
What, only one? I had stopped counting.

Sallyann1234
12th Sep 2018, 08:45
A_van,
Yes that theory about Litvinenko has been around for a long time. A very complex task to achieve, to give Litvinenko his fatal dose and also to mark the trail of the other two around London.
The forensic tests proved conclusively that the polonium was administered in the hotel where the three met up for tea. It is very hard to see how someone else could dose Litvinenko's tea without (a) poisoning either of the other two and (b) being noticed by any of them sitting at the table.
I would also not discount Litvinenko's own certainty that it was Putin who killed him.

currawong
12th Sep 2018, 09:51
The UK authorities have no way of knowing if the passports were authentic and additionally if you were a security service of a major power why the hell would you travel on a passport issued by your own nation? You would quite obviously operate on a cover passport of another nationality. This isn't bloody rocket science!

That the CCTV scans of UK Airport entry were of such low resolution is also interesting. Again it seems they are using 1960's 405-line CCTV albeit with a touch of colour, images could well be one of hundreds of lookalikes.

Why aren't we being shown the photos they submitted for a UK visa? You know.. the ones with a decent resolution and no facial coverings unlike what we have seen that could be anybody's Uncle?

Could it be perhaps because they don't exist....

All we are shown are murky sub 1 megapixel images of covered faces that are ambiguous at best.

Well I must congratulate Russia. They have found two men that don't exist.

Now that they may be available to "assist the police with their inquiries", they may be able to "eliminate themselves as suspects" and "provide useful information".

Credit where it is due. So far.

Tankertrashnav
12th Sep 2018, 09:56
As we write they are being given a crash course in medieval church architecture.

As they will explain, why else would they visit Salisbury but to visit the cathedral? ;)

treadigraph
12th Sep 2018, 10:12
As they will explain, why else would they visit Salisbury but to visit the cathedral?

They are CAMRA members. Some very good real ale pubs of note in Salisbury. Obvious innit?

Bee Rexit
12th Sep 2018, 10:12
As we write they are being given a crash course in medieval church architecture.

As they will explain, why else would they visit Salisbury but to visit the cathedral? ;)
And they wanted to see what housing estates look like in the UK too.

currawong
12th Sep 2018, 10:14
You never know, they might check out.

Best red herring job ever.

flash8
12th Sep 2018, 10:57
Putin: “We have found them,” he said. “There is nothing special or criminal about it, I can assure you. We’ll see soon.”

Let us hear what they have to say. It could well be they were tourists and the "crime" engineered around their visit to the UK. Until we hear them out judgement should be reserved.

They certainly acted like tourists, of course that could have been part of the cover or it may very well be what they indeed were.

Flashy's unbiased thoughts? A Setup.

Out Of Trim
12th Sep 2018, 11:27
Strange tourists!

They visited the same place twice for a few hours. No Cameras visible to record their visit; maybe they were just avid Train Spotters that were in the wrong place at the wrong time Twice!

I can hardly wait for their explanation. This is going to be good!

fitliker
12th Sep 2018, 11:35
No matter "Who "did it , it was done .
What do the Russians have to gain by denying any involvement ?
​​​​​​I still suspect a common enemy is playing mischief maker . Maybe they will allow evidence to be scrutinized to find the culprits or villians .
Following a bread crumb trial that has been planted will not lead to the truth :)

Sallyann1234
12th Sep 2018, 11:53
They were coin collectors.
They couldn't find the coin shop on the first day, being strangers and all. They found the shop the second day, but it was closed.
So they gave up and went home. Obvious innit.

Recc
12th Sep 2018, 11:54
No matter "Who "did it , it was done .
What do the Russians have to gain by denying any involvement ?
​​​​​​I still suspect a common enemy is playing mischief maker . Maybe they will allow evidence to be scrutinized to find the culprits or villians .
Following a bread crumb trial that has been planted will not lead to the truth :)

The announcement by Putin is actually very significant. It means that all of the '3rd party' conspiracy theories are off the table. If the Russian state presents these two as innocent bystanders, then either the British authorities or the Russian authorities are lying. Crucially, the idea that it could have been a non-state actor within Russia cannot be supported any more.

My presumption would be that Russia is lying given how frequently (and incompetently) they have been shown to have done so in the past, and how many disparate agencies and individuals in the UK would have to acting in unison and in complete secrecy. What Russia need to do is present convincing documentary evidence of the identity and history of these two individuals that can be validated against 3rd party records (immigration records of other countries, interactions between themselves and foreign companies etc).

What we are likely to see is a carefully stage-managed press conference where statements are made and carefully vetted questions presented along with a few superficial pieces of documentary evidence. Ultimately it will satisfy the credulous and easily lead, but will really be the closest thing to the Russian government claiming credit for the attack that we are likely to see.

Let's see what happens...

Sallyann1234
12th Sep 2018, 11:56
No matter "Who "did it , it was done .
What do the Russians have to gain by denying any involvement ?)
Are you serious? That would be an admission of using WMD in the UK, an act of war.

currawong
12th Sep 2018, 12:14
Are you serious? That would be an admission of using WMD in the UK, an act of war.

An explanation and apology would possibly be an opportunity for a progressive phase in relations. Obviously the minion responsible would have to be sacked.

Few have issues with Russia doing Russia stuff. Its the messy where and how that has everybody upset.

Sort of like a neighbor trimming a tree that falls on your house.

TEEEJ
12th Sep 2018, 12:16
Putin: “We have found them,” he said. “There is nothing special or criminal about it, I can assure you. We’ll see soon.”

Let us hear what they have to say. It could well be they were tourists and the "crime" engineered around their visit to the UK. Until we hear them out judgement should be reserved.

They certainly acted like tourists, of course that could have been part of the cover or it may very well be what they indeed were.

Flashy's unbiased thoughts? A Setup.

Of course it will be played out as a "setup". I believe that you have already stated previously that the footage could be anybody.

Flash8 wrote:

I am of course working under the assumption these passport type photos (obviously from a Visa application, can't think of anywhere else they could have been sourced) are actually real and not manufactured, after all the grainy videos could be anybody.

From

https://www.pprune.org/10244411-post2504.html

I expect that this will be nicely spun on the exclusive interview the pair will receive on some state run or pro channel. No doubt the Shell garage CCTV pic will be shown and they will have no idea about it as they will claim that they never walked up that road and came within 300 metres of Skripal's house ;) Cue all the expert conspiracy photo shoppers and the claims of actors playing the part of these "innocent tourists" to place them at the Shell garage. No doubt Craig Murray or some other die-hard conspiracy nut is busy working away on an article or has been contacted by the Russian TV channel to breathe life into such a story. ;)

flash8
12th Sep 2018, 13:36
I suspect all credibility is going to lay with the explanations this pair give. If the RF were not involved then these will be extremely convincing perhaps bombshell style.

However if they aren't and come across as weak I am the first to admit that things don't look good for Russia irrespective of their complicity or lack of it.

Fitter2
12th Sep 2018, 13:46
Dear Flash8

Given the level of misinformation deluge on western social media on this series of events, any explanation coming out of Russia (and supporting conspiracy purveyors masquerading as non-Russians, and some even gullible idiots) there will be exactly zero credibility for any claim of innocence.

If you aren't conversant with any culture outside the родина, look up the origin of the phrase 'The lady doth protest too much, methinks'.

flash8
12th Sep 2018, 14:00
That is a fair point. Even facts presented by this pair will invariably be spun as lies or somehow non credible.

My hope however is that they give a convincing explanation borne out by facts. Although the public are gullible a significant minority recognize the truth when they see it.

Anyhow this is an exciting development... Russia is basically being very brazen here and it is coming to showdown time!

Moscow isn't stupid... if they planned this attack they also planned this media appearance long in advance of today of course I will admit.

A_Van
12th Sep 2018, 16:50
This thread becomes a one more hamsterwheel or so. Sorry, I, too, have to say again:

1,.The fact that a pair of Russians visited Salisbury on the day of the event (if the pictures are not totally "doctored") is suspicious indeed, but not a killing proof. If there would be a hi-res video with them spraying "Nina Ricci" on the door knob.... Info about traces of the substances in the hotel is rather for UK & Co "internal consumption". After "100% convincing facts of the Saddam's WMD" in the hands of Tony Blair (and Colin Powell) who would trust those politicians? They can say whatever they like and their services can engineer traces of any substance at any place they control. No umpire anyway...

2. Both Porton Down experts and OPCW clearly said and wrote that they were not able to define the origin of A-232 used in Salisbury. And a handful of countries experimented with this family of chemicals in the last two decades. That's it.

Let's see what those guys say... I don't think they will keep silence after Putin announced they were located and invited to speak...

G-CPTN
12th Sep 2018, 17:58
We'll have to wait and whether the two suspects 'come clean' and admit to some nefarious activity (as their behaviour would suggest) or whether they claim to have been on an innocent trip collecting vehicle registration numbers . . .

Sallyann1234
12th Sep 2018, 18:08
Even assuming that they are same two men.

VP959
12th Sep 2018, 19:20
2. Both Porton Down experts and OPCW clearly said and wrote that they were not able to define the origin of A-232 used in Salisbury. And a handful of countries experimented with this family of chemicals in the last two decades. That's it.

More errors, I'm afraid. First off, the agent was not "A-232" at all, it was A-234. That was proven from the original samples both by DSTL and by other OPCW accredited labs, who all confirmed that it was from the same batch.

Since the disclosure of the Foliant/Novichok binary agent programme, which was mostly after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, several authorised labs looked at the 5 weaponised agents (out of around 100) in more detail. None of these were A-234, as that seems to have been a lab curiosity, and was never weaponised, as far as I've been able to find out.

As I'm sure you know, every complex chemical compound carries a pretty unique signature, resulting from the exact method used to prepare and, particularly, purify the compound. The trace impurities within any sample can provide accurate evidence of the identity of samples, relative to each other, rather like the way every gun leaves a fairly unique set of marks on both the projectile and the casing. The main problem is acquiring a sufficiently large sample in order to perform an accurate analysis. In some cases, everything collected from an evidential sample will be needed in order to obtain a sample that is sufficient to allow analysis, which is almost certainly what happened with the weak samples obtained from the hotel.

TEEEJ
12th Sep 2018, 19:32
Even assuming that they are same two men.

That is a very good point.

So far only "Alexander Petrov" has agreed to a TV interview.

Following Mr Putin's statement, state media Rossiya 24 spoke with an employee of Virion, a branch of the state pharmaceutical company Microgen in the Siberian city of Tomsk, named Alexander Petrov.

“I have no comment for now. Maybe later. Next week I think,” Petrov said.

But Alexander Petrov is an extremely common name in Russia. Photographs on his social media page, which were retrieved by The Telegraph last week before they were deleted, appeared to show a different man than the one seen in the photograph and Salisbury CCTV footage of Alexander Petrov released by UK police.

The Telegraph has been trying to get in touch with both Petrov and Virion since the metropolitan police first announced the attackers' names last week. Neither has responded to requests for comment.

.....

A secretary at Microgen's Moscow office called the allegations against Alexander Petrov “stupidity”.

Last week, Alexander Petrov from Virion told Russian state media he had “nothing to do with the story with Skripal”.

“It's a complete coincidence. I can't go to London, I can't even go to the Altai” region, he said, apparently referring to travel restrictions that some state employees are subject to.

This is one of the images on Alexander Petrov's social media. This Petrov is claimed to be an employee of Virion, a branch of the state pharmaceutical company Microgen. The social media site images were deleted last week.


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/977x806/petrov_f436cfef59eb8abe09d0ee219d48c8be04e73138.jpg

This is the image released of Petrov by the Met Police.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/470x583/petrovmetpol_fe54b3ba748038bf82dbb512628685eb2f4858fd.jpg


From

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/12/vladimir-putin-says-russia-has-identified-salisbury-poisonsuspects/

Sallyann1234
12th Sep 2018, 19:42
Unless the two men did a really good cleanup job in their hotel room, the police will have lifted fingerprints that could be used to confirm/deny that they were the same men that Russia may put on show.

flash8
12th Sep 2018, 19:58
A secretary at Microgen's Moscow office called the allegations against Alexander Petrov “stupidity”.On the whole Russian receptionists/secretaries are much less circumspect than their British counterparts, this outburst I can well imagine from one who couldn't contain herself (99%+ are female) and I suspect from that angle true, it sounds just the sort of thing our receptionist would say if somebody rang and asked if Flashy was a British spy.

Sallyann1234
12th Sep 2018, 20:27
Flash, from your knowledge of Russia how many Alexander Petrovs are there likely to be in the country?

And why should this one particular Petrov think the accusation was aimed at him?

flash8
12th Sep 2018, 20:42
Flash, from your knowledge of Russia how many Alexander Petrovs are there likely to be in the country?
Honestly don't know SA, but I can say it is a bit like "John Smith", so extremely common, I well see why the British authorities suspect it might be an alias.
And why should this one particular Petrov think the accusation was aimed at him?I think his date of birth matched according to Fontanka (News) in St Petersburg who have a reputation for digging up stuff. But I read (I think) seven others also had the same DOB. How they got those dates I do not know.

Putin obviously knows significantly more than he is letting on, he is being brazen, because he knows a lot depends on what this pair (the correct, using that term loosely, pair I assume if he states they have been identified) say. As I said, personally I am very interested to hear their explanations, it will I think fill in some significant gaps in our knowledge. It will I admit be hard for them to explain their previous itineraries, as such frequent travel is not common unless obviously "work" related.

Sallyann1234
12th Sep 2018, 21:01
Thanks
....

VP959
12th Sep 2018, 21:11
If their transit dates and times from Russia to the UK and back, their stay in the London hotel, and their two train journeys to Salisbury on consecutive days that have been reported are all accurate, then I think it's going to be pretty challenging for them to provide an innocent explanation for their movements and that and stand up to scrutiny.

I suspect we're still being fed a fair bit of misinformation, or partial information, by all involved. For evidential, and possibly other, reasons I'm certain that the UK are holding back a fair bit of detail. I'm also certain that there has been a deliberate campaign on social media, aimed at spreading as many alternative theories as possible, just to obfuscate and confuse the main stream media and the general public, for reasons that may not be obvious, or even coordinated by any one state.

There are clear signs that some of the obfuscation is coming from non-state actors, who have their own personal agendas, ranging from boosting their ego, through making money by selling stories to the gullible, to those conspiracy theorists whose judgement is so skewed by their narrow belief systems that they are incapable of making any sort of rational or balanced judgement about any activity related to any state.

Part of the problem is that there has been a massive information vacuum as to what most probably happened on the day of the attack, and that lack of public domain information has provided an ideal breeding ground for every nutter around the world to grab a moment in the limelight by putting out their own theory. I'd be interested to find out how much money the world's media has paid out to information sources about the story. I bet it's a heck of a lot, enough, on its own, to have provided quite a few distorted narratives.

2unlimited
12th Sep 2018, 22:40
A_van,
Yes that theory about Litvinenko has been around for a long time. A very complex task to achieve, to give Litvinenko his fatal dose and also to mark the trail of the other two around London.
The forensic tests proved conclusively that the polonium was administered in the hotel where the three met up for tea. It is very hard to see how someone else could dose Litvinenko's tea without (a) poisoning either of the other two and (b) being noticed by any of them sitting at the table.
I would also not discount Litvinenko's own certainty that it was Putin who killed him.

So why did you not answer who killed Trotsky?

A_Van
13th Sep 2018, 07:51
Not easy to judge whether these are two different men ("Petrovs") on photos or not. Would be interesting to see an interview with real passport holders. If they differ from "the pictures from the UK", the situation will become interesting.

Sallyann1234
13th Sep 2018, 08:00
So why did you not answer who killed Trotsky?
You refused, twice, to answer my question about Litvinenko by saying he was 'irrelevant'. And then asked me about Trotsky!
Avoiding a question by asking a different one is a very poor tactic. Almost as bad as posting your pages of smokescreen.
I suggest you go back to training camp, or take lessons from A_van. He does this so much better than you.

Pontius Navigator
13th Sep 2018, 08:07
Same names.

I do family research and within one surname group, with only a few hundred people in UK, the same first name is common. Less common is an identical second name.

My first name is not common yet there is another with the same name and date of birth and the same town. In UK the date of birth is registered by quarters and is to all intents the same.

I have been in touch with one family where the second name was also the same deliberately so thinking they were in the same family tree; there were quite unrelated.

So, not strange at all.

A_Van
13th Sep 2018, 10:12
Just heard that a girl working for Russia Today have had an interview with both suspects. Seems the interview will be shown soon.
I don't like RT and rarely watch it because most of the guests they invite are either mad or from a peanut gallery. But will make an exception this time. Also the Armenian girl to run the show seems to be very clever, IMHO.

ORAC
13th Sep 2018, 11:09
Just seen the interview - hysterical.

Yes, it was them - but they went to Salisbury because all their friends said they had to go and see this town with its world famous cathedral with its 123m spire and ancient clock. They left so quickly because they didn’t like the muddy slushy weather than was there.

No no explanation as to why they went back for under 2 hours running on 2 successive days - or why the videos show the streets to be clear - and none on the weather reports for the dates of their visits or departure from the UK. Nor why the didn’t go to any other tourists sites anywhere in the UKr, such as Westminster Cathedral, if t.hat was their thing.

If this was supposed to put forward a credible reason for their itinerary it bombed spectactularily....

Sallyann1234
13th Sep 2018, 11:21
I'm disappointed. Really expected something better than this.

Bee Rexit
13th Sep 2018, 11:21
Maybe, being Russian, they were afraid of our cold and Snow?

pasta
13th Sep 2018, 11:22
If this was supposed t8 put forward a credible reason for their it8nerary it bombed speactularily....
And Putin is saying "there was nothing criminal about them". How does he know?

currawong
13th Sep 2018, 11:23
The photographs and CCTV footage released by the investigators exceeded my expectations.

Given the passage of time I would make an educated guess and say the investigation has progressed further.

The next release of information will be interesting if the first is anything to go by.

The acknowledgement of the two persons of interest existence is starting to make this look like a poker game.

ORAC
13th Sep 2018, 11:28
I have to admit that, if hadn’t been for their straight faces, I would have thought they were, to use the vernacular, taking the piss....

VP959
13th Sep 2018, 11:33
That interview with the two suspects was indeed hilarious.

Apart from so obviously being full of holes, one has to wonder quite why they would walk away from the train station, head out of the city centre a fair way, and then take a walk through an urban housing estate that's a fair way away from anything a tourist may want to see. I like the way they couldn't even be bothered to try and explain why they did the same trip twice, from London to Salisbury and back, on two consecutive days.

They are clearly safe and secure in Russia, and won't ever be extradited, so they probably couldn't care less what evidence is collected against them. I have to admire the way they just brazened it out with such an incredibly weak story, that seemed full of holes, though. Not sure what the international community, especially those who are privy to evidence that hasn't been made public, will make of their explanation for being in Salisbury on those days, or what action may be taken.

Fitter2
13th Sep 2018, 11:54
I thought that a cover story was supposed to be at least vaguely plausible. 2 weeks to think up something and they come up with something even 'Chemical Ali' would have been ashamed of.

highflyer40
13th Sep 2018, 12:01
Can’t wait to see the Putin apologists explanation for this dogs dinner.

flash8
13th Sep 2018, 12:29
Well, did they indeed visit Salisbury cathedral? If so I am sure CCTV covers this, and wasn't presented it seems. A little disappointed with the pairs explanation but it certainly is plausible and could well be backed up with video footage unseen.

That they have visited many other cities recently may even back their claims if of a similar nature.

DaveReidUK
13th Sep 2018, 12:40
Well, did they indeed visit Salisbury cathedral? If so I am sure CCTV covers this, and wasn't presented it seems.

Well they are bound to have taken some selfies there, which we'll no doubt see as soon as they have been Photoshopped ... :ugh:

Sallyann1234
13th Sep 2018, 12:44
Well, did they indeed visit Salisbury cathedral? If so I am sure CCTV covers this, and wasn't presented it seems. A little disappointed with the pairs explanation but it certainly is plausible and could well be backed up with video footage unseen.

That they have visited many other cities recently may even back their claims if of a similar nature.

It's hard to see how they visited the cathedral within the hour they were in Salisbury, especially since they walked in a different direction.

But as tourists who came all the way from Russia to see this monument, they could show us the pictures they took of it. What, they were not carrying cameras? :p

VP959
13th Sep 2018, 12:52
Well, did they indeed visit Salisbury cathedral? If so I am sure CCTV covers this, and wasn't presented it seems. A little disappointed with the pairs explanation but it certainly is plausible and could well be backed up with video footage unseen.

That they have visited many other cities recently may even back their claims if of a similar nature.

Whether or not they went into the city centre to see the cathedral is neither here nor there, it's a complete red herring.

From the CCTV video clips posted we know where they went in Salisbury, on two visits down from London, on consecutive days. No tourist would wander off down Wilton Road (where the Shell garage is that caught them on video - it's way out of the city centre and a long way from the Cathedral). There are no tourist destinations or shops along that road where they were, either. Take a look on Google Earth Streetview and start at the railway station, walk down South Western Road to Fisherton Street, by the railway bridge, turn left under the bridge and walk along Fisherton Street to St Paul's roundabout. Take the first exit from that into Wilton Road and then follow that road until you get to the Shell garage on the left, where they were seen on CCTV. A less likely tourist trail in Salisbury would be hard to find.

currawong
13th Sep 2018, 12:59
Some residential addresses do seem to be popular destinations though....:O

Sallyann1234
13th Sep 2018, 13:01
VP A question please from your local knowledge.

When visitors arrive at Salisbury railway station, intending to visit Stonehenge and Old Sarum (the first two places on their list), what local transport is here? Can one get a lift directly outside the station?

Skipname
13th Sep 2018, 13:07
But as tourists who came all the way from Russia to see this monument, they could show us the pictures they took of it. What, they were not carrying cameras? :p

The theory that abcense of pictures at touristic places is proof that they didn’t go there is flawed.

Many people, including myself absolutely hate pictures and anything that has to do with them. I do not pose for pictures, I do not take pictures of other people and I do not carry a camera when I go somewhere.

I actually have an understanding with Mrs Skipname, whom is into photography and loves to take pictures. I only take two photos per year, she decides when though 😁

VP959
13th Sep 2018, 13:13
VP A question please from your local knowledge.

When visitors arrive at Salisbury railway station, intending to visit Stonehenge and Old Sarum (the first two places on their list), what local transport is here? Can one get a lift directly outside the station?

Yes, there's a taxi rank outside the station, plus regular bus services into the city centre and out to Stonehenge. I'm not sure of the bus timetable, but I regularly drive past the station on the way to Churchfields Industrial estate, and every time I do I can pretty much guarantee seeing a bus come from there, so my guess is that it's a pretty regular bus service, probably timed to meet the trains coming in.

From the station to the Cathedral is about a ten minute walk; either down South West Road and turn right and walk along Fisherton Street to the city centre, or turn right out of the station and take the more scenic route past the entrance to the industrial estate and around Mill Road, alongside Queen Elizabeth Gardens, to Cranebridge road which brings you to the cross roads leading right to the Cathedral, left to the city centre.

Sallyann1234
13th Sep 2018, 13:22
Yes, there's a taxi rank outside the station, plus regular bus services into the city centre and out to Stonehenge. I'm not sure of the bus timetable, but I regularly drive past the station on the way to Churchfields Industrial estate, and every time I do I can pretty much guarantee seeing a bus come from there, so my guess is that it's a pretty regular bus service, probably timed to meet the trains coming in.

From the station to the Cathedral is about a ten minute walk; either down South West Road and turn right and walk along Fisherton Street to the city centre, or turn right out of the station and take the more scenic route past the entrance to the industrial estate and around Mill Road, alongside Queen Elizabeth Gardens, to Cranebridge road which brings you to the cross roads leading right to the Cathedral, left to the city centre.
Thanks. So to visit any ot the three places mentioned on their tourist list there was no need to wander the 'snowy, slushy' streets at all. They could have got rides direct to all of them.

It's a pity the interviewer didn't ask why they didn't just get a bus.

Sallyann1234
13th Sep 2018, 13:25
The theory that abcense of pictures at touristic places is proof that they didn’t go there is flawed.
Did anyone actually say it was proof that they didn't go there?

But if they did go there, it would be invaluable evidence to bolster their case.

Barksdale Boy
13th Sep 2018, 13:32
If they were so interested in the cathedral one wonders why they rushed back to London instead of staying for choral evensong.

pasta
13th Sep 2018, 13:35
Did anyone actually say it was proof that they didn't go there?

But if they did go there, it would be invaluable evidence to bolster their case.
They would have had to have got a move on. According to the BBC report on the interview, they claimed to have visited both the cathedral and Old Sarum in the 2 hours between getting off the train and getting back on again. On top of all the places they were captured on CCTV, that's quite the whistle-stop tour...

Edit: I wonder whether this is setting RT up for an angle along the lines of "If they were GRU agents they'd have a far more plausible and well-prepared back story. The fact that they don't, proves that they were just innocent tourists..."

Pontius Navigator
13th Sep 2018, 13:45
And Putin is saying "there was nothing criminal about them". How does he know?
He listened to the interviews, simples.

Wasn't the beautiful historic architecture mentioned on JB?

A_Van
13th Sep 2018, 14:09
A pathetic show of two dumbs. If there was a single trip (even on the day of poisoning), it would not look strange. OK, somebody told them to see some Cathedral, they go there, got their boots wet in a mud, cancelled the trip and returned back. But doing it twice in a row?

But trying a negative proof, I see some critical inconsistencies. Assume they work for secret service and were indeed on a mission. By showing them to the public in such a way, any service virtually "kills" them for nothing. Two guys in the most "productive" age. They were not caught, they returned safely. Send them to a plastic surgent and then use them in countries where western police has no hands. Let them help hunt US agents in China, Venezuela, Cuba, some ME countries, etc. But after such a shameful show they are useless. If they were secret servicemen, it would logical for Putin & Co to send the whole West to hell saying that Russia would not even bother to find those guys. At least the hypothesis that it was an arrogant demonstration from Russia that they can do whatever they want seems weak now. These two do not look fierce at all...

Anyway, many question remain ..... Still left with a feeling that something was engineered around the trip of those guys. Were they aware of the picture, or even part of it?

highflyer40
13th Sep 2018, 14:09
They would have had to have got a move on. According to the BBC report on the interview, they claimed to have visited both the cathedral and Old Sarum in the 2 hours between getting off the train and getting back on again. On top of all the places they were captured on CCTV, that's quite the whistle-stop tour...

Edit: I wonder whether this is setting RT up for an angle along the lines of "If they were GRU agents they'd have a far more plausible and well-prepared back story. The fact that they don't, proves that they were just innocent tourists..."

i did think this myself. Make it so laughable that nobody would even consider it to be possible they were state actors.

Skipname
13th Sep 2018, 14:15
Did anyone actually say it was proof that they didn't go there?

But if they did go there, it would be invaluable evidence to bolster their case.

No they didn't, but if you go though this thread you will see that there are a number of posts that allude to it, or at the very least question why there aren't any pictures at the touristic places the alleged criminals say they went to.

The reason I decided to quote your post is because it was the most recent one.

Trossie
13th Sep 2018, 14:30
Did anyone actually say it was proof that they didn't go there?

But if they did go there, it would be invaluable evidence to bolster their case.

The serious flaw in their story is the total lack of snow in any of the pictures showing them in Salisbury. What actual weather did Salisbury have in the lead up to that? Snow seems to be lacking.

These two, and who they worked for, are coming across more and more as just incompetent clowns.

Dangerously incompetent clowns. Who killed an innocent woman.

Sallyann1234
13th Sep 2018, 14:34
But trying a negative proof, I see some critical inconsistencies. Assume they work for secret service and were indeed on a mission. By showing them to the public in such a way, any service virtually "kills" them for nothing. Two guys in the most "productive" age. They were not caught, they returned safely. Send them to a plastic surgent and then use them in countries where western police has no hands. Let them help hunt US agents in China, Venezuela, Cuba, some ME countries, etc. But after such a shameful show they are useless.
There must be uses for 'retired' agents. This won't be the first time that agents have been exposed. Give them an easy job in a remote town. Local police perhaps? Tell them to keep quiet if they want to (live to) draw their pension. No need for surgery.

CloudHound
13th Sep 2018, 14:39
If innocent tourists who signed their leave cards?

flash8
13th Sep 2018, 14:54
But as tourists who came all the way from Russia to see this monument, they could show us the pictures they took of it. What, they were not carrying cameras?Good point SA, Russians love photography as many others, the lack of cameras is a good observation.

Whether or not they went into the city centre to see the cathedral is neither here nor there, it's a complete red herring.Well VP, I bow to your knowledge as I have never been anywhere near Salisbury, you may very well be right in your observations.

I have to reluctantly admit it doesn't look good for this pair of clowns, as the interview seemed to consist of them taking the piss. I concede this could possibly have been RF instigated in a way so brazen both during and currently they have balls if nothing else, it does not reflect well on the UK who perhaps if they are sure should have taken a more robust response given the death of an innocent British citizen.

Still, I'd be interested to know why they travelled previously so much, this isn't usual of course, especially for Russians unless they do extensive foreign business.

VP959
13th Sep 2018, 15:47
The serious flaw in their story is the total lack of snow in any of the pictures showing them in Salisbury. What actual weather did Salisbury have in the lead up to that? Snow seems to be lacking.

These two, and who they worked for, are coming across more and more as just incompetent clowns.

Dangerously incompetent clowns. Who killed an innocent woman.

There wasn't any snow at all. We did have some snow a few of days earlier, but it didn't last and the streets were clear by the time they made their visits, as can be seen in the CCTV shots from several locations, and in the original coverage of the Skripal's collapse at The Maltings. There may have been a bit of slush still around at the edges of the roads, but the roads and pavements were clear.

VP959
13th Sep 2018, 16:18
Good point SA, Russians love photography as many others, the lack of cameras is a good observation.

Well VP, I bow to your knowledge as I have never been anywhere near Salisbury, you may very well be right in your observations.

I have to reluctantly admit it doesn't look good for this pair of clowns, as the interview seemed to consist of them taking the piss. I concede this could possibly have been RF instigated in a way so brazen both during and currently they have balls if nothing else, it does not reflect well on the UK who perhaps if they are sure should have taken a more robust response given the death of an innocent British citizen.

Still, I'd be interested to know why they travelled previously so much, this isn't usual of course, especially for Russians unless they do extensive foreign business.

I agree, the interview looked to me like it was two jokers who knew they would never get to answer any questions from the police here in the UK, and chose to just turn the whole thing into a joke.

As you say, it's not that usual for Russians to travel around a lot, yet these two flew over to the UK, stayed in a hotel in London, travelled down to Salisbury by train on two consecutive days, wandered around the least "touristy" bits of the city (including close to the large housing conurbation where Sergei Skripal lived) and after their two short trips to Salisbury they returned to Russia again, without staying to see the sights of London, or anywhere else.

They could have had a go at making a cover story around being on business here. At least that might have tried to explain why they made such a short trip to the UK, and why they made to journeys from London to Salisbury whilst they were here on their whistle stop tour. All our buses here, and most of our taxis, have onboard CCTV, yet I've not seen any released CCTV showing them on a bus or in a taxi. It seems they walked everywhere, and yet we have only seen CCTV coverage of them in the area from the station, along Wilton Road heading in the direction of the Sergei Skripal's house, and later down Fisherton Street, where they were seen looking in the window of a shop.

Just from the CCTV images (and with the caution that the time stamps may well not all be well-synchronised from some of them) it seems they most probably left the station, walked down to Fisherton Street, turned left, walked up to St Paul's roundabout then walked down Wilton Road on the South side, past the Shell garage (in that image they are walking out of the city, towards the path or road that leads up to Sergei Skripal's house). They seem to have re-traced their steps later (although we have no CCTV of them, perhaps they stayed on the North side of Wilton Road, outside the range of the Shell garage CCTV) and then walked back down Fisherton Street, at least as far as the Mill, as they are seen on CCTV at the bridge. They are then seen back up Fisherton Street, towards the station, looking in the coin shop window, before being caught again on CCTV at Salisbury station itself.

It's a pretty odd route to take for two innocent Russian tourists, apart from it being really strange that they take all that trouble to fly to the UK, ostensibly to see Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum, yet seem to only stay for a very short time and are mainly seen in areas well away from the Cathedral. There's also CCTV at three or four locations along Castle Road, the route they would have to have taken to go to Old Sarum so if they did go up there then it's odd that we've not seen CCTV of it.

El Grifo
13th Sep 2018, 16:27
Well worth a read as it clears up a few minor points at least !
www.rt.com/news/438356-rt-petrov-boshirov-full-interview/
El G

friartuck
13th Sep 2018, 16:33
sad to see a once great institution the Glavnoye razvedyvatel'noye upravleniye (and yes I know it has a different name now) reduced to such a laughing stock ................

I think they really were just taking the p*** TBH - they did it, they know we know they did it and, short of another Revolution, they're as safe as houses and can stay in a nice desk job for the rest of their lives............... .

Why bother with a cover story? Only because of the international outcry - I suspect Mr Putin would be just as happy if they just 'fessed up as a warning to all traitors TBH

fitliker
13th Sep 2018, 16:37
How many other famous Church's did these Chetchen looking Couriers visit as part of their 'Travels" ?

They were played , who played the players ? The media will never tell us
.
What intel did they get from the dead drop bench ? Simple things like the price of real estate near a military base can be useful to determine civilian staffing levels at a place like the chemical palace nearby. I can only imagine what a former intelligence officer would be able to glean walking freely about a town so close to a base with secrets.
It is feasible that the Russians were not happy with the quality of the intel and decided to retire their asset fearing that "He had went native while in England "

Making an example of one asset might make the other assets work a little bit harder .

A_Van
13th Sep 2018, 17:03
There must be uses for 'retired' agents. This won't be the first time that agents have been exposed. Give them an easy job in a remote town.

Yes, but why to retire them forcely? Such agents cost a lot in terms of money invested into them. Seems stupid.


Local police perhaps? .

Oh, come on, no. Not in Russia. This is like to suggest a pilot (in good capacity and health) to switch to a taxi driver. I assume it's different in Britain, but not here.


Tell them to keep quiet if they want to (live to) draw their pension. No need for surgery.

Sure they would be told to keep the mouth "wide shut". But again, why to throw two guys away when they could work for some 15-20 years?


Now just to add on small issues mentioned above in this thread.

1. The problem of (not) using a bus or taxi is easily explicable. I often run across this phenomenon with Russian colleagues travelling in foreign countries. They usually prefer not to use buses/trams/etc/ for trivial reasons. E.g. in some countries one should by tickets only in a kiosk (e.g. Italy). You can't do it onboard and thus may be fined or taken to police. In Holland you may buy a ticket from a driver (though it would cost double) but have to mention the name of the stop (price depends on the route). Moreover, you have to know the bus network or be able to ask/discuss with the locals. So, maybe their language was just not good enough so they preferred not to attempt at all. Also, two strong men with no luggage. Walking 2-3-4 km, what a problem? With taxi, it's also easy to explain. If they used a suburban train (and not a rental car) and stayed in a budget hotel, they were on an economy tour. And taxi in Europe is bloody expensive as compared to Russia. Also for the Russians, all the taxi drivers are cheaters wanting to rip you off.

2. As for weather on March 2-3, it's easy to check on the Net that this year it was indeed a snow storm ("a beast from the East" as they called it).Snow in London on March 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDBOnQ8s_wY Quite unusual for England in March, I believe.Thus, they seem not to lie saying that on the day of arrival (March 2nd) there was a snow storm, then on the 3rd there were snow drift remaining along the roads in Salisbury and on lawns and melting, thus they got wet and had to return to the railway station after just 30 min of walk and then take the train back to London.And on March 4 the weather was warm again, snow nearly disappeared and they reached the Cathedral.

3. Taking pictures. First, they told the RT girl that they took many pictures in the Cathedral and will share them with her. Second, I agree with some gents who wrote above that not all love to make "selfies". Me too, I hate this kids stuff. In Russia it's quite rare that grown-up men would make selfies. The Chinese love it.

Captivep
13th Sep 2018, 17:18
So, let me get this straight.

Two russian friends decide to visit the UK to sight see at Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge and Old Sarum. They fly in for a couple of days and, instead of staying in Salisbury, they book into a rather grim looking hotel in East London (which later turns out to house minute traces of Novichok).

On day one, they then travel the 90 miles to Salisbury, ignore the coach trips from outside the station to Stonehenge (easily bookable online) and just wander around Salisbury, unluckily wandering into the only cul-de-sac in Wiltshire (probably) that houses a russian defector. We're told in a post by A Van that russians don't like using buses in a foreign country so that must be why.

They then head back to London, one of them inexplicably wearing a baseball cap (we were told up thread, quite seriously, that the original images couldn't be of russians because they don't usually wear baseball caps)...

Not deterred by the siberia-like weather, they do the same thing the next day, unluckily failing to see any of Stonehenge, Old Sarum or Salisbury cathedral. It's no wonder they gave up and flew home!

fitliker
13th Sep 2018, 17:22
Perhaps ,they missed an excellent opportunity to visit the lovely heather ,flora and fauna of Gruniard Island known for its beautiful night skies :)

VP959
13th Sep 2018, 17:26
Down here very close to Salisbury the infamous "Beast from the East" didn't really have any significant impact at all, and the small flurries of snow we did have were practically melted by Saturday and Sunday. The snow that fell here was about 20mm deep, and fell on the 1st and 2nd March, and none settled on any of the main roads, and even our little lane was completely clear of snow by Saturday 3rd March. Sure there may have been small piles of slush in the road gutters here and there, but they wouldn't have caused any problems for either pedestrians or motorists.

Anyway, this was a "holiday" for these two Russian gentlemen, and most people look at the weather and climate before deciding to go on holiday. The bad weather had been forecast for some time here, and frankly we don't get any tourists at all here in March, just because it's invariably wet and windy. Who chooses to come to Salisbury for a holiday when there is a severe snow storm forecast? Or maybe these two wanted to visit during a spell of bad weather, after all the news for the week before had been warning of this cold storm coming in from the East, and there were widespread warnings that travel would be disrupted by it. As it turned out none of those warnings were true for Salisbury and the surrounding area, and everyone went about their business as usual.

flash8
13th Sep 2018, 17:28
My colleague, a certain PhD equivalent graduate from one of the top Universities here expressed soulful regret Skripal wasn't finished off, at first I thought he was joking, but he was deadly serious, the guy genuinely thought he should have been wiped out. That is Russia for you, reckon 99% of people here think the same way. I've never underestimated Nationalism, especially when over 99.5% of the country is indigenous!

A_Van
13th Sep 2018, 17:34
I am not saying anything for sure, but IMHO the alternative that these two were used as puppets by somebody now looks more probable than earlier. E.g., why not assume that they were asked to travel to UK and visit Salisbury to, say, "deliver a letter in person and not by mail"? Total reimbursement of travel expenses plus a couple of kilos (sterling) for "blackjack and whores" - who would reject? And when real poisoners made sure these two passed by the Skripals house (or through a neighborhood) , the door knob was sprayed.So, IMHO the question remains: "who framed these two rabbits"?

Of course, if anything like that happened, they will never say it publicly. But definitely will not keep it secret so that pins (under nails) or soldering iron (into a..-hole) or other "health care procedures" from secret services will not be needed. Would it help define those behind the curtain, I doubt...

DaveReidUK
13th Sep 2018, 17:42
3. Taking pictures. First, they told the RT girl that they took many pictures in the Cathedral and will share them with her.

I'm sure we're all looking forward to those - no doubt someone is busy even as we speak, faking the EXIF data on a bunch of stock photos.

I see that they also couldn't resist telling us that they definitely went through the same exit lane at Gatwick, and therefore those photos with the same timestamp must be fakes too. Talk about over-egging the pudding ! Curiously they are silent about how they got to the UK if they didn't pass through LGW ...

You couldn't make this stuff up, though somebody clearly has. :O

flash8
13th Sep 2018, 17:49
"who framed these two rabbits"?The problem with framing them, is that it isn't likely their plans were known in advance, and given that volatility it would be hard to engineer. If they were framed as such, it would likely be by the Russians themselves whom conceivably put two of their own citizens into the picture whilst covertly doing dirty deeds in the background, but that begs the question, why? If they could engineer the deployment of the poison surreptitiously anyhow no need to produce patsy's.

Interestingly the RT interviewer Margarita Simonyan tried to imply they were Gay, and they declined to be led and avoided answer, actually not something you would admit on a State broadcaster here if you value your physical well being. I'm not sure why she pursued that line of questioning though, perhaps because it seemed like a "tough" question.

I'm sure we're all looking forward to those - no doubt someone is busy even as we speak, faking the EXIF data on a bunch of stock photos.Depends on camera, some will digitally sign the photo, in that case tampering is impossible given finite time.

Pontius Navigator
13th Sep 2018, 17:50
Moreover, you have to know the bus network or be able to ask/discuss with the locals. So, maybe their language was just not good enough so they preferred not to attempt at all. Also, two strong men with no luggage. Walking 2-3-4 km, what a problem? W

Here you highlight a contrary point. If you don't know the network you get a map. Walking 2 3 4 km ;you get s map.

You stop and get your bearings - you consult a map.

Tourists consult maps unless they know the area or have studied the maps until they don't look like tourists.

VP959
13th Sep 2018, 17:57
Isn't the main issue the one you mentioned in an earlier post, @flash8, that 99% of Russians probably want to see Sergei Skripal dead, as a traitor to their country? In that environment I would have thought that no one is going to be the slightest bit interested in doing much more that patting someone on the back for having a go at killing him.

I still think there's zero chance of anyone ever being questioned as suspects by the UK police about this crime, and whilst the two who've just been interviewed expressed some concern for their safety, the chances of the UK even thinking of putting a hit squad into Russia to go after them is so close to zero as to not be worth thinking about. Diplomatically, the fallout from any such action would be diabolical - look what happened when we did it in Gibraltar with terrorists that we knew damned well were intent on bombing British citizens.

VP959
13th Sep 2018, 18:00
Here you highlight a contrary point. If you don't know the network you get a map. Walking 2 3 4 km ;you get s map.

You stop and get your bearings - you consult a map.

Tourists consult maps unless they know the area or have studied the maps until they don't look like tourists.

Not only do you study a map, but if you are wandering around Salisbury there are a number of large framed street maps in cabinets, some with dispensing machines that will give out a paper copy. There's one at the station exit, so there's no real excuse for walking the wrong way, as in turning left when they walked down to Fisherton Street, rather than turning right to head for the city centre and cathedral.

Deep and fast
13th Sep 2018, 18:08
2 Russian guys afraid of a little bit of UK snow? I do know Russians from inland Russia don’t like the damp wet weather for sure.
As for everyone assuming these are secret service types, why? It’s easier to contract civilians nowadays.
The masters of this attack, I wouldn’t want to comment.

Hussar 54
13th Sep 2018, 18:26
A few too many ' False Positives ' as my Malware Sweeper used to describe them.....

I spent quite a bit of time working in Russia in the late 90s after I was made redundant and then getting the next job - always felt safe and welcomed to the point that I actually used to look forward to going back for another month or so.

Wonder if it would be like that now ?

flash8
13th Sep 2018, 18:45
A few too many ' False Positives ' as my Malware Sweeper used to describe them.....

I spent quite a bit of time working in Russia in the late 90s after I was made redundant and then getting the next job - always felt safe and welcomed to the point that I actually used to look forward to going back for another month or so.

Wonder if it would be like that now ?In twenty years based out of Moscow (although a lot of time in CIS) I've never felt once unsafe. As for then vs now, it's a hard call, but I'd say it was likely a lot more unsafe back in the late 90's for a whole host of reasons, not least the country was falling apart, but my naivety back then was a great insulator, biggest fear then was the Militsia (Bribes), now renamed the Police they have been cleaned up beyond recognition.

Isn't the main issue the one you mentioned in an earlier post, @flash8, that 99% of Russians probably want to see Sergei Skripal dead, as a traitor to their country? Yes VP, if the tables were turned we'd feel the same way I expect, although not with so much feeling, they really do take things like that personally.

Who chooses to come to Salisbury for a holiday when there is a severe snow storm forecast? If you can survive a Moscow winter, Snow is nothing, absolutely nothing at all, they might not have given it a second thought!!

Out Of Trim
13th Sep 2018, 18:51
Who needs a paper map these days?

You just get google maps up on your phone or laptop. Study your target using Street View. Then when approaching the target you could use an ear-piece to get verbal Nav instructions as you casually walk along.

I think we should offer to send a team to pick them up. It would at least keep them on their toes and looking over their shoulders just in case! :E

sitigeltfel
13th Sep 2018, 18:55
There a number of pro Russian Shills/Trolls posting disinformation on various blogs and tonights line they are feeding is "It would have been impossible for them to get the nerve agent past security at the airports".

When I point out that the likely route was via "diplomatic bag" into the embassy in London, and then handed to the two stooges after they arrived, they go into spittle flecked meltdown.

Great sport!

Sallyann1234
13th Sep 2018, 19:04
If you can survive a Moscow winter, Snow is nothing, absolutely nothing at all, they might not have given it a second thought!!
I'm sure that's true.
So why did they give up on their Salisbury trip after finding tiny traces of slush in the gutters? On two days!

Hussar 54
13th Sep 2018, 19:59
In twenty years based out of Moscow (although a lot of time in CIS) I've never felt once unsafe. As for then vs now, it's a hard call, but I'd say it was likely a lot more unsafe back in the late 90's for a whole host of reasons, not least the country was falling apart, but my naivety back then was a great insulator, biggest fear then was the Militsia (Bribes), now renamed the Police they have been cleaned up beyond recognition.



I was shuttling back and to between Moscow and Novosibirsk, usually on Transaero DC10s often with French crews, at the time when nobody trusted the ' Babyflot ' carriers.

Yep....Everything seemed to be falling apart but somehow just about managed to keep going.

The US / UK company I was working for were basically reduced to bartering - $ 5,000 of medical supplies to a hospital were always paid for with truck tyres, a few thousand gallons of heating oil, a container full of music CDs, etc....The secret was to find someone who would accept the, say, CDs, when we had to pay our own bills before accepting them for payment ourselves.

Diffiicult....Even chaotic at times....But I did develop a huge respect for the ordinary Russians' ability to overcome adversity with rather / very creative solutions !!

And many a fun night in a bar / club in Moscow - was it called NiteFlight ??

flash8
13th Sep 2018, 20:09
I'm sure that's true.
So why did they give up on their Salisbury trip after finding tiny traces of slush in the gutters? On two days!Who knows, the whole affair is odd, their trip seems even odder, and odder still is the pair themselves, from what I can gather they are a laughing stock here as well... even the RT presenter was taking the piss... implying they were smartly dressed Children (of doubtful sexuality).

And many a fun night in a bar / club in Moscow - was it called NiteFlight ??Yes, NF was there then, run by Swedes, still there, not sure of owners. Going rate in 1998 was $100 negotiable even... not sure what it is today but a damned sight higher! If you entered via Sheremetyevo-2 you would have seen the legendary "NightFlight - do it tonight" wall advert in arrivals.... whenever I passed that I knew I had arrived back!

TEEEJ
13th Sep 2018, 20:14
That interview with the two suspects was indeed hilarious.

Apart from so obviously being full of holes, one has to wonder quite why they would walk away from the train station, head out of the city centre a fair way, and then take a walk through an urban housing estate that's a fair way away from anything a tourist may want to see. .

Too busy trying to remember details from the Wiki page of Salisbury Cathedral. You could practically see the wheels turning when Borishov was reeling those statistics off! :) Obviously they forgot to claim that they had taken a wrong turning before getting back on the tourist route. I bet their de-briefer wasn't happy about that! :)

TEEEJ
13th Sep 2018, 20:52
They both claimed to have photographs from the cathedral.

RT Transcript.

PETROV: By the way, they should have a lot of pictures from the cathedral.

SIMONYAN: Your pictures, you mean?

PETROV: They should show them.

SIMONYAN: I assume you took some pictures while at the cathedral?

PETROV: Of course.

BOSHIROV: Sure, we did. We went to a park, we had some coffee. We went to a coffee shop. We walked around, enjoying those beautiful English Gothic buildings.

PETROV: For some reason, they don’t show this. They only show how we went to the train station.

SIMONYAN: If you give us your pictures, we can show them.

From RT link

https://www.rt.com/news/438356-rt-petrov-boshirov-full-interview/

barry lloyd
13th Sep 2018, 21:31
Who knows, the whole affair is odd, their trip seems even odder, and odder still is the pair themselves, from what I can gather they are a laughing stock here as well... even the RT presenter was taking the piss... implying they were smartly dressed Children (of doubtful sexuality).

Yes, NF was there then, run by Swedes, still there, not sure of owners. Going rate in 1998 was $100 negotiable even... not sure what it is today but a damned sight higher! If you entered via Sheremetyevo-2 you would have seen the legendary "NightFlight - do it tonight" wall advert in arrivals.... whenever I passed that I knew I had arrived back!

flash8 knows Russians and I know Russians. I have travelled abroad with them, in Europe and the Middle East. This behaviour is about as unlikely as I can imagine. It's a bit like 'Mr Bean goes to Russia'. And why Salisbury? No disrespect to VP 959, or Salisbury, but it seems as unlikely a tourist destination for the average Russian as Scunthorpe.

I remember Night Flight (it was the English spelling). The one thing which is often forgotten (perhaps understandably ), is that it also had an excellent restaurant, but some (most) never made it that far! Yes, that advert is Sheremetyevo 2 is well remembered!

DaveReidUK
13th Sep 2018, 21:44
RT Transcript.

From RT link

https://www.rt.com/news/438356-rt-petrov-boshirov-full-interview/

Among the many strange assertions in the transcript is this one:

"But when we got there [Gatwick], our plane couldn't land on its first approach. That’s because of all the havoc they had with transport in the UK on March 2 and 3. There was heavy snowfall, nearly all the cities were paralyzed."

There's no evidence of a missed approach on the flight tracking websites for SU2588 on 2nd March.

2unlimited
13th Sep 2018, 22:25
You refused, twice, to answer my question about Litvinenko by saying he was 'irrelevant'. And then asked me about Trotsky!
Avoiding a question by asking a different one is a very poor tactic. Almost as bad as posting your pages of smokescreen.
I suggest you go back to training camp, or take lessons from A_van. He does this so much better than you.

That seems ironic, wasn't that exactly what you did with bringing up the Litvinenko case? I told you that I did not respond to the Litvinenko case, because I did not have enough knowledge about that case to want to make a comment.

I rather found the RT interview with the 2 "super-agents" amusing - also I don't find Skripal to be such an innocent victim, what he did to his own people and country, is the lowest of all a person can do, we call it a Quisling!

It should be fairly simple for the British Intelligence to prove that the interview was BS with some additional CCTV footage from the stay of the 2 Super Agents in the UK. (Get the popcorn ready)

KelvinD
13th Sep 2018, 22:42
I see the flight was in a hold for 30 minutes (is it WILLO?). It can't have been due to lots of traffic as it is the only one to have been held in that stack at that time. The flight ahead of it (Nowegian EI-GBF) made no circuits over that and passed Battle at 14:39, landing at 14:56. The Aeroflot flight passed Battle at 14:49, made 5 or 6 circuits at WILLO and landed at 15:31, more than half an hour behind the Norwegian. So perhaps snow clearing or something similar was going on at the time, resulting in the hold at WILLO. So I suppose the "Couldn't land..." could be interpreted to mean they had to hold off, rather than a missed approach?

flash8
13th Sep 2018, 22:44
As mentioned I think a narrative is developing in Russia, aided by RT (i.e. the State) in painting these characters as "Mr Bean" types.... and they themselves from reports have not been handling this pressure well, could all be an act, but what if... it isn't. It has been mentioned earlier that they could have been set up, perhaps they were paid to go to Salisbury by somebody for a few days, not realizing the consequences, and now they are in the sh*t have been massively been reading up on Salisbury and repeating it parrot fashion, sweating and panting, well out of their depth, scared as hell, far too scared to admit they were paid for the trip (could be a sticky end). Given the apparent demeanour now contrasted with the jokey relaxed style from the CCTV can't be discounted as a possibility?

Why somebody would want to engineer this scenario though is beyond me.

TEEEJ
13th Sep 2018, 22:50
Among the many strange assertions in the transcript is this one:

"But when we got there [Gatwick], our plane couldn't land on its first approach. That’s because of all the havoc they had with transport in the UK on March 2 and 3. There was heavy snowfall, nearly all the cities were paralyzed."

There's no evidence of a missed approach on the flight tracking websites for SU2588 on 2nd March.

Nice work. I had that on my to do list.

In the stack and then straight in.

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1742x890/su2588_d5334a342d9a17a8a159b6cb22bc19b736ae6f52.jpg

2unlimited
13th Sep 2018, 23:11
As mentioned I think a narrative is developing in Russia, aided by RT (i.e. the State) in painting these characters as "Mr Bean" types.... and they themselves from reports have not been handling this pressure well, could all be an act, but what if... it isn't. It has been mentioned earlier that they could have been set up, perhaps they were paid to go to Salisbury by somebody for a few days, not realizing the consequences, and now they are in the sh*t have been massively been reading up on Salisbury and repeating it parrot fashion, sweating and panting, well out of their depth, scared as hell, far too scared to admit they were paid for the trip (could be a sticky end). Given the apparent demeanour now contrasted with the jokey relaxed style from the CCTV can't be discounted as a possibility?

Why somebody would want to engineer this scenario though is beyond me.

Well they don't seem to be top trained GRU officers, if they are, well than that makes it even worse.
Could they have been setup? Maybe they was given instructions what to do, to create confusion for future investigation after the event. The British said they still had more people of interest in this case.

A couple of things that made me curious from the interview, why was they so secretive about their business? What's the big problem if they have a legitimate business operation with fitness? This should be easy to verify, and also why they previously travelled in Europe for business.

They showed no photos of their own trip on RT.
And of course why would they be walking around in a residential area instead of the tourist attractions they wanted to visit, and why visit the same city twice.

To be honest before this, I had never heard of Salisbury. Sure I know of Stonehenge and Bath, but not Salisbury.

No doubt that they was ill prepared for the TV interview, which makes me believe these might be the stooges who has been setup to cover the real culprits.

Tankertrashnav
13th Sep 2018, 23:39
I rather found the RT interview with the 2 "super-agents" amusing - also I don't find Skripal to be such an innocent victim, what he did to his own people and country, is the lowest of all a person can do, we call it a Quisling!

That is a good point and I can understand Russians viewing him in that light. In the same way I would have been quite happy to see, say, Guy Burgess or any of his unsavoury Cambridge chums bumped off quietly. However don't forget that Skripal's daughter who is totally innocent also nearly died, and Dawn Sturgess did in fact die. I suppose the Russians are quite happy about this "collateral damage".

KelvinD
14th Sep 2018, 06:43
Teej: If you filter the planefinder plot to Gatwick inbound only, you will see what I reported in my post above. No other aircraft in the stack and seems to have been the only flight (around that time) that spent half an hour enjoying a splendid view of the clouds above Sussex! So, not a missed approach but possibly a runway closure for half an hour.

DaveReidUK
14th Sep 2018, 07:40
No other aircraft in the stack

There were 4 other aircraft holding at the same time as SU2588:

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/806x785/su2588_in_hold_357c6f82eeb6ddb78c04b8bd99ce507a0b6ceb61.jpg

BAW2761 (BA2761) AMS-LGW
BAW45MA (BA2645) MLA-LGW
EZY52YK (U28512) KRK-LGW
EZY9010 (U29010) ZRH-LGW

Sallyann1234
14th Sep 2018, 07:44
They made a great deal of the transport delays due to weather, and yet their trains were apparently running normally on both days and the roads in Salisbury were clear.
A more independent interviewer would have asked them about this apparent contradiction.
Apart from the generating much discussion, the episode doesn't really take us any further forward.

VP959
14th Sep 2018, 07:56
The Met Office have a summary for the weather in March: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/2018/march

From that, here's the section on the impact of bad weather:

Weather impactsOn the 1st, there were numerous requests for military support in Devon and Cornwall, Avon and Somerset, Shropshire, and also Scotland. The A38 at Haldon Hill (Devon) was closed, as there were a number of accidents. Many pre-emptive actions were taken that morning: the A380 was closed so that the authorities could concentrate on keeping the coast road open, and shift times for responders were changed. In Scotland, over 300 people were stranded for 20 hours on snow-bound roads. Numerous roads were closed including the M73, M80, M876 and A92, and Glasgow and Edinburgh airports closed. National Rail reported mass disruption in the South East, Scotland, north-west England and the South West, with only two train operators in the whole of Great Britain not affected. Over 5000 schools were closed across England, and frozen pipes caused water supply issues in places. Many roads were blocked or impassable, and it was reported that there were 10 weather-related deaths, while some communities in northern England were cut off. Over 140 flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports were cancelled. Up to 400 vehicles were trapped on the A1 near Peterborough and in Lincolnshire; the RAF used their vehicles to transport health staff to hospitals and to vulnerable people. On the evening of the 1st, a South Western Railway train to Weymouth broke down and passengers were trapped for 11 hours, and the A303 came to a standstill with drivers stranded for 12 hours. Mountain rescue teams were brought in to help rescue stranded road users in north-east England, while in Scotland BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James had to postpone the last leg of his Sport Relief Pedal to the Peaks challenge. Late on the 1st and on the 2nd, many roads across southern Britain become treacherous after freezing rain. Many schools remained closed across the UK, with widespread transport delays and cancellations. By the 3rd, Electricity North West had restored power to 22,600 homes since this winter weather had first hit, while a number of roads in north-east England were closed due to floodwater. Some communities in east Cumbria were still cut off and Chinook helicopters had to be used to drop off supplies. In Scotland, some public transport routes were delayed or disrupted, schools remained closed and roads were still affected by snow.

Looks like the bad weather day was the 1st March down here in the South, which fits with what I remember, as I know it was a weekday as my wife was concerned that the weather might affect her driving to work (it didn't, either on the Thursday or the Friday). Is it possible that Gatwick was still suffering delays, perhaps because of the knock-on effect of the cancellations of the day before, so was a bit disrupted on Friday the 2nd March when these two flew in?

KelvinD
14th Sep 2018, 08:44
Dave: At the time the Aeroflot flight entered the stack, approx 14:50, the Easyjet flight, was still over the North Sea, heading toward Margate. Similarly, the BA Amsterdam flight had just passed Margate at that time,joining the stack at 14:59. The BA Malta flight was just south of Abbeville. The three flights ahead of the Aeroflot, D82805, BA2623 & D82905 all avoided the stack. D82905 landed around 14:57 while the Aeroflot flight was still doing the rounds, alone, at the WILLO hold, leaving the hold at approx 15:19. The other flights you refer to joined the stack later and, as far as I can see, there no other flights ahead of the Aeroflot when it entered the hold.

treadigraph
14th Sep 2018, 08:44
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/608x608/1409_matt_portal_web_p1_png_bb9db15769ff13cd50dba07b8d06401d ab45cbf5.jpg

Pontius Navigator
14th Sep 2018, 09:05
Once upon a time there were two big bad Russians . . .

Trossie
14th Sep 2018, 11:00
Luftwaffe “just wanted to see St Paul’s Cathedral” (http://newsthump.com/2018/09/14/luftwaffe-just-wanted-to-see-st-pauls-cathedral/)

Trossie
14th Sep 2018, 11:11
Skripal suspects were ‘just tourists’ in same way Harold Shipman was ‘just a doctor’ (http://newsthump.com/2018/09/13/skripal-suspects-were-just-tourists-in-same-way-harold-shipman-was-just-a-doctor/)

BehindBlueEyes
14th Sep 2018, 11:11
https://newsthump.com/2018/09/12/skirpal-poisoning-suspects-just-massively-into-salisbury-insists-vladimir-putin/

Stan Woolley
14th Sep 2018, 11:56
The Met Office have a summary for the weather in March: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/2018/march

From that, here's the section on the impact of bad weather:
Looks like the bad weather day was the 1st March down here in the South, which fits with what I remember, as I know it was a weekday as my wife was concerned that the weather might affect her driving to work (it didn't, either on the Thursday or the Friday). Is it possible that Gatwick was still suffering delays, perhaps because of the knock-on effect of the cancellations of the day before, so was a bit disrupted on Friday the 2nd March when these two flew in?

You seem to paint a different picture to this?

https://twitter.com/craigmurrayorg/status/1040520675189039105?s=21

Stan Woolley
14th Sep 2018, 12:13
As I’ve posted that I may as well post Craig Murray’s latest offering too.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Most of you have made up your minds about me and others that occasionally post here, that we’re ‘Bots’ or other nonsense. That’s ok with me, as many of those same posters have firmly made up their minds about a lot of things.

The Skripal affair has raised awkward questions since it began. I am in no position to say what happened, and I think no one here is any different. You may think otherwise of course, as is your right.

VP959
14th Sep 2018, 12:26
You seem to paint a different picture to this?

https://twitter.com/craigmurrayorg/status/1040520675189039105?s=21



Not at all. As I said in post #2641:

Down here very close to Salisbury the infamous "Beast from the East" didn't really have any significant impact at all, and the small flurries of snow we did have were practically melted by Saturday and Sunday. The snow that fell here was about 20mm deep, and fell on the 1st and 2nd March, and none settled on any of the main roads, and even our little lane was completely clear of snow by Saturday 3rd March. Sure there may have been small piles of slush in the road gutters here and there, but they wouldn't have caused any problems for either pedestrians or motorists.

That photo in your link was taken on the A360 around 9 or 10 miles NW of Salisbury, right on the open, high, stretch of Salisbury Plain, which gets a heck of a lot worse weather than we, or the city, get, sheltered down in the valley. FWIW, on both Thursday 1st March and Friday 2nd March I drove through the Woodford valley, up the hill towards Fugglestone Red, over the A360 cross road junction about a couple of miles NW of Salisbury and down The Avenue into Wilton. On neither day was snow a problem, and I know for sure that the section of the A360 that I crossed was completely clear - I'd driven up the steep B road that goes up Camp Down to get to the A360 cross road and even that was clear and no problem for a front wheel drive hatchback at all.

Look at the CCTV photos that show these two walking around Salisbury - not a lot of snow about in any of them, is there?

Trossie
14th Sep 2018, 13:19
...
Look at the CCTV photos that show these two walking around Salisbury - not a lot of snow about in any of them, is there?

Exactly the point that I was making when I first asked about the snow in Salisbury.

And having driven through there fairly often recently, it is glaringly obvious that weather and conditions will be very different just a short way away so the photos at Stonehenge at the time would be irrelevant.

What should be realised is that that RT 'interview' was not intended for us but rather for the Russian domestic 'market'. The 'trivia' discussed so much here is unimportant as that domestic market will not have the faintest idea what you are on about. To them it shows their guys to be the good guy and that is enough.

(As is shown quite clearly here, we have a much more questioning population and those who question the state have the freedoms to do so.)

What is worrying is that clowns like that and the clowns that are 'managing' them have such dangerous substances and weapons available to them.

Stan Woolley
14th Sep 2018, 13:23
Not at all. As I said in post #2641:

That photo in your link was taken on the A360 around 9 or 10 miles NW of Salisbury, right on the open, high, stretch of Salisbury Plain, which gets a heck of a lot worse weather than we, or the city, get, sheltered down in the valley.

Look at the CCTV photos that show these two walking around Salisbury - not a lot of snow about in any of them, is there?

Will you admit that photo was taken in the general direction of Stonehenge, which is North of Salisbury, on the 4th which is likely to mean that the snow was as bad or worse on the 3rd Mach. It seems likely enough that public transport was heavily disrupted on both the Saturday (3rd) and Sunday (4th). Maybe not so much in Salisbury itself, as you say, but in the countryside where the pic was taken, anyone wanting to see Stonehenge using anything less than a 4x4 that weekend would have been up against it.

Sure, the men weren’t convincing as tourists, but then they weren’t convincing as state killers. What do you have to say about them leaving ‘traces’ of Novichok in the hotel room? But the authorities didn’t shut the hotel, or inform the public ? The whole thing’s riddled with inconsistencies and lies - on both sides. Designed to reassure only those biased either way.

A_Van
14th Sep 2018, 13:23
As I’ve posted that I may as well post Craig Murray’s latest offering too.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Most of you have made up your minds about me and others that occasionally post here, that we’re ‘Bots’ or other nonsense. That’s ok with me, as many of those same posters have firmly made up their minds about a lot of things.

The Skripal affair has raised awkward questions since it began. I am in no position to say what happened, and I think no one here is any different. You may think otherwise of course, as is your right.


Stan,

Quite a resonable post from you, and also the gentleman you are referring to (Craig M.). He usually writes reasonable and balanced "columns".

What I find important from his article and am quite side with, is a concern that all this [email protected] media generates megatons of hatred. This is the most dangerous, IMHO. Politicians come and go and are usually focused on some very-short term goals to raise their ratings, while been just hot-air balloons in reality. But when the hatred they spread across stampts firmly into heads of millions of readers, this results in long-term negative consequences. Feeding UK and US people with "mantras" such a "a good russian is a dead russian" and vice versa, is the most dangerous thing. In this case we would shortly be just one step (or shot away) from the situation when some idiots (full of hatred) press the red button, and here you are - "big metal pencils" are launched. Catch them if you can...

Some further remarks on details. I do not understand why it is so important to argue how much snow was in Salisbury on March 3. 10 inches or zero, it does not matter. The guys said they got their feet/boots wet that made them cancel their walk. Being a Russian used to cold weather,I am rather vulnerable, too, to get my feet wet if I am not running long distance. Most likely the next day I will have a running nose. Better keep them dry, even if the frost is "outside".

As for "strange" interest in the Cathedral and Stonehenge, I am surprised, too, and would recommend to such travellers to first explore London. If they are there for 2-3 day, better stay in the city. But strange people do exist. I recall a French friend of mine when arrived in Moscow with his wife asked me to bring them to an old monastery in Sergiev Posad (some 30-35 miles north of Moscow). I was very surprised and said that there are many things like that inside the city, but they insisted and I drove them there. Actually half a day was lost for them. They said they just read a good article in a travel book. In a similar way my wife once insisted that we should visit Munich to see a funny old tower clock in the main square in the downtown. IMHO, a total nonsense, not worth of doing a side trip (and also the weather was terrible), but I had to agree. As a "compensation", some good beer was then consumed.

Nevertheless, I can hardly believe it was just a coincidence and tend to think that somebody used those guys to point the investigators towards Russia and start all this cry outloud to the whole planet. I wonder if the the investigators in Russia will press them well enough to define who were "those friends" that advised them to visit "that wonderful city" and then check carefully all links of those friends. And of course to find out if there were some hidden items in their agenda that they did not speak out yet.

Stan Woolley
14th Sep 2018, 13:50
Stan,

Quite a resonable post from you, and also the gentleman you are referring to (Craig M.). He usually writes reasonable and balanced "columns".

What I find important from his article and am quite side with, is a concern that all this [email protected] media generates megatons of hatred. This is the most dangerous, IMHO. Politicians come and go and are usually focused on some very-short term goals to raise their ratings, while been just hot-air balloons in reality. But when the hatred they spread across stampts firmly into heads of millions of readers, this results in long-term negative consequences. Feeding UK and US people with "mantras" such a "a good russian is a dead russian" and vice versa, is the most dangerous thing. In this case we would shortly be just one step (or shot away) from the situation when some idiots (full of hatred) press the red button, and here you are - "big metal pencils" are launched. Catch them if you can...

Some further remarks on details. I do not understand why it is so important to argue how much snow was in Salisbury on March 3. 10 inches or zero, it does not matter. The guys said they got their feet/boots wet that made them cancel their walk. Being a Russian used to cold weather,I am rather vulnerable, too, to get my feet wet if I am not running long distance. Most likely the next day I will have a running nose. Better keep them dry, even if the frost is "outside".

As for "strange" interest in the Cathedral and Stonehenge, I am surprised, too, and would recommend to such travellers to first explore London. If they are there for 2-3 day, better stay in the city. But strange people do exist. I recall a French friend of mine when arrived in Moscow with his wife asked me to bring them to an old monastery in Sergiev Posad (some 30-35 miles north of Moscow). I was very surprised and said that there are many things like that inside the city, but they insisted and I drove them there. Actually half a day was lost for them. They said they just read a good article in a travel book. In a similar way my wife once insisted that we should visit Munich to see a funny old tower clock in the main square in the downtown. IMHO, a total nonsense, not worth of doing a side trip (and also the weather was terrible), but I had to agree. As a "compensation", some good beer was then consumed.

Nevertheless, I can hardly believe it was just a coincidence and tend to think that somebody used those guys to point the investigators towards Russia and start all this cry outloud to the whole planet. I wonder if the the investigators in Russia will press them well enough to define who were "those friends" that advised them to visit "that wonderful city" and then check carefully all links of those friends. And of course to find out if there were some hidden items in their agenda that they did not speak out yet.

A Van

Just don’t expect VP to agree about Murray, he seems to have a great big bee in his bonnet where Murray is concerned. :\

I agree totally with your assessment about the media. The media stirs up sh*t where before there was none. Most people on both sides have little interest in this stuff, but the dark cloud inside them gets planted and grows little by little with every news broadcast. It’s insanity, but that’s where we’re at.

What were they doing in Salisbury? To me, if they were British, they would almost certainly be gay. How much does a weekend ticket on a Russian Ryanair actually cost? I lost interest in the detail ages ago, it’s the big picture that I’m interested in. But they say the devil is in the detail... ;)

treadigraph
14th Sep 2018, 13:52
Stan, look at that picture again. The road was clearly snowploughed which has piled the stuff up on the verge. That always takes longer to melt. The fields on either side are bereft of snow 'cos it's already melted. This up on high and exposed open ground, some 200' higher than Salisbury.

Stan Woolley
14th Sep 2018, 14:02
Stan, look at that picture again. The road was clearly snowploughed which has piled the stuff up on the verge. That always takes longer to melt. The fields on either side are bereft of snow 'cos it's already melted. This up on high and exposed open ground, some 200' higher than Salisbury.

True enough, but it’s still bad enough to make one doubt that transport generally wasn’t disrupted that weekend. The U.K. usually needs a lot less than that to grind to a halt!

pasta
14th Sep 2018, 14:06
What were they doing in Salisbury? To me, if they were British, they would almost certainly be gay.
Why would their sexuality be relevant to visiting Salisbury? My friends who are gay tend to engage in much the same activities, and go to the same places, as anyone else. The only town I can think of which might have a specific draw for gay people would be Brighton, but it's very popular with straight people too...

Sallyann1234
14th Sep 2018, 14:14
The pictures of the two in Salisbury show them walking on pavements that were just damp or wet, with perhaps a trace of snow left in corners that were easy to avoid. Snow always clears more quickly in urban areas because of the warmer microclimate and heavier footfall. There was no reason to get wet feet.
And even if the feet were too wet to walk to the cathedral on that day, why walk instead in the opposite direction where there was nothing to see?
The weather argument just doesn't stand up.

VP959
14th Sep 2018, 14:23
Will you admit that photo was taken in the general direction of Stonehenge, which is North of Salisbury, on the 4th which is likely to mean that the snow was as bad or worse on the 3rd Mach. It seems likely enough that public transport was heavily disrupted on both the Saturday (3rd) and Sunday (4th). Maybe not so much in Salisbury itself, as you say, but in the countryside where the pic was taken, anyone wanting to see Stonehenge using anything less than a 4x4 that weekend would have been up against it.

Sure, the men weren’t convincing as tourists, but then they weren’t convincing as state killers. What do you have to say about them leaving ‘traces’ of Novichok in the hotel room? But the authorities didn’t shut the hotel, or inform the public ? The whole thing’s riddled with inconsistencies and lies - on both sides. Designed to reassure only those biased either way.








No. it was taken about 1 1/2 miles or so West of Stonehenge. Anyway, they didn't go to Stonehenge as far as we know, they seem to have stayed in Salisbury.

The weather up high on Salisbury Plain (which is where that photo was taken) is markedly more severe than it is on the low ground around Salisbury, as anyone who has ever been involved with exercises on the Plain will be able to confirm (it's bloody grim up there in bad weather).

Most of Salisbury is around 150ft to 200ft lower than the area of the plain where that photo was taken, and has loads of streams flowing through and around it, as it's a flood plain (hence the water meadows around and to the South of the Cathedral). The lower height of the area around and in Salisbury, plus the warming influence of the streams and river branches flowing through it, mean that it's usually a fair bit warmer and less windy than up on the Plain.

The major problem with any snow up on the Plain is that, because the area is high, flat and has relatively few obstructions, snow drifts quickly and tends to pile up around roads and lanes, caught by the fences, hedges or low banks at the sides of these roads. As a consequence, a relatively small snowfall, coupled with cold winds (which is what we had on 1st March) will create drifts up there and block roads. I used to drive across to Warminster a fair bit years ago, and if there was any snow at all I'd never take the shortcut along the A360 and through Shrewton, because there would a strong chance that the A360 would be blocked, even by a small snowfall. Instead I'd take the longer way around, along the A303 and up the A36, as generally those roads would be clear.

This wind-blown snow drifting just doesn't happen much lower down in and around Salisbury. It's easy to confirm this by just looking at the CCTV images from Salisbury showing these two guys - there's no snow visible in any of them, just a very small bit of slush in the gutter of Wilton Road by the Shell garage.

Stan Woolley
14th Sep 2018, 14:44
Will you admit that photo was taken in the general direction of Stonehenge,

No. it was taken about 1 1/2 miles or so West of Stonehenge. Anyway, they didn't go to Stonehenge as far as we know, they seem to have stayed in Salisbury.


Ok, in my book that’s close enough for govt work! :ugh:

I know they stayed in Salisbury. My point was that Stonehenge was probably inaccessible by public transport that particular weekend. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why they stayed in Salisbury.

VP959
14th Sep 2018, 14:48
Interesting story about two different Russians arrested in the Netherlands for allegedly "spying" on the Swiss OPCW accredited lab, near Bern: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45522614

This was one of the labs that undertook independent sampling and analysis an confirmed that the identification of the agent was identical to that from the DSTL analysis, following the Skripal attack. It's not clear yet whether they were arrested and deported before or after the Skripal attack. Could be either, as several of the OPCW accredited labs have been involved in sampling and analysing materiel from the Syrian attacks as well. Be interesting if it turns out that they were arrested after the Skripal attack, as that suggests they were after information regarding the agent used, or how much the lab knew about it.

VP959
14th Sep 2018, 14:57
Ok, in my book that’s close enough for govt work! :ugh:

I know they stayed in Salisbury. My point was that Stonehenge was probably inaccessible by public transport that particular weekend. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why they stayed in Salisbury.




They would have known that was highly likely before they left Russia - the news in the few days before they flew over here was full of warnings about the "Beast from the East" storm, and the likelihood of severe disruption to travel. Quite why two tourists would choose to fly here for two very short trips to Salisbury, knowing that the weather was forecast to be bad, seems a bit odd. Maybe they had cheap tickets that they had bought a long time ahead and which weren't transferable to a later date...

Bit of a coincidence that they chose to fly over here shortly after Yulia Skripal flew over here from Russia to see her father, and visit her mother and brother's graves, too.

Stan Woolley
14th Sep 2018, 15:32
By the way VP.

I visited Salisbury Cathedral last week.
For someone not really impressed by that type of thing - I was impressed. :ok:

VP959
14th Sep 2018, 15:42
By the way VP.

I visited Salisbury Cathedral last week.
For someone not really impressed by that type of thing - I was impressed. :ok:

I'm equally not impressed by churches, but also make an exception for Salisbury. You have the added bonus of being able to walk over Ted Heath's grave as you leave through the cloister, heading for the Chapter Room...

One thing that is pretty amazing is the bend in the columns that support the tower and spire. If you stand at the base of them and look up you can see how the compressive load has caused them to bend. They are supported now by later engineering modifications. My guess is that they didn't fully understand slim column buckling failure under a compressive load when they built the thing.

TEEEJ
14th Sep 2018, 17:53
Some interesting reading in regards to the two suspects passports.

Skripal Poisoning Suspect’s Passport Data Shows Link to Security Services

An ongoing Bellingcat investigation conducted jointly with The Insider Russia has confirmed through uncovered passport data that the two Russian nationals identified by UK authorities as prime suspects in the Novichok poisonings on British soil are linked to Russian security services.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/09/14/skripal-poisoning-suspects-passport-data-shows-link-security-services/

Russian link.

https://theins.ru/politika/117161

DaveReidUK
14th Sep 2018, 18:50
Dave: At the time the Aeroflot flight entered the stack, approx 14:50, the Easyjet flight, was still over the North Sea, heading toward Margate. Similarly, the BA Amsterdam flight had just passed Margate at that time,joining the stack at 14:59. The BA Malta flight was just south of Abbeville. The three flights ahead of the Aeroflot, D82805, BA2623 & D82905 all avoided the stack. D82905 landed around 14:57 while the Aeroflot flight was still doing the rounds, alone, at the WILLO hold, leaving the hold at approx 15:19. The other flights you refer to joined the stack later and, as far as I can see, there no other flights ahead of the Aeroflot when it entered the hold.

I think we may be at cross-purposes.

Yes, I agree that none of the flights immediately preceding the Aeroflot joined the hold. However at least 4 of the flights behind it each did 3-4 orbits (the Aeroflot did 5), hence my screenshot showing all 5 in the hold simultaneously (which was the situation for more than 10 minutes).

Granted, the Aeroflot spent more time in the hold (30 minutes) than the others, but not by much (the AMS inbound held for 24 minutes), so I wouldn't attach any particular significance to that.

Going back to my original point, the quote from Petrov about not being able to land from the first approach came direct from the rt.com transcript/translation, so I don't think we are misinterpreting it. But it's clearly not true.

CloudHound
14th Sep 2018, 19:15
I've caught out our two Russian tourists.

They said that the Cathedral Spire is 123m tall. It's NOT! 404' is 123.139m

Clearly lying. Get the wooden stakes, rope and brushwood. I sense a burnin'

ORAC
14th Sep 2018, 19:42
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/novichok-poisonings-i-have-no-reason-to-believe-salisbury-tourists-admits-russian-interviewer-sc5679f33

The bizarre account by two suspected Russian hitmen (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-were-sports-nutritionists-on-a-tourist-trip-salisbury-attack-suspects-tell-state-tv-6xsc68h7t) of an innocent tourist trip to Salisbury may have been met with predictable derision in Britain but Russian reaction has shown that even Moscow is struggling to find the story credible. Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, admitted that their version of events may have raised more questions than it answered......

Russian state television, unusually, covered Britain’s dismissal of the men’s story as “ludicrous” and “an insult to the public’s intelligence”. RT posted a piece online noting the widespread mockery of the men’s story on social media but claimed that “Salisbury’s self-esteem is the biggest victim” of the ridicule directed at their insistence that they visited Britain only to visit the cathedral city.......

Even some media supportive of the Kremlin have expressed scepticism about the men’s claims. Komsomolskaya Pravda, a tabloid that usually backs President Putin, has offered a reward of 100,000 roubles (£1,125) for information about the “tourists from Salisbury”.

A columnist at Life News, a pro-Kremlin website with links to the security services, called the interview “sketchy” and questioned why the men had not disclosed the name of their purported sports nutrition business, saying that the authorities could have compensated them for any loss.

On social media, Russians unconnected to the Kremlin cringed at the suspects’ interview.

Andrei Malgin, a critic of the government, wrote: “GRU (Russian military intelligence) has a poor imagination. Two tourists. Flew specially for two days from Moscow to Britain to see Salisbury cathedral. Wow, such refined connoisseurs of gothic architecture. They went to Salisbury twice for the sake of the cathedral. But Westminster Abbey held no interest for them.”

Oleg Kashin, an opposition journalist, asked how the Kremlin officials and RT staff who prepared the interview felt. “Does it seem to them that they have proven that Russia wasn’t involved in the poisoning of the Skripals? Or do they understand how it really looks?”

Lizaveta Nesterova, a fellow journalist, tweeted sarcastically: “Boshirov remembered the height of the spire at Salisbury cathedral six months after his trip. What a memory! He should join the intelligence services.”

VP959
14th Sep 2018, 19:55
I think we need to temper the comedy act surrounding the appearance of the two main suspects, with the fact that the lives of four people were forever irrevocably changed, and one person was killed by this attack. Leaving aside the politics, we now have some confirmed facts:

1. The chemical agent used was one developed under the Foliant/Novichok binary weapon development programme during the Soviet era, although it is a variant that was never weaponised, as far as we know, and has inherent characteristics that seem to make it unsuitable as a chemical warfare agent.

2. Several independent OPCW labs took samples, analysed them and reached the same conclusion as the UK OPCW lab, that the agent was in a pure form and matched the identification made by DSTL.

3. The two people identified from CCTV and passport IDs are Russian citizens, that have appeared on Russia Today and admitted that they visited Salisbury and are the individuals whose identity has been released by the UK authorities.

4. Those two Russian citizens visited Salisbury for a short time on Saturday 3rd March, and again for a short time on Sunday 4th March. They were identified on CCTV in the general area of the urban area where Sergei Skripal lived, and the only positive identification from CCTV in the city shows that they went as far down Fisherton Street as the Mill, and the bridge over the river. There has been no evidence released to the public domain that they went anywhere near Salisbury Cathedral, or Old Sarum, both areas with good CCTV coverage.

5. There has been no official confirmation that the agent used was A-234, a non-weaponised ethyl analogue of Novichok-5 (although the circumstantial evidence is pretty convincing that this was the agent used), developed by the former Soviet Union during the late 1970s/early 1980s.

We also have a great deal of crap being circulated by people, either for their own reasons, or because there is a concerted effort to spread a wide range of wildly differing narratives to explain both the events of the 4th March, and those of 30th June. Some of those narratives seem to be motivated by a desire by some to raise their personal profile, some seem to have been motivated by a desire to profit from the sale of stories, articles, even books. Underneath all of this is the desire by several states to manipulate the views we have of these events, by stories in social media, the main stream media and by the surreptitious use of rumour and conspiracy theories to obfuscate and confuse, so that no single, compelling, explanation comes to the fore.

I'd say those trying to confuse are achieving their objective.

Sallyann1234
14th Sep 2018, 20:03
Lizaveta Nesterova, a fellow journalist, tweeted sarcastically: “Boshirov remembered the height of the spire at Salisbury cathedral six months after his trip. What a memory! He should join the intelligence services.”
It's good to see that Russians have a similar sense of humour.
And sad that we have such differences on more important matters.

TEEEJ
14th Sep 2018, 20:04
The Guardian is reporting the following info in the bidding war to gain an interview from the two suspects. Why on earth would these two completely normal civilians turn down this amount of money offered? Their claimed "overseas business" interests are now in tatters so why didn't they follow the money?

The bidding had been intense. Both the BBC and Channel 4 had put up six-figure offers, which had then been topped by NBC slamming $1m on the table.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/13/skripal-suspects-show-impressive-command-of-wikipedia

MFC_Fly
14th Sep 2018, 20:21
True enough, but it’s still bad enough to make one doubt that transport generally wasn’t disrupted that weekend. The U.K. usually needs a lot less than that to grind to a halt!Especially the railways... oh, wait... they managed to get to and from Salisbury on both days by train without any problems at all :rolleyes:

BehindBlueEyes
14th Sep 2018, 20:28
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/640x1136/3021f1c3_29f8_4324_b13a_ba8c0a20393c_cd8ab2d1ddb3fb84a921a73 d777d365759395760.jpeg

Stan Woolley
14th Sep 2018, 21:08
Especially the railways... oh, wait... they managed to get to and from Salisbury on both days by train without any problems at all :rolleyes:

Yes, though it seems that trains are not that bothered by a bit of snow.

https://youtu.be/Yja2VmZOfdA

katya2607
14th Sep 2018, 21:31
I've caught out our two Russian tourists.

They said that the Cathedral Spire is 123m tall. It's NOT! 404' is 123.139m

Clearly lying. Get the wooden stakes, rope and brushwood. I sense a burnin'

The two "chaps" clearly forgot the wondrous Whistler etching (note to ask for a quick e-cloth clean!) plus the "Bumping Stone". Tut Tut handlers......
I've also noticed the difference in the hairline, facial proportions and weight, between the photos and the two who were interviewed. Curious.

Out Of Trim
14th Sep 2018, 22:57
I heard a Russian speaker on the radio this morning who listened to the interview in Russian. When they were asked why they returned to Salisbury on the second day answered in Russian.. "To finish the business." :eek:

Obviously, that was not what was translated into English!

megan
15th Sep 2018, 03:12
I've also noticed the difference in the hairline, facial proportions and weight, between the photos and the two who were interviewed. Curious We had a rather lengthy article in a local paper ("The Australian", hides behind a paywall, sorry) that floated the opinion that the work was by Russian GRU operatives who thought Putin would be appreciative of the planned fatal outcome. With the mess that has ensued from a failed assassination it was put that Putin has more than likely extracted a pound of flesh from the two, termination with extreme prejudice. So perhaps, as you observe, the photo is of two actors. Who knows?

ORAC
15th Sep 2018, 06:05
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/our-week-two-completely-innocent-russians-b5v92lvbg

Our Week: Two Completely Innocent Russians*

понедельник

Hello! Greetings from Ruslan and Alex, completely normal Russian businessmen planning normal exciting long weekend trip to touristic London neighbourhood of Beckton to see disused outflow pipe of old sewage works. Although Ruslan arguing for instead go to St Albans for world famous sinkhole.

While cannot decide, phone is ringing and Alex answering on speakerphone, and is top secret GRU handler Dmitry.

“Nyet!” say Dmitry. “Am normal acquaintance of no particular distinction! Remember?”

“Oh, da,” Alex is saying. “Was forgetting.”

Then Dmitry saying friend haff idea, and Alex saying, perhaps quick break to Aberystwyth, for see exciting postboxes? But Dmitry saying, nyet, idea is that we speak to media about claims are assassins.

“Stupid idea,” say Ruslan.

“Alternatively,” say Dmitry, “friend — who by the way called Vladimir — wondering if both fancy trip to world- famous Russian hospital poisoning ward, perhaps in back of ambulance?”

“Oh,” say Alex.

вторник

No word from media. Are thinking of going shopping, but outside a bit cold.

Ruslan is saying at least not like temperature at top secret Siberian Russian assassin training camp, but Alex reminding Ruslan that we haff never been to such a camp, unless perhaps as keen fan of orienteering who haff taken wrong turn.

Then Ruslan saying actually worst weather ever experienced was in Salisbury in March, when was a bit slushy. Was terrifying display of savage nature for normal Russian!

Then Alex is saying we maybe need to work on that bit.

среда

Dmitry non-GRU handler comes visit. Says President Vladimir Putin haff openly declared Alex and Ruslan normal Russians with “nothing particularly criminal” about us.

“Particularly?” say Ruslan.

Dmitry say don’t worry about it. Important thing to stick to completely true story about Alex and Ruslan being normal sellers of sporting nutrition products who share hotel room and always together and perhaps hold hands.

“Wait, what?” say Alex.

Then Dmitry haff winked.

Then Ruslan say will hit Dmitry in throat with martial arts move. In manner all sellers of sporting nutrition products totally trained in.

Then Dmitry haff said is an order, though. From above. As punishment for general cock-up, and for belief will foster western sympathy.

“Okay,” sigh Ruslan.

“Okay Duckie,” corrects Dmitry.

Четверг

So. Today Ruslan and Alex are up early for morning of grimly enthusiastic musical theatre and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. Then are making excellent interior design choices before travelling to Moscow for interview with impartial Russia Today journalist.

On way are practising story about passionate interest in Salisbury due to Wikipedia says 123-metre steeple and ferry old clock. Also Stonehenge. Where the demons dwell and the banshees live. And they do live well.

“Okay,” say brisk RT journalist. “Will do this properly. Am not establishment stooge. Understood?”

“Eek!” say Alex. “So will be asking why flew across Europe for two days to see sights of Salisbury but stayed in wrong city and didn’t actually see sights of Salisbury in the end?”

“Nah,” says RT journalist.

Пятница

Now we are completely normal Russians haffing audience with completely normal friend. In Kremlin. Called Vladimir. Is big honour.

“So we did okay?” say Ruslan.

Vladimir is saying yes. World now seeing that Alex and Ruslan haff not poisoned with novichok. Just like world is seeing that Russian troops not in Ukraine, and Russian spies haff not hacked US election, either. Although he still not understanding western sniggering that motive for Salisbury visit unconvincing.

“Me neither!” say Alex. “123-metre sheeple? Amazing! Is bigger than mammoth! And even more wool!”

“Steeple,” say Ruslan. “Is spike.”

Alex is saying, ah, was forgetting that. Despite having seen it.

“Anyway,” say Vladimir. “Was a bit cross. But haff no intention of allowing Ruslan and Alex to stand trial Old Bailey.”

Ruslan say thank you. Although Alex many say friends haff in fact recommended. Because haff famous statue on top. Of lady with scales.

“So give it a year,” allow Vladimir, “then maybe take

*according to Hugo Rifkind

sitigeltfel
15th Sep 2018, 06:11
Old Russian saying...

Spire, Spire...pants on fire.

Trossie
15th Sep 2018, 19:08
I wonder how the fingerprints given in the UK Visa applications for those two would match up with the two on that RT interview?!!

Trossie
15th Sep 2018, 19:13
... Some of those narratives seem to be motivated by a desire by some to raise their personal profile, ...

When I see "www.someonesname.org.uk" it shouts out loud and clear to me: EGO!!

Kerosene Kraut
15th Sep 2018, 19:17
1. Why not just admit what "you" did?

2. Guarantee it won't happen again

3. Transfer the suspects

4. Support the investigation?

TEEEJ
15th Sep 2018, 20:21
Petrov's leaked passport data revealed a phone number from the Russian Defence Ministry.

After a Salisbury suspect's passport records leak, Russian journalists find a phone number in the documents possibly tying him to the GRU

On September 14, the open-source intelligence group Bellingcat and the investigative news website The Insider released passport data belonging to Alexander Petrov, one of the men identified by British authorities as a suspect in the March 4 nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, showing that his passport files contain various “top-secret” markings that seem to contradict his claims that he’s a mere civilian.

Hours later, the newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that the leaked passport records include yet another piece of evidence linking Petrov to Russia’s intelligence services: below one marking, the phone number 195-79-66 appears. This number, the newspaper says, is linked to the Russian Defense Ministry’s Military Intelligence Directorate.

According to Novaya Gazeta, the automatic telephone station number “195” is tied to Moscow’s Khoroshkovsky District, which is also home to the headquarters of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Military Intelligence Directorate.

https://meduza.io/en/feature/2018/09/14/after-a-salisbury-suspect-s-passport-records-leak-russian-journalists-find-a-phone-number-in-the-documents-tying-him-to-russia-s-gru

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/581x594/petrovpassport_2b7882b1124c26b22ef9b6ce8e9aefb170d4116b.jpg

https://twitter.com/Reevellp/status/1040767895205236736

TEEEJ
15th Sep 2018, 20:37
Boshirov's leaked internal passport file has the same peculiar details as Petrov's and the same Russian Defence Ministry contact phone number.


https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/577x503/boshirov_c7ba6f0b4272b8960e9c1091b366110c068ef4d2.jpg
https://twitter.com/AricToler/status/1041051177863938048

Sallyann1234
15th Sep 2018, 20:54
It seems even the Russian press is willing to expose the sham. The bogus cover story is falling apart piece by piece.

Don't miss the next exciting episode...

flash8
15th Sep 2018, 21:31
I wouldn't put much credence in many of these sites nor indeed alleged "leaks", most of which are funded by various factions to promote their appropriate causes (both sides).

SA is correct in saying the story of the suspected pair is generally greeted with ridicule within the RF, not necessarily implying they were responsible, I don't think many think that here, however they do think they are a pair of fools.

sitigeltfel
16th Sep 2018, 04:40
Another attempt by Putin to eliminate critics, this time on home ground?

Pyotr Verzilov, an activist with Russian protest group Pussy Riot, has been flown to Berlin for specialist medical treatment following a suspected poisoning in Moscow.

He reportedly fell ill after a court hearing on Tuesday and was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

His symptoms allegedly included losing his sight and ability to speak.

Mr Verzilov is best known for taking part in protest at the World Cup Final earlier this year.

His flight to Germany was reportedly organised by the Cinema for Peace Foundation.

A fellow Pussy Riot member, his ex-wife Nadya Tolokonnikova, is said to have welcomed him at the airport.

A short video and photographs that appear to show him on the plane, then being transported on a stretcher, were shared by German tabloid Bild.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45538772

KelvinD
16th Sep 2018, 06:40
Bellingcat eh? A conspiracy theorist par excellence. Yet, oddly, his utterances are posted here without any criticism. Craig Murray, on the other hand, is shot down the moment he goes beyond "Good Morning".

A_Van
16th Sep 2018, 07:11
Those fabricated "Russian internal passport files" are obviously false.
First, it's difficult to imagine that a clerk would make effort to find such a file and send it to someone "proekt" and likes who are unknown here. Disclosing such personal data is a criminal offensive here. The sender would be easily identified and sentenced for some time beyond the bars. What a mad would pay such a cost?
Second, references to data of higher level of secrecy are forbidden and never made in any document of lower level. Especially in such a way as authors of these fake files generated.

And of course, seeing the name of Bellingcat is the answer itself, no need to read further. This group was specially organised to generate false data, spread it through social networks and russiaphobic media, and then refer to them as a ""collective body of knowledge". "White helmets" then improved the practice by staging false events or actions on the events that never happened.

sitigeltfel
16th Sep 2018, 07:15
Conspiracy theorists versus Russian lies and disinformation.

Take your pick.

VP959
16th Sep 2018, 07:17
Bellingcat eh? A conspiracy theorist par excellence. Yet, oddly, his utterances are posted here without any criticism. Craig Murray, on the other hand, is shot down the moment he goes beyond "Good Morning".

My own view is that I'll seek to independently check the statements made by anyone, or any organisation, who is stating an opinion as if it were a proven fact. I've not commented on Bellingcat as I've not been able to find any evidence to support their stories. I've commented on Craig Murray when there has been evidence that he's not been accurate. He often chooses to be highly selective in his published comments, to the point where his commentary is misleading. Like all commentators, some of what Craig Murray writes is true, but a lot is either untrue, or more often a partial truth with elements that don't support his personal views left out. He's not unique in that; many of the main stream media outlets are much the same, and I put as much trust in anything that Craig Murray publishes as I do that the main stream media publish, which is not a lot.

At the moment I'm inclined to ignore Bellingcat, as there just doesn't seem to be any independently published information to support their stories. I've no doubt that they have their own agenda that colours what they choose to publish, as do many other public commentators on this incident.

Trossie
16th Sep 2018, 07:22
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/15/russian-secret-services-crisis-fallout-botched-salisbury-attack/

ORAC
16th Sep 2018, 07:56
The point of Bellingcat is that they rely solely upon open source data, and issue guides as too the methods they use to analyse the data and case studies on the work they have done.

It is is not necessary, therefore, to question whether whether the results have been distorted - the same open sources can be then be reanalysed by other parties, regardless of their views, to confirm or deny their findings.

They are especially good at using metadata, such as geographic data, unwittingly included in source data.

Sallyann1234
16th Sep 2018, 08:40
I was rather surprised at the apparent ease in which highly secure information was obtained and published.

But what of Novaya Gazeta? Isn't that an established paper? Would they not have checked the source and accuracy of the information?

VP959
16th Sep 2018, 09:35
I was rather surprised at the apparent ease in which highly secure information was obtained and published.

But what of Novaya Gazeta? Isn't that an established paper? Would they not have checked the source and accuracy of the information?

I spent half an hour or so trying to find out whether the source was verifiable and failed, partly because I can't read Cyrillic script or understand much of the Russian language. I'm equally sceptical about the apparent ease with which apparently secret information was obtained - I'm not convinced that the Russian security services are anything other than highly professional, unless their standards have dropped a lot since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Kerosene Kraut
16th Sep 2018, 09:42
High standards? Look at the rest of the story. The victims are alive, the whole world is talking about it and they draw fire from everywhere. Even from neutral Switzerland!

sitigeltfel
16th Sep 2018, 09:44
I I'm not convinced that the Russian security services are anything other than highly professional.

The calamitous adventures of those two clowns suggest otherwise.

VP959
16th Sep 2018, 11:02
The calamitous adventures of those two clowns suggest otherwise.

That's assuming that they really were working for the Russian security services, something which seems to be less than clear, from the information that's available in the public domain. There is speculation and rumour that they were, but AFAICS that's all it is, speculation and rumour.

ORAC
16th Sep 2018, 12:10
I was rather surprised at the apparent ease in which highly secure information was obtained and published. But what of Novaya Gazeta? Isn't that an established paper? Would they not have checked the source and accuracy of the information?

If the Telegraph is to be believed the information on the pair was leaked by the SVR and FSB (which would explain the leak of the internal passport data) who are incredibly pissed off by the incompetence of the GRU and their terence, at least by the SVR on the areas of operation and competence.

TEEEJ
16th Sep 2018, 12:59
Looks like the Russian Ministry of Defence wants to change the subject! Standby for one of their infamous press conferences tomorrow!

The Russian Defense Ministry will hold a briefing on the newly discovered circumstances of the MH17 crash at Rossiya Segodnya's International Multimedia Press Center on Monday.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201809151068049576-mh17-ukraine-jit-crash-investigation-materials/

"Infowar revival suspicious timing"

https://sputniknews.com/radio_trendstorm/201806021065012445-mh17-infowar-revival-suspicious-timing/

Cue Elvis!

hdmIhCkp3p4

VP959
16th Sep 2018, 14:01
If the Telegraph is to be believed the information on the pair was leaked by the SVR and FSB (which would explain the leak of the internal passport data) who are incredibly pissed off by the incompetence of the GRU and their terence, at least by the SVR on the areas of operation and competence.

Vladimir Putin has, I believe, massively reformed the FSB, and seems to have direct control over it. I wonder if what we are seeing is the consequence of an internal struggle between the FSB and GRU? Might explain why Vladimir Putin seems happy to out these two guys and make them seem like fools (not that he needed to do much, if indeed these two are/were GRU). We could be seeing something that's intended for internal consumption, setting the stage for a reform of the GRU, perhaps.

As Sergei Skripal was ex-GRU, the idea that this attack was a bungled attempt at personal revenge by his colleagues, without the sanction of the state, seems a distinct possibility.

Sallyann1234
16th Sep 2018, 14:31
As Sergei Skripal was ex-GRU, the idea that this attack was a bungled attempt at personal revenge by his colleagues, without the sanction of the state, seems a distinct possibility.
If the attack was carried out by any department of the Russian state, whether or not the order came from the top the state is still fully responsible.

flash8
16th Sep 2018, 15:00
There is a clear dichotomy in responsibilities between the FSB and G(R)U/SVR, less so between the latter two, however Putin can issue orders direct to them without the Assembly/Duma being consulted. I know no more than anyone else but I'd expect all three agencies to be completely under Putin's control, and woe betide any freelancer, the chances of this are probably close to zero. The FSB started reforms as far as I know almost immediately after Putin was elected in 2000, other agencies also were not exempt, for example the Militsia (Police) have changed beyond all recognition (my experience).

If this event was state instigated the chances of Putin not knowing would be zero. Putin is supreme ruler here, and everybody knows it. And it'd be likely be the most badass service of the lot, GRU.

I am not saying that the RF was ultimately responsible, but if they were, and with the death of an indigenous UK citizen, the response from the UK has been quite frankly less than fully robust, effectively damaging their credibility going forward - Diplomat Expulsions are one thing - all part of the game - but the UK should if they truly believed the RF was responsible upped the ante so to speak.

A_Van
16th Sep 2018, 15:10
VP959,

"Novaya gazeta" is a paper back newspaper, which board is openly hating the current regime so much that often publishes nonsense and therefore, ironically, is rather useful for the regime because the readers see that their material is often cooked poorly and smells bad. They (NG) also love to re-post western anti-Russia materials and was reprotedly for some year financially supported by G. Soros and Dutch governmental structures.

Regarding GRU/FSB/SVR, you are right in terms of some potential "competition" between them, but such competition would never result in framing each other through public domain and leak of confidential docs. Maybe in some other country, but not here.

I also recalled a comment from Stan who suggested those guys were gay. Also the RT-girl asked them, though indirectly, about that and they obviously got rather trembling. If so, it to a large extent explains their nervous behaviour at the interview. In Russia, such folks are generally "not so much welcome" if they show such an orientation explicitly. Under such a spot light their vague mentioning of ruining their personal lives gets some sense. BTW, I can't say about the current situation, but in the USSR and "early new-Russia" such guys would not be allowed to serve in secret agencies.

DaveReidUK
16th Sep 2018, 16:25
Looks like the Russian Ministry of Defence wants to change the subject! Standby for one of their infamous press conferences tomorrow!


This should be fascinating. The Russians have changed their story on MH17 so many times that it makes the Skripal affair read like an Enid Blyton novel by comparison.

ORAC
16th Sep 2018, 17:15
Van, they might be bears - but only the Russian kind.....

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7268509/salisbury-russia-poisoning-drugs-sex-prostitutes-london/

Nige321
16th Sep 2018, 19:35
You couldn’t make it up...
Two more ill in Salisbury (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/salisbury-medical-incident-prezzo-high-street-wiltshire-police-poisoning-skripals-a8540566.html)

flash8
16th Sep 2018, 20:43
Young girl at work, Nina, all of 21 or so (looks 15 at least to me) saw her in ГУМ (Shopping Centre) and took her to Lunch out of boredom, anyway to cut a long story short I asked her about the Skripal case, as everyone is following it here, mostly with amusement/bemusement. She then told me off (personally) for harbouring Mr Skripal in the UK and was quite vocal in what should be done with him, ending with a Russian expression that made the couple at the next table look over, it was not polite. I asked her what her Mother would think of such language (betrays my age) which seemed to calm her down a little... and then it was back to smiles again, bouncy kid style.

The Russians really do take such things personally, something I've noticed over the years, the level of patriotism is completely unlike the UK, something that many aren't aware of, and sometimes even I forget. It's always worth bearing that in mind when assessing issues such as this.

As for the two new "poisonings" I suspect little more than allergy/food issue - the media blowing these things up does Salisbury no favours in trying to return to normality.

atakacs
16th Sep 2018, 21:42
The point of Bellingcat is that they rely solely upon open source data, and issue guides as too the methods they use to analyse the data and case studies on the work they have done.

It is is not necessary, therefore, to question whether whether the results have been distorted - the same open sources can be then be reanalysed by other parties, regardless of their views, to confirm or deny their findings.

They are especially good at using metadata, such as geographic data, unwittingly included in source data.


Would you be kind enough to point us to the open source RF passport database? It seems not to be indexed by Google for some reason.

flash8
16th Sep 2018, 22:00
Bellingcat

Reminds me of the White helmets, outwardly apparently unbiased, quoted liberally by the media, look beneath the surface a little and suddenly the real agenda becomes very apparent. One wonders where they really get their funding. Having a look at their site and interspersed with some useful articles on other subjects you can see a pattern of the type:

Following the recent publication of information about the two suspects in the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal a number of attempts have been made to debunk the evidence, most notably from the informal network of individuals and websites who have a long history of pushing conspiracy theories about other allegations against Russia, such as the downing of MH17.Of course no evidence is presented about these other "individuals" and "sites", it is this sort of narrative that helps you understand (whatever way you wish to believe) the agenda of this site itself. A truly independent site would not pass comment or judgement on such things.

VP959
17th Sep 2018, 06:39
Reminds me of the White helmets, outwardly apparently unbiased, quoted liberally by the media, look beneath the surface a little and suddenly the real agenda becomes very apparent. One wonders where they really get their funding. Having a look at their site and interspersed with some useful articles on other subjects you can see a pattern of the type:

Of course no evidence is presented about these other "individuals" and "sites", it is this sort of narrative that helps you understand (whatever way you wish to believe) the agenda of this site itself. A truly independent site would not pass comment or judgement on such things.

I don't want to divert this thread off-topic, but stories published by any individual or media organisation are just that, stories, not evidence. All will have their own bias, coloured by their political leanings, personal experience and opinions, or even, in some cases, pressure from their sponsors. The same applies to every individual posting here; in my case I've no particularly strong political views, but I worked in the public sector here in the UK for most of my career, and that has inevitably coloured the way I think about the apparatus of our own government, and that does colour my views, I know.

What is useful, IMHO, is to accept nothing that's published, by anyone, at face value, but, if you're interested enough, do as much fact checking as possible to try and find out whether what is being published is true, the whole truth, or just a made-up story. The reasons for making stuff up and publishing it seem to range from making money from the enterprise (either directly or from a paying sponsor),through massaging the publisher's ego, to deliberately spreading false narratives for political or nefarious purposes.

With this incident we have a mix of all of the above reasons, I'm sure, and if any of us is sufficiently interested to want to try to understand what may have really happened then we need to look deeper than just any single published account of it. One thing that impressed me about the way parts of our own government work is the ability to correlate masses of seemingly minor bits of data in order to form a better overall view as to what might be going on. The principle isn't that different to the way search engines and social media collate and correlate data to put together a profile of every user, and from what little I saw of this capability I have to say I thought it was damned impressive. I'd be very surprised if this wasn't done routinely by pretty much every reasonably powerful state, and it's one reason that leads me to believe that some of the "official" stories put out by several states have more to do with their own internal politics than this incident. I'm sure that Russia knows at least as much as the UK, the US or any other state with a similar capability, but what details we see officially published is what states want us to see, in large part.

ORAC
17th Sep 2018, 06:43
A truly independent site would not pass comment or judgement on such things. You've lived in Russia too long - such sites and organisations are the bane of every government in the West.

chuks
17th Sep 2018, 07:47
Every so often something comes along that's richly comical. Last week it was these two Russian thugs telling us how they'd gone to Salisbury to see the cathedral, its steeple and its clock. This was like Rick telling Captain Renault that he came to Casablanca for "the waters."

The best part was how those two were able to give us the exact height of the cathedral's steeple, 123 meters. That's the sort of thing you really only learn by looking it up.

I think we can assume that those two did not know how many CCTV cameras there are in the UK, so that they would easily have been caught on tape walking around the town, as they were. Then they had to come up with some particular reason to have gone to this somewhat out-of-the-way town, twice. So that became their wish to see this wonderful cathedral with its world-famous steeple and its clock, except that they never did get around to seeing those things.

flash8
17th Sep 2018, 08:01
You've lived in Russia too long - such sites and organisations are the bane of every government in the West.This may well be so, my point though is that this site (bellingcat) has a pretty clear agenda, Russia is responsible for every atrocity it is blamed for, and all contrary opinion/discussion is fake news/trolls, never mind whether it is sensible or not, common sense goes out of the window when folk discuss the purported bogeyman. Folk like Craig Murray (who I know from our old days in UZ bars) are demonised as fringe lunatics by many, of course he has his agenda, but he often speaks a damned load of sense. Rant over, it's coming up to lunchtime.

Sallyann1234
17th Sep 2018, 08:19
The best part was how those two were able to give us the exact height of the cathedral's steeple, 123 meters. That's the sort of thing you really only learn by looking it up.
​​​​​​If they had really gone there, and were genuinely interested in its architecture, they could have arranged to join one of the guided tours by a local volunteer as I did a few years ago. The guide did tell us the height of the steeple, in feet not metres. As such enthusiasts I'm sure our Russian guests would have remembered the numbers.

Fitter2
17th Sep 2018, 09:43
Dear Flash8

Trying to defend the indefensible is a terribly uphill struggle, I sympathise with you.

What you still don't seem to have assimilated is the difference between civilised countries, where journalists who annoy their rulers receive prizes and promotion, whereas in totalitarian states they are assassinated. This does tend to give people in the latter a somewhat blinkered understanding.

chuks
17th Sep 2018, 10:45
I was thinking of how I have visited the rather famous Church of St. Michael (Sankt Michaeliskirche) in Hamburg four or five times. (The last time I was there, with some friends, there was a long queue to take the elevator to the top of the spire, so that I walked up, arriving just before the rest of my friends who'd paid 5 euros to ride the elevator. Great for my fitness, I suppose, plus I saved 5 euros.)

That spire is 132 meters high. Good to know, that, but of course I looked that number up using Google. It is not as if I ever would say, "Oh, how I look forward to climbing to the top of the 132-meter spire of the Michi again!" I might be a bit nerdy, but who's that nerdy? Too, those two "fitness advisors" do not look one little bit nerdy. In fact, I think they could be put in a line-up and picked out as "Least Likely to Want to Visit a Cathedral Ever."

This was like asking Donald Trump for his favorite Bible verse, when all he could come up with was "2 Corinthians 3:17." Yeah, Donald, "Two Corinthians walked into a bar, when .... "

flash8
17th Sep 2018, 12:32
What you still don't seem to have assimilated is the difference between civilised countries, where journalists who annoy their rulers receive prizes and promotion, whereas in totalitarian states they are assassinated.My response, pretty standard by now, to that, is to say come over and spend some time here and then make a judgement. Nothing is censored over here, people can say and do what they like within reason, yes impugning the state has its limits, as it does in any country, as a side note Moscow is statistically (and anecdotally) safer than London!

Back to the subject, no right-minded individual would think these clowns committed this act, however a likely trial without jury, behind closed doors with very limited reporting and with a guaranteed conviction is what awaits them if they return to the UK, if I were them I'd also stay put.

Personally I think the perpetrators are still roaming free, the UK would well do seeking out the real culprits!

PDR1
17th Sep 2018, 13:09
My response, pretty standard by now, to that, is to say come over and spend some time here and then make a judgement. Nothing is censored over here, people can say and do what they like within reason, yes impugning the state has its limits, as it does in any country, as a side note Moscow is statistically (and anecdotally) safer than London!


Try telling that to Pussy Riot.


Back to the subject, no right-minded individual would think these clowns committed this act


"Right-mindedness" is a political thing in the English language. A "right-minded person" is someone whom the establisment regard as "sound" - someone whose views can always be relied upon to align with those of the state. I'm guessing you didn't know that.

But I would suggest that no objective assessment could conclude that these two have a valid case to answer, given that during the claimed visit to Salisbury solely to visit the cathederal they were not seen on any security cameras between the railway station and the cathederal, or inside the cathederal grounds, and the time spent in Salisbury would in any event only have allowed for a couple of minutes inside the place they claim was the sole purpose of their visit to the UK. And of course they WERE seen on cameras in places that are in the opposite direction to their claimed destination, never mind being apparently the only russians in history to be so allergic to snow that they run away if there is a single flake of snow at the side of the road.


however a likely trial without jury, behind closed doors with very limited reporting and with a guaranteed conviction is what awaits them if they return to the UK, if I were them I'd also stay put.


Crimial trials with no jury are vanishingly rare in the UK, as are trials that are wholly in-camera. At most there might be press exclusions for some technical evidence relating to the identification of the noxious substances (and the specific techniques used in that process). But for the rest, I doubt they'd even restrict reporting because the CCTV evidence isn't sensitive and the rest of the case is just normal police work.

You need to remove the blinkers from your eyes, tovarish.

PDR

[and yes - I have visited both Moscow St Petersberg several times - the latter for an extended holiday visit. It's a beautiful (if expensive) city with friendly people]

atakacs
17th Sep 2018, 13:12
Dear Flash8

Trying to defend the indefensible is a terribly uphill struggle, I sympathise with you.

What you still don't seem to have assimilated is the difference between civilised countries, where journalists who annoy their rulers receive prizes and promotion, whereas in totalitarian states they are assassinated. This does tend to give people in the latter a somewhat blinkered understanding.
Well unfortunately there not many countries remaining where "journalists who annoy their rulers receive prizes and promotion" - US and UK would definitely not anymore stand on that list nowadays, if ever. It is really sad to see what Bob Woodward has descended into - and kudos to Sidney Blumenthal (via Wikileaks) for setting the records straight.

But we somewhat digress here...

G-CPTN
17th Sep 2018, 13:27
[QUOTE=flash8;10251093 what awaits them if they return to the UK, if I were them I'd also stay put.[/QUOTE]
and forego the opportunity of a repeat visit to Salisbury cathedral?

WRT the details about the cathedral - if you imagine being asked to go to Salisbury - and looking it up on t'internet, then the unusual height of the spire is one of the facts that would predominate . . .

PDR1
17th Sep 2018, 13:36
Or even look at our oldest cathederal in nearby Winchester - with its 170.1m length and 45.987m tower? How could they resist...

PDR

B Fraser
17th Sep 2018, 13:40
Mr Flash8 sir,

Can I ask a simple question or two ? You will have read the account from the Russian chaps that the weather and slush was so bad that they had to return to London. What do you make of the lack of snow on the pavement in the camera shots ? The pavement is dry in places. If the conditions on foot in Salisbury were so bad, why did they come back the following day ? If they had such an interest in British cathedral architecture, why did they not stay in London ? They could have visited Westminster Abbey, St Paul's, St Martin's In The Fields or any number of other churches designed by Wren. The magnificent St George's chapel in Windsor and the terrific architecture in Cambridge were also in easy reach. Why were they so determined to visit Salisbury for a second day when so many better alternatives were available ?

You must agree that it doesn't look very likely.