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flash8
27th Mar 2018, 14:56
But think about the signal that would send out to the international community. Basically, any foreign business with assets in Russia risks having them seized, on a political whim. That's hardly going to inspire confidence in doing business in Russia

Greed always makes them return. And most if not directly affected will wring their hands and make all the right noises but business goes on as usual.

VP959
27th Mar 2018, 14:58
The Russians can be fine people, I’ve usually liked being in Russia on a personal level. The government, however, is a criminal enterprise.

GF

That's the core of the problem, I think. All the Russian people I've met have been friendly, seemed to have no hostility to the West at all, and all pretty much hated communism too.

However, it seems that organised crime got a strong foothold when the Soviet Union collapsed, and a lot of people who held some power then were able to set up criminal enterprises that I strongly suspect are the root cause of much of the problems we see from outside Russia.

Look at the early history of Vladimir Putin, and see how he was selected to become president by Yeltsin, in effect. Money, in particular seems to have been a strong motivating factor in his rise to power, and there is little transparency with regard to where that money came from.

Russia isn't considered to be a democracy by most Western countries, but I'm not at all sure that the people of Russia actually want to live in a democracy, anyway. They have no experience of democratic rule at all, having gone from near-absolute rule under the Tzars, to absolute rule under the communist regime, to a "mock democracy" where the last people in power as the Soviet Union collapsed determined how the country should be run and who should lead it.

There's no doubt that for the first decade of Vladimir Putin's rule, he did make some massive improvements to the country and managed to turn the chaos of the collapse of the Soviet Union into a country with a growing GDP and general standard of living. However, I suspect much of that was achieved on the back of what we would call organised crime, rather then the normal democratic rule of law. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2024, when he can, under the present legislation, no longer stand in the next Presidential election. He has no obvious successor, is clearly popular with many Russians, who respect what he has done for the country in terms of giving them both a better standard of living and giving them back some of their lost national pride.

Much will depend on how well he can hold on to absolute power, and that almost certainly depends on his ability to retain control of a group of powerful people.

Bergerie1
27th Mar 2018, 15:25
galaxy flyer,

I agree with what you say about the Russian people. I used to go to Moscow fairly frequently in the late 1990s when discussing new air routes across Siberia and found the individuals very friendly and with a good sense of humour. It was the bureaucracy that was the problem - not the people.

pax britanica
27th Mar 2018, 15:51
Not the same degree but how many peopel , of which I am one like most individual Americans but the country/government hmmmm.
Even more so today with Trump.

Vlad is a cunning character though and seldom does anything stupid and with their economy not doing to well this gives him the classic 'patriotic issue' so any governments like when things are not going well at home.
Of course it has the same effect for our Government .

Russia of course isnt really a super power any more and has relatively modest military capability compared to the USA hence their focus on cyber crime, PCs are cheaper than ICBMs and a good few people would like to take VP down a peg or two.

However saying the world backs Britain or the World unites against Putin is far from correct since it leaves u[out Asia Africa and S America do not seem so bothered.

as to boycotting World Cup thats just stupid but not sending Government officials to it isnt a bad idea .

Of course the poor innocent children of Russia who died in that awful cinema fire are just forgotten which shows what scum most politicians of all hues really are

flash8
27th Mar 2018, 15:52
I agree with what you say about the Russian people. I used to go to Moscow fairly frequently in the late 1990s when discussing new air routes across Siberia and found the individuals very friendly and with a good sense of humour. It was the bureaucracy that was the problem - not the people.

Bergerie1, the bureaucracy is still with us, probably just as bad as Soviet times... although thankfully they are computerizing everything (still). Corruption is lessening though, must have paid a few thousand USD in bribes back in '99 for various things (mostly minor and once a major documentary infraction)... now absolutely zero (but I do keep everything in order, and nowadays don't often wander the streets drunk after partying).

Vlad is a cunning character

Volodya (Володя) is the diminutive of Vladimir .. in the interests of accuracy, although I agree he is cunning, not that it would take much given the quality of politicians currently in power in the West.


Of course the poor innocent children of Russia who died in that awful cinema fire are just forgotten which shows what scum most politicians of all hues really are

Never a truer word said.

racedo
27th Mar 2018, 18:25
Rich talk, considering Stalin was happy to make a deal with Hitler.
The Katyn massacre in 1940 of Polish officers, executed own soldiers who had been prisoners of war during WW2.

Made sure that ANY serious opponents either gets killed or unable to run against him for president, sure Russia is the pilar of the world, NOT

Who made a deal with Hitler in 1938 that robbed Czecheslovakians of their independence and then came back to London with his piece of paper proclaiming "Peace in our time".

I am well aware of Katyn and have since the 1970's............... unlike most I also have known 2 people one whose close family members died at Katyn.

racedo
27th Mar 2018, 18:31
However, it seems that organised crime got a strong foothold when the Soviet Union collapsed, and a lot of people who held some power then were able to set up criminal enterprises that I strongly suspect are the root cause of much of the problems we see from outside Russia.


and where have they been welcomed with open opens with their ill gotten gains............... oh wait that would be in London.

Claim they are anti Putin and a couple of hundred million hidden away and London opens its door.

racedo
27th Mar 2018, 18:44
Vlad is a cunning character though and seldom does anything stupid and with their economy not doing to well this gives him the classic 'patriotic issue' so any governments like when things are not going well at home.
Of course it has the same effect for our Government .


Perhaps you might want to revise that ...... after looking at real data

https://tradingeconomics.com/

Debt to GDP is a decent ratio
US - 105%
UK - 89 %
Russia - 13%

Strange that many countrys have been repatriating gold from US over the last number of years.
It started with Germany and many have followed suit........... seems there is a trust issue.

How do you pay off any of that Debt ?
Especially when people stop using US$ to trade in Oil..... just like Russia and China are doing.

ORAC
27th Mar 2018, 19:20
Racedo - the reason their debt level is so low is no one will lend them money....

I could have picked an6 one of dozens of sites - I picked the Grauniad as it’s the most left leaning and sympathetic of UK papers.

As an aside, when we talk about the Russian economy remember it equates, in toto, t9 tha5 of Spain; and its population for all its geographic size, is about the size of Germany’s - and shrinking.....

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/05/there-is-little-reason-to-be-cheerful-about-russias-growth-prospects

flash8
27th Mar 2018, 19:28
the reason their debt level is so low is no one will lend them money....

they can always borrow, even in the worse markets, it's just that the interest rates would not be pleasant

I picked the Grauniad as it’s the most left leaning and sympathetic of UK papers.

Perhaps twenty years go, now it is but a shadow of its former self, tragic really, still living in the blair era, the columnists still think its 2007.

Lantern10
27th Mar 2018, 21:21
However, it seems that organised crime got a strong foothold when the Soviet Union collapsed, and a lot of people who held some power then were able to set up criminal enterprises that I strongly suspect are the root cause of much of the problems we see from outside Russia.

There's a lot in what you say. If you ever read a book called "Outlaws Inc" by Matt Potter
you will get some inkling about just how far this goes. It also has much aviation content.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzTDD3vNl3w

racedo
27th Mar 2018, 21:37
Racedo - the reason their debt level is so low is no one will lend them money....


Why do you need it when you have a $120 billion trade surplus a year v $28 billion uk deficit and US $560 billion deficit.

Hence why US trying to unpick Russia - China energy deal.

Chinese banks happy to lend to Russia as lets face it they have a $500 billion surplus coming in every year.
.

As an aside, when we talk about the Russian economy remember it equates, in toto, t9 tha5 of Spain; and its population for all its geographic size, is about the size of Germany’s - and shrinking.....
Yet again statistics show it grew 3.3% over 10 years v 6.8% UK and 7.1% US.

Trading Economics has the data.

Its old but still valid.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/18/the-imf-changes-its-rules-to-isolate-china-and-russia/

galaxy flyer
28th Mar 2018, 00:46
Here’s another Russian “wet work” that is denied. Chris Steele, to boot.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jasonleopold/christopher-steele-mikhail-lesin-murder-putin-fbi?utm_term=.meXkkeqKE#.ovE66maRZ

ORAC
28th Mar 2018, 06:53
I would query that racedo. The apparent increase is an effect of ethnic Russian migration back to Russia from the former CIS countries - and of course by including the population of Crimea.

There is a more sober evaluation to be found here (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2015/04/02/the-russian-economy-in-2050-heading-for-labor-based-stagnation/).

Stan Woolley
28th Mar 2018, 07:24
Still no proof.

“When the UK tells us they have proof, that they know Russia was responsible, we have every reason to believe them,” Nauert said.”

‘On Tuesday, the Russian daily Kommersant published a five-page presentation about the Salisbury incident, which was put together by the UK government. The document, while still containing no evidence of Russia’s culpability, has switched from making indications of a high likelihood to making positive assertions that it had to be Russia and no one else.’

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 07:42
Still no proof.

“When the UK tells us they have proof, that they know Russia was responsible, we have every reason to believe them,” Nauert said.”

‘On Tuesday, the Russian daily Kommersant published a five-page presentation about the Salisbury incident, which was put together by the UK government. The document, while still containing no evidence of Russia’s culpability, has switched from making indications of a high likelihood to making positive assertions that it had to be Russia and no one else.’

Worth remembering that in science you need irrefutable proof to turn a theory into a theorem or law, but that in law you never, ever, need such a high standard of proof to convict someone.

"Beyond reasonable doubt" is all criminal law requires, but that is far too loose a definition for the scientific or mathematical proof needed to turn a theory into a theorem. For example, no scientist could ever, or would ever, give evidence that DNA evidence was absolute proof of the identity of an individual, it just doesn't meet the required standard of scientific proof needed, but our courts will accept the level of probability from DNA evidence as meeting the "beyond reasonable doubt" definition.

Civil law requires an even lower standard of proof, "on the balance of probability", and in this case I strongly suspect that the level of penalty being dished out equates more closely to the demands of civil law than criminal law.

However, we have not been privy to the evidence, and don't know how robust it is, whereas those in the nations that have made these decisions may well have seen a lot more evidence than we know of. As an example, in the Litvinenko case, the signature of the Polonium 210 used pinned it to a specific Russian production facility, with the accuracy of a fingerprint. Combined with the breadcrumb trail of contamination left by the perpetrators it left very little room for doubt as to who they were and where they had come from.

I would be the first to say that I have a healthy mistrust of politicians, but I spent my entire working life with scientists from many different nations, and never once came across one that would distort their findings. It does happen, very rarely, but in general I'd trust a scientist to a far, far, greater degree than I would ever trust a politician.

DaveReidUK
28th Mar 2018, 07:52
However, we have not been privy to the evidence, and don't know how robust it is, whereas those in the nations that have made these decisions may well have seen a lot more evidence than we know of.

Given the growing number of states who have presumably been given access to at least some of the evidence prior to expelling Russian diplomats, I wouldn't be surprised if leaks start to emerge regarding what it contains.

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 08:07
Given the growing number of states who have presumably been given access to at least some of the evidence prior to expelling Russian diplomats, I wouldn't be surprised if leaks start to emerge regarding what it contains.

I agree, and think it's only a matter of time before we hear some of the evidence via unofficial channels. However, we may well not recognise it as evidence, as it could easily be subject to the "snowstorm effect". There are so many speculative stories circulating, that refining the real leaked evidence from all the BS that's is circulating may well be challenging, and could lead to it effectively being hidden in plain sight.

Stan Woolley
28th Mar 2018, 08:09
I would be the first to say that I have a healthy mistrust of politicians, but I spent my entire working life with scientists from many different nations, and never once came across one that would distort their findings. It does happen, very rarely, but in general I'd trust a scientist to a far, far, greater degree than I would ever trust a politician.

I dare say that’s true.

However...would they be willing to lose their job or their pension on a matter of principle? I very much doubt it, and who could blame them.

You must know better than most, that there is proof that huge pressure can be exerted on scientists in some situations, as we’ve seen in the case of David Kelly.

As Craig Murray said in one of his blogs on this subject:

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

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 08:23
Craig Murray is, quite frankly, one of the least trustworthy sources of information available. He has a personal political agenda and there is no way he has any information from Porton, especially not from the FCO, for a few reasons, not the least being that MoD and the FCO are not particularly trusting of each other, and there has been a long-held view that the FCO leaks like a sieve.

I don't understand your statement:

However...would they be willing to lose their job or their pension on a matter of principle? I very much doubt it, and who could blame them.


simply because I cannot possibly be see how it could ever arise. David had issues other than one reporter and a government that chose to put him in a spotlight that he didn't wish to be under, and not once did he ever bend or distort any of his findings; and they were checked and double checked by others. He was found to have reported all he found accurately and without bias, to the extent of getting a little exasperated, by all accounts, about the way some reporters were trying to spin things.

Stan Woolley
28th Mar 2018, 09:06
Craig Murray is, quite frankly, one of the least trustworthy sources of information available. He has a personal political agenda and there is no way he has any information from Porton,

For a man who deals in facts, I would ask how you know these things to be fact?

Murray is very much to be trusted imo, he is someone who did put his job/pension on the line in defence of principle when he was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan.

simply because I cannot possibly be see how it could ever arise.

Can’t you? Seriously? C’mon, use your imagination.

It’s laughable that you dismiss Murray so easily, with no evidence. Then again, evidence doesn’t appear to matter that much, does it.

DaveReidUK
28th Mar 2018, 09:47
We're all entitled to judge individuals by what they say and do.

Sadly, I don't think there's much doubt that Craig Murray has "gone native", as they used to say in non-PC days.

Stan Woolley
28th Mar 2018, 09:53
We're all entitled to judge individuals by what they say and do.

Sadly, I don't think there's much doubt that Craig Murray has "gone native", as they used to say in non-PC days.

Yes, those good ole days eh.

What, exactly, has Craig Murray done that you think is ‘bad’. Assuming that your post is not somehow meant to paint Murray in a good light, of course.

Andy_S
28th Mar 2018, 10:19
It’s laughable that you dismiss Murray so easily, with no evidence.

It’s interesting that you insist on setting the bar high when it comes to evidence against Russian involvement in the Salisbury incident, yet you are happy to simply accept the word of a blogger at face value because he is “very much to be trusted imo”

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 10:21
For a man who deals in facts, I would ask how you know these things to be fact?

Murray is very much to be trusted imo, he is someone who did put his job/pension on the line in defence of principle when he was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan.


Can’t you? Seriously? C’mon, use your imagination.

It’s laughable that you dismiss Murray so easily, with no evidence. Then again, evidence doesn’t appear to matter that much, does it.



Craig Murray deliberately conflates "evidence" in order to appear to be an authoritative source. When pushed he just claims that information comes from anonymous whistleblowers, often from the FCO. This may be true, but equally he could be deliberately being fed a line to keep his tirade active and deflect him away from what's really happening, as for someone who left the FCO under a cloud it seems unusual that he has so many good contacts there.

When he was a diplomat he should have been politically neutral and behaved in way that could not bring the UK into disrepute, but he was anything but. He was a Civil Servant who broke the rules and breached the Civil Service Code, on more than one occasion, and in more than one way (even allowing for his claims that he was "set up" for some of the things he was alleged to have done or said, some of which may or may not be true).

He gave the FCO little choice in the end but to ask for his resignation. If I'd been drunk at work I'd have been sacked and lost my pension; if I'd misused an official vehicle just once I'd have suffered the same fate, he was lucky to just be asked to resign, rather than be sacked outright - he was let off lightly for what he had been proven to have done whilst in office, let alone what he was suspected of doing.

As an example of the way he distorts reality, let's look at the particular example of his claimed "inside knowledge" of the large number of different novichok agents. He quotes this public domain paper: Iranian chemists identify Russian chemical warfare agents - Ezine - spectroscopyNOW.com (http://www.spectroscopynow.com/details/ezine/1591ca249b2/Iranian-chemists-identify-Russian-chemical-warfare-agents.html?tzcheck=1,1,1,1,1&&tzcheck=1&tzcheck=1&tzcheck=1) and tries to link this to A234. It's very clear that the Iranian work, done under OPCW supervision, doesn't involve A234 at all. It looked at just five primary compounds in the large number of suspected novichok group and four related analogues - he's deliberately trying to confuse things by implying that this is, in some way, related to specific materiel used in the Salisbury attack, with no evidence at all to support that view.

There are between 80 and 100 agents that were developed under the novichok programme (a programme that officially ceased with the collapse of the Soviet Union, anyway), and they all have widely differing characteristics. For example A232 is many times more potent than VX, A234 is most probably less potent than VX, but is more persistent and has a much increased onset of symptom time. Equally, some other agents developed under the novichok programme are far less toxic than even relatively low grade chemical weapons. Some are binary chemical weapons, that don't fall within the CWC definition of even being chemical weapons at all.

Craig Murray is little more than a failed diplomat with a damned great chip on his shoulder about the way he was treated by the FCO, and has more conspiracy theories than those in the flat earth society. He sees conspiracies in damned near everything that government does, which is hilarious when he also criticises BJ for being a buffoon. As anyone here that has worked in government will be able to confirm, the chances of government organising large scale conspiracies is near zero - 99% of the time what looks like a conspiracy, to those so inclined to think that way, ends up being a massive cock up. Cock ups are something government excels at.

ORAC
28th Mar 2018, 10:29
Craig Murray. A quick search reveals numerous references to his espousal of both conspiracy theories and antisemitism. It makes his sacking when a junior diplomat understandable. Just a couple below.

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/4wbz8g/a-conspiracy-theorists-guide-to-the-panama-papers

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/cias-russia-hacking-claims-dismissed-as-bulls-by-former-uk-ambassador-craig-murray-35288057.html

Harry's Place » Craig Murray Goes Conspiracy Theory?Again! (http://hurryupharry.org/2018/03/15/craig-murray-goes-conspiracy-theory-again/)

And one that references the subject of this thread....

Scientist Brilliantly Tears Conspiracy Theory About Russian Spy To Shreds | IFLScience (http://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/scientist-brilliantly-tears-conspiracy-theory-about-russian-spy-to-shreds/)

Stan Woolley
28th Mar 2018, 10:51
It’s interesting that you insist on setting the bar high when it comes to evidence against Russian involvement in the Salisbury incident, yet you are happy to simply accept the word of a blogger at face value because he is “very much to be trusted imo”

It should be incumbent on all of us to ‘set the bar high’ when it comes to such evidence. I would have put a video of Harold Pinter’s acceptance speech when accepting his Nobel prize, but strangely, it appears that the Icon to facilitate me doing so is no longer available to me.

Murray is not simply a ‘blogger’ to me, but someone who has shown that he has moral values worth something more than most politicians. Of course, you and Orac ans VP will run and find that he isn’t perfect, but I use my judgement and experience on who is telling the truth. You appear to be content with the mainstream politicians.

Your bar is missing in action.

Stan Woolley
28th Mar 2018, 11:06
Craig Murray is little more than a failed diplomat with a damned great chip on his shoulder about the way he was treated by the FCO, and has more conspiracy theories than those in the flat earth society. He sees conspiracies in damned near everything that government does, which is hilarious when he also criticises BJ for being a buffoon. As anyone here that has worked in government will be able to confirm, the chances of government organising large scale conspiracies is near zero - 99% of the time what looks like a conspiracy, to those so inclined to think that way, ends up being a massive cock up. Cock ups are something government excels at.

‘You can tell a scientist, but you can’t tell him much.’ :cool: Loads Of scientists in this thread it seems.

You are trying to paint him as a conspiracy theorist, like we’re meant to believe that this is a conspiracy. It’s not, it’s quite simple. It’s a bunch of liars accusing a country of something which may have severe consequences for us all, without providing evidence.

No further questions have been asked. It’s amazing.

Its mind blowing how much blind faith you and others seem to have in our government. It’s already been shown how foolhardy and shortsighted they can be, does once bitten twice shy ring a bell?

I want more proof even if you don’t! :ugh:

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 11:15
Murray is not simply a ‘blogger’ to me, but someone who has shown that he has moral values worth something more than most politicians. Of course, you and Orac ans VP will run and find that he isn’t perfect, but I use my judgement and experience on who is telling the truth. You appear to be content with the mainstream politicians.



He was, without a question of doubt, drunk whilst on official duty when he was a Civil Servant. That's a sacking offence, under most circumstances.

He used an official vehicle for unofficial purposes, again without a question of doubt, That's also a sacking offence.

Both are breaches of the Civil Service Code that he signed up to when he joined the FCO.

As well as having been drunk at work and misused an official car, he was also quite open publicy about his dislike for Tony Blair, whilst he was still in office. He knew full well that he was not permitted to show any form of party political views whilst a Civil Servant.

He portrays his resignation from the FCO as being because he strongly disagreed with what he saw as the British Government's use of torture to obtain information, which is wholly untrue - he was asked to resign, and had he not done so he would most probably have been sacked. I rather think that his mental breakdown when faced with the disciplinary hearing may have led to the FCO being lenient and offering him resignation as a way out, it's the sort of thing that can and does happen.

If he wanted to get involved in politics publicly he needed to resign - that is a rule that applies to all Civil Servants, and one that I was disciplined for when all I did was go out canvassing on behalf of what was then the SDP. At my disciplinary hearing I was warned that I could face dismissal for my actions, which at the time I'd not realised were a sacking offence. Craig Murray knew the disciplinary rules inside out as an Ambassador, as it's a near certainty that at some point in his career he had been involved in internal staff discipline.

The question is one of personal judgement. I happen to view Craig Murray as about as reliable a source as Tony Blair, others may have a different view

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 11:28
‘You can tell a scientist, but you can’t tell him much.’ :cool: Loads Of scientists in this thread it seems.

You are trying to paint him as a conspiracy theorist, like we’re meant to believe that this is a conspiracy. It’s not, it’s quite simple. It’s a bunch of liars accusing a country of something which may have severe consequences for us all, without providing evidence.

No further questions have been asked. It’s amazing.

Its mind blowing how much blind faith you and others seem to have in our government. It’s already been shown how foolhardy and shortsighted they can be, does once bitten twice shy ring a bell?

I want more proof even if you don’t! :ugh:

You keep trying to conflate my view of the science, with what is being spun by politicians, despite repeated attempts by me to try to make it clear that it is only politicians I have a problem with.

The science is pretty clear, in as far as we know, and given that little detail has been released, other than the specific agent used.

When I have referred to the signature of a substance, I've meant this in the forensic sense. For example, we know for certain where the Polonium 210 came from in the Litvinenko attack, because it had a specific signature that tied it to a known Russian facility. Think of the signature as being a little like that of vintage wine, where a skilled wine taster can tell not only the vineyard that produced the wine and the type of grape used, but also the year and often the particularly area of that vineyard, all from the taste signature of the wine.

Forensic chemical analysis works in a similar way. After determining the general category of compound, further analysis can then determine the exact nature of the compound, and may well be able to tell which facility manufactured it, as every synthesis method tends to leave minute traces that can be used as identifiers.

If you want another example, one that has been used many times in arson investigations, amongst other criminal investigations, petrol has the same intrinsic signature, and can usually be traced back to the specific refinery that produced it, even though we may think of all petrol being similar.

What politicians choose to do, or make public, with the information they are given by scientists is up to them, and I'd be the first to say that I've often disagreed (privately, whilst I was working) with the way politicians have spun the evidence they have been given to suit their own purposes.

longer ron
28th Mar 2018, 11:29
As I posted before - Murray is a dipstick :hmm:

Stan Woolley
28th Mar 2018, 11:40
He was, without a question of doubt, drunk whilst on official duty when he was a Civil Servant. That's a sacking offence, under most circumstances.

He used an official vehicle for unofficial purposes, again without a question of doubt, That's also a sacking offence.

The question is one of personal judgement. I happen to view Craig Murray as about as reliable a source as Tony Blair, others may have a different view

Well, only one of them has been found guilty. It’s quite something when someone sort of tries to equate millions of deaths of civilians with ‘drinking on duty’ and ‘using an official vehicle for unofficial purposes.’ I know that’s not strictly fair VP, but it was you who chose Blair as a comparison.

I’m out fellas. Bye. I’ve made my point more than once.

flash8
28th Mar 2018, 12:33
I’m out fellas. Bye. I’ve made my point more than once.

Same here Stan. I'm out. As for Murray, imperfect but trust him far more than the others. The uniform narrative coming out of the mainstream media is deeply worrying. :mad:

Blacksheep
28th Mar 2018, 13:22
Quite frankly, we have only to go back to the Prime Minister's first statement as to the options. The agent used in the assassination attempt was identified as a Russian developed chemical warfare nerve agent. Either:
1. Russia itself was responsible or
2. Russia no longer has full control of chemical weapons and/or their means of production.

Which is it?

The Russian government denies even having any chemical weapons. All stocks were destroyed years ago.

If that is true, we must conclude that Russia no longer has control of the means of producing chemical weapons that were previously state secrets. The secret has fallen into the hands of unknown assassins who are not inhibited about using them. Indeed, one wonders if Mr. Putin may himself become a target of these shady people one day.

KelvinD
28th Mar 2018, 15:48
I have said it before but I shall say it again:
The factory that used to manufacture these weapons in Uzbekistan was taken over and dismantled by the US. after Uzbekistan left the Russian Federation in 1991.
Apparently this was reported before this time by Christopher Steele and his informant was a man named Sergei Skripal.
Makes it all abundantly clear the attack on Skripal was Russia, doesn't it? No, it does not!

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 16:03
I have said it before but I shall say it again:
The factory that used to manufacture these weapons in Uzbekistan was taken over and dismantled by the US. after Uzbekistan left the Russian Federation in 1991.
Apparently this was reported before this time by Christopher Steele and his informant was a man named Sergei Skripal.
Makes it all abundantly clear the attack on Skripal was Russia, doesn't it? No, it does not!

I am aware of five facilities within the former Soviet Union that were known, or strongly suspected, during the Soviet era to be chemical agent research or manufacturing facilities, including the facility where the first of the novichok agents were developed in the 1970s through to at least the late 1980's. The most prominent of these was most certainly not in what is now Uzbekistan at all, it was at Shikany. The facility at Shikany was almost certainly the HQ of Soviet chemical agent research and testing, and as far as I'm aware this is the most probable source of the A234. From all I've researched (bearing in mind that public domain information is sparse, and care is needed with anything posted here), A232 was developed at Shikany. As A234 is a very close analogue of A232 it seems extremely probable that it came from Shikany, which is well inside the Russian Federation.

I'm aware that some of these agents were also tested at the testing ground in what is now Uzbekistan as well, but Shikany was pretty much the Soviet equivalent of Porton Down in many ways, and had it's own testing ground as well as labs and production facilities.

Krystal n chips
28th Mar 2018, 16:18
I would be the first to say that I have a healthy mistrust of politicians, but I spent my entire working life with scientists from many different nations, and never once came across one that would distort their findings. It does happen, very rarely, but in general I'd trust a scientist to a far, far, greater degree than I would ever trust a politician.

Whilst science can be promoted as a definitive source of information, much is dependent on the veracity of the scientists in question, and the methodology used to establish their findings, thereafter being offered for closer scrutiny in the public domain.

Science and scientists are, after all, a generic term used to define a broad spectrum of disciplines and contained within this spectrum is an equally broad range of human frailties and ego's.

Thus it would be interesting to learn of why, in a life dedicated to science in a Gov't environment, there was a diversification into media production for the BBC and RTE for example, an area that, like science, takes many years of training before major national media outlets, such as the two mentioned for example, will consider screening work produced.

As for the swell of world support, well, lets face it, on the domestic political front the term, "hanging on by the skin of her teeth" would be an understatement and then there's a "well known negotiating " debacle for the UK's future prosperity to consider when the UK emerges and is seeking new trading deals and partnerships. There's nothing like a bit of political blackmail really, you know the sort of thing, "we supported you over Russia, now, here's our T's and C's for the trade deals you are proposing ".

racedo
28th Mar 2018, 18:16
I would query that racedo. The apparent increase is an effect of ethnic Russian migration back to Russia from the former CIS countries - and of course by including the population of Crimea.

There is a more sober evaluation to be found here (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2015/04/02/the-russian-economy-in-2050-heading-for-labor-based-stagnation/).

And UK and US population increases are coming from where ?

EU migration and Non EU Migration is what has driven UK espcially from EU

2001-2011 uk pop grew 1.6% among White people and by 76% among Other, now White will include Poles and Others and in 2011 there was circa 1 million so UK White Population is not going anywhere.

racedo
28th Mar 2018, 18:24
Worth remembering that in science you need irrefutable proof to turn a theory into a theorem or law, but that in law you never, ever, need such a high standard of proof to convict someone.

"Beyond reasonable doubt" is all criminal law requires, but that is far too loose a definition for the scientific or mathematical proof needed to turn a theory into a theorem. For example, no scientist could ever, or would ever, give evidence that DNA evidence was absolute proof of the identity of an individual, it just doesn't meet the required standard of scientific proof needed, but our courts will accept the level of probability from DNA evidence as meeting the "beyond reasonable doubt" definition.

Civil law requires an even lower standard of proof, "on the balance of probability", and in this case I strongly suspect that the level of penalty being dished out equates more closely to the demands of civil law than criminal law.

However, we have not been privy to the evidence, and don't know how robust it is, whereas those in the nations that have made these decisions may well have seen a lot more evidence than we know of. As an example, in the Litvinenko case, the signature of the Polonium 210 used pinned it to a specific Russian production facility, with the accuracy of a fingerprint. Combined with the breadcrumb trail of contamination left by the perpetrators it left very little room for doubt as to who they were and where they had come from.

I would be the first to say that I have a healthy mistrust of politicians, but I spent my entire working life with scientists from many different nations, and never once came across one that would distort their findings. It does happen, very rarely, but in general I'd trust a scientist to a far, far, greater degree than I would ever trust a politician.

Strange that Israeli's are saying there are 20 countys round the world who have this and seem to be giving very zero credibility to UK claims.

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 18:52
Strange that Israeli's are saying there are 20 countys round the world who have this and seem to be giving very zero credibility to UK claims.

Given that any country with the capability and facilities dedicated to making CAs of this level of toxicity would both keep any such facility very secure, and take great pains not to let the world (including Israel) know about it, for a host of reasons, not least that they would likely face sanctions if they were found out, I find that a claim that itself has no credibility.

I suspect the Israelis may be responding with propaganda, as they have been named by speculators as having the stuff themselves.

The "closed town" of Shikhany, within the Russian Federation, was where this stuff was first developed in the 1970s, and I'm pretty sure it hasn't been inspected by the OPCW since it was officially "closed" in the 1990s, yet the chemical plant is still there along with a population of 6000. That has, at the very least, make that a more likely place of origin than somewhere in a country with no known capability or motive for carrying out such an attack.

Jack D
28th Mar 2018, 19:06
A diplomatic triumph for Ms May
and the Tory party .
Diplomatic ignominy and embarrassment for Corbyn and co .

As for deals and future obligations so what ! that’s politics ! Incidentally the UK took the lead on this and avoided public diatribe with outstanding diplomacy as it should be .

PPRuNe Towers
28th Mar 2018, 19:55
BBC now reporting authorities believe the nerve agent had been put on the front door of the Skripal home.

Rob

Sallyann1234
28th Mar 2018, 20:15
That would explain how the police officer came to be infected, since we know he went there and would have knocked on the door.

VP959
28th Mar 2018, 20:36
That would explain how the police officer came to be infected, since we know he went there.

I've read two reports about where he was, one says he was one of the first responders at the scene, another says he visited the house. Perhaps he did both, but the time line seems off.

We know that this agent has a pretty long delay between exposure and symptoms appearing. The Skripals left his house before going for a drink, then on to lunch, before collapsing as they walked back to the car park, around three hours or so after leaving his house.

That gives us a baseline for the minimum time (because the Skripals had the highest exposure, assuming they both touched the door handle as they left the house) between exposure and the onset of symptoms of perhaps as short as three hours, but probably closer to three and half hours.

Assuming that Sgt Bailey attended the house some time after the incident, and that he was exposed to the agent at the house, that then suggests that it would have been early to late evening before he had symptoms.

I'm not sure how that fits with the real time line though, although it would only take a simple action, like rubbing one's eyes, to significantly reduce the time before onset of symptoms, as this type of agent is more effectively absorbed through mucous membranes than dry skin.

If the route of transmission into their bodies was via the relatively thick skin of the palms of their hands, then that may explain part of the long delay before they collapsed, as otherwise it seems a bit long even for this relatively slow acting agent. It also explains the relatively heavy contamination in the car, pub and restaurant - everything they touched with their hands would have had agent transferred to it.

The curious thing is that I know the area where he lived, and the houses there are pretty open at the front. Gaining access covertly to the front door to put the agent on the handle, not too long before they left, as it may slowly evaporate or degrade, seems challenging, and must have been well-planned, I think.

racedo
28th Mar 2018, 21:56
The curious thing is that I know the area where he lived, and the houses there are pretty open at the front. Gaining access covertly to the front door to put the agent on the handle, not too long before they left, as it may slowly evaporate or degrade, seems challenging, and must have been well-planned, I think.

On the handle of the door............... next time you leave the house with two of you look at actions.

First out the door opens and will walk out, second (or last) out the door closes it.....................

Door is a white bog standard double glazed door
https://res.cloudinary.com/jpress/image/fetch/c_fill,f_auto,h_640,q_auto:eco,w_960/https://inews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/sergei-skripal-home-960x640.jpg

racedo
28th Mar 2018, 21:59
A diplomatic triumph for Ms May
and the Tory party .
Diplomatic ignominy and embarrassment for Corbyn and co .

As for deals and future obligations so what ! that’s politics ! Incidentally the UK took the lead on this and avoided public diatribe with outstanding diplomacy as it should be .

A dossier with a lot of whataboutery and a lack of substance and Zero response from anywhere beyong what you would expect.

racedo
28th Mar 2018, 22:02
That would explain how the police officer came to be infected, since we know he went there and would have knocked on the door.

Door is standard PVC and handle is well away from where would knock...........

Why would police try to open a door of a house of 2 people who collapsed on the street of what initially could have been seen as a drug overdose ?

419
28th Mar 2018, 22:40
Door is standard PVC and handle is well away from where would knock...........

Why would police try to open a door of a house of 2 people who collapsed on the street of what initially could have been seen as a drug overdose ?

On doors with no bell or knocker, people occasionally use the letterbox flap as a knocker and on the door shown, this is fairly close to the handle.

If the police found two people unconscious and they lived at the same address, they may have attempted entry to make sure that there were no further casualties inside.

TEEEJ
28th Mar 2018, 23:53
On the handle of the door............... next time you leave the house with two of you look at actions.

First out the door opens and will walk out, second (or last) out the door closes it.....................

Door is a white bog standard double glazed door


More than likely Mr Skripal locked the door therefore touching the handle and contaminating himself. The door opens inwards so his daughter could have brushed the handle with her clothing or her hand. Even if she didn't touch the door handle then she would have been contaminated directly from her father. Was he perhaps wearing gloves and took them off in the car to pass them to his daughter to put in the glove box therefore both having direct skin contamination?

Perhaps the daughter forgot something and re-entered the house touching the door handle? If it was only Mr Skripal that touched the door handle then his daughter could have been contaminated by hand holding or linking of arms as they walked from the car to the pub/restaurant?

Jack D
29th Mar 2018, 02:18
A dossier with a lot of whataboutery and a lack of substance and Zero response from anywhere beyong what you would expect.

So I presume you’ve read it ?

Krystal n chips
29th Mar 2018, 05:04
A diplomatic triumph for Ms May
and the Tory party .
Diplomatic ignominy and embarrassment for Corbyn and co .

As for deals and future obligations so what ! that’s politics ! Incidentally the UK took the lead on this and avoided public diatribe with outstanding diplomacy as it should be .

Well given that Salisbury is located in the UK, it would be quite remarkable if, say, Australia, Ireland and Moldovia ( to name but three countries) had taken the lead in this event now wouldn't it.

And "shut up and go away ", yep, that's a masterpiece of outstanding diplomacy.

On the subject of diplomacy, here's Boris demonstrating his own ( lamentable as always ) version which, quelle surprise, also contains a reference to an event due to take place a year today.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk

As for the dismissive "so what ! that's politics ! " interpretation of future trade deals, personally, when doing any form of deal, I would always prefer the result to be symbiotic, not heavily skewed in the favour of whomever I am dealing with and even more so when the future of the UK economy, living and societal standards are involved.

The BBC reports the application could have been in the form of a "gloopy substance " which leads to its covert, as proposed on here, application.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43577987

Why covert ?.....other than for JB melodramatic effect that is.

Is, for example, the area immune from leaflet drops .

One person with a bag walking around the streets, totally innocuous, or maybe a "courier" or " utilities worker", gets to the house, does a bit of apparently "confused as to the address" impression if challenged by say the occupants or passers by, and applies the substance. Those are just two possible examples because, as we know, and the police would confirm, any burglar not carrying out an opportunist entry will employ a variety of methods that, on the surface, are completely innocent.

It would seem strange then, even with the use of a nerve agent, as to why somebody would recourse to being covert in open sight of passers by and the occupants when the maxim "hidden in plain sight" would be a more obvious means.

Because lets face it, this was, seemingly, a well planned operation and those involved in this line of work are not exactly amateurs so it's far from unreasonable to suggest the method of application wouldn't have been trained and planned for without attention to such details.

No doubt though, there will be a inordinately lengthy scientific treatise to explain the degradation times of nerve agents, allied to methods of transportation and distribution, for the benefit of those of us who don't know.

KelvinD
29th Mar 2018, 06:46
The door opens inwards
Doubt it. Look at the hinges. This door appears to open outwards, which is unusual.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 06:50
On the handle of the door............... next time you leave the house with two of you look at actions.

First out the door opens and will walk out, second (or last) out the door closes it.....................

Door is a white bog standard double glazed door


Do you have any idea about the toxicity of this agent and the precautions needed when handling it?

It had to have been very, very carefully dispensed from a container, by someone very well protected. The container would have had to be designed so that no trace could get on the outside. After use, to avoid the accidental risk of contaminating anything else it would need to be carefully double bagged. The PPE the perpetrator used would have had to be doffed carefully, bagged and the outside decontaminated. All of the contaminated material, the container, PPE etc, would have then have had to be disposed of in a way that would ensure the remaining agent would be destroyed.

Most of the above would need to be done in plain sight - that cul-de-sac has houses all around that have a view of the drive, his door and any vehicle. There's a street light right outside his drive, too, so even doing this at night wouldn't be much better than doing it during the day.

If we assume that the perpetrator had already donned some of the PPE, say underneath ordinary clothing, and was wearing another set of clothing underneath, then how long would it take to apply the agent, bag the container, doff the PPE safely to avoid the risk of self-contamination (anyone here who's done this procedure with ordinary NBC kit knows it's neither quick nor easy) and then walk away carrying the contaminated material, without arousing suspicion.

The stuff degrades with exposure, too, so would have had to be applied not long, no more than few hours to a day, before they made contact with it.

There was also the chance that the Skripal's may have worn gloves; the weather has been cold here and I've worn gloves most days up until this week, when it's got a fair bit warmer.

My guess is that the agent on the handle is itself transfer, from something else that was contaminated, like the outside of a pair of gloves, for example. Cross transfer between the Skripals would have been inevitable and when taking gloves off one bare hand is pretty much guaranteed to contact the outside of the gloves.

If this does turn out to be how it was done, then it may have been easier to have been carried out. It's already been speculated that Yulia Skripal may have brought the agent with her from Russia, perhaps she brought over a new pair of gloves for her father, as a gift, gloves that were tampered with in some way to allow the release of the agent when they were unwrapped and worn.

Effluent Man
29th Mar 2018, 07:13
At least it proves that hanging a horseshoe on your front door doesn't bring you luck. Unless of course it's bad luck.

Sallyann1234
29th Mar 2018, 08:20
If the toxic substance was in an aerosol can, it might be possible for the operative wearing gloves to spray it on the door.
They would of course have been dosed with an anti-toxin. Then just a matter of disposing of the can.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 08:30
If the toxic substance was in an aerosol can, it might be possible for the operative wearing gloves to spray it on the door.
They would of course have been dosed with an anti-toxin. Then just a matter of disposing of the can.


There's no effective anti-toxin that I know of available for this class of agent. The immediate treatment for slight exposure is to inject atropine as quickly as possible.

An aerosol would be the most risky way of delivering it too, because of the risk of inhalation or contact with mucous membranes, where a lethal dose might only be a few µg.

As far as dispensers go, then I'd be inclined to think along the lines of a "cat's bum" nozzle on a squeezable container (the sort of self-closing sphincter diaphragm that's used on some runny honey containers and now on Marmite containers). It's far from perfect, but would dispense a viscous substance with minimal risk of droplet formation, I think, although vapour would still come off the agent as soon as it was released from the container, so it would be a heck of a big risk without a respirator and suitable protective clothing covering the whole body.

Sallyann1234
29th Mar 2018, 09:31
The operative must have been prepared to take some risk to earn the gratitude of the regime, just as those who killed with polonium were well rewarded.
Or of course they may have been mislead as to the real danger. There would have been a car nearby to whisk them off to a safe house.
I'm sure that the area will have been searched by police for any cctv coverage.

But if the door was the main source of the toxin, why was it not removed from the house for safe disposal? The photos appear to show it still in place.

currawong
29th Mar 2018, 10:09
I wonder, has anyone here followed the recent coverage of the assassination using VX at Kuala Lumpur Airport?

On the ease of application, risk to user etc I will have to respectfully disagree with VP959, as seen in the above example.

Best practice is one thing. Operational use is another, and only really limited by the imagination.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 10:20
I wonder, has anyone here followed the recent coverage of the assassination using VX at Kuala Lumpur Airport?

On the ease of application, risk to user etc I will have to respectfully disagree with VP959, as seen in the above example.

Best practice is one thing. Operational use is another, and only really limited by the imagination.


The VX attack was clever. They diluted the agent a great deal, gave the girls gloves and then made sure it was applied to the face of the victim, where it would readily enter via the relatively thin skin and around the eyes, nose and mouth. Even then it too far longer to act than it would have if used as droplets of pure agent, as the victim was able to walk and seek aid before collapsing.

The girls were certainly at risk, but VX isn't very volatile in the first place, and because it was diluted a lot to wet the cloths/sponges used, I suspect that the risk was not that high. Also, the perpetrators didn't really care if the girls were killed as well, as they were just pawns used to carry out the attack as if it were a game, they only had to survive long enough to rub the victims face.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 10:24
But if the door was the main source of the toxin, why was it not removed from the house for safe disposal? The photos appear to show it still in place.

Good question. What we don't know is the concentration of agent on the door. We have been told that it was higher than anywhere else, but it may still have been relatively low, we just don't know. It seems possible that the door may have been contaminated by transfer, much as the car, the pub and the restaurant, perhaps.

currawong
29th Mar 2018, 10:25
Again, I respectfully disagree.

The VX attack was clumsy and lacked finesse.

How many pages ago did I suggest the door knob?

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 10:47
Again, I respectfully disagree.

The VX attack was clumsy and lacked finesse.

How many pages ago did I suggest the door knob?

It can't have been that clumsy, for a few reasons.

The perpetrator(s) had to persuade two girls to do this as a practical joke, and persuade them they needed to wear gloves as a part of the joke.

The perpetrators(s) needed to be reasonably confident of two things; firstly that the girls wouldn't accidentally get a lethal, or even symptom inducing, dose before they carried out the attack, and secondly that the victim would get enough agent on his face to be lethal (so greater than about 1µg).

It must have been a very fine balancing act to get this right, and one that must have involved trials to get the dilution and application method right, I believe. I really don't want to think about how those trials may have been conducted, but I think we can guess, from the nature of the regime involved, that they may well have involved human guinea pigs.

currawong
29th Mar 2018, 10:57
It was clumsy, for the reasons you outline.

Public, untrained pers, the list goes on.

Not to mention, they got caught.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 11:07
It was clumsy, for the reasons you outline.

Public, untrained pers, the list goes on.

It appeared to be clumsy, I agree, but the work behind it was anything but clumsy, and required a heck of a lot of knowledge and I'm sure experimentation, to pull off. They weren't bothered about the girls being caught, or even the girls dying after the attack, I suspect.

They got the dilution just right, so that enough agent was applied to the victim's face, but the girls and passers by didn't get exposed to enough agent or vapour to be affected. That in itself is a pretty damned clever bit of work, and not something that I think could be calculated to the required degree of accuracy, let alone guessed at.

I'd not underestimate the knowledge and skills of the people behind that attack, unless they just happened to be exceptionally lucky. The chances of failure, either by using too weak a dilution so that they didn't give the victim a fatal dose, or insufficient dilution that could have killed dozens of people, including the two girls, before the victim had a chance to be attacked, were pretty damned high, given the toxicity of VX.

currawong
29th Mar 2018, 11:12
Which brings us neatly back to my

"who has form" rhetorical question.

Nige321
29th Mar 2018, 11:32
Good question. What we don't know is the concentration of agent on the door. We have been told that it was higher than anywhere else, but it may still have been relatively low, we just don't know. It seems possible that the door may have been contaminated by transfer, much as the car, the pub and the restaurant, perhaps.

We're all assuming it was the front door. Maybe they used the back door...

G-CPTN
29th Mar 2018, 11:36
It also sees somewhat 'hit and miss' that the sole(?) method was the front door handle.

KelvinD
29th Mar 2018, 11:48
currawong: How many pages ago did I suggest the door knob?
Don't feel bad. It was also "pages ago" when I suggested the door, quoting George Galloway.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 11:56
It also sees somewhat 'hit and miss' that the sole(?) method was the front door handle.

I'm not yet convinced this was the method used to deliver the agent, but am happy to be corrected if it turns out it was.

It just seems easier, to me, to have booby-trapped something that he was going to come into contact with at some time, and a door handle seems to be exactly as you say, a bit "hit-and-miss" as a method.

We can be pretty sure that whoever did this was clever and had access to some very sophisticated facilities, and there have to have been more reliable ways to achieve their goal, I'd have thought.

Think back to the assassination in London of Georgi Markov, back in 1978. The delivery system that was devised to inject the tiny pellet was ingenious, as was the use of a thin sugar coating to protect the ricin whilst the pellet was in the delivery mechanism and through the firing process.

I would have thought that 40 years later, and working with a far more toxic agent, the delivery method would need to be pretty sophisticated just to work and not endanger dozens of people. I have a strong feeling that a fair part of the international reaction may be because both his daughter and a police officer were victims, if a few more civilians had also been victims then it seems quite possible that instead of just attempted murder, this could have been seen as the use of WMD in an act of war or terrorism.

Jack D
29th Mar 2018, 13:38
Well given that Salisbury is located in the UK, it would be quite remarkable if, say, Australia, Ireland and Moldovia ( to name but three countries) had taken the lead in this event now wouldn't it.

And "shut up and go away ", yep, that's a masterpiece of outstanding diplomacy.

On the subject of diplomacy, here's Boris demonstrating his own ( lamentable as always ) version which, quelle surprise, also contains a reference to an event due to take place a year today.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk

As for the dismissive "so what ! that's politics ! " interpretation of future trade deals, personally, when doing any form of deal, I would always prefer the result to be symbiotic, not heavily skewed in the favour of whomever I am dealing with and even more so when the future of the UK economy, living and societal standards are involved

No doubt though, there will be a inordinately lengthy scientific treatise to explain the degradation times of nerve agents, allied to methods of transportation and distribution, for the benefit of those of us who don't know.

Why would future arrangements not be symbiotic ? Perhaps others are grateful that the cork is finally being put back in the bottle as far as nefarious deeds by a foreign power are concerned . As I said public diatribe has been largely avoided that’s called diplomacy, the” shut up and go away” comment was foolish but in general the utterances for general consumption have been minimal .
You seem distressed that others know considerably more than you about pathogens and need to resort to facetious comments . I respectfully
Suggest you give the guardian links a rest, many people read it but perhaps not exclusively

Andy_S
29th Mar 2018, 14:37
Finally, some good news:

Russian spy: Yulia Skripal 'improving rapidly' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43588450)

Hopefully, in due course, she can be questioned.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 15:22
Finally, some good news:

Russian spy: Yulia Skripal 'improving rapidly' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43588450)

Hopefully, in due course, she can be questioned.


That's really great news, I hope that's an indicator that she will make a good recovery, without significant long term injury.

I share your hope that she can reveal more of what happened on that fateful day, and, perhaps, the days before the attack, when she may have seen or heard something that gives the investigators more information as to how it may have been arranged.

G-CPTN
29th Mar 2018, 16:44
What effect on her memory will the enforced 'coma' have?

Anaesthetic can cause amnesia I believe.

a third of patients who undergo anaesthesia and surgery experience some kind of cognitive impairment -- such as memory loss
From:- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141103192130.htm

PickyPerkins
29th Mar 2018, 17:07
Judging from the growth of the bushes, these two photos were taken at least a year apart. Just curious as to why the front door was changed.

Krystal n chips
29th Mar 2018, 17:10
Why would future arrangements not be symbiotic ? Perhaps others are grateful that the cork is finally being put back in the bottle as far as nefarious deeds by a foreign power are concerned . As I said public diatribe has been largely avoided that’s called diplomacy, the” shut up and go away” comment was foolish but in general the utterances for general consumption have been minimal .
You seem distressed that others know considerably more than you about pathogens and need to resort to facetious comments . I respectfully
Suggest you give the guardian links a rest, many people read it but perhaps not exclusively

And may I politely suggest you look up the meaning of symbiosis as well as marking today's date for 2019 in your diary. Then look up desperation.

As for pathogens, true, they wouldn't be my chosen subject on "Mastermind", but think of it like this.

Imagine a plate of nouvelle cuisine, in the centre of which is a lone chicken drumstick. Surrounding the drumstick however are a range of garnishes and side dishes, all intended to enhance the reputation of the creativity of the chef and distract the diner away from an otherwise boring and minimal offering.

Effluent Man
29th Mar 2018, 19:00
Judging from the growth of the bushes, these two photos were taken at least a year apart. Just curious as to why the front door was changed.

Maybe he bought the house on "Right to Buy".

k3k3
29th Mar 2018, 19:11
Perhaps the original door was single glazed and let too much warmth out.

It could be something as everyday as that.

419
29th Mar 2018, 19:17
But if the door was the main source of the toxin, why was it not removed from the house for safe disposal? The photos appear to show it still in place.

Good question. What we don't know is the concentration of agent on the door.

Looking at the photographs of the front of the house, it's possible that the door in view is a porch door and the original door is still there inside of this.
The design of the door and side windows along with a large white upvc "wall" to the right of the door certainly makes it appear that this is a porch.

Deep and fast
29th Mar 2018, 19:48
More difficult to push your way into a door that opens out. Just saying....
Glad the daughter is on the mend.

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 21:04
Or of course they may have been mislead as to the real danger. There would have been a car nearby to whisk them off to a safe house.
I'm sure that the area will have been searched by police for any cctv coverage.


It is pretty much impossible to get in and out of Salisbury without being picked up by CCTV............................ especially for a car / van.

Rule out local cars relatively easily, then focus on those not from area, run them then to see ownership and where from and eliminate most, look at hire vehicles but then there is a whole paper trail attached to those plus cctv of where picked up.

By train well.................... all rail stations have loads of cameras as do all trains, same with buses.

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 21:12
Good question. What we don't know is the concentration of agent on the door. We have been told that it was higher than anywhere else, but it may still have been relatively low, we just don't know. It seems possible that the door may have been contaminated by transfer, much as the car, the pub and the restaurant, perhaps.

How was cop infected at house if chemical strong for a small time window.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 21:16
It is pretty much impossible to get in and out of Salisbury without being picked up by CCTV............................ especially for a car / van.

Rule out local cars relatively easily, then focus on those not from area, run them then to see ownership and where from and eliminate most, look at hire vehicles but then there is a whole paper trail attached to those plus cctv of where picked up.

By train well.................... all rail stations have loads of cameras as do all trains, same with buses.



Spot on.

Salisbury has a REALLY bad traffic problem, and has had for years. There are therefore very few roads in or out and all have slow moving traffic pretty much all day, and much of the night. There is also very good CCTV coverage on those roads, much of it on the major routes has ANPR.

The one potential problem may be that some of the city centre CCTV may well not have been operating, as there was an item on the news some time ago mentioning that the budget for CCTV monitoring had been cut by the council, as a measure to try and avoid raising the council tax.

There are also a fair few people around driving cars with dash cams, and practically every cyclist I see out and about seems to have a helmet cam now. If they still have footage that hasn't been overwritten it may be helpful.

The final benefit is that the city is a tourist magnet, so there are always people walking around taking photos and videos. An appeal for copies of some of those may well be effective.

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 21:16
I'm not yet convinced this was the method used to deliver the agent, but am happy to be corrected if it turns out it was.

It just seems easier, to me, to have booby-trapped something that he was going to come into contact with at some time, and a door handle seems to be exactly as you say, a bit "hit-and-miss" as a method.

We can be pretty sure that whoever did this was clever and had access to some very sophisticated facilities, and there have to have been more reliable ways to achieve their goal, I'd have thought.

Think back to the assassination in London of Georgi Markov, back in 1978. The delivery system that was devised to inject the tiny pellet was ingenious, as was the use of a thin sugar coating to protect the ricin whilst the pellet was in the delivery mechanism and through the firing process.

I would have thought that 40 years later, and working with a far more toxic agent, the delivery method would need to be pretty sophisticated just to work and not endanger dozens of people. I have a strong feeling that a fair part of the international reaction may be because both his daughter and a police officer were victims, if a few more civilians had also been victims then it seems quite possible that instead of just attempted murder, this could have been seen as the use of WMD in an act of war or terrorism.

Inherent assumption that people using front door ................ know quite a few who never do........... always back door.
Means anybody who knew this would have visited before.
Also assumption that they would leave during the day..................... many occasions depending on weather etc would stay in on a Sunday.
Just too many dots not adding.

G-CPTN
29th Mar 2018, 21:17
Just curious as to why the front door was changed.

Security - the original arrangement was far from secure, whereas the PVC door would be fitted with much better locks (and no glass to break).

Simples . . .

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 21:20
Spot on.

Salisbury has a REALLY bad traffic problem, and has had for years. There are therefore very few roads in or out and all have slow moving traffic pretty much all day, and much of the night. There is also very good CCTV coverage on those roads, much of it on the major routes has ANPR.

The one potential problem may be that some of the city centre CCTV may well not have been operating, as there was an item on the news some time ago mentioning that the budget for CCTV monitoring had been cut by the council, as a measure to try and avoid raising the council tax.

Move out of Salisburys and roads have CCTV / Traffic monitoring plus Sat Nav takes feeds from Satellites and yup it is specific to car.
Sat Nav needed................ otherwise how find house correctly................. not to forget mobile phone coverage, again isolate non Sailisburys everyday numbers and their origins plus cell where house is.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 21:24
How was cop infected at house if chemical strong for a small time window.


As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, A234 is believed to have a fairly long time from contact to onset of symptoms. It will also have been slowed down if on the relatively thick skin on the palms of the hands, again as already mentioned. Like all agents of this basic type, it works faster when it is in contact with the eyes, nose or other mucus membranes, rather then by skin absorption.

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 21:25
Security - the original arrangement was far from secure, whereas the PVC door would be fitted with much better locks (and no glass to break).

Simples . . .

Hardly........ 2 plastic side panels are kickable and anybody needing to get in would easily................... and yup have had them kicked them in on an owned house after tenants did a midnight flit and bailiffs went in.............. it was quick.

More likely is insulation....................... easy enough to look at Fensa for a particular house and when installed.
Why Fensa ? .......................... well if a "security" installation provided then wouldn't register it there in addition you would provide cctv to monitor house............... there is none. Kind of funny that.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 21:26
Inherent assumption that people using front door ................ know quite a few who never do........... always back door.
Means anybody who knew this would have visited before.
Also assumption that they would leave during the day..................... many occasions depending on weather etc would stay in on a Sunday.
Just too many dots not adding.

It's semi detached, and to get to the back door you have to walk right around the attached garage to the right, so normally I'd guess they used the front door because it was a lot easier to get too.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 21:29
Hardly........ 2 plastic side panels are kickable and anybody needing to get in would easily................... and yup have had them kicked them in on an owned house after tenants did a midnight flit and bailiffs went in.............. it was quick.

More likely is insulation....................... easy enough to look at Fensa for a particular house and when installed.
Why Fensa ? .......................... well if a "security" installation provided then wouldn't register it there in addition you would provide cctv to monitor house............... there is none. Kind of funny that.

If those panels were fitted in the last few years they would have been a lot more secure than the old type, that as you say, were easy to kick in. We built a new house three years ago and all the glazing and doors had to be "secured by design", and part of that approval involves making the panels much harder to kick out.

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 21:29
More difficult to push your way into a door that opens out. Just saying....
Glad the daughter is on the mend.

This was installed legally therefore contractor will install it based on applicable building laws and doors should open inwards not outwards.

I am unaware of any manufacturers who have outward opening double glazing doors.

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 21:31
It's semi detached, and to get to the back door you have to walk right around the attached garage to the right, so normally I'd guess they used the front door because it was a lot easier to get too.

You know the style of property because you can walk by it and have seen it often........................ anybody doing a nefarious deed would need to have checked and observed for a while to make sure..................... goes back to CCTV.

VP959
29th Mar 2018, 21:32
This was installed legally therefore contractor will install it based on applicable building laws and doors should open inwards not outwards.

I am unaware of any manufacturers who have outward opening double glazing doors.

It's not common here, but practically all the high-performance doors from Germany, Austria etc open outwards. We wanted to fit Internorm windows and doors, but my other half didn't like the fact that the front and back door opened outwards.

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 21:41
It's not common here, but practically all the high-performance doors from Germany, Austria etc open outwards. We wanted to fit Internorm windows and doors, but my other half didn't like the fact that the front and back door opened outwards.

Goes back to the someone was here before or it didn't happen there........... What way do Russian doors close ?
How would they know UK doors didn't do same ?
Also if door lock by just closing then why use handle if push it shut ? unless check and why would 2 check ?
Plus comment on potentially using back door........... could easily use if bringing stuff to bin (what day is bin day) before both going out and just walk around house.

ShotOne
29th Mar 2018, 22:08
Racedo, would you explain what point are you trying to make?

racedo
29th Mar 2018, 23:00
Racedo, would you explain what point are you trying to make?

To suggest it was door means
- someone turning up at right house
- with right protective gear and not seen
- their Sat Nav not yet been traced ( I use hire cars and they are tracked via satnav) also majority never delete previous places they went to
- getting lucky occupants use front door rather than back,
- door handle capable of taking substance and it staying on for hours
- it opening in rather than out ............ slam closure no need to touch handle possible
- getting in and out and not been spotted on CCTV in Salisbury
- or surrounding roads / areas,
- not been seen or disturbed by anybody especially residents of the house,
- awareness of alarm or sensor indicating someone approaching
- seen by sleepless neighbour or shift worker / milkman etc
- not having any Mobile communication devices picked up using local cells
- not needing to use any garages / shops / toilets
- not having a car / van spotted by residents i.e. Fido needing walk at 3am.
- knowing that house or immediate ones next door didn't have CCTV
- Police not yet finding vehicle or vehicles from out of area that went into area
- Nobody spotting anybody in the previous weeks hanging around

TEEEJ
29th Mar 2018, 23:21
Doubt it. Look at the hinges. This door appears to open outwards, which is unusual.

Yes, I agree after looking at it again.

MReyn24050
29th Mar 2018, 23:38
Yes, I agree after looking at it again.

If you look at the two photographs at Post #828, it looks as though a porch has been added. Maybe the door which now opens outwards is not the door into the house only into the porch and one has to open an inner door into the house.

BusAirDriver
30th Mar 2018, 01:08
To suggest it was door means
- someone turning up at right house
- with right protective gear and not seen
- their Sat Nav not yet been traced ( I use hire cars and they are tracked via satnav) also majority never delete previous places they went to
- getting lucky occupants use front door rather than back,
- door handle capable of taking substance and it staying on for hours
- it opening in rather than out ............ slam closure no need to touch handle possible
- getting in and out and not been spotted on CCTV in Salisbury
- or surrounding roads / areas,
- not been seen or disturbed by anybody especially residents of the house,
- awareness of alarm or sensor indicating someone approaching
- seen by sleepless neighbour or shift worker / milkman etc
- not having any Mobile communication devices picked up using local cells
- not needing to use any garages / shops / toilets
- not having a car / van spotted by residents i.e. Fido needing walk at 3am.
- knowing that house or immediate ones next door didn't have CCTV
- Police not yet finding vehicle or vehicles from out of area that went into area
- Nobody spotting anybody in the previous weeks hanging around

Sorry but I think you mistake KGB/ FSB for being incompetent amateurs, you seem to believe they are as incompetent as you pretend to be smart.

ShotOne
30th Mar 2018, 03:20
They could well have been spotted, used shops, garage, toilet (really?) but wouldn't necessarily have been wearing hi-vis vests with "FSB hit squad". Everything you've listed (ah, forgot to delete satnav doh!)would also apply if this attack had been ordered by Theresa May/Boris Johnson/HM Queen Elizabeth/The Pope which, if I understand your inference is what you're driving at. You're saying the whole attack has been made up?

BusAirDriver
30th Mar 2018, 04:03
I am quite astounded by some people’s ignorance here.
Believing these assassins in 2018 might not have a bit more high tech methods available.

These would be highly skilled operatives, where nothing would be left to detail.
Remember there was a time people could find their way without SatNavs, and one does not need to be constantly pinged up to a mobile network.

You are assuming with your IDIOTIC POINTS, that this was done by some amateurs. It kind of proves the opposite point, that whoever did this had this planned down to the greatest detail.

Russia has a great tradition of killing their own country men, who they consider to be enemies. Look what happen to Trotsky, hunted down and killed like an animal.

They tried to get rid of Gorbatchow too, with a coupe and arresting him.

Putin has manipulated the election laws in Russia, so he will be the supreme leader until he dies.

Any credible opposition is either killed or imprisoned, so they can’t run against him.

UK, Europe and US needs to hit where it will hurt the most, seize ALL
the oligarchs funds abroad, and make them document it properly where it comes from.

In addition boycot that travesty of a FIFA World Cup going to be held in Russia.

This is a country that should be banned from all sports competitions for 10 years or more, they have still not even admitted they was having a government sponsored doping program, even though there is irrefutable evidence of this.

Russians will not even own up to their crimes, even if you showed them slam dunk evidence of this.
If you still doubt this, watch Icarus.

I grew up in the Cold War, I did military service based on Soviet being our biggest enemy, I travelled to Berlin after the wall fell, I saw the road between West Germany and Berlin just after it fell, I drove trough most of East Germany in early 1990-91, it was like going back 50 years in time.

All was gray and ugly and broken, people had no food, but people was so friendly and happy to be out of the claws of Russia. They finally had hope.

Visit villages outside Moscow around in Russia, and it’s like you gone back to 1950.
People barely survive, young people do ANYTHING to get away.
What does Putin do? He goes and gives ONE random lady who complained on tv about this, a new house and trip to Sootsij, and so the fake “legend” continues, ONE STORY, versus millions who struggle with poor housing, awful heating in biting cold winters.

Do you know the government decides when they put on central heating in those houses people live in. And they control the amount of heating supplied. I been there on visit, and for normal people who just turn up the power they wish, it’s terrible cold.
Of course if you have money, you can arrange your own private heating, at your own additional cost.

Russia haven’t learn from the past, it’s a pity, because the Russian people are lovely, but their government and leaders are some of the most corrupt and manipulating officials in the world, and they control ALL from police, judges to media.

Why you think there are so many Russian girls around all Europe, USA and Asia?

Glasnost No More it seems.




To suggest it was door means
- someone turning up at right house
- with right protective gear and not seen
- their Sat Nav not yet been traced ( I use hire cars and they are tracked via satnav) also majority never delete previous places they went to
- getting lucky occupants use front door rather than back,
- door handle capable of taking substance and it staying on for hours
- it opening in rather than out ............ slam closure no need to touch handle possible
- getting in and out and not been spotted on CCTV in Salisbury
- or surrounding roads / areas,
- not been seen or disturbed by anybody especially residents of the house,
- awareness of alarm or sensor indicating someone approaching
- seen by sleepless neighbour or shift worker / milkman etc
- not having any Mobile communication devices picked up using local cells
- not needing to use any garages / shops / toilets
- not having a car / van spotted by residents i.e. Fido needing walk at 3am.
- knowing that house or immediate ones next door didn't have CCTV
- Police not yet finding vehicle or vehicles from out of area that went into area
- Nobody spotting anybody in the previous weeks hanging around

racedo
30th Mar 2018, 12:25
Sorry but I think you mistake KGB/ FSB for being incompetent amateurs, you seem to believe they are as incompetent as you pretend to be smart.

Seems you just interested in abusing............ will leave you at it then.

racedo
30th Mar 2018, 12:31
They could well have been spotted, used shops, garage, toilet (really?) but wouldn't necessarily have been wearing hi-vis vests with "FSB hit squad". Everything you've listed (ah, forgot to delete satnav doh!)would also apply if this attack had been ordered by Theresa May/Boris Johnson/HM Queen Elizabeth/The Pope which, if I understand your inference is what you're driving at. You're saying the whole attack has been made up?

Somebody atatcked them................. but as already indicated Mossad stating 20 countrys have it.

Last point you made is a good one................ good movie script.

Andy_S
30th Mar 2018, 12:35
Somebody atatcked them................. but as already indicated Mossad stating 20 countrys have it.

As indicated by YOU. And very effectively taken apart by others.

VP959
30th Mar 2018, 12:39
Somebody atatcked them................. but as already indicated Mossad stating 20 countrys have it.

Last point you made is a good one................ good movie script.

And I asked a while back for the evidence to support that statement that 20 countries are capable of developing the agent, designing and testing a deployment system and have both the means and motive for initiating a chemical agent attack in the UK, against British civilians.

If you can name the facilities that have this capability, then that claim may be more credible. As it stands it seems to be just speculation, like much of the other "news" about this attack.

BusAirDriver
30th Mar 2018, 13:49
Seems you just interested in abusing............ will leave you at it then.

Why do you live in denial of the truth?

The Old Generation of Russians, are still in love with the "OLD" where everybody would get an apartment after XX amount of years, and than you would get a Trabant after XX amount of years, and if lucky you would be allowed to visit the Emerald of Soviet, which was the Baltic states.

You was NOT ALLOWED to travel freely abroad or in your own country. Only a privileged elite was allowed to leave the old Soviet / Russia.

It's not about abuse, it's about a reality check. And you most certainly do NOT have a clue.
I know Russians who love Putin, they are "OLD SCHOOL" Russians, who are still in love with the time when they believed their government, their Comrade Sovietunion would take care of them, give them all they needed, without needing to worry about Capitalist things like actually having to be able to work and complete tasks as fast a possible.

First time I visited Berlin, I was HGV driver delivering furniture, I used come with a 40 ft Semi trailer. Now ANYWHERE in West Germany, that trailer would take around 1 - 1.5 hour to unload, in East Berlin we spent over 24 hours.

racedo
30th Mar 2018, 16:41
As indicated by YOU. And very effectively taken apart by others.

Dear on dear you setting yourself us as a Perry Mason type................. more like Jackie Mason.

BusAirDriver
31st Mar 2018, 01:16
I find it curious to see how quiet that Muppet of a US President is, I mean he had the balls to congratulate Putin of his “election” win.

I mean he is quick tweet about loads of irrelevant BS, but seems to be tight lipped playing golf in Florida.

What a joker

ShotOne
31st Mar 2018, 08:49
He's ejected a bunch of Russian diplomats and ordered the closure of a consulate. What's there to tweet about?

Racedo, just out of interest what's your view on Litvinienko: was Russia framed for that attack too?

Andy_S
31st Mar 2018, 09:20
Racedo, just out of interest what's your view on Litvinienko: was Russia framed for that attack too?

Oh yes indeed! According to our friend from Darkest Surrey, Litvinenko was most likely bumped off by the British........

Seriously. That's actually what he said here on Jet Blast.

fitliker
31st Mar 2018, 19:39
Oh yes indeed! According to our friend from Darkest Surrey, Litvinenko was most likely bumped off by the British........

Seriously. That's actually what he said here on Jet Blast.

The life expectancy of arms dealers can be weeks without the blessings of their respective government. The life expectancy of an arms dealer ,dabling in stolen nukes can now be measured in half lives :)

racedo
1st Apr 2018, 19:42
Oh yes indeed! According to our friend from Darkest Surrey, Litvinenko was most likely bumped off by the British........

Seriously. That's actually what he said here on Jet Blast.

Course you will link to that post where I said that.....

BehindBlueEyes
1st Apr 2018, 21:06
I surprised we’re not implicating Saddam Hussein in this. After all, it’s not so long ago the West were all chasing around like headless chickens looking for the non existent biological weapons he allegedly had.

Never mind, at least it gave us an excuse to go in and kick the s£!t out of him. Maybe it will be a justifiable reason to do the same to Putin.

ORAC
2nd Apr 2018, 07:00
Course you will to the post where I said that

https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/588214-vladimir-putin-adolph-hitler-4.html#post9610366

KelvinD
2nd Apr 2018, 07:41
ORAC: That link definitely does NOT show racedo saying Litvinenko was bumped off by the UK.

VP959
2nd Apr 2018, 08:11
Interesting that the BBC has chosen to put this video interview with the former President of Ukraine up: Viktor Yushchenko: Ukraine's ex-president on being poisoned - BBC News (http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-43611547/former-ukrainian-president-speaks-out-about-being-poisoned)

The things I noted from the description of the poisoning method used was that it was intended to cause the maximum distress, but not necessarily kill the victim (although I think it could have done, had he not been treated promptly in Vienna). It seems to have been done to send a message to Ukrainians, and the rest of the world, more than anything else.

Using a powerful herbicide as the toxin is interesting too, as in essence the basis for A234 was a powerful insecticide.

racedo
2nd Apr 2018, 09:52
ORAC: That link definitely does NOT show racedo saying Litvinenko was bumped off by the UK.

Thank you

It doesn't even suggest who he was bumped off by.

So to go back to the original lets see Andy_S back up the claim he made.

currawong
2nd Apr 2018, 10:11
Yushchenko poisoned with a herbicide?:confused:

I think not.

Might want to check the LD50 of anything that might contain dioxin, assuming you can find something around these days that does.

Andy_S
2nd Apr 2018, 10:52
ORAC: That link definitely does NOT show racedo saying Litvinenko was bumped off by the UK.

Not in those exact words. But the implication was VERY clear......

And unsurprisingly, the suggestion that the Russians were involved in Litvinenko's death is dismissed.

VP959
2nd Apr 2018, 11:24
Yushchenko poisoned with a herbicide?:confused:

I think not.

Might want to check the LD50 of anything that might contain dioxin, assuming you can find something around these days that does.

OK, imprecise language. Lots of older herbicides contained dioxins, often as a contaminating agent, and many here will relate dioxin to Agent Orange. Not strictly true, as the fact that there were dioxins in Agent Orange wasn't deliberate, it was a contaminant from the manufacturing process, but nevertheless it is probably one of the better known cases where there has been mass human exposure to the stuff.

As it's been banned pretty much universally for a fair time now, my guess would be that it would not be that easy to come across now.

The point I was trying to make was that the intention was to use a pretty barbaric poison in an attack on an individual in order to make a point. The same way that A234 seems to have been used against the Skripals. It's an unusual technique, and one that's only really been associated with two states in recent times, AFAIK.

G-CPTN
2nd Apr 2018, 11:40
Is it possible that the use of A234 in this case was intended as a real life 'test' of the nerve agent?

racedo
2nd Apr 2018, 12:07
Not in those exact words. But the implication was VERY clear......

And unsurprisingly, the suggestion that the Russians were involved in Litvinenko's death is dismissed.

Nope they were not ................. you made a claim which is shown to be completely FALSE.

You no different from the purveyors of FAKE NEWS in the media, make up a lie and claim it as fact to suit your own agenda.

VP959
2nd Apr 2018, 12:36
Is it possible that the use of A234 in this case was intended as a real life 'test' of the nerve agent?

I would guess anything is possible, but usually weapons (of any type) are designed with a specific target set. In the case of chemical agents, a common scenario of use might be to kill or disable a large number of people without causing significant damage to infrastructure.

Another might be to use them as a terror weapon, aimed to kill or disable large numbers of non-combatants in order to strike fear into the heart of a population, and, even the very small scale attack in Salisbury has done that to some extent, even if it wasn't the primary intent of the attacker(s).

As an assassination weapon chemical agents are a bizarre choice, IF the aim was to just kill someone. They are, by their nature, imprecise, unless delivered by the same sort of means that poison might be delivered. They are significantly more dangerous to handle and deliver than even an extremely toxic poison, like ricin, or several other toxins or toxic substances. They can be very persistent, for example VX is fairly viscous, tends to evaporate slowly and is (like A234) absorbed through the skin. This means that using them on a surface will inevitably lead to widespread transfer, perhaps causing death or injury to unintended targets.

Finally, if this was a test, then why choose the UK? If an attack like this had been carried out in many other places in the world it's quite likely that the type of materiel and the method of use may never have been discovered, and the effect on the target(s) may well have been easier to monitor.

For me, one of the most unusual aspects of this attack was the choice of agent. VX has been around for 60 years or more, is relatively easy (if bloody dangerous) to synthesise and refine, there's loads of public domain information about it, including ways to deploy it, and it would have been near-certain to kill the primary target at least, probably a few more people as well.

Very little is really known about some of the novichok compounds, as the primary source of information is strongly suspected to be inaccurate and lacking in in-depth knowledge of the whole programme. A234 has never been found anywhere AFAIK - it's existence is known just as a possible variant of A232.

Perhaps the attackers thought it's existence and properties might have still been unknown. We know that the idea behind the novichok programme was to create "undetectable" chemical agents, perhaps the attacker(s) believed that A234 was undetectable, because so little had ever been released about it. This would align with the Litvinenko attack, as the attackers in that case are thought to have believed that Polonium 210 was undetectable, and, if it wasn't for a stroke of luck, it's quite possible that the cause of his death would still be unknown.

grateful_pax
2nd Apr 2018, 13:56
Thank you

It doesn't even suggest who he was bumped off by.

So to go back to the original lets see Andy_S back up the claim he made.

I'm just curious.
What's your opinion of Litvinenko assassination?
Which govt killed him?

Andy_S
2nd Apr 2018, 16:35
Nope they were not ................. you made a claim which is shown to be completely FALSE.

You no different from the purveyors of FAKE NEWS in the media, make up a lie and claim it as fact to suit your own agenda.

OK, lets just dig a bit deeper. Your exact words (my bold) were as follows:

Litvienko became a British spy....................... who gained most from him being eliminated ?

Likely known by Russians he was a spy, hence just ignore him as he not a threat, course if he was to say what he was doing maybe paymasters unhappy.

Now, I'm an honest man, and if I've misinterpreted your statement then I'll apologise and withdraw. But it looks very much to me as if you've said that the British were Litvinenko's paymasters. And you then say that maybe those paymasters were unhappy....... So, since he ended up dead I think the inference was clearly that the British were the culprits.

So rather than speak in riddles, could you please just be candid and tell us who you think bumped Litvinenko off?

Jack D
2nd Apr 2018, 16:35
I'm just curious.
What's your opinion of Litvinenko assassination?
Which govt killed him?

The Russian govt ... how much more proof does one need ffs ? Let’s see how the latest one pans out.

VP959
2nd Apr 2018, 17:06
In the case of Alexander Litvinenko, there was a very clear "breadcrumb" trail of Polonium 210 that positively linked his poisoning to two individuals, one of whom is now a deputy in the Russian Duma. The evidence is pretty damning, as it positively links traces of Polonium 210 right back through several locations that Andrey Lugovoy was known to have visited, including the seats of aircraft that he had flown in.

Andrey Lugovoy himself seems to have suffered some ill effects from the contamination he picked up, and was treated for an "unknown illness" on his return to Russia.

Although largely circumstantial, the weight of evidence against Andrey Lugovoy as a person who participated in the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko is pretty overwhelming, and that has been added to by the actions that Russia has taken to both refuse extradition and to "encourage" him to take a seat in the Duma, where he has a greater degree of protection by the Russian state.

When you then add the statements he has made since, including "If someone has caused the Russian state serious damage, they should be exterminated" then it's pretty clear that he was in the right place at the right time, was known to have had traces of the same poison on him, and has expressed a clear motive for wishing Alexander Litvinenko dead. I'm reasonably sure that had he been extradited to face the murder charge that still hangs over him here, then he would almost certainly have been found guilty. The fact that the Russian state has bent over backwards to avoid him coming to justice lends a great deal of weight to the argument that his actions were sanctioned by that government.

racedo
2nd Apr 2018, 20:06
OK, lets just dig a bit deeper. Your exact words (my bold) were as follows:



Now, I'm an honest man, ?

I didn't need to read any further...........

racedo
2nd Apr 2018, 20:24
In the case of Alexander Litvinenko, there was a very clear "breadcrumb" trail of Polonium 210 that positively linked his poisoning to two individuals, one of whom is now a deputy in the Russian Duma. The evidence is pretty damning, as it positively links traces of Polonium 210 right back through several locations that Andrey Lugovoy was known to have visited, including the seats of aircraft that he had flown in.

Andrey Lugovoy himself seems to have suffered some ill effects from the contamination he picked up, and was treated for an "unknown illness" on his return to Russia.

Although largely circumstantial, the weight of evidence against Andrey Lugovoy as a person who participated in the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko is pretty overwhelming, and that has been added to by the actions that Russia has taken to both refuse extradition and to "encourage" him to take a seat in the Duma, where he has a greater degree of protection by the Russian state.

When you then add the statements he has made since, including "If someone has caused the Russian state serious damage, they should be exterminated" then it's pretty clear that he was in the right place at the right time, was known to have had traces of the same poison on him, and has expressed a clear motive for wishing Alexander Litvinenko dead. I'm reasonably sure that had he been extradited to face the murder charge that still hangs over him here, then he would almost certainly have been found guilty. The fact that the Russian state has bent over backwards to avoid him coming to justice lends a great deal of weight to the argument that his actions were sanctioned by that government.

Russis in common with Germany, Austria, France and Japan does not extradite its citizens.

Lugovoy is a member of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic party NOTE not United Russia party and they hold 34 out of 450 seats.
He was added to the party ticket by Zhirinovsky not exactly a fan of Putin, the west or anybody.

Russia states it will prosecute its citizens for crimes committed abroad and that offer was made to UK Ambassador................ UK Govt refuses to take up that offer.

Now the claims on here regarding Salisbury is that it was a top FSB hit team.................... reading background on Lugovoy he was a bodyguard for a lot of shady people, somehow he doesn't fit profile of a Top FSB Hit man, more like hired muscle for private sector.

galaxy flyer
2nd Apr 2018, 20:36
Now the claims on here regarding Salisbury is that it was a top FSB hit team.................... reading background on Lugovoy he was a bodyguard for a lot of shady people, somehow he doesn't fit profile of a Top FSB Hit man, more like hired muscle for private sector.

Not a lot of difference—hired muscle and FSB hitman are much the same.

GF

VP959
2nd Apr 2018, 20:39
Russia states it will prosecute its citizens for crimes committed abroad and that offer was made to UK Ambassador................ UK Govt refuses to take up that offer.

Primarily because there has been a request for extradition for Lugovoy to face trial for murder, and sufficient evidence for a murder charge to be brought, and that trumps any case for providing evidence for some sort of trial in Russia, for a murder committed in the UK.

Russia has been given the specific isotope signature of the materiel carried by Lugovoy, from the trail of contamination he left in several locations, and that was the same as that used to poison Alexander Litvinenko, and can be positively traced to a specific source in Russia, under Russian state control, so knows full well who was involved in carrying out that attack.



Now the claims on here regarding Salisbury is that it was a top FSB hit team.................... reading background on Lugovoy he was a bodyguard for a lot of shady people, somehow he doesn't fit profile of a Top FSB Hit man, more like hired muscle for private sector.

I've made no such claim at all, in fact at no time have I been specific as to who the attacker(s) represented. All I've done is highlight the expertise, access to facilities and careful planning needed to make this attack, with a bit of speculation as to where that expertise and those facilities might be located.

WingNut60
2nd Apr 2018, 22:18
..........

I've made no such claim at all, in fact at no time have I been specific as to who the attacker(s) represented. All I've done is highlight the expertise, access to facilities and careful planning needed to make this attack, with a bit of speculation as to where that expertise and those facilities might be located.

Yet the assassination at KLIA was carried out successfully by non-professional, untrained amateurs, neither of whom died or even became ill, AFAIK.

It seems that the level of expertise needed for the background work can be quiet different from that required for the execution.

racedo
2nd Apr 2018, 22:43
Primarily because there has been a request for extradition for Lugovoy to face trial for murder, and sufficient evidence for a murder charge to be brought, and that trumps any case for providing evidence for some sort of trial in Russia, for a murder committed in the UK.



Russia along with the countrys mentioned do not extradite its citizens........... this was applicable before Lugovoy and after.

It didn't occur because of him.................... UK Foreign Office knows all this yet demanding extradition knowing full well it will never be granted is just part of the political game.

If Russia had aceeded to the request how much of the trial would have been held in camera with Public Immunity Certificates being handed down.

racedo
2nd Apr 2018, 22:45
Not a lot of difference—hired muscle and FSB hitman are much the same.

GF

CIA / Mossad / MI6 / MI5 would I believe disagree......

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 07:57
Yet the assassination at KLIA was carried out successfully by non-professional, untrained amateurs, neither of whom died or even became ill, AFAIK.

It seems that the level of expertise needed for the background work can be quiet different from that required for the execution.

Have a read of this earlier post about that: https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/606204-sergei-skripal-41.html#post10100827 and why the risk to the two girls was a bit lower (plus they were expendable anyway).

WingNut60
3rd Apr 2018, 09:19
Have a read of this earlier post about that: https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/606204-sergei-skripal-41.html#post10100827 and why the risk to the two girls was a bit lower (plus they were expendable anyway).

I had read it and appreciate and understand your previous explanations.

I don't want to trivialise any of this, but it seems that the VX (supposedly) used in the KLIA incident is now being put into the "not really all that dangerous or difficult to handle" basket. And maybe, by comparison, it isn't.
But it seems to have done the trick.

Which makes me wonder why you'd bother using A234, other than to make things more difficult and to make sure that the finger was then pointed at a unique source.

If they had just stuck to VX or similar then it could have been anyone who was responsible.

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 09:45
I had read it and appreciate and understand your previous explanations.

I don't want to trivialise any of this, but it seems that the VX (supposedly) used in the KLIA incident is now being put into the "not really all that dangerous or difficult to handle" basket. And maybe, by comparison, it isn't.
But it seems to have done the trick.

Which makes me wonder why you'd bother using A234, other than to make things more difficult and to make sure that the finger was then pointed at a unique source.

If they had just stuck to VX or similar then it could have been anyone who was responsible.

VX may well be around the same, or greater, toxicity than A234, I don't think there is much in the way of solid evidence as to how toxic A234 is, but the evidence from the Salisbury attack seems to indicate that it may be significantly less toxic that VX.

The key thing with the KLIA attack is really whether the agent used was pure, or diluted. In the attack at KLIA I believe that the agent was very diluted as if it hadn't been there was a pretty high risk that the girls delivering it may have been affected by it before they got the chance to rub it over the victims face.

There was also a very high risk of droplet formation during the attack itself, I think, so it seems probably that the VX was diluted with something viscous in order to minimise the risk of droplets being sprayed off the cloths/sponges as they rubbed them across the victim's face.

All told it was pretty clever, and required a fair bit of knowledge about how VX works, it's vapour pressure, viscosity, what might be a suitable viscous solvent and some form of assessment of the risk to the two girls. I would guess they were considered expendable, but they still had to hold the stuff in their gloved hands for some time whilst waiting for the victim to arrive, and apply it without being incapacitated themselves.

Every indication is that this attack was instigated by NK, and they have a pretty good technical capability, and the facilities to have performed trials to make sure that the chosen technique would work as planned. The fact that it did, and that the girls weren't affected, implies that they either got extremely lucky, or they had tested and perfected the technique in advance. I'm inclined to think it was the latter, as I have no doubt that they had test subjects available and the lack of moral scruples to use them, plus, being a very closed state, no one would be likely to ever hear about such tests.

Fitter2
3rd Apr 2018, 09:46
Which makes me wonder why you'd bother using A234, other than to make things more difficult and to make sure that the finger was then pointed at a unique source.

The Novichok nerve agents were designed to be undetectable, and might have been if the information hadn't been revealed. Likely the FSB thought they still were.

Now we see the full weight of Russian synthetic indignation and social media disinformation campaign in action, plus threats of the possibility of 'real war', any doubt of the perpetrators is removed

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 09:55
The Novichok nerve agents were designed to be undetectable, and might have been if the information hadn't been revealed. Likely the FSB thought they still were.

Now we see the full weight of Russian synthetic indignation and social media disinformation campaign in action, plus threats of the possibility of 'real war', any doubt of the perpetrators is removed

That's my best guess as well. I think whoever perpetrated this attack was unaware of the work that had been done to obtain the signatures of some of the novichok agents by the West, and thought, perhaps, that the West might be just relying on the information provided by Mirzayanov, some of which was dubious at best, and some plain wrong, it seems.

WingNut60
3rd Apr 2018, 12:58
The Novichok nerve agents were designed to be undetectable, and might have been if the information hadn't been revealed.

Was that a realistic expectation, even without hindsight?

Difficult to detect? Almost impossible to detect? Maybe.
Undetectable? I doubt that you will ever find a chemist who would agree with that.

belfrybat
3rd Apr 2018, 13:20
VP959:

Just idle curiosity, but what is this signature you mention, and how is it obtained?

G-CPTN
3rd Apr 2018, 13:21
Difficult to detect? Almost impossible to detect? Maybe.
Undetectable? I doubt that you will ever find a chemist who would agree with that.

Before you can detect, you first have to suspect.

In the case of SS, his background would make a sudden collapse suspicious - with his daughter affected equally so.

What needs to be determined is how she became involved.

WingNut60
3rd Apr 2018, 13:36
Is there confusion between "unable to detect" and "unable to identify" happening here?

The "suspect" part would have been fairly automatic when presented with the victims and their history.

The "detect" phase, I am guessing, should have been likewise fairly certain in the sense of detecting something out of the ordinary. Any decent lab should be able to pick up that there is something there, even if they can't positively identify it.
Given the ID of the victims and the nature of the event, I doubt that you would just pass it to your local lab. and leave it at that if they couldn't detect or identify a substance.

The definitive identification could, I am sure, be a whole different ball game.
Correct identification would then be dependent on how much you know about it, how much effort you want to put into it and how much you have of it, or its residue, as a sample.
But I doubt that, given the will and a hefty budget, a substance used in such an attack would go forever unidentified.

G-CPTN
3rd Apr 2018, 13:50
To avoid possible embarrassing revelations about this case, how would the NK VX have been 'detected', samples collected and then identified?

WingNut60
3rd Apr 2018, 13:53
To avoid possible embarrassing revelations about this case, how would the NK VX have been 'detected', samples collected and then identified?

There is a bit of a description of that process in GooWiki on the KLIA incident.
It's not great, but it could give you a bit of an idea.

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 14:30
You can detect generic organophosphate compounds (which all the known nerve agents are) pretty easily - I'm pretty sure the standard CAM that was seen in use in photos in the media after the Salisbury attack will give a general detection on even things like organophosphate based insecticides, when in nerve agent mode (it can be switched between modes). Even the improved CAM cannot, AFAIK, positively identify any of the novichok agents, and would most probably just give a generic organophosphate indication, that may well be considered to be a false alert under some circumstances (for example, in rural areas where organophosphate insecticides may still be in use), but not in the case of either the NK attack or the attack on the Skripals, because of the nature of the locations.

Identifying the specific agent involves various forms of spectroscopy, to identify the chemical composition in detail (essentially it shows the proportion of elements within a compound, which will then correspond to a signature), but that often requires quite a bit of preparatory work to separate out the agent from contamination. That contamination can be accidental; that picked up from the environment from where the sample was taken, or can be a part of the signature, as every synthesis and purification technique tends to leave trace markers of the process used. I gave the example earlier where it's possible to determine the refinery that produced a sample of petrol, as each will produce petrol with a slightly different mix of minor contaminants.

I the case of the novichok agents there are many that I suspect we know very little about, but in this case the existence of A234 was known of, from two sources, who gave differing descriptions of the actual compound, but both were derivatives of A232, an agent that had a signature that was known with a high degree of confidence. My guess is that the samples taken from the Salisbury scene and the victims matched the most reliable of the two sources for the composition of A234.

In the case of the NK VX murder, getting samples was, I believe, pretty straightforward, as the stuff was rubbed liberally over the victims face, plus there would have bound to have been some residue on his clothing. I'm not sure whether the gloves the girls were wearing and the cloths/sponges they used were recovered or not, but if they were then they would have yielded good samples. Pure VX is relatively non-volatile, is slightly oily in appearance, clear, with no odour, and pretty persistent, unlike some other agents, like Sarin, that tend to evaporate fairly quickly at room temperature, plus VX has been around since WWII, so pretty much any competent forensic analytical facility should be able to identify it pretty quickly.

There were clues from the manner of the victims death (and the symptoms the Skripal's were suffering, as described by onlookers) that would have pretty quickly led to the strong suspicion that a nerve agent was involved by anyone that was even slightly familiar with their action. The basic symptoms of pretty much all nerve agents are very similar, nausea, vomiting, excessive salivation, runny nose, tightness of the chest (that may prevent breathing), involuntary urination and defecation and limb movements that may resemble an epileptic fit. The main differences between them are in the dose needed to cause death and the time between contact and the onset of symptoms, the latter being also very strongly determined by the method of exposure.

If you want to have the fastest onset of symptoms, then inject the agent into the blood stream, second fastest inhale a very fine aerosol that will get drawn deep into the lungs and then into the bloodstream, third fastest an aerosol or liquid that makes contact with mucus membranes, typically around the eyes, nose and mouth, slowest onset is by absorption though the skin, with that being highly dependent on the thickness of the skin.

G-CPTN
3rd Apr 2018, 14:46
Identifying the specific agent involves various forms of spectroscopy, to identify the chemical composition in detail (essentially it shows the proportion of elements within a compound, which will then correspond to a signature).

Thanks - much appreciated . . .

Stan Woolley
3rd Apr 2018, 16:18
“Experts at the Porton Down research laboratory were unable to establish the chemical’s country of origin, the chief executive of the Ministry of Defence facility told Sky News.“

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/salisbury-poisoning-russia-novichok-nerve-agent-porton-down-proof-evidence-mod-latest-a8286761.html

G-CPTN
3rd Apr 2018, 16:33
Is it likely that the Russian aircraft that was subjected to close scrutiny by UK 'Customs' (?) was the same aircraft that brought Yulia to the UK from Russia?

It is interesting that 'government have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions'.

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 16:50
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/salisbury-poisoning-russia-novichok-nerve-agent-porton-down-proof-evidence-mod-latest-a8286761.html

That fits with everything we know about A234. The two Russian sources of the composition of A234 are not the same, and, AFAIK, no sample of it has even been found to test before - it's existence was only known of from correlating information from several Russian sources, such as the evidence given by the Russians themselves at the trial of Mirzayanov, and the paper released by Mirzayanov and Federov. Subsequently, Mirzayanov has given a different composition for the compound, so I think the reliability of his information has to be questionable.

The key issue is that no other state was known to be pursuing research, development and testing on this specific range of organophosphate compounds, whilst Russia has admitted openly that it was developing and testing these compounds, one in what is now Uzbekistan (and has since been decontaminated and inspected by the OPCW, I believe) and their main development facilities at Shikhany and possibly also at Ekaterinaburg, a lab that has expanded in recent years. I know of three other sites with what is now Russia that have been involved in chemical or biological weapon development, but Shikhany has a testing ground as a part of the facility, so seems a strong candidate.

In purely scientific terms, the CE of Porton Down is absolutely correct, I'm sure. They have been able to identify the compound used and have passed that information to others.

The link to Russia is that this range of compounds is only known to have been developed and tested by Russia, no other country we know of has done work on them. No country has had a reason to do work on these agents since the end of the Cold War, as they were very specifically designed to get around the detection systems used by the West and, in some cases, to be capable of being used as binary weapons where neither of the two precursor compounds fell under the terms of the CWC definition of being a chemical weapon.

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 16:58
Is it likely that the Russian aircraft that was subjected to close scrutiny by UK 'Customs' (?) was the same aircraft that brought Yulia to the UK from Russia?

It is interesting that 'government have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions'.

I think that latter point is key. There is no one "smoking gun" here that points very specifically to an individual or state, but rather a collection of evidence that, when carefully correlated, makes a very strong argument for someone in Russia, as the only state with the knowledge, experience and facilities to produce this particular ethyl analogue of A232, to be behind it. Add in that several prominent and powerful people within the Russian state have made statements implying, or stating outright, that any traitor to Russia should be hunted down and killed, and it seems clear that some people in Russia may have a powerful motive for wishing to carry out this attack.

It's hard to think of another state in the world that has this combination of expertise, facilities, access to materiel and motive for such an attack. It may not be absolute proof, but some states in the West will convict and execute people for evidence that is as strong as this.

KelvinD
3rd Apr 2018, 17:38
Re the Aeroflot flight searched by UK Customs: It was not the same plane that Yulia Skripal arrived on (assuming she flew from Moscow to Heathrow).
The aircraft that was searched was VP-BOC. The 3 flights from Moscow on 3rd March were VQ-BHM, VQ-BHL & VP-BEG.
VP959: It is difficult to convict and execute when you don't actually have an accused.
Even more so when one pillar of the case against the implicated has been demolished by the recent announcement from Porton Down.

TEEEJ
3rd Apr 2018, 17:39
As the interview was conducted by Sky News probably helpful to post the source with the video.

See following link for video.

Mr Aitkenhead added: "It is our job to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is, we identified that it is from this particular family and that it is a military grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured."

However, he confirmed the substance required "extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor".

https://news.sky.com/story/porton-down-experts-unable-to-identify-precise-source-of-novichok-that-poisoned-spy-11315387

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 17:46
You beat me to it, TEEEJ! :D :D :D

Some are too willing to believe media spin, rather than look at the source material for verification, I'm afraid.

TEEEJ
3rd Apr 2018, 18:05
You beat me to it, TEEEJ! :D :D :D

Some are too willing to believe media spin, rather than look at the source material for verification, I'm afraid.

No problem, VP959. :ok:

Chronus
3rd Apr 2018, 18:39
I think that latter point is key. There is no one "smoking gun" here that points very specifically to an individual or state, but rather a collection of evidence that, when carefully correlated, makes a very strong argument for someone in Russia, as the only state with the knowledge, experience and facilities to produce this particular ethyl analogue of A232, to be behind it. Add in that several prominent and powerful people within the Russian state have made statements implying, or stating outright, that any traitor to Russia should be hunted down and killed, and it seems clear that some people in Russia may have a powerful motive for wishing to carry out this attack.

It's hard to think of another state in the world that has this combination of expertise, facilities, access to materiel and motive for such an attack. It may not be absolute proof, but some states in the West will convict and execute people for evidence that is as strong as this.

Is it conceivable that the Russian State and its intelligence organs are so naive, stupid and desperate so as to attempt an extermination in this way, of a traitor who defected to the West. If they were not, then surely a more subtle method could have been employed. If an AK47 had been used, it being at the bottom end of sophistication for weaponry and one which may even be found home grown by some blacksmith in the mountains of Afgan, just because it had been orginially developed by a Russian, would the finger of blame still been pointed at Russia.

It seems this particular variant of Novochek involved lots of eggs in its recipe. Reminiscent of " Lily the Pink " song and the "medicinal compound".

racedo
3rd Apr 2018, 18:50
Re the Aeroflot flight searched by UK Customs: It was not the same plane that Yulia Skripal arrived on (assuming she flew from Moscow to Heathrow).
The aircraft that was searched was VP-BOC. The 3 flights from Moscow on 3rd March were VQ-BHM, VQ-BHL & VP-BEG.
VP959: It is difficult to convict and execute when you don't actually have an accused.
Even more so when one pillar of the case against the implicated has been demolished by the recent announcement from Porton Down.

Spy poisoning: UK plays down Russia complaint at plane search - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43606085)

Norice they said "organised crime" so is this what this is about.

As in "routine" for a search..................... have known no other case, not to say its not routine but if it was then would been aware of it happening regularly.

No doubt minister will get asked this in parliment.

racedo
3rd Apr 2018, 18:52
As the interview was conducted by Sky News probably helpful to post the source with the video.

See following link for video.

Mr Aitkenhead added: "It is our job to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is, we identified that it is from this particular family and that it is a military grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured."

However, he confirmed the substance required "extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor".

https://news.sky.com/story/porton-down-experts-unable-to-identify-precise-source-of-novichok-that-poisoned-spy-11315387


Not what Bojo and May were saying as they were 100% definite........ wonder what is in play here.

flash8
3rd Apr 2018, 19:01
Just dropped back into the thread (couldn't resist) to say BoJo should be jailed for lying at unprecedented levels.

Governments narrative falling apart before our very eyes.

If you saw the Powerpoint they gave to our "partners" a week ago or so it looked like something tacked together by Sixth formers.. it was at this stage I realized we were led by utter idiots believing they were acting all grown up.

I know Russia.... they will go on the assault now... and it won't be pretty, they smell blood.

TEEEJ
3rd Apr 2018, 19:10
Not what Bojo and May were saying as they were 100% definite........ wonder what is in play here.

Nothing has changed in regards to the UK Governments position. As already highlighted some people are not reading what has been reported.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory also responded to Mr Aitkenhead's comments, writing in a series of posts on Twitter: "Our experts have precisely identified the nerve agent as a Novichok.

"It is not, and has never been, our responsibility to confirm the source of the agent.

"This chemical identity of the nerve agent is one of four factors used by the Government to attribute the use of chemical weapons in Salisbury to Russia.

"The Government's assessment has been clear from the start. Our chemical analysis is a key part of the Government's assessment, and this has not changed."

From the same link that you left in your reply.

https://news.sky.com/story/porton-down-experts-unable-to-identify-precise-source-of-novichok-that-poisoned-spy-11315387

flash8
3rd Apr 2018, 19:14
However, two weeks ago Boris Johnson was asked by an interviewer on Deutsche Walle, Germany’s public international broadcaster, how the UK had been able to find out the novichok originated from Russia so quickly.

He replied: “When I look at the evidence, the people from Porton Down, the laboratory, they were absolutely categorical. I asked the guy myself, I said: ‘Are you sure?’ And he said: ‘There’s no doubt.’ So we have very little alternative but to take the action that we have taken.”

If that isn't a blatant lie I don't know what is.

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 19:15
Is it conceivable that the Russian State and its intelligence organs are so naive, stupid and desperate so as to attempt an extermination in this way, of a traitor who defected to the West. If they were not, then surely a more subtle method could have been employed. If an AK47 had been used, it being at the bottom end of sophistication for weaponry and one which may even be found home grown by some blacksmith in the mountains of Afgan, just because it had been orginially developed by a Russian, would the finger of blame still been pointed at Russia.

It seems this particular variant of Novochek involved lots of eggs in its recipe. Reminiscent of " Lily the Pink " song and the "medicinal compound".

If it wasn't someone with power and influence in Russia that was behind this attack, then let's flip this around and speculate as to which other state the perpetrators might have come from:

1. They would need access to information on how to synthesise, purify, analyse and safely package and deliver A234.

2. The perpetrators would have to be trained in methods to safely transport and deploy this agent, possibly mixed with something to make it more viscous, if the door handle theory turns out to be correct.

3. They would need to have sufficient motive to target the Skripals.

How many states have the required resources, technical capability, and, most importantly, the motive, to carry out such a terror-like assassination attempt?

Let's list some:

The UK has the technical competence and facilities, but has absolutely no motive at all to make such an attack, especially given the very high risk to innocent British citizens.

Similarly, the US has similar competence, but even less of a motive, as they work with, and very much rely on at times, the UK.

Israel may or may not have the technical capability; my personal view is that they probably don't. Neither have then any motive at all in creating such an international incident.

China may have the technical competence and facilities, but again has no motive at all.

North Korea almost certainly has neither the technical competence nor the means or the motive.

None of the EU states, AFAIK, has the technical capability, let alone the motive.

The same applies to the outlying former Soviet states surrounding Russia, who may wish to embarrass Russia, but without the technical capability, and with the very high risk to their continuing independence if they were found to be the perpetrators, it seems unlikely that they could be behind it.

South Africa doesn't have either the technical capability or a motive that I can see.

If anyone can come up with any other state that has the technical capability and motive, then please chip in.

racedo
3rd Apr 2018, 19:35
If it wasn't someone with power and influence in Russia that was behind this attack, then let's flip this around and speculate as to which other state the perpetrators might have come from:

1. They would need access to information on how to synthesise, purify, analyse and safely package and deliver A234.

2. The perpetrators would have to be trained in methods to safely transport and deploy this agent, possibly mixed with something to make it more viscous, if the door handle theory turns out to be correct.

3. They would need to have sufficient motive to target the Skripals.

How many states have the required resources, technical capability, and, most importantly, the motive, to carry out such a terror-like assassination attempt?


What is the cost of setting up a lab with these facilities but ignoring the safeguards you would normally see ?
Whar price a scientist with a grudge or one under duress ?

jamaca22
3rd Apr 2018, 19:38
I think it would be nieve to discount political and economic motives, the west certainly does seem to have a motive to vilify Russia at every opportunity..

Chronus
3rd Apr 2018, 19:52
qUOTE VP959 "How many states have the required resources, technical capability, and, most importantly, the motive, to carry out such a terror-like assassination attempt?"

911 stands ad the worst act in the annals of terrorism. prior to the event it was certainly inconceivable in the minds of any security agencies anywhere in the world. It was wholly unprecedented. Yet it was concieved, planned and executed succesfully. We soon found out who did it and why.
In this instance we do not know who did it and perhaps never will. As to why it was done, that perhaps involves less speculation, but must start with the simplest proposition that because he was a former espion. His former enemies were not necessarily just the West and thereafter Russia. There could have been many others. Some less forgiving than others, some with much longer memories than others. The inescapable truth is that what was his greater value to us in offering him refuge against the compromise to public safety. Surely this raises a far more important issue so far as the lessons learned and how to assess risk in future exchanges of traitors, espions. Perhaps the doctrine of the law of unintended consequences is of greater import than the who dunnit. Maybe our politicians have already whispered these but dare not raise their voices in case they be heard.

ORAC
3rd Apr 2018, 19:56
Espion? Is that a Russian term?

ORAC
3rd Apr 2018, 19:57
What is the cost of setting up a lab with these facilities but ignoring the safeguards you would normally see ? Probably as little as the chances of getting out alive to use the product?

Mac the Knife
3rd Apr 2018, 20:00
Just out of curiosity VP929, why do you include South Africa in your little list?

We have, as you rightly say, a level of interest in the Skripals exceeded only by Peru…

OTOH, I can assure you that there are several labs in SA perfectly capable of producing "A234" - chemically speaking it is not M*A*G*I*C, just another organophosphate and not that difficult to synthesise, although its high toxicity makes it tricky to handle in more than microgram quantities.

Hint: There is a BSL-4 lab at the NICD in Jo'burg, one of about 100 world-wide

Mac :cool:

PS: Now if you want something really toxic, try dimethyl-mercury, as American research chemist Karen Wetterhahn discovered to her disadvantage. In 1997 she spilled one drop on her rubber-gloved hand. It passed through the glove instantly and she died 10 months later. :{

barry lloyd
3rd Apr 2018, 20:53
Espion? Is that a Russian term?

шпион (shpion) is the Russian word for spy.

racedo
3rd Apr 2018, 21:01
Probably as little as the chances of getting out alive to use the product?

If someone says make it and we won't execute your family in front of you............... what would you do ?

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 21:05
Probably as little as the chances of getting out alive to use the product?

So close to zero as to be not worth calculating.

I've seen the training needed to handle toxic material like this, and it makes something like setting up a meth lab look trivial by comparison, and we know how many of those blow up.

Just out of curiosity VP929, why do you include South Africa in your little list?

We have, as you rightly say, a level of interest in the Skripals exceeded only by Peru…

OTOH, I can assure you that there are several labs in SA perfectly capable of producing "A234" - chemically speaking it is not M*A*G*I*C, just another organophosphate and not that difficult to synthesise, although its high toxicity makes it tricky to handle in more than microgram quantities.

Hint: There is a BSL-4 lab at the NICD in Jo'burg, one of about 100 world-wide

Mac :cool:

The problem isn't synthesising and purifying the agent, other than there being very few people who know and understand this specific area of organophosphate chemistry, and fewer still who would be able to replicate A234, simply because there is very little public domain information about A232, and less about the specific ethyl analogue that is A234.

Having a containment lab isn't really an issue either, you don't need a cat 4 containment facility to make this stuff, you do need people with the same sort of handling skills, that aren't easy or quick to acquire.

The main issue is that labs that are capable of doing this sort of work are under pretty close scrutiny in the majority of the countries where they exist. The most probable covert facility to do this type of work may well be a lab that develops insecticides, but probably with elevated hazard controls in the area where the stuff is being synthesised, purified and analysed.

Then you have to have somewhere where the means of transport and delivery can be developed and refined, bearing in mind the agent, or it's precursors if it is being transported in binary form (which may well be likely in this specific case) will have to be transported across international borders.

SA could certainly make agents like this, technically, but apart from the lack of any motive, is it likely that there could have been the level of coordination needed between technical facilities and people, and the training of technically competent assassins?

Right now, whether the Russian supporters here like it or not, applying Occam's Razor to all the information we currently have, leads to the conclusion that an influential Russian was almost certainly behind this attack. It may not have been a state-sponsored operation though, whether or not it was is something we may never know.

Mac the Knife
3rd Apr 2018, 21:19
"SA could certainly make agents like this, technically, but apart from the lack of any motive, is it likely that there could have been the level of coordination needed between technical facilities and people, and the training of technically competent assassins?"

No. Point taken.

Mac

racedo
3rd Apr 2018, 21:23
So close to zero as to be not worth calculating.


The problem isn't synthesising and purifying the agent, other than there being very few people who know and understand this specific area of organophosphate chemistry, and fewer still who would be able to replicate A234, simply because there is very little public domain information about A232, and less about the specific ethyl analogue that is A234.

Having a containment lab isn't really an issue either, you don't need a cat 4 containment facility to make this stuff, you do need people with the same sort of handling skills, that aren't easy or quick to acquire.

The main issue is that labs that are capable of doing this sort of work are under pretty close scrutiny in the majority of the countries where they exist. The most probable covert facility to do this type of work may well be a lab that develops insecticides, but probably with elevated hazard controls in the area where the stuff is being synthesised, purified and analysed.



If you have the money............... anything is possible to acquire either by buying it or give a no refusal option to people. Harp project with Gerald Bull acquired almost eveything he wanted.

Israel's indicating 20 countrys who have this.............. not known them to release stuff like this unless they know and you can guarantee they do.

VP959
3rd Apr 2018, 21:36
If you have the money............... anything is possible to acquire either by buying it or give a no refusal option to people. Harp project with Gerald Bull acquired almost eveything he wanted.

Israel's indicating 20 countrys who have this.............. not known them to release stuff like this unless they know and you can guarantee they do.

Last time you made this point, I asked for evidence. So far I've seen none.

The problem here is complex, in that it means covertly bringing together a group of people with very different skills, having access to pretty expensive facilities, and carrying out this whole operation as a criminal activity across international borders.

Not least, they also need a strong motive, given the resources that they would need to commit, and inside knowledge of the way A232/A234 can be relatively safely synthesised, purified and analysed to check that what they've made is actually A234, or it's precursors if it has been made in binary form.

Finally you have to test it - I can't see anyone going to all the trouble to make this stuff without testing it to make sure it works - no one knows how A234 would work when delivered through the skin of the hands, AFAIK, as that is not a normal delivery mechanism - nerve agents are many times more effective when delivered to mucus membranes or inhaled, or better still injected.

Why are you so strongly motivated to discard and discredit the obvious, and seek to support the least probable perpetrators?

flash8
3rd Apr 2018, 21:40
However this transpires one thing is for sure, Boris Johnson is way too unstable to be this countries Chief Diplomat. He needs to go, as well as that kid defence secretary.

The lack of individuals with serious gravitas and professionalism (that both major parties had twenty years ago or so) seriously makes the UK look embarrassing.

They have to remember that players like Lavrov and Putin have been on the international scene decades and have considerable sophistication - certainly enough to run circles around the fools currently we have in play.

If the UK government want to play big boys games, as the SAS once said, they have to accept big boys rules.

KelvinD
3rd Apr 2018, 21:56
Here's a question: If a BMW car runs over and kills someone, do we automatically blame Germany and demand answers along the lines of those that were asked of Russia?

MFC_Fly
3rd Apr 2018, 22:12
Here's a question: If a BMW car runs over and kills someone, do we automatically blame Germany and demand answers along the lines of those that were asked of Russia?
If it is a one-off secret BMW and it runs over a German 'traitor', in the eyes of the German leadership, then yes :ok:

Sallyann1234
3rd Apr 2018, 22:20
Here's a question: If a BMW car runs over and kills someone, do we automatically blame Germany and demand answers along the lines of those that were asked of Russia?
How on earth can you compare a car produced and sold around the world by the million, with a specific toxin only known to be produced in one country?

galaxy flyer
3rd Apr 2018, 22:24
Because if someone had really wanted him dead there were easy ways to do this with a minimum of fuss and nobody would be the wiser.

BUT, those methods wouldn’t have the signature stating, “don’t cross me, don’t fight me, or I will kill you” like this method. It is about signaling with just enough doubt to prevent criminal prosecution but still let the message out. Read up on the mobs hits—same idea, no trace, but everyone knows who did it and why.

GF

Sallyann1234
3rd Apr 2018, 22:26
Because if someone had really wanted him dead there were easy ways to do this with a minimum of fuss and nobody would be the wiser.

Why do you assume they wanted a minimum of fuss and nobody to be the wiser?
If you want to send a message to others, this was just about an ideal method.

longer ron
3rd Apr 2018, 22:27
How on earth can you compare a car produced and sold around the world by the million, with a specific toxin only known to be produced in one country?

The posters who have a blind hatred for the tories and also the russobots seem to be working overtime again with all sorts of ludicrous conspiracy theories when in actual fact ( like all of us) they actually know fekk all about the subject.Thank the fictional Lord that we have VP on hand to try (probably in vain) to keep the thread within the realms of reality/probability :hmm:

WingNut60
3rd Apr 2018, 22:32
Why do you assume they wanted a minimum of fuss and nobody to be the wiser?
If you want to send a message to others, this was just about an ideal method.

If Skripal had been executed (or injured / incapacitated) by ANY method then those to whom the message was addressed would have got that message.

WingNut60
3rd Apr 2018, 22:44
Here's a big, hypothetical IF ... IF Russian government agencies were not active participants then there is certainly a high probability that there has been a serious security breach concerning their development / storage protocols.
And that should have, at the very least, invoked in a serious review of security at it's chem warfare labs?

Any evidence that that is happening?

flash8
3rd Apr 2018, 22:50
The posters who have a blind hatred for the tories and also the russobots seem to be working overtime again with all sorts of ludicrous conspiracy theories when in actual fact ( like all of us) they actually know fekk all about the subject.

I wouldn't be so sure of that.

TWT
3rd Apr 2018, 23:13
Obviously a lot of effort put into this attempted assassination.

I'm interested in the 'why him ,why now ?' answers

galaxy flyer
3rd Apr 2018, 23:18
If Skripal had been executed (or injured / incapacitated) by ANY method then those to whom the message was addressed would have got that message.

Well, hypothetically, if he had been stabbed to death in Salisbury (calling Inspector Morse); it wouldn’t have sent the message. It would be a crime stat, not an international incident.

GF

WingNut60
4th Apr 2018, 00:01
Well, hypothetically, if he had been stabbed to death in Salisbury (calling Inspector Morse); it wouldn’t have sent the message. It would be a crime stat, not an international incident.

GF

But it would be known by every state security operative in the world.
And they would know exactly who did it and why; as they do now.

galaxy flyer
4th Apr 2018, 00:54
But it would be known by every state security operative in the world.
And they would know exactly who did it and why; as they do now.

True, but it only intimidates those “in the know”; Putin wants everyone who might think of opposing him, committing what’s in his mind, treason intimidated. I just read The Corporation by T.J. English. The Cuban Mafia, over 35 years, behaved exactly as the Italian Mafia, the Irish Mafia and other gangs. It’s about ego, respect, control thru intimidation. You kill anyone who challenges your authority just once regardless of their history.

GF

grateful_pax
4th Apr 2018, 06:32
Well, hypothetically, if he had been stabbed to death in Salisbury (calling Inspector Morse); it wouldn’t have sent the message. It would be a crime stat, not an international incident.

GF

Agree. They killed 14+ people in the UK using 'classic' methods. All those assassinations end up as ordinary crimes.
IMO this is a mere demonstration that they CAN kill anyone anywhere.
Definitely they didn't want it to go under the radar.
Hypothetically, this could be a signal, say, to Manafort.
'Keep your mouth shut'.

ORAC
4th Apr 2018, 06:35
They have to remember that players like Lavrov and Putin have been on the international scene decades and have considerable sophistication That of a mafia capo.

VP959
4th Apr 2018, 07:50
Obviously a lot of effort put into this attempted assassination.

I'm interested in the 'why him ,why now ?' answers


I think the answer to that is most probably political, and intended, as others have said, to send a very loud message to others, who may or may not be in the UK.

Another point is that the Skripals were a soft target. AFAIK they had no active protection and were as vulnerable as any other normal UK citizen.

Someone with great wealth, living in a secure home, perhaps with bodyguards etc, may well have been a much more challenging target.

If the intention was to send a message to others, the choosing the Skripals was the easiest way to do it, especially given the already challenging problems that had to be overcome to deliver the chosen toxic agent.

Nige321
4th Apr 2018, 07:52
Just dropped back into the thread (couldn't resist) to say BoJo should be jailed for lying at unprecedented levels.

Governments narrative falling apart before our very eyes.

If you saw the Powerpoint they gave to our "partners" a week ago or so it looked like something tacked together by Sixth formers.. it was at this stage I realized we were led by utter idiots believing they were acting all grown up.

I know Russia.... they will go on the assault now... and it won't be pretty, they smell blood.

Did you see it? So YOU think this, yet a large number of countries accepted the evidence provided? I'm no fan of Europe, but I think I'd take their opinion over yours...:ugh:

Sallyann1234
4th Apr 2018, 08:49
It's quite remarkable how many people have popped up on here - and on every other form of social media - to suggest weird and wonderful alternatives for the guilty party.

The obvious perpetrator is staring us all in the face, and I believe deliberately so. They have done it before with polonium, have done it this time with their latest toxin, and will no doubt choose another refined method next time.

Andy_S
4th Apr 2018, 08:53
But it would be known by every state security operative in the world.
And they would know exactly who did it and why; as they do now.
But it wouldn’t, though. A conventional assassination could be misinterpreted as a burglary gone wrong, a hit and run etc. Even if it was clearly a professional ‘hit’ it could easily be ascribed to someone with a grudge rather than a state actor. The thing about the particular method used in Salisbury is that it sends out a very clear message where it originated from.

The other thing to consider, of course, is that if someone like Skripal feared assassination then there are certain precautions he could take; seeing if he was being followed, never taking the same route home, always making sure he had an escape route etc. It’s much harder to protect yourself against something as subtle as a contaminated door knob (for example).

pax britanica
4th Apr 2018, 09:13
Oh dear , is this Theresa Maybes Belgrano or dodgy dossier moment, I mean the timing is so so so convenient to get the attention of brexit while that descends into chaos amidst a potential global trade war that we will be swept aside by and the high street descends into ruin ?

Vlad may not be a nice guy (how many successful politicians are ) but he is not a complete idiot and remarks like , well we cannot prove it came from Russia but every intelligence operative in the world knows better . Well intelligence operatives are to say the least a rather varied breed and there seems little or no support for 'the West' from China Japan India Brazil etc all countries that are rather more important these days than individual European states and none of them seemed to have joined in the opportunity to take Putin down a peg.

Of course many countries have sided with us but that allows them to have a dig at Russia but the blame will always fall at our door and if we are wrong........

I think the term false flag operation (in reverse ) might apply to this one

longer ron
4th Apr 2018, 09:18
Trying to Score cheap political points is clouding your judgement/logic.

VP959
4th Apr 2018, 10:23
Oh dear , is this Theresa Maybes Belgrano or dodgy dossier moment, I mean the timing is so so so convenient to get the attention of brexit while that descends into chaos amidst a potential global trade war that we will be swept aside by and the high street descends into ruin ?

Vlad may not be a nice guy (how many successful politicians are ) but he is not a complete idiot and remarks like , well we cannot prove it came from Russia but every intelligence operative in the world knows better . Well intelligence operatives are to say the least a rather varied breed and there seems little or no support for 'the West' from China Japan India Brazil etc all countries that are rather more important these days than individual European states and none of them seemed to have joined in the opportunity to take Putin down a peg.

Of course many countries have sided with us but that allows them to have a dig at Russia but the blame will always fall at our door and if we are wrong........

I think the term false flag operation (in reverse ) might apply to this one

I doubt that either the Skripals or Sgt Nick Bailey would consider "the timing is so so so convenient" neither would all the dozens of businesses in Salisbury who have lost a great deal of money over the past month.

To suggest that our own government manufactured a known former Soviet chemical warfare agent, in direct contravention of the CWC with the most likely place that could have done it being under regular supervision by the OPCW, and staffed by ordinary honest, people, who have normal consciences like the rest of us, is so far beyond belief as to be laughable.

Does the British Government have a history of attempting to murder people on it's own soil using chemical weapons?

Has it ever been known to do so, other than one accidental death in the 1950's during a trial?

How on earth would the party in power in the British Government, which is already hanging on to power by a thread, get away with such a thing, given the other political parties are most likely looking at any possible way to undermine the party in power?

I can't quite get my head around why so many people seem to be going out of their way to look for extremely obscure and improbable perpetrators for this attack, given the weight of evidence that points towards someone from Russia. There are plenty of wealthy and influential people in Russia who may have had the access to the means, and most certainly the motive, to carry out this attack, and it may well be that it was not ordered by Vladimir Putin at all, but carried out by someone who could be sure that doing this would not cause displeasure within the Kremlin (and it seems pretty clear that it hasn't - the general view from there seems to be that traitors to Russia can expect to be exterminated).

WingNut60
4th Apr 2018, 10:44
But it wouldn’t, though. A conventional assassination could be misinterpreted as a burglary gone wrong, a hit and run etc.

Not by the group that I mentioned. Whether by A234 or the back of an axe, every member of that contingent would know about it within a day. And they'd know full well who the instigator would be.

Let's face it, any cryptic message is not aimed at the likes of us. It is aimed at a very specific audience.

pax britanica
4th Apr 2018, 10:52
Dont be ridiculous, never for a moment did I suggest that UK Gov was responsible for the attack just that they have fallen for something of a deception to try and blame it all on one person without proper rigorous analysis -eg asking Porton Down where the stuff came from ..

It would be like saying Maggie asked the Argies to send the Belgrano to the Falklands and then sank it or Blair sold the Iraqis WMDs .

i am just saying that with the rest of the news being bad its a convenient and oft repeated trick is to divert attention with some foreign affairs issue.

No government can be trusted and they have to be questioned and challenged and desperate governments especially so-and thats all I am doing pointing out it is very convenient for the PM not that the UK Gov actually did it - !!!!!!

Sallyann1234
4th Apr 2018, 10:54
Not by the group that I mentioned. Whether A234 or the back of an axe, every member of that contingent would know about it within a day. And they'd know full well who the instigator would be.
The very same logic applies to the murder of Litvinenko.
He could also have been quietly disposed of, instead of using the headline-grabbing polonium poisoning.
Or are you suggesting that was an MI5 job too?

WingNut60
4th Apr 2018, 11:19
The very same logic applies to the murder of Litvinenko.
He could also have been quietly disposed of, instead of using the headline-grabbing polonium poisoning.
Or are you suggesting that was an MI5 job too?

I don't recall ever suggesting any such thing.
But the polonium solution only became "headline-grabbing" once it was unearthed. Same for Georgi Markov.
I think (yes, just my opinion) that none of these cases was ever intended to be revealed publicly as high profile assassinations; they've just turned out that way.
The message is aimed at a very select audience. They don't need to tell the world.

I also subscribe to Occam's razor and concur with VP. Logic says that "the Russians" are behind it, but the details are very hazy. Who initiated it? Maybe Putin, maybe not.
Either way, I doubt that he's losing any sleep over it.

TURIN
4th Apr 2018, 11:48
The posters who have a blind hatred for the tories and also the russobots seem to be working overtime again with all sorts of ludicrous conspiracy theories when in actual fact ( like all of us) they actually know fekk all about the subject.Thank the fictional Lord that we have VP on hand to try (probably in vain) to keep the thread within the realms of reality/probability

Very true.
Being of a centre left persuassion myself, therefore many of my 'friends' are of a similar ilk, the nonsense being written on social media is depressing. So called Tory haters with no concept of how evidence is gathered and a conclusion drawn. Conspiracy theory nutters banging on about false flags and NWO .

cappt
4th Apr 2018, 14:22
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-03/russia-demands-uk-apologize-after-scientists-stunning-admission-about-skripal

Well after taking us to the brink the wizards of smart are deleting tweets and making denials. Walking it back?

pax britanica
4th Apr 2018, 15:03
I am not a conspiracy theory believer most of the time-obviously some items they do turn out to be true.
All I am saying is there was far too much rush to judgement here , no following of proper police procedure and a statement from experts (who in the UK apparently count for nothing) that they cannot llnk the alleged murder 'weapon' directly to Russia.

! Its a convenient time for the UK government

2 the Russians have apparently developed methods for meddling in the affairs of others as an alternative to military confrontation.

3. things like this are never simple and complexity and objectivity are never high on the list of the British media.

These questions should be properly addressed and not thrown out via the Daily Mail or Express who exist mostly to support one point of view in UK.

I remain of the view that in different circumstances this would have been handled without the headlines and hype.

Sallyann1234
4th Apr 2018, 15:15
I don't recall ever suggesting any such thing.
But the polonium solution only became "headline-grabbing" once it was unearthed. Same for Georgi Markov.
I think (yes, just my opinion) that none of these cases was ever intended to be revealed publicly as high profile assassinations; they've just turned out that way.
The message is aimed at a very select audience. They don't need to tell the world.
Then why go to the elaborate and dangerous lengths of using polonium and A234, if a discrete thump on the head would have done the same job?

pax britanica
4th Apr 2018, 15:29
Admittedly from the Indie but that is still a paper thats more objective than some of the right wing ones

Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading the public by wrongly claiming Porton Down experts had identified Russia as the source of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury poisoning.
The Foreign Secretary came under pressure as it emerged the Foreign Office also deleted a tweet stating that scientists had concluded the novichok used in the attack had been “produced in Russia”.
In fact, as the Porton Down chief executive acknowledged on Tuesday, the defence laboratory had been unable to pinpoint the “precise source” of the deadly agent.
The tweet – which the Foreign Office admitted did not “accurately” reflect the information it had received – was published on March 22.

VP959
4th Apr 2018, 15:39
Admittedly from the Indie but that is still a paper thats more objective than some of the right wing ones

Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading the public by wrongly claiming Porton Down experts had identified Russia as the source of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury poisoning.
The Foreign Secretary came under pressure as it emerged the Foreign Office also deleted a tweet stating that scientists had concluded the novichok used in the attack had been “produced in Russia”.

As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I think BJ was unwise to be so outspoken, especially as he confused scientific with political and intelligence views. Not at all clever from someone in his position, IMHO, but then he has got a bit of a habit of opening his mouth without engaging his brain.


In fact, as the Porton Down chief executive acknowledged on Tuesday, the defence laboratory had been unable to pinpoint the “precise source” of the deadly agent.


That is because there is no way in this specific case that any scientific establishment could give the origin of this substance, nor would they have ever been tasked to do so. They were tasked to identify the materiel, which it seems they did within a few days, and provide as much technical information about it as they knew, nothing more.

If they somehow obtained samples of agent from any suspected manufacturing facility they could compare the signature and try to determine if there was a match with the materiel recovered from the crime scene and victims, but as far as we know there have been no such samples obtained.

ShotOne
4th Apr 2018, 16:32
“..handled without the headlines or hype..”. Oh Yes, move along there, just another nerve-gassing nothing to see!
And to those here critical of Boris Johnson’s performance, let’s contrast it with that of Mr Lavrov. A stream of taunting derisive abuse, hilarious cartoons of poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Even if, and this is a monumental if, it was clear Russia was whiter than white his communications would stand out as undiplomatic and hostile

Krystal n chips
4th Apr 2018, 17:13
“..handled without the headlines or hype..”. Oh Yes, move along there, just another attempted murder nerve-gassing nothing to see!
And to those here critical of Boris Johnson’s performance, let’s contrast it with that of Mr Lavrov. A stream of taunting derisive abuse, hilarious cartoons of poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Even if, and this is a monumental if, it was clear Russia was whiter than white his communications would stand out as undiplomatic and hostile

Good idea, the bit about contrasting that is....

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/04/skripal-poisoning-deleted-foreign-office-tweet-leads-to-awkward-questions

Personally, with regard to the propaganda and rhetoric exchanges, I think it's fair to say the Russians are well ahead on points, albeit with our current Gov't it's not really a contest in this respect.

'm sure I also heard earlier that some of the supportive nations are now asking for more detailed answers to verify the claims.

ORAC
4th Apr 2018, 17:22
Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading the public by wrongly claiming Porton Down experts had identified Russia as the source of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury poisoning. He has indeed been accused.

But the funny thing is, Sky - who interviewed the head of Porton Down - have been playing back and watching the interview Boris gave - and he didn’t say that.

Boris was asked a two part question, the first half being was the agent novichok, the second part being was Russia responsible. His, very carefully worded, response that Porton Down was emphatic it was could be read as solely applying to the first part of the question - which of course is the only part they are responsible for identifying. The assumption that his statement applied to the second question was just that - an assumption.

The art of politician - and a diplomat - is to say one thing but be assumed to be saying another. It looks like Boris is far cleverer than many would like to admit.

Of note, the deleted text referred to a mangled and incorrect real-time quote from the British ambassador’s door step speech after visiting the Moscow foreign office. Nothing to do with Boris, May or any statement by a minister.

Jetex_Jim
4th Apr 2018, 17:45
Except this seems not to be about what Johnson said but what was put on Twitter by the FO. And has now been deleted.


https://twitter.com/RussianEmbassy/status/981495510753300486

Stan Woolley
4th Apr 2018, 17:47
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk

cappt
4th Apr 2018, 17:50
He has indeed been accused.

But the funny thing is, Sky - who interviewed the head of Porton Down - have been playing back and watching the interview Boris gave - and he didn’t say that.

Boris was asked a two part question, the first half being was the agent novichok, the second part being was Russia responsible. His, very carefully worded, response that Porton Down was emphatic it was could be read as solely applying to the first part of the question - which of course is the only part they are responsible for identifying. The assumption that his statement applied to the second question was just that - an assumption.

The art of politician - and a diplomat - is to say one thing but be assumed to be saying another. It looks like Boris is far cleverer than many would like to admit.

Of note, the deleted text referred to a mangled and incorrect real-time quote from the British ambassador’s door step speech after visiting the Moscow foreign office. Nothing to do with Boris, May or any statement by a minister.

B.S.
May and Johnson own this and they better make good on it after all the hubris.

Just a spotter
4th Apr 2018, 17:59
Having watched Boris Johnson’s interview with DW, [here: http://www.dw.com/en/boris-johnson-russias-position-in-skripal-case-is-increasingly-bizarre/av-43044378 ] he is pesented a direct position,
“Mr. Johnson, you argue that the source of the nerve agent is Russia.”

In his reply he mentions Russia twice in his answer (thrice if you include mention of his visit to Moscow) before saying,
“when I look at the evidence, the people from from Porton Down … they were absolutely categorical, I asked the guy myself, I said ‘are you sure?’ and he said ‘there’s no doubt’.”
and then he mentions Russia again after that.

At a stretch, one can argue he did not say “It was Russia what did it”, but he very, very strongly intimates it by the linkage in his sentence and leads us to believe that staff from Porton Down convinced him of Russia being the source of the substance.

I’m not suggesting Russia didn’t do it. It’s quite possible the UK is correct. However, it’s also looking like the UK may have jumped the gun and has marched its friends up a hill and to diplomatic sanctions by claiming concrete evidence which may now look to be not quite so firm.

At the risk of going off topic and stumbling into the territory of an already closed thread, my suspicion is that if this does turn out have been, to borrow a phrase from a previous UK incident, “sexed up”, then the EU for one won’t be overly happy with the UK and that may very well have repercussions in the current negotiations.


JAS

Effluent Man
4th Apr 2018, 18:03
I just have a sneaking suspicion that those of us who counselled caution may yet be proven correct. It looks like our government jumped the gun.

Chronus
4th Apr 2018, 18:21
Espion? Is that a Russian term?

No, it is borrowed from the French. It better describes the contemptous work such lothsome people do. Spy or agent has, since the advent of fictional characters such as James Bond, become a heroic falsity of their dishonourable and discusting role.

VP959
4th Apr 2018, 18:54
Having watched Boris Johnson’s interview with DW, [here: Boris Johnson: Russia?s position in Skripal case is increasingly bizarre | All media content | DW | 20.03.2018 (http://www.dw.com/en/boris-johnson-russias-position-in-skripal-case-is-increasingly-bizarre/av-43044378) ] he is pesented a direct position,
“Mr. Johnson, you argue that the source of the nerve agent is Russia.”

In his reply he mentions Russia twice in his answer (thrice if you include mention of his visit to Moscow) before saying,
“when I look at the evidence, the people from from Porton Down … they were absolutely categorical, I asked the guy myself, I said ‘are you sure?’ and he said ‘there’s no doubt’.”
and then he mentions Russia again after that.

At a stretch, one can argue he did not say “It was Russia what did it”, but he very, very strongly intimates it by the linkage in his sentence and leads us to believe that staff from Porton Down convinced him of Russia being the source of the substance.

I’m not suggesting Russia didn’t do it. It’s quite possible the UK is correct. However, it’s also looking like the UK may have jumped the gun and has marched its friends up a hill and to diplomatic sanctions by claiming concrete evidence which may now look to be not quite so firm.

At the risk of going off topic and stumbling into the territory of an already closed thread, my suspicion is that if this does turn out have been, to borrow a phrase from a previous UK incident, “sexed up”, then the EU for one won’t be overly happy with the UK and that may very well have repercussions in the current negotiations.


JAS

Boris Johnson is a prat, IMHO, but in this specific case the questions he asked of Porton, and which were answered carefully and accurately, I'm sure, were specifically about the agent. He apparently asked if they were sure what the agent was, and that was confirmed, and he also asked some detail about who had developed it, I believe, and was told that it was developed by Russia as a part of their novichok programme during the Soviet era. He was also told that the agent was developed for military use, which has been distorted a bit into "military grade" by the media (and probably BJ too). That was the full extent of the information given to him by Porton, as they would not have had any information that they couldn't have derived from analysing the samples and knowing the development history of this series of agents from the 1970's and 80's.

I've no doubt he was briefed by the intelligence agencies too, and they may well have told him what they know about how we came to know of this agent and the background to it's development. It's entirely possible that there may be classified information he, and others, were made privy to that may have convinced him (and others) of most probable origin of the agent used in this attack, although I've not seen any evidence in the public domain that proves this at all.

Chronus
4th Apr 2018, 18:59
The biggest problem now is the government is in an irretractable position. Truth is of no importance whatsoever, avoidance of political fall out is all that matters. I would guess in due course a committee of enquiry will be appointed to pacify the opposition and other fussy nations, and in a couple of years or so when all the heat has died down and there are more pressing matters at hand, it will publish a document which no one will bother to read past its title, as it will not have reached any conclusion whatsoever and we will become once again good tovariches and mates, with their Oligarchs over here in London buying the odd apartment or two and an antique or painting or two, with our lot over in St Petersburg tanking up on cheap woodka, buying a fur hat or two sporting a hammer and sickle emblem, a bunch of nesting baboushka dolls and gawking at winter palaces, monuments and things alike. Not forgetting all the iphone photos and social media chit chat of "wish you were here".

G-CPTN
4th Apr 2018, 19:01
Moscow bid for joint poisoning inquiry fails at OPCW (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43648343).

racedo
4th Apr 2018, 19:09
BUT, those methods wouldn’t have the signature stating, “don’t cross me, don’t fight me, or I will kill you” like this method. It is about signaling with just enough doubt to prevent criminal prosecution but still let the message out. Read up on the mobs hits—same idea, no trace, but everyone knows who did it and why.

GF

Russia, Germany, france etc do NOT extradite their citizens, this is not new so why would a Criminal prosecution ensue ?

racedo
4th Apr 2018, 19:11
Obviously a lot of effort put into this attempted assassination.

I'm interested in the 'why him ,why now ?' answers

Exactly....................... anything of use had long since been picked from his brains.

racedo
4th Apr 2018, 19:13
True, but it only intimidates those “in the know”; Putin wants everyone who might think of opposing him, committing what’s in his mind, treason intimidated. I just read The Corporation by T.J. English. The Cuban Mafia, over 35 years, behaved exactly as the Italian Mafia, the Irish Mafia and other gangs. It’s about ego, respect, control thru intimidation. You kill anyone who challenges your authority just once regardless of their history.

GF

You don't have an answer to the question .............. why now, he has nothing now of value to Russia.

racedo
4th Apr 2018, 19:16
Someone with great wealth, living in a secure home, perhaps with bodyguards etc, may well have been a much more challenging target.

.


Hardly as easier to buy off bodyguards, frig alarms etc. After all we are led to believe it was by a crack well trained team of assassins.

Effluent Man
4th Apr 2018, 19:26
Oh what a tangled web Boris is weaving!

topradio
4th Apr 2018, 19:33
Then why go to the elaborate and dangerous lengths of using polonium and A234, if a discrete thump on the head would have done the same job?



Because this attack wasn't just intended to send a message to those around the world that might be in fear of reprisals by the homeland. It was intended as a signal to all of us that Russia is a powerful enemy and has the ability to attack anybody anywhere with the most vile weapons so far developed. The underlying message is that we can kill you slowly and painfully. In this way it was an act of terrorism in the very definition of the word.


BTW, has anybody else noticed that the Russian bots turn up one after another. Like they have just moved on from trolling another site.

Effluent Man
4th Apr 2018, 19:39
Feeling insecure are we? British government outmanoeuvred by Corbyn, who saw that coming?

KelvinD
4th Apr 2018, 19:53
Larov's comments may appear to be hostile. That is a case of "you get as good as you give".
As for Boris "misleading" the British public, why can we not use the less diplomatic and more factual term "lying to the British public". See the interview with the German TV station for evidence.

VP959
4th Apr 2018, 20:01
It does seem clear that there are a lot of misleading stories being pedalled around via social media and being picked up by mainstream media that are influencing some who support Russia, no matter what the powerful people within that country do.

The interesting thing is how influential those misleading stories are, they are clearly effective enough to have even mislead some posting here. I've tried to disprove the elements of those stories I know to be dubious, or just plain wrong, on here, yet still the misleading stories get the oxygen of publicity.

If nothing else, this shows just how powerful social media can be, and how gullible people are when it come to stories that emanate from there, which is, itself, interesting. It seems to be an extension of the faith people put in gossip, over verifiable truth.

Shandy52
4th Apr 2018, 20:09
Except this seems not to be about what Johnson said but what was put on Twitter by the FO. And has now been deleted.

Am I the only one puzzled by the grammar of this purported tweet? Is has features which don't seem to me to be characteristic of native English writing. One is "made clear" rather than "made it clear". The other is the absence of the indefinite article in the last sentence. The latter, in particular, is a feature of Russian grammar.

ORAC
4th Apr 2018, 20:10
As for Boris "misleading" the British public, why can we not use the less diplomatic and more factual term "lying to the British public". See the interview with the German TV station for evidence.

But as shown above - he did not lie.

Effluent Man
4th Apr 2018, 20:10
Or alternately, how gullible they are when they emanate from clowns like Boris. And it's peddled btw unless you are riding a bike.

ShotOne
4th Apr 2018, 20:19
Why are so many here conducting a hair-splitting analysis of the scientific wording while the outrageous Russian statements accusing the U.K. of nerve-gassing ourselves are seemingly above scrutiny?

Effluent Man
4th Apr 2018, 20:23
Quite simple. It potentially gives the lie to the whole story. It now seems that the science falls far short of the convincing evidence that we have been assured existed for the past month.

ORAC
4th Apr 2018, 20:28
Really? How?

racedo
4th Apr 2018, 20:35
BTW, has anybody else noticed that the Russian bots turn up one after another. Like they have just moved on from trolling another site.

Strangely enough most of the regular posters on here are actually regular posters on Jet Blast...............

Unlike yourself with 1 post in Jan, 2 in March and 1 in April now accusing people of just turning up to post.....

petard hoisted own by your ............. rearrange.

racedo
4th Apr 2018, 20:37
Am I the only one puzzled by the grammar of this purported tweet? Is has features which don't seem to me to be characteristic of native English writing. One is "made clear" rather than "made it clear". The other is the absence of the indefinite article in the last sentence. The latter, in particular, is a feature of Russian grammar.

Strange don't notice Foreign office claiming false tweets made by someone else.

TEEEJ
4th Apr 2018, 20:41
Exactly....................... anything of use had long since been picked from his brains.

Was it simply a case of unfinished business? Skripal was sentenced and imprisoned when Putin was President. President Medvedev pardoned him and he became part of the spy swap during 2010. Did the Russians subsequently find out that his treachery was greater than what he was initially convicted of? Was it too much for Putin or a rogue element of the security and intelligence services to let go?

Effluent Man
4th Apr 2018, 20:42
Some straw clutching going on by the Boris apologists. I used to think that he was a clever guy posing as a buffoon. I just got it the wrong way round.

flash8
4th Apr 2018, 20:42
I don't think this was the British responsible, unless there truly is a deep state, due to the fact that "folk are folk" and that it would just be a matter of time before somebody with a conscience (or developed one) would leak incriminating evidence.

However "Highly likely" is a very subjective phrase, and dare I say coming out of Boris's mouth it becomes even less credible. As for the boy of a Defence secretary, he already is a subject of amusement and lack of credibility, also note the Home Sec Amber Rudd is keeping a VERY low profile... she is certainly hedging her bets.

The evidence presented to the foreign states on Russian culpability consisted apparently of a six Page Power-point (leaked online) that frankly looked likes something resembling a sixth-form project, complete with tacky pictures. That Yulia Skripal is conscious, and talking, but still it seems being "hidden" from public view can only fuel speculation that she is being coached before being "released" to public view, and by people who wish to to deliver a specific narrative.

If she went straight to the Russian embassy and held a press conference stating something other than what the British authorities want to hear, dare I say this could even threaten the Government. They'll never allow this of course, so it'll be interesting how they twist this one.

Whatever you feel, Boris is an utter liability to the nation.

Shandy52
4th Apr 2018, 20:44
Strange don't notice Foreign office claiming false tweets made by someone else.

Can't disagree. It's a puzzle. Let's see if anything comes of it.

topradio
4th Apr 2018, 21:02
Strangely enough most of the regular posters on here are actually regular posters on Jet Blast...............

Unlike yourself with 1 post in Jan, 2 in March and 1 in April now accusing people of just turning up to post.....

petard hoisted own by your ............. rearrange.


I'm sorry did you think my post was aimed at you? Oh well if the cap fits.

Smooth Airperator
4th Apr 2018, 21:05
I used to think that he was a clever guy posing as a buffoon. I just got it the wrong way round. Absolutely. Lost count of the number of people I've heard say 'the guy is clever just looks stupid'. Always looked like a two faced, lying, cheating sh*t to me.

He’s fathered a love child and had three affairs, but the British public still loves Boris Johnson (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/he-s-fathered-a-love-child-and-had-three-affairs-but-the-british-public-still-loves-boris-johnson-8636709.html)

racedo
4th Apr 2018, 22:06
I'm sorry did you think my post was aimed at you? Oh well if the cap fits.

Nope but as you have never been a regular on here, then claiming people are just turning up seems kinda strange. That is what you have done with zero posting on the subject or pretty much anything else really.

When you try and call someone out............... have something to do it with.

ShotOne
4th Apr 2018, 22:09
What has your dislike of Boris Johnson to do with the murderous nerve-gas attack on our country?

Same question actually for Jeremy Corbyn who tells us Boris has questions to answer -but no one in Russia, the sole remotely credible suspect, has to answer anything.

racedo
4th Apr 2018, 22:11
What has your dislike of Boris Johnson to do with the murderous nerve-gas attack on our country?



Who died ?


Same question actually for Jeremy Corbyn who tells us Boris has questions to answer -but no one in Russia, the sole remotely credible suspect, has to answer anything.

As a good cop would say, when it all looks pat and every loose end looks neatly packaged for you to find................... worry and investigate.

flash8
4th Apr 2018, 22:16
The Russians may or may not have questions to answer.

Diplomatic gravitas has kept Nuclear states away from full-on war for many decades, Johnson shoots his mouth off (and this from the ex-UK Ambassador to Moscow) to the point that Russia has stated, yes stated, that this is edging towards war, as "diplomatic norms" seem to have been abandoned on the Western side. He is like a monkey with a hand grenade. Not only that arguably he has lied, as has his department.

Frankly the poisoning (and the murkiness that surrounds it) is insignificant in contrast to what could happen. And Johnson seems to enjoy pushing Russia to the edge, based on a narrative that (to be charitable) is weak on evidence and high on supposition.

I want to sleep at night knowing I will wake up in the morning.

KelvinD
4th Apr 2018, 22:32
I will say it again: Boris lied. Just watch the German TV clip.
As for the tweet containing clumsy English, read the FO's response, including their reason for deleting it. They can't delete someone else's tweet, can they?

WingNut60
4th Apr 2018, 22:52
Originally Posted by Sallyann1234 Then why go to the elaborate and dangerous lengths of using polonium and A234, if a discrete thump on the head would have done the same job?

Because this attack wasn't just intended to send a message to those around the world that might be in fear of reprisals by the homeland. It was intended as a signal to all of us that Russia is a powerful enemy and has the ability to attack anybody anywhere with the most vile weapons so far developed. The underlying message is that we can kill you slowly and painfully. In this way it was an act of terrorism in the very definition of the word.

They use these obscure tactics in the hope that they will NOT be detected and will NOT attract public attention.
They are focused on the target and if sending a message then it is intended for a very select market, and they will get the message regardless.

Can't hep but think that somewhere (in Russia?) there is a group in a bar raising a glass and saying "Alexander Petrovich said he was going to get the bastard, and he did. Ну.... Давай!"


BTW, has anybody else noticed that the Russian bots turn up one after another. Like they have just moved on from trolling another site.Nope, not really.
But I suspect from your vehemence that you think anyone with a more skeptical outlook than you is just another "red under the bed".

galaxy flyer
4th Apr 2018, 22:55
yes stated, that this is edging towards war, as "diplomatic norms" seem to have been abandoned on the Western side.

Every reasonable analysis of means, motive and opportunity points to a Russian assassination, but the West is abandoning diplomatic norms. Un-fxxxing-believable, but that’s the big lie for ya.

GF

flash8
5th Apr 2018, 00:42
Britain’s behavior in the Skripal poisoning scandal is “a major danger to international peace,” believes Willy Wimmer, who held the vp position with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) assembly from 1994 to 2000, and who had previously served as state secretary to Germany’s defense minister.

Oh dear, now former OSCE senior management feels the need to comment, and as expected the UK does not come out of it well.

Jetex_Jim
5th Apr 2018, 02:06
Some straw clutching going on by the Boris apologists. I used to think that he was a clever guy posing as a buffoon. I just got it the wrong way round.

Yes, there are a few Boris Johnson apologists around. Mind you, before all this started Jet Blast had a few Putin apologists. They seem to be keeping a low profile right now.