PDA

View Full Version : Sergei Skripal


Pages : 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

ORAC
5th Apr 2018, 05:03
It seem the furore is forcing the intelligence services to reveal what they know. We can only hope it does not endanger their sources.

In the meantime, in yet another revelation, the Kremlin raises the question of the dog that did not bark - or rather the Skripal pet cats. Russian Blues perhaps.....

UK locates source of novichok nerve agent used in Salisbury (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-locates-source-of-salisbury-nerve-agent-nx8p39kqv)

Security services believe that they have pinpointed the location of the covert Russian laboratory that manufactured the weapons-grade nerve agent used in Salisbury, The Times has learnt.

Ministers and security officials were able to identify the source using scientific analysis and intelligence in the days after the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal a month ago, according to security sources. Britain knew about the existence of the facility where the novichok poison was made before the attack on March 4, it is understood.....

Yesterday Russia lost a vote 15-6 at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague seeking a joint investigation into the poisoning. China, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Algeria and Iran backed the motion, according to diplomatic sources.

Russia has demanded a UN security council meeting be convened today to discuss Britain’s accusations. John Foggo, acting British envoy to the OPCW, called Russia’s attempts to blame Britain for the attack “shameless, preposterous statements”. Dan Coats, the US national intelligence director, told reporters to “stay tuned” for further retaliatory measures.

Russia suggested yesterday that a lack of information about Mr Skripal’s pets — he is believed to have had two cats and two guinea pigs — could be regarded as suspicious and that they could provide clues to the poisoning.

https://youtu.be/Ny-Lko5lO-0

VP959
5th Apr 2018, 06:59
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!"

I share that view.

There are plenty of people in Russia who hate traitors, and the murdering of traitors in other countries is specifically permitted by a law passed not long before Alexander Litvinenko's murder.

Worth remembering that democracy in Russia is non-existent and that the country has been run by a few very wealthy people who support Putin for years. In return he not only tries to give Russians back their pride in their country, but allows these very wealthy people to pretty much do as they wish, as long as they don't do something he disagrees with.

I doubt the Russian state ordered this attack; it's turned out to be too much of a diplomatic nuisance for them. However I wouldn't mind betting that whoever did organise it didn't get any opposition from the state, and may well have had covert assistance.

Visible small scale corruption in Russia may well have diminished in recent years, but large scale corruption is normal business. Russia is far from alone in working like this, there are other countries, some well-respected by the West, where the giving of generous gifts in return for contracts is part of normal business.

ShotOne
5th Apr 2018, 07:33
Amusing to note a former OSCE flunkey popping in his tuppence-worth that UK protests in this are “dangerous”... But deploying nerve gas in a residential area isn’t? OSCE aims include fair elections human rights and press freedom yet Mr Willy appears to have nothing to say on those with respect to current Russian behaviour

Nige321
5th Apr 2018, 07:35
Oh dear, now former OSCE senior management feels the need to comment, and as expected the UK does not come out of it well.

And as expected, you're very selective with who you quote.
I'd call it scraping the barrel...

How about the EU?
At The Hague on Wednesday, the European Union offered its full support to Britain and reiterated that it backed the UK's assessment that it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible.

Jack D
5th Apr 2018, 07:37
I fail to understand why some posters feel they should be privy to sensitive intelligence information from the outset .. do they have the necessary clearance or knowledge ? The answer is no of course they don’t !
So did Boris lie ? Probably not, was he too quick to point the finger eastwards, also probably not; would it have been wiser to wait, who knows ?. I think we are fortunate that at least some information has been shared with the general public , more to come no doubt .

Effluent Man
5th Apr 2018, 08:11
I think those of us who lived through The Cold War would justify our stance by quoting some of the many occasions when we were fed disinformation. For example Gary Powers U2 was nowhere near Soviet airspace and Greville Wynne was an innocent businessman.

Those who try to portray us as Putin puppets have merely swallowed the government line, hook and sinker too. I am not saying that Russia didn't do it, just that the proof isn't there in a sufficient amount to make the case watertight. And if by any chance we have this wrong then the potential damage caused by politicians shooting from the hip is immense. There exists here the possibility of a six egg omelette spread over our face.

topradio
5th Apr 2018, 08:28
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.


Despite your denial it seems that the cap does indeed fit.


My point as you choose to ignore was not about newbies but rather regular posters who all arrive at the same time on the thread, perhaps its to do with time zones.

Jack D
5th Apr 2018, 08:31
Some very good points, but maybe the proof is there, maybe not yet released, I don’t know . The true Gary Powers and Wynn stories all were made public ( finally ) I do agree that disinformation is commonly spread by both governments and business concerns in their own interests .

VP959
5th Apr 2018, 08:38
I think those of us who lived through The Cold War would justify our stance by quoting some of the many occasions when we were fed disinformation. For example Gary Powers U2 was nowhere near Soviet airspace and Greville Wynne was an innocent businessman.

Those who try to portray us as Putin puppets have merely swallowed the government line, hook and sinker too. I am not saying that Russia didn't do it, just that the proof isn't there in a sufficient amount to make the case watertight. And if by any chance we have this wrong then the potential damage caused by politicians shooting from the hip is immense. There exists here the possibility of a six egg omelette spread over our face.


If not Russia then which other state had the means and the motive to carry out this attack?

There is a wealth of circumstantial evidence that very strongly points to involvement by someone from Russia, who had access to specialised facilities and possibly Russian materiel. Who else had access to those, had the motive to carry out an attack on British soil, that could easily have killed or injured many more than it did, and who would want to put Russia in the frame for it?

So far some have been quick to condemn the UK position, yet I've not yet heard a shred of possible evidence that supports any theory that the attacker(s) were from an any other state.

If someone comes up with a credible alternative, backed by evidence that is at least as compelling as that which we already know (ignoring the political spin), then I'm sure I'm far from being alone in wanting to hear it.

Effluent Man
5th Apr 2018, 08:41
If the CPS took a case to court and then presented no real evidence but merely said that in their opinion nobody else could have done it, added to which the police had previous in attempting to fit up the accused how do you think a jury might react?

And now I note it is "Someone from Russia". I think there are numerous other possibilities. We just don't know enough to come to a firm conclusion. Although the Powers/Wynn stories were eventually made public this was years after. It does seem as if Russia is being asked to prove their innocence here.

Sallyann1234
5th Apr 2018, 08:49
They use these obscure tactics in the hope that they will NOT be detected and will NOT attract public attention.
Well if that is the intention, they are doing a lousy job.
Markov, Litvinenko, Skripal.
All attacked with highly sophisticated chemical methods, and all promptly detected by our scientific investigators.
In contrast, the Russian who was strangled (?) in his house in New Malden a few days after the Salisbury attack has slipped beneath the radar.

So why use the complex, risky, and finger-pointing methods of killing off the traitors?
I refer you to the reason given for climbing Everest.

VP959
5th Apr 2018, 08:55
If the CPS took a case to court and then presented no real evidence but merely said that in their opinion nobody else could have done it, added to which the police had previous in attempting to fit up the accused how do you think a jury might react?

And now I note it is "Someone from Russia". I think there are numerous other possibilities. We just don't know enough to come to a firm conclusion. Although the Powers/Wynn stories were eventually made public this was years after. It does seem as if Russia is being asked to prove their innocence here.

This thread contains a fair bit of demonstrable evidence as to who was attacked, their background, the chemical agent used, the state that developed it, the reasons that state developed it, a motive for someone from that state to carry it out and a possible method of deployment.

All I'm asking is that if you genuinely believe that there are attacker(s) from another state, or states, that instead of just dismissing that which we know, you, and the others of like mind, provide credible evidence to support that view.

This has nothing to do with the CPS at all yet, it's an ongoing information where we have not yet been given the identity, or identities, of the attacker(s), even if they are known, or suspected.

I'd be the first to be critical of our politicians, but ignoring the politics, where is the evidence for this being carried out by someone from another state, and point us to where we might find sources to verify it.

ATNotts
5th Apr 2018, 09:02
I think those of us who lived through The Cold War would justify our stance by quoting some of the many occasions when we were fed disinformation. For example Gary Powers U2 was nowhere near Soviet airspace and Greville Wynne was an innocent businessman.

Those who try to portray us as Putin puppets have merely swallowed the government line, hook and sinker too. I am not saying that Russia didn't do it, just that the proof isn't there in a sufficient amount to make the case watertight. And if by any chance we have this wrong then the potential damage caused by politicians shooting from the hip is immense. There exists here the possibility of a six egg omelette spread over our face.

The government in cahoots with the media are leading us by the nose towards acquiescing in a plan to first divert public attention away from the Brexit negotiations, which they have done very successfully, and also to do what the FO and MoD have wanted since 1990 - a return to a "cold war" so that they have an easily identifiable "enemy" for us "the public" to focus on.

All that said, the perpetrators, presumably Russia, either in the person of the state, or persons working on the fringes of the state have made it pretty easy to achieve these goals.

Personally, I'm not at all sure that the daughter isn't at least culpable in some way for what has happened. The Russian state, so far as we know, had no reason to want to bump her off, but she is the one person who could get close enough to her father to do the deed. He dies within days (hours) of her arrival. I think it is entirely possible that her handlers could have given her the nerve agent without being totally honest as to what is was and how it works, possibly even just how lethal it was, let alone that it could have damaged her.

I doubt we will find out the ins and outs for at least 30 years, possibly 50, perhaps never, but given the demographic of this forum I somehow doubt many of us will be around to find out "the truth". Both sides, I feel sure, are in some way or another being economical with the truth, and I consider it very foolish to believe everything that we are being fed, either from HMG, nor from the Kremlin.

Effluent Man
5th Apr 2018, 09:10
This thread contains a fair bit of demonstrable evidence as to who was attacked, their background, the chemical agent used, the state that developed it, the reasons that state developed it, a motive for someone from that state to carry it out and a possible method of deployment.

All I'm asking is that if you genuinely believe that there are attacker(s) from another state, or states, that instead of just dismissing that which we know, you, and the others of like mind, provide credible evidence to support that view.

This has nothing to do with the CPS at all yet, it's an ongoing information where we have not yet been given the identity, or identities, of the attacker(s), even if they are known, or suspected.

I'd be the first to be critical of our politicians, but ignoring the politics, where is the evidence for this being carried out by someone from another state, and point us to where we might find sources to verify it.

But in my view the evidence, whilst credible is a long way from conclusive. It's not for the accused to come up with evidence that somebody else did it, that just isn't how the system works. I'm not denying that credible circumstantial evidence exists, just that it's that, circumstantial. It's a long way from proving the case and yet Boris in particular seems hell bent on charging the prime suspect. I am in no way a conspiracy theorist or alleging that our government had anything to do with the attack.

It seems to me far more likely that this has occurred at a point where the government is mired in a slough of despond by that which dare not speak it's name and this is a welcome bit of light relief. They are like a boxer pinned on the ropes and then the bell rings to give them a bit of a breather.

vapilot2004
5th Apr 2018, 09:22
Russia seeks to discredit UK with special meeting of UN security council - The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/04/russia-looks-to-discredit-uk-with-special-meeting-of-un-security-council)

An emboldened Russia will on Thursday attempt to discredit Britain’s international reputation at the UN after a series of blunders by Boris Johnson and the Foreign Office led to accusations that the UK had overstated its case that Russia was responsible for the nerve agent attack on the former spy Sergei Skripal.

Although the carefully crafted international alliance in support of the UK has held together despite Russian pressure, ministers were forced to backtrack from a claim by the foreign secretary that the UK’s chemical weapons watchdog had told him Russia was definitely responsible for the attack.

In a statement on Tuesday the chief executive of the government chemical weapons experts at Porton Down said its tests had shown the sample was of a military-grade nerve agent from the novichok family, but it was not possible to say whether it was of Russian origin.

In an effort to press home its diplomatic advantage, and prevent Vladimir Putin acquiring a near pariah status, Russia announced it had convened a special meeting of the UN security council on Thursday at which it would challenge a letter previously sent to the UN by Theresa May that asserted that Russia was likely to have been responsible for the attack.

During a visit to Turkey, Putin called for a thorough investigation into the poisoning, saying “the speed at which the anti-Russian campaign has been launched causes bewilderment”.

Britain’s embarrassment has largely been caused by Johnson during an interview with the broadcaster Deutsche Welle on 20 March during which he said he had been told by Porton Down that they were categorical that Russia was responsible for the attack.

ORAC
5th Apr 2018, 09:23
Except it’s not a trial, is it? It’s public accusations in the international arena and sanctions by international states.

A large number of those protesting about the lack of “evidence” are the same ones who accuse Trump and/or the CIA of crimes and insist on sanctions against states with which they disagree such as Israel or Saudi Arabia without trial....

VP959
5th Apr 2018, 09:24
But in my view the evidence, whilst credible is a long way from conclusive. It's not for the accused to come up with evidence that somebody else did it, that just isn't how the system works. I'm not denying that credible circumstantial evidence exists, just that it's that, circumstantial. It's a long way from proving the case and yet Boris in particular seems hell bent on charging the prime suspect. I am in no way a conspiracy theorist or alleging that our government had anything to do with the attack.

It seems to me far more likely that this has occurred at a point where the government is mired in a slough of despond by that which dare not speak it's name and this is a welcome bit of light relief. They are like a boxer pinned on the ropes and then the bell rings to give them a bit of a breather.

Circumstantial evidence alone can be used to convict someone in the UK, provided it carries enough weight to convince a jury. I'd go so far as to say that there are many convictions here that have been made on the basis of the weight of circumstantial evidence alone, and have not been found to be unsound.

I'll repeat once more, if one of those here who is sure that Russia, or a person from Russia, was not involved in this attack, then suggest a credible alternative and provide evidence that is at least equal in weight to that we have at present.

So far I've not seen or heard of a shred of evidence that so much as suggests that a person from any other state could be involved, but I'd be more than willing to look openly at any such evidence if anyone has any.

The Nip
5th Apr 2018, 09:39
ATNotts,

The government in cahoots with the media are leading us by the nose towards acquiescing in a plan to first divert public attention away from the Brexit negotiations,

So this is all the fault of BREXIT. ������.

ATNotts
5th Apr 2018, 09:46
ATNotts,

The government in cahoots with the media are leading us by the nose towards acquiescing in a plan to first divert public attention away from the Brexit negotiations,

So this is all the fault of BREXIT. ������.

No, not at all, but it has been convenient in pushing the negotiations off the front page, not just in UK but across much of Europe. And as I said, it's more fortunate than orchestrated. It would have been hard to engineer anything anything like as effective.

It's been skillful news management.

VP959
5th Apr 2018, 12:44
This makes interesting reading: Russian TV airs 'Yulia Skripal phone call' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43652574)

There's one section that doesn't make sense to me at all, this exchange:

Alleged Yulia: I think no, there is such a situation now, we'll sort it out later.

Viktoria: I know it, I know it all.

Alleged Yulia: Later, we will get it sorted later, everything's fine, we'll see later.

Viktoria: Is it your phone?

Alleged Yulia: It is a temporary phone. Everything is fine, but we'll see how it goes, we'll decide later. You know what the situation is here. Everything is fine, everything is solvable, everyone (he and her father) is recovering and is alive.

Viktoria: Clear! Is everything ok with your father?

Alleged Yulia: Everything is ok. He is resting now, having a sleep. Everyone's health is fine, there are no irreparable things. I will be discharged soon. Everything is ok.

Viktoria: Kisses, my bunny.

Alleged Yulia: Bye.

We know beyond doubt that there are long term effects of exposure to any nerve agent, particularly the highly toxic ones. Sgt Nick Bailey has already said that his life will never be the same, and he seems to have been exposed to a significantly lower dose than the Skripals. It just doesn't ring true to me that "Everyone's health is fine, there are no irreparable things." That does not fit with the medium to long term after effects of exposure to a nerve agent at all, as we know it takes a long time for the body to recover and many will never fully recover, but will be left with painful and even life-changing symptoms for years after exposure.

ShotOne
5th Apr 2018, 13:48
“More fortunate than orchestrated...?” Aren’t Salisbury residents fortunate to have suffered a nerve gas attack!

barry lloyd
5th Apr 2018, 15:19
VP:

It makes perfect sense to me, assuming they're the people they're purported to be. Despite the years which have passed since the end of Communism, I find that Russians are still very cautious over the phone, even when speaking to relatives. On many occasions I have spoken to Russians both inside and outside Russia and when the conversation has reached a certain point, they've said, "Let's talk about it when we meet". I am sure Yulia was aware that the world would listen and thus chose her words very carefully. Equally, she would not want to cause her cousin any further distress by revealing her father's exact condition and also for the benefit of the other listeners, both seen and unseen.

VP959
5th Apr 2018, 15:40
VP:

It makes perfect sense to me, assuming they're the people they're purported to be. Despite the years which have passed since the end of Communism, I find that Russians are still very cautious over the phone, even when speaking to relatives. On many occasions I have spoken to Russians both inside and outside Russia and when the conversation has reached a certain point, they've said, "Let's talk about it when we meet". I am sure Yulia was aware that the world would listen and thus chose her words very carefully. Equally, she would not want to cause her cousin any further distress by revealing her father's exact condition and also for the benefit of the other listeners, both seen and unseen.

My surprise was more the line "Everyone's health is fine, there are no irreparable things", mainly because it seems a very strange thing to say when still seriously ill (and in the case of her father, still critically ill). Sgt Bailey has life changing effects from his exposure, and he was released from hospital a week or so ago. I would have thought that both Yulia and her father would be more seriously affected.

Mirzayanov (who I'm generally a bit sceptical about) reported that there was an incident in one of the Russian labs (most probably Shikhany, I suspect, as that's where most of the work on this seems to have been done) that caused one of the workers to get a slight exposure. He described general nerve agent symptoms, with the worker recovering after a couple of weeks in hospital, but being left with permanent injuries and being unable to walk for six months.

The Skripals seem to have had a higher exposure than this, given the length of time they have been in hospital so far, with the condition being described as critical for several weeks. Yulia Skripal's downplaying of the symptoms in this phone call seems odd.

Perhaps she was pretending not to be ill because she knew the possible consequences of the call being monitored (as it seems to have been) and didn't wish to cause more problems for herself (although doing this probably causes more problems for her father, as it makes it clear the attack failed and so the people behind it need to have another go at killing him).

glad rag
5th Apr 2018, 17:27
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-locates-source-of-salisbury-nerve-agent-nx8p39kqv

VP959
5th Apr 2018, 17:48
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-locates-source-of-salisbury-nerve-agent-nx8p39kqv

It's behind a paywall, so few will be able to read it, but the précis that can be read seems to be regurgitating stuff that's been heard before.

Technically we know what the agent is, who developed and tested it, which labs did that work and what it's effects are in general. Russia admitted developing and manufacturing it in 1992, so any denial now seems a little late.

So far nothing that has been said by Russia makes much sense, they've made technically inaccurate statement, denials of things that they've previously admitted to, they have a track record of pretty grim assassinations of those they see as traitors, and are ranked 135th out of 167 countries in the Economist Democracy Index. They are not classified as a democracy, but as an "authoritarian state", sandwiched between Zimbabwe at 136th and Rwanda in 134th place. China is only slightly lower than Russia, in 139th place, and is also classed as an "authoritarian state".

By comparison, the state in 1st place is Norway, the UK is 14th and the top 19 states are considered to be "full democracies". Interestingly, the USA is in joint 21st place and is considered to be a "flawed democracy".

racedo
5th Apr 2018, 17:53
Despite your denial it seems that the cap does indeed fit.


My point as you choose to ignore was not about newbies but rather regular posters who all arrive at the same time on the thread, perhaps its to do with time zones.

You still trying to make a point and still failing miserably. :ugh::ugh:

racedo
5th Apr 2018, 17:56
If not Russia then which other state had the means and the motive to carry out this attack?



So you feel Israeli commenst about 20 countrys having it bears no view.

Some individuals have more power and reach than any Govt.

VP959
5th Apr 2018, 18:04
So you feel Israeli commenst about 20 countrys having it bears no view.

Some individuals have more power and reach than any Govt.

Three times now I've asked you for verification of this, with evidence to support it. Each time you've ignored that request and instead have chosen to just repeat it, as if saying the same thing several times will magically make it come true.

Show us the evidence and let us test it's credibility.

flash8
5th Apr 2018, 19:10
I speak/understand Russian and have heard the call. Seems pretty normal if cautious, as to the condition of her father, she can only state what she has been told.

The medical issues seem very murky like the rest of the story. My feeling is that Boris Johnson jumped the gun, the Government did the same (in desperation to have an opportunity to deflect from other events) and now we are seeing the unravelling slowly of the narrative.

I will say it again, the biggest danger to the UK is Boris Johnson, not the Russians.

As for the rest of the crew Boy-Defence-Sec and May.... they smelt an opportunity and grasped it thankfully and likely uncritically. It is telling that Amber Rudd (the Home Secretary and somebody you'd expect to be a foremost voice) is extremely quiet... suspect she knows the situation and is biding her time.

clareprop
5th Apr 2018, 19:49
It makes perfect sense to me, assuming they're the people they're purported to be. Despite the years which have passed since the end of Communism, I find that Russians are still very cautious over the phone, even when speaking to relatives. On many occasions I have spoken to Russians both inside and outside Russia and when the conversation has reached a certain point, they've said, "Let's talk about it when we meet". I am sure Yulia was aware that the world would listen and thus chose her words very carefully. Equally, she would not want to cause her cousin any further distress by revealing her father's exact condition and also for the benefit of the other listeners, both seen and unseen.

Sorry, but no...

My wife is from Krasnodar and we have a wide circle of family and friends both in Russia and the UK, some of whom are military and police. Over 20 years, there has not been one occasion where I could recognise anything you describe above.
That this situation is playing bizarrely is without doubt but I and our family feel it is at the diplomatic and intelligence services level rather than of the 'normal' citizen.

racedo
5th Apr 2018, 20:48
As for the rest of the crew Boy-Defence-Sec and May.... they smelt an opportunity and grasped it thankfully and likely uncritically. It is telling that Amber Rudd (the Home Secretary and somebody you'd expect to be a foremost voice) is extremely quiet... suspect she knows the situation and is biding her time.

Looking like it. Home Sec should be up there a lot but is not................... look at where Dogs don't bark.

ShotOne
5th Apr 2018, 21:47
This attack comes squarely under foreign policy. It's entirely normal and sensible that one minister would deal with public statements where every word and phrase is, rightly or wrongly, examined and accorded significance. On the British side, that is. Russian statements have brimmed with snide sarcasm, ill-placed humour and cartoons yet they're apparently above criticism.

Racedo your posts are becoming increasingly pointless; detail any development, carefully avoid saying anything which could be challenged but close with cryptic innuendo: "kind of funny","dots don't join up", "dogs don't bark". There, saved you the trouble of your next posts.

PS: who do you think killed Litvinienko? Yes I know you've been asked a few times now but don't seem to have got round to answering.

WingNut60
5th Apr 2018, 21:59
.. Sgt Nick Bailey has already said that his life will never be the same, and he seems to have been exposed to a significantly lower dose than the Skripals.....

I have nothing but empathy for Sgt Nick Bailey but I am genuinely confused by his statement, specifically the language used and consequently how it is being interpreted.

Did he mean that he had been told that he will have symptoms and side effects for ever?
Or was he talking about the psychological effect of being caught up in this incident, as traumatic as it must have been for him.

For example, that is a phrase commonly used whenever anyone witnesses a traumatising incident. It is not what I would say if my physical health was compromised. I would say something along the line of "my health will never be the same".

I'm not nitpicking. I just think that his statement MAY be being misinterpreted.

After all, nobody knows definitely whether his health will be forever compromised.

racedo
5th Apr 2018, 22:30
This attack comes squarely under foreign policy. It's entirely normal and sensible that one minister would deal with public statements where every word and phrase is, rightly or wrongly, examined and accorded significance. On the British side, that is. Russian statements have brimmed with snide sarcasm, ill-placed humour and cartoons yet they're apparently above criticism.

Racedo your posts are becoming increasingly pointless; detail any development, carefully avoid saying anything which could be challenged but close with cryptic innuendo: "kind of funny","dots don't join up", "dogs don't bark". There, saved you the trouble of your next posts.

PS: who do you think killed Litvinienko? Yes I know you've been asked a few times now but don't seem to have got round to answering.

https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/606204-sergei-skripal-45.html#post10105469

You sure ?

I also pointed out that the person deemed the main suspect cannot be extradited from Russia (fact known about by UK Govt all the time), is a member of a minority party not favourable to Putin, could be tried in Russia for crimes committed abroad and this is also known by UK as was offered.

racedo
5th Apr 2018, 22:35
This attack comes squarely under foreign policy. .

Factually wrong.

Home Secretary is responsible for policing matters in UK NOT Foreign Secretary. The fact she has seemingly made no statements is curious, yet somehow its ok.

Porton Down also doesn't come under Foreign Office.

If it was a UK citizen abroad then Foreign Secretary should be involved but role is responsible for UK relations with external countries not internal Police matters or investigations.

fitliker
6th Apr 2018, 01:36
The story keeps changing.
That usually is not good for those who started the story.
Somebody pooped the bed on this Jackanory.

ORAC
6th Apr 2018, 05:50
All out in force last night I see. Kremlin must be paying overtime......

....................................

“A Russian military research base has been identified as the source of the nerve agent used at Salisbury in a British intelligence briefing for its allies, The Times has learnt. It was used to persuade world leaders that Moscow was behind the poisoning and said that the novichok chemical was manufactured at the Shikhany facility in southwest Russia....

The stockpiles detected at Shikhany were far smaller than would be used in a battlefield weapon, suggesting their use in targeted killings. Hamish de Bretton Gordon, the former commander of Britain’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment, who has seen the intelligence, called it very compelling. “The intelligence Britain has clearly points to Russia and Shikhany,” he said. “No doubt the Russians are scrubbing it down as we speak.” Mr de Bretton Gordon said that there was nothing to support claims that novichok could have come from elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, such as Ukraine or Uzbekistan......

Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to London, insisted yesterday that his country had never developed the novichok agent. “This is a creation of some other countries and some scientists,” he said. In a 90-minute press conference he veered from sarcasm to giggles to praise for the embassy’s notorious Twitter feed. One journalist took Mr Yakovenko to task, saying: “You keep smiling and joking. That suggests you are not taking this seriously.” “That’s just my style,” Mr Yakovenko retorted........

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fdffea488-38fe-11e8-9a8f-0b0aae019371.png?crop=2595%2C1730%2C667%2C213&resize=1370

ShotOne
6th Apr 2018, 06:47
"..story keeps changing". Certainly does. Now the Russian government claim never to have had novichok...even though its existence was given as government evidence in the treason trial of one of the scientists who developed it.

An attack by a foreign power with a military weapon most certainly trumps the domestic policing aspect of this case raced.

Finally, rightly or wrongly, a majority of U.K. electorate voted for Brexit. Why would we nerve-gas ourselves to distract from it? Even if you're bonkers enough to believe that, why select Russia as the culprit? Norway or Nigeria or better still a mystery villain would serve equally well.

flash8
6th Apr 2018, 06:50
Government I suspect has no more "evidence" than the supposition we have heard and let's face it this isn't much.

Scepticism is healthy especially in light of Boris Johnson's lies and deleted tweets. Doesn't engender any confidence I am afraid.

I fear this will not turn out well for the government.

Effluent Man
6th Apr 2018, 07:01
The Putin haters are conflating claims of lack of conclusive evidence with love of Russia. My standpoint is certainly wholly based on the former and the wish not to see relations with a major foreign power fall to a level below that seen since the depth of The Cold War.

If there is a single thing that might induce me to support Corbyn in any future election it is this. I have no doubt of his economic incompetence but at least he is not likely to go to war over an unproven charge In what after all, despite it's nastiness, is a minor incident.

Jack D
6th Apr 2018, 07:21
So Boris lies ... Vlad and his associates are always truthful . Thanks I get it now !

Andy_S
6th Apr 2018, 08:05
The Putin haters are conflating claims of lack of conclusive evidence with love of Russia. My standpoint is certainly wholly based on the former and the wish not to see relations with a major foreign power fall to a level below that seen since the depth of The Cold War.

Sorry EF, but I have to take issue with that.

There are, indeed, some here on PPRuNe, such as yourself, who have cautioned against rushing to conclusions and suggested that in the absence of any incontrovertible evidence that it may be sensible to keep an open mind. That’s fair enough, and I agree that it doesn’t mean they have any particular love for the Russian regime.

There is however another group who throughout the whole Skripal affair have consistently sought to defend Russia, have done their very best to deflect any criticism of the Russian regime, have continually taken the word of pro-Russian media sources at face value, have postulated some quite potty conspiracy theories, and generally have stubbornly refused to even accept that the finger of suspicion, at the very least points at Russia. I have noticed, and I suspect others have as well, that some of these individuals have a long track record as pro-Russian apologists here on PPRuNe.

As to going to war, I don’t believe that any Western powers want that for a moment. But that doesn’t mean we should look the other way when a chemical weapon attack takes place on our soil.

KelvinD
6th Apr 2018, 08:21
ShotOne: I suspect the comments re a possible Brexit diversion relate not to the vote etc but rather the current state of negotiations relating to the eventual outcome. Quite a lot of people see the government's efforts (rightly or wrongly) as a long, drawn out sell out.
I am totally with Effluent Man here. I would not say Russia is totally innocent. Nor would I say Russia is totally guilty. My beef is with the government's handling of the whole affair, effectively throwing away principles we hold dear here; produce the evidence before convicting anyone.
Malcolm Riffkind managed to spoil my morning when interviewed on Radio 4 this morning. He said that, while he has no idea whether or not Corbyn has been shown all of the evidence (and it is alleged he has not), it is OK that the government has shown it to it's allies. He also claimed Corbyn has said he is totally on the side of Russia in this case. I wonder if that would be the same Corbyn who announced initial support for the government line at the outbreak of this lunacy. He added a rider though, demanding the government share the evidence. Doesn't make him a Kremlin apologist, does it?
Riffkind went on to brag about 29 nations supporting the UK view. No mention of the remaining 164 nations who apparently have nothing to say. If the rest of his party believe 29 out of 193 is a majority, then little wonder they did rather badly in the last general election!
As for the oft quoted Hamish de Bretton Gordon, he claimed in 2015 that ISIS in Syria was in possession of tons of mustard gas. And, without going there, he has claimed the Assad government is definitely responsible for gas attacks in Syria.
Although I acknowledge his experience with the Army, I also note he is no longer in the Army. So how does he get to see evidence that is denied to the leader of HM Opposition? And talk of a "Jack of all trades"; he was C.O of the NBC Regt for only 2 years (2004 to 2006). He lists his various skills in a variety of areas, including lecturer in forensic archaeology, yet his education shows 3 A levels (Biology, Geography and Economics) and a degree in Agriculture. Quite the expert than, isn't he?
And then there is Litvinenko. While gazing into the sky at Heathrow yesterday, waiting for the next "unusual" arrival, I watched a couple of inbound Aeroflot flights and this got me thinking. We are told that the BA flight back to Moscow taken by his alleged killer was found to have traces of polonium all over seats etc and this some days after he took that flight. If so, it must be assumed he was pretty much contaminated by the stuff, yet he appears to be showing no ill effects from it. And why were other passengers sitting adjacent or close to him not affected? In fact, I have to wonder why he didn't fly back to Moscow on an Aeroflot flight?

VP959
6th Apr 2018, 08:34
All politicians lie, it's the very soul of politics to mislead and confuse. Some do it very well, some less well, but the bottom line is that party policies inevitably over-ride personal opinions, even when the politician involved actually knows he/she is being asked to lie, or at least distort, or be a bit economical with, the truth.

In this case we have the perfect storm; a weapon that can be traced back to an original initial development in a Russian lab, two victims who are Russian, one of whom was a traitor to Russia, an authoritarian Russian government that is being likened by some to the Soviet era (not something I wholly agree with), and an attack carried out in a location that is a pretty typical small English rural city, where even normal crime levels are pretty low, making this stand out as being even more outrageous.

Unsurprisingly everyone wants to exploit this, from the media, through our own politicians, to the politicians in other countries, including Russia. Frankly I have less trust in the media than I do in politicians, so I doubt that more than a few percent of the stuff we are being told is true.

Russia will come out of this with an advantage, I'm sure. Whether they planned and executed this attack or not dissident voices within Russia will now be more wary. Russia frankly doesn't give a stuff about most foreign relationships and never has done, they have always, and will always, look inwards at their own people first. The majority of the people in Russia are rather like those in China to some extent - if they can prosper without democracy, then why fight for it? That's something the West always seems to have a problem getting it's collective head around, and is why attempts to make other states into democracies often fails miserably.

I think we are too hung up on governments being in control of nation states. The real power often isn't within government, but with large industries and those who run them. One thing that Vladimir Putin has managed to do is rein in the power of some big Russian companies and transfer some of that power to his government. It's not democratic, but it works, and generally the Russian people have done reasonably well out of it. The problem they have is that there are a few pretty powerful and wealthy Russians who still believe that they have a lot of power and influence, and as long as they don't get the wrong side of the Kremlin and pay enough tax it seems that they can get away with pretty much anything. Some of these have ties back to the former Soviet intelligence services, with all that implies.

There was the first part of a TV documentary series aired last night on BBC 4: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01b3hkm/putin-russia-and-the-west-1-taking-control I suspect it's far from being accurate, and that it was edited to highlight specific policies and statements by Vladimir Putin (a give away was the only scene with Yeltsin in which showed him obviously drunk), but if viewed through a cynical set of spectacles you can see the underlying principles that Vladimir Putin has adopted. I'm sure he genuinely started off with the intention of making lives better for the Russian people, restoring their pride, making government function (it seems to have been in melt down when he first came to power), but I'm equally sure that any government leader who is powerful, and stays in power for a few years, gets their views subtly changed with time.

We've seen it with others - often leaders who are powerful try to take more and more power as time goes on. Extreme examples would be people like Mugabe, less extreme people like Xi Jinping, who will now remain President of China for life. Even less extreme, but still showing the same signs of the way power can change a leader would be Margaret Thatcher - she started off as a reasonable Prime Minister but by the time she was finally kicked out she was acting more like a President.

Sallyann1234
6th Apr 2018, 09:04
https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/606204-sergei-skripal-45.html#post10105469

You sure ?

I also pointed out that the person deemed the main suspect cannot be extradited from Russia (fact known about by UK Govt all the time), is a member of a minority party not favourable to Putin, could be tried in Russia for crimes committed abroad and this is also known by UK as was offered.
I've read that link.
Nowhere do you say whether the suspect was guilty.

So I ask you once again. Was Litvinenko murdered by Russian agents?
A simple yes or no will suffice.

ORAC
6th Apr 2018, 09:16
It should be added of course that the murder of anyone abroad considered an enemy of Russia isn’t a crime - a law passed by the Duma.

I’ll also add there is no such thing as a party or politician in the Duma opposes to Putin and his party, only the odd Potemkin candidate. Any real opponent is either arrested and prosecuted for a sham offence to give them a criminal record so they cannot stand for office - or dies in mysterious circumstances....

Hussar 54
6th Apr 2018, 10:17
A lady on the radio last night ( didn't catch her name ) had a good theory.

She argued that even though this event in Salisbury might not be part of the 'Grand Plan' we shouldn't be surprised that Putin goes out of his way to antagonise The West as this will increase the probability of and the 'coldness' of a new Cold War.

And why a new Cold War ?

Because it will make make it easier for Putin and his mates to increase and maintain his virtual dictatorship over a Russia which he probably saw as becoming far too engaged and connected with to the very countries he grew up being taught and trained to hate.

Not a new theory, I'm sure, but history has had many examples of how dictators have created a seige mentality to increase their own powers and dominance - and often for their own and their friends' personal wealth and survival rather than for any ideological reasons.

So add the two together ( Putin's history and the Russian Zillionaires he and his mates can cream it off ) and in the closing words of this lady, it's going to get even colder over the next five years or so.

Curious Pax
6th Apr 2018, 10:40
To add to that theory, Putin will again run into the 2 terms limit for Russian president next time round. Last time he put a patsy in place for one term while he was PM. This time who knows?

Buster15
6th Apr 2018, 10:56
As usual VP959 makes a very fair point in his above input.
We/the media refers to Russia as if it were a single integrated entity. That it is most certainly not. It is a massive country with a massive range of different peoples 'held together' by an autocratic powerbase.
It is perfectly possible that individuals outside the 'government' could have been responsible. That is not to say that Russia was most likely responsible but the government may not have initiated the action.

Krystal n chips
6th Apr 2018, 12:16
More innocent victims.

Amazingly, here on JB with such forensic attention to details, there has been no prior mention of these poor animals.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/06/sergei-skripal-cat-guinea-pigs-die-police-sealed-house-salisbury-spy

Andy_S
6th Apr 2018, 12:44
Sergei Skripal no longer "Critical":

Ex-spy 'improving rapidly' after poisoning - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43671958)

ATNotts
6th Apr 2018, 12:56
Sergei Skripal no longer "Critical":

Ex-spy 'improving rapidly' after poisoning - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43671958)

I think that whoever was responsible must now be becoming a little concerned, and whatever he has to say as and when he chooses to say something could prove more than a little embarrassing, certainly for the perpetrators who have screwed up big time, but also, potentially for the UK government too.

I suppose the question is, how much of what he tells the UK and / or Russian interviewers actually reaches the public domain, and how redacted anything that he says is.

Curious Pax
6th Apr 2018, 13:08
I suppose the question is, how much of what he tells the UK and / or Russian interviewers actually reaches the public domain, and how redacted anything that he says is.

Only the bits that support their respective stances I would expect!

rugmuncher
6th Apr 2018, 13:13
I think that whoever was responsible must now be becoming a little concerned, and whatever he has to say as and when he chooses to say something could prove more than a little embarrassing, certainly for the perpetrators who have screwed up big time, but also, potentially for the UK government too.

I suppose the question is, how much of what he tells the UK and / or Russian interviewers actually reaches the public domain, and how redacted anything that he says is.

I predict that the car he is in while driving to his first interview will be T-boned by an HGV and he is silenced finally.

Sallyann1234
6th Apr 2018, 13:25
I think that whoever was responsible must now be becoming a little concerned, and whatever he has to say as and when he chooses to say something could prove more than a little embarrassing, certainly for the perpetrators who have screwed up big time, but also, potentially for the UK government too.

I suppose the question is, how much of what he tells the UK and / or Russian interviewers actually reaches the public domain, and how redacted anything that he says is.
Both of the victims will be free to make any public statements they wish, and I'm sure the press will be queuing up for 'my exclusive story' deals.

VP959
6th Apr 2018, 13:47
Both of the victims will be free to make any public statements they wish, and I'm sure the press will be queuing up for 'my exclusive story' deals.

I'm not convinced that they will. Yulia Skripal is a Russian citizen, and may well not choose to make any but the most general public statement whilst she remains in the UK. If her father recovers sufficiently well to be able to speak, then I suspect any statement he may make may well be, how shall we say, "orchestrated". He's in receipt of a pension from the UK government, and I suspect that if someone wished they could choose to reduce or remove that. Not saying that anyone would, but I wouldn't assume that either of them has any real "right to free speech".

They may well not know who their attacker(s) were, but both may well have some idea as to who they might be, if not specifically, then perhaps more generally. As they both survived, and one assumes that they wish to stay alive and recover, then I would hazard a guess that they will both be pretty circumspect about anything they say i public, especially here in the UK.

Jack D
6th Apr 2018, 14:07
Yes of course he was murdered by Russian agents government or otherwise ! I enjoyed Vp,s post and Putins initial success with the well meant transfer of wealth to the russian people . What a story ! a dysfunctional , bankrupt nation finds a guy on a white horse to save the day & to a certain extent he did just that . Real democracy is not at all common and pointless in Russia . Nevertheless the “removal” of opponents including journalists by the dozen has become standard practice . My personal experience of Russians, quite extensive , is that they are hospitable and welcoming and often brilliant in an acedemic or artistic manner, but their tragic and dark history breeds a sense of paranoia and fear of being seen as an opponent to whatever regime is in
power. They are not free, they don’t know how that feels ! we do . They will always look inward, after all there are 16 countries on their borders , someone will always be the bogeyman . For those who are confused ... the Soviet Union is no more ! it’s now Russia the workers paradise Is at an end . The Kulaks have returned !

G-CPTN
6th Apr 2018, 14:16
If the contamination was on the outside of the front door handle, is it conceivable that the would-be victim(s) were expected to collapse indoors rather than being out and about?

roving
6th Apr 2018, 14:54
Lavrov, speaking on a trip to Belarus, said British officials had engaged in “frantic and convulsive efforts to find arguments to support their indefensible position” instead of producing evidence.

He said that Britain and its western allies were wrong if they expected Russia to “confess to all deadly sins” it did not commit and “play by their rules”.

The Russian Government has never released details of the toxic gas it used in the Moscow Theatre Hostage Crisis and which killed countless (speculated as being between 170 and 204) Russian and international hostages held by the Chechens in October 2002.

Jack D
6th Apr 2018, 15:38
The Russian Government has never released details of the toxic gas it used in the Moscow Theatre Hostage Crisis and which killed countless (speculated as being between 170 and 204) Russian and international hostages held by the Chechens in October 2002.
Thrashing, contradictory comments from a regime which has finally been called to task ! That’s all

VP959
6th Apr 2018, 16:30
The Russian Government has never released details of the toxic gas it used in the Moscow Theatre Hostage Crisis and which killed countless (speculated as being between 170 and 204) Russian and international hostages held by the Chechens in October 2002.

At the time, the gas released into the theatre was described as an "anaesthetic gas", I believe, and the reason given for all the hostage deaths was that the gas was classified, as was the antidote, and the authorities didn't want the secret to get out, so wouldn't let the medical teams have it.

I'm not sure if we have any anaesthetists here who might be able to say whether this is true or not, but the wife of a former colleague was an anaesthetist (at Salisbury District Hospital, where the Skripals are being treated, by coincidence) and I remember talking to her over dinner a few years ago about her job, as I'd just had a minor op at that hospital. One thing that stuck in my mind was her telling us that administering an anaesthetic was a delicate balancing act, between giving enough to keep the patient unconscious but not too much as to threaten the patient's life.

This was before the theatre siege, but I remember her saying that all the scenes in films where a "knock out gas" was used in a room were stretching things too far, and that there was a very strong probability that some people in the room wouldn't be knocked out, because they wouldn't get a big enough dose for their body mass, age, etc, and others would be killed because they got too much.

This is borne out by the wildlife programmes where they dart animals. There was one on last night and there was great care taken to give just enough anaesthetic to make a lion collapse, with a lot of care taken to make sure that the dose was well below that which would endanger the animals life. In that case they were concerned that the dose needed to disable a full grown lion would be enough to kill a well-grown lion cub that was close to the lion they had targeted, which seemed a reasonable indicator of the dose sensitivity to me.

I suspect that those who ordered the theatre siege to be stormed knew full well that a lot of the hostages were going to die. Perhaps the overwhelming desire to kill all the Chechens made the deaths of the hostages acceptable in the view of those who ordered the attack.

Jack D
6th Apr 2018, 16:33
More innocent victims.

Amazingly, here on JB with such forensic attention to details, there has been no prior mention of these poor animals.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/06/sergei-skripal-cat-guinea-pigs-die-police-sealed-house-salisbury-spy

I respect your concern and I think you believe every creature has a soul Small animals would have much less resistance to a pathogen . So where does that leave us .. ? I suppose the whole house was contaminated and microscopic levels of this agent would be enough to kill these pets .. ?

G-CPTN
6th Apr 2018, 16:40
I respect your concern and I think you believe every creature has a soul Small animals would have much less resistance to a pathogen . So where does that leave us .. ? I suppose the whole house was contaminated and microscopic levels of this agent would be enough to kill these pets .. ?

I haven't seen any comment whether the animals were 'affected' - they might have been simply starved to death - the cat was, apparently, alive though 'distressed'.

Edited to add:- Defra said it believed the guinea pigs had died of thirst.

KelvinD
6th Apr 2018, 16:41
Well, HM Government makes great strides forward in the "covering oneself in glory" stakes. They have refused a visit visa to Yulia Skripal's cousin on the grounds that her application did not comply with the immigration rules. A bit of an own goal. I wonder if Boris was behind it?
Meanwhile, what has happened to the Russian Embassy's request for consular access to Yulia Skripal. The latest from our government is that "it has been passed on". Presumably that means passed on to Yulia Skripal. Given that she apparently wants to get back to Russia, I wouldn't think she would be refusing to speak to her Embassy. She may be but ....

Jack D
6th Apr 2018, 16:50
Yulia has information she may or may not want to share . Does she have family back home ? Probably .

Jack D
6th Apr 2018, 17:13
As an aside I think we can complement the NHS and the doctors, nurses et al who have given these people a fighting chance ! Was there an anti phosgene antidote administered ?
This is sophisticated medicine .

Krystal n chips
6th Apr 2018, 17:18
I respect your concern and I think you believe every creature has a soul Small animals would have much less resistance to a pathogen . So where does that leave us .. ? I suppose the whole house was contaminated and microscopic levels of this agent would be enough to kill these pets .. ?

That's very kind of you to respect my views concerning animals having souls and personalities, as well as intellect, but, unfortunately, this was not the prime reason for commenting on their untimely demise.

Now, apparently, from the tracts of information on here, these sort of agents can't be knocked up with a home chemical kit in the shed. Which is no doubt more or less correct. And yes I know the agent mentioned below isn't the same as the one allegedly used in this attack, but, it seems, somebody was intent on using a garage some time ago for the purpose of a spot of "DIY" chemical agent production.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/06/uk-us-case-file-russian-nerve-agent-shikhany-spy-poisoning

Jack D
6th Apr 2018, 17:50
Apologies to the chemists perhaps I should have said an herbicide/ fungicide / insecticide antidote ?

Jack D
6th Apr 2018, 17:52
Well, HM Government makes great strides forward in the "covering oneself in glory" stakes. They have refused a visit visa to Yulia Skripal's cousin on the grounds that her application did not comply with the immigration rules. A bit of an own goal. I wonder if Boris was behind it?
Meanwhile, what has happened to the Russian Embassy's request for consular access to Yulia Skripal. The latest from our government is that "it has been passed on". Presumably that means passed on to Yulia Skripal. Given that she apparently wants to get back to Russia, I wouldn't think she would be refusing to speak to her Embassy. She may be but ....

Are you crazy ?

VP959
6th Apr 2018, 18:28
Well, HM Government makes great strides forward in the "covering oneself in glory" stakes. They have refused a visit visa to Yulia Skripal's cousin on the grounds that her application did not comply with the immigration rules. A bit of an own goal. I wonder if Boris was behind it?
Meanwhile, what has happened to the Russian Embassy's request for consular access to Yulia Skripal. The latest from our government is that "it has been passed on". Presumably that means passed on to Yulia Skripal. Given that she apparently wants to get back to Russia, I wouldn't think she would be refusing to speak to her Embassy. She may be but ....


It was reported earlier that she had been offered consular assistance but had refused it at that time. How true that is I have no way of knowing.

ORAC
6th Apr 2018, 19:06
Let’s just say that her cousin, whilst not directly involved, is being tied into a web of deceit... (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/06/world/europe/yulia-skripal-russia-britain.html)

DaveReidUK
6th Apr 2018, 19:11
Given that she apparently wants to get back to Russia

Has she said that ?

It may well have been her intent and plan to return home before she was almost killed. I don't think we can necessarily assume that's still the case.

flash8
6th Apr 2018, 20:03
It gets murkier by the day....

Transparency has been non-existent from the start, certainly hasn't helped matters.

Not that I'd trust any words coming from a traitors mouth - he will sell out to the highest bidder.

racedo
6th Apr 2018, 20:52
An attack by a foreign power with a military weapon most certainly trumps the domestic policing aspect of this case raced.


At which point the Home Sec would still be involved as they head of domestic policing............ the fact she hasn't even from the start when the source is as of yet unknown tells its own story.

I would not expect Foreign Secretary to be involed in domestic policing matters............... yet he is and was very quickly eschewing all diplomacy.



Finally, rightly or wrongly, a majority of U.K. electorate voted for Brexit. Why would we nerve-gas ourselves to distract from it? Even if you're bonkers enough to believe that, why select Russia as the culprit? Norway or Nigeria or better still a mystery villain would serve equally well.

MSM have a Russia hate since Hillary lost the election in 2016.
Just blame and media will make it stick.

ORAC
6th Apr 2018, 20:56
Not that I'd trust any words coming from a traitors mouth - he will sell out to the highest bidder. Anyone in particular you’re referring to?......

racedo
6th Apr 2018, 21:09
I've read that link.
Nowhere do you say whether the suspect was guilty.

So I ask you once again. Was Litvinenko murdered by Russian agents?
A simple yes or no will suffice.

Could you provide details of the court case where a suspect was guilty without the court actually having taken place or has this now been dumped in favour of believing claims made ?

The person accused of his murder is now a MP member of a Right Wing Ultranationalist party which seems kind of strange if he was supposedly working on behalf of the Government.

Russian Govt provided no protection for him other than that provided to all Russian Citizens, namely no extradition of Russian citizens.

Zhininovsky made him an MP by fiddling selection procedures.

If Russian Govt had an agent acting as incompetently as Lugovoi it is strange they provides zero reward to him as he had travelled to UK on a tourist visa did he not and when he returned he didn't have any contact with Russian Govt.

Kind of strange behaviour for Russia to a supposed agent of the state is it not ?

Sallyann1234
6th Apr 2018, 21:16
Could you provide details of the court case where a suspect was guilty without the court actually having taken place or has now been dumped ?

The person accused of his murder is now a MP member of a Right Wing Ultranationalist party which seems kind of strange if he was supposedly working on behalf of the Government.

Russian Govt provided no protection for him other than that provided to all Russian Citizens, namely no extradition of Russian citizens.

Zhininovsky made him an MP by fiddling selection procedures.

If Russian Govt had an agent acting as incompetently as Lugovoi it is strange they provides zero reward to him as he had travelled to UK on a tourist visa did he not and when he returned he didn't have any contact with Russian Govt.

Kind of strange behaviour for Russia to a supposed agent of the state is it not ?

The question you were asked by myself and others was whether you believe Litvinenko was killed by Russian agents.

We are still waiting for your answer.

flash8
6th Apr 2018, 21:17
Anyone in particular you’re referring to?......

Put it this way, I don't live in the UK, care not a hoots for UK (or US) politics, or come to it don't even care about Russian politics.. think May is probably OK, but not my ideological bent, Corbyn has some good ideas, but Boris is way out of line... they guy is simply a danger, and that does worry me. Also the Defence Secretary is danger to himself.

I do however see this story changing daily, contradictions, wild theories, supposed "leaks", deleted tweets, Boris basically lying (no other way to put it), and a media that borders on hysterical without even entertaining balance. And what of the Skripals? And the policeman? Murkiness everywhere. And now hear visa denied to relatives, Consular has no access. Magical recovery from deaths door of a deadly agent.. smuggled in via cereal packets, car aircon, doorknob.... what next?

From the start this has not looked credible, period.

If the British took this slowly, no rash statements, no ultimatums, using International bodies, had gravitas and maturity I'd be a hell of a lot more convinced (and I live here in Russia) but the way this drip-drip of quite frankly garbage has been released it looks to me terribly bloody farcical.

It's not that I don't believe a word of it... I'm still trying to get to grips with a part that sounds like it was based in reality and not la-la land.

racedo
6th Apr 2018, 21:20
The question you were asked by myself and others was whether you believe Litvinenko was killed by Russian agents.

We are still waiting for your answer.

Has it been proving Lugovoi was acting on behalf of the Russian state ?
Doesn't appear to have been.
If you have the proof please post.

As for the "WE", I come on here and posting as a single poster so are you part of a collective ?

Andy_S
6th Apr 2018, 21:41
You've still not answered the question racedo.

Do you believe Litvinenko was killed by Russian agents?

Yes or no. That's all you need to answer. Yes or no

Effluent Man
6th Apr 2018, 21:43
We may have moved on from this. According to Newsnight a nerve gas expert has said that the Russians are not the only people with access to Novichok.

flash8
6th Apr 2018, 21:47
A Home Office spokesman said: “We have refused a visitor visa application from Viktoria Skripal on the grounds that her application did not comply with the immigration rules.”

Sorry, that sounds so far fetched as to also be farcical if it weren't so true. You couldn't make it up.

TEEEJ
6th Apr 2018, 22:36
And then there is Litvinenko. While gazing into the sky at Heathrow yesterday, waiting for the next "unusual" arrival, I watched a couple of inbound Aeroflot flights and this got me thinking. We are told that the BA flight back to Moscow taken by his alleged killer was found to have traces of polonium all over seats etc and this some days after he took that flight. If so, it must be assumed he was pretty much contaminated by the stuff, yet he appears to be showing no ill effects from it. And why were other passengers sitting adjacent or close to him not affected? In fact, I have to wonder why he didn't fly back to Moscow on an Aeroflot flight?

No doubt the people on the flight(s) have been tracked down and offered testing. Both Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy were hospitalised after they returned to Russia. If the polonium had been ingested or inhaled in a large quantity then both Kovtun and Lugovoy would no doubt have suffered the same fate as Litvinenko. This was obviously not the case but they both left radiation trails. Kovtun left a radiation trail in Hamburg, Germany in a flat and in a vehicle. The Germans had plans to test the seat of the Aeroflot aircraft that he took from Russia but the Russians apparently changed the aircraft.

5. (C) Federal Interior Minister Deputy DG for Counterterrorism Gerhard Schindler discussed the status of the German investigation during a meeting on other topics with EMIN December 14. Schindler explained German officials retraced Kovtun's steps to and from his ex-wife's home in Hamburg. Schindler said Kovtun left polonium traces on everything he touched - vehicles, objects, clothes, and furniture. German investigators concluded Kovtun did not have polonium traces on his skin or clothes; Schindler said the polonium was coming out of his body, for example through his pores. German authorities had tested the German Wings airplane that had taken Kovtun from Hamburg to London; no traces of polonium were found. Germany had wanted to test the Aeroflot plane that flew Kovtun to Germany, and had prepared to ground it upon its next arrival in Germany. Schindler said Russian authorities must have found out about German plans because "at the last minute" Aeroflot swapped planes; Schindler said he did not expect Aeroflot to fly the other plane to Germany any time soon.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/90078

Bar staff at the Pine Bar in the in London Millennium Hotel were contaminated with the polonium.

The news was broken to the seven bar staff from the Millennium yesterday after tests showed their bodies contained levels of polonium-210 approaching the dose found in Mr Litvinenko's widow, Marina, last week. Staff working elsewhere in the hotel are unaffected.

Pat Troop, chief executive of the HPA, said: "All of them are very low, some are lower than others. It doesn't affect them having children. There could be a very small increase, long-term risk of cancer. I appreciate that it is quite hard for them to take in."

Mark Little, a radiation expert at Imperial College London said: "This amount of radiation would mean tiny amounts of polonium were involved and the increase in long-term cancer risk is going to be very small."

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/dec/08/russia.topstories3

The polonium trails in London were extensive.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/06/alexander-litvinenko-and-the-most-radioactive-towel-in-history

megan
7th Apr 2018, 02:38
Russians are not the only people with access to NovichokIran is one who has synthesised five Novichok agents for analysis.

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)

Gault
7th Apr 2018, 04:44
In my experience of life those who say the most and say it the loudest are seldom those you trust

ORAC
7th Apr 2018, 06:35
That would to reflect the efforts being made even in a website thread like this.

Kremlin media behind two thirds of stories (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/kremlin-media-behind-two-thirds-of-stories-650l3l06g)

Two out of every three stories shared on social media on the attempted assassination of Sergei and Yulia Skripal are from Kremlin-backed media outlets.

The discovery came as officials said information warfare was four times more significant a factor than military force in today’s standoff with Russia — in a reversal of the Cold War years.

Moscow has flooded pro-Russia news channels and social media platforms with more than 20 conspiracy theories about the Salisbury attack to deflect attention from Britain’s assertion that Moscow is to blame. “The ratio of 80 per cent force and 20 per cent information [warfare] has been flipped to 20-80,” a Whitehall source said. “Russia seeks to turn us against ourselves. They have an appetite for this.”

Of the six most popular articles on Twitter and Facebook about the Skripal poisoning over the past week, four were published by Kremlin-owned RT, generating 63,000 shares on Facebook and Twitter. The two most popular articles from UK mainstream media outlets achieved 25,400 shares. The Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council, a US think tank, said that RT and Sputnik’s share of social media engagement stood at about 65 per cent........

ORAC
7th Apr 2018, 06:48
This attempt a5 spin by the Kremlin machine is both comic and tragic. Comic in their attempt to use the death of the pets as significant and totally misunderstanding the English usual of “guinea pigs”. Tragic in that it actual recalls the true horror of nerve gas and the experiments done over the years.

If anyone doubts that novichok was not tested, and on prisoners not volunteers somewhere in Siberia or elsewhere, they know little of the history of the USSR....

Sergei Skripal’s dead cat and guinea pigs were ‘important witnesses’ (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sergei-skripal-s-dead-cat-and-guinea-pigs-were-important-witnesses-cgmxhkf5p)

Russia has protested that two guinea pigs and a cat, which died in Sergei Skripal’s home, could have been “important witnesses”. Maria Zakharova, chief spokeswoman of the foreign ministry, wrote on Facebook yesterday: “These really were ‘important witnesses’ as we’re talking about a poisonous chemical substance which, according to a whole series of theories, might have been used in Skripal’s home.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “When a vet was able to access the property, two guinea pigs had sadly died. A cat was found in a distressed state and a decision was taken to euthanise the animal to alleviate its suffering.”

The pets were mentioned on Thursday at the UN security council, when Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s UN ambassador, said: “What happened to these animals? Their condition is an important piece of evidence.”

Ms Zakharova seized on a report that the cat had been put down and incinerated after being tested at Porton Down defence laboratory, where it was found to be malnourished. “Is this normal?” she asked, adding that the pets could have provided valuable clues. She went on to refer to 3,400 guinea pigs being used in nerve gas tests at Porton Down over four decades.

In fact, at least 3,400 human “guinea pigs” were exposed to nerve gas in notorious experiments between 1945 and 1989. They were British servicemen who volunteered to take part. One man died.

KelvinD
7th Apr 2018, 07:41
The UK government said the cousin of Yulia was denied a visa because she didn't meet immigration rules.
Then the government claimed her application for a visa was part of a Russian plot to use her in some propaganda manner.
It transpires that the failure to meet immigration rules is down to Viktoria not having sufficient funds in her bank (she has said so herself). So, if the Russians wanted to get her to the UK to use her for whatever purposes, how tricky would it have been for the State to have "paid" her money so she could show sufficient funds?
I was curious about all the claims throughout this thread that the Russian government has been responsible for the killing of droves of people who have annoyed them, so I thought I should really look into this.
I found the origin of the "mass murder" theories, Buzzfeed. I am still only part way through reading all their theories but I am already seeing some common threads.
The use of the phrase "highly likely" or similar occurs frequently.
Most of those deaths I have so far looked at related to people who had been involved in some very high value frauds, swindles and other financially driven nefarious activities, apparently "crossing" the Russian mafia.
In every case in UK, except Litvinenko, the police found no concrete evidence of involvement by anybody, let alone the Russian government and were obliged to state there was no evidence to support anything other than suicide etc. At least 2 of the suicides were witnessed by others. Throwing yourself under a train in full view of other travellers will guarantee lots of witnesses.
In other cases, MI6 had consulted their US counterparts and were told in most cases they had intelligence which said it was "highly likely" that some were killed by the Russian government but again, no concrete facts.
In one case, a pathologist carrying out a post mortem exam found nothing untoward in terms of poisons etc in the body. 2 years later, at the insistence of a life insurance company, an "expert" testified there traces of a plant named gelsenium. The claim was made that this plant is so scarce, it is found only in a remote corner of China. The first thing that needs pointing out is that China is definitely not in Russia. It seems that this plant, a variety of jasmine, is actually found in Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam & 9 different provinces of China.
Another variety is native to south eastern US states and the third is found from Virginia to Texas and on into Mexico and Central America.
Hardly fits the description "scarce" does it?
I noted that US Intelligence contacts are calling the Met Police "incompetent". That's a bit harsh. When there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, the police are obliged to follow the law (the law of this land, at least) and state that no evidence to the contrary having been found, they are obliged to say "no evidence of foul play has been found". That doesn't make them "incompetent".
So, I must carry on with BuzzFeed's revelations and look further into the alleged droves of "victims" and see how often I encounter that phrase "highly likely".

ORAC
7th Apr 2018, 07:58
Oh don’t limit yourself to one Aunt Sally story KelvinD. Just to a quick search in assassination by KGB/FSB/Gru and you’ll find pages of sources to investigate.

I’ve picked just one example from the BBC with lots of hits for you to investigate.

Have Russian hitmen been killing with impunity in Turkey? - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38294204)

For example:

“In 2004, a former acting president of Chechnya, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, was killed when his car exploded in Qatar.

A Qatari court found two Russian military intelligence agents guilty of his murder before allowing them to fly home to serve their sentences in Russia - where a red carpet was laid on the steps leading down to the tarmac.”.......

Sallyann1234
7th Apr 2018, 08:29
In retrospect it looks as if we did not make sufficient political fuss over the murder of Litvinenko since the evidence trail was so clear and unambiguous.

If the Russian ambassador had been sent home then, they might have been less keen to repeat the exercise.

barry lloyd
7th Apr 2018, 08:55
Kelvin D:

I noted that US Intelligence contacts are calling the Met Police "incompetent". That's a bit harsh.]

Perhaps they've been reading up on the Barry George case:

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

The Met Police are of course in charge of the investigations in Salisbury...

VP959
7th Apr 2018, 09:33
Sorry, that sounds so far fetched as to also be farcical if it weren't so true. You couldn't make it up.

However it happens to be true. Viktoria Skripal admitted to the Russian media that she didn't have the funds available to meet the UK visa requirements and was now saving money to meet the visa requirements. What has been reported about her not meeting the standard visa requirements seems to be true if that is the case. These are the standard elegibility criteria for any UK tourist (under 6 month visit) visa, and apply to citizens of any country where a visa is required for entry to the UK, not just Russia (I've highlighted the relevant sections):

Eligibility

You must always show that:

you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
you’re able to support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your trip
you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit
you have proof of any business or other activities you want to do in the UK, as allowed by the Visitor Rules


Also worth noting that, according to local reporting here, Yulia Skripal has been offered Russian consular assistance and has refused it.

VP959
7th Apr 2018, 09:47
Iran is one who has synthesised five Novichok agents for analysis.

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)


None are A234 though, as pointed out earlier in this thread.

Worth noting that there are between 80 and 100 different agents called generically "novichok", in that they were all developed within the former Soviet Union under that programme. The media is being very sloppy and imprecise, but the specific agent used in this attack has been identified as the rather unusual and rare A234, an ethyl analogue of one of the most toxic agents in this group (AFAIK), A232.

When citing places where chemical agents have been synthesised or prepared and purified, it's important to note that A234 is not the same as A232 and not the same as any of the dozens of other agents that are all generically referred to as "novichok", simply because that was the name of the development programme.

It's a bit like saying all V agents are the same, because they all carry the same initial letter in their designation.

flash8
7th Apr 2018, 10:35
However it happens to be true. Viktoria Skripal admitted to the Russian media that she didn't have the funds available to meet the UK visa requirements and was now saving money to meet the visa requirements. What has been reported about her not meeting the standard visa requirements seems to be true if that is the case. These are the standard elegibility criteria for any UK tourist (under 6 month visit) visa, and apply to citizens of any country where a visa is required for entry to the UK, not just Russia (I've highlighted the relevant sections):

I don't dispute that VP, however if this were a Russian propaganda operation, the "funds" would have turned up in her account (suitable backdated as appropriate).. that she didn't have the funds likely points towards less state involvement.

And anyway, that is a damned poor excuse, she wouldn't have been destitute in the UK, and she is visiting a sick relative under what would have been a huge media spotlight.

No, this decision was purely political, we all know that.

Whilst I'm here, it looks like the narrative is slowly coming undone, helped hugely by the incompetence of this government. If Russia were responsible I bet they can't believe their luck they are dealing with such rank and blatantly obvious amateurs, Lavrov and Putin must be clinking the Vodka glasses with the antics of Boris & Co.

Your old residence is the only one so far to come out of this with reputation 100% intact, or perhaps even strengthened.

Nige321
7th Apr 2018, 11:08
No, this decision was purely political, we all know that.


Maybe. And if so, there's nothing wrong with that.

Of course, the Kremlin has never made a 'purely politcal' decision...:ugh:

Andy_S
7th Apr 2018, 11:15
.....if this were a Russian propaganda operation, the "funds" would have turned up in her account (suitable backdated as appropriate)

Not at all. As a Russian propaganda operation it gives them an opportunity to portray the UK as unreasonable and uncooperative. Plus it might suit them to have a Skripal family member under their control, someone they can use as leverage or a mouthpiece.

No, this decision was purely political, we all know that.

No we don't know that. Viktoria Skripal does not meet the criteria for granting of a visa. End of. (Although quite honestly, even if she did, I would not blame our government for refusing to grant a visa given the way it seems she's already being manipulated by the Russian authorities).

VP959
7th Apr 2018, 11:28
I don't dispute that VP, however if this were a Russian propaganda operation, the "funds" would have turned up in her account (suitable backdated as appropriate).. that she didn't have the funds likely points towards less state involvement.

And anyway, that is a damned poor excuse, she wouldn't have been destitute in the UK, and she is visiting a sick relative under what would have been a huge media spotlight.

No, this decision was purely political, we all know that.

Whilst I'm here, it looks like the narrative is slowly coming undone, helped hugely by the incompetence of this government. If Russia were responsible I bet they can't believe their luck they are dealing with such rank and blatantly obvious amateurs, Lavrov and Putin must be clinking the Vodka glasses with the antics of Boris & Co.

Your old residence is the only one so far to come out of this with reputation 100% intact, or perhaps even strengthened.

My view has always been that the most probable explanation is that the attacker(s) were Russian(s) who had a strong motive, perhaps personal, to try and kill Sergei Skripal, were sufficiently wealthy/influential to gain access to the facilities, materiel, expertise etc, and who acted (at least officially) outwith the direct sanction of the Russian government.

However, I doubt that this action is in anyway considered by the Russian government to be regrettable, and it may well turn out that the people behind it have already had a quiet pat on the back.

The most significant pointer to this being an act with which the Russian government agrees, even if they didn't directly sanction it, is the significant level of resource they are now putting into a pretty large disinformation campaign. Social media seems to be dominated by stories, conspiracy theories etc that have been traced back to Russian sources. If there was no involvement by anyone from Russia, and no direct or indirect sanction from the Russian government for this attack, why spend so much resource on trying to convince people around the world that Russia is innocent? Opening all the doors at Shikhany to the OPCW within hours of the identity of the agent being made public would have probably done a fair bit to take the heat off Russia.

I also suspect that, as with the attack on Alexander Litvinenko, the attackers believed that the method they had chosen was undetectable. It was pretty much a stroke of luck that resulted in Polonium 210 being discovered as the poison used to murder Alexander Litvinenko, and the choice of a pretty rare and unusual variant from the novichok CW programme suggests to me that the attacker(s) in this case also hoped that the toxic materiel would not be identified.

This fits a pattern we've seen with several deaths of Russians here, a method that either cannot be identified or has been disguised as suicide. That's an unusual pattern in itself, and, AFAIK, has only recently been associated with the deaths of Russians here. My guess is that the planning behind some, perhaps all, of these attacks has been for the perpetrators to remain unidentified and certainly not traceable to the Russian Federation. It seems the underlying principle is one of trying to maintain "plausible deniability", something that failed with the Alexander Litvinenko murder and has also failed with this attack, in both cases because the very unusual materiel chosen was positively identified.

KelvinD
7th Apr 2018, 11:48
Orac: I don't know about an "Aunt Sally story". Remember it is the BuzzFeed "Explosive Evidence" output that has been used to push for new investigations into 14 deaths in the UK.
I have read all 7 chapters of their "Explosive Evidence" and have to say there is not a scrap of what could be called "hard evidence" in any of them. There is even more disinformation in one of the chapters referring to Litvinenko. They state that 210 Polonium is manufactured only in Russia. In fact, it is also manufactured in the USA. Further, in the USA one can buy 210 Polonium in small quantities without any special licences/permits etc.
Throughout all of the 7 chapters, there are multiple references to US intelligence agents expressing their feelings that the various deaths were possibly related to the Russian government. In fact, the one common theme throughout all of their reports of "Explosive Evidence" is US intelligence.
In a piece about the death in Washington of the founder of RT they produce a copy of a report by Washington PD regarding difficulties viewing video evidence in which the word "disc" is used which I found surprising (disc v disk). However, the report goes on to state there was some difficulty viewing this disc so they obtained videotape evidence from other sources. Just a couple of lines below this, the BuzzFeed write up refers to this videotape evidence as another video disc. Trivial, I know but indicative of the overall standard of this "Explosive Evidence".
The BBC link seems to involve people who had fought against Russian forces in Chechnya. Similarly, the incident in Qatar from 14 years ago, involved yet another anti-Russian Chechen. A common theme there and unrelated to the demise of the 14 UK allegations.
Barry: I suspect the Barry George affair was more to do with some nasty corruption in the Met at that time, rather than incompetence.

VP959
7th Apr 2018, 11:54
There is even more disinformation in one of the chapters referring to Litvinenko. They state that 210 Polonium is manufactured only in Russia. In fact, it is also manufactured in the USA.

Which conveniently ignores the fact that every facility that produces Po210 leaves a pretty unique signature behind, enabling the identification of the facility that produced it to be determined.

In the case of Alexander Litvinenko, the source was traced to a Russian facility, plus the materiel was certainly carried by two Russian citizens who travelled to London and one of whom was known to have met Alexander Litvinenko at the place where the Po210 was administered. There was a breadcrumb trail of the stuff left everywhere these two Russians went, so there is little doubt that they were involved.

WingNut60
7th Apr 2018, 13:09
My view has always been that the most probable explanation is that the attacker(s) were Russian(s) who had a strong motive, perhaps personal, to try and kill Sergei Skripal, were sufficiently wealthy/influential to gain access to the facilities, materiel, expertise etc, and who acted (at least officially) outwith the direct sanction of the Russian government.

However, I doubt that this action is in anyway considered by the Russian government to be regrettable, and it may well turn out that the people behind it have already had a quiet pat on the back.


https://www.pprune.org/data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxISEhUSExMWFhUXGSAbGRgXFxcbHhsZGxcXHRobGBkdHSggGB8n GxoXITEhJSkrLi4uHR8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy0mICY3LS01Mist LS8vLS8vLS0tLy0wLS0rLS0tLi0tLS0tLS0vLS8tLS0tLS0rLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAOsA1gMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcAAEAAgMBAQEAAAAAAAAAAAAABQYDBAcCAQj/xABIEAACAQMCAggCBgYGCQUBAAABAgMABBESIQUxBhMiQVFhcYEHkRQjMlKC oUJicpLB0RUzQ3Ox8CRTk6Kys8LS8TRjg8PhJf/EABoBAQADAQEBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAwQCBQb/xAAsEQACAgICAQIFAwUBAAAAAAAAAQIRAyEEEjFBURMiseHwYXGBMpGh0fEj/9oADAMBAAIRAxEAPwDuNKUoBSlKAUpSgFKUoBSla19fxQhTK6oGYKuogamIJ Cr4kgHbyoDTvekVrDcJayShZXRnC+CIpYsx5KMK2M89J8DVStvipA05DwyJa lTon0uzMwIxmFFLKrDUQTvsMgZrm/ECbwtcOSGmYuT3hWBUJ+yIiEx4Z8azdWfbx7qxZOXT+VG2HEtfMdA4p8Uoxt a20kp+/L9SnyIMh/cHrVZvumfFJs/XpAp7oY1z+/Jqz6gCoXIHLfz/AJV81b5qiXKyPxoujxca87Pt3JPIfrbu6c+BuJAP3VIUfKtQ8MTOTnPiXfP+ OazvdAf/AJ/OsH0ryqv4mR+rLfhwXojctZLmE5hurmIjwmZl/ckJU/KrZwT4jXcRC3cYnj/1kQCyAeLR50v+Ej0NUpLjJxis1dx5GSPr/c4lx8cvQ650H6aJxASLoMcqEnSc9qPUQsi5APdgg7qefMZtVfnK6RsFkLhwD go7I2+MjUp78DyyAe6u+8Av4ri2imhYtGyDSWJLbbEMTvqBBBzvkGt+HN8RG DNi+GyQpSlXFIpSlAKUpQClKUApSlAKUpQClKUApStKJtU7nujUL+JsM2R39 nqsepoDdrl/xvR8WTdoRK76mXI0yFVERz3H7eD411CqT8YLV34a7LkiORJHA741YavZdn/DUS2mdRdNHJhPpAUbgAflX0XI8DW30a4Ab2Vk61o0RNRKBSxJOFA1AgDmTt4 VYYfhmmXL3crZACaFVCuM51faV8+gryljT22eo8lOkioyXHhtWpNejtZLELj WQCVTJAGthsuSQN6uS/DaXVhr0dX36YQHx4A6yoPnj2q7cO4PBBEII41EY5gjOo89TE/aOd8mpUYrzv8AYh5G/H+TlHBOC3F4fqExH3zOCE/AOcp9NvEirTD8ODq+su2KeCRhWP4izAfKr4BSl+yOdvyzjnSOxit7t4IQQqR pnU7MSzFySSxP6OmsK3GF86lem/B7hbyWdIXljkCnMeCVKrggrz88iq7DKGzzBBwQwIIPgQeRpON7O4NLRvJcDG/OunfBibNnMvctzIAPAMqOR+8zVyeupfA9f9DuG8bp8eyRir+Iqkyjl/0o6LSlK3GAUpSgFKUoBSlKAUpSgFKUoBSlKAVocEOqISf60mT2Y5T5JpHtXz j0hEDgEhnxGpHc0jBA3sWz7VvIgAAAwAMAeQoD1XmSMMCrAEEYIPIg8wa9Uo Dj3A+Etw7iz2hB6mSJ2gY96BkIXPeydpT5aT31fKw/EJNEdvdY/wDT3CEnwjkJhk9gJNX4ajuksKlMyXEsMY+0ImVNWcAAvpLDcgAKQST31hzwS kbcMnKJMV8qt9FepiLwrLcsW7YS5MmpRyygkVW0k9+4zVkrO1TouXgg+M9Kr e3k6k9ZLNjPUwI0jgeLBfs+9bvCOKi4UkRTREc1mieM+xIw3sTWtfvLJOltb 6VkkBZpGUkJGmkF2AxrOWVVXI7znANe77h81iUkaczQs4Ry6IrIzkKhBQAFS 5VMEZBYHPOrFBuHZL/Jw5pS6tm5eR99ck6YMqcQlB2MiIw/WwpUn/dx7V2RhnaqH8TbY/QpGC5aNkYHG+NYB9sMargvnr30Wt/Lfts0OEdGLNoovpPXSTzL1gWJpPq0OMHCHAA8WySQcA4OLh8MibSS44W+/Vnr4pO+SKVjnX+srgqSOe1V2/4WgltI0d4pnRS0nXOqhLYxjQqAhXZi+MHkCx8jYuHHPHIwOaWL6z5NPHpB91 Y1qwTfZL0ZlzR02zoFKVgnfuHOtjdGQz0rTTIOx5d1batneoTsH2lKVIFKUo BSlKAUpSgFKUoCNv8AtTwR+GqU/hXQAfxSg/hr3wmQv1knc0jBfJUOgY8iVLfirQurwo15cAZMSCNV8XVDJgftGVF9RUtw61 EUUcQOdCBc+OABk0BsUpSgI7pFwwXVrPbnlLGyZ8CykA+xwapfB7o3C8MuJB zcGQHuk6iZRqB8J9Ix97T4V0WudcGtkJvbRwSsd2+2SOzIVnXkQcZkPyqjNq pexdh3cfc2+kPHLWedYUYfSbaZNiQDh2eORQM5PZBYjHLQ3hUrVXCapntrOG 3hS30iSVolOHZQwSKMYyQpBLE4GRsastuhVQGYuRzYgDPsBgVlzS7OzRij1V ENxu7mtpOvgjaSR4zGEVSSSJI2Ha0sseVEg1Ntkrzr5NxS8ns0guLOQynq+s cPb41JIjFtIkH3c7d/cKnaVMc0ox6oSxKUuzPtaN6u/qK3a1L3mKzT8GjH5ILivGo4ZEja1kuJca4hHF1hDZ07HfQeW5xz51P9A+ATR ddeXYAurkgsgORFGoxHED3kDckbEnyyaunSaGz4pqnLiMWmCUjd9LPMCCwQE gYQ74ro/B+M290nWW8ySr4owOPIjmp8jXocWCUE/Uxcmbc2vQ3jWpttv51uVrzWgbyrQ1ZmPJOnc1lh5n/O+P8AxWJLMDv/ACrZVcbCoS3ZJ9pSldEClKUApSlAKUpQCvhNfajukDkW8ig4Z8RqR3NIwQH2 LZ9qAiIV6yG1U5/0ifr2zsQuprlQfTTFHVoqKjQG7AAwIYcDw+tfl7CEfvVK0ApSlAKoFyOo4xM h2F3Akq+bw5jceugxn0FX+qx076PyXUcctuQt1bP1kJPJtsPGx7lddvUCuMk e0WjuEuskyD4hwCUzPPbXJgeQDrFaMSI5UYVtOpSracDIO4A2rd4Vw548tJO 8rnxCqoG2yoo/MknzrBwDpDHcqRgxyodMsT7PG3eGH+B5GpivNd3TPQXjRXukXSVIXFujL17D OCrOVB5ERJ25GO+FGOW5Ub1ox8MuZyrAyxEHPXTysXODuBawssCA8hrLnHMZ 3qzQWESMzoiqzHLMANTHxZube9bNdKaSpI5cW3bZ5jUgAElj4nAz8gBWpet2 vQVuO2BmqR0ovnnf6Bbn6yQfXOP7GE/az+sw2A8/eqmuzoti62Vng/FevvbuYAlG0BD+opdVI8QcZrfn4Vh/pFrI1vcD9OPbPk68mHka+w2iR3lysYwkfUwqPDq49Tf8Qrb4jeRxAM5OonCq oJZj4Ko+1/CrpSan8n6fQ0YoReGsn6/Vli6J/EjLra8RVYZicJMu0Up9/wCrbyO3pkCujV+fOMyGVMTWjrE3MlkJH6xUEkY9avvwm6Ruwfh1w+qWAZicn eSDkPUqSAT4EcyCa2YsnbT8nl8njrG7j4OjUpSrjKKUpQClKUApSlAKUpQCo ziR1T28X6zSkeKxrp/45Yz7VJ1Eddia4mO6wxqmPBgGkfHqrQ/KgMvBu0Z5fvzMB5CPEWPTVGzfiqSrV4ZbmOGNDuVUBj4tjtH3OTW1QClKUB8 Jxua+IwIBHI7io/jj5RYRzmcR/hILSen1avv44qSoCt9J+hsF4wmBaC5UYW4i2cD7rDlIv6re2KqszcUsdp4Pp cQ/trUdrHi9ud8+OgmunUqueOM/KO4ZJQ8HNrDpzYy7deit3q50MD3gq+CKy3nTOxiGWuIvQOCfYLkmrN0uhskt 5bm7t4ZViQsesjRycDYDUDuTgD1rlHA+HpFF1skcaSPmR9KKAmrtaFwOyqjA wPCsmXDHGrtm7jylmdUkZ+O9NppV/wBHjeKL9K4kQ9le90i5tgd5+XfU/Y29tw21ecklcay7HLzSHlv+kzE4A86jZVDrkYIPyII/wIqNteDhSmWlcRDEQlk1rEAMDq05AgbAnfFVXFr83+fiNb40r+V/b9vz+T3wSB1XVL/WOzSy+TyHOPwjA9qcKtmZmuZR9Y+yA/2cX6K+RP2m8zjurekcIFH3mAHmSdz8sn2rNXLk9v3NKhFUvY1789kev8DVeP EzbyWvEkB+qKlwO+GQYceexOPPBqW49Pojc/dRj+R/lWjbWoMCxMNurCn00gV1jfWpHOaHxE8f6f8ADvUModQykFWAII5EEZBHtXuq L8HeKNJY9Q5zJauYT5qN4z6aSB+Gr1XqHzrVOmKUpQgUpSgFKUoBSlKAVFcO g6yFiT/WuXJ8UL9ke8YUVt8TlKQyMv2tJ0+bEYUe7YFZraEIiovJVCj0AwKAyV8Jr7W OZ+7n/nx7qA8/SF/z/Ec69JMD39+K1+rIrFdSLGjSMcKilmJx9lQSdxy2zVfxCaIy64iguLi4c/U2UJBI3+sdRLIMeIiWHH94RU1DeZGWUqdOSM5xyyM+9VCGBnhtbV9pbqU3Ny M7hFYTMvmoYwQ/smrLvgePI/x/wq1bOJOja+md2k/MV9+l/qn8q1Qe0fT+NaPHOKJbQvNITpUcgASSSAqr4ksQB61NI4UpN0Vb4pcQ6+S2s U3Ut183mkZ+rXzDSb/gqHmm2Ox5fnWhxE3U1xJc4jQyBQEYsxVEGy6gMcySe7JrTuLudATNH2RzaM6 wPAsMBgN+4GsOepy0ezw3LHDaqzzwKcwzPbkHqyNcX6oP2lHkDuPWrB1ngDi qpeCQtBeDHUdcIFPe5ZHLsD90FAvrmrHe3YiRpD9lRn+Q9c4HvXGTFtfqW4u R8rqqX0NNputugoGVgXUf7xxhR6hNX71SofxGKh+C6VRsuDJIdchG/aPdt3AAD2qQmfC4zzricEtexbiySe/ch+kTawIxzldYx6Zy3+6GrdIxtWpZr1l2PuwJn/5JNh8kB+db0/2j61xLSSNENyb/AI/t97JH4X3PVcVuIe6eBZPxROF/MOT7V12uJdF5NHGbI/fWVD6dWWH5gV22vRwu4I8Hlx65pIUpSrDOKUpQClKUApSlAa95BrCjuDqx/CdQx+IL7ZrYpUL0v439DtmlUBpCQkSn9KVzhAfLO58gaAiemnTdLPVFEFknC 6m1EiOFTyaZhvk/ooO03lzrmHEOkHEJG1vdTB9OsIhEYA72dR2Y0AxsxZjk1p8RcqxGTKyyAZPO e7fGuR/EJnAHIYPgKkFtFBKE6lRtUh/10o5k/qodgPH0rmTpokmoviBf9UGKW8a421rISQBzYalwCd+Q9Ktwu5Lq2tY5I+re6 KtKm/ZjTtyZzvhgFQg7jrAKqPRDhP027JkXMMGHZSNmkOerU52IGNWPJfGugFiZ55 xgmJOqjXmSxAeTfPInql8tBrnbTVCj7ZHVcTXR5L9Qn7KZMhHhmUlD/dit8hs5233xS0twkccY35Z8zzYnzJyT61llUAgDwyf4fxqIuSjaJ6p6Zr6CM nbeqT8VIZNVrGNTK7FVGMoZmaNU1jyUuRk+J5irRxjpBa2YVriVUyThebMdi NKDc4335VUbnjq8Vu4BFHIiW+ubMmBrYjq0IAJxjW5/8V05Po22TCK7qkaR6JXKkKbnJ7sRqB64JJ/Ooji6TWxMckiszIzoyggHQMkMpJK8+4nNdMiBRRqOTn+HL8q5nxt3mv8Ar0j 62OEhFUyBFLIcuTsSw1aRgEA6N8g4rHjUpyo2yy/DXZs89JbWWG04dbT4jGuW4dObIVOtE9AJSPUVqpIZipuOrVByhJOSdsGQ5AJ HhgivHSPicks01xPCwaQKiBWVwoCjSi95y2/Lvq59Hui8UUP10aPLJ25CVU9puYG3IDA9s99ORklGTJ4yh0Xr6lY/oe3lG0aoTyZOww9CuK0bp3tMLM2uI50y/pAgZ0uO845MOdWLjHR4QR9dbDRpGTED2WUDJ0r+gwHIjY943qB4xcdeY4x2g THIduS68kn2XGPOqo5JOVN2jWow63BVL6/7JHo/askOph9ZITIw8C3JfZdI9q+Hzree7GNs5rRdsnJrhu3ZshHqqPvA1zxbh37U v/Iau4VwiCfqb2wn7kuAh8hKDGT8yK7vXo8d/wDmjw+eqzv+PoKUpVxjFKUoBSlKAUpSgNDjnGIbSF7id9Eaczgkkk4AAG5JJ AwK5R0p6WPez2zxWV2YoNbYdFTXIwVUYZbGFXrP3qnen979Iv4LPnHbr9IlH cZDlYVPp23/AHax1IOf2SXMUqTSWUhCK+AGjP1kjEu+M78yMeZrzDxaMRiKQskgG4kUock9 ognYgnPOrBbzGW5uHz2UIhQd3ZGZD66mx+EVs3Nski6XVWHgwBpQsl/hDBm3uXAJzcsOX3Y48d/hV44bYlEAKnUcs2cAamJZvEntE1yOxkueGapbF/qx2pLZySjgcyh5o2BzHgOeMV2bgnE0ureK4TIWVFcA8wGAOD5jlXLRPY2Ios HJ3P8Ah6VTun/TFLIiKECW7kHZi5hRv25Dnsrz27/IZIw9OenJhY2llpe5x23O6QA97fefwT3Pgef2dkELOWaSVzmSVzlnbxJ/hXUcdqvQqnl6fuasfDneU3NzJ1tw25Y8l8Ag5AD/ADirh0DkLSXUpB2KRDG47K6zj3kHyqBZgOZA9TVw6G2vU2as3ORmlP8A8jEo P3NA9qr5bUMdI64ac8ls1um/GnhjVU2lkbRGvmR2nPgFXJ+XjVahlEaBFGAoxliPmfHxqH4x0hSa7eXVq05j hVQWOAe2wAHNmH7oWs3AuFycSkMemSOBGxM7DSxx/ZL3gnv8B7AxgSxY+0vLOuR2zZOkfC/LJnoXwxruY3T/ANRGSIcj+sf9OT0HIHxz4VfpUC9+PL+VY5ZYraLA0xxxrtyCqqjv8ABXNelH SmefsxxXMdswyZxDKDKp/wBW2nCIR+lzI8KxS7Z56X2N8VHBDf3Zt9JuOvcM1tbEMibSvkgH/wBlWHM/eIG3KoiPhOofW4zsAqk4VVGFXPNvHPia1+DcWttIjjZQByA2/wAedTSSA8jXpYeNjgtbZ5efl5Z2vCIxuCL+i8i+kjj+NeDHdRfZcSj7sg39n Xf5ipilWyxQl5RXj5WbG7jJlfv+MI6aHVon1oQG5bSoSQw2OOftX6TBrgl9Z JKjIw2YEfOupfDbjrXdijSHM0RMM37ce2o/tLpb8VUrEsekanypch3LytFppSlCBSlKAUpUfxvi8dpEZpdfVggMyIz6Qf0m CgnSO842oCQqNSYi7ZCdnhVlHmjuHPykirZsOIRTrqikVxyOk8j4MOanyO9R Rn6ya3mC4ZXlgcfdyNR9i0MZHiGBoCgOf/6fE2bZhJGN+5BAmn2wSa8P0hswcG5hz/eJ+ZztVv6ZdCPpb/SIJepuAoUkrqjlUHIWVO/B5MNx51ze7a4Eklufo4eE6ZHXVKhfGSqA6DkDGc8iceNSDb4TAERsMrapJH1 KQQdcjMNx+qRW7VRueHlDrMUTE8zDrt39iGIPuRW9a9aY+ttpmkUc4Z8E5HN Q/wBpW9cigJDpBc9XbSv3hCB6t2R+ZFa3CJrmGFI4b+4iwgGnKuo23Cq6nQOf2 SK1+kcnXdVaj7TkPIO9Y13OcciTgCou1gfVIv0iRSjEb6WGOa8xnkR39xrh7 l1Xk6tRj2l4N21sLmIaY3gkGSTqDqzE7kswJ1E+JrzfG9ZQBDjtAsYplBK94 BYDST471g4QL25l6q1QXJBwzBCip+3JnSOf8s1PcS4RxG1UvNaNoXm8Usbjn jkSrd/hUuU1oKGKTujDww2fWLH/AEdPPcPsi3TLKu27HLMUQAbk4/xrG3SZJNUV1ctZxIxQW1vCQdCMV0iYAjGVIOgDkRU10Jhbr57iWN49ESovWo UILMzORnmMJHuK1oeHxzpaKygtKt1OSR2ljlLSIw8CHeEj3rHJx7bNaT66Jr gHAeEXEaSW0MbKh2YFwwI7nOdRPk1WfEcEewVEQZwAFUDmfIeNUz4T5eGefG FkkGnwOmJAxH4sj2qw9MpillcMOYhkI9RG1U5L7dbLIVV0ZuE9HjeuLi7H1A IaGA8n7xLOO/xWM7AYJ3OFvGK4jwbjnElhTq7440jCywxOAMDYEBW+ZNWvon03uWuY7W8WI9 dqEcsQZQXUFtDoxOCVBIIPdjvr0IKMV1Rin2b7MtvFejNlc7z2sMh+80alh6 NjI+dUPpF8L2jBk4c523+jysSp/u5D2kPkxI8xXUqV3ZU0npn56teIEO0MqNHKmzxuMMv/AHDzFSIOeVdM6c9DYuIRg56u4TeKYDdT91vvIe8e4rj9lcSRu8E66Jom0yJ4 HuZfEEYIPgR5VdGd6ZlyYuu14JWpf4YX/UcRnticLcxiVPDrI9nA8ypz+GogVHcVumtngvUGWtpQ5A5lDs6j1U496matE YXUj9CUrxBKrqrqcqwBBHeCMg/KvdUGwUpSgFfGAIwdxVVl/pRmYONC5On6MYvs521PMCc454QY861ZeDXb/btYps8xc387KfWEW5j/ACoDV4za2lvL9UwcjGbeBm+kRjOxtzEesCg84W7BxtpwQ0u5/o+K4uLh+uDMjJ2Aru+lI0DD7PWMQi5AUbZwK8cH4rcCcWqW1toTaU28r6Ydt gcwqpbl2AcjIJwN6zfESzWSwlZn6vqcThiCQDCQ+CBuQcEbb70BVOJcd4vMr hJbaAMCAEjkdlyO6QsAWHjoHpVRtuD3sChFSCQDfIkdWJJySSwOSTuTmvB6X Y2eGUN3hXjYj2DZ/IVsJ0xgH2mkT9uNv4A1INW8a5A7dnKMd6FJPyU5/KqzPdDrX0vIuShIBdDzCuGXbfGk10G06SQPss0bHw1AH5GtbpLYRXEbs4AKq Sr964GefePKoatEp0aFukEClkGCd2JYkn9pmOaz9Guh1zxJpJ0YQ274XrWVi z4zkwrsCNyNRONts1O9HegjGBL28j+knSrx2kWNJLYw0pcjWRnJXkMHZjirz accCEdcJU2wEW0uNC+smgg48cqPKqMWJxfaT2W5cikuqWiX4PwyK1hjghXSk ahQPQcye8nmT3mst/ZpNE8MgykilGHirAg/ka1bTj1rK2lLiJm+7rXV7qTkfKpGryk5txHoxxSSH6OxhkjTCkiVlkuI84IP YxCSv2tzncArnIg+LWd/EZOvSO3a4xCLkyK0MMWOzHGBhi5Od2CgtjGwAPZax3ECSKUdVdWGCrAEEeBB 2Iqr4MPRFqzS9TmNtdxW8cVjZOuqJcuzAMiJuWebBGCxJIAIJJ8AajeL8Ynv YjaQxJK046tXiZ8aH2aV1KdiPTqwxYhu4muiS9CeGtpzZwYTkoQKvPPaUYD7 79oGpXh3DILdSkESRKTkhFCgnxOBuarXHV23Z28+tI5i/wAMr+PAiu7d1AwOsidDgeasakOi3QC6S6jubuWPEJLRxxazlypXU7MByBOwH PG/j0mlaKRR2YpSlSQK518Wui5kjF/Av18A7YH9rCN2XzK7sPceFdFpQHAOGXQkQEHIIyPSsV7L1jtbAZzGSzfdzso 9Scn2rPx/hH9HcQlt1GIZProPAKx7aD9k5AHhithQOYHPmfHwzV6doxSXSR0P4R8SM/C4NX2osxHP/tnC/wC5pq5VzD4KTaW4hb5+zMsgHgJVP/ZXT6oNqd7FKUoDy7YBOCcDkOZ8hVNuDxS9JXqfolvyw8o6xxg7uYiSo/URkb9ccqulKAp3EOAPFbiNZZXdsJFHCTbwoxB7RERD6F7TkPIxOMAkkA5+I2 YuLa44WrsQlusTTMdR6xkOA2+WYKFds90i+NWDid51MZfBZtgqjmzscKo8Ms QM8hzOwrT4dZdRHpY6nJ1yP953OWO/IZ2A7lCjuqG6ByPiXALqEaZ7RpVH6Ua9aD+6Cw91FV6RrMYz2AeWC6e3MCv0 HcToqM2dlUnn4An+dcJBUWiOw30gn5ZJrlPZDVEZLwq1k3EjexQ/npJ/OpzoD0ZiurprVpZ3txCzSKr6VyXRVRiOQZTJsMHs+tdG6IdCbI2Nsbizt3la JXdniQtqcayCxGTgsR7VP3HBo44OotolhRmUMIQI+yXXrCCmCCU1DI33rsHv jDNoENvPHDNsUVtJyqkAgKdxttqwcbbHlUNFLIjhLu6uoixwpb6N1TE4wEmS BcEk4CvpY9wNa/SS3WExvdIJ4EJXXIgfMTldSSgj7asqOr47QUr9sjXMP0eXSeomdEYbxuevhY EcjHIThcdyMooSerzorbzLpmM0oPMPPNj90MF/KpDhXC4rZOrhUqmc4LO2OXLUTgbcqrSniFlsluLmHP2IpBlR3mMSkFRzxFqc cgCoGKtltNrRXAZdQBwylWGRyZTuD5UBlpSlAKUpQClKUApSlAKUpQHL/jdbgfQJ8brM0efKRCf/AK6rFseyK6D8YLDreGvIBlrd0mHojYc/7NnrnlocqKtxmbOtpk/8K208Tu1+/bxv+65X/qrrVck+HK44sT3Gzf5ieH+dWrjHxL4dbyGISPNIv2lgQyYPeCw7OfLORVcvL L8e4ouNKr3RnppZ35ZYZCJFGWjkUo4GQM4PMZIGQTjI8aVB0WGlKUBikt1Zl YjJTJXyJGM48cEjPgT417eMHnXqlAVvpuoi4deSKSCtvJjlz6tgO7xxXILq0 63qLYb9c8cR/ZZlDfJdR9q6v8U5dPDJ/wBcxp/tJo0P5MaovQy167isAxkQI8p9cCNf+YT7UIfk7KowMDkK+0pQk8TQq6lHUMr DBUgEEHmCDzFa3CeHJbxLDGW0JsgY50rnZAeelRsM5OAN63KUApSlAKUpQCl KUApSlAKUpQClKUBhvbZZY3icZV1KsPEMCD+RrgfDlMStFJ9qJmjbPeY2KE+ +nPvX6CrhvxW4bo4gUDaI7hBNI2eWkCNx5A6VOfNqlTUds4njc6SKxddI3Mj RwEr1iGFpFzqKM6MyxnxOgLnz7udSnD+BqqAPy7o1JCL64wZD4s3sBUdwKKO SfrsBY0GiBTtnH2mwefM/PyqYupZZZUtbZdc0pwo7gB9pnPcqjcmsWbJKcuqNuHHHHC2eOjnRo3l9Ilux iWOHtupOAWddK+4DH8NK7J0N6Mx8PtxCp1ux1SyEbySHmT4DuA7gKVqiuqoz ylbsnaUpXRyK+Zr7UPxBxFcxShtmAilXyZj1Ln0kyg/vT4CgIL4st/ocaffuIh+63Wf9FRPwftdUl7c/rpCv4FLtj1Mq/Kt74uOeqtR3deWP4YJsfmRW/wDCm06vhsTHnKXlPpI7Ff8Ac0UI9S3UrT+llpOrjwdJ+sY8l79I8WI+QIJ7g dyhIpSlAKUpQClKUApSlAKUpQClKUApSlAK5N8buF9ZNYvnCsXifzHYkA+SP XWahelvR2O/g6l2KMGDxyKASjgEA4PMYJBHeCahq1olOmcivIoxHpKrpGyjHLwx4YqzfBnh gZrm+I2JEERP3E3kIPeC5x+CtFfhnxCR+rmnhWH9KWMuZCveFRhhCfEscedd V4Xw+O3iSCJQscahVUdwH+J7ye81RgxOO5F+bKpaRtUpStBnFKUoBUbxrhK3 CgairDIDDnpbGofkrDwZEPdUlSgOZ/FWVnS2iDIZjqUqrZxIwjUeYGpjzq2ycNmXqLeE6IYo1God2kac45EgAaRuMk sfsKH5b8Tui1pDNJLFFpd21sdchyzHLHBbA3J5V0v4dWSRWEWnV2xqOp3fc7 baidI2GwwKAmeG2RiUAn0UZ0jJydzu7E7l2OScnbJrdpSgFKUoBSlKAUpSgF KUoBSlKAUpSgFKUoBSlKAUpSgFKUoD/9k=https://www.pprune.org/One Drive\Nail.jpghttps://www.pprune.org/OneDrive\Nail.jpg

On the head, VP

https://www.pprune.org/data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxISEhUSExMWFhUXGSAbGRgXFxcbHhsZGxcXHRobGBkdHSggGB8n GxoXITEhJSkrLi4uHR8zODMtNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGy0mICY3LS01Mist LS8vLS8vLS0tLy0wLS0rLS0tLi0tLS0tLS0vLS8tLS0tLS0rLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAOsA1gMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcAAEAAgMBAQEAAAAAAAAAAAAABQYDBAcCAQj/xABIEAACAQMCAggCBgYGCQUBAAABAgMABBESIQUxBhMiQVFhcYEHkRQjMlKC oUJicpLB0RUzQ3Ox8CRTk6Kys8LS8TRjg8PhJf/EABoBAQADAQEBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAwQCBQb/xAAsEQACAgICAQIFAwUBAAAAAAAAAQIRAyEEEjFBURMiseHwYXGBMpGh0fEj/9oADAMBAAIRAxEAPwDuNKUoBSlKAUpSgFKUoBSla19fxQhTK6oGYKuogamIJ Cr4kgHbyoDTvekVrDcJayShZXRnC+CIpYsx5KMK2M89J8DVStvipA05DwyJa lTon0uzMwIxmFFLKrDUQTvsMgZrm/ECbwtcOSGmYuT3hWBUJ+yIiEx4Z8azdWfbx7qxZOXT+VG2HEtfMdA4p8Uoxt a20kp+/L9SnyIMh/cHrVZvumfFJs/XpAp7oY1z+/Jqz6gCoXIHLfz/AJV81b5qiXKyPxoujxca87Pt3JPIfrbu6c+BuJAP3VIUfKtQ8MTOTnPiXfP+ OazvdAf/AJ/OsH0ryqv4mR+rLfhwXojctZLmE5hurmIjwmZl/ckJU/KrZwT4jXcRC3cYnj/1kQCyAeLR50v+Ej0NUpLjJxis1dx5GSPr/c4lx8cvQ650H6aJxASLoMcqEnSc9qPUQsi5APdgg7qefMZtVfnK6RsFkLhwD go7I2+MjUp78DyyAe6u+8Av4ri2imhYtGyDSWJLbbEMTvqBBBzvkGt+HN8RG DNi+GyQpSlXFIpSlAKUpQClKUApSlAKUpQClKUApStKJtU7nujUL+JsM2R39 nqsepoDdrl/xvR8WTdoRK76mXI0yFVERz3H7eD411CqT8YLV34a7LkiORJHA741YavZdn/DUS2mdRdNHJhPpAUbgAflX0XI8DW30a4Ab2Vk61o0RNRKBSxJOFA1AgDmTt4 VYYfhmmXL3crZACaFVCuM51faV8+gryljT22eo8lOkioyXHhtWpNejtZLELj WQCVTJAGthsuSQN6uS/DaXVhr0dX36YQHx4A6yoPnj2q7cO4PBBEII41EY5gjOo89TE/aOd8mpUYrzv8AYh5G/H+TlHBOC3F4fqExH3zOCE/AOcp9NvEirTD8ODq+su2KeCRhWP4izAfKr4BSl+yOdvyzjnSOxit7t4IQQqR pnU7MSzFySSxP6OmsK3GF86lem/B7hbyWdIXljkCnMeCVKrggrz88iq7DKGzzBBwQwIIPgQeRpON7O4NLRvJcDG/OunfBibNnMvctzIAPAMqOR+8zVyeupfA9f9DuG8bp8eyRir+Iqkyjl/0o6LSlK3GAUpSgFKUoBSlKAUpSgFKUoBSlKAVocEOqISf60mT2Y5T5JpHtXz j0hEDgEhnxGpHc0jBA3sWz7VvIgAAAwAMAeQoD1XmSMMCrAEEYIPIg8wa9Uo Dj3A+Etw7iz2hB6mSJ2gY96BkIXPeydpT5aT31fKw/EJNEdvdY/wDT3CEnwjkJhk9gJNX4ajuksKlMyXEsMY+0ImVNWcAAvpLDcgAKQST31hzwS kbcMnKJMV8qt9FepiLwrLcsW7YS5MmpRyygkVW0k9+4zVkrO1TouXgg+M9Kr e3k6k9ZLNjPUwI0jgeLBfs+9bvCOKi4UkRTREc1mieM+xIw3sTWtfvLJOltb 6VkkBZpGUkJGmkF2AxrOWVVXI7znANe77h81iUkaczQs4Ry6IrIzkKhBQAFS 5VMEZBYHPOrFBuHZL/Jw5pS6tm5eR99ck6YMqcQlB2MiIw/WwpUn/dx7V2RhnaqH8TbY/QpGC5aNkYHG+NYB9sMargvnr30Wt/Lfts0OEdGLNoovpPXSTzL1gWJpPq0OMHCHAA8WySQcA4OLh8MibSS44W+/Vnr4pO+SKVjnX+srgqSOe1V2/4WgltI0d4pnRS0nXOqhLYxjQqAhXZi+MHkCx8jYuHHPHIwOaWL6z5NPHpB91 Y1qwTfZL0ZlzR02zoFKVgnfuHOtjdGQz0rTTIOx5d1batneoTsH2lKVIFKUo BSlKAUpSgFKUoCNv8AtTwR+GqU/hXQAfxSg/hr3wmQv1knc0jBfJUOgY8iVLfirQurwo15cAZMSCNV8XVDJgftGVF9RUtw61 EUUcQOdCBc+OABk0BsUpSgI7pFwwXVrPbnlLGyZ8CykA+xwapfB7o3C8MuJB zcGQHuk6iZRqB8J9Ix97T4V0WudcGtkJvbRwSsd2+2SOzIVnXkQcZkPyqjNq pexdh3cfc2+kPHLWedYUYfSbaZNiQDh2eORQM5PZBYjHLQ3hUrVXCapntrOG 3hS30iSVolOHZQwSKMYyQpBLE4GRsastuhVQGYuRzYgDPsBgVlzS7OzRij1V ENxu7mtpOvgjaSR4zGEVSSSJI2Ha0sseVEg1Ntkrzr5NxS8ns0guLOQynq+s cPb41JIjFtIkH3c7d/cKnaVMc0ox6oSxKUuzPtaN6u/qK3a1L3mKzT8GjH5ILivGo4ZEja1kuJca4hHF1hDZ07HfQeW5xz51P9A+ATR ddeXYAurkgsgORFGoxHED3kDckbEnyyaunSaGz4pqnLiMWmCUjd9LPMCCwQE gYQ74ro/B+M290nWW8ySr4owOPIjmp8jXocWCUE/Uxcmbc2vQ3jWpttv51uVrzWgbyrQ1ZmPJOnc1lh5n/O+P8AxWJLMDv/ACrZVcbCoS3ZJ9pSldEClKUApSlAKUpQCvhNfajukDkW8ig4Z8RqR3NIwQH2 LZ9qAiIV6yG1U5/0ifr2zsQuprlQfTTFHVoqKjQG7AAwIYcDw+tfl7CEfvVK0ApSlAKoFyOo4xM h2F3Akq+bw5jceugxn0FX+qx076PyXUcctuQt1bP1kJPJtsPGx7lddvUCuMk e0WjuEuskyD4hwCUzPPbXJgeQDrFaMSI5UYVtOpSracDIO4A2rd4Vw548tJO 8rnxCqoG2yoo/MknzrBwDpDHcqRgxyodMsT7PG3eGH+B5GpivNd3TPQXjRXukXSVIXFujL17D OCrOVB5ERJ25GO+FGOW5Ub1ox8MuZyrAyxEHPXTysXODuBawssCA8hrLnHMZ 3qzQWESMzoiqzHLMANTHxZube9bNdKaSpI5cW3bZ5jUgAElj4nAz8gBWpet2 vQVuO2BmqR0ovnnf6Bbn6yQfXOP7GE/az+sw2A8/eqmuzoti62Vng/FevvbuYAlG0BD+opdVI8QcZrfn4Vh/pFrI1vcD9OPbPk68mHka+w2iR3lysYwkfUwqPDq49Tf8Qrb4jeRxAM5OonCq oJZj4Ko+1/CrpSan8n6fQ0YoReGsn6/Vli6J/EjLra8RVYZicJMu0Up9/wCrbyO3pkCujV+fOMyGVMTWjrE3MlkJH6xUEkY9avvwm6Ruwfh1w+qWAZicn eSDkPUqSAT4EcyCa2YsnbT8nl8njrG7j4OjUpSrjKKUpQClKUApSlAKUpQCo ziR1T28X6zSkeKxrp/45Yz7VJ1Eddia4mO6wxqmPBgGkfHqrQ/KgMvBu0Z5fvzMB5CPEWPTVGzfiqSrV4ZbmOGNDuVUBj4tjtH3OTW1QClKUB8 Jxua+IwIBHI7io/jj5RYRzmcR/hILSen1avv44qSoCt9J+hsF4wmBaC5UYW4i2cD7rDlIv6re2KqszcUsdp4Pp cQ/trUdrHi9ud8+OgmunUqueOM/KO4ZJQ8HNrDpzYy7deit3q50MD3gq+CKy3nTOxiGWuIvQOCfYLkmrN0uhskt 5bm7t4ZViQsesjRycDYDUDuTgD1rlHA+HpFF1skcaSPmR9KKAmrtaFwOyqjA wPCsmXDHGrtm7jylmdUkZ+O9NppV/wBHjeKL9K4kQ9le90i5tgd5+XfU/Y29tw21ecklcay7HLzSHlv+kzE4A86jZVDrkYIPyII/wIqNteDhSmWlcRDEQlk1rEAMDq05AgbAnfFVXFr83+fiNb40r+V/b9vz+T3wSB1XVL/WOzSy+TyHOPwjA9qcKtmZmuZR9Y+yA/2cX6K+RP2m8zjurekcIFH3mAHmSdz8sn2rNXLk9v3NKhFUvY1789kev8DVeP EzbyWvEkB+qKlwO+GQYceexOPPBqW49Pojc/dRj+R/lWjbWoMCxMNurCn00gV1jfWpHOaHxE8f6f8ADvUModQykFWAII5EEZBHtXuq L8HeKNJY9Q5zJauYT5qN4z6aSB+Gr1XqHzrVOmKUpQgUpSgFKUoBSlKAVFcO g6yFiT/WuXJ8UL9ke8YUVt8TlKQyMv2tJ0+bEYUe7YFZraEIiovJVCj0AwKAyV8Jr7W OZ+7n/nx7qA8/SF/z/Ec69JMD39+K1+rIrFdSLGjSMcKilmJx9lQSdxy2zVfxCaIy64iguLi4c/U2UJBI3+sdRLIMeIiWHH94RU1DeZGWUqdOSM5xyyM+9VCGBnhtbV9pbqU3Ny M7hFYTMvmoYwQ/smrLvgePI/x/wq1bOJOja+md2k/MV9+l/qn8q1Qe0fT+NaPHOKJbQvNITpUcgASSSAqr4ksQB61NI4UpN0Vb4pcQ6+S2s U3Ut183mkZ+rXzDSb/gqHmm2Ox5fnWhxE3U1xJc4jQyBQEYsxVEGy6gMcySe7JrTuLudATNH2RzaM6 wPAsMBgN+4GsOepy0ezw3LHDaqzzwKcwzPbkHqyNcX6oP2lHkDuPWrB1ngDi qpeCQtBeDHUdcIFPe5ZHLsD90FAvrmrHe3YiRpD9lRn+Q9c4HvXGTFtfqW4u R8rqqX0NNputugoGVgXUf7xxhR6hNX71SofxGKh+C6VRsuDJIdchG/aPdt3AAD2qQmfC4zzricEtexbiySe/ch+kTawIxzldYx6Zy3+6GrdIxtWpZr1l2PuwJn/5JNh8kB+db0/2j61xLSSNENyb/AI/t97JH4X3PVcVuIe6eBZPxROF/MOT7V12uJdF5NHGbI/fWVD6dWWH5gV22vRwu4I8Hlx65pIUpSrDOKUpQClKUApSlAa95BrCjuDqx/CdQx+IL7ZrYpUL0v439DtmlUBpCQkSn9KVzhAfLO58gaAiemnTdLPVFEFknC 6m1EiOFTyaZhvk/ooO03lzrmHEOkHEJG1vdTB9OsIhEYA72dR2Y0AxsxZjk1p8RcqxGTKyyAZPO e7fGuR/EJnAHIYPgKkFtFBKE6lRtUh/10o5k/qodgPH0rmTpokmoviBf9UGKW8a421rISQBzYalwCd+Q9Ktwu5Lq2tY5I+re6 KtKm/ZjTtyZzvhgFQg7jrAKqPRDhP027JkXMMGHZSNmkOerU52IGNWPJfGugFiZ55 xgmJOqjXmSxAeTfPInql8tBrnbTVCj7ZHVcTXR5L9Qn7KZMhHhmUlD/dit8hs5233xS0twkccY35Z8zzYnzJyT61llUAgDwyf4fxqIuSjaJ6p6Zr6CM nbeqT8VIZNVrGNTK7FVGMoZmaNU1jyUuRk+J5irRxjpBa2YVriVUyThebMdi NKDc4335VUbnjq8Vu4BFHIiW+ubMmBrYjq0IAJxjW5/8V05Po22TCK7qkaR6JXKkKbnJ7sRqB64JJ/Ooji6TWxMckiszIzoyggHQMkMpJK8+4nNdMiBRRqOTn+HL8q5nxt3mv8Ar0j 62OEhFUyBFLIcuTsSw1aRgEA6N8g4rHjUpyo2yy/DXZs89JbWWG04dbT4jGuW4dObIVOtE9AJSPUVqpIZipuOrVByhJOSdsGQ5AJ HhgivHSPicks01xPCwaQKiBWVwoCjSi95y2/Lvq59Hui8UUP10aPLJ25CVU9puYG3IDA9s99ORklGTJ4yh0Xr6lY/oe3lG0aoTyZOww9CuK0bp3tMLM2uI50y/pAgZ0uO845MOdWLjHR4QR9dbDRpGTED2WUDJ0r+gwHIjY943qB4xcdeY4x2g THIduS68kn2XGPOqo5JOVN2jWow63BVL6/7JHo/askOph9ZITIw8C3JfZdI9q+Hzree7GNs5rRdsnJrhu3ZshHqqPvA1zxbh37U v/Iau4VwiCfqb2wn7kuAh8hKDGT8yK7vXo8d/wDmjw+eqzv+PoKUpVxjFKUoBSlKAUpSgNDjnGIbSF7id9Eaczgkkk4AAG5JJ AwK5R0p6WPez2zxWV2YoNbYdFTXIwVUYZbGFXrP3qnen979Iv4LPnHbr9IlH cZDlYVPp23/AHax1IOf2SXMUqTSWUhCK+AGjP1kjEu+M78yMeZrzDxaMRiKQskgG4kUock9 ognYgnPOrBbzGW5uHz2UIhQd3ZGZD66mx+EVs3Nski6XVWHgwBpQsl/hDBm3uXAJzcsOX3Y48d/hV44bYlEAKnUcs2cAamJZvEntE1yOxkueGapbF/qx2pLZySjgcyh5o2BzHgOeMV2bgnE0ureK4TIWVFcA8wGAOD5jlXLRPY2Ios HJ3P8Ah6VTun/TFLIiKECW7kHZi5hRv25Dnsrz27/IZIw9OenJhY2llpe5x23O6QA97fefwT3Pgef2dkELOWaSVzmSVzlnbxJ/hXUcdqvQqnl6fuasfDneU3NzJ1tw25Y8l8Ag5AD/ADirh0DkLSXUpB2KRDG47K6zj3kHyqBZgOZA9TVw6G2vU2as3ORmlP8A8jEo P3NA9qr5bUMdI64ac8ls1um/GnhjVU2lkbRGvmR2nPgFXJ+XjVahlEaBFGAoxliPmfHxqH4x0hSa7eXVq05j hVQWOAe2wAHNmH7oWs3AuFycSkMemSOBGxM7DSxx/ZL3gnv8B7AxgSxY+0vLOuR2zZOkfC/LJnoXwxruY3T/ANRGSIcj+sf9OT0HIHxz4VfpUC9+PL+VY5ZYraLA0xxxrtyCqqjv8ABXNelH SmefsxxXMdswyZxDKDKp/wBW2nCIR+lzI8KxS7Z56X2N8VHBDf3Zt9JuOvcM1tbEMibSvkgH/wBlWHM/eIG3KoiPhOofW4zsAqk4VVGFXPNvHPia1+DcWttIjjZQByA2/wAedTSSA8jXpYeNjgtbZ5efl5Z2vCIxuCL+i8i+kjj+NeDHdRfZcSj7sg39n Xf5ipilWyxQl5RXj5WbG7jJlfv+MI6aHVon1oQG5bSoSQw2OOftX6TBrgl9Z JKjIw2YEfOupfDbjrXdijSHM0RMM37ce2o/tLpb8VUrEsekanypch3LytFppSlCBSlKAUpUfxvi8dpEZpdfVggMyIz6Qf0m CgnSO842oCQqNSYi7ZCdnhVlHmjuHPykirZsOIRTrqikVxyOk8j4MOanyO9R Rn6ya3mC4ZXlgcfdyNR9i0MZHiGBoCgOf/6fE2bZhJGN+5BAmn2wSa8P0hswcG5hz/eJ+ZztVv6ZdCPpb/SIJepuAoUkrqjlUHIWVO/B5MNx51ze7a4Eklufo4eE6ZHXVKhfGSqA6DkDGc8iceNSDb4TAERsMrapJH1 KQQdcjMNx+qRW7VRueHlDrMUTE8zDrt39iGIPuRW9a9aY+ttpmkUc4Z8E5HN Q/wBpW9cigJDpBc9XbSv3hCB6t2R+ZFa3CJrmGFI4b+4iwgGnKuo23Cq6nQOf2 SK1+kcnXdVaj7TkPIO9Y13OcciTgCou1gfVIv0iRSjEb6WGOa8xnkR39xrh7 l1Xk6tRj2l4N21sLmIaY3gkGSTqDqzE7kswJ1E+JrzfG9ZQBDjtAsYplBK94 BYDST471g4QL25l6q1QXJBwzBCip+3JnSOf8s1PcS4RxG1UvNaNoXm8Usbjn jkSrd/hUuU1oKGKTujDww2fWLH/AEdPPcPsi3TLKu27HLMUQAbk4/xrG3SZJNUV1ctZxIxQW1vCQdCMV0iYAjGVIOgDkRU10Jhbr57iWN49ESovWo UILMzORnmMJHuK1oeHxzpaKygtKt1OSR2ljlLSIw8CHeEj3rHJx7bNaT66Jr gHAeEXEaSW0MbKh2YFwwI7nOdRPk1WfEcEewVEQZwAFUDmfIeNUz4T5eGefG FkkGnwOmJAxH4sj2qw9MpillcMOYhkI9RG1U5L7dbLIVV0ZuE9HjeuLi7H1A IaGA8n7xLOO/xWM7AYJ3OFvGK4jwbjnElhTq7440jCywxOAMDYEBW+ZNWvon03uWuY7W8WI9 dqEcsQZQXUFtDoxOCVBIIPdjvr0IKMV1Rin2b7MtvFejNlc7z2sMh+80alh6 NjI+dUPpF8L2jBk4c523+jysSp/u5D2kPkxI8xXUqV3ZU0npn56teIEO0MqNHKmzxuMMv/AHDzFSIOeVdM6c9DYuIRg56u4TeKYDdT91vvIe8e4rj9lcSRu8E66Jom0yJ4 HuZfEEYIPgR5VdGd6ZlyYuu14JWpf4YX/UcRnticLcxiVPDrI9nA8ypz+GogVHcVumtngvUGWtpQ5A5lDs6j1U496matE YXUj9CUrxBKrqrqcqwBBHeCMg/KvdUGwUpSgFfGAIwdxVVl/pRmYONC5On6MYvs521PMCc454QY861ZeDXb/btYps8xc387KfWEW5j/ACoDV4za2lvL9UwcjGbeBm+kRjOxtzEesCg84W7BxtpwQ0u5/o+K4uLh+uDMjJ2Aru+lI0DD7PWMQi5AUbZwK8cH4rcCcWqW1toTaU28r6Ydt gcwqpbl2AcjIJwN6zfESzWSwlZn6vqcThiCQDCQ+CBuQcEbb70BVOJcd4vMr hJbaAMCAEjkdlyO6QsAWHjoHpVRtuD3sChFSCQDfIkdWJJySSwOSTuTmvB6X Y2eGUN3hXjYj2DZ/IVsJ0xgH2mkT9uNv4A1INW8a5A7dnKMd6FJPyU5/KqzPdDrX0vIuShIBdDzCuGXbfGk10G06SQPss0bHw1AH5GtbpLYRXEbs4AKq Sr964GefePKoatEp0aFukEClkGCd2JYkn9pmOaz9Guh1zxJpJ0YQ274XrWVi z4zkwrsCNyNRONts1O9HegjGBL28j+knSrx2kWNJLYw0pcjWRnJXkMHZjirz accCEdcJU2wEW0uNC+smgg48cqPKqMWJxfaT2W5cikuqWiX4PwyK1hjghXSk ahQPQcye8nmT3mst/ZpNE8MgykilGHirAg/ka1bTj1rK2lLiJm+7rXV7qTkfKpGryk5txHoxxSSH6OxhkjTCkiVlkuI84IP YxCSv2tzncArnIg+LWd/EZOvSO3a4xCLkyK0MMWOzHGBhi5Od2CgtjGwAPZax3ECSKUdVdWGCrAEEeBB 2Iqr4MPRFqzS9TmNtdxW8cVjZOuqJcuzAMiJuWebBGCxJIAIJJ8AajeL8Ynv YjaQxJK046tXiZ8aH2aV1KdiPTqwxYhu4muiS9CeGtpzZwYTkoQKvPPaUYD7 79oGpXh3DILdSkESRKTkhFCgnxOBuarXHV23Z28+tI5i/wAMr+PAiu7d1AwOsidDgeasakOi3QC6S6jubuWPEJLRxxazlypXU7MByBOwH PG/j0mlaKRR2YpSlSQK518Wui5kjF/Av18A7YH9rCN2XzK7sPceFdFpQHAOGXQkQEHIIyPSsV7L1jtbAZzGSzfdzso 9Scn2rPx/hH9HcQlt1GIZProPAKx7aD9k5AHhithQOYHPmfHwzV6doxSXSR0P4R8SM/C4NX2osxHP/tnC/wC5pq5VzD4KTaW4hb5+zMsgHgJVP/ZXT6oNqd7FKUoDy7YBOCcDkOZ8hVNuDxS9JXqfolvyw8o6xxg7uYiSo/URkb9ccqulKAp3EOAPFbiNZZXdsJFHCTbwoxB7RERD6F7TkPIxOMAkkA5+I2 YuLa44WrsQlusTTMdR6xkOA2+WYKFds90i+NWDid51MZfBZtgqjmzscKo8Ms QM8hzOwrT4dZdRHpY6nJ1yP953OWO/IZ2A7lCjuqG6ByPiXALqEaZ7RpVH6Ua9aD+6Cw91FV6RrMYz2AeWC6e3MCv0 HcToqM2dlUnn4An+dcJBUWiOw30gn5ZJrlPZDVEZLwq1k3EjexQ/npJ/OpzoD0ZiurprVpZ3txCzSKr6VyXRVRiOQZTJsMHs+tdG6IdCbI2Nsbizt3la JXdniQtqcayCxGTgsR7VP3HBo44OotolhRmUMIQI+yXXrCCmCCU1DI33rsHv jDNoENvPHDNsUVtJyqkAgKdxttqwcbbHlUNFLIjhLu6uoixwpb6N1TE4wEmS BcEk4CvpY9wNa/SS3WExvdIJ4EJXXIgfMTldSSgj7asqOr47QUr9sjXMP0eXSeomdEYbxuevhY EcjHIThcdyMooSerzorbzLpmM0oPMPPNj90MF/KpDhXC4rZOrhUqmc4LO2OXLUTgbcqrSniFlsluLmHP2IpBlR3mMSkFRzxFqc cgCoGKtltNrRXAZdQBwylWGRyZTuD5UBlpSlAKUpQClKUApSlAKUpQHL/jdbgfQJ8brM0efKRCf/AK6rFseyK6D8YLDreGvIBlrd0mHojYc/7NnrnlocqKtxmbOtpk/8K208Tu1+/bxv+65X/qrrVck+HK44sT3Gzf5ieH+dWrjHxL4dbyGISPNIv2lgQyYPeCw7OfLORVcvL L8e4ouNKr3RnppZ35ZYZCJFGWjkUo4GQM4PMZIGQTjI8aVB0WGlKUBikt1Zl YjJTJXyJGM48cEjPgT417eMHnXqlAVvpuoi4deSKSCtvJjlz6tgO7xxXILq0 63qLYb9c8cR/ZZlDfJdR9q6v8U5dPDJ/wBcxp/tJo0P5MaovQy167isAxkQI8p9cCNf+YT7UIfk7KowMDkK+0pQk8TQq6lHUMr DBUgEEHmCDzFa3CeHJbxLDGW0JsgY50rnZAeelRsM5OAN63KUApSlAKUpQCl KUApSlAKUpQClKUBhvbZZY3icZV1KsPEMCD+RrgfDlMStFJ9qJmjbPeY2KE+ +nPvX6CrhvxW4bo4gUDaI7hBNI2eWkCNx5A6VOfNqlTUds4njc6SKxddI3Mj RwEr1iGFpFzqKM6MyxnxOgLnz7udSnD+BqqAPy7o1JCL64wZD4s3sBUdwKKO SfrsBY0GiBTtnH2mwefM/PyqYupZZZUtbZdc0pwo7gB9pnPcqjcmsWbJKcuqNuHHHHC2eOjnRo3l9Ilux iWOHtupOAWddK+4DH8NK7J0N6Mx8PtxCp1ux1SyEbySHmT4DuA7gKVqiuqoz ylbsnaUpXRyK+Zr7UPxBxFcxShtmAilXyZj1Ln0kyg/vT4CgIL4st/ocaffuIh+63Wf9FRPwftdUl7c/rpCv4FLtj1Mq/Kt74uOeqtR3deWP4YJsfmRW/wDCm06vhsTHnKXlPpI7Ff8Ac0UI9S3UrT+llpOrjwdJ+sY8l79I8WI+QIJ7g dyhIpSlAKUpQClKUApSlAKUpQClKUApSlAK5N8buF9ZNYvnCsXifzHYkA+SP XWahelvR2O/g6l2KMGDxyKASjgEA4PMYJBHeCahq1olOmcivIoxHpKrpGyjHLwx4YqzfBnh gZrm+I2JEERP3E3kIPeC5x+CtFfhnxCR+rmnhWH9KWMuZCveFRhhCfEscedd V4Xw+O3iSCJQscahVUdwH+J7ye81RgxOO5F+bKpaRtUpStBnFKUoBUbxrhK3 CgairDIDDnpbGofkrDwZEPdUlSgOZ/FWVnS2iDIZjqUqrZxIwjUeYGpjzq2ycNmXqLeE6IYo1God2kac45EgAaRuMk sfsKH5b8Tui1pDNJLFFpd21sdchyzHLHBbA3J5V0v4dWSRWEWnV2xqOp3fc7 baidI2GwwKAmeG2RiUAn0UZ0jJydzu7E7l2OScnbJrdpSgFKUoBSlKAUpSgF KUoBSlKAUpSgFKUoBSlKAUpSgFKUoD/9k=

racedo
7th Apr 2018, 13:18
My view has always been that the most probable explanation is that the attacker(s) were Russian(s) who had a strong motive, perhaps personal, to try and kill Sergei Skripal, were sufficiently wealthy/influential to gain access to the facilities, materiel, expertise etc, and who acted (at least officially) outwith the direct sanction of the Russian government.

However, I doubt that this action is in anyway considered by the Russian government to be regrettable, and it may well turn out that the people behind it have already had a quiet pat on the back.

The most significant pointer to this being an act with which the Russian government agrees, even if they didn't directly sanction it, is the significant level of resource they are now putting into a pretty large disinformation campaign. Social media seems to be dominated by stories, conspiracy theories etc that have been traced back to Russian sources. If there was no involvement by anyone from Russia, and no direct or indirect sanction from the Russian government for this attack, why spend so much resource on trying to convince people around the world that Russia is innocent? Opening all the doors at Shikhany to the OPCW within hours of the identity of the agent being made public would have probably done a fair bit to take the heat off Russia.

I also suspect that, as with the attack on Alexander Litvinenko, the attackers believed that the method they had chosen was undetectable. It was pretty much a stroke of luck that resulted in Polonium 210 being discovered as the poison used to murder Alexander Litvinenko, and the choice of a pretty rare and unusual variant from the novichok CW programme suggests to me that the attacker(s) in this case also hoped that the toxic materiel would not be identified.

This fits a pattern we've seen with several deaths of Russians here, a method that either cannot be identified or has been disguised as suicide. That's an unusual pattern in itself, and, AFAIK, has only recently been associated with the deaths of Russians here. My guess is that the planning behind some, perhaps all, of these attacks has been for the perpetrators to remain unidentified and certainly not traceable to the Russian Federation. It seems the underlying principle is one of trying to maintain "plausible deniability", something that failed with the Alexander Litvinenko murder and has also failed with this attack, in both cases because the very unusual materiel chosen was positively identified.

In your time at various facilities..........
How many people were dismissed / disciplined for mishandling of items ?
How many times have you come across situations where material seemed lighter than it records stated ?

ORAC
7th Apr 2018, 14:03
KelvinD,

As you say, it was a magazine article, not a legal investigation. In holding it up to the standards of a legal investigation you are setting up as an Aunt Sally.

A minister has, in light of the present case, said the claims made wil be investigated. If, and when, and such investigation takes place and and official report is issued, then feel free to comment on the rigour with which they were conducted.

VP959
7th Apr 2018, 14:44
In your time at various facilities..........
How many people were dismissed / disciplined for mishandling of items ?
How many times have you come across situations where material seemed lighter than it records stated ?

I never heard of a single case, over a period of 38 years.

The only disciplinary events I can recall involved the sort of thing you'd probably get in any workplace, like arguments that went too far, two instances of inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace (one of which should have been handed to the police to investigate in my view, but wasn't), and one case of assault on a colleague that led to dismissal of the person concerned.

There were two other cases where I was the person being disciplined, once for an error that endangered an aircraft and it's crew (the panel let me off with a warning because, in the words of the panel chairman "I'd been damned stupid enough to have flown in the aircraft after I'd signed the flight safety certificate") and once where I was seen with posters supporting the SDP on my house and car and was lightly disciplined by my boss for being seen to openly support a political party (the penalty being to just remove the posters immediately).

The only case of theft I can remember was an MT chargehand on one site I worked at who was investigated for the theft of Landrover spares, but nothing could be proved as the stock records we held were so poor that we couldn't link the large stock of spares the MOD police found in his shed with anything missing from the station.

Within the very secure areas of any sites where I've worked I can't ever remember any incident that was down to mishandling of materiel of any type, except one that eventually led to the discrepancy mentioned below.

The one discrepancy with an audit of materiel that was held, was when an unknown quantity of explosive was "lost", when an accident involving a partial deflagration caused it to be thrown high in the air, scattering it in small fragments over a wide area. These were collected up but there was a disparity between the weight of the collected explosive materiel and that in the original holding, due to the unknown amount that had been consumed in the accident.

racedo
7th Apr 2018, 15:33
I never heard of a single case, over a period of 38 years.

The only disciplinary events I can recall involved the sort of thing you'd probably get in any workplace, like arguments that went too far, two instances of inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace (one of which should have been handed to the police to investigate in my view, but wasn't), and one case of assault on a colleague that led to dismissal of the person concerned.

There were two other cases where I was the person being disciplined, once for an error that endangered an aircraft and it's crew (the panel let me off with a warning because, in the words of the panel chairman "I'd been damned stupid enough to have flown in the aircraft after I'd signed the flight safety certificate") and once where I was seen with posters supporting the SDP on my house and car and was lightly disciplined by my boss for being seen to openly support a political party (the penalty being to just remove the posters immediately).

The only case of theft I can remember was an MT chargehand on one site I worked at who was investigated for the theft of Landrover spares, but nothing could be proved as the stock records we held were so poor that we couldn't link the large stock of spares the MOD police found in his shed with anything missing from the station.

Within the very secure areas of any sites where I've worked I can't ever remember any incident that was down to mishandling of materiel of any type, except one that eventually led to the discrepancy mentioned below.

The one discrepancy with an audit of materiel that was held, was when an unknown quantity of explosive was "lost", when an accident involving a partial deflagration caused it to be thrown high in the air, scattering it in small fragments over a wide area. These were collected up but there was a disparity between the weight of the collected explosive materiel and that in the original holding, due to the unknown amount that had been consumed in the accident.


But that is not proof that it didn't happen ?
If a person sought to do so, could it be done ?

VP959
7th Apr 2018, 16:00
But that is not proof that it didn't happen ?
If a person sought to do so, could it be done ?

In a highly secure area, within the outer security cordon? Pretty near impossible to do, I'd say. The security and decontamination measures alone inside that highly secure area would be really, really tough to get past, for one thing, plus sample stocks are not routinely held for many CAs as a general rule, especially the highly toxic ones. Normal practice would be to prepare a sample when required, do whatever work was needed with it, then destroy it afterwards.

There are several reasons for not keeping stocks of really toxic CAs, but only making them as needed. The obvious one is that all stocks have to be accounted for, and that's a PITA when the OPCW can walk in at anytime and do a random audit, meaning everything always has to be correct. The main reason for not routinely keeping samples is that this stuff is very, very toxic, so to just minimise the risk to everyone working with it you just want to reduce the amount that's held and avoid transporting it as much as you possibly can. The safety protocols start with eliminating the risk by not having agent present when it's not actually needed for something, then work through how to safely handle, transport, dispense, use in an experiment and safely dispose of afterwards.

You can't avoid holding samples of biohazard materiel, and just keeping that stuff safe and secure eats up most of the safety and security effort, so when it comes to CAs that only take a few hours at most to prepare from relatively safe precursor compounds the sensible thing to do is just avoid keeping any sample stocks if you possibly can. Another reason for not keeping samples is that some CAs degrade fairly quickly with time, so become unsuitable for some experimental purposes within a few weeks or months of preparation.

KelvinD
7th Apr 2018, 17:47
VP & Orac: You both seem to have missed the point in what I wrote about BuzzFeed. I am merely pointing out that as this is the origin of all the "umpteen Russians murdered abroad by the Kremlin" it so full of supposition, innuendo and allegation that it can be discounted.
As for the Po210 origin, I don't dispute that. I was merely pointing to this as yet another example of the inaccuracy of the "Explosive Evidence" made up by BuzzFeed.

VP959
7th Apr 2018, 18:01
VP & Orac: You both seem to have missed the point in what I wrote about BuzzFeed. I am merely pointing out that as this is the origin of all the "umpteen Russians murdered abroad by the Kremlin" it so full of supposition, innuendo and allegation that it can be discounted.
As for the Po210 origin, I don't dispute that. I was merely pointing to this as yet another example of the inaccuracy of the "Explosive Evidence" made up by BuzzFeed.

Yesterday there was a piece on Radio 4 that stated that around 65% (IIRC) of social media feeds about this story were coming from a handful of centres within Russia. As the media in general is so reliant on social media, I'm not at all surprised at the wide range of stories that are circulating.

My own view is that there is a very serious and well coordinated attempt being made to obfuscate and create uncertainty around whatever actually happened, so by the time the truth is uncovered (assuming it ever will be) it will be lost in a massive pile of conspiracy theories and general BS.

ORAC
7th Apr 2018, 18:12
And I was pointing out it is not the original source of “umpteen” murders organised by the Kremlin abroad - which is why I suggested you google assassinations by the KGB/GRU/FSB etc and dig into some of the “umpteen” returns you get - such as the BBC article I linked. The vast majority of which far predate the Buzzfeed article.

It just so happens the Buzzfeed one is the only one you want to talk about.....

racedo
7th Apr 2018, 19:11
Yesterday there was a piece on Radio 4 that stated that around 65% (IIRC) of social media feeds about this story were coming from a handful of centres within Russia. As the media in general is so reliant on social media, I'm not at all surprised at the wide range of stories that are circulating.

My own view is that there is a very serious and well coordinated attempt being made to obfuscate and create uncertainty around whatever actually happened, so by the time the truth is uncovered (assuming it ever will be) it will be lost in a massive pile of conspiracy theories and general BS.

Bearing in mind how easy it is to mask where something is being posted from then I take that report with a pinch of Salt.

IT Work colleague managed to post from NZ / Chile / Russia and US during the week and hadn't move, it showed up as all these locations in a discussion with someone about how easy it was.
I believe he has a few more skills that this to mask location but he was only playing at this.

Your last point I agree with, someone running this with an agenda.............. just not sure whom it is and why.

flash8
7th Apr 2018, 19:12
My view has always been that the most probable explanation is that the attacker(s) were Russian(s) who had a strong motive, perhaps personal, to try and kill Sergei Skripal, were sufficiently wealthy/influential to gain access to the facilities, materiel, expertise etc, and who acted (at least officially) outwith the direct sanction of the Russian government.

But that begs the question, why go to such extreme measures costing a huge amount of money, and risk (as well as the wrath of the Russian state who would want revenge because you can be sure they would trace the source and the source would have well known that), no can't see this happening when you could just go to his house and shoot him. Simple, effective and still newsworthy.

Could be the Russian state, but can't understand the rationale, and the government spouting emotive language to me almost seems like it is our government out of control.

I suppose I will be called a Russian sympathiser but they have handled this well, with the occasional touches of humour (although some may well see this as goading), Lavrov is in a different league than our Boris.

VP959
7th Apr 2018, 20:24
But that begs the question, why go to such extreme measures costing a huge amount of money, and risk (as well as the wrath of the Russian state who would want revenge because you can be sure they would trace the source and the source would have well known that), no can't see this happening when you could just go to his house and shoot him. Simple, effective and still newsworthy.

Could be the Russian state, but can't understand the rationale, and the government spouting emotive language to me almost seems like it is our government out of control.

I suppose I will be called a Russian sympathiser but they have handled this well, with the occasional touches of humour (although some may well see this as goading), Lavrov is in a different league than our Boris.

Based on experience, I don't think it can possibly have been a UK or US attack, for host of reasons, not least of which is that, like the Israelis, the UK and US tend to do things using conventional methods if they want to get rid of someone, so a "car accident" or similar, would be used.

The problem for me is the choice of weapon used. Either it was chosen on the basis that it's origin would not be traceable, and that it's use would send a message to others, or it was chosen in order to cast suspicion on Russia, without regard to any innocent victims.

I can't think of anyone, other than a Russian, who would consider targeting Sergei Skripal at the time that his daughter was visiting him, to jointly visit the graves of his son and wife. That seems to me to be a very strong indication of someone with a powerful motive.

This was a carefully planned and executed attack, with a lot of backing resources, and the timing of it doesn't seem likely to have been left to chance. He's been living here in Salisbury for years, minding his own business, but not making any attempt to hide his identity. He's given talks locally and a lot of people knew who he was and his background has been public knowledge for years.

If someone can come up with any credible alternative explanation as to why anyone other than someone from Russia would want to try and kill him in such an outrageous manner, then I'd really like to hear it. If someone just wanted him dead there are far more reliable and effective ways of doing that.

We've already got maybe a dozen suspicious deaths being investigated here where the suspicion is that someone from Russia has been involved, and for years we've been afraid of investigating too deeply for fear of creating increased tension between the UK and Russia. Perhaps if we had been more willing to state the bloody obvious in some of these cases the attack on the Skripals may not have created such a diplomatic incident.

Sallyann1234
7th Apr 2018, 21:22
... or may not have happened at all.

flash8
7th Apr 2018, 21:50
The problem for me is the choice of weapon used. Either it was chosen on the basis that it's origin would not be traceable, and that it's use would send a message to others, or it was chosen in order to cast suspicion on Russia, without regard to any innocent victims.


Precisely, and working on the latter theory, and in conjunction to its vicinity to Porton Down (surely no coincidence and carefully planned as such) it wouldn't be a great leap of faith to come to the conclusion that this attack was deliberately engineered to sow confusion. I genuinely believe Skripal was just unfortunate to be chosen as the target in conjunction with the vicinity, 1+1 = 3. Somebody was looking for a lucrative opportunity.

I can't say who, but obviously whoever did it meticulously planned this out, and that perhaps even death wasn't an intended by-product. Just the message and hence geopolitical effect. This was simply a means to a much larger end.


This was a carefully planned and executed attack, with a lot of backing resources

Indeed, but it failed.. and as the Russians wryly/grimly stated, if it was us "they wouldn't have survived".

Russia has immense resources, if they wished they could have sourced a nerve agent from anywhere (within reason) - why would they use one of their own? It could be argued that it would be like me burgling a house without gloves when the police have my fingerprints on file. Simplistic yes but a fair analogy.

The huge problem I think with this case is there are too many unknowns combined with an inept mishandling by the UK government, this has allowed doubt to seep in (through the memories of Iraq) rapidly until now we have a significant number of the general public simply disbelieving the government narrative.

I do agree there are few other contenders, whilst I don't discount some members of the government being psychopathic enough to want and plan this, I do doubt ordinary folk with a conscience (the vast majority) would touch it with a bargepole (hence my agreement and most sensible folk with you regarding Porton Down).

The isolation of the main participants in this also is a bit worrying, as is the visa denial (on flimsy excuses), the disappearing policeman (will we ever see him again?) - in fact will we ever see the Skripal's again? You couldn't make this stuff up.

racedo
7th Apr 2018, 21:52
... or may not have happened at all.

Are we talking the attack
or
we talking in general ?

Could they have been poisoned with "something else" designed to incapacitate but not kill, then someone elses agenda can kick into the gear that has already been planned for.

Reliance then is placed on a very limited number of individuals to confirm existence of a substance that was already to go.

Anybody thinks it can't happen then think Frank Skuse
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Skuse
He was a supposedly accomplished scientist.

racedo
7th Apr 2018, 21:58
. Just the message and hence geopolitical effect. This was simply a means to a much larger end.


The geo Political end is that UK went out on a limb and used its word to persuade a lot of its allies to kick out Russian diplomats.
This was about trust and they did.

If it turns out the whole case was a sham then London is screwed because its allies went out on a limb for it and wouldn't do it easily or potentially again.

Question would be who would have most to gain from that ?

flash8
7th Apr 2018, 22:09
The geo Political end is that UK went out on a limb and used its word to persuade a lot of its allies to kick out Russian diplomats.

Could be the ultimate goal was to discredit the UK, but possibly too many unknowns for that eventual narrative to be guaranteed, unless, whoever engineered this has yet to "leak" potentially damaging information on the UK, as part of a longer-term game. Don't think this was the goal though because nobody could have predicted how this would play out politically (although they may have had an inkling). Still.. you never know.


If it turns out the whole case was a sham then London is screwed

The current government would almost certainly be. But they would never admit this (in the unlikely event it was true) - it would be just more smoke and mirrors and obfuscation.

The real problem is our ministers are genuinely amateurs, but the Russians have decades of experience and play this game likes fishes to water.

WingNut60
7th Apr 2018, 22:43
If it turns out the whole case was a sham then London is screwed because its allies went out on a limb for it and wouldn't do it easily or potentially again.


Britain's allies went to war in Iraq, on it's word (and that of the US). They went out on a limb for it then. They lost citizens in that war and some continue to do so.
And yet it turned out that whole case was a sham.

And yet we do it again.

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 00:16
An electronic message to Moscow sent on the day former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury included the phrase “the package has been delivered”.

It also said two named individuals had made a successful departure.

This and an earlier intercept form a key part of Britain’s intelligence evidence against Russia over the Skripal poisonings, sources said last night.

Insiders said the two messages were intercepted by RAF analysts stationed at a listening post in southern Cyprus.

On the day of the poisonings, March 4, one was sent from a location near Damascus in Syria to “an official” in Moscow including the phrase ‘the package has been delivered” and saying that two individuals had “made a successful egress”.

This prompted a young Flight Lieutenant to recall a separate message that had been intercepted and discounted on the previous day.

What it said has not been revealed but sources say it became relevant once the Skripals were attacked.

The intercepts were automatically shared with the Government communications headquarters GCHQ in Cheltenham.

OK, it is the Express.... but sounds too elaborate for them to make up.

MG23
8th Apr 2018, 00:35
OK, it is the Express.... but sounds too elaborate for them to make up.

Because we're totally supposed to believe the super-powerful, super-smart Russians who apparently put Trump in the White House with a few trolls on Facebook would send easily-intercepted messages that would tie them to an attempted murder. And from Syria?

It's a common feature of crazy conspiracy theories that the evil conspirators are super-smart one minute and super-stupid the next. This story reads like a very bad 1960s spy thriller, not a world where encryption is trivial and spies actually know how to use code-words.

Then again, so does the rest of this tale.

vapilot2004
8th Apr 2018, 01:08
It was not so long ago that defending the likes of Putin would be considered treasonous in the western world. Today, this kind of talk is becoming right-wing boilerplate.

Putin's KGB-style disinformation campaign, coupled with the accusatory "fake news" tirades from his comrade, the American president Rump™, has created a sea change in conservative philosophy, leading to reality and truth becoming, apparently, mutable concepts, at least for the unfortunate among us, suffering from some form of cognitive dissonance, perhaps.

Future historians will no doubt find this era in global politics and its nefarious attacks against the fourth estate, mass media, and the truth these organizations strive to share, to be a turning point of some sort. Let's hope by the time we get this under control, the return ticket will still be valid.

obgraham
8th Apr 2018, 01:21
the fourth estate, mass media, and the truth these organizations strive to shareIf you believe that line, strangely one also historically associated with Russia (i.e. Pravda = "Truth"), then there's no saving you.

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 01:44
Because we're totally supposed to believe the super-powerful, super-smart Russians who apparently put Trump in the White House with a few trolls on Facebook would send easily-intercepted messages that would tie them to an attempted murder. And from Syria?


Apologies, I did not mean I believed it... just that the Express didn't likely make it up... now whether the Government was involved in creative manufacture is another story.

It does as you say look highly dodgy and a bit too convenient to be true.... the Russians use unbreakable post-GOST encryption for a start (and if they were allegedly using crypto then this news wouldn't be released as it would alert them of that the crypto is insecure).

So on that count.. it looks totally made up, you'd never release such a message as maintaining access to crypto-traffic is of far far higher value than the short-term rewards. Also all the backlog... and implied leakage of previous traffic would render that intelligence useless etc etc etc.

As was proven initially in WWII many many times over, where they'd rather have boats sunk and lives lost than alert the germans they had broken enigma.

And also (putting my maths cap on) the Crypto would have been unbreakable computationally, no state for example would even use crypto of 256 DES level equivalent complexity nowadays (and that is likely unbreakable in a finite timespace) - Russian GOST (and likely a lot of unpublished state security) crypto... well... unbreakable... are we to assume this was a plaintext interception? You'd be laughed out of the room...

So, yes, not likely false, 100% false.

Incidentally the Snowdon leaks if I recall correctly demonstrated GCHQ could not break even medium-grade crypto (such as Blackberry traffic or A5/1 GSM) and had to revert to key subversion, impossible in this case.

MG23
8th Apr 2018, 01:54
It was not so long ago that defending the likes of Putin would be considered treasonous in the western world. Today, this kind of talk is becoming right-wing boilerplate.

I don't believe anyone is 'defending Putin'. We're just pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes.

Claiming that asking for proof the Russians did this is 'defending Putin' is the same nonsense we saw in Iraq, when anyone who suggested that invading it might be a bad idea that would drag us into a pointless war for decades and destabilize the Middle East was told they were 'supporting Saddam'.

And, if defending the USSR had actually been considered treason, we wouldn't be in this mess, because most of the left's leaders would have been tried and jailed or executed at the end of the Cold War.

But, hey, better go check for Reds under your bed!

MG23
8th Apr 2018, 02:00
Incidentally the Snowdon leaks if I recall correctly demonstrated GCHQ could not break even medium-grade crypto (such as Blackberry traffic or A5/1 GSM) and had to revert to key subversion, impossible in this case.

But the crypto is also largely irrelevant, because real Putinite assassins wouldn't say 'the package is delivered' to indicate that the assassination had gone ahead. They'd say 'sasquatch' or 'elderberry'.

Super-smart killer spies don't do things that tell the other side what they're doing. Except in bad '60s spy thrillers.

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 02:15
'the package is delivered'

The only two cases that come to mind:

A) They were using a low grade mobile carrier (GSM, not 3G/4G) - effectively yes A5/1 could be broken near real-time using rainbow tables but that would presuppose they (UK/US int) had access to the traffic, again unlikely for a multitude of reasons in this case. Syria does have UMTS although can't comment on its breakability but you'd be an utter fool to use it for anything surreptitious.

B) Satphone was used and the data rewound and crypto retrospectively applied (not likely needed as they have all the keys at hand I am sure in GCHQ for real-time decryption). Satphone in a warzone.. you'll become instantly hot in theatre.

More interestingly...

Looks like the Skripals (according to the Sunday Times) have done a deal to go to the US with new identities (and one assumes a load of dosh) so we will never ever likely see or hear from them again... not that we have heard from them or saw them in the first place of course....

ORAC
8th Apr 2018, 05:48
It is equally possible both stories have been planted by Russia as part of the process of generating such a blizzard of false news tha5 the truth becomes unrecognisable and deniable.....

Krystal n chips
8th Apr 2018, 06:19
Based on experience, I don't think it can possibly have been a UK or US attack, for host of reasons, not least of which is that, like the Israelis, the UK and US tend to do things using conventional methods if they want to get rid of someone, so a "car accident" or similar, would be used.

.

"Based on experience "......hmmmm ?

And what experience would that be we wonder, given this implies participation in the decidedly murky and clandestine world of killing people from other countries by a sovereign state. Of course, what happened during 20+ years of trials flying, albeit still shrouded in mystery, may well have involved such activities or maybe this emerged over a dinner conversation as other such tenuously related topics do.

And now, back to Boris....blatantly and blissfully ignoring his own contribution to matters with this statement taken from the piece below...

" There is only one thing that gives the Kremlin succour and lends false credibility to its propaganda onslaught. That is when politicians from the targeted countries join in," Mr Johnson said"

Corbyn is 'Kremlin's useful idiot', says Boris Johnson - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43686718)

flash 8

Yes the article does sound a little elaborate for the Excess to have constructed, but, please remember that, every so often the rag diversifies away from its staple diet of " Leave the EU! / Statins / Miracle cure for ( insert condition of choice here ) and dire weather Armageddon predictions in an attempt to emulate serious and responsible journalism.

Thus far, there are no known or recorded successful attempts......

VP959
8th Apr 2018, 08:01
More interestingly...

Looks like the Skripals (according to the Sunday Times) have done a deal to go to the US with new identities (and one assumes a load of dosh) so we will never ever likely see or hear from them again... not that we have heard from them or saw them in the first place of course....

Sergei Skripal didn't hide away here in Salisbury at all. One or two knew who he was and some of his background, and he pretty freely mixed with some locals, and seems to have made no attempt to hide, even the graves of his wife and son are clearly marked with their names.

Clearly they are both at significantly greater risk now, after this attack, as someone may well want to finish the job.

Would he be safer in the USA than here? I'm not convinced he would, and anyway, what would the US get out of any such deal? He hasn't had any useful intelligence since the Soviet era, so it seems unlikely that he could be a asset, just a liability if they have to keep him safe. Seems unusually charitable for the US to be so generous with no reward for them to me.

VP959
8th Apr 2018, 08:08
It is equally possible both stories have been planted by Russia as part of the process of generating such a blizzard of false news tha5 the truth becomes unrecognisable and deniable.....


That seems closer to reality than much of the stuff that's been circulating.

Back when the US first introduced the freedom of information legislation that allowed individuals to request to see information the government held, long before we did much the same with our Freedom of Information Act, a technique was developed to hide information that the government were duty bound to release but which they didn't really want to. IIRC, they called it the "snowstorm technique"; fulfil any request like this with a truck load of documents in which it was hidden, so someone would have to be really patient to sift through thousands of bits of paper in order to find what they were after.

I think we're seeing the same thing now, with lots of stories being created that are way off the mark, but some that seem credible enough for the main stream media to pick up. The chances of the public ever being told a story that's even close to the truth seem pretty slim to me, especially as some of the stories just don't stand up to a quick "common sense" check.

Octane
8th Apr 2018, 08:19
What I don't get, is the news last week was they were both critically ill on life support and had irreparable brain damage? Now the Daughter is up and about, talking and the Father is recovering and there's talk of moving them to another country..
For what it's worth, I don't think the Russian State was behind all this, if so, they'd be dead...

VP959
8th Apr 2018, 08:38
I don't recall any credible reports of them having "irreparable brain damage", although there was early speculation that they may have been hypoxic for long enough for this to happen, as a doctor that was passing by (may have been a nurse, I can't remember) that was one of the first to attend reported that Yulia Skripal wasn't breathing, or her airway was obstructed, when she arrived on scene.

This passer by appeared on the local news on the day of the attack with this story, but I can't find out any more from a quick web search as to who she was or even if this story is true. It if is, then just getting their airways clear and putting them in the recovery position may well have had a significant impact on their eventual outcome, based on what I remember from first aid training years ago.

Nige321
8th Apr 2018, 09:04
"Based on experience "......hmmmm ?

And what experience would that be we wonder, given this implies participation in the decidedly murky and clandestine world of killing people from other countries by a sovereign state. Of course, what happened during 20+ years of trials flying, albeit still shrouded in mystery, may well have involved such activities or maybe this emerged over a dinner conversation as other such tenuously related topics do.



You don't give up, do you...:yuk:

Nige321
8th Apr 2018, 09:07
The huge problem I think with this case is there are too many unknowns combined with an inept mishandling by the UK government, this has allowed doubt to seep in (through the memories of Iraq) rapidly until now we have a significant number of the general public simply disbelieving the government narrative.

I do agree there are few other contenders, whilst I don't discount some members of the government being psychopathic enough to want and plan this, I do doubt ordinary folk with a conscience (the vast majority) would touch it with a bargepole (hence my agreement and most sensible folk with you regarding Porton Down).

The isolation of the main participants in this also is a bit worrying, as is the visa denial (on flimsy excuses), the disappearing policeman (will we ever see him again?) - in fact will we ever see the Skripal's again? You couldn't make this stuff up.

"now we have a significant number of the general public simply disbelieving the government narrative."
BS.
Care to quote some numbers?
A source perhaps??

"the disappearing policeman"
Probably wants a rest and some time with his family.
What do you want, a nightly interview?

I find it really funny the way you manage to weave conspiracy into every single thing the UK gov does...:yuk:

Stan Woolley
8th Apr 2018, 09:11
Interview with OPCW ex head.

https://mobile.twitter.com/rt_com/status/982624142771019776

KelvinD
8th Apr 2018, 10:02
On Radio 4 this morning, I heard a Clare Short quoting Boris Johnson's early pronouncement on there being "no antidote".
Funny how effective this 'no antidote' stuff is.
Let's have more of it. Or less Boris.

Andy_S
8th Apr 2018, 10:06
What I don't get, is the news last week was they were both critically ill on life support and had irreparable brain damage?

Where is this news? Can you please post a link? Because other than idle speculation I have no recollection of this ever been reported from a credible news outlet.

For what it's worth, I don't think the Russian State was behind all this, if so, they'd be dead...

Has it occurred to you that they very nearly were? That had they not had the good fortune to be in a public place when they became ill then the outcome would likely have been very different. Even the Russian State can have bad luck.

ShotOne
8th Apr 2018, 10:11
..re. clear airways, if I recall was reported as the cause of death of some unfortunate victims of the theatre siege who were left on their backs by rescuers.

Octane, we’d be pleased to hear your theory then as to who was responsible. It stands out that in all these scores of posts, some by contributors sympathetic to Russia, not one remotely credible alternative to Russia as the perpetrator has been put forward. Aside from which, even if one doesn’t care about the technical facts of the attack, Russia’s utterances have hardly been those of an innocent party. Rather the sarcastic and threatening bluster er of a seasoned criminal who senses the case against him may not be fully watertight.

roving
8th Apr 2018, 10:32
meanwhile in Syria

The mysterious Russian airlift helping Syria's Assad - Reuters TV (http://www.reuters.tv/v/jcT/2018/04/06/the-mysterious-russian-airlift-helping-syria-s-assad)

VP959
8th Apr 2018, 10:37
meanwhile in Syria

The mysterious Russian airlift helping Syria's Assad - Reuters TV (http://www.reuters.tv/v/jcT/2018/04/06/the-mysterious-russian-airlift-helping-syria-s-assad)

And another reported sarin attack in Syria, too: Syria war: At least 70 killed in suspected chemical attack in Douma - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43686157)

racedo
8th Apr 2018, 11:43
It was not so long ago that defending the likes of Putin would be considered treasonous in the western world.

But apparently its not treasanous to talk to, support and supply weapons and ammunition to the organisation who killed 3000 people on 9/11.

racedo
8th Apr 2018, 11:49
'm not convinced he would, and anyway, what would the US get out of any such deal? He hasn't had any useful intelligence since the Soviet era, so it seems unlikely that he could be a asset, just a liability if they have to keep him safe. Seems unusually charitable for the US to be so generous with no reward for them to me.

Depends of who keeping safe from.
And also covering up so nothing can be released for the real reason.

racedo
8th Apr 2018, 11:52
Britain's allies went to war in Iraq, on it's word (and that of the US). They went out on a limb for it then. They lost citizens in that war and some continue to do so.
And yet it turned out that whole case was a sham.

And yet we do it again.

Interesting that head of OPCW in 2002 has stated publicly that in 2002 he was threatened including his 2 kids, living in the US at the time.

He took the line that Saddam had given up his chemical weapons and they had the evidence to prove it but it didn't fit in with the narrative of the US who wanted war.

Now Bolton is back as NSA adviser..............

racedo
8th Apr 2018, 11:59
meanwhile in Syria

The mysterious Russian airlift helping Syria's Assad - Reuters TV (http://www.reuters.tv/v/jcT/2018/04/06/the-mysterious-russian-airlift-helping-syria-s-assad)

Russians on the ground in Syria is not a surprise, why would it be after all they are the ones who conducted the negotiations to get the terrorists out of Aleppo in 2016 (these people slaughtered hundreds of prisoners as they leaving). They also responsible for the negotiations in getting them out of East Ghoutta and guaranteeing their safety to get to Idlib.

Are there Russian contractors there ? Yes
Are there US contractors there ? Yes
Are there UK contractors there ? yes

Which country has been invited to assist Syrian Government ?

Which countrys are openly arming terrorists ? .................... unless IS / AQ have now been deemed not to be terrorists by US allies Qatar and Saudi.

roving
8th Apr 2018, 13:22
which country is aiding a country dropping chemical bombs?

vapilot2004
8th Apr 2018, 14:02
But apparently its not treasanous to talk to, support and supply weapons and ammunition to the organisation who killed 3000 people on 9/11.

Cheeseburgers and Coca-Cola. We had a common interest back then, also known as "Democracy & Freedom".

I don't believe anyone is 'defending Putin'. We're just pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes.

Which one? Trump or his boss?

Claiming that asking for proof the Russians did this is 'defending Putin' is the same nonsense we saw in Iraq,

Whole different gang of goons, with one result giving rise to ISIS/ISIL and the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and the cracking open and creation of the current Mess O'Potamia, and the other, a criminal investigation with the former KGB comrade as the prime suspect.

Note, despite the huge loss of life and limbs and minds, and destabilization of an entire region of the world, the former crimes have gone unpunished.

radeng
8th Apr 2018, 14:25
A philosophical question:

Is it better to have a nasty dictator in power in a country, complete with secret police etc, but at least relative stability OR to have a chaotic situation where the government is overthrown and there are various factions busy fighting each other and the remains of the government, leading to thousands of civilian deaths, major displacement of the population as refugees and an almost complete destruction of infrastructure, just for the sake of regime change?

vapilot2004
8th Apr 2018, 14:37
From the historical POV, it depends on your concerns within the country in question (like human rights) and the dictator's proclivities for provoking mayhem and destruction, and the number of allies he has and size of their collective war-making willies.

However, all bets are off when large quantitie$ of natural re$ource$ are pre$ent.

VP959
8th Apr 2018, 14:41
A philosophical question:

Is it better to have a nasty dictator in power in a country, complete with secret police etc, but at least relative stability OR to have a chaotic situation where the government is overthrown and there are various factions busy fighting each other and the remains of the government, leading to thousands of civilian deaths, major displacement of the population as refugees and an almost complete destruction of infrastructure, just for the sake of regime change?


I've long held the view that for some parts of the world democracy is unlikely to ever work, and that it's better to have a relatively benign dictator. A reasonable example is China. Yes, it doesn't have a very good human rights record, but to balance that violent crime rates are extremely low, the general standard of living for much of the population (particularly in urban areas) is increasing rapidly and the country is a smaller threat to the West militarily than it has been for decades.

In my view the West should stop interfering in the affairs of countries well outside it's borders. Most of what Russia is doing is seeking to reduce any threat from some of the many "buffer" countries around it's borders, some of which it views as being wholly, or partially, a part of Mother Russia.

What does concern me is that the Russian government are a damned sight more competent than the governments of the West in many respects, and have exploited new technology to fight what amounts to an information war far more effectively than we have. That's just an expansion of the way that the same techniques were used internally during the Soviet era, and are still used internally by states like NK.

Sallyann1234
8th Apr 2018, 15:31
A reasonable example is China. Yes, it doesn't have a very good human rights record, but to balance that violent crime rates are extremely low, the general standard of living for much of the population (particularly in urban areas) is increasing rapidly and the country is a smaller threat to the West militarily than it has been for decades.
Apart from their expropriation of the South China Sea. If the US insists on maintaining rights of passage for its warships that could get very unpleasant, even by accident.

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 15:32
I find it really funny the way you manage to weave conspiracy into every single thing the UK gov does...

Well Nige, I like playing devils advocate, but ultimately I genuinely am interested in the truth!

And VP, what I was implying were that during this episode they haven't been seen, and likely will not be seen in the future (although I can see this being put down to not wanting to be identified) so effectively these are victims that were never seen since the day of the attack, never given a voice, and whisked away. Extremely convenient in many ways.

The Express Crypto story was bollocks (if you'll excuse my french) but it begs the question who fed it to them? It was constructed in an elaborate enough way (it would indeed likely have been at Flt/Lt grade that this SIGINT may have initially picked this up, and the story is slightly convincing in other ways) as to be convincing to many.

That such a story was planted in the first place doesn't endear any confidence in me.

Sallyann1234
8th Apr 2018, 15:39
In my view the West should stop interfering in the affairs of countries well outside it's borders.
That sounds rather like "a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing."
How did that one work out?

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 15:56
In my view the West should stop interfering in the affairs of countries well outside it's borders. Most of what Russia is doing is seeking to reduce any threat from some of the many "buffer" countries around it's borders, some of which it views as being wholly, or partially, a part of Mother Russia.

Absolutely. The aggressive NATO stance has caused a fair amount of this tension. This isn't pro-Russian view, it's a pretty well established fact amongst even those in power. Ukraine in the EU orbit and the potential loss of Russia's Black Sea fleet port required them to step up (and that is fully accepted by the West who may wring their hands, but that is the extent of it).

All of our recent escapades Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan have resulted in ignominious defeat. Caused untold deaths (theirs and ours) and regional destabilisation - all this goes without saying - however the public voted for none of this (or actively campaigned against).

The Good thing is I feel the tide has turned. Public lack of support for another misadventure won't just result in a few protests, it would result in full-scale riots. The Government is well aware of this.

TEEEJ
8th Apr 2018, 16:33
OK, it is the Express.... but sounds too elaborate for them to make up.

Of course it is a made up story by a journalist with form. It was no surprise to me that it would be an article by Marco Giannageli. The question is why do some people fall for such stories or read too much into them? All Giannageli does is let his imagination run riot!

Giannageli wrote an article back in 2015 claiming.

A RUSSIAN bomber intercepted over the Channel last week was carrying a nuclear missile designed to destroy Trident submarines, it emerged last night

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/555454/Intercepted-Russian-bomber-was-carrying-a-nuclear-missile-over-the-Channel

Marco Giannangeli was the journalist that made up the story that Argentina was leasing Su-24s from Russia.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/549006/Falkland-Islands-defence-review-after-military-deal-between-Russia-and-Argentina

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/552676/UK-Falklands-warship-argentina-navy

Link to the article that you posted.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/942903/Sergei-Skripal-russian-spy-poisoning-russian-message-intercepted

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 16:36
Just got this in my facebook feed - not sure if he is talking sense though - VP - if you have time - does this sound realistic?

I will say a few words about the Russian Nerve Agent issue.

I worked for several years at the Wellcome Research laboratories in London as a Senior Scientist in the Department of Physical Chemistry. My job, at the basic level was to help determine the structure and origin of pharmaceutical compounds. So, I am an expert in this area. I also carried out similar work at Queen Mary College London for my first PhD and synthesised complex organic chemicals.

From that, I can say that the synthesis of a specific small organic chemical like the supposed Novichoks is not very difficult. Most sythetic organic chemists could knock up small quantities of the 234 compound, given the structure.

Mainly, I can say that there is no way that the compound that was detected in the Skripal attack could be traced to a Russian laboratory (or any laboratory) by any lab unless the lab already had a sample known to come from the Russian laboratory (or the source laboratory).

The determination and identification methods mainly depend on mass spectrometric fragmentation patterns, and include the spectrum of stray molecular fragments from impurities associated with the synthesis route.

This is how we located Patent jumping, and we took this evidence into the courts. All chemists know this, and that is why the Porton head said what he said, as any chemist would have been able to raise this issue and show that he was lying, if he said anything else. It is basic physical chemistry.

So, the new headline in the Times, about a secret Russian laboratory is also bogus.

What is also clear is that the mass spectrum of the A234 compound was put on the NIST database in 1998 by a worker from the USA chemical warfare laboratory.

I therefore conclude that this whole affair is a tissue of lies and misdirection, rather like the WMD Iraq scenario.

Chris Busby


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

TEEEJ
8th Apr 2018, 16:46
The Express Crypto story was bollocks (if you'll excuse my french) but it begs the question who fed it to them? It was constructed in an elaborate enough way (it would indeed likely have been at Flt/Lt grade that this SIGINT may have initially picked this up, and the story is slightly convincing in other ways) as to be convincing to many.

That such a story was planted in the first place doesn't endear any confidence in me.

Nothing is "planted". It is simply just a journalist with an over active imagination. He has form in doing so and I knew exactly who it would be just from the snippet that you posted. Think of it from his perspective and how with a bit of imagination he can make his story stand out? It is bollocks just like his other recent articles already highlighted.

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 16:50
Nothing is "planted". It is simply just a journalist with an over active imagination. He has form in doing so and I knew exactly who it would be just from the snippet that you posted. Think of it from his perspective and how with a bit of imagination he can make his story stand out? It is bollocks just like his other recent articles already highlighted.

Hmmm I know the Express print crap, but never knew they just "made it up"... definitely a job I feel I could use my talents for.. and much more convincingly :)

larssnowpharter
8th Apr 2018, 16:58
Flash8,

One suggests you do a quick search on the author, Christopher Busby, and come to your own conclusions.

ORAC
8th Apr 2018, 17:04
Flash8,

Reading the biography of the person you quite I would take anything he says with the greatest of scepticism - and also not his quoted speciality, if you can accept it as written, is in nuclear not chemical research.

I will also say that all your postings, regardless of your protestations otherwise, have been nothing but a list of sustained support for the Kremlin position whilst at the same time regurgitating their more arcane conspiracy theories.

Andy_S
8th Apr 2018, 17:12
In my view the West should stop interfering in the affairs of countries well outside it's borders.

Not just the West VP. Russia, China, Saudi, Iran, Turkey.......

Surely in 2018 we should be a bit above neo-colonialism. The idea that one country is entitled to dominate others or claim their territory is so last century.

Krystal n chips
8th Apr 2018, 17:13
You don't give up, do you...:yuk:

How else would you define, or interpret, the comment "based on experience" then, other than as a statement of fact based on participation ?

VP959
8th Apr 2018, 17:13
Just got this in my facebook feed - not sure if he is talking sense though - VP - if you have time - does this sound realistic?



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

What he says about the chemistry is correct, however he's sort of conveniently overlooked the hazards involved in the synthesis of A234, and the sort of facilities needed to prep it, purify it, analyse it (to make sure what you've made is what you think you've made), dispense it into a container or deployment system, test that deployment system to check that it works and is effective (that's a pretty tough thing to do on its own) and then devise and implement a plan that enables an attacker, or attackers, to transport the materiel to the attack site, deploy it without harm to themselves and be able to get away without detection.

The really hard part with all chemical warfare agents is devising and testing an effective deployment system. It's the aspect of chemical warfare that soaked up more research and development time, cost and effort than any other aspect (before chemical warfare became generally considered unacceptable). Making the agents is pretty straightforward, if very hazardous, deploying them effectively is bloody difficult.

As an example, if we make a rash assumption that the recent attack on Douma was a "barrel bomb" containing Sarin, and that the number of casualties is the much-quoted figure in the news as being 70, then it was an exceptionally ineffective delivery system. "barrel bombs" are typically between 500kg and 1000kg, so if we assume the lower figure and also assume that they used a 50/50 explosive/chemical agent combination (which is a crazily high ratio - 10% explosive to 90% agent might be more normal for a well-designed CA delivery system) then there could have been around 250kg of Sarin in a single "barrel bomb".

If it was delivered in the most effective way, then that's enough to kill everyone within an air volume of over 7 million m³, and as a Sarin aerosol tends to stay fairly low to the ground, it represents a lethal dose area of around 2 to 3 million m², or around 2 to 3 km². The population density of Douma isn't easily found, but if we assume that it's relatively low, say 5000 people per km², then a single "barrel bomb" should be able to kill around 10,000 to 15,000 people, not "just" 70 people.

The above calcs are very much guesstimates, but err on the conservative side. My own best guess is that a single well-designed Sarin "barrel bomb" should, in relatively still, dry, air conditions be able to kill around 30,000 to 50,000 people within an urban area.

This gives a very rough idea of the challenges of effectively delivering these very toxic agents, getting the agent exactly where it needs to be in order to be maximally effective. In the case of Syria it's not about being effective, I think, it's about creating terror, but in the case of the Skripal attack the delivery system had to be tested for effectiveness, and the risk to the attacker(s), it couldn't have been just left to chance, if only because the attackers must have put a great deal of effort into carrying it out. As it happens, it was not as effective as it could have been, perhaps should have been from the attacker's perspective, so might well be viewed as only a partial success. I'm pretty sure the intention was to kill Sergei Skripal, rather than just make him, his daughter and a police officer very ill.

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 17:15
Reading the biography of the person you quite I would take anything he says with the greatest of scepticism - and also not his quoted speciality, if you can accept it as written, is in nuclear not chemical research.

I am not interested in his past. present or future, but the veracity of his comments regarding the current situation. However that he is far more qualified than most people certainly gives him credibility.

I will also say that all your postings, regardless of your protestations otherwise, have been nothing but a list of sustained support for the Kremlin position whilst at the same time regurgitating their more arcane conspiracy theories.

Only interested in the truth, whether that points to Putin or much closer to home, or at least your home.

KelvinD
8th Apr 2018, 17:18
And here we go again! This time it is Syria that is perhaps being set up. USA, UK & France are tonight getting together to discuss possible violent action against Syria. The similarity between that and Mr Skripal? No evidence.
The only source for the alleged use of Sarin is an opposition supporter.
And when will they give up with this "barrel bomb" fetish? Any container that goes bang and kills & maims people wholesale. There already exists a term for it: "bomb". Does it make any incident more or less distasteful if this "barrel bomb" term?
I don't think so.
As for Russians in Syria, they have been there a long time. I first encountered them in Damascus in 1982 or 3. At the time, I was supplying and setting to work US radio systems that had been through all the DoD, Customs etc and come equipped with all manner of licences/permits from the US government. Meanwhile, the Russians were doing the same with other Syrian government departments. They seem to be a bit like the British in one way; when they make an alliance, they tend to stick to it.

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 17:21
The really hard part with all chemical warfare agents is devising and testing an effective deployment system.

Thankyou VP, you have stated that in the past, the toxicity issue, so it is a well appreciated point and confirmation, and I did think that (recalling your previous posts) when reading this. However always good to read as widely as possible to try and gain a comprehensive picture.

Andy_S
8th Apr 2018, 17:22
However that he is far more qualified than most people certainly gives him credibility.

Isn't that a bit like saying 'In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king'?

A school chemistry teacher is more qualified than most, but I wouldn't for one moment regard them as having any particular credibility in this case.

VP959
8th Apr 2018, 17:28
And here we go again! This time it is Syria that is perhaps being set up. USA, UK & France are tonight getting together to discuss possible violent action against Syria. The similarity between that and Mr Skripal? No evidence.
The only source for the alleged use of Sarin is an opposition supporter.
And when will they give up with this "barrel bomb" fetish? Any container that goes bang and kills & maims people wholesale. There already exists a term for it: "bomb". Does it make any incident more or less distasteful if this "barrel bomb" term?
I don't think so.
As for Russians in Syria, they have been there a long time. I first encountered them in Damascus in 1982 or 3. At the time, I was supplying and setting to work US radio systems that had been through all the DoD, Customs etc and come equipped with all manner of licences/permits from the US government. Meanwhile, the Russians were doing the same with other Syrian government departments. They seem to be a bit like the British in one way; when they make an alliance, they tend to stick to it.


First off, Sarin (and chlorine gas) have definitely been used indiscriminately in Syria in the past, so there has to be an element of "they've done it before, so they could do it again".

Secondly, "barrel bombs" are described as such because they are crude, improvised explosive, or combined explosive and chemical agent, devices that don't require any form of sophisticated safety and arming systems, bomb racks etc - they don't even need impact or proximity fuzes, as they are often just initiated by lighting a fuze and then rolling the device out of an open door.

Granted, they could be just called bombs, albeit pretty large bombs, but technically they don't have many of the components or safety and arming systems we would normally expect to see with an air dropped bomb. They are more akin to IEDs, and the term IED to describe a bomb that has been improvised and deployed in a way that is different from the conventional way a bomb would be is already a common term.

flash8
8th Apr 2018, 17:28
Isn't that a bit like saying 'In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king'?

If any Ph.D Chemists disagreed with him, then yes, his credibility would be less, but the fact is he is one off the few chemists to stick his head above the parapet. That makes him worth listening to, whether pro or anti the UK government line, and the one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind incidentally.

Jack D
8th Apr 2018, 19:21
Just got this in my facebook feed - not sure if he is talking sense though - VP - if you have time - does this sound realistic?



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

Sorry Chris, can’t possibly take someone seriously who insists on wearing that sort of hat ! Thought you were more of a nuclear low radiation specialist ?

Stan Woolley
8th Apr 2018, 21:33
First off, Sarin (and chlorine gas) have definitely been used indiscriminately in Syria in the past, so there has to be an element of "they've done it before, so they could do it again.

Who are ‘they’? :ugh:

VP959
8th Apr 2018, 21:59
Who are ‘they’? :ugh:

Good question, as it was almost certainly the Syrian government, based on a lot of circumstantial evidence, including some of the recovered delivery systems, but as no one has admitted to doing it, that cannot be proven beyond any doubt. My own view is that it's been proven beyond reasonable doubt that it was the Syrian government that initiated these attacks, and that's a view that seems to be supported by many in the international community that don't have any axe to grind against Syria.

I personally doubt that the rebel forces had either the technical capability, or the organisation needed to steal Russian designed rockets from the Syrian government, jury rig the CA delivery system that was used, then fire them into areas they held, just to cause an international incident, but who knows?

Once more we have to ask the questions: "Who had the motive, the technical capability, the access to the materiel, and the access to the technology needed to make a crude delivery system (that didn't endanger their own forces using it) ?"

The obvious candidate is the Syrian government, unless someone can come up with a credible alternative.

Stan Woolley
8th Apr 2018, 22:53
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/eight-reasons-why-the-latest-syria-chemical-weapons-attack-allegations-are-almost-certainly-complete-nonsense/

KelvinD
9th Apr 2018, 06:30
Thanks for the link Stan. An interesting article.

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 06:56
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/eight-reasons-why-the-latest-syria-chemical-weapons-attack-allegations-are-almost-certainly-complete-nonsense/

What an incredibly impartial and unbiased account..............

Remember this is the same man who wrote that Mugabe was being unfairly demonised by the West, as he was implementing good policies in Zimbabwe, an author that has made a living by selling anti-West conspiracy theory books and articles for years.

Read what he's written in the past. He has opposed every action taken by the West, seemingly as a matter of principle. The references he quotes to support his articles are all carefully selected from publications or individuals that share his views, and even then he distorts some of what those authors actually wrote, by quoting parts out of context.

He is vehemently anti-Israel and pro-Palestine.

He is equally vehemently anti-Saudi Arabia and pro-Yemen

He blames America for forcing the Russians to annex the Crimea, it seems, although he's a bit thin on the detail as to how that supposedly came about.

I've no problem with the way he makes a living, we all have to survive somehow, and he's chosen to write books and articles that exploit the views of those who would rather believe conspiracy theories, that the West, Israel and Saudi Arabia are always bad, without questioning them or researching their veracity, rather than choose to look around and gain a balanced view of global affairs, from many differing perspectives.

Some of what he writes has a grain of truth in it, but sadly this seem to get buried under the mountain of BS that he creates in order to support his personal view of the demons in the West and Israel, and those he believes have been unfairly demonised, like Mugabe, Putin, Gaddafi etc.

Take these quotes of his as an example of his views of world politics:

At the root of the conflict in the Middle East is the question of whether an exclusivist Jewish state settled on lands usurped from the Palestinians has the right to exist. The answer is clear: it has as much right to exist as did the Apartheid state of South Africa—which is none at all.

The greatest holocaust of all was not the one carried out against Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany, though that genocide, accompanied by the systematic extermination of others, including Roma, communists and Slavs, was as obscene as any other. If we have to attach priority to genocide, as is done in capitalizing the anti-Jewish holocaust as the Holocaust, then a much larger genocide, of which there is little discussion if even acknowledgement, has a more compelling claim to this grim mantle—the holocaust of the indigenous people of the Americas. In terms of the number of human beings exterminated, the American Holocaust is perhaps the greatest crime of the European colonial tradition.

Today, Saudi Arabia, along with Israel, stands as one of the most important regional allies of the international dictatorship of the United States. And, as protégés of the dictatorship, the Saudi rulers long ago reconciled themselves to the existence of a Jewish state as an outpost of Western imperialism in the middle (literally) of the Arab nation, bisecting its African and Asian spheres.

Al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, controls the Syrian border with Israel, and along the Golan Heights, the Israeli military coordinates with the Qaeda militants. Israeli military forces talk of having arrived at “an understanding” with a group Washington and its allies officially condemn as a terrorist organization, and of “familiarity” with Al Qaeda’s “forces on the ground.”

For some reason, his views remind me a bit of George Galloway, with a bit of Jeremy Corbyn thrown in for good measure.

roving
9th Apr 2018, 07:42
add to which he supports North Korea

Andy_S
9th Apr 2018, 07:51
And here we go again! This time it is Syria that is perhaps being set up. USA, UK & France are tonight getting together to discuss possible violent action against Syria. The similarity between that and Mr Skripal? No evidence.

OK Kelvin. If Syria is genuinely innocent then there's absolutely no reason for Russia to use it's UN Security Council veto to block any condemnation or investigation of this alleged chemical weapon attack.

Right?

Stan Woolley
9th Apr 2018, 07:52
Well, I would say that the quotes of his that you gave are at the very least worthy of discussion, definitely not the rantings of an extremist imo. The first one, where he says the that Israel ‘doesn’t have the right to exist’ had me reading what he said more than once. After doing so, I think I know what he was getting at.

You take for granted that he is wrong. Why is that?

ORAC
9th Apr 2018, 08:02
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/08/syria-will-see-us-trump-retribution-for-chemical-attack-as-price-worth-paying

“....After extensive inquiries, the UN’s joint investigative mechanism (JIM) had confirmed on 26 October that the Syrian government was responsible for the Khan Sheikhun attack. Russia refused to accept the findings, pointing to holes in the inquiry’s methodology, including the refusal of the inquiry team to visit the site itself for security reasons. Still worse, on 16 November Russia deployed its 10th veto at the UN on Syria to prevent the continuation of the JIM altogether, criticising the way it worked. Impunity was institutionalised since Russia has already vetoed sending Syria’s crimes to the international criminal court.

According to Human Rights Watch, since the JIM ceased to exist the Syrian government is thought to have used chemical weapons five times, not including this weekend’s attack. In total HRW identified 85 chemical weapons attacks during the war, the vast majority by Assad’s forces.”........

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 08:02
Who are ‘they’? :ugh:

Just to be transparently clear, in case there is any confusion here between the various attacks in Syria that have used chemical agents, When I made the remark "they've done it before, so they could do it again" earlier in this thread I was specifically referring to the Al-Ghouta attack, where there was absolutely incontrovertible proof that Sarin had been deployed, using modified Russian designed rockets that the Syrian government were known to have. The Syrian government were also known to have stockpiles of Sarin, which they supposedly destroyed after these attacks.

The rebel forces had neither the specific type of rockets nor the access to the facilities to produce Sarin covertly, so whoever it was that used those weapons in Al-Ghouta, and previously in Khan al-Assal, was a force that had access to both the means to manufacture, store, dispense and design a delivery system for Sarin, and had access to a specific type of Russian-designed surface-to-surface rocket.

Whoever carried out those earlier attacks also needed a motive to target rebel held areas.

Stan Woolley
9th Apr 2018, 09:43
When I made the remark "they've done it before, so they could do it again" earlier in this thread I was specifically referring to the Al-Ghouta attack, where there was absolutely incontrovertible proof that Sarin had been deployed, using modified Russian designed rockets that the Syrian government were known to have. The Syrian government were also known to have stockpiles of Sarin, which they supposedly destroyed after these attacks.

I suggest that you watch this YouTube video, which might change your mind. Unfortunately I can’t post YouTube vids directly for some reason.

“VA State Senator Richard Black Addresses September 11 Memorial Schiller Conference”
Schiller Institute 14,195 views

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 10:54
I suggest that you watch this YouTube video, which might change your mind. Unfortunately I can’t post YouTube vids directly for some reason.

“VA State Senator Richard Black Addresses September 11 Memorial Schiller Conference”
Schiller Institute 14,195 views

But what about the UN investigation?

It was proved beyond reasonable doubt that Sarin was used, and some of the rocket fragments were identified as being modified versions of a Russian type that only the Syrian government held.

The UN concluded that the nature of the Sarin attacks on Al-Ghouta and Khan Al-Assal bore the same unique hallmarks, hallmarks that were not present with the other chemical agent attacks (and I full accept that the rebels may well have used CAs, but not with the same deployment method or using the same materiel as used by the government forces).

This is what the UN report says, cut and pasted directly from it, rather than take the information from any source that may have distorted their findings:

https://s17.postimg.org/at33o9fwf/UN_report_excerpt.jpg

Sallyann1234
9th Apr 2018, 11:04
RT is now querying the Litvinenko case. They say the suspects didn't bring the polonium, and are blaming Berezovsky.

https://www.rt.com/news/423554-litvinenko-polonium-london-berezovsky/

Stan Woolley
9th Apr 2018, 11:19
But what about the UN investigation?

It was proved beyond reasonable doubt that Sarin was used, and some of the rocket fragments were identified as being modified versions of a Russian type that only the Syrian government held.

How can you be so sure that ‘only the Syrian government held? ‘

The UN concluded that the nature of the Sarin attacks on Al-Ghouta and Khan Al-Assal bore the same unique hallmarks, hallmarks that were not present with the other chemical agent attacks (and I full accept that the rebels may well have used CAs, but not with the same deployment method or using the same materiel as used by the government forces).

This is what the UN report says, cut and pasted directly from it, rather than take the information from any source that may have distorted their findings:

https://s17.postimg.org/at33o9fwf/UN_report_excerpt.jpg

The two Turkish men that came forward and testified would trump any UN report that contradicted them, I would suggest. Did whoever produced this UN report, do so under the threat of almost certainly going to jail? A Turkish jail! :ooh:

I would urge caution. That is what this whole thread has been about, for me.

roving
9th Apr 2018, 11:25
More woolly thinking.

Stan Woolley
9th Apr 2018, 11:29
More woolly thinking.

Oh the wit, the intellect, the pure genius!!!! :ok:

pulse1
9th Apr 2018, 11:35
Just to make that video of Senator Richard Clark more accessible here is a link which hopefully will work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FNtEWfay_8

Having also listened to the speech by the Syrian Ambassador to the UN (on the same video)I think one has to be suspicious of any output from the UN w.r.t. chemical weapons. For example, he claims that there was a 4 month 11 day delay before anyone from the UN investigated the Khan Al-Assal bombing. He also refers to the fact that the UN reports on the chemical weapons investigation in Iraq, before the war, have been locked away very securely for 60 years. Why?

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 11:38
How can you be so sure that ‘only the Syrian government held? ‘



The two Turkish men that came forward and testified would trump any UN report that contradicted them, I would suggest. Did whoever produced this UN report, do so under the threat of almost certainly going to jail? A Turkish jail! :ooh:

I would urge caution. That is what this whole thread has been about, for me.

The UN report was produced by an international team, acting with the authority of a UN resolution, so the chances that they were threatened by anyone is near-zero. This is how they obtained their information:

https://s31.postimg.org/4ef225a7v/UN_report_basis.jpg

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 11:43
He also refers to the fact that the UN reports on the chemical weapons investigation in Iraq, before the war, have been locked away very securely for 60 years. Why?

That's an easy one to answer; because making it public would cause even more embarrassment over the infamous "dodgy dossier" than there has been already. The international community, including the UN, were well and truly suckered by Bush and Blair with their deeply flawed so-called "intelligence" about Iraq and it's non-existent WMD capability.

Stan Woolley
9th Apr 2018, 11:58
Just to make that video of Senator Richard Clark more accessible here is a link which hopefully will work:

Having also listened to the speech by the Syrian Ambassador to the UN (on the same video)I think one has to be suspicious of any output from the UN w.r.t. chemical weapons. For example, he claims that there was a 4 month 11 day delay before anyone from the UN investigated the Khan Al-Assal bombing. He also refers to the fact that the UN reports on the chemical weapons investigation in Iraq, before the war, have been locked away very securely for 60 years. Why?

Thanks for this pulse1. :ok:

Note that VP conveniently ignored the first part of your questioning the UN narrative. (The bit about the delay).

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 12:12
Thanks for this pulse1. :ok:

Note that VP conveniently ignored the first part of your questioning the UN narrative. (The bit about the delay).

I didn't ignore it at all, it's just getting tedious having to copy original source material here in order to balance the views given by those with an axe to grind, like this politician. Best read the whole UN report if you want chapter and verse, as that explains that the Syrian government denied access to areas, delaying investigations. AFAICS from a quick search, most of the UN reports are available online, and frankly I'd trust the UN a lot more than I would a politician of any flavour, accepting that like any international body they are imperfect.

FWIW, I recall hearing that even simple activities, like the collection of samples from Al-Ghouta, were delayed because the Syrian government denied access for a time, until they were put under a lot of international pressure because of the nature of the attack. I can guess one reason why they may have wanted to delay access, and that's associated with the volatility of Sarin.

https://s31.postimg.org/lwt3qwi1n/UN_Challenges.jpg

Lonewolf_50
9th Apr 2018, 13:57
We now have three players on team "Uniform India." I am reminded of a Cyndi Lauper tune.

VP: a signature style point for CosnpTheo tomfoolery is the willful stove piping of information. For example, any facts or evidence that do not align with the direction the axe grinding wheel turns is ignored or hand waved away. Best read the whole UN report if you want chapter and verse, as that explains that the Syrian government denied access to areas, That appeal to actually do work will not be honored.

On the other hand, reports form the UN must be carefully assessed, since the products that come from that body are of variable quality, and always include at least a little (and sometimes a lot) of political slant or angle.

@pulse1: not sure why you attempt an appeal to authority citation of Virginia State Senator Black. (For those not aware, each state in the US has its own senate to handle/deal with state issues. Mr Black serves the Commonwealth of Virginia; the seat of government is in Richmond, VA. The US Senators from Virginia (who will be found now and again in the Capitol building in Washington DC) are: Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 14:58
VP: a signature style point for CosnpTheo tomfoolery is the willful stove piping of information. For example, any facts or evidence that do not align with the direction the axe grinding wheel turns is ignored or hand waved away. That appeal to actually do work will not be honored.

On the other hand, reports form the UN must be carefully assessed, since the products that come from that body are of variable quality, and always include at least a little (and sometimes a lot) of political slant or angle.

Well said.

It never ceases to amaze me that people will willingly believe every word written or spoken by someone they don't know, just because it's on YouTube, Twitter, FB or whatever, and who may well be just spinning a story into something that bears no resemblance to reality, just because they want to, or can't be bothered to do some cross checking as to how credible it may be.

I accepted that the UN is imperfect, as pretty much all international bodies are, but I think that generally they will tend to have a somewhat more balanced view of international events than pretty much any media outlet, and are likely to be orders of magnitude more balanced than any politician, of any flavour.

With such restricted access to Syria, all we are getting is a mix of spin from big states, spin from the Syrian government, spin from groups within, and outside, Syria who have their own agendas and a tiny bit of real, solid, evidence. It's not too hard to weed out the obviously clueless stories, but it's damned near-impossible to weed out the credible BS. Short of actually talking to people on the ground, who have witnessed events and are can give an accurate account of what happened, I doubt we can ever really know what's going on.

KelvinD
9th Apr 2018, 15:14
"they've done it before, so they could do it again"
And that fairly sums up the major issue I have with this whole affair. The willingness and alacrity with which our government condemned Russia for the attack on the Skripals.
The "they have form" principle implied in the quote has some terrifying consequences for we the dumb public if ever the government decided this is a good idea.
Imagine getting a letter in the post saying "as you have a conviction for speeding in 2007, then here's another for speeding yesterday. After all, you have done it before".
A ludicrous idea. And so is the phrase in VP's post.
I read with some interest the alleged denial of UN inspectors to Ghouta. Untrue. The 2013 attack took place 21 August 2013 and the Syrian government granted access to UN inspectors on 25 August.
By October the same year, the OPCW supervised the destruction of the means of manufacture etc of chemical weapons. And by the following year, all the existing stockpiles were destroyed on board a US ship. Why on earth would Assad grant access to UN inspectors so soon after the attack if his hand was involved in the attack?
How did the UN manage to state, with some certainty, that Sarin was used when they say their evidence is based upon interviews, satellite imagery and photographs?
Don't let's lose sight of the UN's hand in taking as gospel the "Dodgy Dossier".
And Colin Powell's convincing PowerPoint slides showing convincing "photographic evidence"? That worked out well, didn't it?

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 15:55
I read with some interest the alleged denial of UN inspectors to Ghouta. Untrue. The 2013 attack took place 21 August 2013 and the Syrian government granted access to UN inspectors on 25 August.
By October the same year, the OPCW supervised the destruction of the means of manufacture etc of chemical weapons. And by the following year, all the existing stockpiles were destroyed on board a US ship. Why on earth would Assad grant access to UN inspectors so soon after the attack if his hand was involved in the attack?
How did the UN manage to state, with some certainty, that Sarin was used when they say their evidence is based upon interviews, satellite imagery and photographs?


First off, access to Syria was not total denial, but very much delayed by the Syrian government in many cases, and access to Al-Ghouta was granted only after threats of military action against Syria were made, and I don't believe for one minute that this was coincidental.

Yes, Al-Ghouta seemed to be a turning point as far as the Syrian government and CAs were concerned. Yes they agreed to a supervised destruction of their stockpiles of Sarin etc AFTER the Al-Ghouta attack, but we have no way of knowing whether or not they are covertly making the stuff again, as they have a policy of restricting access to many areas.

If you read the UN report methodology I posted earlier, you will see that they didn't just rely on "interviews, satellite imagery and photographs" at all. They also used medical records, reports from governments and non-governmental sources (and these included analysis of samples confirming the use of Sarin by Porton Down and at least three other OPCW accredited laboratories in other countries), as well as previous UN reports.

All the publicly available UN reports are online, worth reading them before making statements that are at best half-truths.

For example, these were the terms of reference for the UN report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and they mention some of the resources made available to them:

Terms of reference


1. The Secretary-General decided to establish the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic (hereinafter, the “United Nations Mission”) based on his authority under General Assembly resolution 42/37 C and Security Council resolution 620 (1988). The purpose of the Mission is to ascertain the facts related to the allegations of use of chemical weapons, to gather relevant data, to undertake the necessary analyses for this purpose and to deliver a report to the Secretary-General.

2. For the purpose of ascertaining the facts related to the allegations of use of chemical weapons, gathering relevant data and undertaking the necessary analyses, the Secretary-General requested the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (hereinafter, the “OPCW”) to put its resources at his disposal, including providing a team of experts to conduct fact-finding activities. The Secretary-General similarly requested the World Health Organization (hereinafter, the “WHO”) to provide technical support in assessing the public health, clinical and event-specific health aspects of the allegations that have been brought to his attention.

3. The United Nations Mission has conducted its investigation and all related activities in accordance with the terms of reference issued by the Secretary-General to the United Nations Mission, including the above provisions, as well as others on cooperation, methods of work and scope and reporting. In discharging its mandate, the United Nations Mission was guided by the United Nations Guidelines and Procedures for the Timely and Efficient Investigation of Reports of the Possible Use of Chemical and Bacteriological (Biological) or Toxin Weapons (A/44/561) (hereinafter, the Guidelines), and, as appropriate and to the extent applicable, the OPCW provisions as identified in article I(5)(a) of the Supplementary Arrangement to the Agreement concerning the Relationship between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

4. Other relevant legal instruments governing the cooperation between the United Nations and OPCW and WHO and guiding the work of the United Nations Mission are set out in appendix 1.

RatherBeFlying
9th Apr 2018, 16:12
While I hold no brief for Assad's and Putin's chemical war crimes, how is that Mohammed bin Salman can strut about the UK and US to fawning acclaim from the media while he is bombing innocent civilians in Yemen and has brought about a massive humanitarian disaster.

Does US and UK supplied ordnance come with impunity for war crimes:mad:

DaveReidUK
9th Apr 2018, 17:25
VP: a signature style point for CosnpTheo tomfoolery is the willful stove piping of information. For example, any facts or evidence that do not align with the direction the axe grinding wheel turns is ignored or hand waved away. That appeal to actually do work will not be honored.

Textbook stuff.

In fact, here's the textbook:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/510CU6ydbiL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

It's a fascinating insight into both the mindset of conspiracy theorists and the strategy/tactics they employ.

There's a whole chapter devoted to the art of glossing over inconvenient facts.

racedo
9th Apr 2018, 17:48
Good question, as it was almost certainly the Syrian government, based on a lot of circumstantial evidence, including some of the recovered delivery systems, but as no one has admitted to doing it, that cannot be proven beyond any doubt. My own view is that it's been proven beyond reasonable doubt that it was the Syrian government that initiated these attacks, and that's a view that seems to be supported by many in the international community that don't have any axe to grind against Syria.

I personally doubt that the rebel forces had either the technical capability, or the organisation needed to steal Russian designed rockets from the Syrian government, jury rig the CA delivery system that was used, then fire them into areas they held, just to cause an international incident, but who knows?

Once more we have to ask the questions: "Who had the motive, the technical capability, the access to the materiel, and the access to the technology needed to make a crude delivery system (that didn't endanger their own forces using it) ?"

The obvious candidate is the Syrian government, unless someone can come up with a credible alternative.

Isn't it strange that Western media kept well away from the 40 tonnes of chemical weapons compounds found recently in East Ghouta and held by those loveable cuddly rebels the west loves.
Same media kept schtum when Saudi Arabian bought equipment was also found in one of these labs.

VP959
9th Apr 2018, 18:14
Isn't it strange that Western media kept well away from the 40 tonnes of chemical weapons compounds found recently in East Ghouta and held by those loveable cuddly rebels the west loves.
Same media kept schtum when Saudi Arabian bought equipment was also found in one of these labs.

Not really. I don't trust the media to tell the truth any more than I trust politicians to tell the truth. We live in a world of spin, half-truths, and complete BS, so cannot rely on the media to tell us the whole story any more than we can rely on a politician to tell us the whole story.

If you want to get some idea of what might really be going on you have to dig deep into the most reliable sources you can find, compensate for any political bias they may have and then try to weigh up each source against others to try and reach what seems to be closest to the truth, and even then I doubt you'd get the absolute, whole, truth.

flash8
9th Apr 2018, 18:46
We live in a world of spin, half-truths, and complete BS

Never a truer word said.

ORAC
10th Apr 2018, 07:01
Julia Skripal was discharged from hospital yesterday and has been taken to an undisclosed safe location.

VP959
10th Apr 2018, 07:25
That's good news, hopefully she won't have too many long-lasting side effects from the exposure.

It'll be interesting to see what she chooses to do, as I believe she is still a Russian citizen, and chose to move back to Russia some time after her parents were granted British citizenship and had settled here in Salisbury. I'd have said that she has the choice as to where to decide to live, but it can't be easy, knowing that someone, most probably from her own country, didn't care if she was killed along with her father.

After all, the attack was timed when she was making a short visit back to the UK to see her father and visit her mother and brother's graves, which seems a bit of a coincidence if whoever carried this attack out only wanted to kill her father. Perhaps whoever did it feels that true vengeance for a traitor can only be achieved by killing his entire family. Her brother's death has a certain element of suspicion surrounding it - how many people in their early forties develop acute liver failure on holiday and die within a few days from it?

KelvinD
10th Apr 2018, 07:45
If she chooses not to go back, will the Border Force arrest her for over-staying her visa?
I have heard Frank Gardner pontificating this morning on how the Skripals will never fully recover. A week ago, I listened to an eminent scientist (I think he was a micro biologist), explaining how the nerve agent works in the body. Apparently it destroys an interface between neurons. He then said that this interface will grow back and the longer a victim remains alive, the better the chance of it fully growing back.
Now I have to ponder; who do I believe, Frank Gardner or an eminent scientist?

roving
10th Apr 2018, 07:50
I will mark that down as a rhetorical question ;)

Krystal n chips
10th Apr 2018, 08:06
Julia Skripal was discharged from hospital yesterday and has been taken to an undisclosed safe location.

ORAC,

I thunk that's the general idea about safe locations....they generally aren't disclosed as being, well, safe locations.

ORAC
10th Apr 2018, 08:17
Some locations are both disclosed and safe - Chequers for example.

VP959
10th Apr 2018, 08:49
If she chooses not to go back, will the Border Force arrest her for over-staying her visa?
I have heard Frank Gardner pontificating this morning on how the Skripals will never fully recover. A week ago, I listened to an eminent scientist (I think he was a micro biologist), explaining how the nerve agent works in the body. Apparently it destroys an interface between neurons. He then said that this interface will grow back and the longer a victim remains alive, the better the chance of it fully growing back.
Now I have to ponder; who do I believe, Frank Gardner or an eminent scientist?

I don't think we know what sort of visa she has, for all we know she may have been given permanent permission to remain when she moved here with her father and mother, as part of the exchange deal.

WRG to the effect of nerve agents, then there is the immediate effect, which is the disruption to the action of acetylcholinesterase, the stuff that breaks down acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter chemical that passes signals from one neuron to the next. If the victim survives, then gradually the body breaks down the agent and starts to make acetylcholinesterase again, leading to the affected nerve pathways working again.

The secondary effects are often from the long term toxicity of organophosphate compounds in general, and depend on the dose, the specific compound, the duration of exposure, how well the body can metabolise the agent etc. The best known example of long term organophosphate poisoning is probably that associated with the use of organophosphate sheep dip, where workers often felt ill after working with the stuff, then recovered but developed long term illnesses resulting from their exposure.

I doubt anyone knows much about A234 and any long term effects, just because I doubt that anyone really studied it in much depth. As far as it's use as a weapon is concerned, it seems that A232 was the most promising of this group of compounds, and that is reported as having a toxicity that seems to be significantly greater than what we've seen of the effects of A234.

VP959
10th Apr 2018, 08:55
Some locations are both disclosed and safe - Chequers for example.

The Skripals made no real attempt at all to hide here, the family used their real names, his wife was treated at the local hospital until she died, the graves of his wife and son are marked with named headstones in the local cemetery, he was fairly well known locally, and used his real name. The only subterfuge was that locally most people thought he was a retired local government worker, I believe.

Blacksheep
10th Apr 2018, 12:33
Chequers for exampleMaybe they've improved since the day we Halton Brats wandered through the grounds after failing a map-reading exercise?

ORAC
10th Apr 2018, 16:45
Blacksheep, things have changed, and not for the better, since those halcyon days.

“On 1 June 2007 the Chequers estate was designated as a protected site for the purposes of Section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. The effect of the act was to make it a specific criminal offence for a person to trespass into the estate.”

racedo
10th Apr 2018, 17:48
Blacksheep, things have changed, and not for the better, since those halcyon days.

“On 1 June 2007 the Chequers estate was designated as a protected site for the purposes of Section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. The effect of the act was to make it a specific criminal offence for a person to trespass into the estate.”

Guess its one way for PM to finally get BoJo for something.........:E

VP959
10th Apr 2018, 18:02
I can understand that Yulia Skripal must be pretty shaken up by what's happened to her and her father, but I can't help feeling that with the accusations from Russia that she's effectively been abducted, the government need to do more to try and give her a platform to tell the story from her perspective, without political spin.

It worries me that the story of her being effectively taken into protective custody is being spun by Russia in the way it is. It seems pretty clear now that the phone conversation with her cousin Viktoria was real, and in some ways the visa refusal, even though it was done for entirely lawful reasons (the girl couldn't show she had enough money to be able to stay here and pay for her return flight) seems like a bad move. There has to have been a way to bend the rules, ensure Viktoria Skripal was not a threat and allow her to make a visit, if Yulia Skripal agreed to it (something we just don't know).

What we do know is that Yulia Skripal must have had a visa, or some other permission, allowing her to work here, as she worked in Southampton for a time before deciding to move back to Russia, which suggests that she may have been granted some form of work visa, or perhaps even a special leave to remain, in view of her father's position.

flash8
10th Apr 2018, 19:27
The Visa issue is immaterial.

The State can bypass anything and everything and issue her even with a UK passport in hours (not days, weeks or months) and likely they'll even have it ready made to show her to entice her in following their narrative.

The worse thing the UK can do is let it look like she has 'no free will' by 'locking her up'. Not saying they have done that but one could make that argument currently.

Many 'conspiracy theorists' stated that this was a prelude to a Syria attack (isolating Russia) and surprise surprise we have an Assad 'instigated' attack a few weeks later (never mind he was just short of victory) and the US (and its poodle) going into war mode.

Not connected in any way of course.

ORAC
10th Apr 2018, 19:33
Many 'conspiracy theorists' stated that this was a prelude to a Syria attack (isolating Russia) and surprise surprise we have an Assad 'instigated' attack a few weeks later (never mind he was just short of victory) and the US (and its poodle) going into war mode. Not connected in any way of course.

Wibble.....

https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article6211842.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Blackadder.jpg

Dutystude
10th Apr 2018, 19:47
The Visa issue is immaterial.

The State can bypass anything and everything and issue her even with a UK passport in hours (not days, weeks or months) and likely they'll even have it ready made to show her to entice her in following their narrative.

The worse thing the UK can do is let it look like she has 'no free will' by 'locking her up'. Not saying they have done that but one could make that argument currently.

Many 'conspiracy theorists' stated that this was a prelude to a Syria attack (isolating Russia) and surprise surprise we have an Assad 'instigated' attack a few weeks later (never mind he was just short of victory) and the US (and its poodle) going into war mode.

Not connected in any way of course.

From ‘Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys’ to ‘US Poodle’. Pity the French: damned if the don’t; damned if they do.

DaveReidUK
10th Apr 2018, 19:59
Many 'conspiracy theorists' stated that this was a prelude to a Syria attack (isolating Russia)

To be fair, you probably know a lot more of those than we do. :O

flash8
10th Apr 2018, 20:07
To be fair, you probably know a lot more of those than we do.

I'm only interested in the truth... something that is in short supply at the moment. I have never denied Russia may be responsible (although personally doubt it), but in the absence of facts (and given past form in the UK) excuse me if I am a little doubtful.

I have been here in Russia (based out of Moscow) fifteen years and believe me most of what is written in the Western media is absolute bollocks. Sitting in my office, reading the UK news my mouth is often ajar...

Stan Woolley
10th Apr 2018, 20:13
I'm only interested in the truth... something that is in short supply at the moment. I have never denied Russia may be responsible (although personally doubt it), but in the absence of facts (and given past form in the UK) excuse me if I am a little doubtful.

I have been here in Russia (based out of Moscow) fifteen years and believe me most of what is written in the Western media is absolute bollocks. Sitting in my office, reading the UK news my mouth is often ajar...

God bless ya for trying Flash. :D

flash8
10th Apr 2018, 20:19
Well. Stan, it is a one sided battle believe me :)

Will we ever hear the truth? I doubt it.....

Laarbruch72
10th Apr 2018, 21:51
While you're sat in Russia immersed in 90 % RT driven media then of course you'll watch the western media with mouth agape, and of course you'll never hear the "truth". Not one you'll ever accept anyway.

Effluent Man
10th Apr 2018, 21:56
Truth is an outdated concept. I don't think we hear truth from any media outlet be it RT, Fox, BBC, Sky. It's safer to just believe nobody and regard them all as a bunch of charlatans.

ORAC
11th Apr 2018, 06:27
Effluent Man - exactly the result intended by Russian cyber warfare. Issue so many different and spurious false stories that the truth gets hidden.

And they’re still at it of course.....

Spy poisoning: Russia accuses Britain of abducting Yulia and Sergei Skripal (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/spy-poisoning-russia-accuses-britain-of-abducting-yulia-and-sergei-skripal-8ptfc9kxh)

“Russia accused Britain yesterday of the “abduction” of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia after she was quietly released from hospital. The Times can reveal, however, that Ms Skripal turned down an offer of consular assistance from the Russian embassy. She spent a second night in a secure location, thought to be a well-guarded country house, after her discharge from Salisbury District Hospital on Monday.

She spent a second night in a secure location, thought to be a well-guarded country house, after her discharge from Salisbury District Hospital on Monday.

Mr Skripal, 66, remains in hospital but is also recovering, a remarkable change after the two were left in a critical condition five weeks ago having been exposed to a Russian novichok nerve agent. Doctors said he was expected to be released “in due course”.

Theresa May has blamed Russia for the attempted assassination on March 4. The Kremlin has responded with a barrage of alternative theories in an attempt to distort the picture, sow confusion and create doubt. One of its complaints has been the denial of consular access to Ms Skripal, something that Alexander Yakovenko, the ambassador, has used to attack the British authorities with. It is understood, however, that Ms Skripal, 33, is aware that she is entitled to have consular assistance but has chosen not to seek it.

Moscow has tried to use its failure to speak directly to the Skripals or be given access to the police investigation into the chemical weapons attack to deflect attention away from allegations of its involvement in the crime. In the latest provocation, the Russian embassy Twitter feed, a prominent mouthpiece for Kremlin messaging, said: “Secret resettlement of Mr and Ms Skripal, barred from any contact with their family will be seen as an abduction or at least as their forced isolation.”..........

Christine Blanshard, deputy chief executive at the Salisbury hospital, offered new details about the treatment that the Skripals have received. “Our job in treating the patients has been to stabilise them, ensuring that the patients could breathe and that blood could continue to circulate,” she said. “We then needed to use a variety of different drugs to support the patients until they could create more enzymes to replace those affected by the poisoning. We also used specialised decontamination techniques to remove any residual toxins. Both patients have responded exceptionally well to the treatment we’ve been providing. But both patients are at different stages in their recovery.”.......

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 07:44
The Times can reveal, however, that Ms Skripal turned down an offer of consular assistance
So, the Times can 'reveal' this but HM Government apparently can not?

DaveReidUK
11th Apr 2018, 07:56
So, the Times can 'reveal' this but HM Government apparently can not?

Or chose not to.

I think we can safely assume that HMG has knowledge of everything Ms Srkipal has said, and had said to her, since she started to speak again, whether or not they choose to advertise that fact.

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 08:34
Several sources reported that Yulia Skripal has, apparently, turned down the offer of consular assistance. She turned it down when she was still in hospital here, and it was locally reported.

I suspect that it may well be true, but I think we also have to bear in mind that hallucinations and disruption to some brain functions are also symptoms of nerve agent poisoning, and that we cannot be at all sure of how much she, or the other victims, may have been affected psychologically by this.

As to the government staying quiet on the subject, that may well be down to them knowing that anything said by a victim of such an attack in the period immediately following them regaining consciousness may well be unreliable. They may have acted as she wished for now, but are probably acutely aware that as she recovers her wishes may change. This seems inevitable, given that she has a job, family, friends and a reported relationship with someone in Russia, and so may well wish to return there at some point. If the government support the reports that she's refused consular assistance, then she decides she wants to go back to Russia and needs it to do so, then they are going to look pretty stupid.

My best guess is that they are trying to balance aiding her recovery, by keeping her out of the media spotlight, provide health care and also trying to ensure that any decisions she makes are made when she is fully capable of making them.

flash8
11th Apr 2018, 12:18
My best guess is that they are trying to balance aiding her recovery, by keeping her out of the media spotlight, provide health care and also trying to ensure that any decisions she makes are made when she is fully capable of making them.

You have great faith in good old British values VP, and I wish I could share those feelings. I suspect they on the other hand care nothing for her beyond a valuable political pawn and as such will exert whatever "persuasion" is necessary for her to stay on board the narrative, whether that be a passport, cash, anything she wants really... she has won the lottery in this respect.

They would be stupid to do otherwise (although if BoJo is involved in the process anything could happen).

So, the Times can 'reveal' this but HM Government apparently can not?

Plausible deniability is the name of the game here.

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 12:38
You have great faith in good old British values VP, and I wish I could share those feelings. I suspect they on the other hand care nothing for her beyond a valuable political pawn and as such will exert whatever "persuasion" is necessary for her to stay on board the narrative, whether that be a passport, cash, anything she wants really... she has won the lottery in this respect.

They would be stupid to do otherwise.


You're forgetting about her health care needs and what she has probably already chatted about to the NHS staff looking after her, and who are probably continuing to look after her.

My wife's a nurse (no longer working for the NHS) and I doubt very much that there's any realistic chance of the government being able to do any "persuasion" as you describe, just because those who work in the NHS don't have a lot of time for our government.

The problem with trying to keep secrets in the UK is that open government, the encouragement given to whistle blowers and the general sense of distrust in politicians have all grown in the public eye over the past few years.

My personal view is that much of this started with that infamous dodgy dossier, which took us into a war being fought for an entirely different reason, largely because the US wanted to be seen to be doing something after 9/11 (and, when I was in the US after 9/11 there seemed to be a lot of people who believed that the US went to war in Iraq in retaliation for that atrocity, even though Iraq had sod all to do with it).

Could the UK government act as the Russians are claiming and effectively have abducted Yulia Skripal and hidden her away to prevent her being contacted by the Russian embassy/consular staff here? I don't think it's very likely, as too many people have been involved in her care, and probably still are, and I just have grave doubts that the government could get away with it without it leaking out. If they have acted in such a way, and it does leak out (and I'm pretty certain it would) then it would create a hell of a row here, and would, in all probability, be enough to bring the government down, especially given it's already fragile position.

It's worth remembering that we've had years of pay restraint under the austerity programme here, and Public and Civil Servants were some of the worst hit, with 0% pay rises for years for many. This has created a fair bit of unrest in all public sector areas, especially the NHS and even within the Civil Service itself. All it would take would be one leak from a dissenting voice and the whole pack of cards would come down.

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 18:03
Does HM Government read these pages? In the 19:00 news, the Foreign Office has now announced Yulia Skripal has refused to meet Russian officials. Took them all day!

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 18:08
Does HM Government read these pages? In the 19:00 news, the Foreign Office has now announced Yulia Skripal has refused to meet Russian officials. Took them all day!

She had already made a statement saying the same thing when in hospital, not long after she regained consciousness and was first reported to be talking, some days ago, and that was reported locally here. I'm not really sure why the FCO felt the need to repeat it yet again, but presumably it was because that news hadn't been widely disseminated at the time.

topradio
11th Apr 2018, 19:04
The Ruskies must be pretty pissed off that we have the antidote to one of their most secret weapons. They will have to use a different one next time.
I should think there are a few of their top boffins having to do some explaining.

ORAC
11th Apr 2018, 19:13
No antidote for nerve gas - you just have to hope you get less than a lethal dose.

One of the reasons chemical weapons fell out of use was their random and indiscriminate effect, dependent on both dosage, delivery and weather conditions. It is widely accepted that many of the scuds fired in GWI had nerve gas warheads - it was just the vast majority was destroyed in their explosion and the rest evaporated in the high heat - leaving those affected many years in court to prove that the long term effects were actually caused in combat.

They are, literally, a terror weapon, indiscriminate in effect, hard to use effectively - and as liable to do as much damage to the users as the victims.

TEEEJ
11th Apr 2018, 19:31
We are issuing the following statement on behalf of Yulia Skripal, who continues to receive police support following her release from hospital:

"I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 9th April 2018. I was treated there with obvious clinical expertise and with such kindness, that I have found I missed the staff immediately.

"I have left my father in their care, and he is still seriously ill. I too am still suffering with the effects of the nerve agent used against us.

"I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me.

"I have specially trained officers available to me, who are helping to take care of me and to explain the investigative processes that are being undertaken. I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them.

"Most importantly, I am safe and feeling better as time goes by, but I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do. Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves. I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father's.

"For the moment I do not wish to speak to the press or the media, and ask for their understanding and patience whilst I try to come to terms with my current situation."

Statement issued on behalf of Yulia Skripal - Metropolitan Police (http://news.met.police.uk/news/statement-issued-on-behalf-of-yulia-skripal-302508)

topradio
11th Apr 2018, 19:32
Still, they must still be pretty surprised that our medical institutions combined with the know how at PD have been able to bring the Skripals back from the brink of death.

As I said, they are going to have to try another of their secret weapons next time or use a larger dose. The operative(s) that was tasked with the job at Salisbury is probably having to but books down their trousers as I type.

galaxy flyer
11th Apr 2018, 20:10
VP959,

Apologies if this was covered, but how likely is it that an autopsy would have found the nerve agent?

GF

flash8
11th Apr 2018, 20:34
That statement couldn't have been better put than if it were written by Central office.... wait a minute.

Not exactly engendering confidence despite its intentions.

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 20:40
Still, they must still be pretty surprised that our medical institutions combined with the know how at PD have been able to bring the Skripals back from the brink of death.

As I said, they are going to have to try another of their secret weapons next time or use a larger dose. The operative(s) that was tasked with the job at Salisbury is probably having to but books down their trousers as I type.

Remember that this was a former Soviet era compound, developed in the 1970's and 80's. From everything I've been able to read up on this range of agents, it seems that A234 wasn't one of the priority novichok agents for development into weaponised form, so I would hazard a guess that it may not have been extensively tested back then, either.

Add in that, as has been mentioned here several times already, there are really big problems in designing effective delivery systems for nerve agents, and they become notoriously difficult to use against a specific target.

We have some clues from the time line that has been made public that indicate what may have happened. The first issue is the very long time delay between the reported attack site, his house, and their collapse at the Maltings, having been into the Mill pub and then had lunch at Zizzi. We know they were already contaminated when they were in both the pub and the restaurant, as residues were found in both places.

This delay is extremely unusual for all known nerve agents. Ordinarily, the symptoms will become apparent in seconds if exposure is via an aerosol, which is inhaled or makes contact with any mucus membrane, such as the eyes, nose or mouth. Contact with skin tends to delay the onset of symptoms for some time, perhaps minutes, or a few tens of minutes on thick skin, like the palms of the hands.

I think their collapse soon after eating may be significant It seems possible that the agent was not concentrated enough, or the quantity wasn't sufficient, to cause symptoms through thick skin absorption, or perhaps the viscous additive that may have been mixed with the agent, both to allow it to stay on the door handle and to reduce the risk to whoever applied it (aerosol droplets are far and away the most dangerous form) had the unintended consequence of massively increasing the time taken for absorption through the skin, rather like the way a barrier cream works. It may even have been that whoever picked up the agent from the door handle may have been wearing gloves, so they didn't make contact with it until the gloves were removed, and then cross contaminated each other.

Eating may well have resulted in cross contamination to eating utensils, plates, glasses etc, so allowing small amounts of agent to be ingested. That may then have accelerated the effect, resulting in their collapse shortly after leaving the restaurant.

The net result seems to be that they received a much lower dose than the attacker(s) expected, and perhaps the chosen delivery method interfered with the uptake rate of the agent. All told I think there was a great deal of luck involved, not only for the Skripals, but also for Sgt Bailey and all those they came into contact with around Salisbury.

G-CPTN
11th Apr 2018, 20:58
Do we know the mechanism whereby the policeman became affected?

There was some talk that he had visited the house.
Do we know whether he entered the house?

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 21:10
Do we know the mechanism whereby the policeman became affected?

There was some talk that he had visited the house.
Do we know whether he entered the house?

It seems that the current reports are that he was contaminated at the scene where they collapsed. My guess is that he came into contact with the agent from them directly.

If, for example, whoever closed the door was wearing gloves, and they were the most heavily contaminated item(s), perhaps the police officer handled them? It's all really complete speculation, especially given the unusual timescale, with the Skripals seemingly affected hours after leaving the initial site of the attack, and the police officer, and several other people who went to the air of the Skripals, being affected much more quickly after exposure.

All told it seems an interesting conundrum, that I assume the investigators have already solved, but haven't made public.

roving
11th Apr 2018, 21:17
Thanks, but no thanks.

Telegraph Reporters
11 APRIL 2018 • 9:46PM
The daughter of Russian spy Sergei Skripal who was poisoned in the Salisbury nerve agent attack issued her longest statement yet on Wednesday night to make clear she does not want the help of the Russian Embassy, nor her cousin.

Yulia Skripal said she had been made aware of her country's offer of assistance but said that "at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services". She also said that if she were to change her mind, she would contact them.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/11/yulia-skripal-declines-help-russian-embassy/

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 21:50
So has there been any new theories from Boris on how they were infected.

Effluent Man
12th Apr 2018, 06:43
That statement couldn't have been better put than if it were written by Central office.... wait a minute.

Not exactly engendering confidence despite its intentions.

That was my immediate thought on reading it. The language used is far too concise to have come from her. Most likely scripted by one of BoZo's minions at the FO.

Nige321
12th Apr 2018, 08:07
That was my immediate thought on reading it. The language used is far too concise to have come from her. Most likely scripted by one of BoZo's minions at the FO.

Hilarious the way the trolls read conspiracy in every statement and update. Of course she didn’t write it, for a start English isn’t her first language.

I’m sure she will have been shown the words...

VP959
12th Apr 2018, 08:11
Hilarious the way the trolls read conspiracy in every statement and update. Of course she didn’t write it, for a start English isn’t her first language.

I’m sure she will have been shown the words...

She speaks and writes near-perfect English, and worked here in Southampton for a while, before deciding to go and work back in Russia.

She may not have initially drafted it, but she will have read and understood it OK.

Stan Woolley
12th Apr 2018, 08:21
...reassure them that all is now safe here, and as a part of that all council parking in Salisbury is free from tomorrow onwards, for an indefinite period.

worked here in Southampton for a while,

Do you spend time in both Salisbury and Southampton, VP959?

ORAC
12th Apr 2018, 08:37
I read that as “here” in the UK. Take your tinfoil hat off Woolley.

VP959
12th Apr 2018, 08:46
Do you spend time in both Salisbury and Southampton, VP959?

I live near Salisbury and she worked in the Holiday Inn in Southampton whilst she was living here, which is around 30 to 40 minutes drive away from where her father lives. It was in the public domain, she herself put it in her CV before she was attacked.

Stan Woolley
12th Apr 2018, 08:57
Ok, my mistake.

Andy_S
12th Apr 2018, 10:18
That statement couldn't have been better put than if it were written by Central office.... wait a minute.

Not exactly engendering confidence despite its intentions.

What part of We are issuing the following statement on behalf of Yulia Skripal, who continues to receive police support following her release from hospital don't you understand?

Of course it was professionally written for her. Does that mean it was issued without her input or approval? Why do you see something sinister in absolutely everything the British authorities do or say?

Is it really so difficult to believe that maybe Yulia Skripal is simply being treated with kindness and compassion and offered appropriate support?

VP959
12th Apr 2018, 10:51
What part of don't you understand?

Of course it was professionally written for her. Does that mean it was issued without her input or approval? Why do you see something sinister in absolutely everything the British authorities do or say?

Is it really so difficult to believe that maybe Yulia Skripal is simply being treated with kindness and compassion and offered appropriate support?

I cannot possibly see how there could be anything untoward in her statement at all, and firmly believe that she is just being looked after medically and kept away from the media at her own request. The bottom line is that she cannot be held prisoner, as she's committed no crime, plus she's still a Russian citizen, albeit one who has in the past had the right to live and work in the UK for long periods (in London and Southampton).

When she is "released" she will be as free as any other Russian citizen to write about her experiences - the UK cannot compel her to keep anything secret, unless she decides to renounce her Russian citizenship, apply for British citizenship and as a part of being granted that is required to agree to keep some of what happened to her secret. On the other hand she has previously lived and worked in the UK for several years, so may have already been granted permanent leave to remain as a part of the spy swap deal, in which case I'd guess there's nothing much the British government can do to stop her saying anything she wants once she has recovered, and frankly I can't see why they would, as it seems unlikely that she would want to say anything that might hinder her ability to continue to visit her father here, anyway.

From what has been reported, nothing she or her father have been able to tell the investigation team has helped much; it seems they had already worked out the most probable sequence of events before either of them regained consciousness. If that's true, then the chances are that neither of them has any information that could incriminate anyone.

ORAC
12th Apr 2018, 11:03
OPCW confirm that the attack on the Scripals was made using high-grade novichok nerve agent.

KelvinD
12th Apr 2018, 12:40
Orac: OPCW confirm that the attack on the Scripals was made using high-grade novichok nerve agent.
No they didn't. They confirmed the UK government's findings (So the Porton Down scientists are UK government now?). They failed to mention tha actual agent's name. Their published report states the name and chemical make up of the agent are published in their "classified report". For "classified", read "too bloody secret for you lot to know".
In a similar vein, President Macron has said France has proof of the Syrian government's guilt in the attack on Douma. He then failed to show it, or even allude to it!

VP959
12th Apr 2018, 14:16
The OPCW report is here: https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/

The summary is this:

The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.

The UK’s delegation to the OPCW requested that the Technical Secretariat share the report with all States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and to make the Executive Summary of the report publicly available.

The Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, thanked the four OPCW designated laboratories that supported the technical assistance request for their swift and thorough analysis.

Background

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested technical assistance from the OPCW Technical Secretariat, under subparagraph 38(e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention, in relation to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical—allegedly a nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals.

The OPCW team worked independently and is not involved in the national investigation by the UK authorities. No State Party was involved in the technical work carried out by the Technical Secretariat.

OPCW designated laboratories are a lynchpin of the Organisation’s verification regime and its capacity to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons. They must be able to perform off-site analysis of chemical samples collected by OPCW inspectors from chemical production facilities, storage depots and other installations, or from the site of an alleged use of chemical weapons. These laboratories offer the necessary assurance to our States Parties that chemical analyses needed to make determinations or to clarify issues occurring during OPCW deployments are carried out competently, impartially, and with unambiguous results.

The UK have already released the fact that the agent involved was the ethyl analogue of the novichok agent A232, that was given the designation A234 by it's developers in the Soviet era.

This part of the statement from the OPCW:

The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people

independently confirms that the agent was novichok A234, as previously stated by the UK government, following sample analysis at DSTL Porton Down and, I believe, the Defence Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Centre at Winterbourne Gunner.

It is accurate to state categorically (as four laboratories, in addition to the UK facilities, have reached the same conclusion) that the agent that was used to attempt to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal was definitely novichok A234, as developed by the former Soviet Union at at least two publicly known locations, Shikhany, in Russia, and the test facility near Nukus, Uzbekistan (the latter now having been cleaned up and decontaminated since the break up of the Soviet Union).