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Sergei Skripal

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Sergei Skripal

Old 14th Sep 2018, 15:23
  #2681 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Stan Woolley View Post


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

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




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

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

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

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

This wind-blown snow drifting just doesn't happen much lower down in and around Salisbury. It's easy to confirm this by just looking at the CCTV images from Salisbury showing these two guys - there's no snow visible in any of them, just a very small bit of slush in the gutter of Wilton Road by the Shell garage.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 15:44
  #2682 (permalink)  
 
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Will you admit that photo was taken in the general direction of Stonehenge,
Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
No. it was taken about 1 1/2 miles or so West of Stonehenge. Anyway, they didn't go to Stonehenge as far as we know, they seem to have stayed in Salisbury.
Ok, in my book thatís close enough for govt work!

I know they stayed in Salisbury. My point was that Stonehenge was probably inaccessible by public transport that particular weekend. Maybe, just maybe, thatís why they stayed in Salisbury.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 15:48
  #2683 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting story about two different Russians arrested in the Netherlands for allegedly "spying" on the Swiss OPCW accredited lab, near Bern: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45522614

This was one of the labs that undertook independent sampling and analysis an confirmed that the identification of the agent was identical to that from the DSTL analysis, following the Skripal attack. It's not clear yet whether they were arrested and deported before or after the Skripal attack. Could be either, as several of the OPCW accredited labs have been involved in sampling and analysing materiel from the Syrian attacks as well. Be interesting if it turns out that they were arrested after the Skripal attack, as that suggests they were after information regarding the agent used, or how much the lab knew about it.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 15:57
  #2684 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Stan Woolley View Post




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

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

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

Bit of a coincidence that they chose to fly over here shortly after Yulia Skripal flew over here from Russia to see her father, and visit her mother and brother's graves, too.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 16:32
  #2685 (permalink)  
 
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By the way VP.

I visited Salisbury Cathedral last week.
For someone not really impressed by that type of thing - I was impressed.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 16:42
  #2686 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Stan Woolley View Post
By the way VP.

I visited Salisbury Cathedral last week.
For someone not really impressed by that type of thing - I was impressed.
I'm equally not impressed by churches, but also make an exception for Salisbury. You have the added bonus of being able to walk over Ted Heath's grave as you leave through the cloister, heading for the Chapter Room...

One thing that is pretty amazing is the bend in the columns that support the tower and spire. If you stand at the base of them and look up you can see how the compressive load has caused them to bend. They are supported now by later engineering modifications. My guess is that they didn't fully understand slim column buckling failure under a compressive load when they built the thing.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 18:53
  #2687 (permalink)  
 
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Some interesting reading in regards to the two suspects passports.

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

An ongoing Bellingcat investigation conducted jointly with The Insider Russia has confirmed through uncovered passport data that the two Russian nationals identified by UK authorities as prime suspects in the Novichok poisonings on British soil are linked to Russian security services.
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-a...rity-services/

Russian link.

https://theins.ru/politika/117161
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 19:50
  #2688 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Dave: At the time the Aeroflot flight entered the stack, approx 14:50, the Easyjet flight, was still over the North Sea, heading toward Margate. Similarly, the BA Amsterdam flight had just passed Margate at that time,joining the stack at 14:59. The BA Malta flight was just south of Abbeville. The three flights ahead of the Aeroflot, D82805, BA2623 & D82905 all avoided the stack. D82905 landed around 14:57 while the Aeroflot flight was still doing the rounds, alone, at the WILLO hold, leaving the hold at approx 15:19. The other flights you refer to joined the stack later and, as far as I can see, there no other flights ahead of the Aeroflot when it entered the hold.
I think we may be at cross-purposes.

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

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

Going back to my original point, the quote from Petrov about not being able to land from the first approach came direct from the rt.com transcript/translation, so I don't think we are misinterpreting it. But it's clearly not true.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 20:15
  #2689 (permalink)  
 
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I've caught out our two Russian tourists.

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

Clearly lying. Get the wooden stakes, rope and brushwood. I sense a burnin'
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 20:42
  #2690 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/n...ewer-sc5679f33

The bizarre account by two suspected Russian hitmen of an innocent tourist trip to Salisbury may have been met with predictable derision in Britain but Russian reaction has shown that even Moscow is struggling to find the story credible. Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, admitted that their version of events may have raised more questions than it answered......

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lizaveta Nesterova, a fellow journalist, tweeted sarcastically: “Boshirov remembered the height of the spire at Salisbury cathedral six months after his trip. What a memory! He should join the intelligence services.”
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 20:55
  #2691 (permalink)  
 
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I think we need to temper the comedy act surrounding the appearance of the two main suspects, with the fact that the lives of four people were forever irrevocably changed, and one person was killed by this attack. Leaving aside the politics, we now have some confirmed facts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'd say those trying to confuse are achieving their objective.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 21:03
  #2692 (permalink)  
 
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Lizaveta Nesterova, a fellow journalist, tweeted sarcastically: ďBoshirov remembered the height of the spire at Salisbury cathedral six months after his trip. What a memory! He should join the intelligence services.Ē
It's good to see that Russians have a similar sense of humour.
And sad that we have such differences on more important matters.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 21:04
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The Guardian is reporting the following info in the bidding war to gain an interview from the two suspects. Why on earth would these two completely normal civilians turn down this amount of money offered? Their claimed "overseas business" interests are now in tatters so why didn't they follow the money?

The bidding had been intense. Both the BBC and Channel 4 had put up six-figure offers, which had then been topped by NBC slamming $1m on the table.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...d-of-wikipedia
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 21:21
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Originally Posted by Stan Woolley View Post
True enough, but itís still bad enough to make one doubt that transport generally wasnít disrupted that weekend. The U.K. usually needs a lot less than that to grind to a halt!
Especially the railways... oh, wait... they managed to get to and from Salisbury on both days by train without any problems at all
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 21:28
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 22:08
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Originally Posted by MFC_Fly View Post
Especially the railways... oh, wait... they managed to get to and from Salisbury on both days by train without any problems at all
Yes, though it seems that trains are not that bothered by a bit of snow.

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Old 14th Sep 2018, 22:31
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Originally Posted by CloudHound View Post
I've caught out our two Russian tourists.

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

Clearly lying. Get the wooden stakes, rope and brushwood. I sense a burnin'
The two "chaps" clearly forgot the wondrous Whistler etching (note to ask for a quick e-cloth clean!) plus the "Bumping Stone". Tut Tut handlers......
I've also noticed the difference in the hairline, facial proportions and weight, between the photos and the two who were interviewed. Curious.
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Old 14th Sep 2018, 23:57
  #2698 (permalink)  
 
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Question

I heard a Russian speaker on the radio this morning who listened to the interview in Russian. When they were asked why they returned to Salisbury on the second day answered in Russian.. "To finish the business."

Obviously, that was not what was translated into English!
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 04:12
  #2699 (permalink)  
 
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I've also noticed the difference in the hairline, facial proportions and weight, between the photos and the two who were interviewed. Curious
We had a rather lengthy article in a local paper ("The Australian", hides behind a paywall, sorry) that floated the opinion that the work was by Russian GRU operatives who thought Putin would be appreciative of the planned fatal outcome. With the mess that has ensued from a failed assassination it was put that Putin has more than likely extracted a pound of flesh from the two, termination with extreme prejudice. So perhaps, as you observe, the photo is of two actors. Who knows?
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 07:05
  #2700 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/o...ians-b5v92lvbg

Our Week: Two Completely Innocent Russians*

понедельник

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

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

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

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

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

“Stupid idea,” say Ruslan.

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

“Oh,” say Alex.

вторник

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

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

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

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

среда

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

“Particularly?” say Ruslan.

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

“Wait, what?” say Alex.

Then Dmitry haff winked.

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

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

“Okay,” sigh Ruslan.

“Okay Duckie,” corrects Dmitry.

Четверг

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

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

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

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

“Nah,” says RT journalist.

Пятница

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

“So we did okay?” say Ruslan.

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

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

“Steeple,” say Ruslan. “Is spike.”

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

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

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

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

*according to Hugo Rifkind

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