By JW Williams
The government of the UK accused Russia of poisoning a former Soviet spy-turned-double-agent who then worked for the UK, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, last March. Both the father and daughter became very ill but survived the alleged assassination attempt. British police say that a few months later in June, a local man, Charlie Rowley, found an ‘expensive’ looking perfume bottle that was allegedly used to smear the poison, which the UK government claims was Novichok, on Skripal’s door handle in the southern English town of Salisbury. Rowley is believed to have given the bottle to his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, as a gift, and she later died from her exposure to the substance. Rowley also became ill from exposure to the liquid in the bottle and spent two weeks in a medically induced coma after he fell ill; he claims he cannot remember how or where he found the bottle- it was a “blur”.
This case is important because it is being used to demonize Russia and to justify the imposition of sanctions against that country.
Russia has denied the allegations.
Back in April, Russia requested a UN Security Council meeting after the British Porton Down chemical laboratory failed to prove that the Novichok nerve agent used in the poisoning was of Russian origin. Other problems with the story include the survival of the Skripals, as Novichok is believed to be extremely lethal, yet they managed to walk around for four hours after the exposure, according to the version by the British authorities. Yet the police officer who found them lost consciousness immediately.
Theresa May urged Europe and the US to denounce the Russians and President Vladimir Putin personally for this alleged poisoning in Salisbury. European countries and the United States expelled 100 Russian diplomats after the attack, in addition to imposing sanctions, in the strongest action by President Donald Trump against Russia since he came to office.
Earlier this month, the UK charged two Russian men, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, and police officer Nick Bailey,. UK authorities claimed that two swabs taken from the suspects’ hotel were found to contain traces of the nerve agent. At the same time, UK Prime Minister Theresa May asserted that the men were agents of the GRU Russian military intelligence service.
The two men were interviewed by Russia Today, a state-owned media outlet and denied involvement in the alleged poisoning incidents. This, of course proves little, but it is of interest to hear their story. As you listen, ask yourself if these fellows strike you as professional killers.
Jake Morphonios examined video footage and provides an analysis showing that photos of alleged assassins Petrov and Boshirov arriving at Gatwick Airport in England on March 2, 2018 were doctored by Scotland Yard. The alleged attack took place on March 4th, and the men, who claim they were in Salisbury sightseeing, were on a tight timeline that Scotland Yard seems to be manipulating.
President Trump is threatening new sanctions and is demanding that Russia give “reliable assurances” it would no longer use chemical weapons and will allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other international observer groups. Russia flatly denies involvement in the incident, and is unlikely to accede to insulting demands.