Russian spy: Conspiracy theories and denial in Russia

Discussion in 'Military News and Clips' started by Chelonian, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    My interpretation of the PM's words is that she implied that there is a credible evidential link. Certainly enough for the UK government to ask the Russian Federation to clarify the two questions.

    I'm unsure how much detail the UK government will put in the public domain. The risk is that doing so turns a legal prosecution into a public debate.

    My understanding—admittedly speculation—is that the nerve agent identified has a signature specific to the Russian Federation which thus far effectively rules out other possible sources.

    The UK government appears to have framed its questions to the Russian Federation very precisely.
     
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  2. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    But if that link is common to other countries, will she be asking other Government's? She needs to spell out how common this stuff is, how easy it is to produce.

    She might be able to get it past 600 sheep but in the morning the Russian' Foreign Ministry will eat them for breakfast with reasonable questions and make us look stupid.

    I honestly don't know how it works or how easy that is to replicate a signature if that is the case.

    Wiser Governments would have framed it without climbing up a flagpole in public leaving themselves no non embarrassing way to climb down without looking stupid when the answers come in. They could have done this in private, but they seem to want a circus.
     
  3. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    My understanding—and others' interpretation of the PM's statement might well differ from my own— is that the UK government is now at the stage where it is confident beyond reasonable doubt that the nerve agent was sourced from the Russian Federation. Whether it was deployed by it or sanctioned by it is of course another matter. :)

    I don't think the UK government has much choice. It is constrained by domestic politics and a media which is inconveniently but understandably demanding answers. The PM has already been mocked for a previous promise that she would "have a word" with Mr Putin about the Litvinenko affair. A matter which she consistently succeeded in kicking into the long grass.
     
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  4. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    From what I heard her say, she said is this:

    The substance used was military grade Novichock
    Russia once had military grade Novichock and therefore we are highly confident it was them

    From what I heard, that was the only reasoning she gave - and for me that is beyond idiotic in a logical proof driven country. There are so many questions that MP's should have been asking, they didn't and that is also what scares me. What other countries have it is what I want to know, do we have it? Does Ireland have it? Germany, France, Israel?

    She said there was two possible options to this, the Russian state did it or allowed it to be leaked into the hands of criminals. Those aren't the only two options, another country could have supplied it or allowed their stock to fall into criminal hands.

    But she wouldn't have been in that position if she waited for proof the last time before opening her mouth. She's not learnt her lesson and soon this country will be backed into a corner with only war as an option.

    Only this time, it will be with the wrong country who can defend itself.
     
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  5. News

    News RSS Feed

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    Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by Novichok nerve agents, the PM says. So what are they?

    Continue reading...
     
  6. DutyWretch

    DutyWretch Royal Marines Commando

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    Silly old boris, if only they'd added some of that special ingredient to Vince Cables quorn sausages, they'd have found themselves in a far more favourable light.






    I'm on the 'doubt it's putin' side of the fence with this one.

    Perhaps it was his merry band of former kgb officers, who operate independently and have sworn to rid the world of traitors, either way, I feel it's more likely to be false flag.

    Probably the yanks.
     
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  7. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    My interpretation—subjective, naturally—was that this reasoning gives enough reasonable probability for the Russian Federation to be linked to the Salisbury incident. The PM's statement and request for clarification excludes anything other than a binary response from the Russian Federation. Although the option exists for a somewhat skanky "No comment..." response. :)

    Unlikely to be a proportional response by either party. Just a personal opinion, but I haven't started digging my fall-out shelter just yet. To be honest I'm sitting back and enjoying not hearing about BREXIT on every news broadcast.

    The UK has a raft of sanctions which could hurt the Russian Federation. But without wider international support the UK is in a weaker position.

    The Salisbury incident is a major inconvenience for both the UK and the Russian Federation. The UK needs gas and Russia needs somewhere safe to invest its money. After all, it can't trust its own banking and legal system which is why it uses ours.

    However this pans out I can't see Mr Putin giving even a hint of a concession until after he wins the next election on Sunday.

    As an aside, on the domestic political front the incident gives Mrs May an opportunity to revive a flagging premeiership in much the same way as Baroness Thatcher capitalised the Falkland Islands conflict in 1982.
     
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  8. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    It could plausibly be so. But every investigation has to start somewhere and the Russian Federation is as good a place to start as any.
     
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  9. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    The former Soviet Scientist who claims to have developed it was exiled from Russia to the UK, now lives here.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...veals-horror-lethal-nerve-agent-Novichok.html

    Look at the quotes from the article, and this article is not trying to be friendly to Russia or Putin.

    "Shockingly, they can be created from common, unrestricted and undetectable industrial and agricultural chemicals available worldwide."

    "Describing his work, Mr Mirzayanov said: 'They were normal laboratories, they were not underground or anything. They were testing and developing."

    "'One of the main reasons these agents are developed is because their component parts are not on the banned list. It means the chemicals that are mixed to create it are much easier to deliver with no risk to the health of the courier.'"

    This is only 18 hours after the statement and doubts are growing. Why aren't MP's asking questions like these? In a way the attack is irrelevant, what is more worrying is the lack of common sense from MP's. This lot are far more sheep like than those that voted in 2003 for the weapons of mass destruction.
     
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  10. arny01

    arny01 Ex Pongo.

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    Politicians are more self serving now than ever!! Every one more interested in their own political future, than representing their constituents.

    We live in an age so obsessed with political correctness, that every one of those pathetic creatures, we call politicians are afraid to say or do anything that rubs against the green.
     
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  11. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    This is one of the most interesting issues about the Salisbury incident. As I understand the PM's statement the nerve agent deployed at Salisbury has been described as "weapon's grade". In comparison, the Sarin used in the Tokyo underground railway attack in 1995 was basically a 'home-brew' nerve agent. Sarin, certainly, but only 20% of the strength of 'weapon's grade' Sarin produced using the resources of a government. But I concede that my knowledge of Chemistry is based solely on the Grade D mark I was awarded for my O-level in the subject. :)

    Personally, my speculation currently favours the suggestion floated by @DutyWretch that the link to the Russian Federation may well be chaotic.
    Some years ago I recall seeing images of nuclear fuel rods discarded in the forests of Ukraine; another casualty of the collapse of the USSR. It is definitely plausible that Russian government nerve agents from the 1980s are not as controlled as the Kremlin might assert.

    A fair point. None seems to have added much constructive to the debate. Did you listen to Jeremy Corbyn's response to the PM's statement? I was astonished. One of Corbyn's own backbenchers mocked him for it when he finished.
     
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  12. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    Same here mate, I don't know either. "weapons grade" I think it is just a buzz word to get the media going. Let's assume it is not, I guess it begs the question, is there a non weapons grade version of this agent? If so, what is it used for and how easy is it to concentrate it up to weapons grade?

    It really doesn't bother me whether Russia did it or not, got to be honest. If Russia did it then they did it and should be held accountable. My only concern is how we get to the answer, is it a logical evidence based investigation or are we digging out a Ouija board from the 1700's and following that? What I watched yesterday was horrifying to what we have become as a country. We are little more than a mob of non intellectuals chasing victims down the streets with pitch forks.
     
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  13. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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  14. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I too am wary of phrases such as 'weapon's grade' being casually bandied about. One definition appears to suggest—in this context—a nerve agent which has been distilled at huge cost to create maximum toxicity.
    From what little I know less toxic nerve agents can also be produced by highly skilled chemists using sophisticated facilities. Nerve agent production is clearly not exclusive to governments.

    Apparently the MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down has an extensive library of nerve agents. The implication by the UK government is that the nerve agent deployed in Salisbury matches that of known USSR or Russian Federation weapons.

    If this was not an international incident but a domestic crime of any flavour Police and CPS would apply the simplest three tests to identify suspects: Motivation, Means and History. As it stands now, the Russian Federation ticks all three of those boxes. These alone are not proof but certainly enough to warrant our PM's request for clarification.

    Unfortunately the UK media is determined to create anti-Russian hysteria.

    That seems a reasonable response in the circumstances.
     
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  15. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    But what motive would they have? He's lived over here in freedom since 2010, why now?

    Why not just shoot him in the back of the head as he opens his door? Why go to all this length with something that could obviously be linked back back to them?

    What history? As far as I know mate, you'd have to go back to Soviet times for assassinations like this.

    Would you say there were other countries out there that would benefit from the UK falling out with Russia? We don't benefit and neither would Russia, so who would?

    As for what we can do, I know some called for sanctions. This is where the stupidity of MP's goes back many decades, closing the coal mines and coal fired power stations in favour of gas, then closing the gas storage units so we have no reserves. Then accusing the people that sell us emergency supplies of gas of murder. We have no energy security anymore, so even if this was Russia - there is zero we can do about it.

    ------

    Breaking news, Tillerson sacked as US Secretary of State

    Monday morning, WhiteHouse: Wait for investigation before condemning Russia
    Monday Afternoon: "Tillerson: Moscow "Clearly" Behind Skripal Poisoning, "Will Trigger A Response""
    Tuesday: WhiteHouse RESPONSE: (Rex, Your're Fire, get out of here)

    Although, I think it was probably more to do with him contradicting Trump on North Korea.
     
  16. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Obviously these are questions that can only be answered by the Russian Federation. And let's face it—if the questions are answered—allegations will be denied. Possibly quite credibly.

    Where to begin with that list? :) I'd speculate that the possibility is realistic and that ultimately only a joint UK-Russian Federation investigation might shed light on it. The chances of such co-operation in the present climate? Unlikely.

    In fairness, the UK media and some idiot MPs have been immoderate but the UK government has been very measured in its language.

    I agree. It's perhaps an unfortunate coincidence of timing. Trump and Tillerson have a track record of fundamental disagreements over matters far more important to US foreign and strategic policy.
     
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  17. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    A defence analyst speaking this afternoon on today's BBC Radio 4's The World at One stated that the nerve agent deployed at Salisbury is not 'legacy stock' dating from the former USSR but is of contemporary manufacture. How accurate or credible his comment? I've no idea.

    Apparently nerve agents have a predictable decay cycle meaning that they can be dated quite accurately.
     
  18. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

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    There is a question here straight away though. How has he access to the samples from the investigation? If he has access, is it normal for scientists to start cracking their own media detail on what can and can't be released to the public? Is there not a media officer at the Home Office so that all the info comes out of one place in a uniformed manner?

    I suspect the BBC has gotten themselves a chemical walt.

    What is going on with the media?
     
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  19. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    My thought precisely. The interviewer also seemed surprised by his comment which was delivered as if it were fact rather than speculation.

    I didn't note the time within the programme as I was doing something else. It will be on BBC Radio iPlayer but I can't summon the enthusiam to sift through 45 minutes to find it.
     
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  20. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Not to mention that Mr Tillerson has always avoided directly denying that he described Mr Trump as a "f-----g moron" when the president apparently couldn't understand a security briefing. :)
     

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