Craig Murray: “The Strange Russian Alibi”

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Craig Murray: "The Strange Russian Alibi"

Salisbury Cathedral. Image: Martin Cook / SWNS.com

Written by Craig Murray; Originally appeared on craigmurray.org.uk

Like many, my first thought at the interview of Boshirov and Petrov – which apparently are indeed their names – is that they were very unconvincing. The interview itself seemed to be set up around a cramped table with a poor camera and lighting, and the interviewer seemed pretty hopeless at asking probing questions that would shed any real light.

I had in fact decided that their story was highly improbable, until I started seeing the storm of twitter posting, much of it from mainstream media journalists, which stated that individual things were impossible which were, in fact, not impossible at all.

The first and most obvious regards the weather on 3 and 4 March. It is in fact absolutely true that, if the two had gone down to Salisbury on 3 March with the intention of going to Stonehenge, they would have been unable to get there because of the snow. It is therefore perfectly possible that they went back the next day to try again; and public transport out of Salisbury was still severely disrupted, and many roads closed, on 4 March. Proof of this is not at all difficult to find.

Craig Murray: "The Strange Russian Alibi"

This image is from the Salisbury Journal’s liveblog on 4 March.
Craig Murray: "The Strange Russian Alibi"

Those mocking the idea that the pair were blocked by snow from visiting Stonehenge have pointed to the CCTV footage of central Salisbury not showing snow on the afternoon of 4 March. Well, that is central Salisbury, it had of course been salted and cleared. Outside there were drifts.

So that part of their story in fact turns out not to be implausible as social media is making out; in fact it fits precisely with the actual facts.

The second part of their story that has brought ridicule is the notion that two Russians would fly to the UK for the weekend and try to visit Salisbury. This ridicule has been very strange to me. Weekend breaks – arrive on Friday and return on Sunday – are a standard part of the holiday industry. Why is it apparently unthinkable that Russians fly on weekend breaks as well as British people?

Even more strange is the idea that it is wildly improbable for Russian visitors to wish to visit Salisbury cathedral and Stonehenge. Salisbury Cathedral is one of the most breathtaking achievements of Norman architecture, one of the great cathedrals of Europe. It attracts a great many foreign visitors. Stonehenge is world famous and a world heritage site. I went on holiday this year and visited Wurzburg to see the Bishop’s Palace, and then the winery cooperative at Sommerach. Because somebody does not choose to spend their leisure time on a beach in Benidorm does not make them a killer. Lots of people go to Salisbury Cathedral.

Craig Murray: "The Strange Russian Alibi"

There seems to be a racist motif here – Russians cannot possibly have intellectual or historical interests, or afford weekend breaks.

The final meme which has worried me is “if they went to see the cathedral, why did they visit the Skripal house?” Well, no evidence at all has been presented that they visited the Skripal house. They were captured on CCTV walking past a petrol station 500 yards away – that is the closest they have been placed to the Skripal house.

The greater mystery about these two is, if they did visit the Skripal House and paint Novichok on the doorknob, why did they afterwards walk straight past the railway station again and head into Salisbury city centre, where they were caught window shopping in a coin and souvenir shop with apparently not a care in the world, before eventually returning to the train station? It seems a very strange attitude to a getaway after an attempted murder. In truth their demeanour throughout the photographs is consistent with their tourism story.

The Russians have so far presented this pair in a very unconvincing light. But on investigation, the elements of their story which are claimed to be wildly improbable are not inconsistent with the facts.

There remains the much larger question of the timing.

The Metropolitan Police state that Boshirov and Petrov did not arrive in Salisbury until 11.48 on the day of the poisoning. That means that they could not have applied a nerve agent to the Skripals’ doorknob before noon at the earliest. But there has never been any indication that the Skripals returned to their home after noon on Sunday 4 March. If they did so, they and/or their car somehow avoided all CCTV cameras. Remember they were caught by three CCTV cameras on leaving, and Borishov and Petrov were caught frequently on CCTV on arriving.

The Skripals were next seen on CCTV at 13.30, driving down Devizes road. After that their movements were clearly witnessed or recorded until their admission to hospital.

So even if the Skripals made an “invisible” trip home before being seen on Devizes Road, that means the very latest they could have touched the doorknob is 13.15. The longest possible gap between the novichok being placed on the doorknob and the Skripals touching it would have been one hour and 15 minutes. Do you recall all those “experts” leaping in to tell us that the “ten times deadlier than VX” nerve agent was not fatal because it had degraded overnight on the doorknob? Well that cannot be true. The time between application and contact was between a minute and (at most) just over an hour on this new timeline.

In general it is worth observing that the Skripals, and poor Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, all managed to achieve almost complete CCTV invisibility in their widespread movements around Salisbury at the key times, while in contrast “Petrov and Boshirov” managed to be frequently caught in high quality all the time during their brief visit.

This is especially remarkable in the case of the Skripals’ location around noon on 4 March. The government can only maintain that they returned home at this time, as they insist they got the nerve agent from the doorknob. But why was their car so frequently caught on CCTV leaving, but not at all returning? It appears very much more probable that they came into contact with the nerve agent somewhere else, while they were out.

I shall write a further post on these timing questions shortly.

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  • Rob

    How US and UK regimes keep the other countries’ currency values down. Which is a political matter.

    In a country the currency value is directly related to purchasing power inside the country e.g. what you can buy by one Russian Ruble. How much are the salaries or wages etc. If the value of Ruble currency is down then you will pay a lots but if the value is high then you will pay less. So first inside their own country they should have to keep the value of their own currency high.

    • FlorianGeyer

      That is mainly true with imported goods but internally supplied goods that have no imported content are only subject to price rises due to scarcity can result from the supply and demand and the lower imports.

      • Rob

        If a country currency value is high then a low wage and a low salary can work a lot but if the currency value is low then the nation should carry their bags full of notes for purchasing needs. For example I grow crops for which I get 5 Russian rubles in the market if the value of Ruble is high but if the value is low then I will get 1000 rubles. If the supply and demand of the commodities is not good then the country can import it.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Many things we buy we may want but do not need. If goods we buy from abroad are things we do not need , a weak currency is not a problem.

          I boycott Israeli and US goods anyway and also their outlets in other countries :)

  • Rob

    UK, US, Israel and KSA all are encroachers and child butchers. All world nations must unite and protect themselves.

  • Barba_Papa

    And again, this is why I say that fake evidence is better then no evidence at all. At least fake evidence can be poked holes into. Trying to disprove what is essentially only a narrative only lands you a spot as a Russian paid troll.

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    I never understood the need to disprove a lie that is so obvious and so moronic, that only totally brainwashed single cells will go for it, or ones with a holyshit agenda.

    • Barba_Papa

      But the average voter is exactly that dimwitted and gullible. So the lie actually works. Try to talk about it to people and see how long it takes for you not to be called a Russian Troll.

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        I was not talking about the holywood educated and sheep, that think that voting this perverts into office they do their patriotic duty.

        I am speaking about the russians that could have make if they wanted the Brits the laughing stock of the globe. Not that they are not along with their cousins, but I am sure the russians with the info they have could have turn the tables around in a much better way they are doing right now. Debating a lie, give it validity.

        • FlorianGeyer

          I am sure though that the instant repost from the UK to the RT interview is only what was expected and in the coming days and weeks we will be presented with real evidence to support the innocence of the two Russian tourists that the UK will struggle even more to reconcile :)

          The UK again lives in a bygone era where emotion driven narratives are instant and final and also very banal and trivial.

          The era of heresy and witch trials that has never stopped smouldering in religions and pseudo religious cults that relies on propaganda narratives from cult leaders who seek personal gain from doing so, was reignited after WW2.

          • Promitheas Apollonious

            Just like in reality shows right?

        • 1691

          Russians don’t have to make” the Brits the laughing stock of the globe.” The Brits, (people of GB please, excuse me, it is about your government, not you) are doing it themslves.

          • Promitheas Apollonious

            my government…….. I dont recognize politicians as my representatives, so dont worry what you saying for any group of politicians.

            I agree the brits are doing it to themselves but…… the russians all they had to answer to the brits and partners was PROVE IT. Nothing else. Now they, (russians) are falling for the holywood style and logic………. they are on the defensive from my point of view, turning it themselves into a 3rd rate scenario for morons, just like their reality shows.

          • 1691

            Excuse me, please, did you miss the requests from the RF ambassador to London for proofs, evidence, facts? Do you have any clue about how things work in a Court of Law? You might have noticed that RF does not play street-wise mafia bully. Clumsy as it is, these two Russians did not poison Scripal. The Russians have not yet been accused by a Court of Law so they are not defensive, The interview was not an interrogation. It was mostly food for the media. It is better to have some ridiculous arguments over it than a war.

          • FlorianGeyer

            Reality shows the world over are moronic in my opinion. I force myself to watch one occasionally , just to wonder at the banality.

            Many are actually rather cruel as they mock the Great Unwashed without their dull minds realising.

        • Concrete Mike

          Ah I understand what your saying.
          Im not russian, im stuck in a north american view point, so Im also puzzled by this.

          Maybe its so stupid the russians dont even want to talk about it….beat me.

          • FlorianGeyer

            I used to employ ordinary working but educated people from ex Soviet Nations and although they were very Streetwise in their own countries, many had Hollywood ideas of what the West was like.

            They were often taken in by ‘Win cash or goods’ legal scams and struggled to understand why such offers were not illegal etc.

            All of us would be in the same situation if we moved to nations with an alien culture I think. To truly understand a culture we all need to live and work in it , rather than spend a week on holiday there.

    • Concrete Mike

      Because this canard is used as a bludgeon to justify war.

      This is not acceptable. If ww3 starts over this, what will we say after?

      Anither thing that bothers me is that this farce is used a justification for more sanctions. The sanction hurt the europeean people as much as the russian people. Thats not right. For me personally that type of crap dont fly.

      I aint a lemming and neither are you sir. Can you feel good about yourself if you abandon you brothers and sisters even though there “dumber” than you or me??

      Looking forwars to your reply, cheers brother.

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        It is not possible for me to abandon any one in need, especially what I consider my people and I think this applies to all normal common sense thinking humans.

        I concluded back in the 80s, a rule that is yet for me, to find the exception of it. It is impossible to awake someone who pretend he is asleep.

        No it is not right but then life is what we been deal to live and is up to us to stand and say no and actively oppose what is happening against us and our people, but on the other hand realistically speaking I will not sacrifice, one of mine or me, for the followers of the western system and supporters of it and by extension all political followers. People lost their common sense and is not to be trusted very much now days.

  • Merijn

    There is always the possibility that they first created a movie with a couple of Russians as evidence… and when they got the CCTV images… they Faked the Skripal Poisoning

    • Allan Greedspoon

      Exactly

    • Concrete Mike

      Thats a most interesting observation. We cant elimimate a connection to douma just yet though

  • Normal Person

    They have every reason in the world to be nervous, they are on every channel as “Spies/Killers”, PM May has accused them personally in front of the parlament and the whole world, we are living in a time that you are guilty until proven otherwise. Will they trust the UK government, even if they are innocent? Nah, just look at Assange. The UK government is looking for a scapegoat because of the Brexit fiasco, they can’t believe people chose to leave the E.U, and those people have become their enemy; they don’t care if they keep pushing the Russians towards an open conflict. That would be good for them, that way they can get rid of most of the Brexiteers, afterward they going to come in with EU tools; such as NATO to save the day, and say “See we need to remain united, we need the EU and our partners and such” blah, blah

    • Antikapitalista

      Not a scapegoat, but perhaps a plea for a free trade agreement with the U.S.A.

  • Empire’s Frontiers

    You’d think these guys were on the run from their conviction the way even Craig pretends to doubt their story.

    How’d they apply a volatile nerve agent to a door handle right under their noses without any protection of their own?

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      shhhhhh the forget to mention that the two russians while executing their mission was dressed in full protective suits and then they changed back to their casual tourists cloths. Besides who cares about details?

      • Empire’s Frontiers

        I’d half hoped someone would get smart and tell me,

        ‘Novichok, they say, isn’t very volatile at all. It can persist for a long time’

        In which case, it should still be spread all over town.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          to me is obvious what happen, is that nothing happen. Have you ever seen a military grade nerve agent in action, that is design to kill you in minutes?

          Just because some morons who believe that are superior to you, so what ever they shit you eat, and when I say you, I mean world in general and all now play along with their moronic scenarios by debating them and try to prove the liars, who lied about everything and destroying the world, are not telling the truth and is all nothing but fabrication?

          I am waiting to see what the russians are going to do, as I dont believe are that stupid, on the contrary I think are very intelligent down to earth people most of them and pragmatist. Common sense will give you the answer you looking for.

      • FlorianGeyer

        I thought their jeans and anoraks were specially designed covert chemical warfare suits Promitheas :)

    • FlorianGeyer

      That’s a Soviet Russian NKVD secret .

      These commies are cunning and clever. :)

  • Antikapitalista

    Well, on one hand, the Salisbury Cathedral lies in the opposite direction… on the other hand, the A360 road is the most pleasing one to take when one decides to take a stroll from the train station in the other direction.

    Still the question remains as to why would they have gone there in broad daylight and without any cover, when they could have been confronted on the spot by anyone…

  • Tommy Jensen

    If the British government says they have proof I believe them.
    Why should the British government lie? Someone in the British parlament would have pointed out the lie IF it was a lie because we have a Western democracy and freedom!!!
    Would you travel to stonehenge in 3m snow with 1kg nerveagent? No, you would have waited until the train was running smoothly so no one could detect your agent activities in the normal crowd on a normal day. Something is rotten here and it is not the Brtish government, they are only doing their job!

    • 1691

      Thanks for the laugh.

    • FlorianGeyer

      There is an old quotation you may well be aware of Tommy.
      ” Something is rotten in the State of Denmark”. :)

    • AM Hants

      Tony Blair, so comes to mind. Remember the Chilcot Report? It was only released 2 years ago. What short memories we have.

  • Neil

    Perhaps these two guys were paid by MI6 to go to Salisbury on some unknown mission and have been thrown under the bus? The nerve agent and BZ obviously probably came from Porton Down. The two guys certainly don’t act like professional spooks.

    The door handle theory is deeply flawed: why would the Skripals both touch the door handle? It only takes one person to open a door.

  • chris chuba

    According to Reuters the two men appeared ‘ acutely ill at ease’
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-russia-interview/russians-in-uk-spy-case-say-they-wanted-to-see-cathedral-britain-calls-it-lies-idUKKCN1LT106 AHA! That confirms their guilt. It’s not like normal people would feel uncomfortable being accused of being Govt assassins and then being interviewed on TV.

  • frankly

    Once again, the main characters are alive, who better to tell the tale? The fact is they won’t or can’t tell it the way the UK wants. End of story.

  • Redadmiral

    Assuming MI6 are not a complete clique of aristocratic morans they could have organised free/discounted trips to Russian SMEs over a few weekends. Then when they get a couple that hit the more less right places then Bingo and into Jingo. Just a thought

  • R PLobo

    What an idiotic story. You can see how stupid the current set of vassals really are working for the even more retarded zionist occultist baby killers. Why would Russia care about some guy that was released from custody years earlier and is now living in England? Regardless Russian secret service are not in the James Bond business of assassination that is what reactionary imbeciles in the mossad and their toads in the US are busy doing.

  • ruca

    These stories keep assuming that they actually came in contact with a nerve agent. That part of the narrative is laughable at best because….. Nobody fooking died in the first alleged attack! Theresa May is a rotting corpse of a human.

  • Bill Wilson

    Who in their right mind would decide to visit Stonehenge and the Salisbury Cathedral in the Winter? I visited both on January 1 of 1986 and it was miserable. The only thing unique about the cathedral was that it’s inner support pillars were bent from supporting the roof load. Stonehenge was a disappointment since it was fenced off to prevent the public from wandering around the big stacked rocks. The food in town wasn’t worth a shit, either.

    • Empire’s Frontiers

      I’ll bet these two guys would agree with you on all accounts, at this point.

    • Sinbad2

      Who in their right mind would decide to visit Stonehenge and the Salisbury Cathedral in the Winter?

      Well you did, what were you saying about sanity?