On September 5, the UK released images of the people allegedly responsible for the “Novichok” posioning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, claiming they were Russian military spies.
“Today marks the most significant moment so far in what has been one of the most complex and intensive investigations we have undertaken in Counter Terrorism policing; the charging of two suspects – both Russian nationals – in relation to the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal. I would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for their independent assessment of the evidence in this case.
On the 14 March the Prime Minister said there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter. We now need to hear from the public.
I am therefore, appealing for anyone who has information about the suspects named by the CPS today as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to contact police. Both suspects are approximately 40 years old, and are Russian nationals who were travelling on Russian passports.
It is likely that they were travelling under aliases and that these are not their real names. We would like to hear from anyone who knows them. We are releasing these photographs of them, from the travel documents they used to enter the country.
We’d also like to hear from anyone who saw them while they were in the UK between Friday, 2 March and Sunday, 4 March. We are particularly interested in establishing as much as possible about their movements during the period 2pm to 4.30pm on Saturday, 3 March, and 11.30am to 2pm on Sunday, 4 March,” Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, National Lead for Counter Terrorism Policing, said in an official statement on the issue.
According to the statement, the suspects arrived at Gatwick airport, having flown from Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2588, on March 2 and then returned to Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2585 on March 4.
On the same day, speaking to the British Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May stated citing classified intelligence that the two men were officers of the Russian military intelligence agency.
“We were right to say in March that the Russian state is responsible,” May said. “Based on the body of intelligence, the government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] are officers from the Russian military intelligence service also known as the GRU.”
The provided ‘evidence’ has triggered a storm and fury in the Social Media and created more questions than answers over the already suspicious Skripals case.
First of all, the pics showing the alleged arrival of the “GRU” agents have a similar time stamp “02/03/2018 16:22:43”. The main question is how it was possible to take these pictures were taken at the exactly same second and in the similar segments of the neighbouring gates? The simple answer is that the timestamp was added to the pictures later to coonfirm the version provided by the UK. In this case, the entire “evidence” provided by the UK becomes unreliable.
Supporters of the British version of the incident made an attempt to explain this situation by saying that the North Terminal of Gatwick Airport have several “identical” gates leading into the airport. Most likely, this version will be later used in the MSM to explain the failure with the photos. However, this does not explain how two different persons can pass the gates at the very same second 16:22:43 without a direct coordination of every step.
The British side also claimed that it found traces of “weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok” in the hotel room where the suspects had stayed.
“On 4 May 2018, tests were carried out in the hotel room where the suspects had stayed. A number of samples were tested at DSTL at Porton Down. Two swabs showed contamination of Novichok at levels below that which would cause concern for public health. A decision was made to take further samples from the room as a precautionary measure, including in the same areas originally tested, and all results came back negative. We believe the first process of taking swabs removed the contamination, so low were the traces of Novichok in the room.”
So, the statement says that the “weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok” was leaking from its container. But who cares? This is GRU. Anyway, it seems that Novichok is not very effective. So far, the deadly agent has claimed only one life and three people have survived after Novichok poisoning.
Another interesting fact is the photo of the fake perfume bottle presented by the UK as evidence. According to the official version, the highly trained GRU spies used thefake perfume bottle to poisong Skripals and then just tossed it in Amesbury where it posined a couple of two.
In an official statement released on September 5, the Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the British allegations:
“The British officials are once again focusing their attention on Russia’s alleged involvement in the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury, following a scenario that has become familiar to everyone. Without any documentary support or trustworthy testimonials, they have declared that there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against two Russian nationals and published photos of the two men whose actual nationality is still to be confirmed.
These steps follow the same pattern over and over. Russia receives unsubstantiated accusations while the accuser also declares its emphatic refusal to have any contact in order to establish the truth. Instead, we hear ridiculous demands that we clarify a situation that has nothing to do with us, as we have repeatedly stressed.
We cannot but notice that both British and American colleagues are following the same scenario. Not troubling themselves with producing any substantial evidence, they simply compile lists of “Russian agents” to justify, one way or another, the witch hunt started by London and Washington.
Our requests for a joint investigation and legal assistance in the criminal case opened by Russian law enforcement agencies on the attempted murder of a Russian national in the United Kingdom continue to be ignored. Moreover, we can clearly see London’s reluctance to cooperate in establishing the truth.
One thing is clear: the so-called Skripal case instigated by the British officials is being brought to a deadlock on purpose. Instead of carrying out a genuinely independent, objective and transparent investigation into the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents, London stubbornly uses the anti-Russian speakerphone diplomacy and continues the propaganda show in the spirit of the notorious “highly likely”.”
Later, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mariya Zakharova once again drew attention of the media to the mismatches in the data provided by the British side. She pointed out the similar timestamps in the photos provided and described the British actions as the “god-level trolling”.