Disinfo: No evidence after 2 years of the alleged poisoning of the Skripals

Summary

British authorities were unable to provide evidence confirming the charges against Russia, neither did they arrest the person who used the Novichok poison against a former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal.

Without verifying the information or the results of the investigations, the former Theresa May government rushed to accuse Moscow of being directly behind the alleged attack and thus targeting Britain’s security and stability.

Until now, the British authorities have not announced the results of the investigations that were aimed at Russia’s involvement on the basis of its use of the deadly Novichok chemicals used in the fabricated attack, nor did it arrest anyone involved in that attack, which led raise questions about the credibility of the British accusations and their political backgrounds.

London refused Russia’s participation, along with international and British investigators, in the attack’s investigations. Two years later, the Salisbury incident still raises many questions, about whether the alleged assault was really chemical. Where is the physical evidence that the British authorities claimed was in their possession to implicate Russia, where are Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, and why is the Russian embassy prevented from reaching them, especially as Yulia Skripal is still a Russian citizen.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation about the poisoning of the Skripals, attempting to divert attention from Russia's proven responsibility for the attack and resurfacing around the 2nd anniversary of this event.

The disinformation message implying a UK government conspiracy behind the Skripal case is an often-used method of applying a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Salisbury poisoning.

After a hearing in the Court of Protection, British High Court Justice David Williams issued an approved judgement about what had happened to the Skripals around three weeks after their poisoning in March 2018.

The British Police have presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal case, with pictures, connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public. The evidence was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals, Anatoliy Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin with the attack on the Skripals, both Russian military intelligence operatives from the GRU, who travelled to the UK using fake names and documents.

Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent, specifically the purity of the toxin while emphasising that the OPCW team “worked independently and was not involved in the national investigation by the UK authorities. No State Party was involved in the technical work carried out by the Technical Secretariat, to ensure the integrity of the examinations and investigations.

According to the UK intelligence assessment, based on open-source analysis and intelligence information, in the past decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichok agents, long after it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Novichok was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s. It is so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance. See reports by CNN, BBC, the Guardian.

Furthermore, regarding access to the Skripals, Yulia Skripal stated in an interview that she was aware of Russian officials’ offers to meet, but that she declined to do so. 

See here for disinformation narratives about the case.

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  • Reported in: Issue188
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory, novichok, Sergei Skripal, Diplomacy with Russia, Chemical weapons/attack, Encircling Russia, Provocation, Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Conspiracy

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Disproof

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Disproof

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