Disinfo: Nobody knows what happened in Salisbury two years ago

Summary

In Britain, a dubious espionage scandal was the occasion for a high-profile premiere. The series about the events in Salisbury. The screen version of the scandalous events once again fueled interest in a story that has already started to be forgotten. If this was the goal, then the contractors of the series probably reached it. Because the artistic value of the product is clearly low. It could not have had been otherwise, giving that it is still unknown what really happened in Salisbury two years ago.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Salisbury poisoning in reaction to the BBC series broadcast this week.

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 Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (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", to ensure the integrity of the examinations and investigations.

The pro Kremlin narrative also claims that the Skripal story "starts to be forgotten". In fact, the UK's official assessment of the incident was supported by 28 other countries which responded similarly. Altogether, an unprecedented number of 153 Russian diplomats were expelled around the world.

See more disinformation cases on the Skripals poisoning (Salisbury poisoning).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 201
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: Skripal, novichok, Sergei Skripal

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.

see more

Radio Liberty is forbidden to broadcast in the United States, because they are a propaganda channel

The opposition in Russia are pathetic propagandists. Who are the employees of Radio Liberty? They are officially propagandists. They are even forbidden to broadcast in the United States because they are a propaganda channel.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aimed at discrediting independent media and journalists.

Radio Liberty is not forbidden in the USA. RFE/RL (Radio Liberty) is registered with the IRS as a private, nonprofit Sec. 501(c)3 corporation, and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) as a private grantee. RFE/RL's editorial independence is protected by U.S. law.

Absurd accusations of the Czechs against Russia serve to cover the fail of its counterintelligence

The Czech Republic uses the scandal with Russia to cover up the shame of its counterintelligence service, the BIS.

The BIS claims an employee of the Russian embassy anonymously contacted BIS, saying that a Russian diplomat was carrying ricin in his briefcase in order to poison the mayor of Prague, in revenge for demolishing the monument to Konev. This version is unproven and created solely to get out of a hopeless situation with the least loss for the reputation of the Czech Republic. 

The expulsion of Russian diplomatic staff does not follow the internal agenda of Prague; relations with Moscow are deliberately spoiled by a certain part of the Czech elite.

Disproof

In late April, Respekt, a Czech weekly, reported that a suspected Russian intelligence officer travelling on a diplomatic passport had arrived in Prague carrying the lethal toxin ricin in his luggage in order to poison Czech municipal civil servants, including the mayor of Prague. The investigation was ongoing. Speaking to journalists on June 5 in Prague, Mr. Babis, the Czech prime minister, said that an unnamed Russian embassy staff member had fabricated the ricin story and passed it on to the Czech intelligence service, BIS, which spent weeks investigating the alleged plot. Two Russian diplomats were expelled by Prague as a result of the investigation.

Russian officials did not challenge the Czech PM's information that a Russian diplomat, and not somebody in the Czech Republic, produced this "fake news" about the ricin incident. Taking into account that Russia had just opened a criminal investigation into the removal of the Marshal Konev statue in Prague, which was accompanied by an aggressive disinformation campaign in Russian media against local Prague authorities, this allegation was naturally taken seriously by Czech security services and the police. As a precaution, three city officials were placed in protective police custody.

IMF policy in Ukraine aims to turn Ukrainians into cheap labour force

The IMF’s policy in Ukraine is aimed at turning Ukrainians into a cheap labour force that will work on the fields of European Union countries.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining the statehood of Ukraine and its relations with the IMF.

In its press release, the IMF emphasised that ensuring macroeconomic stability and coping with COVID-19 pandemic challenges are the key tasks of a new Stand-By Arrangement between the IMF and Ukraine: