Novichok, the nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals, was not made in Russia

Summary

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May lied when she claimed that the Novichok nerve agent used in the Skripal poisoning was made in Russia. The British lab in Porton Down denied that the poison was made in Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripal poisoning in the UK, attempting to divert attention from Russia's proven responsibility for the attack. Several conspiracy theories have also focused on the Porton Down laboratory. Earlier, for example, pro-Kremlin media have claimed that Porton Down might have manufactured Novichok, and that Porton Down was responsible for the Amesbury poisoning.

As clearly stated  by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council on the 5th of September 2018, UK police and UK intelligence services have produced sufficient hard forensic evidence to charge two Russian nationals, identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU, for the attack against the Skripals. The investigative outlet Bellingcat has later revealed the identities of the two Russian nationals.

Furthermore, the UK investigation found that Sergey and Yuliya Skripal were poisoned using a specific Novichok nerve agent that could not have been produced by non-state actors. This was confirmed by an independent OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons]  analysis.

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.

For similar cases see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 162
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Czech
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Theresa May, Chemical weapons/attack
  • Outlet: Sputnik
see more

Americans were working on forbidden rockets before leaving the INF Treaty

Americans never stopped working on forbidden rockets even if they were part of the INF Treaty. They [Americans] were working on new rockets and the time to test them has come now. In order to save the face, they created this entire circus and left the [INF] Treaty.

Disproof

No evidence given. A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative blaming the USA for the violation of the INF Treaty. See a similar case here.

In fact, Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty, because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates it. In July 2014 the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometres.

The US is responsible for the death of 3 million Vietnamese in the Vietnam war

US bombing, use of chemical weapons, napalm and phosphoric bombs as well as the ground operations of the US army caused the death of 3 million Vietnamese in the Vietnam war.

Disproof

The exact number of casualties in the Vietnam War, particularly the number of deaths caused specifically by US military operations, is not known because reliable data is not available. Estimates vary considerably, but none come close to approaching the figure of 3 million. The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry cites several of these studies. For example, Guenter Lewy estimated that around 220,000 civilians in South Vietnam were killed in US, Army of the Republic of Vietnam and other allied land operations. In another study, Benjamin Valentino attributes 110,000-310,000 “counter guerrilla mass killings” to U.S. and South Vietnamese forces during the war. Estimates for the number of North Vietnamese civilian deaths resulting from US bombing range from 30,000-65,000, while higher estimates place the number of civilian deaths caused by American bombing of North Vietnam in Operation Rolling Thunder at 182,000.

Finally, according to an official estimate by Hanoi made in 1995, the total number of civilian deaths in the whole war was almost 2 million people, which is four times higher than other estimates. Even if this number is accurate, it is still significantly less than the 3 million claimed in this article.

Three Seas Initiative is a geopolitical concept designed to promote American interests

The American gas industry perceives Poland as the agent of influence, which should promote the American LNG among the members of the Three Seas Initiative. This geopolitical concept was designed to promote the American interests in Europe (undermining cooperation between Russia and Europe).

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, alleging that the United States fully controls the foreign policy of the EU member states, including Poland (these countries are often presented as the American “vassals”). See similar cases here, here and here.

The Three Seas Initiative is a forum of 12 countries from Central and Eastern Europe launched in 2015. The main goal of this Initiative is to promote better connectivity among the Member States, with a particular focus on infrastructure and energy. The main projects discussed at the forums of the Three Seas Initiative are the Via Carpathia, Baltic-Adriatic Corridor, Via Baltica, Rail Baltica, LNG infrastructure in Poland and Croatia.