Russia’s involvement in the Skripal case has never been proved

Summary

Russia’s involvement in the Skripal case has never been proved.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury claiming that the UK has never proved Russia’s involvement and has not provided any evidence.

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 160
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal
  • Outlet: Sputnik Italia
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USA is the gravedigger of the INF Treaty

Russia calls on the USA to give up on mid- and short-range missile deployment plans. Washington is the “gravedigger of the INF Treaty” because they have started and finished the procedure of unilateral withdrawal from the Treaty.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF treaty.

Since 2014, the US has been trying to resolve the issue and has pressed Russia to return to the compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty. However, it faced  continuous attempts to mislead and denials.

Research report ties nuclear accident in 2017 to Italy

Two years ago, in October 2017, several European countries detected elevated levels of radiation in the air. An accident at the Mayak nuclear plant in southern Urals was said to have caused the nuclear cloud. Now, a team of physicists have established that Italian scientists from the Borexino neutrino detector, who performed physical experiments, were to blame for the leakage of radioactive ruthenium-106 into the atmosphere of Russia and Europe. The Russian Mayak plant, which was accused of releasing a hazardous chemical, is not to blame.

Disproof

The claim contradicts the findings of the study, referred to in the article.The study clearly identifies the source of the radiation.

The data suggest a release from a nuclear reprocessing facility located in the Southern Urals, possibly from the Mayak nuclear complex.

Scientists from 32 countries studied the release of ruthenium-106 for two years, a cloud of which covered Russia and Europe in 2017. The results of the study pointed to the Russian Mayak plant, which was engaged in the manufacture of a radioactive source for a neutrino experiment in Italy. Ruthenium-106 does not exist in nature, and Russian scientists obtain it from used nuclear fuel.

A special group of scientists who investigated the causes of the radioactive cloud analysed the movement of the atmosphere over Russia and Europe. Scientists have analysed more than 1300 measurements of radioactive background from 176 stations in nearly 30 countries. These specialists concluded that the release of the hazardous substances occurred at the Russian Mayak plant from the evening of September 25th 2017 to noon on September 26th 2017.

The West continues to punish residents of Crimea for their will of self-determination

Western countries continue their attempts to punish the residents of Crimea for their will of self-determination, expressed in a referendum in 2014. The refusal of EU countries to issue Schengen visas to Crimean residents with passports received on the peninsula after 2014, violates citizens’ rights to free movement, contradicts international human rights standards and is politically motivated.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Disinformation message appeared after a statement of the head of the European Union’s mission in Moscow, Marcus Ederer.  On July 22, he stressed that the European Union did not recognise and will not recognise the Russian annexation of Crimea, therefore Russian passports issued in Crimea by the Russian authorities after the annexation will not be recognized and accepted when applying for a Schengen visa. Ederer advised residents of the peninsula to visit European countries using their Ukrainian documents.