The Skripal case is a “dead cat” trick used by UK to divert attention from Brexit

Summary

The incident in Salisbury is a “dead cat” trick – a strategy used by UK to divert attention from it’s problems with the EU.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Salisbury attack. and connecting Skripal poisoning with Brexit. Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on the Skripal poisoning. See here and here for EUvsDisinfo summary of disinformation naratives surrounding Skripal poisoning.

For the UK response on the Salisbury attack, see here.

The OPCW have confirmed the UK findings in the case.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 139
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: French, Russian
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Brexit, Maria Zakharova
  • Outlet: Tass Vesti.ru Gazeta.ru Komsomolskaya Pravda Sputnik France
see more

Evidence of Sergei Skripal’s death has been found

The UK is lying about Sergei Skripal being alive. There is evidence of his death: he never contacted his relatives in Russia after being poisoned.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Salisbury attack and the conspiracy theory about the Skripals' death. There are no grounds to believe that the Skripals are dead rather than merely in hiding from those who attempted to murder them.

Recently, Sir Laurie Bristow, Britain's ambassador to Russia, confirmed that Sergei and Yulia Skripal are both alive. He told Interfax that neither party was interested in talking to Russian officials. The ambassador emphasised that if the Skripals want to meet with representatives of Russian officials, the British side will facilitate such an opportunity.

Salisbury attack could have been a farce with Skripal playing lead role

The Salisbury poisoning could have been a farce prepared by London, with Sergei Skripal playing the lead role. But in the end, the British probably miscalculated the poison dosage, or actually decided to kill Skripal altogether.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Salisbury poisoning. The disinformation message has been created as a series of inconsistencies, implying a British government conspiracy behind the Skripal case.

British police have presented a solid chain of evidence about the Skripal case, including pictures, that connects the two identified suspects to particular locations in the case. Parts of this material have been released to the public.

The claim that the UK allegedly staged the poisoning is an unfounded conspiracy theory.

OPCW’s very light report is not clear about whether chemical attack happened in Douma

On April 7, 2018, was Douma really victim of a chemical attack? And if yes, who committed it? OPCW’s report reads: The toxic chemical was probably the molecular chlorine. It gives reasonable grounds to believe that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon occurred. The use of the term probably or “reasonable grounds” does not allow us to have any certainty.

Several British media have said that witnesses who appear in the video of the Douma hospital say themselves that the chemical attack on Douma was staged. The information was confirmed on Twitter by a BBC producer.

 

Disproof

In its final report, the OPCW does not leave any doubts on the detection of chlorine on Douma: "based on the levels of chlorinated organic derivatives, detected in several environmental samples gathered at the sites of alleged use of toxic chemicals, which are not naturally present in the environment, the FFM concludes that the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine" (page3 of the report).

The claims that videos taken in a Douma hospital after the chemical attack were staged are a recurring narrative of pro-Kremlin outlets. See our reporting and Bellingcat coverage how Russian and Syrian state media has used fiction movies to "prove" the Douma attacks were staged.