UK’s Porton Down laboratory disproved that Novichok was made in Russia

Summary

The US introduced new sanctions against Russia in relation to the Skripals’ poisoning. London was quick to declare Russia’s responsibility for the accident. The Russian authorities denied their involvement, offered investigative assistance to the UK and demanded consular access to Skripal’s daughter. All official Russian requests were ignored by the UK. The UK’s laboratory in Porton Down disproved that the poisonous substance was produced 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.

By March 2018, EUvsDisinfo had already collected 20 different narratives about the Skripal case. It had catalogued over 100 disinformation messages around the Salisbury attack. The disinformation messages implying a UK government conspiracy behind the Skripal case are an often-used method of applying a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Salisbury poisoning.

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.

British scientists at the Porton Down defence research laboratory were indeed unable to verify the precise source of the Novichok. However, they did not disprove the Russian source of it as claimed. In 2018, Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), stated the following: "We were able to identify it as Novichok, to identify it was a military-grade nerve agent. We have not verified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific information to the government, who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions that they have come to.

See EUvsDisinfo's analysis on how pro-Kremlin media covered one year since the Salisbury attack and a variety of conspiracy theories behind the Skripals' poisoning. See earlier conspiracy theories focused on the Porton Down laboratory claiming that Porton Down might have manufactured Novichok and that Porton Down was responsible for the Amesbury poisoning.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 163
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: Russia, US, UK
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, Conspiracy
  • Outlet: Sputnik Belarus
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The Americans seek a full scale war in Ukraine

The goal of John Bolton’s visit to Ukraine was to pull it into a full-scale war. The Americans need a full-scale war.

The Americans are in full control of the situation and allow “vampires” from the Ukrainian side to make money in this local war. That’s why they build bio-labs, where they kidnap people, sell their organs. They earn from human trafficking, drug and arms trade. Americans allow all of this to happen and when it becomes necessary they will unleash this horde on Donbas. Their goal is a full scale war in Ukraine.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about war in Eastern Ukraine  and  US presence in Europe.

The disinformation message aims to obfuscate  clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. See previous examples of the pro-Kremlin disinformation claiming that Washington and Brussels pushed Ukraine towards civil war, and that the West wanted to stage a global war in Ukraine.

Abkhazia and Samachablo have never been part of Georgia

Abkhazia and Samachablo were not parts of Georgia until the October Revolution and the first years of Soviet rule. A forced “Georgianisation“ policy was carried out there.

Disproof

This claim is untrue and represents an example of historical revisionism. Historically, also during the Russian Empire, both the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia were always integral parts of Georgia. In 1858, Abkhazia was a part of Kutaisi Governorate, whereas, in 1905, Tskhinvali region was a part of Tiflis Governorate.

Based on the 1920 Moscow Agreement, Soviet Russia recognized Georgia as an independent country. According to the agreement, Russia recognized Georgia with Tiflis, Kutaisi, and Batumi Governorates and all its “uyezds” and “okrugs”, including Tskhinvali and Abkhazia.

Western leaders refused to attend the anniversary of WWII in Poland because Putin was not invited

Celebratory events devoted to the outbreak of World War II were held in Poland. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) decided to use this important date for a political demonstration and hold an informal summit of the leaders of Western democracies. The government of Poland decided not to invite the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin and it resulted in a failure of their ‘genius’ plan: none of the leaders of Europe, the United States, China, Japan, other countries of Asia-Pacific, Belarus, Armenia, or other countries of the post-Soviet space attended the celebrations. However, presidents of Ukraine and Georgia did fly to Warsaw.

Disproof

The claim is not true. In fact, high-ranking representatives of invited countries attended the commemorative events in different Polish cities to mark the 80th anniversary of WWII.

On September 1, the event devoted to the 80-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War II took place in Wieluń, Poland. It was opened with speeches from the President of Poland Andrzej Duda and the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The event went on in Warsaw and was attended by the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, American Vice-president Mike Pence, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, French PM Édouard Philippe, Lithuanian President Nausėda Gitanas, Latvian President Egils Levits, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Czech President Miloš Zeman, Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová, Hungarian President János Áder, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Iceland’s President Gudni Jóhannesson, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Mahmud Mammadguliyev, and others.