Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Another Former Russian Intelligence Officer Poisoned in the UK (8)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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The Russian propaganda machine and political elites are very actively trying to shift the blame for the attack, including a claim that former Soviet Republics, specifically Ukraine, had warstocks of Novichok agents, but as yet no attempt to blame Tartars and Jews. Much bluster and bluff from Lavrov and Zakharova. Russian Senators threatening to sever diplomatic relations with the UK. No surprises so far, an entirely predictable pattern of bluster, bluff, denials, blameshifting, insults, and conspiracy theories flowing out of Moscow. As always an evil plot by the West to embarrass the Motherland and Tsar Vlad, possibly aided and abetted by the treacherous and duplicitous Ukrainians.

UK issues Russia with an ultimatum – explain this, and if we are not satisfied we will regard this as an “unlawful use of force” by Russia against the UK. Media claim UK has been canvassing support amongst allies to look at invoking NATO Article 5 – noting the risk is that various Russian proxies in the NATO camp, like Hungary and Greece, would no doubt do their utmost to sabotage any such decision. Tweets by POTUS, statements by White House, SECSTATE (now former) Tillerson, support by Pres Macron, NATO SECGEN, and others.

UK media debate at some lengths possible retaliation, but mostly this appears to be mirroring Western behaviours on to Russia. There is a strong consensus the UK should punish Russia in a credible manner. Multiple OpEds and backgrounders on the subject.

Sixteen articles on the Russian/Soviet Novichok CW agents, and an excellent UK media interview with Vil Mirzayanov, one of the former Soviet chemists who developed the Novichok agents and now a resident of New Jersey. Mirzayanov is pessimistic about the outlook for the Skripals, citing the accidental poisoning of a Soviet researcher who barely survived and suffered permanent injuries, and intensive chronic pain.

Finally, HOMESEC Rudd launches an inquiry into other suspect deaths of Russian emigres in the UK.

Now former SECSTATE Tillerson and many media commentators have stated that Russian motives for recent actions are difficult to understand. In a Western cultural frame of reference, very few of them make any sense, but in the zero-sum gaming world of Russia’s political culture, they make perfectly good sense – display utter contempt for opponents, display a willingness to take any risks to win, and show the Russian populace that Russia is above the law and is free of any of the cultural, moral or legal baggage that restrains the weak and divided West. Flaunt Russian exceptionalism and Russian power, showing that Russia remains in no way constrained by its always conspiring and plotting enemies, the evil but cowardly West.

#HighlyLikelyRussia: Moscow taunts UK Govt over poisoning allegations

The foreign ministry is using the #HighlyLikelyRussia hashtag to deflect criticism, as the UK demands answers from the Kremlin.

LIVE: Another post-Soviet nation could be source of nerve agent used in spy attack

Moscow has until midnight to explain the Salisbury attempted murders – as its foreign minister denies Russia is to blame.A former chief of Russia’s main domestic intelligence agency says another post-Soviet nation could be the source of a rare nerve agent that Britain said was responsible for poisoning former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal. Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed in the Soviet Union near the end of the Cold War, was used to attack Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last week. Nikolai Kovalyov, former chief of the FSB, has told Russian news agency TASS that novichok used to be stored in different parts of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine, which have since become independent nations. He says the Ukraine or another post-Soviet nation could be the source of it. The UK has asked the Russian ambassador in London to explain whether the attack was “a direct action by the Russian state,” or the result of the Russian government “losing control” of its stock nerve agents.

Lavrov Says Russia Did Not Poison Ex-Spy, Defiant On U.K. Ultimatum

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied that Moscow was behind the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.

Russia dismisses Theresa May’s ultimatum over chemical attack as “circus show” | HeraldScotland

MOSCOW has contemptuously dismissed Theresa May’s ultimatum over the Salisbury chemical attack as a “circus show in the British…

Russia Dismisses U.K.’s Accusation Over Spy’s Poisoning – The New York Times

Hours after London said it was “highly likely” that Moscow was behind the nerve-agent attack, Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov called that “nonsense.”

UK’s ‘bold’ accusations in Skripal case may lead to severance of diplomatic ties – Russian senators — RT World News

The bold accusation of Russia by UK PM Theresa May could have grave consequences for bilateral relations, even the severance of diplomatic ties, top officials warned, vowing Moscow will respond to any hostile actions.

Russia says May’s spy statement a ‘provocation’ | The Times of Israel

Moscow rejects accusation of responsibility for attack on Sergei Skripal, likening it to previous attacks against Russians on UK soil

Sunita Patel on Twitter: “The Russian Foreign Minister says the UK is refusing Moscow’s requests for more information on the Salisbury attack.… “

Sergei Skripal: Russia dismisses British claims over ex-spy poisoning

Russia says it will only cooperate if it receives samples of the nerve agent believed to have sickened Sergei Skripal.

Russia DENIES poisoning spy and daughter and asks Britain for access to nerve agent – Mirror Online

Moscow has denied allegations that the nerve agent came from Russia as it faces a midnight deadline

The Latest: Russia demands samples of nerve agent | FOX23

LONDON (AP) – The Latest on the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain (all times local):

Sergei Skripal: Russian MP claims UK killed Sergei Skripal in BBC Radio 4 Today rant | UK | News |

A RUSSIAN politician unleashed a barrage of bizarre accusations at Britain during a calamitous BBC interview, branding another guest a ‘Polish prostitute’ and accusing Theresa May of being like Hitler and trying to kill a ‘useless pensioner’ Sergei Skripal.

Britain is behaving like Hitler, Putin cronies claim as they accuse Theresa May of poisoning Sergei Skripal to discredit Putin

A FORMER Russian FSB chief has sensationally claimed British scientists poisoned ex-spy Sergei Skripal in a bid to frame Vladimir Putin.

Russia Destroyed Stocks of Nerve Agent UK Claimed Was Used to Kill Ex-Spy – MP – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia not only stopped the production of the Novichok nerve agent, but also destroyed all its reserves, as confirmed by international observers of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), security services veteran, Russian upper house lawmaker Igor Morozov told Sputnik on Tuesday.

Sergei Skripal poisoning claims get the cold shoulder in Red Square – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A large number of Russians haven’t heard about the Sergei Skripal poisoning, while those who have don’t seem to care. And in Red Square, few are convinced Vladimir Putin could have ordered such an assassination.

Britain Sounds Allies Out About Invoking NATO Treaty

British officials scrambling to garner support of Western allies, and they appear ready, if necessary, to invoke NATO’s Article 5 on collective defense

UK, allies point finger at Russia in ex-spy poisoning

Britain will hold new emergency talks Tuesday into the brazen nerve agent poisoning of a Russian former double agent on its soil, after the US and NATO backed London in implicating Moscow in the assassination attempt. As diplomatic tensions soar, Russia has denied accusations of its involvement in the

Russian spy attack: UK encouraged by support from allies, says Johnson | UK news | The Guardian

British foreign secretary’s comments follow US secretary of state’s condemnation of attack

Putin faces midnight deadline to explain nerve attack on former spy to UK

President Vladimir Putin faces a midnight deadline to explain to Britain how a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used to strike down a former Russian double agent who passed secrets to British intelligence.

News Wrap: UK’s May gives Moscow 48 hours to explain former spy poisoning | PBS NewsHour

In our news wrap Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said that it’s highly likely that Russia is behind the poisoning of former Russian spy and his daughter. Also, Syrian civilians tried to flee the embattled suburbs of Damascus, with no let-up in a government onslaught. Meanwhile, the largest rebel group in the area said it reached agreement with Russian forces to evacuate the wounded.

Theresa May gives Putin deadline to explain Sergei Skripal poisoning | News | The Times

Theresa May has cleared the way for a cyberattack on Russia as she challenged Vladimir Putin to explain how a powerful Russian nerve agent came to be used in an assassination attempt on British soil.The prime minister told MPs yesterday that the double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yul

Theresa May: Kremlin behind nerve agent attack on former Russian spy – Vox

The UK prime minister said it was “highly likely” Russia was behind the brazen attack with a Novichok weapon.

Tuesday briefing: PM blasts spy poisoning as likely Russian plot | World news | The Guardian

May rails against Kremlin after nerve agent is identified as Soviet specialty … Chinese food’s frightening salt levels … and what we don’t know about Corbyn

British PM blames Russia for nerve agent attack on former spy in UK: ‘Unlawful use of force’ | TheBlaze

UK says ex-spy poisoned with Soviet-developed nerve agent – The Washington Post

The use of Russian-developed nerve agent Novichok to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter makes it “highly likely” that Russia was involved, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday.

Sunita Patel on Twitter: “The Foreign Secretary says the British Government is considering measures against Russia.… “

The Memo: British spy drama echoes through Washington | TheHill

The reverberations of an attempted murder of a Russian double agent in Britain are reaching American shores, sharpening questions yet again about President Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

U.S. ‘Outraged’ Over ‘Likely’ Poisoning By Russia, Warns Of ‘Certain’ Allied Response

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States is “outraged” over what he said was Russia’s likely poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Britain, and warned that Moscow “certainly will” face an allied response over the matter.

White House gives ‘fullest condemnation’ of attack on ex-Russian spy in Britain – POLITICO

Earlier on Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May declared that it was “highly likely” the Kremlin was behind the attempted murder of Russian double agent.

White House calls attack on Russian spy in UK ‘an outrage’ – The Financial Express

The White House has condemned the chemical attack on a former Russian spy in Britain as “an outrage,” breaking a week-long silence.

White House Calls Nerve Agent Attack in England ‘Reckless, Irresponsible’ |

While labeling the recent chemical weapon attack on a former Russian spy living in England as reckless and irresponsible, the White House would not comment on claims the Russian government is behind the incident.

Tillerson Casts Poisoning as Sign of More Aggressive Russia | World News | US News

ABOARD A U.S. GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cast the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain as part of a “certain unleashing of activity” by Russia that the United States is struggling to understand. He warned that the poisoning would “certainly trigger a response.”

Tillerson blasts Russia over alleged nerve agent attack in U.K. – POLITICO

He said the United States will stand “in solidarity” with the United Kingdom and would coordinate its response to the attack.

Tillerson Says Substance Used in Ex-Spy Poisoning Is From Russia – Bloomberg

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined the British government in saying the poison used in an attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K. clearly came from Russia, calling the episode an “egregious act” that will trigger a U.S. response.

State Department says UK ex-spy poisoning ‘clearly came from Russia’, vows incident ‘will trigger a response’, Business Insider – Business Insider Singapore

Business Insider – But Rex Tillerson stopped short of accusing the Russian government, saying he did not yet know if the attack was sanctioned by Moscow.. Read more at

Poisoning of Russian Ex-Spy Is ‘Almost Beyond Comprehension,’ Tillerson Says – The New York Times

The secretary of state said the nerve agent used in the attack “clearly came from Russia.”

Rex Tillerson condemns Russia for UK nerve agent attack – CNNPolitics

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a harsh condemnation of Russia following a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom last week, going further than the White House’s response stopping short of pinning blame for the attack on Moscow.

Tillerson has confidence in British investigation linking Russia to poisoning of ex-spy

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson again butted heads Monday with his own Trump administration by proclaiming the poison attack on a Russian dissident in Britain clearly appeared to be the work of Moscow spies.  Tillerson, traveling in Africa, said he had “full confidence” in the British government.

Russia is irresponsible force of instability in world: Tillerson | Business Standard News

Read more about Russia is irresponsible force of instability in world: Tillerson on Business Standard. Russia is an irresponsible force of instability in the world, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today as he slammed the country over its alleged involvement in a nerve agent attack on a former spy and his daughter in the UK.Former Russian

Spy scandal has sent UK-Russia relations tumbling. What next? | UK news | The Guardian

Many options will be on table should Kremlin involvement be confirmed. None will be simple

May is accused of being ‘in denial’ over the Kremlin | Daily Mail Online

Prime Minister Theresa May is under growing pressure to return the money and go public with suspicions the Kremlin is to blame for the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal.

UK Says Ex-Spy Poisoned With Soviet-Developed Nerve Agent | World News | US News

LONDON (AP) — The use of Russian-developed nerve agent Novichok to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter makes it “highly likely” that Russia was involved, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday.

OPINION: Annie Riddle – The threat to us all | Salisbury Journal

FORTUNATELY, Salisbury folk are following official advice to ‘keep calm and carry on’ in the wake of the Russian spy affair.

Russian spy: MPs want Russian TV station UK licence ‘reviewed’ – BBC News

The prime minister is urged to ‘look at reviewing Russia Today’s broadcasting licence’.

Salisbury poisoning: Ofcom to consider Russian news channel RT’s licence over Sergei Skripal affair | London Evening Standard

Media watchdog Ofcom is set to review Russian news network RT’s British broadcasting licence following developments in the Salisbury poisoning investigation. Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday it was “highly likely” the Russian government was responsible for the nerve agent attack which left former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, hospitalised last Sunday.

May wants revenge but hitting Russia where it hurts will be tough

Confiscating the Mayfair penthouses of Russian kleptocrats may be the most effective and most achievable way to revenge Skripal’s poisoning.

All the ways Theresa May could retaliate against Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal | Business Insider


Spy poisoning: How could the UK retaliate against Russia? – BBC News

From expelling senior Russian diplomats to acting through Nato – here are some of the options.

Can the UK rattle Vladimir Putin? – ITV News

Read Can the UK rattle Vladimir Putin? latest on ITV News. All the Politics, World news

As Putin’s Opponents Flocked to London, His Spies Followed – The New York Times

Russia now has more intelligence agents in London than during the Cold War. The poisoning of a retired Russian double agent has put pressure on the British government to rein them in.

For Many Russians in London, Spy Poisoning Is a Blast From Another World – WSJ

The new middle class has little in common with the older waves of emigres, the wealthy oligarchs lured in part by a controversial investor program, or the likes of Sergei Skripal, the double agent now fighting for his life.

Sergei Skripal — the life of a double agent | Times2 | The Times

Drinker, traitor, soldier, spy. Agent, double agent, convict, intelligence asset and assassination target. Veteran of the Russian spy service, then its sworn enemy and now, in all probability, its victim.Barely a week ago only a small handful of people inside the intelligence community knew the real

Rogue Nation | Comment | The Times

Stanley Kubrick could not have made it up. Decades after the Cold War, Russia has used an exceptionally lethal poison developed by the Soviet Union in an assassination attempt on a double agent in a quiet Wiltshire town. Its purpose: to spread fear. What had been mere supposition since the attack on

Vladimir Putin’s Toxic Reach – The New York Times

President Trump must get NATO to forcefully respond to the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil.

Salisbury car park ticket machine cordoned off as expert warns ‘dusty nerve agent’ used on Russian spy can linger

The search for clues to the assassination attempt on Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter has widened again as police sealed off a car park ticket machine in Salisbury.

New Zealand government condemns nerve agent attack on ex-Russian spy in England as an ‘affront on global rules and norms’ | 1 NEWS NOW | TVNZ

Winston Peters today said the attack on Sergei Skirpal and his daughter was

Spy poisoning: Novichok inventor says hundreds could be at risk for years

The scientist who helped develop the nerve agent used to poison Sergei Skripal says it is designed to cause “irreparable” damage.

Sky News on Twitter: “People could become ill in the future if they came into contact with Novichok during the spy attack in Salisbury, says the man who helped create the nerve agent…”


Russian Scientist: Effects Of Salisbury Attack Nerve Agent ‘Real Torture’

The nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack has been described as a “horror” and “torture” for its victims.

Only Moscow could conduct Salisbury attack, says Russian scientist who warned world of nerve agent without cure

The former Russian double agent and his daughter poisoned by a deadly nerve agent will either die or be crippled by their exposure to Novichok, according to the whistleblower who alerted the world to Russia&rsquo;s secret chemical weapons programme.

Scientist reveals horror of lethal nerve agent Novichok | Daily Mail Online

The Russian whistleblower Vil Mirzayanov who exposed the country’s secret chemical weapons programme spoke last night of the horrific effect of the Novichok nerve agents on their victims. …. Speaking from his home in New Jersey last night, Mr Mirzayanov, 83, described the top-secret laboratory as a ‘criminal enterprise’.Vil Mirzayanov described the use of the lethal toxins as a ‘brazen’ attack by Vladimir Putin (pictured), who ‘thinks he can use everything to kill enemies’ +8 Vil Mirzayanov described the use of the lethal toxins as a ‘brazen’ attack by Vladimir Putin (pictured), who ‘thinks he can use everything to kill enemies’ ‘It’s a brazen attack,’ he said. ‘Putin thinks he can use everything to kill enemies. They don’t tolerate any opponents. ‘They should be punished. It’s an open demonstration of this Russian terrorism. ‘The Russian government is telling people who are thinking about revealing more secrets that they can expect the same fate.’ Asked how the nerve agent works, he added: ‘It’s for paralysing people, it causes you convulsions and you can’t breathe and after that you die. If you get enough of a dose of it. ‘It’s real torture, it’s impossible to imagine. Even in low doses the pain can go on for weeks. You cannot imagine the horror, it’s so bad.’ The Novichok family of nerve agents were secretly developed over two decades at a research facility 50 miles outside the Russian capital. Many times more potent than other better known chemical weapons, Novichok agents can render gas masks and protective equipment useless. Sometimes described as ‘gases’ they are in fact liquid, intended to be delivered as a fine spray. A series of poisons, known as Novichok 5, 7, 8 and 9 to identify them, were produced amid conditions of complete secrecy. They all kill the same way. By inhibiting enzymes that control nerve receptors in the brain. One expert said victims simply ‘forget to breathe’. A tiny drop, almost undetectable, placed on the skin or inhaled can cause death within minutes. Describing his work, Mr Mirzayanov said: ‘They were normal laboratories, they were not underground or anything. They were testing and developing. ‘There were around 1,000 people working on this, it was a big deal. You have to test it on animals and after that you have to study the chemical properties… so many laboratories were involved.’ In 1987, one physicist at the laboratory was saved despite being exposed to the chemical when a ventilator stopped working. Witnesses described how he staggered out of the room, describing seeing bright hallucinations before collapsing and being rushed to hospital by the KGB. He was left with permanent injuries after being critically ill for ten days and unable to walk for six months.

Deadly Nerve Agent Novichok Is A Decades-Old Cold War Foe

Novichok, the powerful nerve agent that British Prime Minister Theresa May says was used in the attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, means “newcomer” in Russian. But…

Skripal attack: Why the use of a Novichok nerve agent suggests Russia was involved – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The use of the Novichok nerve agent makes it highly likely that Russia was involved in the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal. Here’s why.

Sergei Skripal attack: Salisbury poison novichok is so secret, it has never been detected before | News | The Times

The nerve agent that contaminated the victims of the Salisbury attack is a lethal chemical weapon developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s and never known to have been used until now.Novichok, which means newcomer in Russian, is made from two chemicals and can come in liquid or powder form. It

What is Novichok? Russia’s nerve agent has Soviet roots – The Washington Post

The Russians had been working on it for years, before word got out in 1992.

Russian spy: What are Novichok agents and what do they do? – BBC News

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by Novichok nerve agents, the PM says. So what are they?

Novichok nerve agent: What exactly is it?

Novichok chemicals, which are dispersed as ultra-fine powder, are reputed to be the most deadly nerve agents ever made.

Novichok nerve agent makes treatment of Soviet spy ‘very difficult’

Use of so-called “Novichok” agent to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter will have presented doctors in charge of their care with unprecedented challenges.

What Is Novichok, the Poison that Nearly Killed an Ex-Russian Spy?

What is the nerve agent Novichok that was used to poison the ex-Russian spy and his daughter?

Novichok: Rare nerve agent used in Russian spy attack – CNN

Novichok, the substance used in the attempted murder of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, is not merely lethal, it’s also highly unusual.

Soviet-developed nerve agent behind attack on ex-Russian spy in U.K. ‘kills in minutes’ | The Japan Times

The use of Russian-developed nerve agent Novichok to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter makes it “highly likely” that Russia was involved, Briti

What you need to know about Novichok, the Russian nerve agent used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal | Business Insider


The Latest: Police: Probe into spy poisoning will last weeks – Times Union


Amber Rudd orders inquiry into Russia-linked deaths in UK | UK news | The Guardian

Home secretary responds to calls to examine alleged Russian involvement in up to 14 deaths

The British Government Will Review Allegations Of Russian Involvement In 14 Suspicious Deaths Exposed By BuzzFeed News

Home secretary Amber Rudd said police and MI5 will assist in the review, which is being launched in the wake of the nerve agent attack on an ex-spy and his daughter in Salisbury.

Allegations of Russian involvement in 14 UK deaths to be investigated

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said police and the security services would investigate allegations of Russian state involvement in a number of deaths over recent years in Britain, a letter published on Tuesday showed.

Is Russia Behind 14 ‘Natural’ Deaths? U.K. Secret Service Looks Again at Mysterious Suicides After Novichok Attack

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy turned double agent for the British, was poisoned with a Moscow-made nerve agent called novichok.