Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Brilliant essay by Steve Blank and Brian Whitmore.
So far the Russian reaction follows much the pattern we have seen in previous disputes with other nations – the regime is being true to its nature. It would be truly comical if the circumstances were not so abhorrent.
SECSTATE Johnson spoke well in his comments to the media. Excellent statements by Amb Haley, and others. Jeremy Corbyn appears to be the only senior politician in the West who refuses to hold Russia responsible. He will no doubt have good company in Orban and others.
Excellent OpEds by Blank, Dickinson, Whitmore, and the Bloomberg Editors.
UK media report that Glushkov was murdered, but this has yet to be confirmed by HM Govt.
In his first public reaction to ex-spy Sergei Skripal’s poisoning, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “extremely concerned” by the “destructive and provocative” stance of the UK, according to a Kremlin spokesman.
VLADIMIR Putin has slammed Britain’s “destructive and provocative attitude” after the poisoning of a former Russian spy.
Salisbury nerve attack draws responses in Moscow ranging from outrage to fear
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including reaction to the British government’s decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats
RUSSIA has declared via Twitter that Cold War II has begun.
Russia goes on the defensive after Britain’s prime minister says it is “highly likely” Moscow was involved in spy poisoning, tying her ultimatum to everything from the upcoming presidential election to an alleged effort to discredit Russia ahead of soccer’s World Cup.
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman on Thursday described allegations by British Prime Minister Theresa May that Russia was to blame for the nerve agent poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal as insane.
Moscow says Theresa May’s accusations over the case of a poisoned ex-spy are “insane”.
Foreign Minister Lavrov called the British move “boorish” and promised an imminent response.
Russia’s foreign minister warned that Moscow would soon retaliate against London’s decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats, as the confrontation over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent looked ready to spiral into tit-for-tat measures.
Russia says President Vladimir Putin will decide how to respond to the U.K.’s expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats. In the U.S., the Trump administration has toughened its stance on the dispute.
The Russian foreign minister confirmed this morning that Moscow will retaliate against the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats from Britain.Sergei Lavrov said the UK position, blaming the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury on the Kremlin, was irresponsible and not backed up
Russia said on Thursday it would retaliate very soon for Britain’s expulsion of 23 diplomats as Moscow and London traded public insults about a nerve toxin attack on a former Russian double agent in England.
The leaders of the U.S., Germany and France said all evidence points to Russia being responsible for the poisoning of two people in England and called for an urgent explanation from Vladimir Putin’s government.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to retaliate against the U.K. after Prime Minister Theresa May threw out 23 diplomats over the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter on British soil.
Russia’s foreign minister said that Theresa’s May’s decision to eject 23 diplomats from London would receive a response “very soon, I promise you”.Sergei Lavrov described as unfounded and “boorish” the accusation by Britain that Moscow had a hand in poisoning the former spy Sergei Skripal and his d
Campaigners fear the growing reliance on gas imports leaves the UK vulnerable at a time of heightened political tension with Russia in wake of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.
Commentators on Russian social media have not been shy about expressing their views on the evolving scandal over the poisoning in England of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
Aide: Corbyn was right on Iraq. PM: Remarks are ‘outrageous’.
Labour frontbenchers expressed fury yesterday after Jeremy Corbyn refused to blame the Kremlin for the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.The Labour leader faced criticism from all sides of the House after he and his spokesman challenged Theresa May’s statement that the Kremlin was responsible for the
Foreign secretary speaks as Emmanuel Macron shifts stance to say France shares UK’s conclusions on the attack
BORIS Johnson has launched a scathing attack on Vladimir Putin, criticising the Russian leader for basking in the “glory” of the outrage caused by the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal while at the same denying the Kremlin had any part in it.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that the country’s law enforcement agencies were investigating rich Russian individuals with assets in Britain, and suggested that those who owe t…
The project is oriented towards the revelation of corrupted officials, organized crime representatives, who are tied to the law enforcement and ruling establishments.
To get back at Moscow for attempting an assassination on British soil, Prime Minister Theresa May should go after the oligarchs.
Michael Carpenter, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, discusses the conflict between the U.K. and Russia over the poisoning of a former double-agent and his daughter on U.K. soil. He speaks with Bloomberg’s David Westin and Shery Ahn on “Bloomberg Markets: Balance of Power.” (Source: Bloomberg)
After Theresa May announced retaliatory measures, the @RussianEmbassy account posted a series of pictures aimed at Britain, one accusing it of ‘fake news’
<p>The nerve agent attack on Skripal and his daughter has led to the two nations trading blows on social media</p>
The United Kingdom on Wednesday blocked a Russia-drafted UN Security Council statement calling for an urgent inquiry into the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, a Russian UN mission’s spokesman said.
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England (all times local): 6:25 p.m. President Donald Trump says “it looks like” Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in the United Kingdom earlier this month. Speaking to reporters after his administration announced new sanctions on Russian entities for meddling in the 2016 presidential election, Trump said the United States is taking the nerve agent attack “very seriously.” Trump spoke to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday and he says their two governments “are in deep discussions,” about next steps. He added: “It’s something that should never, ever happen.” The leaders of the United States, France, Germany, and Britain issued a rare joint statement Thursday condemning Russia for “the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.”
The United States said Wednesday that Russia was responsible for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England, and urged the UN Security Council to hold
UN Ambassador and former SC governor Nikki Haley pins the blame squarely on Russia for a chemical attack she warns could be repeated in New York or other cities.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Wednesday the Trump administration “stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain” following a nerve agent attack against a Russian double agent and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury last week.
The US has thrown its diplomatic weight behind the UK as Britain braces itself for Russian retaliation after Theresa May hit back at Moscow over the Salisbury nerve agent attack….
The White House says the UK’s expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats is a “just response” to an “abhorrent attack”.
President Trump joined Britain’s Theresa May, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel in a statement pointing to Russia for the poisoning of a former spy living in Britain.
Allies have expressed support for Britain after it announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation for the poisoning of a former spy with a military-grade nerve agent, but offered no…
The leaders of France, Germany, the United States, and Britain say Russian responsibility is the “only plausible explanation” for the poisoning of a former spy with a military-grade nerve agent in …
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he shared Britain’s assessment that Russia was behind a nerve agent attack on a former spy living in England and vowed to take measures in response in the coming days.
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull shares ‘UK’s outrage over targeted attempt to commit murder using chemical weapons’
The poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal, his daughter, and twenty-one other British citizens in Salisbury is the most recent of too many such examples. On March 12, six days after the attempted assassination of Skripal, Nikolai Glushkov, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his home in London. British Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of using military-grade Novichok nerve agent in the attack on Skripal. She has also demanded an accounting by the Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom as to whether this was a state-sponsored effort (which it almost certainly was) or worse, if Putin has lost control of his own agents. However May ultimately decides to respond to the attempted assassination of Skripal, this attack represents an unlawful use of force against the United Kingdom and its citizens. It also means that Russia attacked a member of NATO and the European Union (EU). Russia has poisoned “enemies of the state” in the United Kingdom before. Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy, was murdered in London in November 2006. The radioactive polonium-210 that caused his was death was reportedly added to his cup of tea. A public inquiry concluded that Putin probably approved the assassination. The United Kingdom has now reopened investigations into fourteen other mysterious deaths, including those of Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky and whistleblower Alexander Perepilichny. Glushkov, who was found dead in London on March 12, was close friends with Berezovsky. The apparent murder of Mikhail Lesin, Putin’s former media czar, in Washington in 2016 is another example of Russia silencing “traitors.” Former KGB agent, Boris Karpichkov, has claimed that he and at least eight other people have also been targets of Russian attacks and are on a Russian “hit list.” Teaching ‘traitors’ a deadly lesson The attempted assassination of Skripal and the fact that twenty-one other British civilians were exposed to a nerve agent that was procured from a military facility represents an example of chemical warfare and terrorism perpetrated by Russia in the United Kingdom. Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, served as a double agent for the United Kingdom’s intelligence services in the 1990s and early 2000s. He was arrested in Russia in 2004 and imprisoned after a conviction for high treason. He eventually got to the United Kingdom in a prisoner swap. Analysts apparently still cannot understand why Russia would try to kill Skripal. This failure to understand underscores the continuing Western incapacity to grasp Putin’s and Russia’s modus operandi and motives. As James Sherr and John Lough of Chatham House observe, Moscow need not have a formal reason to make such an attack even if it wanted to teach “traitors” a lesson they will never forget, but it always has its own self-generated incentive and legal authorization to kill enemies abroad. The scale of the attack on Skripal and the fact that it apparently occurred at one or more restaurants in Salisbury suggests that this was also what Russian security services call a “Razvedka Boem”—a military intelligence probe. The probe was to ascertain, if not demonstrate, just how weak the United Kingdom’s response will be to Russian aggression. Moscow intends to send a message to the West that it can strike in its territory with impunity. Moscow has seen nothing but British weakness in the face of its provocations going back over a decade to Litvinenko’s murder. At least twenty other deaths or attempted murders in the United Kingdom have hitherto evoked no visible retribution for Russia. An aggressive Russia We have seen heightened aggression from Russia. Norway recently reported three military probes against it near the Arctic in 2017—a region that is supposedly a model of Russo-Western political dialogue not military threats. In Syria, Moscow uses terror tactics against civilians in its support for Bashar al-Assad’s regime. It sent a private army to exploit Syrian energy assets and abet its military campaign for Assad. It then authorized this private army—the so-called Wagner army—to attack US forces which it knew to be in the area and who had apparently warned Moscow of their presence. The result was a “turkey shoot” with possibly 300 or more Russian fatalities. Typically, Moscow remained silent until enterprising foreign journalists broke the story. Meanwhile, Russian diplomats smuggled twelve suitcases of cocaine through the diplomatic pouch from Argentina in Russian Security Council Director Nikolai Patrushev’s airplane. In Ukraine, Russian forces have attempted to conduct terror bombings in Kyiv as they have already done in Odessa and Khar’kiv. Moscow is also steadily upgrading its forces that have invaded Ukraine. It has fully assimilated the so-called separatists into the Russian army, created two whole new armies on Ukraine’s border, deployed nuclear-capable missiles in Crimea, and deployed nuclear missile versions of its sea-launched Kalibr cruise missile to the Black Sea. Russia has also intervened in elections in the United States and Europe over the past two years and continues to attack the integrity of the US political system. It has replied to a Stockholm arbitration court decision in favor of Ukraine by unilaterally terminating all energy contracts with Kyiv, in mid-winter, confirming that Russia still views energy as a political weapon. Meanwhile, Russia continues its overflights of the United States’ European allies and Japan, and it is concurrently building a network of naval bases and facilities across the Mediterranean Sea and into the Sahel and Persian Gulf. Lastly, there is Putin’s speech of March 1 to the Federal Assembly. In that address, the Russian president unveiled six new nuclear weapons, including weapons whose sole purpose is to inflict maximum civilian casualties. The purpose here, in classic mafia style, was to intimidate foreign audiences. But Putin omitted the almost twenty other Russian nuclear programs currently underway that violate virtually every existing arms control treaty. The video that accompanied his speech showed Russian capabilities that openly violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. If these actions do not constitute a war against the West and international order as such then it is difficult to imagine what would represent such a war. Incontrovertibly, Russia is not only at war with the West, it is a state sponsor of terrorism in Ukraine and in the Middle East where it is the principal supplier of weapons to Hezbollah and supports Hamas—both groups that have ties to Iran. Russia is an outlaw state whose modes of governance resemble those of the mafia. This is not a new development. Putin’s KGB used to joke that its initials did not stand for Committee on State Security but rather meant the Office of Wild Bandits (Kontora Grubykh Banditov). Clearly not much has changed for them. In the late 1980s, Giulietto Chiesa, the Moscow correspondent of the Italian Communist Party newspaper L’Unità, observed that the USSR was governed according to the rules of the Italian Mafia. This clearly continues to be the case in Putin’s Russia. The fact that Moscow arrogates to itself the right not only to kill its self-anointed traitors abroad but also to wage chemical war on foreigners confirms the fact that its diplomats and officials respect neither sovereignty nor territorial integrity of other states. Spanish prosecutor José Grinda, in his monumental investigation of Russian organized crime, found that those crime syndicates are essentially extensions of the Russian state. Consequently, Moscow needs no real motive for attacks like those undertaken in Salisbury. The real question is not why Moscow did it, but what it will take for the West to recognize what we are up against? The West must take resolute, but relatively easily available, actions that are necessary to defend democracy, the rule of law, and legal order in the face of this unrelenting attack by what amounts to a criminal syndicate that has morphed into a state. Stephen Blank is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.
Since Russian troops began seizing government buildings in Crimea four years ago, the international community has become accustomed to encountering new acts of Russian aggression on an almost daily basis. Whether it is masked men in eastern Ukraine, a chemical weapons attack in the English countryside, or an attempted coup in the Balkans, the process is more or less the same—faced by a fresh round of accusations, the Kremlin denies everything and declares, “You can’t prove it was us.” If the evidence pointing toward Russia is particularly damning, Moscow then insists that those involved were non-state actors operating entirely independently of the government. Vladimir Putin opted for this position during his recent NBC News interview, dismissing indictments against thirteen named Russians for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election by saying, “So what if they’re Russians? They do not represent the interests of the Russian state.” It was a similar story when an undisclosed but apparently large number of Russian troops died during an attack on US forces in eastern Syria in early February 2018. As news of the debacle began to leak, Kremlin officials downplayed the scale of the Russian losses while stressing that those involved were private citizens and in no way connected to the Russian armed forces. Even in such apparently open-and-shut cases as the recent assassination attempt in Salisbury, England, Moscow denies everything and then plays the Russophobia card. This is how Putin’s Russia wages war, by attacking in a myriad of different directions while carefully maintaining a semblance of plausible deniability that leaves its victims partially paralyzed and unable to respond effectively to an enemy they cannot conclusively unmask. Few doubt that Russia is behind each new act of aggression, but it is often difficult to differentiate between Putin’s many proxies and the hand of the Kremlin itself. The result is a slow boil conflict in which Russia is able to punch well above its weight against an array of ostensibly more powerful opponents who fail to recognize they are engaged in hostilities at all. One of the reasons Putin’s strategy of plausible deniability is so effective is because virtually nobody in the West seems to appreciate the scale of Russian hostility toward the post-Cold War world or the Kremlin’s readiness to resort to acts of aggression. They cannot comprehend why any rational nation would seek to dismantle the international security system, and remain trapped by the post-history delusion that Great Powers do not attack one another anymore. This wishful thinking makes it difficult for many in the West to view Russia’s individual offenses as component parts of a single coordinated global campaign. Instead, the tendency is to treat each incident in isolation without connecting the dots and drawing the obvious conclusions. Americans clamor for sanctions over Russian election meddling, while frontline states in Eastern Europe impose bans on the Russian media and British tabloids call for Russian oligarchs to have their London assets frozen. At the same time, we are still no closer to the kind of united international response that Russia’s actions warrant if taken collectively. This compartmentalization extends to the Kremlin war in Ukraine, with international sanctions for Russia’s military intervention remaining neatly divided into separate Crimean and Donbas elements. Above all, nobody wants to acknowledge the dire reality that a state of war—albeit hybrid war—already exists between Russia and the entire democratic world. There is no such reticence inside Russia itself. The idea of an adversarial Western world is one of the mainstays of modern Kremlin media messaging, while large swathes of the Russian population simply take this hostility for granted. The worldview promoted by the Putin regime is unashamedly revisionist and resentful, with the Soviet collapse depicted as a tragedy and the accompanying loss of Russian influence an injustice. In this toxic environment, the inherent deceit underpinning Putin’s brand of hybrid warfare requires no further explanation or justification. It is merely payback for the sins of the West. This greatly reduces the risk of any domestic backlash against the Kremlin’s geopolitical adventurism, while helping Moscow to keep its shadow armies and troll factories fully staffed.
The poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter with near-lethal doses of a nerve agent in the United Kingdom illustrates many things. It shows, yet again, the extent to which Vladimir Putin’s regime recognizes neither norms nor rules nor international law in its ongoing war on the West. It reminds us that Kremlin opponents are not safe — whether they are in Russia or whether they are abroad. And it should demonstrate once and for all that any illusions anybody may have been harboring for a thaw, a reset, or a detente during Putin’s fourth term are just that — illusions. But like the 2006 assassination of Aleksandr Litvinenko, the poisoning of Skripal also illustrates something else. It illustrates something pretty fundamental. WATCH: Today’s Daily Vertical It is a stark reminder of just what is at stake in the confrontation between Russia and the West. Because at its heart, this is a battle of governance and of political values. It is a struggle between a world where things like political assassinations, de facto extrajudicial executions, state-sponsored harassment of regime opponents, and the arbitrary application of criminal justice are acceptable — and a world where such things are beyond the pale. These things have long been staples of Russian domestic politics. And they are increasingly becoming one of Moscow’s main exports. In the heady optimism that followed the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the assumption was that as Russia integrated with the West, it would adopt Western norms and values, like the rule of law. But instead, more than quarter of a century on, it is the Kremlin that is exporting the values of Putinism to the West.
The Editors | Skripal Attack Demands Unified Response From U.K., NATO Allies – Bloomberg
The use of chemical weapons on British soil is an assault on all NATO members.
The poisoning is a sign of how just committed Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has become at eradicating its enemies — and reminding others it can do so.
The Foreign Office urged Britons to “remain vigilant”
The PM is briefed by health experts as Sergei Skripal and his daughter remain critically ill.
Far from damaging Vladimir Putin, the accusations levelled at Moscow only reinforce the position that Russia is a besieged fortress under constant threat from enemies within and outside its borders.
Theresa May could have taken much stronger action. But instead she chose to impose low-cost and low-impact measures that are unlikely to generate much impact in Russia.
Expelling diplomats is barely a slap on Putin’s wrist. Freezing his cronies’ millions would be a punch in the gut.
If we aren’t yet frightened, we ought to be. State poisoning, our intimidation by a foreign power, threats of further retaliation if we respond: all these have suddenly crossed from the pages of spy novels or foreign news to become our new reality. We are not safe from this. We are not powerful. We
The U.K. is seeking international verification to help stamp out skepticism after declaring it’s highly likely that Russia poisoned a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.
Natalia Glushkova is believed to have discovered her father’s body at his home in New Malden, south London
Sergey Kapchuk – who has lived in exile in London for more than a decade – says he is now 11th on the list after the death of Nikolai Glushkov
In an interview on March 13 with Current Time TV correspondent Yekaterina Buchneva, Olivier Lepick, a chemical-weapons researcher, argues that there is a direct link to Russia in the Skripal attack.
The risk of any toxin depends on the dose, how it spreads, and how it enters the body