Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Another Former Russian Intelligence Officer Poisoned in the UK (18) – Addendum

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Russia is in serious trouble.

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Media reporting that France, Germany, Poland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Denmark intend to expel Russian intelligence operators. No surprises on EU dissenters, Hungary, Greece and Italy.

Russian foreign minister: UK is forcing EU to ‘take confrontational steps’ – POLITICO

Moscow ‘regrets’ EU decision to recall ambassador to Russia.

Russia says Europe being drawn into Anglo-American anti-Russia campaign

Russia says Europe being drawn into Anglo-American anti-Russia campaign – The EU has called back its ambassador in Moscow for consultations relating to the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain, and EU leaders have backed Britain’s assertion that Moscow is likely to blame for the poisoning.

Russia’s warning says UK is taking ‘confrontational steps’ in spy row | Metro News

Russia has accused Britain of taking ‘confrontational steps’ over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hit out at the UK for…

The Latest: Russian official: EU using spy case domestically – The Washington Post

The Latest on international reaction to the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter in Britain (all times local):

The Latest: Russian official: EU using spy case domestically | The Wichita Eagle

A top Russian lawmaker says the European Union’s support for British accusations blaming Russia for an ex-spy’s poisoning reflects a pattern of using Moscow as a bugaboo.

The Latest: Russian official: EU using spy case domestically – ABC News

Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.

Spy poisoning: War of words between the UK and Russia – BBC News

Relations between the UK and Russia have deteriorated following the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter in Salisbury.

Russia’s ambassador to the EU downplays detoriorating relations with the bloc | Euronews

The EU says it will recall its ambassador to Russia and some EU states say they’re considering expelling Russian diplomats.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: West Must Learn to Live Alongside a Dangerously Ill Russia in Its Agony, Portnikov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 21 – The chief result of the so-called Russian presidential elections was “the final conservation of an archaic and reactionary regime, one like the Soviet Union it has become and, like that state, fated to suffer a death agony and collapse at some unknown future point, according to Vitaly Portnikov. But because no one can specify “when, how and under what circumstances with Putin or already after him” this end will come, Russia’s neighbors and the West “simply must learn to live alongside this dangerous sick man” of Eurasia ( Putin “won” these elections because he promised to maintain the stability Russians crave given how much instability they have had in their lives and how shaky they really believe the situation in their country to be. The question which must be asked, however, the Ukrainian commentator says, is “just what is this Russian stability?” The facts of the case are these: “In Russia, ‘stability’ – that is the unchanging nature of the regime – almost always exists with the exception of short periods of wars and crises,” but each new ruler declares the past to have been unstable in order to frighten Russians and justify their support of him, Portnikov says. Thus, he continues, “Brezhnev declared the Khrushchev era a time of instability even though he and other members of the Politburo who removed the unpredictable Nikita Sergeyevich were products of that era. Under Putin, ‘the wild 1990s’ have been declared the era of instability, despite the fact that the new president and the rest of the leaders of Russia emerged from them.” It cannot be excluded, he suggests, that “some successor of Putin’s will declare the present-day historical period one of instability and turbulence. But until then, Russians are certain that this is stability because stability [in the Russian case] is not connected with the situation or their own situations or with the actions of the authorities but with Putin himself.” As long as the leader says there is stability, it exists. That is one of the reasons why “the agony of authoritarianism is a long, difficult and unpredictable process and we must simply learn to live alongside this dangerously sick man” of Eurasia. The readiness of Russians to support whatever their ruler decides on “at first glance would appear to create the conditions for the new old president to maneuver.” But what Putin will in fact do is something “no one knows today, including if you will Putin himself,” the Ukrainian commentator says. What would seem logical to others may not be logical to him. While many would think he would benefit from compromising with the West, Putin may conclude that “an aggressive policy will help him avoid even the specter of competition and weakness domestically and convert Russia internationally into a kind of alterative to the West.” To the extent that is the case, Putin may decide to cross “ever more red lines everywhere” to make himself into what he aspires to be however much it harms his country and its future. That may keep him in power for a long time, but it means something else that both he and others must recognize. Putin isn’t going away on his own ever. He can be removed from power only if his system and the fake stability it is based on go through a period of genuine instability leading to regime change. That happened to his beloved Soviet Union. With Putin, it can eventually happen to the Russian Federation as well. In the meantime, Ukrainians and others in the West must learn to deal with a dangerously ill and thus dangerously unpredictable Russian leader who has nuclear weapons which he clearly believes mean that he never has to admit he is wrong or say he is sorry.

At least 10 EU nations to expel Russian diplomats in spy row | UK news | The Guardian

Emmanuel Macron condemns ‘attack on European sovereignty’ as EU leaders back Theresa May

Scores of Russian diplomats set to be expelled after EU leaders agree Russia ‘highly likely’ to have carried out Salisbury attack

Scores of Russian diplomats look set to be expelled from European capitals as ten EU countries indicated they were preparing to follow Theresa May’s lead in the wake of the Salisbury attacks.

Update: EU vows ‘unprecedented’ response to Salisbury attack |

EU leaders have promised an ‘unprecedented’ diplomatic response to the Salisbury nerve agent attack after backing Theresa May’s assertion that Russia was to blame.

RECAP: Action against Russia is ‘unprecedented’ – Tusk

Brussels says it is taking “extraordinary measures” in response to the Salisbury poisoning, with more action on Monday.

EU Vows More Measures Against Russia Over Nerve Agent Attack

European Union member states have agreed at a summit in Brussels to take additional punitive measures against Russia for a nerve-agent attack in Britain.

EU vows ‘more steps’ against Russia as shockwaves from spy poisoning continue to be felt throughout Europe | Fox News

The European Union vowed Friday to take more steps against Moscow over the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter in Britain in an incident that has rapidly heightened tensions between the two world superpowers.

EU nations plan ‘additional steps’ against Moscow over nerve agent attack | CBC News

European Union member states agree to take further punitive steps against Russia in the coming days for the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, as Moscow accuses the bloc of joining a London-driven hate campaign against it.

Europeans Promise More Steps Against Russia Over UK Spy Attack | World News | US News

By Noah Barkin and Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union member states agreed at a summit on Friday to take additional punitive measures against Russia for a nerve agent attack in Britain, as Moscow accused the bloc of joining a London-driven hate campaign against it. Moscow has denied that it is behind the attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the first known offensive use of a nerve toxin in Europe since World War Two. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said evidence of Russian culpability presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May was “very solidly based” and promised new measures after EU leaders agreed late on Thursday to recall their ambassador to Moscow. “Germany and France agree that additional steps, on top of the recall of the ambassador, are necessary,” Merkel said at a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron called the attack “unprecedented” and said Europe must respond: “It is an aggression against the security and sovereignty of an ally that is today a member of the European Union. It demands a reaction. This is clear.” In a boost for May, the 28-member EU collectively condemned the attack and declared in a Brussels summit statement that it was “highly likely” Moscow was responsible. A British judge said on Thursday that both victims may have suffered brain damage from the attack. A policeman who was hospitalized after discovering the two unconscious on a park bench has now been discharged. “Additional steps are expected as early as Monday at the national level,” summit chair Donald Tusk told reporters.

E.U. Joins U.K. in Denouncing Russia Over Poisoning of Spy – The New York Times

Prime Minister Theresa May won “unqualified solidarity” from Brussels, which said Moscow was the only plausible culprit for a nerve agent attack.

‘The Whole World Should Be Concerned’: U.S. Allies React to Bolton’s Appointment – The New York Times

John Bolton’s, the next national security adviser, is likely to reinforce President Trump’s instincts to dump the Iran nuclear deal and to confront North Korea, raising fears of instability.

Europeans promise more steps against Russia over UK spy attack

European Union member states agreed at a summit on Friday to take additional punitive measures against Russia for a nerve agent attack in Britain, as Moscow accused the bloc of joining a London-driven hate campaign against it.

Tusk Warns Russia to Expect More Expulsions: EU Summit Update – Bloomberg

European Union leaders discussed trade tariffs and Brexit on Friday after a late night as they were kept up waiting for confirmation from U.S. President Donald Trump that the bloc was indeed exempt from the new levies.

Angela Merkel threatens ‘additional measures’ against Russia as EU backs Theresa May | The Times

Up to 20 European countries are preparing to back Britain and expel Russian diplomats to wind up the country’s spy networks across the continent.The European Union also agreed to recall its ambassador from Moscow for four weeks last night, issuing a stronger than expected statement explicitly blami

Czechs consider expelling Russian diplomats, following Britain

The Czech Republic may expel some Russian diplomats after Britain took similar steps in retaliation for an attack on a former Russian spy in England, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Friday.

May Served Secrets Over Dinner to Win EU Allies for Russia Fight – Bloomberg

Leading up to this week’s EU summit, British officials worked overtime to explain the nature of the Russian attack to members.

European Power Plants Brace For Russian Hack Attacks

Following a U.S. government warning that Russia has hacked into power plants on both sides of the Atlantic, Europeans are trying to figure out which plants might be vulnerable.

European politics is turning French

The old Left-Right divide is fading away, replaced by a chasm between centrifugal nationalist-populists (be they Left, Right, or, like M5S, neither in particular) and a pro-EU center. Second, the erosion is worse on the Left. These evolutions are not just native to Italy and Germany.

Nerve agent attack: May reveals ‘certain evidence’ Russia is to blame | Daily Star

THERESA May has presented EU leaders with “certain evidence” Russia is behind the sinister nerve agent attack on a former spy in the UK.

Russian spy: ‘No way’ spy nerve agent came from UK lab – BBC News

Porton Down says Russian suggestions of link to the Salisbury attack are “frustrating”.

Condition of Poisoned Ex-Spy, Daughter Revealed

“‘Normal’ life for me will probably never be the same” but “I want people to focus on the investigation—not the police officer who was unfortunate enough to be caught up in it.” Per the Guardian, that was the message from British police officer Nick Bailey Thursday following his release from the hospital almost three weeks after he rushed to help former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who were poisoned with a Russian nerve agent. Later, it emerged a second police officer is being treated for minor symptoms, including skin irritation, after contact with an object believed to have had “secondary contamination” from the nerve agent, reports the Telegraph. Bailey will continue to receive intensive occupational therapy and psychotherapy, but he’s lucky compared to Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia. The two remain in critical but stable condition at a hospital in Salisbury. As part of a court decision Thursday to allow their blood to be tested for traces of chemical weapons by inspectors, it was revealed the pair are “heavily sedated” and may have suffered permanent brain damage; “medical tests indicate that their mental capacity might be compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree” and “the precise effect of their exposure on their long-term health remains unclear.” At present, Skripal is “unable to communicate in any way” and Yulia is “unable to communicate in any meaningful way,” court documents read, per ABC News. At a meeting Thursday, 28 EU leaders agreed “there is no plausible alternative explanation” other than that Russia ordered the attack, per NPR.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal could have suffered brain damage after nerve agent exposure, says judge | The Independent

Sergei and Yulia Skripal may have suffered life-long brain damage as a result of the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, a court has heard. Mr Justice Williams told the Court of Protection that the father and daughter remain in intensive care under heavy sedation.  “The precise effect of their exposure on their long-term health remains unclear but medical tests indicate that their mental capacity might be compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree,” the judge said.

Russian spy’s daughter ‘CAME ROUND’ after nerve agent attack – but pair may now be brain damaged and NEVER recover – Mirror Online

Yulia Skripal, 33, briefly regained consciousness in hospital after she and her father Sergei, 66, were poisoned in Salisbury earlier this month

Officers remove bench in Salisbury where Skripals fell ill | UK news | The Guardian

Scotland Yard says bench will be preserved as potential crime exhibit in investigation into attempted murders