Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The two viral news items today are both related to the victims, demonstrating immense public interest – Salisbury hospital states Ms Skripal is off the critical list and rapidly improving, while Salisbury police advise media that the highest CW concentration was found on the front door of the house, suggesting the door handle was dusted, sprayed or smeared with the CW. These two reports have displaced most other media reports related to the attack, by virtue of high public interest and thus search engine rankings. No evidence the Russians have tried to use bots to reduce pagerank as yet.
The Russian campaign of propaganda and personal insults continues, with the latter emanating mostly from politicians and senior bureaucrats. Much of it continues to be bizarre, reflecting a focus on the Russian domestic audience, especially feeding the “zombified” and the ardently nationalistic with the kind of rhetoric they like to hear. SVR head Naryshkin claims their staff in embassies are there to provide security, which challenges plausibility.
POTUS speaks with PM May and both “…. agreed on the importance of dismantling Russia’s spy networks in the United Kingdom and the United States to curtail Russian clandestine activities and prevent future chemical weapons attacks on either country’s soil.” – this indicates that a more substantial campaign is in the works to roll up the Russian infrastructure for espionage, subversion and influence in the US and UK, and hopefully in other Western nations as well. UK expected to review visas for Russians as well as financial transactions. An exquisite foreign policy speech by SECSTATE Johnson at the Lord Mayor’s Easter banquet (full text link below), with excellent media coverage. This follows a superb speech on Wednesday that sent the Russians apoplectic – they really do not like Westerners who understand their culture, and their failings.
Very nice observations by Dannenberg. Georgia expels a Russian diplomat. New Zealand remains in the media limelight.
Miscellaneous media reports on the Skripals.
Russian journalist Konstantin von Eggert speaks with NPR’s Audie Cornish about how Russia is viewing the expulsion of its diplomats. So far, the Kremlin has not offered a formal response.
The Kremlin has said that President Vladimir Putin is still ready to hold a summit with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump despite the mass Western expulsions of Russian diplomats in a spy row.
The presentation on the Skripal case given to foreign diplomats at a briefing in the UK Embassy in Moscow looks like a presentation made by primary school children, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday that it had obtained the PowerPoint presentation that was shown at the briefing in the UK embassy, which took place on March 22. The presentation, which was not provided to Russian officials, said that London had “no doubt that Russia is responsible” for the March 4 poisoning attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK city of Salisbury, but offered no new evidence to support these claims.
London has not provided any information to the Russian side, the Kremlin spokesman stressed
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Britain was breaking international law by refusing to provide information on Yulia Skripal who was poisoned in England with her father Sergei, a former Russian spy, earlier this month. Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the ministry, told reporters in Moscow that Britain had declined to cooperate with Russia on the investigation into the poisoning and had not provided any updates on Yulia Skripal despite the fact she was a Russian citizen.
How does one prove a negative? Answer? You can’t. This is yet another attempt by Russia to divert attention from Russia. The UK does not have the history, does not have the motivation to assassinate former Russian spies. Russia does. Russia developed the agent, Russia stockpiled the agent. Putin has warned this is the fate…
There are the officers of the external intelligence among the representatives of the Russian diplomatic missions expelled by the western countries. Sergey Naryshkin, the Head of Foreign Intelligence Service claimed this as RIA News reported. ‘There are the officers of our service among the workers of the Foreign Ministry’, Naryshkin said.
Over 140 Russian diplomats have been expelled in the biggest concerted action against Russian intelligence networks by the West since the Cold War. Back home, Russians seem to agree Moscow had nothing to with the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal. One man cannot understand why the finger of blame is pointing at Russia when the incident happened in England. And he believes the explusion of Russian diplomats is an act of self-harm. Another is outraged by the behaviour of the UK and other allies. He says there is no evidence to prove Moscow was behind the attack and he is sure Russia will come up with an appropriate reponse. The Kremlin has accused Britain of whipping up an anti-Russia campaign and has tried to cast doubt on the British analysis that Moscow was responsible. It has ordered 23 British diplomats out of the country.
The U.K. government’s investigation into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter has so far raised more questions than answers, but that has not stopped the U.K. and its main Western allies from ramping up the rhetoric against Russia. By VIDYA RAM in London
Moldovan President Igor Dodon has condemned the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Moldova as an “anti-Russian provocation.” He wrote this in Facebook in a comment on the decision by the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to declare three Russian diplomats persona non grata. “I express my profound indignation at the decision of the Government to expel Russian diplomats from the Republic of Moldova. I categorically condemn this as a new anti-Russian provocation,” Dodon said. The President stressed that Moldova does not have any alliance obligations to the UK nor other NATO members which would require the country to take steps to show such block solidarity. “I would like to note that a number of NATO member countries, such as Slovakia and Turkey, and a European Union member country – Austria – have refrained from taking part in this collective anti-Russian demarche,” he added. The decision to expel the diplomats was taken by the Moldovan authorities in the wake of the Council of Europe’s March 24 decision to recognize the Salisbury attack as a challenge to collective security, as a sign of solidarity with Britain.
NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Bill Burns about the 27 countries that are removing Russian diplomats in response to a nerve-agent attack on British soil.
Current and former US and British intelligence officers warn tit-for-tat expulsions the Kremlin is expected to order shortly will have much greater impact on Western intelligence missions in Russia
The author says this is not a repeat of the Cold War. Not yet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is often seen as a master tactician, but he may have overplayed his hand in the response to the Salisbury poisoning case.
President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom. Both leaders agreed on the importance of dismantling Russia’s spy networks in the United Kingdom and the United States to curtail Russian clandestine activities and prevent future chemical weapons attacks on either country’s soil. The two leaders also discussed how the passage of the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act will improve law enforcement cooperation.
U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May in a phone call discussed the need to “dismantle” spying networks and prevent other illegal activities by Russia in their two …
PM to investigate clamping down on movement of Russian money through London markets
Hundreds of wealthy Russians who moved to the UK promising to invest millions of pounds in businesses will have their visas reviewed under plans for a crackdown following the nerve agent attack on a former spy. Prime Minister Theresa May has previously identified the issue as something that would be looked at.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the UK will be at the forefront of international effort to stand up to those who threaten the rules-based system.
‘Enough is enough’: Boris Johnson says world is at turning point over Russia
The Foreign Secretary says the global response to the Salisbury attack follows “years of vexation and provocation” by Moscow. The show of support for the UK amid growing tensions with Moscow over the nerve agent attack in Salisbury signals a turning point in how the world deals with Russia, Boris Johnson has said. Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Easter banquet, the Foreign Secretary said the 27 countries expelling Russian diplomats represented “a moment when a feeling has suddenly crystallised”. He said nations were saying “enough is enough” after “years of vexation and provocation” which had “worn the collective patience to breaking point”. He said the Kremlin “underestimated the strength of global feeling”. “After all these provocations, this week was the moment when the world decided to say enough to the wearying barrage of Russian lies,” he said. “The torrent of obfuscation and intercontinental ballistic whoppers. First they told us that novichok never existed, then they told us that it did exist but they had destroyed the stocks, then they claimed that the stocks had escaped to Sweden or the Czech Republic or Slovakia or the United States. “And the other day they claimed that the true inventor of novichok was Theresa May.” Mr Johnson said that the Foreign Office had heard a total of 24 “ludicrous fibs” with regards to Russian involvement in Salisbury. In a colourful comparison, the MP added: “They make novichok, we make light sabres. One a hideous weapon that is specifically intended for assassination. The other an implausible theatrical prop with a mysterious buzz. “But which of those two weapons is really more effective in the world of today? “I tell you that the arsenals of this country and of our friends are not stocked with poison but with something vastly more powerful – the power of imagination and creativity and innovation that comes with living in a free society.”
Boris Johnson says Russia needs to ‘wake-up’ to the ‘global wave of revulsion’ over the Salisbury nerve agent attack. In a major foreign policy speech in London he said there has never before been a ‘collective expulsion of Russian diplomats’ on such a massive scale as seen this week. ‘It seems clear that the Kremlin underestimated the strength of global feeling,’ he said. ‘I do not for one moment believe that this global wave of revulsion has been prompted solely by Salisbury, let alone a sentimental love or affection for the UK. ‘It wasn’t about us. It was about all of us and the kind of world we want to live in. ‘Because, I believe these expulsions represent a moment when a feeling has suddenly crystallised.
Boris Johnson has said the nerve agent attack in Salisbury has crystallised a “global wave of revulsion” against Russia. The Foreign Secretary used a major foreign policy speech in London to praise friends and allies who surprised Moscow with their strong support for the UK. The Foreign Secretary said: “Never before has there been a collective expulsion of Russian diplomats on the scale that we have seen over the last few days. “I do not for one moment believe that this global wave of revulsion has been prompted solely by Salisbury, let alone a sentimental love or affection for the UK. “It wasn’t about us. It was about all of us and the kind of world we want to live in. “Because, I believe these expulsions represent a moment when a feeling has suddenly crystallised. “When years of vexation and provocation have worn the collective patience to breaking point, and when across the world – across three continents – there are countries who are willing to say enough is enough.” The Foreign Secretary said that the concerted global action should act as a wake-up call for Moscow.”I do not for one moment believe that this global wave of revulsion has been prompted solely by Salisbury, let alone a sentimental love or affection for the UK. “It wasn’t about us. It was about all of us and the kind of world we want to live in. “Because, I believe these expulsions represent a moment when a feeling has suddenly crystallised. “When years of vexation and provocation have worn the collective patience to breaking point, and when across the world – across three continents – there are countries who are willing to say enough is enough.” The Foreign Secretary said that the concerted global action should act as a wake-up call for Moscow.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has compared Russia to Rodion Raskolnikov, the fictional murderer from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel “Crime and Punishment,” in the aftermath of the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England. Johnson made the reference in a speech to ambassadors in London on Wednesday, following the coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats from 27 countries earlier this week. London, along with its allies, suspects Moscow of being behind the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England earlier this month. “It is rather like the beginning of Crime and Punishment in the sense that we are all confident of the culprit – and the only question is whether he will confess or be caught,” Johnson said. Johnson continued his speech with a Star Wars reference to explain “all you need to know about the difference between modern Britain and the government of Vladimir Putin.” “They make Novichok, we make light sabres. One a hideous weapon that is specifically intended for assassination. The other an implausible theatrical prop with a mysterious buzz […] But which of those two weapons is really more effective in the world of today?” he asked. Rabblerousing State Duma deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky compared British Prime Minister Theresa May to a witch from Slavic folklore called “Baba Yaga,” and nicknamed Boris Johnson “Borya the Half-Wit.” Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Britain’s expulsions resembled a scene from the 1980s British sitcom “Yes Minister,” where officials orchestrate the expulsion of 76 Soviet diplomats.
Foreign secretary warns of possible disruption to energy supplies or harassment of diplomatic missions in Moscow
UK Foreign Secretary blasts Moscow over poisoning of ex-spy
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain amounts to “attempted murder” by the Russian government.
Tough words from the U.S. Secertary of Defense.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday said the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil was “attempted murder” by the Russian
BTMG Published on Mar 29, 2018 Detectives investigating the attempted murders of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are now focusing on his Salisbury home after high concentrations of a nerve agent were found on his front door. Meanwhile at a London banquet, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson poured scorn over Russian denials of involvement. “First they told us that (the nerve agent allegedly used to poison Sergei Skripal) Novichok never existed,” he said. “Then they told us that it did exist but they had destroyed the stocks…. And then they said that the attempted murder on Sergei and Yulia Skripal was revenge for Britain’s supposed poisoning of Ivan the Terrible, we did it to spoil the World Cup, in fact the Foreign Office has so far counted 24 such ludicrous fibs.” Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in a critical condition in hospital. They’re under heavy sedation and are unable to communicate.
There is no appropriate military solution to addressing Putinism. The risks of a general war or escalation that leads to a nuclear confrontation are unthinkable. In today’s interconnected world, containment is no longer a viable option. There are other measures which should be considered to deal with Putinism. First, go after the money. Various reports suggest Putin has accumulated enormous personal wealth. Unquestionably, many of the most senior members of his government have done the same. Many of the oligarchs who support Putin are among the wealthiest people on the planet. Their assets should be identified, publicized, and sanctioned, to incentivize them to distance themselves from Putin. The March sanctions on Russian oligarchs are a good start, but there are more ways available to unnerve them. Many of these oligarchs enjoy the freedom to travel in the West and have considerable assets there. Even more importantly, they want their children to enjoy the same access and privilege in the West. This should be denied. Economic sanctions also should be reexamined to target the industries that provide the most revenue for Putin’s government, specifically the energy and arms industries. In addition to imposing meaningful sanctions, the United States should lead a diplomatic and cultural effort to treat Putin’s government as the pariah state proportionate to the disruption and damage Putin has caused in recent years. Why stop at barring them from the G-8? Why not kick them out of the G-20? And after Russia’s disgraceful doping scandal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, should Russia really enjoy the prestige of hosting the 2018 World Cup Soccer tournament? Go after Putin’s personal image. He likes to portray himself as incorruptible, but there are certainly aspects of the real Putin—divorce from his wife, alleged affair with an Olympic athlete, the fantastic accumulation of wealth —which should be systematically exploited to undermine his stature in Russia. A good example to follow is Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption campaign, which collected and published information on the lavish lifestyle of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. We should support and learn from Navalny’s excellent work.
To really punish Putin, Britain will have to crack down on his associates’ illicit funds.
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement on Thursday that they will be expelling one member of staff from the Russian Federation Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi, giving this person one week to leave. “…A member of staff of the Russian Federation Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi is requested to leave Georgia within 7 days.” The statement goes on to express Georgia’s solidarity with the UK. “The Ministry expresses solidarity with the United Kingdom, sharing the position of the United Kingdom as well as of the international community.” Included is also Georgia’s condemnation of the alleged actions by the Russian Federation. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the use of chemical weapons on the territory of the United Kingdom that caused the grave human suffering of three individuals and posed a serious threat to the lives and health of others. This represents aserious challenge to common security.” Since the poisoning of Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia on March 4 in Salisbury, UK, this makes a total of 104 expelled Russian diplomats around the world. It is believed to be the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers ever. Countries to have expelled diplomats so far are the UK (23); US (60); France (4); Germany (4); Poland (4); Czech Republic (3); Lithuania (3); Denmark (2); Netherlands (2); Italy (2); Spain (2); Estonia (1); Croatia (1); Finland (1); Hungary (1); Latvia (1); Romania (1); Sweden (1); Ukraine (13); Canada (4); Albania (2); Norway (1); and now Georgia (1).
When it comes to sending diplomatic messages, presidents have a standard bag of tricks to choose from.
Under rules both written and unwritten, the U.S. can “PNG” anybody it wants.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday she was considering a travel ban on some Russian citizens in response to a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that the British government has blamed on Moscow. Ardern had previously said that unlike other intelligence partners, there were no Russian spies present at the Russian embassy in New Zealand for her government to expel.
He says Jacinda Ardern is either naive or ill-informed if she thinks it has no agents here.
Deputy Head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Olena Zerkal has said 66 Russian diplomats continue working in Ukraine after 13 have been expelled. It is still unclear how many Ukrainian diplomats can be expelled from Russia in retaliation.
The niece of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal says he and his daughter Yulia have only a slim chance of surviving a nerve- agent attack in England that became a major international incident. British police said they believe former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter likely first came into contact with a military-grade nerve agent at their front door. A top campaign official for U.S. President Donald Trump had repeated communications during the final weeks of the 2016 presidential race with a business associate the FBI believes had ties to Russian intelligence, a court filing says. Vladimir Putin is ready to hold a meeting with Trump despite the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats from the United States in response to the poisoning of a former spy in Britain, Putin’s spokesman says. The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused Washington of trying to bar Russian wrestlers from an upcoming competition, in a move it says makes the United States unfit to host such international sports events. Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May in a phone call discussed the need to “dismantle” spying networks and prevent other illegal activities by Russia in their two countries, the White House says.
Russia’s suspected intelligence efforts worldwide resemble a tentacled “beast from the deep sea,” the U.S. State Department spokesperson said on Tuesday. The U.S. expelled 60 Russian diplomats earlier this week over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain. Moscow has pledged tit-for-tat measures as it continues to accuse London of leveling unfounded allegations against Russia over the March 4 poisoning.
The expulsion of Russian diplomats from the UK, US and several other NATO states has cast a light on the world of espionage. DW looks at why spies are allowed to even operate in a targeted country in the first place.
Julian Assange , the founder of Wikileaks, who is fugitive from justice in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, was deprived of all means of the communication as he violated the written commitment dated 2017 to not spread messages that would entail the interference in the relations with other states as the Ministry of Communications of Ecuador reported. ‘The manner of and timing of Russian diplomatic expulsions is poor diplomacy. The expulsions occurred 12 hours after one of the worst building fires in post-Soviet history, which killed at least 64. Russians will see the timing as gratuitous’, Assange wrote on Twitter.
Yulia Skripal is no longer in a critical condition after the Salisbury poisoning, the hospital says. The daughter of ex-spy Sergei Skripal was admitted they came into contact with a nerve agent. on 4 March. “She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours a day,” the hospital said. Mr Skripal remains in a critical but stable condition.
The health of the daughter of a former Russian double agent poisoned in a nerve agent attack in the UK is “improving rapidly,” according to the hospital treating her. “I’m pleased to be able to report an improvement in the condition of Yulia Skripal. She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours a day,” Dr. Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury District Hospital, said in a statement. Sergei Skripal remains in a critical but stable condition but Yulia is “improving rapidly,” the statement said.
Read more about Health of poisoned ex-Russian spy’s daughter ‘improving rapidly’: hospital on Business Standard. The health of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal’s daughter Yulia is “improving rapidly”, the hospital that has been treating them since they were found unconscious following a nerve agent attack said today.Yulia Skripal is “improving rapidly and is …
Sergei and Yulia Skripal first came into contact with nerve agent from their front door, police believe.
A deadly nerve agent that poisoned a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Salisbury was left on the front door of his home, police revealed last night.Scotland Yard said that Sergei and Yulia Skripal were believed to have come into contact with novichok “at their home address” and the h
Specialists report highest concentration of nerve agent at home of Russian spy
The Metropolitan Police says the highest concentration of the rare chemical was found on Sergei Skripal’s front door in Salisbury, England. Investigators assure neighbors that they are safe.
The latest Sky News aerial pictures show the extent of the investigations outside the former spy’s home. Former spy Sergei Skripal’s Salisbury house has been boarded up, the latest Sky News pictures show. While it is difficult to see the property from the ground, aerial footage has revealed the extent of the investigations taking place at the property. In addition to the boarding, what look like long, thin planks of wood have been laid across the front garden.
Yulia Skripal’s fiancé’s name is understood to be known to Moscow papers, but has not appeared publicly. The identity of his mother – said to have secret service links – has also not been revealed. Fiancé’s name is understood to be known to several major Moscow newspapers Identity of his mother, said to have secret service links, also not been revealed He has also not attempted to make contact with hospital where Yulia is staying
British police said they believe former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter likely first came into contact with a military-grade nerve agent at their front door.
The niece of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal said he and his daughter Yulia have only a slim chance of surviving a nerve- agent attack in England that became a major international incident.