Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Another Former Russian Intelligence Officer Poisoned in the UK (35)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russian propaganda campaign continues unabated, devolving into insults and absurdities. The Syrian CW attack has diverted media focus away from Salisbury, which begs the question of why it was executed, and why the specific timing of the attack against a low value target incapable of presenting a threat to the regime. Politically this attack was exactly what Russia needed, a high profile high visibility distraction to divert media and political attention from Salisbury, a tactic the Russians employed to good effect many times over during the early period of the invasion of Ukraine. While it is conceivable that the motive for the CW attack was simple spite on the part of the Assad regime, the Russian track record of playing major distractions to divert attention leaves an open question as to Russian involvement. Certainly Russia is the main beneficiary of the attack.

Former KGB agent Karpichkov comments on Russian sleepers in the UK.  Vladimir Uglev of Foliant program fame comments – and states his belief the agent employed was A-234. SECSTATE Johnson OpEd on Russia is superb. Concerns in the US that other defectors are at risk. PM May visiting Scandinavia to discuss Russia, and other matters. UK political debate continues.

Multiple reports on the Syrian attack – and previously policy failures.

At UN, indignant Russia protests culpability in Skripal poisoning, calls accusations fake news, absurd propaganda, collective psychosis – To Inform is to Influence

The author, Paula Chertok, @PaulaChertok, is my heroine.   Paula Chertok is a linguist, lawyer, teacher, journalist, and writer. She was born in Soviet Russia to Holocaust survivors from Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. She has degrees in Russian Literature, Slavic Languages, Linguistics, and Law, from Rutgers University and the University of California, Berkeley. She covers an eclectic range…

Russia launches extraordinary attack on The Queen claiming Sergei Skripal’s cat was killed in her name – Royal Central

Russian State TV has launched an extraordinary attack on The Queen, claiming that the 91-year-old Monarch is responsible for the death of a former Russian spy’s cat. In an evening news bulletin, it was stated that the cat, who was called Nash von Drake, was “caught, killed and cremated” in the name of The Queen. The newsreader added that the cat’s “execution” occurred after Her Majesty and experts decided to euthanise the animal.

Skripals might be held in detention in Britain, their family suspects

The project is oriented towards the revelation of corrupted officials, organized crime representatives, who are tied to the law enforcement and ruling establishments.

Yulia Skripal: Family of poisoning victim fear she is being held in ‘DETENTION’ by Britain | Daily Star

RELATIVES of Yulia Skripal believe she is not allowed to say what she really feels and that she is being held in “detention” by Britain.

Yulia Skripal’s family fear she is being held in ‘detention’ by Britain | Daily Mail Online

Ex-spy’s cousin, Natalia Pestova (pictured), spoke out in Siberia after reports the poisoned 33-year-old and her father Sergei could be given political asylum or new identities, possibly in America.

Russia spy latest: Yulia Skripal’s family fear she is being DETAINED in UK | UK | News |

FAMILY members of Salisbury attack victim Yulia Skripal fear she is being detained in the UK and barred from saying what she feels after saying she did not sound like herself in recent discussions, it has been reported.

A close examination of key Russian claims |

As the war of words over the nerve agent attack on the Skripals hots up do Moscow s denials really make sense

Russians are no angels but we’ve been here before | The National

IT’S now more than a month since the news broke about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. From the very beginning, I was uncomfortable…

Boris is not the only Russia baiter | spiked

Too many today think Russia is to blame for everything.

Russian who planned spy nerve agent attack ‘runs hit squad known as The Cleaners and is a sleeper agent STILL in UK’ – Mirror Online

Former KGB man Boris Karpichkov, 59, reveals how the murder plot in Salisbury likely unfolded

Soviet scientist backs UK over Skripal poisoning

“I have no doubt that it was precisely A-234 which was used!” Mr Uglev said in comments emailed to the FT from his retirement home on the Black Sea coast. “As a Russian citizen, I do not accept the great-power chauvinism fanned by the regime of Kremlin-Lubyanka thieves and killers, and therefore fully understand and support the policy of the British government towards Russia,” Mr Uglev said. “At the same time, as a professional chemist, I perfectly understand that we will not get 100 per cent proof of the guilt of the Kremlin-Lubyanka killers, neither from the English specialists, nor from the experts of the OPCW,” added Mr Uglev.

I developed deadly nerve agent, says Russian researcher – The National

A former member of Soviet research team that created nerve agents says he was “probably” behind the substance that was used to attack the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, according to a newspaper report. Vladimir Uglev told the Financial Times that he was responsible for developing a compound in 1975 that he believed was used to attack the pair in Salisbury, southern England, last month. The victims remain in hospital, where they are recovering and off the critical list. Mr Uglev backed the British government’s version of events which has blamed Moscow for the attack and started a worldwide expulsion of diplomats and other measures in response. Moscow denies involvement in the attack and has a series of alternative explanations for who was responsible. <p>&nbsp;</p>

Boris Johnson | Only Russia could have committed this crime — MercoPress

by Boris Johnson – Sometimes it seems as if running a good cover-up is the main job of the Kremlin. No other government devotes as much time and effort to the business of trying to sabotage or discredit international inquiries.

White House fears other Russia defectors in Sergei Skripal spy swap could be attacked

The White House fears the other Russian defectors returned to the West in the Sergei Skripal spy swap will be attacked by the Kremlin.

May makes Scandinavia trip amid row with Russia over Salisbury attack | Politics | The Guardian

PM to hold talks with Danish and Swedish counterparts, with the ongoing threat posed by Russia top of the agenda

Russian message intercepted after Skripal attack | News | The Times

A message that said “the package has been delivered” was intercepted en route to an official in Moscow shortly after Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury, it was reported. The intercept was part of an intelligence package shown to Britain’s allies before scores of Russian spies and diplomats were ousted from more than a dozen countries, according to a report in the Sunday Express. The report cited “insiders” who had seen the intelligence and confirmed that there were two messages intercepted by RAF analysts in southern Cyprus on March 4, the day Mr Skripal, 66, a former spy, was poisoned along with his daughter. The paper said that one message had been sent from Syria to “an official” in Moscow, and that this…

Chilling ‘Russian message’ intercepted on DAY of Sergei Skripal and his daughter poisoned with nerve agent

SUSPICIOUS message reportedly sent from Syria to a Russian officer in Moscow was part of the British effort to prove Putin was behind the Salisbury attack. Picked up by an RAF analyst stationed in Cyprus, the message read ‘the package is delivered’ and added that two people had ‘made a successful egress’.

‘Boutique’ form of Novichok used in Skripal spy attack allowed Russian agents time to escape

The nerve agent gel that was smeared on the handle of Sergei Skripal’s front door had been tailored to slow its effects, allowing his would-be assassins more time to escape, it has been claimed

Skripals to be offered witness protection amid safety fears

British police are drawing up elaborate plans to guarantee the safety of the victims of the Salisbury poisoning once they have been discharged from hospital.

Sergei, Yulia Skripal to get new identities to live in the US, report says | Fox News

A Russian ex-spy and his daughter, who nearly died last month after they were exposed to a rare nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury, will be offered new identities and the chance to be resettled in America, The Times of London reported Sunday.

Tories attack Russia and ‘useful idiot’ Jeremy Corbyn over Salisbury poisoning

The Labour leader is being accused of giving ”succour’ to Moscow propaganda and of having “let the British people down”.

Boris Johnson ‘not helpful’ to attack Jeremy Corbyn over spy poisoning

The Foreign Secretary accused the Labour leader of lending ‘false credibility’ to Moscow.

Boris Johnson calling Corbyn Russia’s ‘useful idiot’ was ‘not helpful’ | Metro News

Boris Johnson calling Jeremy Corbyn Russia’s ‘useful idiot’ has been criticised by one of his own ministers as ‘not helpful at all’.

Staff at Government’s chemical warfare HQ ‘have lost confidence in leadership as hundreds desert jobs’ – Mirror Online

Experts say a multi-million pound funding cut and the mass exodus of staff have left morale at rock-bottom

Russia prepares request for meeting with Scotland Yard into probe of mysterious death of Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov | The Independent

Russia is preparing to request a meeting with the head of Scotland Yard over its investigation into the suspected murder of Russian businessman, Nikolai Glushkov.

The Note: Trump’s collision course with Putin – ABC News

A “big price” looks like the new “red line.” The TAKE with Rick Klein A “big price” looks like the new “red line.” Days after musing openly about removing U.S. troops from Syria, President Donald Trump is now watching – and tweeting – as the Syrian regime and its Russian backers stand in open defiance of international norms. Another humanitarian disaster in Syria was quickly met with tough talk from the American president. Trump is promising a “big price” for the Assad regime and its backers, including Russian president Vladimir Putin. The next move – perhaps even the kind of move President Barack Obama famously didn’t take – looks like it belongs to Trump. It puts him on a collision course, yet again, with Putin. “This is a defining moment, Mr. President,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, on “This Week.” “You need to follow through with that tweet.”

U.S. officials confirm Israel hit Syria after suspected Ghouta chemical attack

The officials said Israel told the U.S. in advance about the strike, which came after President Trump condemned a suspected chemical attack by the Assad regime.

Russia Warns Against Strike in Syria as U.S. Calls for Response – Bloomberg

Reports of a chemical attack outside Syria’s capital thrust the U.S. and Russia into new confrontation on Sunday, with Washington calling for an immediate international response and Moscow warning against any military strike.

Russia Says Israel Carried Out Missile Attack on Syrian Base – Bloomberg

Israeli aircraft carried out an attack on an airbase in Syria early Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said, shifting suspicion away from the U.S. after President Donald Trump had vowed retaliation for a reported chemical weapons attack.

Syria and Russia blame Israel for strikes on airbase – CNN

Syria and it most powerful ally, Russia, blamed Israel for striking an airbase in the war-torn country Monday, following a suspected chemical gas attack.

Israel ‘behind attack on Syrian airbase that killed Iranian soldiers’ | News | The Times

Israel is thought to have carried out an attack on a Syrian airbase near Palmyra last night, killing several Iranian military personnel.The air strike took place 24 hours after a chemical weapons attack, widely believed to have been carried out by the Syrian government, which killed dozens of peopl

Three Iranians were killed in air strike on Syrian air base on Sunday

Three Iranians were killed in an air strike on a Syrian air base near Homs on Sunday, Iran’s Fars news agency said, as Syria and its main ally Russia blamed Israel for carrying out the attack.

Macron, Trump agree toxic gas used in Syria, vow ‘strong, joint response’ – France 24

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump agreed in a phone call that chemical weapons had been used in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta on April 7, and would work together to establish clear responsibility for their use.

US denies Syrian state media reports of US missile attack on Homs air base – CNN

The Pentagon has denied Syrian claims the US attacked a Homs air base Sunday, hours after President Donald Trump tweeted “Animal Assad” would have a “big price to pay” for an alleged chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma.

Syria says U.S. suspected of attacking air base but Pentagon denies it

Syrian state TV said on Monday the United States was suspected of striking an air base hours after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of a “big price to pay” as aid groups said dozens of people were killed by poison gas in a rebel-held town.

Airstrikes hit Assad air base after deadly chemical attack, state TV reports | Fox News

Syrian state TV and witnesses said late Sunday that airstrikes had hit a military airport near the city of Homs shortly after a suspected chemical attack that killed at least 40 people in a suburb of the capital city, Damascus, over the weekend.

Airstrikes hit Syria air base: Syrian state media | TheHill

At least one air strike hit a military airport in Syria, according to the country’s state media.

Russia says Syria gas attack reports ‘fabricated’

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday reports of a gas attack in Syria were bogus and any military action taken based on such “invented and fabricated excuses” could lead to severe consequences.

Burning Eyes, Foaming Mouths: Years of Suspected Chemical Attacks in Syria – The New York Times

In 2013, President Bashar al-Assad agreed to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Five years later, attacks using chemical weapons persist.

With Russian backing, Assad understands that he can do whatever he wants – Syria –

Even if the U.S. carries out another punitive attack at this time, Assad knows that he can do almost anything he feels like, with Russian backing, and that the Americans are on their way out

What is sarin nerve gas, how does the nerve agent kill you and when has it been used in Syria?

Highly toxic chemical weapon can kill in minutes and is estimated to be 26 times deadlier than cyanide

Syria attack shows we now live in a world where using chemical weapons is considered OK — and that should terrify us | Fox News

We are rapidly reaching a tipping point where the idea of using chemical weapons to achieve a goal in international politics is somehow becoming OK.

Syria: A Year On, Chemical Weapons Attacks Persist | Human Rights Watch

International efforts to deter chemical attacks in Syria in the year since the devastating sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017, have been ineffective, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has collated and analyzed evidence of chemical weapons attacks in Syria between August 21, 2013, the day of the deadliest chemical weapon attack in Syria to date, and February 25, 2018, when the Syrian government used chlorine in the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

Burning Eyes, Foaming Mouths: Years of Suspected Chemical Attacks in Syria – The New York Times

In 2013, President Bashar al-Assad agreed to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Five years later, attacks using chemical weapons persist.

The Logic of Assad’s Brutality – The Atlantic

No meaningful American response will be forthcoming, no matter how hideous the war crime.

The preventable war crime: How the West failed to prevent one Syrian chemical attack after another – Syria –

In the history of war, no war crime has been so well documented and so predictable to those who had it in their power to prevent it from recurring

Trump rips Putin for backing ‘Animal Assad’ in Syria attack – NY Daily News

President Trump warned there would be a “big price to pay” for a deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Trump after chemical attack: Russia ‘responsible’ for backing Syria | TheHill

President Trump on Sunday had strong words for Russian President Vladimir Putin following what he called a “mindless chemical attack in Syria.”

Trump Vows ‘Big Price’ for Syria Attack, Raising Prospect of Missile Strike – The New York Times

The president laid blame for the attack partly on President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, the first time since his election he has criticized the Russian leader by name on Twitter.

Trump blames Putin, Obama for ‘Animal Assad,’ tweets ‘big price’ after reports of Syrian chemical attack – CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump called out Russian President Vladimir Putin by name on Sunday for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and warned of a “big price” after reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria almost a year to the day since the US struck a Syrian air field after a previous attack.

Trump Warns of ‘Big Price’ After Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria – WSJ

The president warned that Syria’s president could pay a “big price” over the suspected chemical attack. In a series of tweets, Mr. Trump also issued rare criticism of Vladimir Putin and denounced Bashar al-Assad as an “animal.”

Trump calls out Putin by name over Syria atrocity | Newsday

So much for personal chemistryOn the 444th day of his presidency, Donald Trump found a reason to tweet something bad about Russia’s Vladimir Putin.“President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for

Donald Trump condemns chemical attack in Syria and says Vladimir Putin will pay ‘big price’

Donald Trump launched an unprecedented attack on Vladimir Putin for Russia’s role in propping up the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad as he demanded urgent action to help the victims of what he called a &quot;mindless&quot; chemical attack.

Syria chemical attack: Trump blames Putin, Obama for ‘mindless’ attack

President Trump issued a tweet-storm in response to an alleged gas attack on rebels by Syrian government forces, ripping “that animal Assad” and laying blame for his power on Putin, Iran and Obama.

Syria chemical attack would be eighth since Trump took office

At least 42 people died and 500 were injured late Saturday in the town of Douma, many of them while sheltering in basements during an artillery and bombing attack, rescue and medical workers told the Associated Press.

Obama’s Chemical Weapons Deal Can’t Stop Syria’s Chemical Attacks – The Atlantic

The atrocities keep coming.

Did Trump’s tweets on the Syria attack lock him into an even bigger military retaliation?

First Trump wanted out of Syria, then he attacked Assad as an “animal” for the chemical attack. Will another U.S. missile attack be next?

John McCain Accuses Trump Of ‘Emboldening’ Assad With Talk Of Withdrawal

“I want to get out,” Trump said last week.

How Trump might counter ‘Animal Assad’ – CNN

After a suspected chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghouta, President Trump must make a difficult decision about America’s involvement in war-torn Syria, Samantha Vinograd writes.

Syria attack: Assad’s calculated show of defiance | News | The Times

It was exactly a year since President Trump sent cruise missiles whistling into Syrian regime airbases, punishment for a sarin gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.Initial reports of what happened on Saturday night in Douma are unclear about the extent of casualties and whi