Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Russia-watchers are being kept busy. There is a lot to see, read, and ponder. None of it good for Russia, especially for the GRU. Everybody hates the GRU now, including the FSB and the SVR. Poor tradecraft, sloppy techniques, and even more pitiful lack of restraint. I don’t believe they’ll survive the week, they are both too much of an embarrassment to Russia.
I tried to find the Konstantin Lapin smear piece on the Skripals but found nothing – yet. It’s not on REN’s website… Perhaps they were ashamed and took it off. Yeah, right.
Russia has dug itself a deep hole to crawl out of, but is, instead, digging deeper.
Russia’s “epic fail” week in the propaganda war has been followed by a catastrophic weekend, to rub a few more pounds of coarse salt into Russia’s self-inflicted and very much bleeding wound:
- HM Govt sources via UK media report on a paranoid witch hunt in Russia following orders from the Vozhd to find the “traitor” in the Russian IC who gave the UK the identities of the two Salisbury GRUshniks (as if they had not already burned themselves by shoddy tradecraft in the UK);
- HM Govt sources via UK media also disclose that other Russian intel agencies (FSB, SVR) are not happy with the GRU’s operation in Salisbury and apparently accuse the GRU of “crossing the line” – both SVR and FSB are now paying for the GRU’s actions across the West;
- Russia’s REN TV, under the directorship of the Vozhd’s alleged girlfriend, is reported to have aired a defamatory program making unrepeatable “sick allegations” about Col. Skripal and his daughter Yulia, attracting further criticism from UK media;
- More details revealed on the two GRUshniks’ passport records;
- UK media is reporting that police are now seeking two further GRU personnel involved in the Salisbury attack, including a medic dubbed “Dr. Novichok” tasked with ensuring the hit team did not disable or kill itself with the CW agent;
- UK media also reporting, following interviews with hotel staff and former hotel guests, that the GRUshniks’ smiles on the CCTV footage were the result of a “drug-fuelled night of ‘cannabis and prostitutes’ at £75-a-night London hotel” (also explaining shoddy tradecraft);
- Pussy Riot spokesman and former partner of Tolokonnikova, Verzilov flew to Berlin and reported to be recovering well from a yet to be identified toxin that attacked his nervous system;
Russian media continue with bizarre claims of Western involvement in liquidation of Zakharchenko. Vostok-2018 EX involves large amphibious assault component, no doubt intended as a demonstration to the Ukrainians. Multiple OpEds on Salisbury attack.
Update on Syria. More mayhem in Turkey.
Observation: since 2014 there have been countless reports from Ukraine of Russian military personnel in Donbass overindulging in alcohol, recreational substances, and prostitutes, and troops in combat showing evidence of drug abuse to the point of impairment in combat resulting in high Russian body counts. It is remarkable that two middle-ranking officers on an assassination mission would allow themselves such indulgence.
Kremlin intelligence chiefs were blindsided by Britain identifying Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov as GRU officers last month – and believe a traitor was responsible for their unmasking
A GLOBAL search operation to hunt down the “traitor” who disclosed the identities of the Novichok attack suspects is under way on the orders of Vladimir Putin, it has been reported.
The Gru, Russia’s military intelligence service, have been accused of ‘crossing the line’ by rival agencies over the way they attempted to kill the Skripals. Russia’s secret service, the GRU, have been accused of crossing the line by rivals. Officials believed the duo were wheeled out on Russian state TV as a punishment. This includes multiple sightings of them on CCTV walking around Salisbury.
Russia’s GRU – blamed by Scotland Yard for the murder of Sergei Skripal – is known as that country’s most shadowy intelligence agency, with a reputation for operations that are both aggressive and risky.
THE Kremlin sunk to a new low in its propaganda war over the Salisbury poisonings with disgraceful lies about Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia aired on Russian television. Former Federal Security Service officer Konstantin Lapin made extraordinary allegations in a documentary aired by REN TV, a media firm chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparent new partner, Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gold-winning gymnast. The smear campaign follows claims by suspected Novichok poisoners Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov that they only went to Salisbury to see the Wiltshire city’s tourist sites last March. Lapin served time in a high-security jail with Skripal, 67, who was convicted of treason for spying for Britain. He claimed he was made aware of “strange rumors” about Skripal, adding: “I can’t give you any evidence.” He made a sick allegation which this newspaper has chosen not to repeat. Lapin described his former cellmate as a “faceless man”, adding: “He was present everywhere but nowhere. It is something typical for all spies. He was an intelligent man, this is true. He could speak two or three languages.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized a report by Bellingcat on the Salisbury suspects’ passport data, saying the website is linked to special services which leak misinformation under the guise of investigations.
According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Bellingcat’s experts failed to provide evidence that Petrov and Boshirov were linked to the Salisbury poisoning case
While the identities of the alleged suspects in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal were released days ago, the British media now claim that two more individuals are wanted.
Other than being the site of probably one of the most famous poisoning attempts since the time of the Borgias, the city of Salisbury houses a number of tourist attractions, some of which are well known throughout the world.
«The act of terror was committed with involvement of the SBU’s 5th foreign counterintelligence department,» Pushilin was quoted by the Donetsk news agency as saying
Some 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 military aircraft and two naval fleets are taking part in the Vostok-2018 drills in Siberia and waters off Russia’s east coast.
The vast war game – run in partnership with the Chinese Army – was Moscow’s the largest military exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union
Russia’s week-long military games continued as the nation displayed its self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher.
Missiles fly and fighters soar at Russia’s Far East military drills.
From disinformation to election hacking to attacking trains and banks, the Kremlin tested it all in Ukraine. TERRELL JERMAINE STARR MAY/JUNE 2018 ISSUE Oleh Derevianko was on the road to his parents’ village in Ukraine on a bright June day in 2017 when he got a call from the CEO of a telecommunications company. Computer systems were…
As alleged Russian plots, conspiracies and crimes unfold against the West, prosecutors and pundits routinely blame Vladimir Putin or a circle of Kremlin insiders said to be acting on direct orders from the president.
Photographs on German media show Pyotr Verzilov, who was allegedly poisoned, on a stretcher.
Pussy riot member Pyotr Verzilov regains consciousness. He’s been hospitalized for three days and friends fear he was poisoned. Doctors at Moscow Sklifosovsky Institute treating Pyotr Verzilov have ruled out the risk of a brain hemorrhage, Verzilov’s partner, fellow Pussy Riot member Veronika Nikulshina, told Meduza. He was hospitalized on September 11 in critical condition after the sudden loss of his vision, speech, and mobility
Russian activist Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the anti-Kremlin rock band Pussy Riot and the dissident art troupe Voina, has reportedly arrived in Berlin on a medical flight from Moscow to continue t…
Der als „Flitzer“ im WM-Finale in Moskau weltberühmt gewordene „Pussy Riot“-Aktivist Pjotr Werzilow ist am Samstagabend zur Behandlung in Berlin gelandet.
The Real Russia. Today.
The US needs international assistance to find the secret assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said former US Secretary of State …
French government think tanks have issued 50 recommendations to combat “information manipulations.” The recommendations are part of an exhaustive new study “Les manipulations de l’information. un défi pour nos démocraties” (“Information manipulations. A challenge for our democracies”) published by the Center for Analysis, Planning, and Strategy (CAPS) — attached to the ministry of foreign affairs — and the Institute for Strategic Research of the Military School (IRSEM) — attached to the ministry of the armed forces. The study focuses chiefly on the Kremlin’s disinformation efforts, although it also details disinformation campaigns conducted by China and the Gulf States. It warns that information manipulation, defined as “the intentional and massive distribution of false or biased news for hostile political purposes,” aims to “undermine the foundations of our democracy” and thereby constitute a threat to national security. Its recommendations are addressed to governments, civil society, private actors, and the general public. Editor’s Note
After Russia occupied Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine, the country faced economic sanctions from Western countries, including the EU and USA. It also faced political sanctions in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), its key institution, having been suspended in its voting rights. After an unsuccessful attempt to be fully restored in PACE at the end of 2017, the Russian delegation is attempting another comeback in October 2018 – and triggering alarms that this would end PACE as a human rights protector. Here is everything you need to know about one of the most disturbing scenarios unraveling in a European institution.
INVESTIGATORS said last night they had uncovered proof that Salisbury nerve agent suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are Russian secret service agents. A joint probe by online investigations agency Bellingcat and news site Russia Insider claimed to have found passport records under the names Alexander Yevgenievich Petrov and Ruslan Timurovich Boshirov for the two men suspected of trying to murder ex-double agent Sergei Skripal with the deadly novichock nerve agent on March 4.
British intelligence are hunting a medic known as Dr Novichok they say accompanied the hitmen sent to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
The revelation comes days after the identities of the men suspected of the failed hit were revealed
THE identities of the men suspected of the failed assassination in Salisbury were released days ago – and now two more wanted men have emerged including a “medic”.
HITMEN Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov kept guests awake by partying through the night in their £75-a-night twin room in East London with drugs and a prostitute. The hitmen went on to argue with hotel staff over their behaviour as they checked out the following morning — before catching a train to Salisbury.
Russian agents Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov reportedly kept guests awake at their £75-a-night hotel in London. Witnesses say cannabis wafted from their room in the City Stay Hotel in Bow.
THE SALISBURY Novichok attackers had a night of drugs and prostitutes before poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March, a guest staying at the same hotel has claimed.
A guest staying in the same hotel claimed he could smell weed coming from the suspects’ room and said he heard “really loud sex”
On September 14, the open-source intelligence group Bellingcat and the investigative news website The Insider released passport data belonging to Alexander Petrov, one of the men identified by British authorities as a suspect in the March 4 nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, showing that his passport files contain various “top-secret” markings that seem to contradict his claims that he’s a mere civilian.
Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bochirov said to have blank records in Russian resident database prior to 2009.
Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who are wanted for the Skripal novichok attack, are linked to Russian defence ministry
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The Bellingcat and The Insider in a joint investigation managed to confirm the involvement in the special services of Russians Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov
Read The Insider Russian report on this same topic here. An ongoing Bellingcat investigation conducted jointly with The Insider Russia has confirmed through uncovered passport data that the two Russian nationals identified by UK authorities as prime suspects in the Novichok poisonings on British soil are linked to Russian security services. This finding directly contradicts claims by the Russian president on 12 September 2018, and by the two men in an interview broadcast on RT one day later, that they are civilians who traveled to Salisbury for a tourist getaway.
It’s just one of several major holes in their story.
Travel documents used by a Russian agent using the identity of Alexander Petrov are marked as ‘top secret’ and include a phone number for the Russian defence ministry.
Carole Cadwalladr @carolecadwalla Its ambitions are to disrupt Britain’s politics, so why are the government and security services seemingly in denial about the threat? Sat 15 Sep 2018 16.00 EDT Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, identified as Russian intelligence officers, are captured on CCTV in Salisbury. Photograph: London Metropolitan Police/EPA Have you been to Salisbury? Have you visited…
Its ambitions are to disrupt Britain’s politics, so why are the government and security services seemingly in denial about the threat?
by Hadas Gold @CNNMoneySeptember 14, 2018: 6:41 AM ET Russia’s state-sponsored television network RT was already at risk of losing its UK license over coverage of the Salisbury nerve agent attack. An interview with the prime suspects leaves it skating on even thinner ice. The network broadcast the interview with the suspects in the Novichok poisoning of…
The Russian government made an ambitious attempt this week to convince the public that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are gay.
The video and audio is at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-45517388/skripal-novichok-poisoning-rt-editor-hangs-up-on-newsnightObviously, Margarita Simonyan hit a wall beyond which she would be forced to tell the truth. RT is a propaganda arm of the Russian government. </end editorial> The journalist who interviewed the two Russians suspected of the Salisbury Novichok attack hung up on a BBC presenter after “the manner…
The journalist who interviewed the suspects in the Novichok attack took offence at Kirsty Wark’s question.
Confronted with the truth about its assassins, the Kremlin simply doubles down. ….. Why did she bother? Or, more accurately: Why was she told to bother? Because the production of blatant lies is useful. Although many in Britain mocked the interview (playing along, the @SalisburyCath account tweeted a lovely photograph of its “123-meter spire”), far-left activists and conspiracy theorists have already seized on it, picked it apart and found enough shreds of “evidence” to keep their arguments going. Pro-Russian businesspeople, politicians and columnists who want to stop further sanctions will find something in it, too. Some will surely declare that this whole thing is so absurd, we’ll never know what really happened and we should just forget about it. This type of tactic has a history. At the time of the invasion of Crimea, Vladimir Putin insisted that the Russian troops marching across the peninsula were locals who had picked up their army equipment in “military surplus shops.” Absurd though it was, that lie was just plausible enough to muddy the waters. Remember, talk shows at the time were debating “Is this an invasion?” rather than “What are we going to do about it?” That worked for Russia — and also for those in the West who wanted to do nothing. The same will be true of this story. Russian money matters, not just in London but in Berlin, Paris and farther afield. Those who depend on it will happily lap up the holiday tales of Boshirov and Petrov as an excuse to ignore their crimes, postpone sanctions and change the subject. There could be other explanations for this performance as well. The sheer effrontery of the interview, like the effrontery of this attack, sends a message: We don’t care what any of you think. If we want to kill Russians in Britain, we will. And if we want to turn this into a farce, we’ll do that, too. It was Putin himself who declared that the state had identified the two men (“ordinary civilians”) and who called for them to be interviewed. While we were laughing at the incompetent hit men, he was surely laughing at the British, and the West more broadly, who have proved completely incapable of stopping them.
Theresa May has been warned that the Government must "get its act together" over its response to the Salisbury attack, as it emerged that a new suite of sanctions against corrupt Russian officials is to be shelved for up to two years.
British MIA is not intended to introduce sanctions against Russia in the case of Skripal until after Brexit
RT’s interview with the UK’s suspects in the Skripal case has triggered a troll storm on TripAdvisor, as the page of Salisbury Cathedral was raided by users posing as Russian agents. The fun-making prompted the page to be locked.
The suspects went on record to say they had only been in the town to see the ‘wonderful city’, but many are refusing to accept their story.
SALISBURY’S MP has blasted “absurd” claims that the two prime suspects in the nerve agent attack were visiting the city because they…
Andrew Murray played a key role in a campaign to support pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine but has sinceangrily denied being part of any ‘so-called propaganda network’.
Jeremy Corbyn’s most influential Commons adviser has been barred from entering Ukraine on the grounds that he is a national security threat because of his alleged links to Vladimir Putin’s ‘global propaganda network.’ Instead of blaming Putin’s regime for the bloodshed, Mr Murray has pointed the finger at the pro-Western Kyiv government for obeying the ‘dictates’ of the EU and NATO.
In a blistering takedown of U.S. policy toward Syria, Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Thursday said “it’s time to act” in the war-torn nation as dictator Bashar Assad’s forces prepare to launch an assault on Idlib that many fear could one of the bloodiest campaigns in the ongoing war.
Syria has been holding off, at least temporarily, on an offensive to retake the last major opposition stronghold in the country, as tensions grow between Turkey and its ally Russia.
Israeli missiles are suspected to have struck an Iranian arms shipment at Damascus airport late Saturday, the latest in a string of attacks aimed at eroding Tehran’s military foothold in Syria.
A Syrian military source claims air defences shot down some of the missiles
French police say windows were smashed but embassy did not wish to file complaint
The Iranian Embassy in Paris was damaged Friday by a group of people that a local police official says was made up of individuals and Iran’s Foreign Ministry has accused of being extremists Saturday while complaining of an allegedly slow and weak response from law enforcement in the French capital.
Europe should take action to neutralize the consequences of the U.S. decision to quit a 2015 Iran nuclear accord to ensure its own long-term economic interests, Iran’s Foreign Minister said in an interview published on Saturday.
Finance ministers of Germany, France and the U.K. have been working together to move the plan forward.
As a large-scale military campaign in Syria’s last rebel stronghold looms, Syrians on both sides of the divide are bracing for a bloody battle.
Rebel-controlled Idlib province witnesses massive protests, as Turkey announces new meeting between Erdogan and Putin.
Turkish police have detained hundreds of workers protesting over labor conditions at Istanbul’s new airport, a giant project championed by President Tayyip Erdogan and due to open next month, a union leader said on Saturday.
TURKISH riot police have crushed a protest over labour conditions at Istanbul’s new airport by arresting 500 workers and firing tear gas.
A purge against tens of thousands of dissidents and alleged terrorists has filled Turkey’s prisons to bursting. Now President Erdogan wants to build more jails.
Houthi forces fighting a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen fired a missile over the border targeting the Jizan Industrial City in southern Saudi Arabia on Saturday, but Saudi air defense forces said they had intercepted and destroyed the projectile.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled down on his criticism of former Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday, accusing Kerry of “unseemly” contacts within Iran’s government.
Fox News Published on Sep 16, 2018 Sec. Mike Pompeo slams the former secretary of state over his involvement with Iran; Joe Lieberman reacts on ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’