"Russiagate" and "Russophobia" Home Page

The (Alleged) Poisoning
of Sergei Skripal

By Vince Milum, J.D., MBA, CPCU, ARM
Copyright © 2018.  All rights reserved.

Original Post (March 15, 2018):
Per Wikipedia:

  • Sergei Viktorovich Skripal, (born 23 June 1951) is a former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for the UK's intelligence services during the 1990s and early 2000s. In December 2004, he was arrested by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and later tried, convicted of high treason, and imprisoned. He settled in the UK in 2010 following the Illegals Program spy swap. On 4 March 2018, Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who was visiting from Moscow, were poisoned with [Novichok], a nerve agent. As of 9 March 2018, they remain in a critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital. The poisoning is being investigated as an attempted murder....

Archive Link:

Again, per Wikipedia:

  • Novichok is a series of nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s.... Initially designated K-84 and later renamed A-230, there are more than 100 Novichok variants. The most versatile was A-232 (Novichok-5). Novichok agents have never been used on the battlefield. Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said that one such agent was used in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in England in March 2018.... The New York Times and the BBC reported that U.S. officials said the Chemical Research Institute, in Nukus, Soviet Uzbekistan was the major research and testing site for Novichok agents. Small, experimental batches of the weapons may have been tested on the nearby Ustyurt plateau [which, per Wikipedia, "is a central Asian plateau in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan"].

Archive Link:

As you will note from the above, "Novichok is a series of nerve agents [i.e., there are multiple variants and so far the British have been unwilling to identify the specific Novichock agent] developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s."  Also note from the above that the principal production site was in "Uzbekistan," with additional production possibly conducted in "Kazakhstan."  This signifies two important things: We are talking about a class of agents that have been around for four decades and this (alleged) nerve agent likely came not from Russia but from a former Soviet satellite i.e., the (alleged) nerve agent (which the British are refusing to positively identify at this time) likely predates the founding of modern Russia and the presidency of Vladimir Putin and, most significantly, was likely not produced in Russia.

In solving any crime including this (alleged) one one must examine three factors: (1)
Means, (2) Motive, and (3) Opportunity.

Let's begin with a
"means" possibility not discussed in western media...

Per Wikipedia:

  • Since its independence in 1991, Uzbekistan has been working with the government of the United States to dismantle and decontaminate the sites where the Novichok agents and other chemical weapons were tested and developed. Between 1999 and 2002, the United States Department of Defense dismantled the major research and testing site for Novichok at the Chemical Research Institute in Nukus, under a $6 million Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

Archive Link:
This unquestionably establishes the fact that the United States and, derivatively, its NATO partners including the United Kingdom had not only the means to commit / facilitate this crime, but access to the actual Soviet Novichok agents themselves.

Now, let's look at

The British Coalition Government of Theresa May is teetering on collapse.  If elections were to be held today and a national crisis not be a factor, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party would likely prevail.  Again, since May's government stood a good chance of falling and elections occurring in which May and the Conservatives would be defeated (as well as the few remaining pro-war Blairites in Labour), there was and is a very strong motive for pro-war factions to create a crisis.

In the United States this past week, the U.S. House of Representatives ended a major portion of its Russiagate investigation by concluding the Trump Presidential Campaign did NOT (illegally) "collude" with Russia.  This provoked the neoconservative and neoliberal elements in America into clamoring for a new reason to generate anti-Russian animus.  The Skripal affair provided the "perfect poison" if you will.

Therefore, we can conclude that the British and the United States both had Means and Motive to carry out this crime.

What about

As basically a "defector" to the British, Sergei Skripal's safety was entrusted to Great Britain's MI-5 and MI-6.  How (or better Why) did these two elite security forces "allow" this to happen?

To blame the Russians without providing the public with any discussion of the above is criminal in and of itself.  To blame the Russians for an MI-5 / MI-6 security lapse really arouses my suspicions.

I am waiting for the evidence.  I can and will be persuaded if the evidence irrefutably points to Russia.  But, for now, I remember the United States and the British assuring me that (before over a million people died unnecessarily) "weapons of mass destruction" were going to be found in Iraq and the US-led invasion of Iraq would be but "a cakewalk."  So, allow me to be a "Doubting Thomas" for the time being.

About the Author: Mr. Milum served in U.S. Military Intelligence during the Reagan Administration.  In addition, he has a Law Degree from the University of Missouri and is a nationally-certified risk-manager (ARM).
Postscript to Original Post (March 20, 2018): Subsequent to Mr. Milum's essay above, Pat Buchanan wrote the following (which includes many of the points made by Mr. Milum):

  • Moments ago, the following was posted to the Pat Buchanan website...
    Did Putin Order the Salisbury Hit?
    March 20, 2018
    ... What is missing here is the Kremlin’s
    motive for the crime.
    Skripal was convicted of betraying Russian spies in 2006. He spent four years in prison and was exchanged in 2010 for Russian spies in the U.S. If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?
    Why wait until eight years after Skripal had been sent to England? And how would this murder on British soil advance any Russian interest?
    Putin is no fool. A veteran intelligence agent, he knows that no rival intel agency such as the CIA or MI6 would trade spies with Russia if the Kremlin were to go about killing them after they have been traded....
    The story of North Vietnamese gunboats attacking U.S. destroyers, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and 58,000 dead Americans in Vietnam, proved not to be entirely accurate.
    We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.
    Some 4,500 U.S. dead and tens of thousands of wounded paid for that rush to judgment. And some of those clamoring for war then are visible in the vanguard of those clamoring for confronting Russia.
    Before we set off on Cold War II with Russia — leading perhaps to the shooting war we avoided in Cold War I — let’s try to get this one right.

To read Pat Buchanan's complete article, CLICK HERE


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Wikipedia Disclaimer by Vince Milum: I am well aware of the limitations of Wikipedia, however, I choose it as a reference source (when sharing articles with others in an informal / non-technical manner) because it is both free and readily accessible, thereby eliminating any unnecessary hardship for "non-insiders" to sufficiently grasp my writings without the need to resort to a system of over-technicalities of formal citation merely to convey a simple point.  When writing a more formal or academic piece, I assure you that I use more traditional reference sources and citation methods as is custom to whatever audience I may be writing for at that time.



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