112 thoughts on “Novichok again!”

  1. You give too much credence when, to anyone who has followed the UK authorities’ ludicrous allegations and non-existent professionalism in the Skripal investigation, this Merkel accusation with even less facts and less transparency given than their UK sibling propagandists, is laughable.
    Russia has a problem, true – one of PR damage control.
    Lukashenko’s claim that an intercepted call between Warsaw and Berlin shows that Merkel was lying to create international pressure on Russia during the Belarusian unrest is more believable than the novichok claim.
    Any scientific drill-down into any aspect of this case will favor the Russians. I predict that the non-transparency will again be on the Western side – Charite can hide behind patient confidentiality – as surely as the Skripal disappearance by MI5/6.

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    1. “Yalensis was begging for my thoughts on the Navalny poisoning. You can read them on RT here. Comments welcome on this site.”

      *****

      God ole court appointed Yale.

      Others besides Russia can produce Novichok, which takes different forms. Navalny had adversaries. To date, we just have a German statement making a claim.

      How about the idea that a non-Russian government source got to Navalny? In the US, Repubs aren’t always directly blamed for violence against non-Whites. Ditto the Dems when cops are attacked.

      When reviewing his past, Navalny’s insensitive comments towards minorities continue to be very much downplayed in Western mass media.

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      1. Along with the below video, some excellent posted comments, which are far more insightful than what Evelyn Farkas has said at her Twitter account and during a BBC segment where she wasn’t challenged.

        Call the FBI! (Kidding of course.)

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  2. Germany will not share any data – that’s almost certain. There are multiple precedents of that. Nor do they need to – when was the last time media demanded transparency in a case against Russia?

    And I personally think they don’t even have any data in the first place.

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  3. Again – Russia should not respond to jokes. No one takes this stuff seriously, least of all Merkel. Russia should ignore it too.

    “Now the Germans have named the substance, and it couldn’t be worse news for the Kremlin. ”
    No, it couldn’t be better for the Kremlin. Either Novichok is a killer and the Skripal story nonsense, or it isn’t and we get the same conclusion.

    My favourite joke is that Russia actually wants people to know it did it by using Novijoke again. It wants to scare its enemies. Which no doubt is why Boris and other Western leaders are talking up the joke – they
    must be colluding with Russia.

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  4. When I read about Novichok being named the culprit toxin I honestly burst into laughters.

    Navalny would be the fifth individual that survived a poisoning with what we have been told is one of the most deadly toxins ever developed by chemical weapons engineers. On a total of six affected people.
    The only person who was supposedly killed by one of the agents belonging to the Novichok family was the poor Dawn Sturges and she got poisoned accidentally.

    We are also supposed to believe that after poisoning Navalny (or letting someone poison him) the Kremlin decided to allow for him to be transferred to Germany where he could be tested and the poison discovered.

    I know professor Robinson seemed pretty convinced by the UK narrative of the Skripals poisoning, so I guess we come at this from very different perspectives, but this revelation about Novichok poisoning is hardly credible.

    It’s the mix of incompetence plus the blatant signature of the alleged toxin that makes this whole narrative hard to swallow: if the substance Navalny was exposed to was indeed a Novichok, then I think it’s a safe bet to assume that:
    1) the culprit didn’t want to kill him
    2) the culprit wanted the Russian government to be suspected.

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    1. I mean, even a foetus, nay, even an embryonic blastula consisting of a mere 4 cells and none of them even a neuron yet, could see through this ludicrous Novichok hoax.
      I mean, I think the word that people use in spy-talk is “extracted”, no?
      Please use this word in a sentence.
      Fine. “Navalny has been extracted by his spy-masters.”

      Having outlived his original purpose, and now just a last-minute desperate ploy to block NordStream.
      Quite a dramatic extraction, to be sure, but then our man “Sel Vorik” [“Kirovles” backwards!] was always the drama queen, wasn’t he?

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  5. As soon as I heard this news about Novichok (again).

    My first feeling was disappointment- not with Russia – but with Germany for being so transparently dishonest.

    The whole Skripal saga was lies and now this lie on top of a lie.

    They have sunk to the level of Theresa May and her “highly likely” rubbish.

    That organisation “ charite “ Is also clearly an NGO that needs to be black listed – plus all those doctors who flew to Russia consulted with the doctors in Omsk then turn around and produce such lies. What about their oath to do now harm.

    I mentioned in another post the name of Colin Powell who told a lie that resulted in a million deaths. Yet this man suffered no reputational damage. A million Iraqis lives don’t matter to these people.

    The truth is not important to the west and Russia shouldn’t bother responding to these clowns.

    Germany is the enemy along with EU /NATO and the USA

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  6. I also would like to know why the following people were not infected by the Novichok

    1. Passengers on the aeroplane
    2. crew /baggage handlers
    3. airport staff
    4. Navalny’s entourage & wife all exposed to novichok yet not a single one infected.

    PS. Also the kitchen staff who cleared up after mr Navalny had his tea.

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    1. President Putin needs to do a surprise Quality inspection of that Novichok factory: “Hey, what’s going on here, fellows? Your product is clearly below par… couldn’t kill a kitten with this weak mix…”

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  7. Paul, thank you for another excellent analysis.

    Hysterics about Russophobia, inconclusive evidence and CIA false flags increasingly ring hollow. We’ve heard it all before and it’s frequently proven untrue. Besides, I’m sure Western countries have better things to do than to make Russia look bad.

    I would also like to highlight, however, that the alleged incident apparently occurred on Russian territory. While this might change people’s perception of the Russian state, any ‘retaliatory’ action by Western countries would be equally as appropriate as Russian sanctions against the US/UK over their treatment of Assange (according to the UN, a victim of ‘sustained psychological torture’) or over Guantanamo Bay.

    I’m most inclined to believe that Navalny was poisoned by a rogue security services faction or by one of the enemies he’s made while investigating corruption. This still obviously raises questions for the Russian government. We need transparency from all government bodies involved, both Russian and German, if we are to move forward with this.

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    1. “Hysterics about Russophobia, inconclusive evidence and CIA false flags increasingly ring hollow. We’ve heard it all before and it’s frequently proven untrue. Besides, I’m sure Western countries have better things to do than to make Russia look bad.”

      *****

      Bigoted anti-Russian hypocrisy (can gladly provide examples) and seeking to discredit Russia with gross inaccuracies are quite real. Evelyn Farkas has received a reported just under $90K salary from MSNBC, in addition to two BBC segments which saw her lies go unchallenged.

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      1. Anti-Russian hypocrisy certainly does exist and there is indeed considerable anti-Russian bias in Western reporting and academia. That does not, however, indicate that any accusation against the Russian government is ipso facto a fabrication or a false flag operation by the CIA. Forthright denials (“It wasn’t us! There isn’t any evidence! Provocation! Russophobia”) are beginning to sound like “нет у вас методов против кости сапрыкина!”

        As I outlined in other comments, in this particular case any false flag theory makes absolutely no sense. Had it been so, the Russian government would have transparently investigated the matter from the outset and made a public accusation against a foreign agency they suspect of carrying out an attack against its citizen.

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      2. As seems quite clear, it makes no sense for the Russian government to clumsily attempt to knock off a low in the opinion polls political activist – only to then let him get treatment in Germany.

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      3. Mikhail, I largely agree with you both re Atlantic Council and Russia having no interest in attacking him and then letting him flee to Germany. I don’t think, pending further evidence, that Putin ordered the hit. Navalny has enough enemies as it is among corrupt officials and security services. I just find the idea of an anti-Russian fabrication too complex and conspiracy-minded to sound plausible. Besides, it doesn’t square with Russia’s reaction.

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      4. Which gets back to the suggestion of a Russia based actor/actors doing it on their own without Western Intel or the Russian government.

        Once again noting that some non-ethnic Russian minorities can’t be to pleased with Navalny. Also wouldn’t leave out the possibility that he’s corrupt and was possibly attacked on account of having such a background as has been claimed. A non-ethnic Russian criminal wing perhaps?

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      1. Yalensis, that’s only true insofar as someone sufficiently powerful in the US can profit directly and at little risk. With the US elections, establishment candidates have indeed used Russia as an effective distraction things like mass inequality, healthcare problems and defence expenditure. Why bother providing universal healthcare if you can blame popular discontent on the Russians? That has unfortunately led to some ugly Russophobic conspiracy theories and that preposterous new British report.

        Yet this doesn’t mean that any time something goes wrong in Russia or the Russian government is accused of something it means the CIA is behind it. Besides, if you’re promoting a false flag theory, I really don’t think it squares with the facts. As I said elsewhere, the incident happened on Russian soil and involved a Russian citizen. If it was a false flag, Russia would have investigated the matter properly and made a public accusation rather than trying to pretend that nothing happened and then saying ‘there’s no proof it was us’.

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    2. It’s amazing though that any rogue faction could act with such impunity while it was obvious in advance that the case will be an enormous pain in the ass for the upper political echelon. It’s even more amazing when you consider that just like with Skripal affair there was no possible scenario that the consequences could be avoided.

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  8. If the Russian state is not responsible for poisoning Navalny, all the more reason for it to do a thorough and open investigation to determine the truth and clear its name.

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    1. I agree. In many ways, the possibility of rogue actors carrying out the attack is vastly more dangerous as it shows a lack of control over chemical weapons. If it was, as some people inevitably suggest, an infamous CIA false flag conspiracy, then Russia has all the more interest in investigating why a foreign actor was carrying out a chemical attack against a Russian citizen on Russian soil.

      Saying ‘there’s no evidence’, ‘it could have been anyone’ or ‘it’s all a provocation’ does absolutely nothing. It’s been used for such things as MH17, Litvinenko and other incidents where attribution of blame is more or less established. Reusing that argument, merely serves as an admission of guilt.

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    2. And what could Russia do to prove its innocence to the west? Anything Russia says will be decried as a coverup.

      Russia did not Novichok Navalny. Why would they? To them, he is more useful alive than dead, as his retinue continue their irrelevancy and sycophantic bleating of western talking points (Crimea is Ukraine – K Sobchok, for example). On the other hand, if this results in the suspension of Nordstream 2, the US/UK has won big time.

      This is all an over-dramatic version of ‘when did you stop beating yor wife?’

      This talk of an attack on a Russian citizen on Russian territory has no supporting evidence at the moment. The Russian medics appear to regard the incident as a non-suspicious event. The Russians do have samples of Navalny’s blood. They could pass some on to an independent laboratory – assuming they could find one. And the outcome? The USUK would just ignore or decry the results. They are not interested in truth. Their interest is the destruction of Russia, or its enslavement.

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      1. Firstly, I have absolutely no bias towards Navalny and co. whatsoever. I always thought he was a banal and uninspiring demagogue. A Navalny presidency would have been disastrous for Russia.

        I agree that the attempted murder was unlikely to have been sanctioned by Putin personally. More likely, it was done by rogue elements in security services or someone Navalny accused of corruption.

        The ‘why would Russia do it?’ argument only gets you so far. We simply don’t know enough about what drives the decisions of each government to use ‘cui bono’ for attribution of blame. Besides governments don’t always act rationally.

        The US/UK may well benefit from deterioration of Russo-German relations, however, the allegations are based on tests conducted by German doctors, not Britons or Americans. Germany also has an interest in the success of Nordstream II.

        On the subject of ‘how could Russia prove its innocence?’, I must ask a question in response. What evidence would Putin supporters accept as proof of Russian complicity in something? With MH17, there was so much evidence of rebel complicity yet Russian media continue to stubbornly reject the facts. The same goes for so many other incidents (Litvinenko etc.).

        Finally, on the subject of ‘destruction of Russia’, I don’t think that’s true. The West is partially responsible for deterioration of relations with Russia, however, this was the result of myopia and mismanagement rather than a deliberate desire to destroy Russia. No Western country has the desire or the economic/military means to bring about Russia’s enslavement or destruction.

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      2. “No Western country has the desire or the economic/military means to bring about Russia’s enslavement or destruction.”

        Which is why Russia continues its aggression policies of positioning its borders ever closer to NATO military bases.

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      3. Yalensis, I agree that NATO has every interest in weakening Russian strategic power in the region. America doesn’t want a powerful player like Russia to get in its way of its empire which is why it expanded NATO to the east and abrogated the ABM/INF Treaties. That doesn’t amount to ‘destruction of Russia’ and ‘enslavement of its people’.

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    3. How can it clear its name from a negative? It’s impossible. What can they possibly say that will ‘prove’ the EU/NATO story untrue? It isn’t possible is it. They have the samples from Navalny, give them to an independent entity (is there one?) certainly not Western and compare to the German evidence, you see in fact the only people that can prove anything are the Germans and their contaminated blood samples which should be made public. Giving this story any credence at all is sheer folly, you can’t possibly entertain it with any degree of seriousness. A massively powerful ‘nerve agent’ so dangerous a spoonful of it could kill everyone in London (as I remember one of the British press telling us with Skripal) and yet no one has died from it. Sturgess hasn’t provably died from it – a long term Class A drug addict – could easily have died from bad drugs, a batch of which was doing the rounds in the area at the time, complete with police warnings on local radio and the press. It’s all supposition, non of which has any proof in the public domain.

      This is clearly aimed at Nordstream and as such would be an America/UK job. Apart from the person in Tomsk that Navalny had compromising evidence of corruption on, who would bother to use ‘a Novichok’ which we all know the Isarelis, The US and the UK have in their possession (and possibly other countries) You could knock up a batch of the stuff in any decent University lab. Navalny is really a nobody, outside of Moscow he has zero support, he isn’t really ‘opposition’ and shouldn’t be treat as such. The guy is now a bankrupt clown, surplus to US requirements with no base to achieve anything, being barred from seeking election due to his criminal record, why not use him in a false flag, it’s certainly the way the British work. Of course it’s all conjecture, including everything said by the Germans, the British and the US, silly games played out in the press to give the ‘gang of three’ some Z grade legitimacy to punish the Russian people. Coming so swiftly after the end of their failed colour revolution attempt in Belarus, foiled by Putin, its just childish spite that most people don’t care about. Merkel isn’t going to jeopardise energy security in German for decades (plus the added expense of buying gas from the US at three times the price) for this waffle. Nobody with an IQ bigger than their shoe size would believe any of it, if the Russians wanted Navalny dead he would be so, just as Skripal would be (and half of Salisbury according to the clowns at MI6) It is far better to laugh at it and see it as a sign of the sheer desperation of western elites falling apart at the seams and a US in the middle of a state of national collapse in almost every sphere.
      Bring on the sanctions, they haven’t worked so far (quite the contrary in terms of EU lost exports) the Russians will move even closer to China. Long term this can only end badly for the West, if you look at their decline over the last 6 years (since Crimea) Who has fared best in the world since 2014 (Ukraine western co-opted revolution), the US? The British? (can you keep a straight face still, I’m struggling) maybe the EU? Nope, Russia has fared the best and will continue to do so. The one tool the West have relied on since WWII is war but that is not an option with Russia as there is no scenario where the US/NATO/EU can even think of winning. Sanctions are war by other means and they haven’t worked and will not work in the long term.

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    4. The implication of your statement, that is, the Russian state must be complicit in the Navalny poisoning (since it’s not doing a thorough and open investigation) is not very credible, as you wrote yourself.

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  9. You discuss three separate possibilities for the poisoning, essentially: (1) Putin; (2) lower-level operatives “interpreting” Putin’s sentiments; (3) “private actor” who was upset by Navalny’s anti-corruption investigations.

    For the sake of completeness, you should probably add a 4th possibility, which most will presumably see as very remote but nonetheless cannot be absolutely ruled out at this stage:

    (4) a non-Russian actor (private or otherwise) wishing to put Putin/Russia in “hot water — a so-called “false flag” (the “Lavon Affair” being perhaps the most famous example of this specie).

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      1. “If the Russian state is not responsible for poisoning Navalny, all the more reason for it to do a thorough and open investigation to determine the truth and clear its name.”

        I see. “clear its name” to whom?

        What is this fair and impartial fact-sensitive audience you are invoking here Paul? If you believe – as it seems you must – that this audience is the political-security elites of the US, or NATO countries, or Australia or Canada, etc. – then you would appear to have lost your bearings.

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  10. You didn’t mention a fourth possibility, cui bono? That is, the Navalny poisoning is a false flag operation by a great power actor designed to discredit Putin. Because Belarus.

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    1. If it was a false flag, then it means a foreign entity attacked a Russian citizen on Russian soil. This would mean Russia would have every interest in investigating the matter properly and making a specific accusation. A state whose citizen has been attacked by a foreign power doesn’t say, “It wasn’t us! It could have been anyone! Might have been the CIA.” A state in that situation launches its own prompt and transparent investigation.

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      1. You may have correctly identified dysfunction in the Russian government’s response to the Navalny matter, which is not to say you have plausibly answered the question of cui bono, which remains on the table.

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      2. @Albertovich, I think the ‘cui bono’ argument usually only serves to obfuscate. We can’t fully determine who benefits and in what way. You can argue ad infinitum. Someone Navalny accused of corruption could benefit from silencing him; a rogue faction of the security services could certainly benefit due to issues of internal politics; for all we know, Putin could benefit domestically from patriotic mobilisation against Western hostility. The idea that the CIA wanted to make Putin look bad and chose to go to Siberia and poison a dissident using a military-grade nerve agent sounds like the least likely possibility, particularly bearing in mind how the situation evolved with Russia’s response. Besides, how would the Americans or the Brits benefit? Would it resolve Brexit or determine the results of the upcoming presidential election?

        Ultimately, simpler explanations tend to work best. If you left a pen on the table and came back to find it missing, chances are a member of your family took it. The possibility that it was stolen by a ghost or an alien technically exists, but I know which version of events I find more believable.

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      3. Until more facts intervene, I stick with my “Extraction” theory. Namely, this was a means for the CIA to “extract” their agent Navalny, so that he can join the Skripals in their new life. With Navalny’s consent, so that it was not actually an “attack” in that sense.

        According to my theory, Navalny took the poison himself and was willing to risk a bad tummy ache as a face-saving way of getting him out of Russia and to the West.
        And the Kremlin went along with this “extraction” because they’re sick of him and/or don’t give a shit. Or maybe the Kremlin extracted something in exchange: Okay, we’ll give you your precious Navalny, in return for … ?

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      4. P.S. – Grigory, your “Occam’s Razor” line of reasoning doesn’t work in the world of spies and conspiracies, where complexities do exist and dragons lurk. Even for normal types of situations, I don’t think Occam is a valid debating tool, it’s just a tool of the lazy.

        Example: a man is discovered dead in his home, bullet in the brain.
        Investigating detective: Statistics show that the spouse is usually the culprit. According to Occam’s razor, we must arrest the wife!

        (Unless it’s an English manor house, in which case the butler did it.)

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      5. Far out, but maybe not so way out, based on what else has been said, relative to what’s known and not known. Meantime, Evelyn Farkas had another BBC gig, as that network expresses some interest in another view (non-JRL court appointed Russia friendly at that), only to not at this point come thru.

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  11. Your credulity regarding Merkels statement is rather cute, and lets you miss the point that the German secret service might well be acting with others to again smear Russia for a variety of reasons (https://gilbertdoctorow.com/)
    We again have a generally named agent that is utterly deadly, works within minutes and a drop kills hundreds while obviously from the time the stuff was supposedly administered to the falling ill of the victim on the plane considerable time – as in the Skripal case – elapsed making a mockery of the claims and throwing the veracity of any claims regarding the agent being used into the trash bin, no other person was obviously affected and the only person that was seen with Navalny was someone buying him a tea and drinking it with him..
    I find the whole scenario a very unskilled written script with plotholes one can drive a nuclear sub through.

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  12. But they don’t say it was a false flag. They maintain that there is no evidence of poisoning (unless it’s changed recently). It seems that it’s now up to German experts to produce the evidence.

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    1. Reminded of the German TV aired documentary saying that all of Russia’s top track & field athletes dope with no conclusive evidence given. The claim was based on a what busted Russian drug cheat and her ex-husband said. Never mind that Russian track & field athletes don’t all train under the same roof and with the same coaches.

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  13. There are I think alternative possibilities here, in a number of directions.

    It is I think useful to look at the claims in ‘From Russia With Blood’ articles published by ‘BuzzFeed’ in June 2017, elaborated in a book-length version by their ‘Global Investigations Editor’ of ‘BuzzFeed’, Heidi Blake, last November.

    (For the original series, see https://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/from-russia-with-blood-14-suspected-hits-on-british-soil .)

    What we are presented with is a pathetic story of Putin and his ‘siloviki’ colleagues systematically murdering their way through the group of ‘dissidents’ surrounding the late Boris Berezovsky, and then that figure himself.

    Meanwhile, we are given to believe, successive British governments, determined to ‘appease’ Putin, turned a ‘blind eye’, and could only be brought back to the ‘straight and narrow’ by the presentation of incontrovertible evidence from U.S. intelligence agencies. (LOL!)

    This is all the most patent BS, but the point is that people are now, as it were ‘locked into it.’ The consequence of admitting that any single one of these claims is nonsense would be that the whole structure would be likely to unravel, with unpredictable and potentially rather radical consequences.

    One consequence, however, is that if someone wants to ensure that any possibilities of any kind of ‘rapprochement’, however qualified, between Russia and the West are stymied, all they have to do is mix up a solution of ‘Novichok’ and administer a non-fatal dose to someone who can be plausibly be presented as a mortal threat Putin needs to eliminate.

    This is actually not so very difficult.

    As to how Russia will, and should, react, my ability to judge is limited, as I have no claims to be a Russianist – don’t know the language, never lived there.

    However, having interviewed some of the ‘institutniki’ who were behind the ‘new thinking’ for the BBC, back in February 1989, I have watched, with interest, how their views have evolved over the years.

    A figure I find particularly interesting is Dmitri Trenin, the Director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre. Originally a career Red Army officer, he obtained a PhD at the ‘Institute of the USA and Canada’, one of the ‘driving forces’ behind the ‘new thinking’, in 1984. He is, I think, of Jewish ethnicity.

    In complex ways, Trenin seems to me a man ‘between worlds’ – which is said without disrespect.

    It was thus of particular interest to me to read the concluding remarks to his short study ‘Russia’, published by Polity Press last year. Of particular interest, I found the following suggestion:

    ‘The policies of Russia’s future leaders are more likely to lean to the left domestically and toward closer relations with non-Western countires, including China, internationally. Putin’s never-to-be-satisfied desire to be “understood” by the United States might be seen by his eventual successors as akin to appeasement. In extremis, Alexander Nevsky’s hard choice of submitting to the East to fight off the West could be made again. For Russia, it has always been more to save its soul than its body. The optimal geopolitical construct, however, would be something like a Grand Eurasian Equilibrium with Berlin, Beijing and Delhi becoming Moscow’s principal foreign policy partners.’

    Note: This is not Alexander Dugin talking, but someone whose whole background and outlook makes him a natural ‘Westerniser. Note also: The scenario he suggests would be the ‘optimal geopolitical construct’ for contemporary Russian élites – a kind of ‘Mackinderite consolidation’ of Eurasia – is an ultimate nightmare for a great many people.

    A relatively humane ‘false flag’ is surely, in such a situation, a possibility just worth considering?

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  14. One question false flag theorists must answer is why, if a foreign security agency attacked a Russian citizen on Russian soil using a military-grade nerve agent, is Russia not holding a clear and transparent investigation with a view to publicly accusing said foreign agency of this aggressive act? If you someone’s burgled your house, you call the police and they start an investigation. You don’t start off with pretending that nothing has happened and then proceed to half-heartedly clear your own name.

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    1. No, you still don’t get it, Grisha. The actual “false-flag” theory is this:
      Navalny was not attacked at all. He probably even participated in the hoax. The point of which was to “extract” him to the West.
      Just like in a Le Carre novel! Duh!

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      1. Yalensis, both theories have been promoted. But I doubt that this is a Babchenko-type scenario. Russian doctors did confirm that Navalny was sick. It just seems too big a charade to put on for the sake of ‘extracting’ him, undermining Russo-German relations or making Putin look bad. The simplest, clearest explanation is that Navalny was attacked by someone he exposed for corruption or a rogue security services faction.

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  15. The Russian state could investigate all it wants; the investigation could be as transparent and impartial as could be imagined, but it wouldn’t make any difference.
    There is no Novichok and has never been any Novichok in the Navalny case just as in the Skrypals. All of it is a predetermined scenario and it will be played out regardless of what the Russian government does or doesn’t do.
    For the moment I though that the authors of this charade would at least come up with something different this time, but no, Novichok it is.

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  16. False flag alert : Yalensis is right

    “…….. BREAKING: ‪#NATO‬ will hold an urgent meeting of the North Atlantic Council tomorrow to discuss the implications of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny with Novichok.

    Secretary General ‪Jens Stoltenberg‬. will hold a press conference around 12:30.

    The German government said it would be sharing toxicology test results with ‪#NATO‬ allies and would discuss next steps.

    With the Skripal poisoning on allied territory in the UK, NATO expelled seven Russian diplomats.

    Will the alliance penalize Moscow for an attack in Russia?

    Yalensis you are correct. This man is an asset of the west.

    This truly exposes NATO and it’s members as complete fools

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    1. I always found it hysterical that Navalny’s greatest corruption scandal, Kirovles, for which he was actually convicted — spelled backwards is “Sel Vorik”. For those who don’t read Russian, Sel Vorik is Russian for “The little thief went to jail.”
      Haha!

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  17. Speaking of transparency, Professor: at the moment of writing this comment, probably the only piece of data related to the “poisoning” actually published – that is, so the general public can see it – are Belarussian alleged intercepts of discussions about fabricating the case between Warsaw and Berlin.

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/6145452.html

    Sure, anyone can say it’s fake. But it’s still more public data than Germans released to date – that is, none!

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    1. Thanks for link, Aule! Very interesting!

      Okay, here is my translation of the Russian transcription of that tape. (Which claims to be a telephone conversation intercepted by Belorussian electronic spy service), a conversation between “Nick” from Berlin and “Mike” from Warsaw:

      Warsaw: Hello! Good morning, Nick! How’s it going?

      Berlin: Everything is proceeding according to plan. The Navalny materials are ready to go. They will be forwarded to the Chancellor’s office. Then we just wait for her announcement.

      Warsaw: We got confirmation of the poisoning?

      Berlin: Listen, Mike, that’s not important, given the situation. There’s a war going on. And during a time of war, any methods are justified.

      Warsaw: I agree. We need to push Putin back, when he tries to stick his nose into Belarus affairs. The most effective path is to drown him in Russia’s problems, of which there are many! All the more so, as they themselves have elections coming up in the near future, elections in the Russian regions.

      Berlin: We are looking into that. And how are things going in Belarus?

      Warsaw: To be honest, not all that well. President Lukashenko turned out to be hard nut to crack. They are very professional and organized. It goes without saying that Russia supports them. The bureaucrats and military types are loyal to the President. We’re working on it. I’ll tell you the rest when we meet, but not over the phone.

      Berlin: Yes, yes, I understand. Then bye, until we meet.

      Warsaw: Bye.

      [yalensis: This is either a badly written Tom Clancy dialogue, or the real deal – haha!]

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  18. Germany officially refused to share the medical test data in regards to Novichok poisoning with Russian authorities. As Russian authorities do not have any factual evidence of such poisoning, the next step, logically, should be to initiate a criminal investigation against German officials, who were in control of patient during 6 hours of flying from Omsk to Berlin on somebody’s private jet and after landing in German military base. Apparently and logically, poisoning, if poisoning happened, would be under Germany official supervision. So the ball is on Russian side, and it’s time for questioning Angela Merkel, why Russian citizen has been poisoned by military grade substances on German aircraft or German soil (military airbase, hospital etc). Меркель, как та вдова, сама себя высекла со своим русофобским заявлением.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With reference to the claim by ‘Val’:

      I do not think it is correct to say that the German authorities have ‘officially refused’ to share the relevant ‘medical test data’.

      What Lavrov said yesterday was that the Prosecutor-General’s Office has put ‘specific questions’, to the German authorities, ‘under legal assistance treaties’, which have not been answered.

      He continued:

      ‘I already have to say out loud that we have information that this reply is being delayed due to the position of the German Foreign Ministry. We have instructed the Russian Ambassador to Germany to ask for a reason for the delay. Today we were at least promised that the reply would come soon. We will react when we receive it with specific facts. As I see it, the Germans believe their reply will contain these facts.’

      (See https://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/video/-/asset_publisher/i6t41cq3VWP6/content/id/4318038 .)

      Critical ‘medical test data’ are the results of analysis, of which a principal means is Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), on blood and perhaps other ‘physiological’ samples from Navalny.

      Obviously, other familiar technical issues with ‘chemical forensics’ arise, notably ones to do with ‘chain of custody’, which is one of several reasons why it is necessary, but not sufficient, to sustain Merkel’s case that the test results support it.

      It should however be clear that these results are a basis on which serious discussion can start.

      The OPCW used publicly to identify laboratories in member countries it certified for competence in analysis relevant to its remit, but it seems unclear that they currently do so.

      (See https://www.opcw.org/designated-laboratories .)

      However, in the past the Russian laboratory certified for competence in matters to do with chemical weapons was the Military Science Centre of the Ministry of Defence in Moscow. I doubt if there is any reason to suppose that their technical competence has diminished over time.

      It would seem to be incumbent on the German authorities to produce the relevant data, for the Russian experts to analyse, or an extremely cogent explanation of why they are not prepared to do so.

      A further point needs to be born in mind here. In recent years, the sensitivity of GC/MS analysis has increased by leaps and bounds, so that it can now detect substances relevant to ascertaining the presence or absence of chemical toxins in concentrations of less than one part per billion.

      This may be irrelevant to the current investigation, but may not be.

      One implication is that the results presented to the Russian authorities need to include data relevant to the question of the quantity of ‘Novichok’ supposed to have been ingested by Navalny.

      An implication of this increased sensitivity is that it becomes possible for people to ingest non-fatal doses of highly toxic substances, or such doses mixed with other toxins: which is, obviously, a possible way of staging a ‘false flag.’

      Another is that a question arises as to whether, if the volume of ‘impurities’ is very small, it could have been present in the blood samples taken after Navalny was hospitalised, but not been picked up by the methods of testing used.

      It would I think probably be appropriate if the experts from the Military Science Centre retested the samples taken.

      However, as I say, unless the German authorities produce their evidence, then this would appear just one more indication that the principle of the presumption of innocence, which used to be rather central to the notion that we took the ‘rule of law’ seriously, has been abandoned in the contemporary West.

      Like

  19. To be honest, had not been paying that much attention to the Navalny story when it broke, I was too much into Belorussia to care about the “Little Thief” and his adventures.
    Now that I am paying more attention, I did notice this story from a couple of weeks ago, when it first started. So, Navalny’s Tomsk-Omsk-Berlin adventure began at the Tomsk airport. Ailrport authorities have published camera footage showing the poison drink being delivered to Navalny by none other than… [wait for it]… his trusted assistant, Ilya Pakhomov! Moral of the story being that the serving girl behind the counter poured out the drink and handed it to Pakhomov, and nobody else knew that the beverage was destined for Navalny. Aha!

    We need for Hercule Poirot to get them all together in the sitting room of a country manor, the serving girl, the blogger, his assistants and wife, and then (while smoking a pipe), suddenly turn on Pakhomov: “It was YOU that delivered the poisonous drink!”

    Like

    1. “Ailrport authorities have published camera footage showing the poison drink being delivered to Navalny by none other than… [wait for it]… his trusted assistant”

      I guess the aid was paid by Putin directly (check the bankaccount) to slip the Novichock into the cup after having received the order (without spilling or breathing in a substance known to be highly volatile – a miracle)…..you cannot trust anybody today, THE PUTIN is everywhere…..

      Like

      1. Well, applying Occam’s Razor, as Grisha recommends, we can simplify the conspiracy even further: Not wishing to leave a paper trail or bank transactions, Putin himself travelled to the Tomsk airport then, with the deft fingers of a safecracker, emptied the vial of poison into the beverage intended for Navalny!
        After all, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, no?

        Liked by 1 person

  20. As for reasons why – they are aplenty:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/09/04/germany-not-russia-should-answer-questions-over-navalny-case/ :
    “First there is the isolation of Washington at the United Nations in its attempt to force the reimposition of sanctions on Iran over the nuclear accord….The Navalny case “poisons” diplomatic unity to defend the nuclear accord.
    The Navalny case fits an agenda of undermining Moscow and impeding its relations with Minsk.
    A third factor – and this may be the most significant – is the Nord Stream 2 gas supply project from Russia to Germany.

    Like

  21. I think the SAKER nailed it. None of this would have happened under Stalin or even Khrushchev. THE PUTIN is totally responsible for the deterioration of the FSB’s capabilities and should be shot for treason to permit this state of incompetence of the security agencies to happen in Russia.
    Maybe the agencies should stick with drones and firearms in general, a little collateral damage never hurt anyone and the US has demonstrated this sufficiently.

    http://thesaker.is/russians-are-the-dumbest-most-incompetent-idiots-on-the-planet/

    Like

      1. Those ducks….

        http://johnhelmer.net/cia-deputy-director-lies-to-the-president-of-the-united-states-showing-him-fake-photographs-alleged-to-be-from-the-british-government-of-ducks-and-children-poisoned-by-a-russian-spy-operation-in-sali/
        ” “Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia’s attack. Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives…Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong [sanctions] option.”

        Like

      2. It’s a selective agent: It kills ducks but not cats nor hamsters.
        Some kind of anti-avian device, how very wicked, since ducklings are the cutest little things in the world!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. RFE/RL had a recent piece by an “expert” claiming that Novichok can be fine tuned to injure someone short of death.

        Meduza had a piece saying that there’re easier ways to knock off someone.

        Like

  22. Here is a quite detailed account by Helmer (Dances with bears)
    http://johnhelmer.net/brain-poisoning-by-russian-nerve-agent-alexei-navalny-infects-german-chancellery/#more-34322

    especially the difference in publishing the chemical analysis by the Russian lab and the German military run lab. And – a water bottle that seems magically to have surfaced, similar to the perfume bottle in the Skripal case.

    “No witness identified in Tomsk airport or on board the aircraft, S7 Flight 2614, has mentioned seeing Navalny drinking from the bottle. None of the in-flight aircraft crew nor the medical staff who treated Navalny before he was taken by ambulance from the airport, recorded seeing the bottle. “He didn’t eat or drink anything all morning”, the BBC reported, “apart from a cup of tea he bought at Tomsk Bogashevo airport, according to his press secretary Kira Yarmysh”. Yarmysh was sitting next to Navalny in the aircraft.

    The Navalnaya bottle has now been reported by IPTB to be showing “traces” of the alleged poison. It appears to be the German equivalent of Sergei Skripal’s front-door handle, and Dawn Sturgess’s perfume atomiser. For the full story on what they were (and were not), read the book.”

    Like

  23. Since I am still blogging about this , I have been keeping a wary eye on the news. I already warned my readers that if the Lukashenko tape turned out to be a proven fake, then I would drop this subplot in the story, like a hot potato. (So as not to be a “useful idiot”, natch!)
    We are talking about Batka’s claim that his spy agency intercepted a cellphone conversation between agents of the Polish and German secret services, respectively, discussing how they can use the Navalny situation for geopolitical ends.

    But so far, the story actually seems to be holding up. Not just Krutikov, but other Russian spy analysts concur that the interception of such a conversation is technically plausible.
    The only doubts there are, are inspired by the content itself, which sounds like amateurs reading from a bad Hollywood actions script.

    On the other hand, another important piece of “metadata”, if you will, is Merkel’s announcement, this morning, that she may, after all, cancel the North Stream pipeline. Being so horrified about Navalny’s condition, and all… His physical sufferings may have aroused her maternal instincts to the extent she will throw the German economy under the bus, just to make her outrage clear enough.

    If Merkel does indeed cancel North Stream, then it would seem, anybody who continues to insist that Putin is just some meanie who poisons dissidents for no reason, and that the democratic West is just honorably looking out for the victims of Russian tyranny… [sorry, I can’t complete that sentence, I made myself laugh so hard my head fell off…]

    Like

      1. It’s a miracle!

        As he opened his eyes Navalny saw the kindly German doctor standing over him. “Doc,” he asked feebly, “what happened to me?”
        “Young man, you have been poisoned by a deadly nerve agent that is effective 100% of the time.”
        “Oh no! How long do I have to live?”
        “Well, let’s not discuss that now. We must look on the positive side. Can I get the nurse to bring you something to make you more comfortable?”

        Navalny thinks for a moment. “I never had breakfast this morning, and I’m kind of hungry. Can she boil me a 3-minute egg?”
        The doctor glances at his watch. “Eh, that might be cutting it a bit close…”

        Like

  24. According to RT, Germany will not provide any specific evidence:

    https://deutsch.rt.com/europa/106389-warum-reden-politiker-und-nicht-aezte-nawalny-fall-maria-sacharowa-wendet-sich-heiko-maas/

    Translated by google:
    “”Further information on the test results could allow conclusions to be drawn about specific skills and knowledge of the Bundeswehr with regard to relevant substances. In this sensitive area, for reasons of the security of the Federal Republic of Germany and the interests of the state, this is unacceptable, “said a spokesman for the medical service of the German Armed Forces in response to our request.

    The medical service also made similar statements with regard to questions about technology, methods and “further details”. “With regard to the methods and procedures used, as well as other details, we cannot provide any further information for reasons of confidentiality,” said the spokesman.”

    Like

    1. If Navalny was in an American hospital, they would invoke HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance laws, whereby medical staff cannot divulge any confidential information from the patient’s medical record without the patient’s consent.

      Oh wait! German doctors already announced that Navalny had been poisoned. So, I reckon Germany does not have that same type of law as in the U.S. (?) They might as well put his entire medical chart online.

      Like

  25. And I’m back with transparency news again, Professor. Germany officially made Navalny’s analysis results *secret* and officially refused to share them with Russia! On the national security grounds, no less – because it could identify their military’s analytical capabilities!

    https://m.lenta.ru/news/2020/09/07/secret/amp/

    Professor, honestly, in light of these developments do you still think that the onus is on Russia to investigate “transparently”? That it’s Russia that should “end the public state of denial”?

    Like

    1. In my article I said that Germany should be transparent and share all their data – their refusal to do so will greatly undermine their credibility in the eyes of anybody who doubts their diagnosis.

      Like

    2. My question: does anyone really think this is an honest argument and not a cop-out – or a plain idiotic statement considering the current lab technology?
      How difficult would it be for any well equipped lab to do a spectroscopic analysis to find out what the contents of the substance are? Are the German analysers working with pixie dust?

      The “novichock” group are relative simple chemical compounds and to play coy by “hiding” the “capabilities” of the labs is a completely bogus arguments anyone who ever did chemical analysis will clearly be aware of.
      (As a lab tech in training we synthesized much more complex molecules like that: http://www.chemistryexplained.com/images/chfa_01_img0079.jpg …although that was more than 50 years ago)
      And there is that:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039123/
      https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok

      Like

  26. Re the question of the ducks, which Peter Moritz and Yalensis raised.

    A very useful source on the Salisbury incident and its aftermath are the analyses on the ‘Blogmire’ site run by Rob Slane.

    Yesterday, he picked up a report in Saturday’s ‘Telegraph’, according to which, when Trump was displaying reluctance to expel Russian diplomats in the wake of the Salisbury incident, Theresa May told him the story about children falling ill after feeding the ducks.

    (See http://www.theblogmire.com/if-a-prime-minister-misleads-a-president-but-no-media-organisation-is-around-to-care-does-it-still-have-significance/ for his piece; the ‘Telegraph’ report is at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/05/exclusive-leaked-meeting-notes-show-boris-johnson-said-trump/ .)

    This was apparently some time before the CIA Director, Gina Haspel, persuaded Trump to expel sixty Russian diplomats, by showing him pictures of dead ducks, and injured children, which however were not from Salisbury.

    As Slane points out, Ms. Haspel must have known she was deceiving her President.

    With regard to Mrs. May, however, it seems unclear whether our former Prime Minister was the gullible dupe of the heads of her intelligence services, or their co-conspirator.

    Like

  27. Looking like North Stream 2 pipeline is dead in the water. [little pun there…]. Thanks to Navalnychok.

    Frau Merkel today announced that she cannot make such a decision on her own, and so leaves it to the EU as a whole. Which I’m pretty sure we know how they will vote! Anybody up for a bet?

    The Moor has done what he was paid to do; and now the Moor can go away. [Schiller]

    Like

    1. It would be helpful to have a discussion on the implications of the ending of North Stream 2

      – Trump will use this as proof during this election year that he is tough on Russia he has been pressing Germany to end it.

      – Russian German relationship will be severely damaged – Merkel proves once again she can’t be relied upon

      – internally in Russia apart from anger and disappointment not sure – will Putin be damaged ?

      – German business community will not be pleased northstream2 was a German idea Originally

      – Russian liberals will be completely finished

      Anything else to add

      Like

      1. The question is – what happens to the Moor? Not that anyone really cares anymore.
        There is however this:
        “Nord Stream 2 is financed by leading energy companies from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria. A multi-billion Euro investment in European industry and services, the project involves more than 200 companies from 17 countries worldwide.”
        https://www.nord-stream2.com/nord-stream-2-is-a-european-collaboration/
        And which country is the one (likely the only one with real disdain for anything Russian) really trying to block it? The country that usually finds itself on the wrong side of history: Poland. Even Denmark has given permission to have the line through its waters.

        Like

      2. Good analysis, peter, but I think Germany is the psychologically weak link here, which is why they were targeted with this outlandish hoax.
        Whatever the economic merits of North Stream, those benefits pale [another little pun here] in comparison to the health and well-being of the precious Moor!

        Like

      3. Guest: Russian hardliners in the blogosphere are already crucifying Putin for his weakness of will. First he pardons Khodorkovsky (on humanitarian grounds), and the latter promptly proceeds to screw him over as soon as he is on American soil.
        Now Putin (also on humanitarian grounds, after hearing the sobbing pleas of Navalny’s wife) permits Navalny to be extracted to Germany, even though the latter is under a “no-travel” ban due to his criminal convictions. And then look what happens: Putin’s most precious project North Stream is cancelled (maybe) as a result of his good-hearted approach. Either Putin is a real softie and just can’t resist a good sob-story; or something more sinister is going on here, so the hard-liners say.
        Like, maybe Putin is a closet Liberal, or at the service of some oligarch…

        Navalny’s wife, by the way, is a real piece of work. This harridan had the gall to attack the Omsk doctors and libel their reputation and devotion to the Hippocritical oath. While at the same time agitating to get herself and her minor-aged son extracted from Russia to Germany, along the same grounds.
        There is a daughter too, but I believe she is of adult age now. She will probably remain in Russia and continue the Navalny family legacy, combining white-collar criminality with paid service to the American state. I hear you can make a good living that way in Russia, and life is mostly good; but once in a while you have to endure something unpleasant. All for the good of the cause…

        Like

      4. “… There is a daughter too, but I believe she is of adult age now. She will probably remain in Russia and continue the Navalny family legacy, combining white-collar criminality with paid service to the American state …”

        The daughter Daria Navalnaya is an undergraduate student at Stanford University in California.

        BTW it seems odd that nowhere in the comments forum has anyone put forward the possibility that someone in Navalny’s entourage in Tomsk might have been tasked with putting poison in his tea or water bottle, if indeed he was poisoned and not suffering from diabetic shock while using the toilet on the plane travelling to Moscow from Tomsk.

        Like

      5. It often makes me wonder how many readers of Vzglyad – particularly the articles Yalensis has shared so far, and with commentary like this – have thought about these points. That Merkel – a USian vassal – cannot be trusted is already a given, but where do privately-owned companies like BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz – who would benefit from Nord Stream II – fall into?

        Like

  28. Meanwhile, Lukashenko is not only NOT backing down on his “intercepted tape”, thing, he is actually doubling down! Yesterday he announced that the snippet of tape he revealed so far (the intercepted phone conversation between German and Polish spies) is only the “first berries” of spring, and that much, much more is ahead.

    The full tape is now in the hands of Bortnikov, the director of Russian FSB. Luka says the rest of the tape contains such sensations as will knock everybody’s socks off!
    I can’t wait to listen in on this phone conversation – sounds juicy!
    🙂

    Like

  29. Western media equivocally demonstrated not interest in truth. Their goal is propagandist war against Russia. It’s well paid by those who started preparation for the global war. You can’t find on Google any of the most recent interview with Leonid Rink, the scientist and one of the Novichok developers translated in English. But you find tons of idiotic commentaries from Meduza and other Stupiduza made by “journalists” who can hardly explain which chemical elements the air consist of. https://www.rt.com/russia/499732-novichok-developers-navalny-symptoms/

    Like

    1. Here an article about “Novichokc and what they are:

      “The structures published by Mirzayanov are not particularly complex; they do not differ much from the traditional toxic agents including tabun, sarin, and VX. We can state with certainty that an experienced chemist specializing in organophosphates would have no difficulty synthesizing such compounds in a laboratory. In fact, even a brainy chemist without any specialization in organophosphates but with access to scientific publications and numerous available studies involving the chemistry of phosphorus might just fit the bill………….
      Nevertheless, as previously reported, in April 2011 the Scientific Advisory Board at the OPCW reviewed the alleged Novichok agents whose structures had been included in Mirzayanov’s book and claimed to have toxicity exceeding that of VX. The board concluded “that there has been no confirmation of the author’s claims”;
      “As a rule, any promising chemical is tested for possible application as a warfare agent. For starters, the it is critical to ensure protection against such weapons. Secondly, the CWC actually permits research activities and activities for protective purposes using all types of agents. This includes permission under the Convention to single small-scale facility that can produce up to 1 ton of Schedule 1 chemicals per year, single facility that can produce up to 10 kg per year, and also an unlimited number of facilities capable of producing up to 100 g of chemical agents (additionally, up to 100 g of such substances may be produced for research, medical, or pharmaceutical purposes at various sites with aggregate amount not exceeding 10 kg per year).”
      https://russiancouncil.ru/en/analytics-and-comments/analytics/novichok-what-do-we-know/

      Like

      1. Scientists in Iran were able to make small amounts of five Novichok substances using ingredients commercially available in their country under OPCW supervision in December 2016. This means even chemists working in places where economic and industrial development has been stymied by ongoing sanctions (and consequently ranges from good to poor depending on funding levels and strategic importance) can produce Novichoks.

        Like

  30. I remain unconvinced by any false flag arguments here pending further evidence (disputes about motives are not enough). Regardless of that, what Britain is doing to Assange in broad daylight is far worse, even if Putin had personally ambushed Navalny with his entire Novichok arsenal. Navalny is an uninspiring demagogue who wants to replace Putin’s oligarchs with his own. Assange has actually spoken truth to power and revealed human rights violations, war crimes and high-level corruption. If the Russian state (or a rogue faction of the FSB) has indeed poisoned Navalny, at least they’ve had to muddy the waters and resort to covert tactics. The British government doesn’t even have to do that – their public doesn’t care.

    Like

    1. “I remain unconvinced by any false flag arguments here pending further evidence (disputes about motives are not enough)”

      It is not about motives anymore, it is about the intransigence of both the German authorities and the UK ones in the Skripal case to actually sent any evidence they have to engage with their Russian counterparts. Germany went even so far as to prohibit an online consultations between the Medical staff of the Charité and the Staff of the Hospital in Omsk to discuss the test results that were quite different…
      and there is the story of the water bottle Navalny’s wife carried in her hand luggage to Germany on which traces of the “deadly agent” was found…you explain to me how this was possible

      Like

    2. You should not put the burden of proof on the ones claiming false flag. The burden of proof lies squarely on the German state – and they not only didn’t provide any, but actively refused to provide it.

      Like

  31. paul, i am just seeing your post on this now… i was disappointed in your RT article… clearly navalny is worth more dead then alive to some state actors – but you make no mention of this…. as for german or uk authorities giving russia access to what they have – you know that is not going to happen… you are surprisingly more naive them i have previously given you credit for…. what happened to the idea of universities encouraging critical thinking? thanks for your posts regardless…

    Like

  32. I am amazed (or not) to find out that the EU parliament MEPs rival in incompetence, bias, lack of knowledge – with regards to Russia – the other EU governing structures. One has to listen to the condemnations of Russia in the Navalny case without ANY evidence (except a few cautious voices) to despair of the quality of members in this political body.
    What a bunch of utterly incompetent nitwits

    Like

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