Skripal Case Bombshell: Swiss Lab Reports 'BZ Toxin' Used In Salisbury - Chemical Not Produced In Russia, Only NATO States


Dagobah Resident

Here is the article :
_Skripal Case Bombshell: Swiss Lab Reports 'BZ Toxin' Used In Salisbury - Chemical Not Produced In Russia, Only NATO States --

Today, when I read this piece of news (first in French on Voltaire network), I thought : wow, what a tremendous turnaround !

But, when I tried to check the news, I had no success.

On the web site of the Swiss Lab (Labor Spiez), in the news section, not a word about it.

But on their Twitter thread, the subject is indeed takled (since around 6h) :
_SpiezLab - Twitter Search

From their own tweets, they refuse to comment :
Spiez Lab said:
OPCW has to clarify. We are not able to comment.
(08:44 - 14 avr. 2018)

Spiez Lab said:
Only OPCW can comment this assertion. But we can repeat what we stated 10 days ago: We have no doubt that Porton Down has identified Novichock. PD - like Spiez - is a designated lab of the OPCW. The standards in verification are so rigid that one can trust the findings.
(2 hours ago)
Illustrated an this image (Lavrov's take on it)

Spiez Lab said:
Again, as a designated Lab of the OPCW we cannot independently comment on this. What we can publicly say is in the article of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung: … If you don't read german, try the deepl translator, it works like a charm.
(5h ago)

So, here is the article (in German) from NZZ (Andreas Rüesch, 2018/04/05, 19:56):
_«Kein Zweifel am Nowitschok-Resultat» | NZZ

A translation (by the recommended translator) : said:
"No doubt about the Novichok result"
In the crisis surrounding the poison attack in Salisbury, Moscow is attacking the credibility of the British findings. However, a Swiss chemical weapons expert has no doubt that the British correctly identified the warfare agent used and that it is the poison Novichok developed in Russia.
A month has passed since the poison attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, but the crisis this has caused is far from over. The fact that for the first time since the Second World War a military nerve poison has been used on European soil has not only caused horror among the general public, but has also astounded experts. "I was very surprised," says Stefan Mogl, Head of the Chemistry Department at the Spiez Laboratory of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and one of the best experts on the problem of C-weapons.

Mysterious fabrics
The 53-year-old Mogl is familiar with the mode of action of nerve poisons; he used to work as an inspector in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for many years and in 2017 investigated the massacre of the poison gas sarin in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun on behalf of the UN. He calls the actual shock in the Skripal case above all the warfare agent used - a substance from the Novichok group. Even experts have only fragmentary information on these substances developed in Soviet military laboratories, mainly from the reports of Russian scientists, which have never been officially confirmed.

Mogl rules out the possibility that British chemical weapons experts could have misidentified the substance or spread false information. "I have no doubt that the laboratory has measured correctly and that it is actually Novitschok," he says in conversation. He derives this certainty from the fact that Porton Down's military laboratory in charge of the investigation belongs to a network of more than twenty institutions specialising in C-weapon analyses, which also includes the Spiez laboratory and whose quality is undisputed. The standards enforced by the OPCW in verification were so rigid that one could fully trust the findings of such an institute.

Based on this assessment, the independent investigation ordered by the OPCW is not expected to yield major surprises. At a British invitation at the end of March, a group of inspectors from the organisation collected further evidence in Salisbury, including blood samples from the two victims Sergei and Julia Skripal as well as environmental samples. Two laboratories of the OPCW network are currently evaluating them; their findings are expected to be available at the beginning of next week. The OPCW General Secretariat has rejected the Russian demand to publish the names of the experts and laboratories involved. This is common practice in such cases. Nor would it be customary to entrust the analyses to an accused party, in this case Russia.

Is it possible to determine the exact origin of the substance used by checking it? Mogl makes it clear that this is not possible at today's level of knowledge. In this respect, the excitement about the statements of the head of Porton Down, who had stated on Tuesday that his institute could not prove that the substance came from Russia, is also mistaken. According to Mogl, such a finding was never to be expected: So little is known about how Novitschok poisons are produced that it is impossible to draw any conclusions about the country of origin or even the responsible laboratory. That distinguishes this case from that in Syria: There, due to contamination in the investigated warfare agents and with the help of comparative samples, it could be determined that the sarin used in Khan Sheikhun most likely originated from Syrian army stocks.

Lack of transparency
Against this background, the Russian tactic of denying any involvement and insinuating that the Novichok poison could just as well come from a Western country is understandable. In a book published in 2008, Russian scientist Wil Mirzayanov, who emigrated to America, described several Novichok substances and thus made them known to a wider circle. Mogl believes that it is conceivable that some states could use this as a basis for synthesizing the toxins themselves for research purposes. The Chemical Weapons Convention expressly permits activities for "protection purposes", i.e. the production of warfare agents that are illegal in themselves for the purpose of checking their own defence capability.

However, only small quantities of the best-known warfare agents may be produced and they must be reported to the OPCW. However, there is a gap in Novichok toxins. Although they would undoubtedly belong to the most dangerous category of outlawed warfare agents, they have never been included on the list and therefore do not need to be declared. As far as Mogl knows, the OPCW therefore has no insight into any holdings of Novichok worldwide.

BTW, another article from the same website (Christof Forster, 2018/01/12, 05:30) :
_Dieser Schweizer untersucht Giftgaseinsätze in Syrien | NZZ

A translation of the header (by the recommended translator) : said:
This Swiss investigates poison gas missions in Syria
How do you explain the use of poison gas and verify reports from local organisations? The Swiss chemical weapons expert Stefan Mogl knows how.

Apparently, this Stefan Mogl is (in)famous for a (similar) hoax (last year ?) :
JohnDelacour said:
Remember that Stefan Mogl of @SpiezLab worked with the criminal Edmond Mulet to produce the fraudulent @UN/@OPCW JIM report following the #Khan_Sheikhun #SARIN_HOAX. It’s all very incestuous and suspect.

Well, what a wonderful psycho-war ! What do you think of it ?

PS : for the sake of archive, here is the comment from the Russian Embassy in UK :
_Embassy Press Officer comments on the findings of the Swiss experts regarding the Salisbury incident
Russian Embassy in UK said:
Embassy Press Officer comments on the findings of the Swiss experts regarding the Salisbury incident

Q. Is there any new information regarding the findings of experts from Switzerland in connection with the Salisbury poisoning?

A. According to information from the Swiss Federal Institute for NBC-protection in Spiez, its experts received samples collected in Salisbury by the OPCW specialists and finished testing them on 27 March.

The experts of the Institute discovered traces of toxic chemical called “BZ” and its precursors. It is a Schedule 2 substance under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

“BZ” is a chemical agent, which is used to temporary incapacitate people. The desired psychotoxic effect is reached in 30-60 minutes after application of the agent and lasts up to four days. According to the information the Russian Federation possesses, this agent was used in the armed forces of the USA, United Kingdom and several others NATO member states. No stocks of such substance ever existed either in the Soviet Union or in the Russian Federation.

In addition, the Swiss specialists discovered strong concentration of traces of the nerve agent of A-234 type in its initial states as well as its decomposition products.

In view of the experts, such concentration of the A-234 agent would result in inevitable fatal outcome of its administration. Moreover, considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning.

It looks highly likely that the “BZ” nerve agent was used in Salisbury. The fact that Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey have already been discharged from hospital, and Sergei Skripal is on his way to recovery, only supports such conclusion.

All this information was not mentioned in the final OPCW report at all.

Considering the above, we have numerous serious questions to all interested parties, including the OPCW.


The Living Force
PS : for the sake of archive, here is the comment from the Russian Embassy in UK :
_Embassy Press Officer comments on the findings of the Swiss experts regarding the Salisbury incident

One of many questions surrounding this issue of nerve poison is "Why is Yulia Skripal being elusive and isolated, with the UK claiming that Yulia doesn't even want to see Family"? It's been stated that "Yulia was discharged from the Hospital" but what proof has been given to the public?

Information has also emerged, that on April 8 - MI6 was considering a possible resettlement of the Skripals to the US or some other country under new identities in order to "protect them." According to Russian diplomats, it appears that the UK is seeking to hide important witnesses. What is the UK hiding ... is it possible - both Yulia and her Father died from the poisoning?

An article on Sputnik that follows up what the Russian Embassy in UK has stated:

14.04.2018 - BZ Substance Possessed by UK, US, Allegedly used in Salisbury - Lavrov
BZ Substance Possessed by UK, US, Allegedly Used in Salisbury - Lavrov

The United Kingdom has accused Moscow of poisoning ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK town of Salisbury with what UK experts have claimed was an A234 nerve agent, which had allegedly been produced in the Soviet Union.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said citing data from the Swiss laboratory that the BZ toxin was used in the poisoning of the Skripals, adding that the chemical has been in the possession of the US and the UK, but has never been produced in Russia. Specialists from the laboratory finished examining the samples on March 27.

Based on the results of the examination, traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursors, related to chemical weapons of the second category in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, were found in the samples. BZ is a nerve agent temporarily disabling a person. The effect is achieved within 30-60 minutes and lasts up to four days," Lavrov said, citing the results of the Swiss lab's examination.

Lavrov went on to ask why the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is investigating the poisoning, hasn't taken the information about the BZ chemical into consideration. He also pointed out that the BZ chemical, as well as the Novichok toxin, was not mentioned in the OPCW's final report.

"If, of course, the OPCW refutes the fact of using the laboratory of Spiez, it will be interesting to listen to its explanations," the foreign minister added.

OPCW experts determined that a toxic chemical of high purity was used in the Skripal poisoning, but did not mention who could have been behind the incident.

Lavrov went on to state that Moscow seeks to focus on facts regarding the so-called Skripal case. He noted that the UK authorities don't answer Moscow's questions on the issue, saying the Russian authorities should answer the questions first.

Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench at a shopping center in the UK city of Salisbury. London has accused Moscow of orchestrating the attack. Soon after the incident, London expelled 23 Russian diplomatic workers in retaliation. Over 25 countries have since expelled Russian diplomats "in solidarity" with London. Moscow has denied the accusations as baseless, offering assistance in the investigation.

13.04.2018 - UK "Manipulating" Yulia Skripal as Poisoning Narrative Collapses - Academic
UK 'Manipulating' Yulia Skripal as Poisoning Narrative Collapses – Academic

The Skripal investigation is far from being completed; however, it appears that London is wooing Yulia Skripal, an important witness, in an attempt to "confirm" its controversial poisoning story, which is bursting at the seams following a statement by Porton Down specialists, Canadian historian Michael J. Carley told Sputnik.

The possibility of military action by the US-led coalition against Damascus over the alleged use of chemical arms in Eastern Ghouta has almost eclipsed the controversial Skripal case; however, the incident, which prompted a wide-scale diplomatic row, leaves more questions than answers.

The Porton Down experts' conclusion that the precise origin of the A234 nerve agent, which was supposedly used to poison former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, could not be attributed to Russia has seemingly undermined Prime Minister Theresa May's narrative and prompted the US Foreign Office to delete its tweet pinning the blame on Moscow.

Has the Tory applecart been upset? Well, it has certainly lost a wheel. Even German politicians, amongst others, have criticized the British rush to indict Russia," Michael Jabara Carley, a professor of history at the Université de Montréal and the author of "Silent Conflict: A Hidden History of Early Soviet-Western Relations," told Sputnik.
However, according to the academic, "damage control is underway."

"The Times published a story about a covert Russian lab which produced nerve agents and spread like wild fire across the Mainstream Media. The Daily Mirror put out a story about a Russian secret assassin's training manual. What a laugh. Is the Tory government that desperate? Is the British 'everyman' that gullible? The secret assassin's manual reminds me of the 1924 'Zinoviev Letter', a counterfeit document produced by White Russians in Germany, purporting to demonstrate Soviet interference in British elections and planning for a socialist revolution," the historian recalled.

Carley said that the hoax emerged during the October 1924 parliamentary elections and the Tories used the letter to attack the credibility of the Labour Party. "It worked like a charm," he noted. "The Soviet authorities claimed that the letter was bogus and they demanded a third party, independent investigation to ascertain the truth, just as the Russian government has done now."

However, it took 75 years to determine that "the letter" was in fact a counterfeit, the Canadian academic pointed out. "The Tories are again acting as if they have something to hide. It is déjà vu," he remarked.

It raises the question as to when the truth about the Salisbury poisoning will find its way out. "The chemists at Porton Down took the first step. Will there be others to speak up?" the professor asked rhetorically.

Are British Authorities Deliberately Hiding Yulia Skripal?

Still, tensions continued to simmer as Viktoria Skripal, Sergei's niece, was denied a British visa and access to her recovering relatives in the UK. Earlier Viktoria cast doubt on London's narrative about the alleged chemical attack against the Skripals.

At the same time, the Russian Embassy in the UK has expressed its concerns about the fact that British authorities denied access to the Skripals, especially Yulia Skripal who is recovering fast and has been already discharged from Salisbury hospital. Furthermore, information emerged on April 8 that MI6 is considering a possible resettlement of the Skripals to the US or some other country under new identities in order to "protect them." According to Russian diplomats, it appears that the UK is seeking to hide important witnesses.

To "dispel" justified doubts, London's Metropolitan Police released a statement by Yulia Skripal saying that she neither wants to meet with Viktoria, nor plans to contact Russian consuls in the near future.

"The Skripals could have been affected by a nerve agent or food poisoning, or by some less potent drug or poison," Carley noted. "It remains to be seen. What raised immediate suspicions about the so-called Salisbury incident was that the Tory government almost from the first day accused the Russian government and President Putin himself of being responsible in one way or another. How could that have been known before any police investigation took place? The British accusations were and remain evidence-free."

Regardless of the fact that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had recently stated that the Skripals were poisoned by A234, the Canadian academic says that some suspicions still remain. "If it was a nerve agent, it should have been instant acting and killed the Skripals almost immediately," he presumed. "Yet both have survived at the time of this writing. Was it some other kind of poison?"

The professor recalled that at long last "the British sent a sample of the substance to the OPCW which they allege was used to poison the Skripals, but without allowing a sample to be given to Russian authorities, according to agreed upon procedures."

"When the Russian representative at the OPCW proposed a resolution to the executive council, that it should, in effect, respect its own statutes, he could not obtain the required vote for approval. The British have succeeded in hijacking the OPCW as a potential tool against the Russian Federation," Carley opined.

On the other hand, the British police have seemingly sought to prevent all outside contacts with the Skripals, Carley noted, suggesting that the UK authorities are "grooming" Yulia Skripal in a last ditch effort to save both their narrative, which is falling apart at the seams, and their face.


The Living Force
16.04.2018 - Russia expects Answer from OPCW about of Toxin presence in Skripal case
Russia Expects Answer From OPCW About of BZ Toxin Presence in Skripal Case

Russia expects an answer from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on whether the BZ toxin has been found in the samples taken at the place of poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the BBC.

On Saturday, Lavrov said that a Swiss laboratory detected traces of BZ, which has been used by the US and UK armies, in samples sent by the OPCW experts investigating the poisoning of Skripal.

"On Saturday, we presented a paper, which contains literally the conclusion of the Swiss laboratory in the city of Spiez… The Swiss laboratory report also said that in the first place they found BZ, which was, I think, invented in the United States in 1955 and was among the equipment of US and UK armies. And we asked OPCW, whom we trust, whether this is true or not that in addition to A234 there was also BZ discovered. And we are waiting a reply from OPCW, whom of course we trust, but we want trust and verify," Lavrov said.

Also, Russian foreign minister said that the current situation in international relations is worse than it was during the Cold War-era of rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States.

On Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that "the Cold War is back" and that there were no safeguards and mechanisms to manage the risks that had existed in the past.

"I think it is worse, because during the Cold War there were channels of communication and there was no obsession with Russophobia," Lavrov said answering a question if the existing situation in international relations looked like a new Cold War. The Russian minister added that the number of communication channels had significantly decreased.


Dagobah Resident
Found on the SpiezLab's Twitter page, a new article in German from NZZ (Andreas Rüesch, 2018/04/15, 18:27) :
_Skripal: Russland zieht Schweiz in den Fall hinein

To put it in a nutshell : BZ may have been found in control samples, not real samples...

DeepL's automatic translation of it :
NZZ (translated by DeepL) said:
Russia attacks the Skripal investigation frontally and draws Switzerland into the controversy
Has a Swiss laboratory discovered the key to solving the poison attack in Salisbury? Russia claims this - but it is less than half the truth.
The accusation sounds explosive, and it is: Russia wants proof that the attack on former Russian agent Sergei Skripal on March 4 was the work of Western secret services - and Russia is out of the question as the author. A highly respected institution in neutral Switzerland, the Spiez Laboratory, under the Federal Office for Civil Protection, is to serve as the principal witness for this charge. What is more, this account does not come from any Russian propaganda medium, but from the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov himself.

Another agent discovered
Lavrov said this weekend at a meeting of security experts in Moscow that his government had received confidential information about the investigation of the Skripal case by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Accordingly, the Spiez laboratory carried out an analysis of blood and environmental samples on behalf of the OPCW from the end of March. The dramatic finding: The Swiss experts discovered not only the substance A-234, which belongs to the group of Soviet Novichok poisons, but also the warfare agent BZ (3-quinuclidinylbenzilate), which was demonstrably stored in the chemical weapons arsenals of the USA during the Cold War, but apparently not in Russian.

The symptoms of father and daughter Skripal indicate that they were poisoned with BZ, Lavrov added. At the same time, he criticized that this information had remained completely unmentioned in last Thursday's OPCW communication on the Salisbury findings. A Russian expert close to the government attributed this to the fact that the OPCW was under strong pressure from the Western powers.

Spiez lab takes no position
"The plot thickens", the British use to say, when an exciting thriller suddenly takes a confusing turn and the reader no longer knows what to believe. Could it be that the attack in Salisbury was actually carried out with BZ? The Spiez laboratory does not comment on this question. That is understandable, because the case is completely politicised, and the experts in the Bernese Oberland do not want to be regarded as instruments in a West-Eastern information war. Spiez cannot even comment on whether it was one of the two reference laboratories involved in the Skripal case because of its non-disclosure agreement with the OPCW.

The institute, showered with inquiries from all over the world, merely refers to a report in the NZZ on 6 April and does explain to non-German-speaking people via Twitter how this article can be translated into other languages.

[SpiezLab's tweet]

Under the title "No doubt about the Novitschok result", the NZZ had a discussion with Stefan Mogl, head of the laboratory's chemistry department. He explained that he had full confidence in the results of the British military laboratory Porton Down, according to which Skripal had been exposed to the material Novichok. Spiez's continued adherence to this assessment sounds like an indirect denial of Lawrow's statements. But would this mean that the Russian Foreign Minister has boldly lied about the Western warfare agent BZ ? And why doesn't the lab just say that?

The explanation for this is probably simpler than the confusion suggests. But you have to know how the OPCW's analysis procedure works. There is much to suggest - not only Lawrow's revelation - that the Spiez laboratory was actually involved in the investigations. It is one of the most respected in its area, regularly receives top marks in the periodic inspections by the OPCW, has only recently successfully completed a mission to Syria in the poison gas investigations and is still in a neutral country. Nothing would be more obvious than to entrust the Skripal case.

Real and fake samples
There is also much to suggest that Spiez has actually found the warfare agent BZ. But this is no contradiction to Mogl's statement that he trusts the British Novichok result. One of the OPCW's rigid control mechanisms is that the reference laboratories each receive several sets of samples. It is typical that the OPCW sends not only the "real" sample, but also negative and positive control samples. These are similar in nature, but in the first case they do not contain any chemical warfare agent, in the second case they contain another one that was added to the sample separately. This ensures that the commissioned laboratory works error-free and does not know which is the "real" sample. If Spiez not only reported the finding of Novichok to the OPCW, but also the presence of BZ, this can best be explained by the use of such a control sample. There was therefore no reason for the OPCW to publicly report the BZ findings - they knew that this had only been a control sample.

The organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, which is based in The Hague, will allegedly not comment on the Russian accusations until next Wednesday. If the above statement is confirmed, it would be concluded that Russia has lost any inhibition to spread half-truths and falsehoods, undermining even respected international institutions such as the OPCW. However, Moscow's propagandistic fantasies are virtually limitless, as was recently demonstrated when Russia recently went so far as to accuse Great Britain of the authorship of the poison gas attack in the Syrian city of Duma.
(Underlines are mines.)


Dagobah Resident
Conclusion : go and guess the real story !
In an interesting way, all these infos and counter-infos create a case complicated enough for, depending on your PoV, blaming either UK/US or Russia (or both, if you're paranoid or remembering what the Cs said in the first years about a unified MIC on the whole Earth).
Let's wait 'n' see, as usual...


Dagobah Resident
Two other good ones !
Sun Dancer on Twitter said:
A 2013 book by Dr. Walker, "Britain and Disarmament: ...", describes Porton Down's research with BZ (3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate). Porton Down is just a few miles from where #Skripal|s were found incapacitated.
_Britain and Disarmament



The Living Force
16.04.2018 - BZ vs. A-234: How Russia Exposed the Lie of UK Gov't, Ripped British Version Up
BZ vs. A-234: How Russia Exposed the Lie of UK Gov't, Ripped British Version Up

The use of military chemical agent "BZ" and its precursors in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia recently revealed by a Swiss-based Spiez Laboratory is being deliberately neglected by reputable international institutions.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's notion about the discovery made by Spiez Laboratory, the Swiss Federal Institute for NBC-Protection, has cast doubt on the Western version of Sergei and Yulia Skripal's poisoning.

"Based on the results of the examination, traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursors, related to chemical weapons of the second category in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, were found in the samples," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on April 14, citing the Swiss laboratory's data.

The BZ agent, also known 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate, is an odorless military incapacitating agent, which was created by Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche in 1951 and later used in the armed forces of the US, Britain and other NATO member states. More importantly, BZ has never been produced in the Russian Federation or on the territory of the USSR.

However, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has not made a single reference to the Spiez Laboratory's discovery.

Less than two weeks ago it turned out that the UK Foreign Office and personally Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson lied when they tweeted on March 22, 2018, that "analysis by world-leading experts at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down made clear that this was a military-grade Novichok [A-234] nerve agent produced in Russia."
Before the tweet was deleted by the Foreign Office it was shared 1,600 and "liked" 1,900 times.

On April 3, Porton Down laboratory analysts admitted that they were unable to verify the source of the A234 nerve agent allegedly used to poison former spy Skripal. Furthermore, the laboratory tweeted that "it had never been" its responsibility "to confirm the source of the agent."

Sputnik contributor Irina Alksnis underscores in her op-ed that while many were confused by the fact that the British authorities openly lied while informing the public about the Skripal case, the OPCW's maneuvers appears to be more inexplicable.

"The world has inherited from the Cold War era a system of international organizations which by their nature were designed to maintain balance and stability," the journalist noted. "They were based on the principles of independence and objectivity, since it was the only way the two sides that didn't trust each other could rely of their judgments and decisions."

Although this system has existed nearly 30 years since the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, it appears that it is collapsing before the public's very eyes, Alksnis remarked, citing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to suspend Russian athletes acquitted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the 2018 Winter Games.

Similarly, the United Nations' "inability" to condemn sheer aggression on the part of the US-led coalition that attacked Syria on April 13 over an alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, raises questions. Earlier, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis admitted that the US had no solid evidence that the supposed chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

"Perhaps, the most ironic thing is that all these 'suicidal' steps made by the most respected and influential international organizations for the sake of the global hegemon [the US] come at a moment when the hegemon's dominance is falling apart at the seams before the eyes of the whole world," the journalist pointed out.

According to the April 12 OPCW report, the "pure" A-234 military-grade nerve agent was used to target Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia 33, in an alleged chemical attack in early March 2018 when the two were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, England. The incident led to a large-scale diplomatic row, which resulted in the expulsion of more than 100 Russian diplomats over groundless allegations of Moscow having had a hand in the attack.

Speaking to Sputnik, Leonid Rink, one of the A234 creators, explained the main flaw in the OPCW report: "OPCW data saying that a toxic chemical of high purity was used proves that it was not Novichok…. Novichok is a complex nerve-paralyzing substance consisting of a mixture of many different components and additives that decompose in different ways. If a pure substance was found, it could not be Novichok," the specialist said.

Commenting on the recent Spiez Laboratory findings, the Russian Embassy in Britain specified that traces of a toxic chemical called "BZ" and its precursors were found.

Additionally, Spiez Laboratory specialists mentioned a "strong concentration of traces of the nerve agent of A-234 type in its initial states as well as its decomposition products." However, such a concentration of the nerve agent would inevitably lead to the Skripals' death, a press officer of the Russian Embassy underscored. The fact that Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey have already recovered and Sergei Skripal feels much better confirms the assumption that the three were rather poisoned by BZ than A-234, he concluded.

However, the Swiss laboratory avoided challenging Porton Down and the OPCW, stating in its tweet that only the OPCW can comment on the use of BZ in the Skripal case.


The Living Force
17.04.2018 - BZ Agent used to Poison Skripals Active for 3 days - Russian Intel Vet
BZ Agent Used to Poison Skripals Active for 3 Days – Russian Intel Vet

With Britain failing to provide any tangible evidence of Russia's involvement in the Skripal poisoning case, many people are beginning to wonder whether London’s accusations really hold any water.

The symptoms of Sergei and Yulia Skripals in Salisbury could be indicative of the use of the BZ-type non-lethal nerve gas previously used by NATO and which is effective on humans for a maximum period of three days,” Russian senator and foreign intelligence veteran Igori Morozov told Sputnik.

“This is a non-lethal nerve gas of the third generation, which remains active from six hours to three days,” Morozov said, adding that the fog that shrouded Salisbury on the day of the alleged attack could have added strength to the agent, just like any precipitation would.

Igor Morozov said that he had studied the BZ-gas when he was still a military cadet back in the 1970s.

“We studied it as a chemical weapon in the arsenal of our main adversary,” Morozov said.

“It looks like some of this gas may still be found in US and British chemical storerooms,” he added.

Morozov has wondered why an earlier report filed by a Swiss lab about the possible use of such a military chemical in the Skripals’ case was not mentioned by the full OPCW report.

On Saturday, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a Swiss laboratory detected traces of BZ, which has been used by the US and UK armies, in samples sent by the OPCW experts investigating the poisoning of Skripal.

When asked about a new information on Swiss experts' findings related to the Salisbury incident, a press officer of the Russian Embassy in London said that "according to the Swiss Federal Institute for NBC-protection in Spiez, its experts discovered traces of toxic chemical called 'BZ' and its precursors.

“It is a Schedule 2 substance under the Chemical Weapons Convention," the officer said.

17.04.2018 - Nerve Agent used to Poison Skripals was delivered "in a Liquid Form" - reports
Nerve Agent Used to Poison Skripals Was Delivered ‘in a Liquid Form’ – Reports

Clean-up work is beginning in Salisbury, which was the site of the suspected nerve agent attack against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, the UK government said on Tuesday.

Sky News television channel has reported, citing the UK's Department for the Environment that the nerve agent that was used to poison ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was delivered “in a liquid form,” following the news of the beginning of clean-up at the site of the alleged attack.

"Clean-up work is beginning in Salisbury after the appalling nerve agent attack, to bring a small number of potentially contaminated sites back into safe use for the people of the city and its visitors," the statement of the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Public Health England, Department of Health and Social Care, and Home Office read.

The department said that a total of nine sites, three of which are in the city center, have been identified as requiring "some level of specialist cleaning."

Today (Tuesday 17 April) a small cordoned area of London Road cemetery was the first area to be reopened to the public after extensive investigations and testing established that it was not contaminated," the statement added.


The Living Force
18.04.2018 - Russia will not recognize Skripal Probe results without Access to Case - Envoy
Russia Will Not Recognize Skripal Probe Results Without Access to Case - Envoy

Moscow will not recognize the conclusions on the Skripal case until Russian experts receive access to the OPCW materials and the injured parties, according to the Russian Envoy to the OPCW.

The Russian Envoy to the OPCW has stated that London cannot provide real evidence of its version of the Skripal case.

The OPCW report on the Salisbury case is "questionable," the final conclusions can be made only after receiving the chemical and spectral analysis of the samples, Russian Envoy to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin said.

The UK demonstrates a clear reluctance to cooperate fully in the investigation of this whole muddled history. This convinces us that the British do not want any truth. They cannot be allowed to swim out," Shulgin emphasized.

The British do not want the truth in the case of the Salisbury poisoning, the Russian permanent representative to the OPCW stated.

The report on the conclusions of the British experts presented by the Technical Secretariat raises a number of questions and requires additionally detailed elaboration, including from the British side," he noted.

Shulgin emphasized that Russia has answered all the UK’s questions on the Salisbury incident.

"Despite the inexcusable nature of this ultimatum, we did not ignore it at all but immediately gave an unambiguous answer, 'Russia has nothing to do with the nerve agent in Salisbury’, and the UK has not contacted us with any other questions," the Russian envoy to the OPCW stated.

The British side suggested that we confess to one of the two invented versions: either the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal was a deliberate act of Russia, or that Russia lost control over the allegedly available arsenals of poisonous substances, Shulgin noted.

Russia Provided OPCW With Evidence That US Patented 'Novichok'-Type Agent in 2015

"We know very well that the 'Novichok'-type nerve agents were in production in a number of countries… Thus, on December 1, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office contacted the Russian agency responsible for issues concerning patents with a request to check the patentability of an invention made by an American scientist T. Rubin," Alexander Shulgin said showing a document to the OPCW.

According to the envoy, the document concerns "the invention of a special bullet" that could be equipped with different kinds of toxic agents, including tabun, sarin, soman, cyclosarin and Novichok among others.

"In other words, this document confirms that in the United States the 'Novichok'-type nerve agents were not just produced but also patented as a chemical weapon. And not some long time ago, but just a couple of years ago – the patent is dated December 1, 2015," the diplomat said.

On April 12, the OPCW presented a report to the members of the organization on the findings of the Salisbury incident's investigation. According to the information obtained, the OPCW has affirmed London's conclusions about the nature of the toxic substance that the Skripals were poisoned with. At the same time, the details of the report have not been disclosed, since it is available only to representatives of OPCW member countries.

18.04.2018 - Russian Delegation to OPCW : Induced Coma was used to Manipulate Skripals' Health
Russian Delegation to OPCW: Induced Coma Was Used to Manipulate Skripals' Health

Russian representatives to the OPCW have expressed their opinion that former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were put into a state of induced coma in order to manipulate their health. They also believe it was used to prevent the access of Russian experts to both victims.

"British medical workers, as we believe, have put Sergei and Yulia Skripal into an induced coma state deliberately, which gave them the opportunity to collect biological material and manipulate the state of their health, even without consulting with them," the statement by the Russian delegation to the OPCW said.

A special OPCW session devoted to the Salisbury incident assembled on April 18, where the UK presented its report on the case. The Russian representatives to the organization noted that the report was filled with phrases showing uncertainty, such as "highly likely," "no other explanation," "it is likely that."

"Neither the lab in Porton Down nor the OPCW report identified the lab or the country that produced the agent that was used in the attack, but it is highly likely that…" the Russian representatives summed up the British report.

19.04.2018 - Chemical Agent in Skripal Case produced in Western Labs, Expert says
Chemical Agent in Skripal Case Produced in Western Labs, Expert Says

The chemical substance in the case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal poisoning in the UK city of Salisbury with great certainty has been produced in one of western laboratories, chemical weapons expert said.

The head of Chemical and Biological Weapon Restrictive Conventions Analytical Research Center under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Viktor Kholstov said that the chemical agent in Skripal's poisoning case has been produced in western laboratories.

"The issue of 'Novichoks' has gained widespread in a considerable number of western laboratories. It is fair to say that today there are at least 20 of such laboratories which undertake work related to 'Novichoks'," expert said. "It can be said with great certainty that the manufacture is somewhere at those laboratories," he said in an intervew with the Russian Investigative Committee.

Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on March 4 at a shopping center in the UK city of Salisbury. UK Government was quick to accuse Moscow for being behind the alleged "attack". Russian government refuted all allegations, pointing at the lack of evidence to support such claims and demanded access to the case's materials, including samples of the nerve agent, which UK believes to be the substance from the so-called "Novichok" group, more commonly known as A-234.

Viktor Kholstov noted that all Russian chemical weapons stockpiles had been destroyed in full capacity, as well as every production facility had been closed down under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction which had entered into force in 1997.

Recently, the Russian Envoy to the the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin stated that London cannot provide real evidence of its version of the Skripal case, saying that the OPCW report on the Salisbury case is "questionable," and that the final conclusions can be made only after receiving the chemical and spectral analysis of the samples. Envoy said that the British side suggested that Moscow confess to one of the two invented versions: either that the poisoning of Skripals was a deliberate act of Russia or that Russia lost control over the allegedly available arsenals of poisonous substances.

18.04.2018 - Refusal to Cooperate with Russia to Confirm Skripal Case was Western Provocation
Refusal to Cooperate With Russia to Confirm Skripal Case Was Western Provocation

Russia's permanent representative to the OPCW said that further refusal to cooperation with Russia would confirm suspicions that the Skripal case was a gross provocation by western intelligence services.

Russia's permanent representative also said Wednesday that Russia was not alone in supporting an unbiased probe into the Salisbury incident during the session of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Executive Council dedicated to the poisoning case of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom.

"I should tell you that we have not felt ourselves alone during today's session of the [OPCW] Executive Council. There were sound statements and voices from some states, such as Pakistan, India, Brazil and South Africa. There were calls for an unbiased and comprehensive investigation to find out the truth in order to understand the details of the Salisbury incident," Alexander Shulgin said at a press conference.

He stressed that it was time for Russia and the United Kingdom to reach agreement on fully-fledged cooperation in investigation of the Salisbury incident.

"Maybe, it is high time for us and the UK side to agree on the beginning of a full-fledged cooperation [on the Salisbury incident]," Alexander Shulgin said at a press conference.


Dagobah Resident
The media debacle fits more for a case of ultra-woke frenzy political games played in the public space. The Salisbury incident has become devoid of any real meaning.


Dagobah Resident
With this Salisbury James Bond episode, and Boris Johnson playing the sales bitch for the White Helmets (What a stupid advertisement, I wouldn't even buy Tupperware from that), they are really heading for a complete different Space-Time :nuts:


The Living Force
Sat Apr 21, 2018 - UK Police Probing for Alleged Skripal Case 'Persons of Interest'

British media said Saturday UK police and intelligence agencies claim to have identified key suspects in the poisoning of a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

According to The Telegraph daily, a breakthrough in the criminal inquiry was allegedly made after investigators studied CCTV footage in Salisbury and flight manifests to and from the United Kingdom, Sputnik reported.

The newspaper reported that the police are trying to build a case against "persons of interest" in the investigation and that they believe those people are now in Russia.

The outlet also quoted David Videcette, a former Metropolitan police detective, speaking on the topic: “There may be circumstantial evidence that shows certain Russians were on certain flights and were also in Salisbury at the time but that doesn’t necessarily prove evidentially that they carried out the attack. I suspect that is where the police have got to so far.”

Sat Apr 21, 2018 - Ambassador: Russia Has Every Reason to Qualify Ex-Spy Situation as Abduction

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko said at a London press conference on Friday that Moscow has every reason to qualify the situation concerning the poisoning of former military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia as an abduction.

"Considering all the facts now we have more reasons to qualify this situation as an abduction of two Russian nationals," he stated, adding that the Russian Embassy "sent a request to the British side to allow medical examination of Yulia Skripal to be conducted by Russian specialists", TASS reported.

"So far we don’t have any answer," Yakovenko noted.

"We get the impression that the British government is deliberately pursuing the policy of destroying all possible evidence," he stressed.

Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4, according to London.

Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident.

Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.

Chief Executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down Gary Aitkenhead said later that British experts had been unable to identify the origin of the nerve agent used in the attack on the Skripals.

On April 12, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released a report, which confirmed the information about the toxic agent in question but shed no light on its origin.


Dagobah Resident
I suspect that the Skripals (father and daughter) won't stay alive for long, if they're not already dead and/or replaced...


The Living Force
25.04.2018 - Alleged Novichok Creator Hit by Car in Russia's Anapa
Alleged Novichok Creator Hit by Car in Russia's Anapa

Sputnik managed to reach one of the scientists that allegedly contributed to the creation of the military-grade nerve agent Novichok, and who reportedly got hit by a car while crossing street near the Russian town of Anapa.

Several media outlets reported Wednesday that Vladimir Uglev, a former Soviet scientist who claims to have invented Novichok, was hospitalized following an accident; the man was hit by a car while standing by a pedestrian crossing in Anapa.

“I’m fine, more or less; I left the hospital after an examination yesterday evening – X-ray, tomography, ultrasound and several injections, after writing a statement that I had no complaints towards the medical personnel. My peer, who accidentally knocked me down while I was crossing the street, came to see me today, we had some coffee and, in general, parted well. I have told the police that I had no complaints towards the party responsible for the accident,” Uglev told Sputnik.

He went on to explain that he had severe bruises on his head, hand, and a “huge blood boil” on his left leg, “which bothered him the most.”

Novichok gained notoriety after UK police claimed that former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was exposed to a military-grade nerve gas, identified by law enforcement officers as Novichok, allegedly developed in Russia.


The Living Force
01.05.2018 - Scotland Yard yet to find Suspects in Salisbury Case - National Security Adviser
Scotland Yard Yet to Find Suspects in Salisbury Case – National Security Adviser

The Metropolitan Police is yet to find suspects in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia despite the conflicting media reports, UK National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill said.

In April, The Sunday People media outlet reported that a former officer of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), codenamed Gordon, had been identified as a suspect connected to the Salisbury poisonings. The outlet claimed that the suspect had already left the United Kingdom for Russia.

Asked at a hearing of the UK lower house defense committee if the suspects in the attack have been identified, UK National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill Sedwill replied "Not yet."

At the same time, the UK authorities are currently changing their strategies in order to provide security for the defectors, who can become the target of similar attacks, according to the official.

"The police, who are responsible for protective security, and the various agencies alongside them are reviewing the security of all people who might be vulnerable in that way," Sedwill said.

29.04.2018 - The Skripal and Douma Incidents are Parts of a Plan To Bring Russia Down - Chemist
The Skripal and Douma Incidents Are Parts of Plan to Bring Russia Down – Chemist

Syrian troops continue to find terrorist deposits with chemical weapons from Germany and the UK in Douma, according to the Syrian deputy envoy to the OPCW. He has called on OPCW to visit the site and expressed hope that they would dispel all allegations. Sputnik discussed it with Dr. Christopher Busby, of the European Committee on Radiation Risk.

Dr. Christopher Busby is a physical chemist and the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk.

Sputnik: Does it come as a surprise that Europe-manufactured chemical weapons were found at the place where the so called attack took place?

Dr. Christopher Busby: There're two types of chemical weapons essentially. You can classify them as materials which were designed as weapons like the nerve gases and the WW1 agents like mustard gas and so forth. But there're also materials that can be used as chemical weapons, but actually are really quite common and they're used for other things as well. So I see that people have mentioned that they find chlorine cylinders. Chlorine can certainly be used as a chemical weapon and was in WW1 but it's not essentially a chemical weapon. It's used for purifying water and of course in the Middle East it's necessary to purify water because it's quite warm. And then smoke bombs were mentioned also. But then again smoke bombs could be materials that are used by farmers for fumigating moles. So if that is all that was found I don't think that it's necessarily a find of chemical weapons, it's just a find of materials that could be used as chemical weapons.

Sputnik: At the recent gathering in The Hague Russia brought witnesses from the town of Douma, I think very famous is the young man who everybody saw in the attack. And of course Western powers called that a Russian stunt. What do you make of the adequacy of that reaction?

Dr. Christopher Busby: I always disbelieve everybody to start off with, that's where I come from in all of these affairs. I've dealt with this sort of issue with depleted uranium weapons usage and so on. But I do happen to have a line into this because I have a friend called Robert Fisk who I utterly trust. He's quite a famous reporter and I worked with him in the Balkans long ago with depleted uranium and also in the Middle East with depleted uranium. And he actually visited Douma and he talked to a lot of the doctors and nurses and individuals there and interviewed them. And they told him that there was no chemical attack, that there had not been a chemical attack that some "White Helmets" had rushed in. There was a lot of dust and lack of oxygen because of bombing and they just rushed in and shouted, "Chemicals!" and everybody of course had panicked. And so they then started spraying water over people and videoing the whole thing. So I believe Robert Fisk, I believe him utterly and I think it was a stunt and the stunt was carried out by these "White Helmet" people. And then the question of course arises as to who asked them to do that, whether they did it off their own bat or whether it was some operation that was controlled from a higher level, either by the Americans presumably or by the United Kingdom.

Sputnik: I was just wondering, in Douma there've also been accusations that that Russia and Syria may have tempered with evidence. How realistic is that to temper with evidence? Is it possible to clean up a site where these chemicals had been used in such a way that the OPCW wouldn't be able to find them once they entered that area?

Dr. Christopher Busby: No, there's no way that could be done. Absolutely no way that could be done. If the chemical weapons were there and if we can trust the OPCW and their laboratories then they would find them. There's no question….The only way you could tamper it was to alter the samples between the time that they were taken and the time that they appeared in the laboratories of the OPCW. And then to do that, if you were going to get rid of the evidence, you'd have to replace the samples with pure samples. You'd actually have to steal the entire sample and put back a sample that was pure. But a more easy way of doing it if you want to do the opposite would be to add some nerve agent or some chemical weapon material to the sample before it got to the laboratory and I believe actually there has been an accusation of that in the case of the Skripals.

Sputnik: Do you think that there's a connection between the Skripal matter and Douma?

Dr. Christopher Busby: Yes, I do. And it's not just between those two things. It also brings in the general move against the Russians, which I've observed since I've been living in Latvia by NATO forces concentrating in Latvia and by all sorts of media in Latvia saying that the Russians are going to come over the border and they are going to generally take back the whole territories of the Baltic states and so forth.

Sputnik: So, would you tend to think that the Skripal matter was sort of an attempt to discredit Russia prior to the events in Douma?

Dr. Christopher Busby: Yes, I do. I think it's all one operation. Otherwise there're too many coincidences here. It's all about chemical weapons and it starts in Britain and then it moves to Syria. It's very crudely done, rather stupidly done and it's brought in a kind of joint operation by the, I don't know who you'd call them, by those militaristic hawks and their secret service operators that have existed ever since the Second World Warw right through the Cold War and right through to the present day in the Pentagon and in the British Secret Service. They're really trying to stir up something against Russia. They're trying to bring Russia down. So you have to think about why that would be and at the same time you have to bring in the fact that Brexit has suddenly occurred out of the blue. And I think that's all part of the same thing. There's some large plan going on behind the scenes here that has to do with the petrodollar, it has to do with global spheres of influence. And of course as far as that's concerned, one of the most powerful countries in the world is Russia. It has enormous natural resources — it's got gas, it's got oil, it's got uranium, it's got everything. So really Russia can just sit back and laugh, whereas the Americans have got some gigantic national debt. And that national debt is only underpinned by the petrodollar and if the petrodollar goes down and these Middle Eastern countries start selling their oil in non-US currency then of course the US economy will completely melt down and I think what all this is about.
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