13 September 2018
Earlier today, RT released an interview which their editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan had with the two “suspects” whom Prime Minister Theresa May identified to Parliament last week.
The upshot of this interview is that the Russian position has changed substantially from what it has been over the past four months: “give us the proofs” of the crime and our involvement.
The testimony of the two suspects, Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bashirov, amounts to a direct refutation of the entire “facts” or “evidence” presented by London last week to support their story on the poisoning.
Now there are only two conclusions possible:
A) that London has concocted the Skripal case from start to finish; British intelligence staged the poisoning and after much effort combing the CCTV footage for Russians who arrived in the UK and who traveled to Salisbury just before the poisoning, they produced the falsified photos of the suspects released last week. Falsified in the sense that the novichok supposedly found in their hotel room was planted after the fact by MI6, and that the CCTV records have been tampered with to suit the timelines over two days in a scenario devised by MI6. In this case, the whole case should be properly investigated by neutral third parties.
B) that the Russians are lying from start to finish and these two suspects should be properly interrogated by neutral third parties,
I personally believe in the “A” case.
Other commentators have looked for flaws in each aspect of the British story from the first moment of the poisoning straight through the identical time records on the CCTV snapshot of the two suspects coming through passport and customs upon arrival in the UK on a direct flight from Moscow. These issues are all debatable. I look instead to the important circumstantial evidence in the way each episode in the Skripal case has been publicized by British authorities at chosen intervals so as to hit the newsrooms at moments that have great political sensitivity for Russia.
The poisoning itself came just two weeks before the March presidential elections. Further revelations came just before the opening of the World Cup and now the release of the months old CCTV pictures comes just prior to the Russian backed Syrian offensive to crush jihadists in Idlib province that will mark the total victory of Russian foreign and military policy over US and Western policy in Syria and the immediate region.
.All of the Skripal revelations have been stage managed to do maximum damage to Russia’s image in the international community and/or to influence political processes within Russia.
The objective of the Skripal case, was to present the “Putin regime” as a wanton user of chemical weapons abroad and place it on a par with Bashar Assad’s Syria as a pariah state.
Whatever one’s persuasions may be, it is clear that the Btitish and Russian accounts are now in direct contradiction, We are headed for a continued and still more dramatic political confrontation between the two countries and their allies.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2018