Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 19, 2018

NHS Doctor: "No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury"

There have been some interesting developments in the alleged poisoning case of the British-Russian double-agent Sergej Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The British governments standing on the issue is getting worse as more inconsistencies and doubts on its statements come to light. The international support for its claims is weakening.

On March 4 the Skripals collapsed on a public bench in Salisbury in England after they had visited a pub and a restaurant. They were brought to the local hospital. A local policemen was probably also affected. (See our previous posts, liked at the end, for many additional details.) A week later, on March 12, the British government said that a nerve agent was the cause of the incident and accused Russia of being responsible for the act:

Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with Novichok—a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Based on this capability, combined with Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations—including against former intelligence officers whom it regards as legitimate targets—the UK Government concluded it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for this reckless and despicable act.

Novichok is not a nerve agent but supposedly a group of chemical substances investigated in the Soviet Union for their nerve agent potential. Only recently have some of these substances been synthesized.

Former ambassador Craig Murray reported that the formulation "... a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, ..." was a compromise negotiated between the British government and its chemical weapon specialists in its Porton Down laboratory. Note that the statement does not implicate at all that Russia is involved in the current case.

The British government demanded a Russian response within 24 hours without presenting any evidence of Russian involvement. Russia rightly pointed out that such a demand is in breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) procedures as supervised by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and rejected it.

The U.S, Britain, France and Germany issued a common supporting statement which repeated the British formulation:

This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.
We share the United Kingdom’s assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia’s failure to address the legitimate request by the government of the United Kingdom further underlines Russia’s responsibility. We call on Russia to address all questions related to the attack in Salisbury.

Since then many questions and doubts about the British government's Noviochok drama have been raised. Bit by bit the case is falling apart.

Consider for example this picture which shows Mr. Skripal and his daughter Yulia presumably in the pub or the restaurant they visited before they collapsed. Who is the third person, visible in the mirror between them, who took the picture?

Via Maxim A. Suchkov and Дмитрий Стешин - bigger
Is this third person the MI6 agent Pablo Miller who in 1995 recruited Skripal as British double agent. Miller who was also involved in handling the MI6 assets Boris Berezovski and Alexander Litvinenko. Pablo Miller who lives close to Sergej Skripal in Salisbury and is considered to be his friend? The same Pablo Miller who worked with former MI6 agent Christopher Steele's Orbis Business Intelligence which created the 'dirty dossier' about Donald Trump? How deep were the Skripals involved in making up the fake stories in the anti-Trump dossier for which the Clinton campaign paid more than $168,000 dollars. Did the Skripals threaten to talk about the issue? Is that why the incident happened?

So far no information about the third person which took the above picture has come to light.

On March 16 the British government was still pleased with the success of the drama it constructed from a movie script (video) around the Skripal incident.

The headline and intro of the BBC story are telling: Russian spy: UK government response going to plan so far

Among senior ministers and officials, there's quiet satisfaction that the Russia crisis seems to be going according to plan. Maybe even better.

According to one senior government source, "it's gone at least as well as we'd hoped".

That may end soon.

The London Times reported on March 14th that 40 people in Salisbury needed treatment because of poisoning. A reader's letter to the paper written by "Steven Davies - Consultant in emergency medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust" disputes that report. (The NHS database lists Davies, GMC membership number 4122151, as specialist in accident and emergency services at the Salisbury District Hospital.) The letter seems to say that none of the hospital's patients were effected by "nerve agents" at all:

Sir, Further to your report "Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment", Mar 14), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only been ever been three patients with significant poisoning.


The wording of the letter is not 100% clear. Does the "no patients" refer to only the 40 the Times mentioned or to all patents including the Skripals? Are the three patients with "significant poisoning" the Skripals and the affected policeman? Commentator Noirette had suggested here that the Skripal case was about food poisoning or a food allergy, not nerve agents. The Skripals had visited a fish restaurant one hour before they were found. The letter points into a similar direction. Food poisoning would also explain why a doctor who gave emergency help  to the unconscious Yulia Skripal for over 30 minutes was not effected at all.

I have yet to see a follow up on the letter by any media. Why is there no interview with the doctor? All medical personal involved are astonishingly silent. Since day one there has been no medical update on the health status of the Skripals. Has the government issued a gag order in from of a DA-Notice which prohibits reporting? Why? By writing the above letter Steven Davies, the Salisbury emergency consultant, probably circumvented it. (Several British media ignored a 2017 DA-notice prohibiting the reporting of Christopher Steele's name.)

The UK has since folded on its unilateral demand outside of the OPCW procedures. It has now, as Russia demanded, involved the OPCW and OPCW specialist are expected to visit the British chemical weapon laboratory in Porton Down, which is near Salisbury, to investigate the case.

But the British Foreign office also raised a new accusation against Russia:

The Foreign Secretary revealed this morning that we have information indicating that within the last decade, Russia has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents likely for assassination. And part of this programme has involved producing and stockpiling quantities of Novichok. This is a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson used a less hedged wording:

"We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok," Johnson told the BBC.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - bigger

Craig Murray took the Johnson statement apart. If the UK really had or has such information why did it not, as the CWC demands, inform the OPCW of Russia's potential breach of its obligations? Why is this coming out only now?

The British allies seem to be unimpressed by Boris Johnson's show.

Today the German Foreign Minister tracked back from the common position issued last week:

Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, has described Russia as a "difficult partner", but said the UK poisoning was a "bilateral" issue, indicating that Britain can count on little support from the EU.

Maas spoke ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday (19 March)

A common statement after the EU foreign ministers meeting did not blame Russia. It repeated the carefully negotiated wording of the original British accusation but did not endorse the British position:

The European Union takes extremely seriously the UK Government's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible.

The European Union is shocked at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years.
The EU welcomes the commitment of the UK to work closely with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in supporting the investigation into the attack.

The statement is false in that nerve agents have actually been used on European soil over the last 70 years. During the Cold War Britain tested various types of chemical and biological weapons, including nerve agents, on its own population as well as in its colonies and in other countries. Why should we exclude an even more recent use?

The Skripal poisoning case stinks. The British government is obviously not telling the truth about it. It uses the script of a recent spy drama to allege a 'Novichok' attack to implicate Russia and to raise anti-Russian sentiment. Information about the case is evidently held back. The media is mostly complicit.

Foreign countries have noticed that the story stinks and are tracking back on their support.

The people and the British opposition should urgently demand more and better answer from May's failing government.


Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the Skripal case:

Posted by b on March 19, 2018 at 20:11 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

The photo could have been taken at their request by a complete stranger. Wonder who's phone it was taken off. The two glasses nearest the photographer don't appear to have been used, the Skripal's glasses are full. Johnin MK at 1.

Photo is in the Zizzi Restaurant, Salisbury (as J says further down.) Whether it is ‘of the day’ I did not check but it probably is. (Unless they ate lunch there everyday ..)

The photo was taken by a companion of theirs. The person is sitting at their table, facing them. (Not a resto employee or a stranger, who would not sit.) Father and daughter are seated close together and the ‘companion’ is alone, opposite them, positioned more or less in-between them, that is how we know he is not accompanied by e.g. wife.

The F- D pair are sitting with their backs to the mirror. See Yulia’s dress for ex to the viewer’s right which shows this clearly. — Sergey’s beer which appears front in the pic, and mirrored in the back. — The spout on the oil bottle (front stage) can be seen in the mirror as well. (The two empty glasses are on another set, table, and have nothing to do with them.)

The companion was with them, see also the pose of the pair who are toasting the occasion, to and with the photographer, and not posing for a pic by a stranger (looking at each other, or in portrait mode, or guying.) They are *including* the man taking the photo, saluting. The pic was taken before the meal, this is first drinks/apéritif, the ordered drinks hardly consumed yet. See the menu, the clear table, etc. The companion takes a photo right away as later he may forget or be distracted, imho.

The photo below (also posted above by Peter) is as far as I can be sure, Pablo Miller. The pic is old, very old, maybe 15 years or more. His Spanish good looks fit with his name..

The man in the restaurant is (imho) not him, he looks very like Sergey and Tania, so I wondered if he might be a relative. He is taking a pic with a small digital camera, not a phone, so he must have uploaded it to another device and sent it to XYZ, probably Tania and Sergey and many others…where it came from to be published by the media would be interesting to know.

Ross Cassidy seems like a very good bet! An almost perfect match, super sleuthing > Alogon 68.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 20 2018 14:31 utc | 101


Israel has not signed the chemical weapons treaty, and as a result their government facility at Nes Ziona that tests and produces chemical and biological agents is not subject to international inspection. Very convenient for the other powers backing Israel if the rogue state does the dirty work.

Israel is capable of doing this sort of thing on its own, but, as you say, if Israel did Salisbury, it was probably with U.S. backing. And what Washington sponsors, the Tory UK government has to go along with. But this whole business does have the added benefit for the UK establishment of being a way to attack Corbyn.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 20 2018 14:32 utc | 102

101 should have been directed at partisan@86.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 20 2018 14:35 utc | 103

Since I used to be in branches of the U.S. military that work for NSA, I have never carried a cellphone (aka mobile phone). I was all too aware of what they could be made to do. Perhaps this former GRU officer did the same.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 20 2018 14:43 utc | 104

>>>> Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 6:53:02 PM | 50

Are there different images of the same locality taken from different angles?

No. They are two entirely different pubs about 900 metres apart.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 20 2018 15:45 utc | 105

Shouldn't there have been an update on their conditions by now?

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Mar 20 2018 15:56 utc | 106

>>>> JohninMK | Mar 19, 2018 7:09:06 PM | 52

Looking at what people are not doing is almost as important as looking at what people are doing. In this case, not testing blood samples from someone who might have been exposed to nerve agents, if only to provide evidence to justify the hysteria, very strongly suggests to me that the authorities know that a nerve agent wasn't involved.
The person complaining was referred by the Walk-in Centre to the District Hospital. I reckon he has confused a nurse practitioner(found in hospitals) with a practice nurse (found in GP surgeries). The nurse practitioner obviously didn't want to waste her valuable time messing around doing pointless test. The District Hospital would have the ability to take blood samples at all times using either phlebotomists or actual nurses. As for testing any blood samples for the presence of nerve agents, Porton Down is about ten miles away.
If this "incident" really involved nerve agents, anybody who might have come in contact with them would have had their blood tested.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 20 2018 16:02 utc | 107

The photographer looks to be wearing a watch on right wrist?
2500x1875p image

Ross Cassidy wears a watch on his left wrist.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 20 2018 17:35 utc | 108

Mirror image, Peter! Good catch however.

Posted by: jonku | Mar 20 2018 18:36 utc | 109

The watches in each image seem to be large with a thick stainless steel band. Could easily be the same watch.

Posted by: jonku | Mar 20 2018 18:40 utc | 110

B: "The wording of the letter is not 100% clear."

I know you are not a native speaker of English, b, but the text of the letter is 100% clear and unambiguous in every respect. It says: (1) there were no patients in Salisbury with symptoms of nerve agent poisoning; (2) there were 3 patients with significant poisoning, but none of them with symptoms of nerve agent; (4) numerous other people attented the hospital exclusively out of fear of exposure, and in all cases had no symptoms of poisoning whatsoever, any blood tests were negative; and (5) no member of the public (i.e. other than the Skripals and the policeman) were affected by the poison that affected the Skripals.

mali @88:
The letter makes it perfectly clear that the 40 members of the public had no poisoning at all.

Posted by: BM | Mar 20 2018 18:42 utc | 111

jonku 108

You are right. Thanks. Had to check in the mirror while holding something in my left hand.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 20 2018 19:11 utc | 112

It’s dawned on me, too, there’s never been any nerve agent involved in any of this. Something at least that we can now be sure of, thanks to this courageous doctor.

Regarding food poisoning like some folks here have said – I doubt it very much, if you mean rotten fish or anything like that. Over the course of the day, more people would have been affected. Plus you don’t become ill all of a sudden, to the point where you simply collapse on a park bench, have no control of your eyes and develop frothing at the mouth. If it had been food related, they would have vomited like mad and soiled their pants way before becoming critically ill.

The Wikipedia article for our Salisbury District Hospital curiously mentions thallium poisoning, something I haven’t heard anywhere else. We can rule that out, too, easily. It is a deadly poison, but it doesn’t act that fast and the symptoms are different. Massive hair loss, a tingling in your feet and legs, fatigue, before you deteriorate bit by bit. In order to become near comatose within 2 hours, they would have had to wolf down a whole bar of the stuff on an empty stomach.

So what happened? Disregarding the letter from the courageous doctor, I’d assume that nothing serious at all has happened to the Skripals. They would merely have been actors in an extended emergency exercise slash false-flag event over which to go to war with Russia. They’d be safe on the Bahamas by now, enjoying a Moscow Mule or something. But there is the letter and I think we have to take it into account down to the last detail. So the Skripals plus that policeman have suffered from poisoning, period.

If we take that as a given, their condition cannot however be all that serious. Like many here have asked, where are the medical bulletins that the public would normally be provided with given the magnitude and uniqueness of the incident? Likewise, no transfers to a more suitable hospital, no specialists flown in, no nothing.

On the contrary, judging by their Twitter timeline (that plus their CEO’s), staff over at Salisbury Hospital seem to be in a rather cheerful mood and much more concerned with the heavy snowfalls than the recent “major incident”.

And it seems like everybody was all smiles when Aunty May came down to visit

What do you make of this: “The behind the scenes major incident team keeping the show on the road“ – they don’t seem to be too concerned?

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 20 2018 20:18 utc | 113

@79 petri... just wanted to tell you that i do read your posts! and i do relate to what you say here too.. thanks... problem is, it is still all conjecture and hard for us outsiders to know...

"I do not think the British found out about the alleged Russian program by themselves. They received the information, along with the disinformation from a foreign intelligence service. Most likely this was Israeli Mossad. Why would Mossad feed the British lies about a Russian assassination program, unless they wanted to pin their own assassinations on Russia.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 20, 2018 12:13:12 AM | 79"

@101 noirette... thanks.. that is a pretty good overview.... check @ 108 peter au's comments.. - good observation peter!!! what do you think noirette???

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2018 20:34 utc | 114

i guess jonku is right about the mirror throwing us off.. thanks @110 jonku...

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2018 20:36 utc | 115

Gibbon @64 was right that the beer or at least the glass is Peroni

Pic of Zizzi beer glass. Matches the glass Skripol is holding.
From">">From this site

Zizzi may not be the place though. Noirette 101 has linked the Zizzi Salisbury web site that shows pics of the different dining area.
Colour scheme of seating/upholstery is similar in each dining area and does not match Skripol pic.
All tables in Skripol pic look to be cover with a white cloth and set with wine glasses and perhaps oil bottle. This again does not match any picture of Zizzi restaurants. No other pic of zizzi shows white coverings on the table. The windows appear to have four panes of glass similar to the upper floors of Zizzi Salisbury. What is on the upper floors? I cannot find any pics.

The Skriptol's appear to have menu in front of them.
Zizzi menus look like this
If that is a menu in the Skiptol pic then it is not a Zizzi menu.

The media advertise the pic as at the Zizzi restaurant on the day they were poisoned but that seems doubtful. The photographer looks to be Ross Cassidy so the pic may be from Sat 4th, the day he picked up the daughter from the airport, or anytime in the past.
Another pic of the Skripal's
They may well go to a restaurant and have a photo taken each time they meet up.

Who is disseminating these photos and why?
east2west are credited by Metro for both of the father and daughter pics.
I have checked other news sites where the second father/daughter photo has appeared but the ones I checked had "Not Known" as source. Sent to news sites anonymously?
Sounds like Salisbury is a retirement village for spooks.
Who is Ross Cassidy?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 20 2018 21:36 utc | 116

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower, linked in the featured commentary of Debisdead, is a very long piece of misdirection, in the vein of TV show Dallas and how it outed crimes of the oligarchy.

I read up to this paragraph:

But Wylie offers a unique, worm’s-eye view of the events of 2016. Of how Facebook was hijacked, repurposed to become a theatre of war: how it became a launchpad for what seems to be an extraordinary attack on the US’s democratic process.

Yeah right. Facebook repurposed. LOL.

When I first encountered the phrase Debisdead, it was was a mocking reference made to a weeping white trash American fan-atic of Elvis, who had just discovered their hero had died of a drug overdose whilst sittng on a commode.

Oh Perfidious Agents of Fetid Albion.

Posted by: C I eh? | Mar 20 2018 21:48 utc | 117

@peter - you have been asking why east2west is the outlet credited to these photos.. it is a good question, but it is impossible to find out..

check out this on ross cassidy... someone has more info on him, but it is not easily gotten on the net at present...

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2018 21:49 utc | 118

Somewhere in the posts and commentary here on this subject, note was made of some container containing a potent painkiller was found by the victims on the bench. One of the effects can be inhibited breathing which might appear as foaming at the mouth attempting to breath. If the police officer attempted resuscitation through mouth to mouth, as trained, whatever substance would be introduced to the rescuer; the Doctor attending would not likely be the one resuscitating the victim but supervising the attempt. Given the possibility of veracity in the reports of the number of overdose deaths from painkillers, it seems likely fentanyl type substance was involved. Look to wikipedia for effects. Might the fentanyl have been substituted for tablets for indigestion in an assassination attempt? The British 'Good Ol' Boys' nefarious spy networks can provide immaculate cover for such games. Food poisoning will take hours to affect, making that unlikely. Drugs and poisons are usually immediate in their effect. Russia is too distant to have any part in this drama and its operands would be fairly obvious in Wiltshire.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 20 2018 22:08 utc | 119

@119 thanks James. I've been looking for more info on Ross without much success. Wondering if he's visited Sergei and Julia in hospital yet?

Posted by: Dh | Mar 20 2018 22:09 utc | 120

@ james, thanks had read the article earlier but re-read it. Cassidy has not long been in UK. Son says the Izuzu D-max was his first car in the country.

@ Ghost Ship, yesterday all my searches for Mill pub kept taking me to the Mill Hotel. Tried again today and got the right one. Thanks.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 20 2018 22:29 utc | 121

why would Father/Daughter be sitting on the same side of the booth if the photographer weren't in their party? Not to mention, the glass array tends to lead one to conclude that this was at least a 3-party group.

Posted by: Tbone | Mar 20 2018 23:35 utc | 122

@120 f t bear... that's conceivable as well..

@ dh / peter... here is a bit more as well

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2018 23:51 utc | 123

Well, this is certainly an interesting read -- a new interview with one of the people who claims to have worked on Novichoks, Vladimir Uglev:

As journalist Mark Ames has noted on Twitter, this complicates the narrative. Uglev reports that one of the Novichok agents was used in 1995 to kill a Moscow banker whom Ames identifies as a member of the Moscow Mafia and the victim of a mob hit. Uglev also claims these agents have been around since the 1970s/1980s and seems to suggest that other governments would have some knowledge of the technology. It's an oddly unsatisfying interview in that it's not always clear what Uglev is claiming. But definitely worth a read.

Posted by: Emily Dickinson | Mar 21 2018 0:16 utc | 124

Scott Bingeington @ 114:

I lean towards food poisoning. The Skripals ate seafood risotto for lunch. The risotto included mussels and prawns but not fish. Shellfish can carry toxins from algae. Proper food preparation and cooking do not necessarily remove the toxins.

There are four different types of shellfish toxins that can poison humans. Depending on what poisoned the Skripals, the symptoms of poisoning can include amnesia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of coordination.

Not everyone who visited Zizzi's in Salisbury would have suffered from food poisoning. You've got to give the restaurant some credit for having a varied menu even if half of it is pizza and more pizza!

As for what put DS Nick Bailey into hospital, I surmise the Skripals' pet animals might have scratched or bit him as he and his colleague/s were taking them away. Or else the detectives might have planted something at the house and he happened to spill some of the stuff accidentally.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2018 0:27 utc | 125

@125 emily, i happened to see that linked on craig murrays site.. it is interesting.. i am curious who runs that site.. i looks set up to imply russians run it.. hard to know...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 1:36 utc | 126

East2west News may be Ukraine.
I have been going through a lot of photos credited to them, also the accompanying articles.
They supply original photos mostly to UK and Ukraine news sites.
Photos are in two types of news articles - anti Russia propaganda and tabloid sensational type articles on Ukrainians.
For the ant Russian articles the generally supply the pic of the required Russian.

Russia to Europe - East to West?

MI6/CIA operation? Local assets supplying pics from Ukraine, and perhaps Russia, intel agency supplying other pics when required such as the two different photos of the Skipal's dining out? Tabloid pics to cover the anti Russia intel operation?

The US based east2west media group I linked to earlier in the thread, although it has a section that would be called a troll factory if it were Russian, does not seem to be the east2west news that is supplying the pics.

east2west news has no website and I cannot find any information on them.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2018 1:38 utc | 127

It was OffGuardian who raised the point about the Salisbury doctor’s wording, on Twitter a couple of days ago.

Tweet went pretty viral and they updated it yesterday

Maybe someone should ask them if they’ve had any follow up?

Posted by: Neve | Mar 21 2018 2:16 utc | 128

East2west News looks the be Ukraine going by content of pics. All pics they supply seem original. supply required pics for anti Russia articles in UK and Ukraine plus a few Ukraine pics for tabloid type articles

Different to the east2west news group I linked to earlier in the thread.
No site, no info on them.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 21 2018 2:29 utc | 129

@125 emily dickinson... i sent that article to a friend as i was curious of how authentic it might be.. they are suggesting it is legit.. they also say this in there response to me - " it makes valuable claims. The most important -- that there is a molecular marker ("passport"). It means that the marker should be identical between the samples of the posion and the blood samples of the three victims; also, that the marker cannot be forged or fabricated. If OPCW fudges on this evidential point, and if blood samples and poison samoples are not provided by the British to the Russians, then it is Certainty No. 15 -- the British have fabricated the story of the source and the culpabability.

I am not following everything, but I note that Uglev says something I've not seen reported anywhere -- that the Skripals are on machine life support, and that they are likely to die if taken off. The latter is something my sources have indicated; they didn't tell me that life-support machines are being used. The hospital bulletin makes the distinction of consciousness between DS Bailey and the Skripals, but not a distinction between the medical machinery being used.

Another important point is that Uglev claims that the Russian Novichok series was not developed, and could not be developed as binary weapon. Thus, if the media-reported claims about multiple components are accurate, then the poison cannot have been a Russian manufacture. " i am just passing along my friends observations on this article...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 2:50 utc | 130

James @ 130:

Full text of what Vladimir Uglev had to say about the Skripals' chances of survival:

"... If Skripal and his daughter received a lethal dose of B-1976, C-1976, or D-1980, then, most likely, they will suffer the same fate as earlier victims. There is no antidote to these agents. I can say with nearly 100% certainty that if Skripal and his daughter are taken [off] life support, they will die, although they are now only technically alive ..."

This is assuming that the Skripals were exposed to nerve gas agents of the kind Uglev refers to. We do not yet know if they were exposed to such. Uglev says further down:

" ... So far, I have only read the confirmation by Theresa May that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by nerve paralyzing agents. British scientists have not said anything yet ..."

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2018 3:07 utc | 131

@131 jen,

you are correct and thank you for your various posts! at this point, any conclusion is premature...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 3:20 utc | 132

Nerve gas poisons are fast acting, so if Skripals were indeed poisoned it happened on the outdoor bench. A squirt gun? If something like that was involved, it could be a relatively low tech, make it at home operation for someone working at Porton Down. For anyone else, the proximity of Porton Down would be irrelevant.

It also seem that the victim were not a priority target for anyone. Russians are interested in performing periodic spy exchanges, otherwise recruitment of foreign agents would plunge -- all states have some compromise between the needs of intelligence and counter-intelligence. Intelligence is more important for states capable of properly analyzing and using the information, and rather useless for idiots. So major states think that intelligence is more important for THEM (my native Poland should prioritize counter-intelligence or just give up, I guess they practice a combination of the two, so I would not suspect Poland, more plausible are Ukraine, Baltics, Gulfies, UK, USA, and Tuvalu that should be always considered when there is a no obvious suspect for a low-cost operation). Targeting exchanged agents not involved in current anti-Russian activity would serve no purpose. For a putative black flag operation any semi-plausible target is equally good.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 21 2018 12:27 utc | 133

The letter reads more like a bad Times edit than a denial that the Skripals were poisoned with nerve agent. I really doubt that a Hospital administrator would imply one way or another on that matter, even if he/she knew.

Posted by: michael d | Mar 21 2018 13:28 utc | 134

Posted by: michael d | Mar 21, 2018 9:28:33 AM | 135

He was trying to stop the mass hysteria getting in the way of doctors at the hospital.

And yes, a doctor knows exactly how he says something and what he says. No serious paper would edit a reader's letter, and they would not edit it in this ambiguous way.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2018 13:40 utc | 135

Scotch B, 114. Some acute food ‘poisons’ (my original suggestion of mushrooms was only meant in the spirit of nothing to disprove it ) act very rapidly and correspond to the condition described for Yulia. Overall, yes, food poisoning, after a restaurant meal, would be unlikely to provoke such dire symptoms. Let’s not forget there were 3 ppl at lunch, and 3 ppl affected. (No wonder the restaurant is closed! ;) .)

All fake, no. Wild stories come about precisely because they are based on some elements of ‘factuality.’ The Sks. fell ill, probably due to an outside agent, as both at once. Papa a swapped spy, so some .. /body/, hyped it up, exagerated, and the rush to conclusion was on. Scary that the interpretation / hype reaches the top level of the UK Gvmt who then practically accuses Putin of poisoning Yulia + Sergey with forbidden CW. (see B. Johnson.) Totally nuts, chilling.

The UK, Fr., the US/isr - some factions thereof - are so humiliated and impotently angry they have lost their marbles. They simply cannot believe that Russia after being destroy 89-91 has risen from the ashes and signalled NIET in Ukraine (without marching on Kiev, not taking the provocation), ‘annexed’ Crimea smoothly, and has halted the proxy djihadists in Syria. Putin’s deterrence move and warning - the new weapons unveiling - spooked them so bad they went petrified. So they rail and rage and can do nothing much except fight social-info war in a pathetic gossip-mag way. In fact they are covering their impotence with what might be called propaganda, false accusations, etc. Anyone who did not have that excuse would have been just laughed and tomato-tossed off the stage.

Peter 117, you may be right, no time to revisit that now. I assumed the ‘lunch pic’ was in a view not seen in the restaurant internet pix, but it is so that all the outlets are similar in matériel etc. Of course there are many ??? - date is one. Point is, if a group of ppl really wanted to figure this out, they could. It can be done, but prob. not worth it for this story.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 21 2018 14:52 utc | 136

I made a mistake and visited the New War Times(i.e. the New York Times). I read Thomas Friedman's latest propaganda piece. The U.S. media are such hypocrites. They harp on the Russian media being state propaganda, when the U.S. media is just as full of propaganda. The U.S. population is being prep for war, and it is frightening. I fear speaking out due to fear at being label a traitorous Putinbot.

Posted by: Musical | Mar 21 2018 21:10 utc | 137

Well, I guess the Skripals must have offered the copper some of their pizza....? Really, this piece is ridiculous and overlooks the fact that there is a well-beaten path of dead critics, reporters and fleeing ex-spies all leading to the Kremlin's door. The Kremlin has a long memory & is very vengeful. Critics or 'the disloyal' are beaten or shot over there and abroad are poisoned. It's all in the motive, my dear Watson. The British have none, the Russians (whoever there wanted to punish Skripal) have it all. Elementary.
Who exactly is this ‘NHS doctor’? Vaguely mentioned then forgotten. Honestly?
Russian dirty dealings against their own are long-standing historical fact - millions murdered or killed in gulags under Stalin (Hitler's deeds fade in a true comparison), Trotsky's murder and the terrible murder of the Romanovs, including their children, to name a very few. Putin has merely carried on the tradition with the kind of sneaky enthusiasm that the career dictator who cannot be voted out generally displays.
Russian military-style thugs who carried out extreme acts of violence at Euro 2016 were praised by official Igor Lebedev as 'defending the honour of their country'. I hope you're getting the overall mentality here. There is a sickness in Russia. Sadly those who try to speak out about it don't last very long so remain silent.
The current British administration are incompetent and weak, and most Brits would breathe a sigh of relief if Boris Johnson would just disappear, but whether it was Putin or one of his many 'fans' within the FSA network, it remains evidently obvious that the Russian secret agencies remain on form in regard to their long trail of murder and fear/hatred of anyone who questions their figurehead.
Please get real and stop spreading fake news - it disrespects the long suffering of Alexander Litvinenko who was murdered by the Russian State in 2006, and the many others who remain without justice or hope.

Posted by: Molly O | Mar 22 2018 14:57 utc | 138

@ 139 Molly O | Mar 22, 2018 10:57:20 AM

I see just about 100 years of vicious propaganda has not gone to waste. Good show!

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 22 2018 15:35 utc | 139

Just to note, shellfish poisoning is a form of neurotoxin.

Posted by: Nop | Mar 22 2018 17:22 utc | 140

So in Molly O's world, it's totally inconceivable that the CIA or MI5/6
would assassinate an anti-Kremlin or Putin individual ao that western
propaganda and MSM could just repeat the story over and over and over
that the Kremlin or Putin ordered it

It's just as as possible that Nemtsov and the Skripals were attacked
by the CIA or MI5/6 than Russia. In fact, the CIA and MI5/6 had more
motive to do so than Russia.


Posted by: FSFF | Mar 23 2018 4:40 utc | 141

To accuse the Russians of working to discover means of transmitting these ALLEGED agents, smacks of the highest hypocrisy ever uttered after you read this article ;
It clearly demonstrates who is doing the above, and one things for sure, it isn't the Russians. L.O.L.

Posted by: Eddy | Mar 31 2018 4:20 utc | 143

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