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May 24, 2018

British Hostage Video Of Yulia Skripal Released

Yesterday the British news agency Reuters published a hostage video and a statement of Yulia Skripal:

[Miss] Skripal was speaking from a secret location in London as she is under the protection of the British state. She was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital about five weeks after the poisoning and has not been seen by the media until now.


We had earlier noted the Silence of the Skripals, the D(SMA)-notices issued by the British government to prevent deeper British media reporting on the case and the obvious disinformation peddled by British government sources. (All previous Moon of Alabama reports on the Skripal case are linked at the bottom of this piece.)

The British government claims that the 'former' British spy Sergej Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a deadly nerve agent of the Novichok group. According to British government leaks to the media the nerve agent was applied either through a suitcase, a box, flowers, spiked drinks or food, car vents, mini drones, a front door, cereal or a door handle in the form of a spray, gel or liquid. The British government loudly accused "Russia" of being responsible for poisoning of the Skripals but has not identified any individual who might have carried out such an attack.

In the new Reuters video Yulia Skripal gives a memorized and pressed monologue which declares that she does not want to be contacted by her cousin, grandmother, the Russian government or anyone else. The statement was pre-written in stilted, bureaucratic English language. On camera Yulia Skripal used a Russian version of the English text which she likely had not translated herself.

If this would have been a video and statement of a British citizen in 'protective custody' of the Russia state the British media and government would surely claim that these were made under duress.

Yulia Skripal looked well but for a scar on her throat which might be from an earlier trachea cut.


Reuters published an additional report and video which also shows her signing a handwritten statement (pdf) with the same text she read on camera.

The statement is quite similar to the earlier one issued by the Metropolitan Police on April 11 "on behalf of Yulia Skripal". Both statements include a bureaucratic expression directed at the Russian embassy which no freely speaking person would ever use:

At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services.

The English version of the handwritten statement is without mistakes, the Russian version has several corrections.


The Russian embassy in Britain expressed its concerns:

We are glad to have seen Yulia Skripal alive and well. The statement she read out contains new information. However, the video shown only strengthens our concerns as to the conditions in which she is being held. Obviously, Yulia was reading a pre-written text. More than that, judging by quite a few elements, the text was a translation from English and had been initially written by a native English-speaker. The handwritten letters signed by Yulia in Russian and English confirm this impression.

With all respect for Yulia’s privacy and security, this video does not discharge the UK authorities from their obligations under Consular Conventions. The UK is obliged to give us the opportunity to speak to Yulia directly in order to make sure that she is not held against her own will and is not speaking under pressure. So far, we have every reason to suspect the opposite.

On May 18 Yulia's dad was reported to have been released from the district hospital in Salisbury:

Mr Skripal is being protected by 24-hour armed guard at an MI5 safe house after leaving hospital earlier this week, sources have revealed.

No pictures or statements of Sergej Skripal were published.

While still in hopsital Yulia Skripal had once called her cousin in Russia. Until yesterday Yulia Skripal's grandmother and her cousin in Russia had heard nothing else from their relatives:

Meanwhile, Skripal's mother has demanded she be allowed to speak to her son. Yelena, who has not heard from the former spy since he was poisoned, has told a relative today that she wants to speak to him.

Yelena's carer Viktoria Skripal, who has been twice refused a British visa to see him and her cousin Yulia said: 'We have just told the news to his elderly mother who has been waiting for more than two months for any word from him or Yulia,' said Viktoria. 'She is begging the hospital, or whoever now decides Sergey's freedom of movement and speech, to please allow him to call her.'

Some of Yulia Skripal's "handwritten letters" (plural) the Russian embassy mentioned above might address her relatives.

The British government blamed the Russian state for the presumed attack on the Skripals. Its sole argument is that the alleged nerve agent used was from a group of chemical agents which were originally developed in the Soviet Union. That argument was always nonsense. The Novichok groups of chemicals was well known, a book had been published about them, Iranian scientist had synthesized them and added their data to the international chemical weapon database. The Czech republic had admitted that it produced some of them.

In the early 1990s German spies acquired some Novichok substance from a contact in the former Soviet Union. It was analyzed in Sweden and the results were shared with some NATO allies:

The Germans were privy to the poison’s chemical formula in the 1990s thanks to a sample from a Russian scientist who defected, German media reported. The compound was first analyzed in a laboratory in Sweden. Afterwards, the formula was sent to Germany’s Ministry of Defense and the BND.

It was under orders from former German chancellor Helmut Kohl that the BND informed the CIA and MI6, the respective intelligence agencies of the United States and Britain. Since then, small quantities of the poison have been produced to test antidotes, gauges and protective gear. The Czech republic had also produced some Novichok.

The British government accusations against Russia have no sound basis. Its chemical weapon laboratory in Porton Down, a few miles from Salisbury, surely has made Novichok agents. These are simple compounds anyone with knowledge of organic chemistry and access to a decent laboratory can create. Dave Collum is professor for organic chemistry at Cornell University. He had criticized the British claim that only Russia could have produced the agent that allegedly hurt the Skripals. He put his thesis to a test. Only one of his 15 students did not manage the task:


The claims the British government made about the Skripal case are nonsensical. It is entirely possible that the Skipal's were victims of simple food poisoning or suffered from an overdose of Fenatnyl. The British government used the case to increase hostility towards Russia while diverting the public from its failures in the Brexit negotiations. There is historic precedence for such false accusations against the Russian state.

The Skripal case is also related to the "Dirty Dossier" the "former" British spy Christopher Steele created to defame U.S. President Donald Trump. Sergej Skripal may well have written parts of it. A fact which the British government is trying to hide.

The Skripal's were probably hurt. The British accusations against Russia caused huge damage in international relations. But the biggest casualty of the case might be the trustworthiness of the British media.

Where are the deep investigations, the intriguing questions, the door stepping of witnesses in this case? Why are no serious questions asked about the dubious claims made about the case? How did the Skripals survive a nerve agent "ten times as deadly as VX"? Why is there no further digging into the Steele dossier relation?

More questions need to be asked. Who is the media servicing with its obsequious behavior? Why?

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the Skripal case:

March 8 - Poisioned British-Russian Double-Agent Has Links To Clinton Campaign
March 12 - Theresa May's "45 Minutes" Moment
March 14 - Are 'Novichok' Poisons Real? - May's Claims Fall Apart
March 16 - The British Government's 'Novichok' Drama Was Written By Whom?
March 18 - NHS Doctor: "No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury"
March 21 - Russian Scientists Explain 'Novichok' - High Time For Britain To Come Clean (Updated)
March 29 - Last Act Of 'Novichok' Drama Revealed - "The Skripals' Resurrection"
March 31 - Hillary Clinton Ordered Diplomats To Suppress 'Novichok' Discussions
April 3 - Operation Hades Blamed Russia - A Model For The 'Novichok' Claims?
April 4 - It's The Cover-Up" - UK Foreign Office Deletes Tweet, Posts False Transcript, Issues New Lies
April 5 - Novi-Fog™ In Fleet Street - Truth Cut Off
April 6 - The Best Explanation For The Skripal Drama Is Still ... Food Poisoning
April 7 - A Very British Farce
April 12 - New Developments In The Skripal Drama - Police Statement, OPCW Report Release
April 15 - Were the Skripals 'Buzzed', 'Novi-shocked' Or Neither? - May Has Some 'Splaining' To Do
April 28 - The Silence Of The Skripals - Government Blocks Press Reports - Media Change The Record
May 4 - Media Use Disinformation To Accuse Russia Of Spreading Such

Posted by b on May 24, 2018 at 10:35 UTC | Permalink


I told you guys she and daddy were resting in the magic farm.

Posted by: CoincidenceTheorist | May 24 2018 11:02 utc | 1

Dear B,

On March 7, the British issued a D-notice (Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice) to the British press formally requesting that they refrain from mentioning the name of Sergei Skripal's former MI6 handler Pablo Miller or making any reference to him in their coverage of the poisoning case and the police investigation. A week later, a second D-notice was issued that reiterated the warning of the first D-notice and putting the press on notice not to publish any information that could lead directly or indirectly to the identification of Pablo Miller as Sergei Skripal's handler.

This explains why the British press, usually notorious for harrying people in the spotlight for interviews and gossipy information, have been noticeably reticent in approaching the Skripals - assuming of course, that they have access to them.

This would also explain why Julia Skripal was reading a prepared statement in the video and why her Reuters interview did not seem like a normal interview. She may have had a minder close by prepared to intervene in case the interviewer posed a question she was not allowed to answer.

Is anyone able to find out when the Reuters interview took place? If it took place some time ago, would the time between Julia Skripal's release and the interview have been long enough for Julia to recover to the extent where she looks well and appears not to be suffering traumatic after-effects? And why was it only released on May 23?

Posted by: Jen | May 24 2018 11:21 utc | 2

British Hostage Video Of Yulia Skripal Released

b's hardcore; thank the gods. Excellent/accurate lead...

Posted by: V | May 24 2018 11:22 utc | 3

No talking to the family? seems very dubious.
Looked like a well choreographed video. Any deviation from the script would have probably negated it's release. At least her family can see she's alive.

Posted by: wow | May 24 2018 11:27 utc | 4

By now Yulia's mind has been fried by intense psych ops. She probably thinks she is a fairy living in 'freedom'. Maybe when she finds out her 'new' friends murdered her cat, her memory will come back.

Posted by: ger | May 24 2018 12:10 utc | 5

This correction is perhaps ringing some bell. But okay, we Russians are known for our unsubstantiated inbred paranoia...

Original text: i want to help my father after his dismissal from the hospital.
Rewritten text: i intend to be helping my father until his full recovery.

No comment.

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 12:17 utc | 6

"after" - "после" - was twice written and twice stroken out

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 12:23 utc | 7

"...But the biggest casualty of the case might be the trustworthiness of the British media..."

Trustworthy? Hmmm... must have been before I was born.

I'm waiting for a leaked Rita Katz video showing Julia Skripal in an orange jumpsuit, hands bound behind her, reading the prepared statement. Behind her, a menacing black-clad Jihadi John - with matching MI6 SIS-logo'ed tactical vest and balaclava - holds a knife at the ready. After Skripal reads the statement, SIS John stabs towards the camera with his knife for emphasis, insisting to the viewers that she is making this statement voluntarily and adding, "There is but one true god, and The British Government is its name."

[Somewhere off screen, a hauntingly-familiar cackle is heard, "Rita, you imbecile... he was supposed to say the US Government!"]

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 24 2018 12:37 utc | 8

I agree that the person authored this letter was thinking in English.
That is not big deal per se, and definitely does not mean Yulia could not author it.
For example right now typing this i am thinking in English for it is more easy, streamlined way to communicate here.
Would i stumble on some idea i can not easily convey in English i would switch to native Russian, would think the line through, and then would translate it to English, perhaps trying to brush and smooth it during translation, or maybes bothering not.

That being said, the very thing that Yulia, authoring (supposedly) her letter to Russian family had to think in English is showing who the real, immediate addressees of the letter were.

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 12:42 utc | 9

The english written note/letter/whatever shown in the video has Yulia's signature in a different color...

Posted by: et Al | May 24 2018 12:45 utc | 10

The letter, i agree, was authored by a person thinking in English.
That alone does not mean Yulia could not author it, though.

For example i am thinking in English right now typing this comment.
Just for it is more streamlined and easy way to communicate here.
Granted, would i stumble upon some complex idea i can not easily convey in English, i would have to switch to native Russian, think that line through, translate it to English and maybe (maybe not) brush and smooth it after the translation. But by default typing simple comments in English-language forums i would think in English too.

However, the very thing that Yulia (native Russian) when authoring (supposedly) her letter to her Russian family had to think in English is telling who were real, immediate addressee of the said letter.

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 12:47 utc | 11

Sorry, the forum lagged so i was not sure i posted the comment or not. They are but duplicates, delete any

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 12:48 utc | 12

BTW, the Pork Pie News Networks (PPNN) claim that Russia sent the missile that shot down MH17 from the Kursk Battalion, but, when you look in to the details*, it is actually claimed by the Dutch that is was a transporter, not a missile, and it is based on 'analysis' and he is 'convinced'.

The Dutch claims are so full of holes so large that you could drive a BUK missile launcher through...


The methodology though is the same as all the other claims made against Russia, i.e. make a massive lie without evidence; b) treat speculation, conjecture, out of context information as fact; c) misdirection. The pigs at the trough just lap it up.

Posted by: et Al | May 24 2018 12:52 utc | 13

The most plausible perpetrators of the original poisoning of the Skripals are some element of the dysfunctional and evil British deep state, which connects to the American deep state, which too is diabolical and dysfunctional.

The enormous resources, political and media and choreography and stream of lies, surrounding the Skripal affair make it obvious as a dysfunctional deep state project.

The alternative explanations: 1) that it was Russia, make no sense whatsoever; 2) that it was food poisoning is far fetched but possible, and might have been taken advantage of, and the policeman victim then added, to create the 'right' attempted murder mystery ambience.

That is, those who have been 'protecting' and controlling and hiding away and issuing statements for and 'restoring health to' the Skripals are very likely those who attacked them.

Father Skripal is a practised devious sort, who would know the ropes. Thet he is not just expendable, but an endangered loose end for various reasons now, including the Trump-Russia false flag.

Has Julia Skripal had unimpeded access to her father since their recovery? If so, a wink wink nod nod private whispered exchange between the two could have transformed the two into a potential team effort to stay alive by playing their parts.

If she has not been allowed or had available a moment of private exchange with father Skripal, then she might still know enough to understand that they are both in extreme danger.

Father Skripal can likely be bought off. That's what he does for as living. But can Julia?

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | May 24 2018 12:57 utc | 14

In the fascist US we have the NDAA,,, National Defense Authorization Act which makes 'legal', at least in the eyes of the parasites, the internment or murder of citizens without warrant or if there is a warrant it's all triple dare secret. I am sure the fascist UK has similar 'laws'. The perves probably have them believing Russia is out to kill them and they are being held for 'protective' custody or if they don't play along the other will be killed.

It's sad, but to be expected in a totalitarian State.

Totalitarian: relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state.

Posted by: ken | May 24 2018 13:04 utc | 15

As a Russian, I confirm that the Russian text contains multiple unnatural-sounding (to a Russian) phrases. Meanwhile, looking at the corresponding English text, I see regular English language. It is obvious to me that this is a quick-and-dirty translation from English to Russian.

Here's just one example:

"the clinical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing"
"лечение было инвазивным, болезненным и глубоко угнетающим"

Well, in Russian, "лечение" (clinical treatment) can never be "угнетающее" (depressing). You see, the meaning of "угнетающее" is closer to "gloomy"; one could use it for joyless, hopeless, depressing architecture, or to describe a depressing environment/atmosphere (but not a process or activity). If you wanted to describe a certain process or activity, e.g. clinical treatment, as depressing (causing depression), you would use "психологически тяжёлое" (lit.: "psychologically heavy"). Similarly, one would never use "глубоко" (deeply) to strengthen "угнетающее" (depressing), these words just don't go together. The word "инвазивный" (invasive) is a specialist medical term in Russian; a Russian would never describe a complex surgical operation or treatment as "инвазивный", unless he or she was a health professional.

Therefore, a better Russian translation would be:

"лечение было сложным, болезненным и психологически тяжёлым"
(the clinical treatment was complex/complicated, painful and psychologically difficult/hard)

Posted by: S | May 24 2018 13:09 utc | 16

As a 69-year-old Englishman born of an English father and a Norwegian mother, who has lived in Spain with a German partner for almost twenty years, I can state quite unequivocally that the English used in the statement, claimed to have been written by Yulia Skripal, could not have been written by her. At least, the words are not her own.

It has all the signs of having been written by an English native educated in the UK from a very early age. It's nothing like the way a foreign national would speak or write English. Even a foreign national who has lived in the UK for a few decades would not phrase English that way. It contains sentence formations that are too colloquial, and that border on the vernacular.

The person responsible for the original probably didn't have a university education as some of the sentences are a little strained. In one sentence Sergei Skripal is referred to as 'my Dad' (“I take one day at a time and want to help care for my Dad till his full recovery" and in another she refers to him as 'my father' ("I ask that everyone respects the privacy of me and my father"). "Me and my father" is a big give away, as anyone educated in English as a second language, in a country such as Russia, would most likely be taught to say and write 'my father and I', which is more formal. Otherwise, she would just gone on to say in colloquial English "me and my Dad" as she did when first referring to her father. The same thing is repeated, swapping from one to the other. It just doesn't ring true. I would even go as far as to suggest that the writer probably comes from the south of England, as opposed to other regions

Added to that, the way capital 'R's and 'N's are used throughout the handwritten note seems to suggest the person who wrote it was not at all used to writing English. From that I'd deduce that that the note is almost certainly in Yulia Skripal's handwriting, but she copied it from something she was given. You can't be so familiar with spoken English and so unfamiliar with written English at the same time. It begs the question as to why it was considered so necessary to be handwritten in the first place, unless someone was trying rather too hard to make it look genuine.

Posted by: Bryan Hemming | May 24 2018 13:19 utc | 17

Starting to believe that the Skripals were going to transport Novichok somehow into Syria so that it could be used there In a staged event. The problem was that things may have gone sideways. Makes sense why the Russians issued a warning of a staged attack and how the Brits are keeping the couple incommunicado. The Russians could have known about the plot beforehand.

But it could just be my rampant paranoia.

Posted by: P Walker | May 24 2018 13:39 utc | 18

I'm waiting for a leaked Rita Katz video showing Julia Skripal in an orange jumpsuit ...
Posted by: PavewayIV | May 24, 2018 8:37:16 AM | 8

Ha ha! First class and spot on, right up to the cackle from Clinton!

Posted by: BM | May 24 2018 13:45 utc | 19

in other "Russia did it" news, the Dutch have announced the Russians shot down Malaysian Airlines flight 17 with a BUK rocket launcher.

Posted by: heath | May 24 2018 13:46 utc | 20

I'd just like to add to my earlier comment that few people in England would bother to write '3rd of March' and '9th of April' with the 'rd' and the 'th' written in smaller letters the way they have been in the handwritten statement - and certainly not anyone who writes using capital 'R's and capital 'N's where lower case 'r's and 'n's are the norm - but Microsoft Word does it automatically.

Posted by: Bryan Hemming | May 24 2018 13:51 utc | 22

“The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark.”

— Sansa Stark (also had her letter dictated to her while being threatened with the death of her father)

Posted by: S | May 24 2018 13:54 utc | 23

As I commented here before there are many plausible explanations much more probable than any of variants U.K. gov or media peddled. And this clear statement under duress sounding to similar British hostages taken by Saddam Hussein in 2003 declaring that they were healthy ate good food and were personal guests of Saddam and that they were free to leave anytime but since they enjoyed themselves immensely they would stay for a while and hence do not worry.

Sounds like Julia Skripal. To support this there is not emphasized fact that they both seem be to held in separate locations so they could not freely communicate much.

What is looks like that in this multiple bottom story something went wrong and some desperate solutions have been implemented. Because it is clear now that by keeping them alive that effectively cut off the family access while if dead family would have claimed bodies and all those lies would have been exposed, or it was all a false flag to redirect Skripal role in Trump dossier into made up Putin revenge on those who contributed to it.

Here is my take on all that, which may have not entirely happened as planed along the scenarios I and others including b proposes.
As far as theory how this happened. I see that Skripal was in it, in fact he prepared and tested appropriate dose for him as his daughter used as pawn to lend credibility and provide required Putin evil killing innocent narrative which would be absent if he just killed or hurt rogue agent.

Skipral himself calibrated that false flag dose of BZ or Fenantyl to make sure no permanent damage would be done to his daughter and then administered it himself to her and himself in controlled manner in public place so help would be coming immediately while in his car they could have possibly lie there for hours before being discovered.

In fact place where he lived Salisbury near Porton Downs was perfect for this since there was no way that doctors would misdiagnose them as military nerve agent victims which wrong treatment would possibly caused irreversible damage to victims as doctors would be more aggressive fearing immediate death of patients and also were immune to propaganda of Novichok crap since they were experts in this medical field as real and present danger, threat of exposure of Porton Downs employees was always there.

After recovery is was Skripal, trusted by her as her father, himself as part of psych op presented the narrative as Putin wanted to kill me and did not care that you happened to be with me at time of attack. I am so sorry, shit lies.

She was brainwashed or threatened some ways offered lucrative financial arrangement in the west decided to stay and followed MI6 instructions, fearing she could be killed upon meeting with Russian diplomats or even recruited family members or upon returning to Russia.

I do not think it would be far fetched to concoct such a thing or similar by MI6 as such stunts were done before like fake deaths or staged attacks but in this case the point was to fool British unwitting participants that nerve agent attack happenced as later they did later in Douma in amateurish way but still it worked as pretext to pre planed aggression on Syria as in case of Skripals pre planed diplomatic retaliation against Russia before any investigation was really commenced , such a thing only perpetrators of false flag themselves would do.

If Skripal was not on it why keep them alive witnesses of conspiracy since I could imagine as a father myself Skripal would,have been furious of MI6 discovering what amounted to attemp to kill his daughter and blame Putin one he learned that there was no Novichok crap or any military nerve agent used.

In fact Fenantyl is deadly if inappropriately handled what just few days after Skripal affair husband and wife overdosed on Fentanty in California and putting in critical condition their mother in law trying to revive them in the bedroom, children that never enter the room by looked through the Door who called 911 were also mildly exposed while a police officer who entered the room end up in hospital himself.

Whole house was immediately quarantined and covered by tent until, special unit arrived days later and only then police investigator entered premises. WImilar scenario unfolded in Salisbury.

What interesting that no emergency or medical personnel in hospital in UK as in California was hurt since they knew well how to deal with Fenantyl epidemic.

We must remember that despite crazy rhetoric we are dealing with risky but rational people who were not smart enough to concoct something that would go down the throuta of gullible public much more smoothly.

Posted by: Kalen | May 24 2018 14:01 utc | 24

@etAl #13

also, the "Russian Buk" was made by Dutch back in September 2016 with coupled with traditional "we have evidence but we never will show them".

also, it is told that specific fingerprints of a specific Russian military were discovered on the missile debris (implying Dutch investigators have all Russian soldiers fingerprints known to them, when even mere numbers of military personnel in specific locations are considered state secret).

also, there is Ukrainian video showcasing book launchers #323 and #332 ( 1:07 zoom at ).
Reportedly it was Buk lanucher #332 that attacked MH17

Though Andrey Sharij - the journo who lives in EU after fled Ukraine before EuroMaidan threatened by Yanukovich's regime - reported the attacked Buk had #312 instead...

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 14:02 utc | 25

Oh dear, ... yep, definitely looks like a case of bad prawns!

Posted by: imo | May 24 2018 14:07 utc | 26

If Yulia Skripal really wanted to write a public letter to allay the concerns of Russian government, Russian public, and her relatives, she would have composed it in Russian (proper Russian), written it down by hand and signed it. No English translation was necessary — it could have been done later by English-language media outlets reporting on the issue. Even if a decision was made to provide a simultaneous English translation, the original Russian text would still read like a regular, proper Russian text.

What we observe instead is that the letter has been originally composed in English — a regular native English according to native English speakers here on MoA — then sloppily translated into Russian — with weird, un-Russian word combinations according to me and another native Russian speaker — then both texts were written down by Yulia and signed. Why?

Posted by: S | May 24 2018 14:18 utc | 27


I agree. The fact that they are alive makes it likely (can't say with certainty) that they were willing participants.

If Russia wanted to kill Mr. Skripal for continuing to help MI6 or if MI6 wanted to tie up a lose end of the Trump dossier, Mr. Skripal would surely be dead and without the public hullabaloo.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 24 2018 14:18 utc | 28

Starting to believe that the Skripals were going to transport Novichok somehow into Syria so that it could be used there In a staged event.
Posted by: P Walker | May 24, 2018 9:39:46 AM | 18

At one point I saw a reference (on Sputnik I think, certainly a Russian source) that both Skripals Sergei and Yulia were under investigation by Russian intelligence for smuggling arms (I can't remember if there was a reference to chemical weapons but very possibly) into Syria. It was slightly mind-jarring at the time since it conflicted with the official position that Russia had (prior to the incident) no interest in Sergei Skripal. Otherwise I've seen nothing on that, perhaps because of a criminal investigation in progress in Russia.

Regarding the throat scar - I can imagine that was the result of surgery for long-term artificial respiration during the hospital-induced coma. If so, the alleged statement that "the clinical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing" was unequivacally originating from a technical and third-party source and definately not the patient. The doctor could well have used that phrase in discussions with government officials, who got so used to it they repeated it in composing an alleged statement for Yulia, but I am quite certain the patient herself would not describe it in such a way whether in English or Russian, and whether native English speaking or native foreign speaking. A patient's description would be much more focussed on the patient's experience (pain, discomfort, probable dryness of the mucosal membranes and side-effects resulting from that, etc) rather than "invasiveness" which was the first word in the statement and thereby the most emphasised.

It was always suspicious that Yulia was "discharged" from the hospital - and therefore away from her father - when her father was allegedly still under treatment. Yulia was alone in a foreign country, utterly isolated from friends, family and aquaintances, while her father was still in hospital undergoing "invasive, painful and depressing" treatment after an alleged state-sponsored assassination attempt - NO WAY! She would not leave her father voluntarily.

The statement that she does not want to be contacted by her cousin, grandmother, the Russian government or anyone else is the real killer of the fairy tale, and is the exact opposite of the compelling reality of such a traumatic episode. Is she supposed to believe her grandmother and cousin actively conspired in the assassination plot? There is absolutely know scenario that could explain such a wish.

Posted by: BM | May 24 2018 14:55 utc | 29

This is all so delicious coming on or nearly on the same day as a 'conclusive' report was issued stating a BUK missile launcher belonging to Russia was escorted by Russian military from Russia into Ukraine and used to shoot down Malaysia flight MH 17. So there take that Russia even though you were not allowed to defend your version of events at the 'fair-and-balanced' international investigation. 'So what are you going to do about it?' Ukraine gets a free pass again.

Coincidentally the World Football Cup begins in Russia in about three weeks. Who can honestly claim the West doesn't have all its ducks/dicks in a perfect row?

Julia Skripal's photo shoot was just embarrassing, so contrived and forced, a PR agency's hack piece.

'The mother and grandmother of Sergei and Julia Skripal aren't allowed to get in touch with them?', you say. 'Now you're really must think I'm stupid. In the West we are FREE.'

Posted by: Quentin | May 24 2018 14:58 utc | 30

@S #16

i more like the "и принятия всего происшедшего." part. ('We need time for full revoery and for accepting all that happenned')

i bet it is as unrussian as unrussian can be.

it also is a bit confusing how she sternly repeats "no one should speak for us but ourselves" then she herself speak for her father.

Another giveaway is "grateful to Russian embassy" - "признательна Российскому посольству".
It is plain wrong. You do not write "russian" with capital letter in Russian.
And if you mean "Russian Embassy" as some kind of name - then bot hwords would be capital.
It is yet another case of "thinking English" when authoring this Russian letter from Russian woman to her Russian relatives...

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 15:09 utc | 31

Craig Murray again shoots massive holes into the hostage video and PR, further using semantics and discourse analysis to show the UK government at fault in this affair. A jointly written article by b and Craig would be a great read since their own investigations are very advanced, seemingly beyond all others. I for one find Craig's "lion cage" metaphor very convincing.

A conjecture: Teresa had it done to protect Hillary.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 24 2018 15:14 utc | 32

1. Why, out of all places in the UK, Skripal would settle down in Salisbury, the location of UK's CW labs? We're told that is because his handler, Pablo Miller, lived there. Fine, then the question becomes: why, out of all places in the UK, Pablo Miller was living close to UK's CW labs?

2. Why was it necessary to drag Yulia into this mess? A claim could be made that the alleged Russian assassins needed her to track the location where Sergei lived. But this was not her first visit to him, so alleged Russian assassins could have tracked his whereabouts long time ago, then waited for the best moment to kill him. Obviously, it would be better to kill him when he was alone, not with his daughter. Unless alleged Russian assassins, while she was still in Moscow, secretly poisoned some object that she then brought to her father. That is the only explanation why alleged Russian assassins would need Yulia. But British government is not claiming that; instead, they claim that a toxic substance was applied to the doorknob. Therefore, Yulia's presence was of no use to alleged Russian assassins. Then we must conclude that her presence was somehow needed by the British or third-party false-flaggers, or possibly by Sergei in case he was in on the plot. Otherwise, why not wait till she leaves?

3. The choice of CW to assassinate Skripal, the fact that he lived next to the main CW lab in UK (and one of the top CW labs in the world), and the fact that he and Yulia were poisoned at the end of a three-week CW military exercise in Salisbury Plains, taken together, form a combination that cannot be explained by mere coincidence. There must be a connection here. Could British intelligence plan all this 8 years ago when they were selecting the location where Skripal would live? Hell no. Therefore, it must have been the reverse: a decision was made to kill or "kill" Skripal and pin it on the Russians, then someone decided to use the fact that he was living close to the CW lab. However, if that's indeed what has happened, then it was a very flawed plan from the start, since all these coincidences would be readily apparent to outside observers. The poisoning false flag would work much better if Skripal was living in some other region of UK, and there was no CW exercise at the time of his poisoning. Therefore, either the plan was unintentionally dumb (because of incompetence), or it was intentionally dumb (people did not want to do it but could not reject the order, so they decided to sabotage it), or the original plan was entirely different, but it didn't work out, so they quickly improvised something else and failed to make it convincing due to lack of time.

Posted by: S | May 24 2018 15:17 utc | 33

Novichok fashion studio presents...

No really, just two photos side by side

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 15:32 utc | 34

The photo of Yulia seated - Is that a video? I cannot get it to work. Are there other sources?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 24 2018 15:42 utc | 35

@Kalen #24

> while if dead family would have claimed bodies and all those lies would have been exposed

just no.

1) Litvinenko's father still can not even get to his son's body
2) Skripal's pets (except for one reportedly fled cat) were killed and incinerated due to some vague hazard their bodies posed. The dead Skripal's bodies can be sanitized by fire too.

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 15:45 utc | 36

I just heard that the banged up old tin horn who imagines he's a trumpet, finally chickened out of meeting Kim Jong-un eh?
Looks like li'l donnie must have jammed his tiny fingers in his ears when his Dad Fred sang him this song as a kid.
Agent orange is a great representative of his country, so typical - all piss, wind and bluster until the going gets tough, then he folds like the tissue paper sack of shit he is, releasing a soggy turd and a truly evil stench but SFA else.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 24 2018 15:51 utc | 37

Looking at the obvious tracheostomy scar left on her throat, Yulia must have lost all ability to breathe on her on without ventilatory assistance for some time. A tracheostomy is only performed after all effort to wean a patient off an endotracheal tube placed orally into the trachea at the time of respiratory failure is attempted. It seems to me this was much more than "food poisoning", and Yulia was in a deep coma for a prolonged duration.
This whole thing is very bizarre!

Posted by: Eric | May 24 2018 16:01 utc | 38


This is not on the subject but begs to be addressed:

Last night, coalition jets attacked SAA positions in the East causing
material damage but no casualties. (state media)

However ISIS attacked the SAA positions pursuant to the bombardment
and caused several casualties amongst the Syrian troops

Is this a way for Putin to show his displeasure for Assad's "unwillingness
to modify the Constitution" as suggested by Russia?"

Posted by: CarlD | May 24 2018 16:08 utc | 39

Here is one source for the video:

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 24 2018 16:17 utc | 40

Is Yulia Skripal this generations Patty Hearst with a large case of government induced Stockholm Syndrome?

I swear that Hollywood is behind the scenes of this Wag the Dog perfidy because it reads like sick soap opera that is all they are good at.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 24 2018 16:19 utc | 41

"Its sole argument is that the alleged nerve agent used was from a group of chemical agents which were originally developed in the Soviet Union".

By the same logic, the British government is to blame for poisoning everyone who has ever been harmed by VX or its derivatives.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | May 24 2018 16:22 utc | 42

Sorry but can't resist: "Do you hear the lambs bleating, Yulia?"

Posted by: Mishko | May 24 2018 17:08 utc | 43

Is Yulia the new Bana?

Posted by: worldblee | May 24 2018 17:30 utc | 44

The Russian embassy seems curiously unwilling to file a habeus corpus application to produce the Skripals and enforce their consular rights. I wonder why?

Posted by: John Gilberts | May 24 2018 17:55 utc | 45

It can be interesting/useful. Translated today's article in Russian newspaper "Komsomolskaya Pravda":

"KP"* exclusive: Victoria Skripal told that what her sister pronounced not her text in the videoclip.

Both specialists and average people right away noticed that [Yulia] Skripal was constrained, and a text which she has been pronounced was obviously written not by herself. Yulia's sister Viktoria [Skripal] appeared with the same suspicions. Here's what the woman told in exclusive interview during the "Komsomolskaya Pravda" radio air.

- Have you seen a written appeal?

- I saw only the appeal where she speaks. I'm glad she's alive and healthy. And i'm very happy she'd like to come back home.

- Maybe you've noticed some strangenesses in this appeal?

- You mean, strangenesses that she's reading a text?

- What makes you think she's reading a text?

- You don't have to be a great specialist [to notice this]. When a person drop his eyes, then lift up, then drop his eyes again. Do you know what is invasive therapy?

- No.

- Me too don't know. She too doesn't have a medical education. She is a geographer. I am an accountant. But i don't know what is invasive therapy. And it can't be a persons speaks so well, without mistakes. She has her favourite word. We all have our own parasite-word, right? She used it when she called me by telephone: "ну да, ну да" (Approximate English translation may be "yeah, yeah", or "well, yeah" - ed.). But here [in this appeal] she suddenly did not use her words. I.e. it's smoothly, in one breath. And a little bit slowly for her. Because [usually] she's chatter faster, when she's talking and nervous.


* "KP" - the newspaper "Komsomolskaya Pravda".

Original article -

Posted by: alaff | May 24 2018 18:04 utc | 46


I did not say that they would get bodies but they could claim the bodies. They have no claim now to both of them while supposedly alive only quite weak argument of welfare of citizen that was countered especially in letter and video.

Now do you have proof that they are still alive? May be they have been cremated weeks ago when this video was taken as their pets.

These are facts , we do not know but UK government narrative definitely has been proven impossible, absurd,

Posted by: Kalen | May 24 2018 18:20 utc | 47

@John Gilberts: A Russian article I've read today says the 1963 Vienna Convention does not apply since the Skripals are not under investigation by UK authorities. However, their relatives may go to a UK court to establish the status of the Skripals and request a meeting with them.

Posted by: S | May 24 2018 18:23 utc | 48

@ 27 S
That letter in English reeks of Englishness. I am a native English speaker but not from the UK. Neither I nor my native born acquaintances write like that. See comment below.

@ 17 Bryan Hemming

Bryan, I think a foreigner with 20 or 30 years of UK residency, probably including a good bit of education could write like that but then we would not see "me and my Dad" which is a solecism I have never seen in normal writing, certainly not by someone whom we would have to assume was formally trained in English as a foreign language.

I am not putting a lot of trust in that letter.

Posted by: jrkrideau | May 24 2018 19:14 utc | 49

I hoped a thread for Yulia's staged appearance would be forthcoming; because of the vicissitudes of timing, both B.'s observations and the comments have echoed my own reaction: in brief, this was at best another UK government/spook "tease".

Aside from joining the chorus, however, I find that I am even more skeptical than previously of the ostensible cumulative "facts" of the case. Yes, there are some established "knowns", but too much sketchy and dodgy filler material surrounding them.

Yulia's brief presentation was obviously meticulously staged. But nothing that occurred during the period of the Skripals' disappearance from public view should be presumed real, actual, and authentic-- including that tracheotomy scar.

Am I saying that "they" would fake the scar? No; hypotheses non fingo. I'm saying that the appearance of that scar should not prompt the otherwise "reasonable" surmise or assumption that it "proves" that Yulia actually received a tracheotomy, that her medical condition warrants it, etc.

I haven't seen any explanation for the circumstances behind Reuters hosting this tidy little performance. It manifestly is not a case of some intrepid reporter or news organization penetrating UK security and getting a "scoop".

As with the previous episodes, this "interview" raises more questions than it answers. Perhaps its perpetrators hope that it will convince complacent, submissive, incurious dullards that Yulia seems to have recovered nicely, and that there is no real mystery or scandal about the Skripals having been poisoned by some Russian operative.

Posted by: Ort | May 24 2018 19:41 utc | 50

PavewayIV @8 "I'm waiting for a leaked Rita Katz video..."

Oh, Thank You! I was beginning to think everyone had forgotten (or never questioned) dear Rita and her SITE Intelligence psyop unite. Her daddy of course had been executed for spying for the Zionist Entity in his native Iran.

All spooks are lying PsOS. And I suggest never trusting one... even those who become "whistleblowers."

Posted by: Daniel | May 24 2018 20:33 utc | 51

@Posted by: BM | May 24, 2018 10:55:51 AM | 29

Agree, "invasive" is, most definitively, a very technical term used only in medical field by insiders to describe an agressive procedure, mostly consisting in introducing big tubes with/or cameras inside the body to explore or implant drainages or respirator tubes, which could imply secondary harm as a possibility but cnosidered less harmful than the necessity of the exploration or procedure fro the helath of the patient, and which due to that are performed under anesthesics.

No citizen strange to medical profession could anytime use such term, since it is not of public domain.

I agree also in that it is difficult believe that a young girl having passed through such "painful and depressing" experience would not have asked for her close relatives to come in her support, something that, btw, would have been recommended for any doctor or nurse loyal to their professional obligation with respect of the well being and full recovering of patients.
She is obviously quite depressed and most probably psychologically incapable of taking right decissions, or even counterproductive ones for her, as it usually happens under severe depression.....

IMO, she is held hostage and under menace of something..her statements sounded like recited by heart without any hint of personal emotion...She could be under psychiatric drugs, quite possible...

Posted by: From the resistance | May 24 2018 20:35 utc | 52

I wanted to mean "defintely", of course.

Posted by: From the resistance | May 24 2018 20:41 utc | 53

Bryan Hemming |@ 17 wrote:

"Me and my father" is a big give away, as anyone educated in English as a second language, in a country such as Russia, would most likely be taught to say and write 'my father and I', which is more formal.

I’m a(n) USAmerican speaker of English, and from Shanty Irish heritage, but I was taught that “me” is the proper English usage in that sentence. I was taught the way to test is to remove the “and my father” phrase and see whether “I” or “me” is the correct pronoun. In that sentence, “me” is correct.

Though it is awkward phrasing. I'd think "my father's and my" would be more "formal" phrasing.

Posted by: Daniel | May 24 2018 20:51 utc | 54

I don't believe the young woman in the video is Yulia. I thought that starting from the first frame of the "interview." The Brits certainly glamed up the model, who sports a very nice haircut with auburn highlights. The Yulia we saw in the pub photo looked, excuse me, rather "dumpy" (unusual for a Russian girl)and had long, lank, blond-highlighted hair and had a strong resemblance to her father. The weight loss is understandable from her medical ordeal - a month in a coma takes care of that pesky 5 kilos all of us would like to lose, hey ladies? Okay, the new look could all be p.r. "styling," but the features don't match either from what photo evidence we have. I'm surprised no one on this thread has made a similar observation, though on a Russian internet thread a poster observed the same, insisting that if the girl is in fact Yulia then she's had plastic surgery! (Maybe to get ready for that "new life" in the U.S. witness protection program she was allegedly offered according to one media report I read.) Lots of odd stuff in just this vignette. I remain very concerned about Yulia's well-being, and this "interview" and the peculiar letters only prompt more questions and no definitive answers.

Posted by: Anne | May 24 2018 21:10 utc | 55

Here is yet another comparison of the two letters.
In Russian, by Russian :)

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 21:12 utc | 56

"Wants to return home" is the big point not being raised according to Russian political scientist Igor Shatrov:

"It is unlikely that anyone would want to return to a country accused of poisoning her. Therefore for me, this phrase is the most significant statement that Julia made."

I must concur. But was that part of the script or said independently?

Posted by: karlof1 | May 24 2018 21:12 utc | 57

Seems like B is on a roll lately. That's excellent!

However, I can't agree with the hostage claim proposed here and in many other intelligent places any longer. For me, the Skripals being merely victims of greater powers involved in foul play, them being somehow held and silenced against their will - that's completely off the table.

It's hard to come to terms with it, but the Skripals have been in on the whole charade. Sergey has been from the beginning, probably in an instrumental way even, but to some degree Yulia must be complicit in the plot, too.

It's the way she behaves in the Reuters video. Her behavior is actually very straightforward and lighthearted - and coherently so. No gaps there. She sure shows signs of being a little nervous, but what media amateur wouldn't be in an interview situation. It's really only minor nervousness given the fact that the Skripals are at the center of so much international attention and that the Skripal case is a possible casus belli. She is unmistakably flirting with the camera and clearly enjoying the attention brought to her. You can't fake that.

The Russians (and the remaining Skripal family) will have to accomodate the fact that the Skripals are lost to them. They won’t be coming back – because they wouldn’t want to. That talk of returning to Russia “one day” is just that – talk, strategically placed into the statement and aimed at undermining the Russian ambassador’s admirable persistence. Everything else that she says, or most of it, doesn’t matter much. You all are perfectly right in your analysis of who actually wrote Yulia’s script I think, but sadly it’s way beside the point.

The Russian side has likely done so already, but if I were a Russian investigator, I’d have a look at how well in advance of the flight date Yulia’s tickets were booked. The date as such might be of great importance, too. The Skripal ploy would have been given the green light by the time Yulia got on that plane. It would have been conceived much earlier and I’d check that against the airing (or finishing of the movie script) of that weird TV series B mentioned in one of his earlier articles. In all likelihood, Yulia booked a return ticket, but just for the sake of completeness, I’d check that, too. Also, what kind of health insurance did she take out for her trip abroad? Was it really the usual, the bare minimum, so as not to waste any money on it, or something more extensive? And how much luggage did she take with her, and what items (not just practical stuff, but some cherished things too, maybe)? Etc. etc.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | May 24 2018 21:21 utc | 58

Anne 55 I believe that photo of the two Skripals toasting the camera in a cafe was from a previous visit of hers.

That said, the fact that Yulia was out of sight for two and a half months may be explained by the government's lengthy search for a Yulia look-alike, her voice being dubbed for the video.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 24 2018 21:25 utc | 59

Julia almost certainly demanded a lawyer and, despite all the pressure, was allowed to get one. So she's not "alone". The lawyer was certainly involved in the formulation of the prepared text and might have managed - while basically playing along with the script - to bring in some key sentences, like that she wants to go back to Russia.

I suspect that the fate of her father is a big reason that Julia complies with the script writers for now.

Posted by: mk | May 24 2018 21:27 utc | 60

BBC reporting a hoax phone call to Boris Johnson lasting 20 mins from Russian. Brit government blaming! Russia Kremlin
So in last 2 days they'v dug up the Scripals again,accused Russia of downing a plain with a missile,reports of new agression against Syria and as a diversion put N.koria back in the news.
The same old same old!
We will know see,, within hours maybe days a massive attack on Syria/Iran !
They just did the ground work- anti Russia properganda,public distraction.
I could weep

Posted by: Mark2 | May 24 2018 21:31 utc | 61

@54 Daniel I have to agree here. It would be a very US error of grammar to say "my father and I" after the preposition "of", but a decently schooled Brit or I think Russian would not make that mistake, especially in writing, which is going to be more grammatically correct than speaking.

Having said that, I do agree with everyone else that this whole thing stinks, from beginning to end a fabrication in every particle of this entire case.

Posted by: Grieved | May 24 2018 21:34 utc | 62

@S #47

> However, their relatives may go to a UK court to establish the status of the Skripal

And perhaps that is why those relwtives are being persistently denied British visa...

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 21:45 utc | 63

@Daniel #54

Me, despite being Russian, would also use "me" not "i" in such phrases. Every time online i see "i and ..." it makes me ork. Here comes another brush stroke though. In casual informal Russian "me and my Dad" would not be used. Natural form in Russian would be "we together with my dad/father" - "мы с папой".

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 22:04 utc | 64

@Anne #55

Still Yulia's sister and grandma after watching and listening to the video did not raised any doubt in her identity.

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 22:07 utc | 65

@Scotch #58 would Yulia be willful and cheering co-conspirator playing wholeheartedly into UK hands, then won't those letters be reversed? A normal letter written in lively elegant Russian plus an innatural heavy-weight English translation?

Posted by: Arioch | May 24 2018 22:13 utc | 66

It’s great to see much skepticism here. I see no reason to accept that the alleged event happened in the first place. Great Britain, the US and Russia are all perfectly well able to assassinate a couple of civilians if that is their desire.

If these two are alive, I expect they were meant to be alive. If they were meant to be alive, I see no reason to risk their deaths by deliberately poisoning them (regardless of the agent used) and then letting them fall into the hands of an emergency room staff - who could themselves be poisoned or who might accidentally harm (even lethally) the “victims” by treating them for the wrong agent.

Posted by: Daniel | May 24 2018 22:14 utc | 67

All of the conjecture about Skirpal’s ties to the “dodgy dossier” and even that the Clintons could be the culprits in the dirty deed is based on the belief that the US has two “major” political parties in serious opposition to one another. I see no evidence of that.

In this particular instance, we have the Clinton Crime family and The Donald - who have all been good friends for decades. Their daughters both stated during the campaign that they’ve been “best friends” since childhood. That could not have been possible with one of them living under Secret Service watch, even living in the White House - without close ties between their parents. Further, both Ivanka and Chelsea stated they expect to remain close friends even after the election.

This is just plain impossible to imagine if the “fire and fury” of the campaign and all the nasty stuff said during and since were even just exaggerations of real ideological differences.

I often describe US politics as akin to US football. The Eagles and the Bears both want to win any given game or championship. The teams get some bonuses for winning. But they are both playing the same game, and share the proceeds regardless. It used to be that the two “teams” had different owners (though of the same elite group), but at least since the rise of the Clinton/DLC, they even share owners, let alone ideologies and “long game” goals.

So I see no reason to believe any of the partisan kabuki theater that oozes out of our MSM.

Posted by: Daniel | May 24 2018 22:18 utc | 68

Arioch. Thanks for all of your erudite dissection of Yulia's words.

Posted by: Daniel | May 24 2018 22:21 utc | 69

The interpretations are interesting because it shows one's own inward fascinations. Very revealing.

S makes sense, but I disagree with BM's take on 'invasive'. I think a woman has experiences in her life where things feel, from inside and as her own body, invasive. At least, they'd reach more naturally for that word than talking about the dryness of their mucosal membrane when telling you about this object penetrating their flesh. But we're back to the point that all these interpretations demonstrate the interpreter. It's fascinating, but I try to stay aware of the bigger picture and the human lives. We're all trying to make this better, whether through bad humor or peaceful intensity.

I posted a link to the Twitter account of the videographer for Yulia's statement. Juris Abramenko. He also tweeted a short video where she signs the statement.

Posted by: Charles R | May 24 2018 22:59 utc | 70

OT, but too great a piece of written journalism to miss. MintPress takes a look at Vice "News"
Bibi piece from Tuesday:

"What happens when the billionaire face of the self-described “world’s preeminent youth media company” — known for its sex, drugs and rock-and-roll coverage of current events — gains access to the top echelons of the world’s preeminent human rights-abusing settler colonial state?

"The answer is as predictable as it is simple: you get hipster hasbara"

Posted by: Daniel | May 24 2018 23:00 utc | 71

Since when did the MI5 get so sloppy and obvious? Reminds me of the Kuwait war with Saddam using the British hostages:

Saddam singled out one young British boy - named only as Stuart - and ruffled the child's hair. Speaking through an interpreter, he asked Stuart if he was getting his milk.

Posted by: Madmen | May 25 2018 0:25 utc | 72

I don't believe the young woman in the video is Yulia.
Posted by: Anne | May 24, 2018 5:10:31 PM | 55

That thought crossed my mind, too. But the likeness to the real Yulia, of the Yulia in the BBC News video, was very convincing. On the other hand professional theatrical make-up specialists can do wonders with a face which is only similar to the one they want to reproduce.
The BBC video was filmed with VERY BRIGHT light (the reflection of which can be seen in her eyes) even though there was sufficient daylight to make a clear video. I don't know how important bright lighting is as an aid to enhancing clever make-up, and assumed that it was used to reduce the depth of field in order to obscure the background scenery in close-up shots of Yulia.
So I decided to wait until the Russians had commented before pursuing a fake Yulia line of reasoning. What made Russia's comment interesting, for me, is they SAID that they accept that she's alive which, in my mind, settles the issue. For now...
Of course if it's not Yulia and the Russians have not been fooled then who knows what they'll do next? And will anyone care if it's not very nice?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 25 2018 2:01 utc | 73

The most interesting aspect of the whole Skripal incident was the imposition of D notices on the media by the UK government. The reasoning was said to be to protect agent Miller but this was a lie as Miller's association with Skripal was previously well known and bound to come to the surface. No, the reasons for the D notices were to protect the government's bizarre narrative of lies and also the likely poisoner which would be our mysterious policeman caught up in the incident.
I strongly suspect the charade was intimately linked to british special forces captured unexpectedly in Gouta, Syria whilst assisting the local jihadis in preparing their next false flag chemical attack which would have brought in a massive western response to try and change the direction of the conflict. In other words an act of desperation which led to the comical situation of the authorities having to make the narrative up as they were going along.

It's a fact that allowing the media to swarm all over the place - even if controlled - would have invariably thrown up scenarios or situations which would have taken control of the narrative out of the government's hands.

Posted by: m | May 25 2018 4:26 utc | 74

Speaking of Ukraine and the presser by the Dutch Investigators that Bellingcat's social media images prove it was the Russians themselves who shot down MH17.... I see that South Front has reported a recent surge of Ukie aggression against DPR.

BTW: Aren't we relieved to know that Bellingcat signed a deal with Facebook to edit out "fake news?" ;-)

Posted by: Daniel | May 25 2018 4:37 utc | 75

What's up with her hair? She obviously dyed her hair. Hair grows about 1,25 cm per month. She obviously had a hair stylist working on her hair x amount of weeks ago (while you can dye your hair yourself it got cut, too, a professional haircut). Her dressing style is consistent with the one in the photo taken with her father shortly before the incident (allegedly). But who in their right mind would take part in a video and display this ugly scar choosing to wear this dress? Pictures from her (alleged) social media account show her to be a lot more funky than the person shown in the picture (allegedly) taken just before the "incident". Maybe her father preferred for her to dress more conservatively? I have no idea. I am having issues reconciling her social media pictures with the one taken in the restaurant (allegedly). Does anyone know how this photo got published? Is anything known about the person who took it? I may have missed this.

Posted by: BX | May 25 2018 8:35 utc | 76

#74 I, too, see a connection between the Ghouta incident and this one. I believe the Skripals were taken hostage by the UK government to have some means/mechanism to pressurize the Russian government into silence about the scandal unraveling in Ghouta. That's how they jumped at the "only Russia" phrase. Interestingly, in both cases, CWs were involved. The fact both Skripals are now said to have been "released from hospital" but are still under MI5 control may point to the fact that there is some development regarding any British special forces caught in Ghouta. They may be free by now or negotiations are progressing sufficiently satisfactorily so the UK government is making some moves as well. If both can go back to Russia they likely won't do any interviews from there either. They will be disappeared just like the British special forces in Ghouta. It's like they never existed. And the story will die down and the UK government got out of that situation.

Posted by: BX | May 25 2018 8:44 utc | 77

@ 27 S
In the first sentences of my comment I make it clear that I am very familiar with the English of non-native speakers of the language because I was brought up by one, my mother, who was Norwegian and lived in England for over fifty years. Despite being an avid reader, during all that time, she never managed to grasp the vernacular in a convincing way. I now now live with a German in Spain, who speaks excellent English, Spanish, German and French. We have been together for fourteen years. We speak English at home, yet she would not be able to write a statement like that.

I have Norwegian relatives in Oslo, most of whom speak good to excellent English and have visited Norway many times since the age of two. I speak some Norwegian and Spanish. The point is that my experience and instincts tell me that the statement read out by Yulia Skripal was composed by a native English speaker, and could not have been composed by a Russian visitor to England no matter how good their spoken English.

Posted by: Bryan Hemming | May 25 2018 9:58 utc | 78

The Sergei Skripal script authors : The "Louis Vuitton" clue ...

Re: “A fact which the British government is trying to hide.”


5 March 2018 : Telegraph : Sergei Skripal: The 'spy with the Louis Vuitton bag' allegedly poisoned during quiet retirement in Salisbury

6 March 2018 : Daily Mail : Cancer, car crash and liver failure: Mysterious deaths of wife and son of Russian 'Spy with the Louis Vuitton Handbag'


I have studied terrorism narratives for over a decade and approached the "Sergei Skripal" narrative in the same way.

Scripts are designed using a method.

The narratives are not just "thrown together" using random nodes and events.

They are constructed using allegorical references to other events and people which always define the motivation or "complaints" behind the event and those responsible for the event.

The method by which events within and external to the narrative are connected is by using relationships between the dates of the events.

I have documented hundreds of examples of this in various places on the web using my own name. This is not the place to go into forensic detail of that method and the rationale behind the preferred numbers used in the event relationships.

Suffice to say that the relationships between the narrative nodes in the "Sergei Skripal script", produce the same tell tale signatures which confirm for me that this is a script and that is has been constructed using the normal method.


"The spy with the Louis Vuitton handbag"

I was intrigued by this story and so included "Louis Vuitton" in my analysis along with all of the other known nodes / events in the Skripal narrative.

Was the "Louis Vuitton" story about Sergei Skripal real or invented ?

Here is what we find :

While trawling through the nodes in the Cambridge Analytica, Clinton, DNC, FBI, CIA narrative, I finally discovered the birth date of Cambridge Analytica investor & hedge fund billionaire, Robert Mercer's daughter, Rebekah 'Bekah' Mercer, aka "the First Lady of the alt-right" and the current owner of Bannon's Breitbart.

Rebekah 'Bekah' Mercer was born on 6 December 1973

Louis Vuitton died on 27 February 1892

= 777 months, 777 weeks, 777 days

before Rebekah 'Bekah' Mercer was born ...

who probably does own a few Louis Vuitton handbags ...

Thereby demonstrating that the two scripts are inextricably linked.

A Kabbalistic quid pro quo for the Orbis / Pablo Miller, Trump dossier ...


Posted by: Mark Gobell | May 25 2018 11:04 utc | 79

@BM 29
Yes, this can be read on Veterans Today, April 8, 2018 :
"Russian suspects that the Skripal incident is related as by their records, Skiripal was working at Porton Down as a chemical weapons trafficker in partnership with a Ukrainian firm. Russia denies attacking Skripal but admits he was under surveillance for his activities involving support of terrorism in Syria and arms trafficking."
But what is their source ?

Posted by: Inquirer | May 25 2018 14:29 utc | 80

It is very likely that the Skripals have indeed been exposed to the psychoactive drug BZ in Salisbury (as claimed by Sergei Lavrov based on the findings of the Swiss lab). (the German version on wikipedia is more detailed than the English version)

Under the heading „Wirkung“ (effect)

(symptoms: headache, disorientation, hallucinations, anxiety, inability to concentrate, periods of restlessness alternating with periods of apathy; after a short time the affected person is completely detached from reality and can no longer interact consciously with his environment…)

we find very important information:

„Die Betroffenen können sich nach Genesung nur an die Zeit VOR der Kontaminierung erinnern. (Amnesie“

Translation: After recovery the affected persons can only recall the time-period BEFORE the contamination (selective Amnesia).

…. So the Skripals have no idea what really happened to them in the Salisbury hospital … how very convenient … (remember DC Nick Bailey, who was also affected by „a chemical agent“, released a statement describing his experience in the hospital as „surreal")

Posted by: Cassandra | May 25 2018 15:28 utc | 81

@Charles #70
> S makes sense, but I disagree with BM's take on 'invasive'. I think a woman has experiences in her life where things feel, from inside and as her own body, invasive

Invasion in Russian would be вторжение, vtorzhenie.

When this word - "invasive" - gets transliterated instead of being translated - инвазивный, инвазия - it is clearly a specific term from professional medical domain.

Now, while of course Yulia could know this word from some medic, and maybe could use it in some deeply medical talk with some doctor, the idea of using highly specific medical term in generic letter to her dear family seems strange. It is just not the language you use at home unless you have some very medical speech.

Posted by: Arioch | May 25 2018 17:04 utc | 82

@Hoarsewhisperer #73

> What made Russia's comment interesting, for me, is they SAID that they accept that she's alive which, in my mind, settles the issue.

Those are by the way different questions, almost unrelated, whether

1) the woman in the video is real Yulia
2) Yulia is alive here and now

(and yet different issue would be whether Yulia can move out of UK staying alive, even if she is alive right now.)

Scenario 1 without 2: the video (showing real Yulia) was filmed month ago and was only published now. In between Yulia was wasted.
Scenatio 2 without 1: the video shows an actor, not Yulia. But Yulia is alive. The Russia claims "UK killed Yulia!" - and then real Yulia walks out to make Russia present itself as paranoid idiot.

Few years ago I could not imagine I would seriously consider such possibilities, but...

So, we can discuss if the Reuters video shows Yulia or some substitute, but we can not discuss (w.r.t. that video) if Yulia is alive or dead. Those are two very different questions now

Posted by: Arioch | May 25 2018 17:11 utc | 83

She needs to be scanned for tracking devices, particularly round that scar! But not by the Brits.
Think I'm joking ? Nope!

Posted by: Mark2 | May 25 2018 18:22 utc | 84

@ BX #76
I too wonder if the woman in the pub/restaurant is the same as in the social media. The author of the picture taken in the pub/restaurant, who can be seen is the mirror, could be Ross Cassidy, a friend of S. Skripal. Google "Skripal Cassidy" and look at the images.

Posted by: Inquirer | May 25 2018 18:33 utc | 85

@ BX #76
The author of the picture taken in the pub/restaurant, who can be seen in the mirror, could perhaps also be Alexander, the (now deceased) brother of YuliaSkripal.
Google "Дети Скрипаля, Юлия и Александр" and look at the images.

Posted by: Inquirer | May 25 2018 19:14 utc | 86

Posted by: Arioch | May 25, 2018 1:11:03 PM | 83

You're reading too much into my response to Anne's suspicions.
I didn't tell Anne she was wrong. I merely explained that Russia's response to the Yulia video didn't include doubts about Yulia's ID and therefore I accept the opinion they expressed. i.e. Yulia is alive.

But it's not proof and Anne is free to maintain her suspicions until proof, verified by the Russians, emerges.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 26 2018 2:56 utc | 87

It’s an awesome article designed for all the web viewers; they will
obtain advantage from it I am sure.

Posted by: انتخاب کمپرسور اسکرو | May 26 2018 5:08 utc | 88

If it is her it was filmed weeks ago. No date, the hair out growth, lividness of the scar, confusion in Russian version if Sergei is in or out of hospital.
I think she may have been under the impression she was in Russia being visited by British journalists. In the Russian version is it clear if she says "I came" or "I went" to UK? And the embassy reference,could that mean the British Embassy in Moscow?
The phrase "all too well" is very jarring. Old fashioned and exactly like a civil servant would say.
And why is it "Dad". I assume she says Papa in Russian and Papa is quite normal and trendy in London whereas Dad sounds old and Northernu.

Posted by: Patrick Mahony | May 26 2018 6:45 utc | 89

No way she is referring to the British Embassy in Moscow. They are both still in treatment, so she is in the clear where she is. She came/arrived, not went. She never says papa.

Posted by: Don Karlos | May 26 2018 15:21 utc | 90

Who knows what substance *poisoned* the Skripals. From toxic rotten fish to BZ to defective past-sell date (ha ha) Novichok..?

(I believe they passed out, were hospitalised, etc.)

Why was Sergei in such a rage? (early report, link) Surely not a known irascible drunk or other complainer, he was generally described as respectable and friendly, amenable, sociable. Something happened that day to send him nuts. Yulia was embarassed.

daily mail

Top level UK Gvmt. jumped onto the blame Russia bandwagon. (Where did the info to do that come from?)

It was a knee-jerk thing, not a long-standing plot. (The plot may have been at lower echelons.) This is quite evident as the whole story didn’t work out and May-+-Bojo were very rapidly ridiculed on the world stage, to the point of being so embarassed and having no alternative spiel, having to shut down news, go dead silent, sequester the Skirpals, etc.

The idea that Putin would go to signature-Russkie lengths to clumsily attempt murder with some crazy haphazard means and FAIL to kill some old minor turncoat (even that description is a dramatization) and his daughter was perceived as hallucinatin’ nonsense, rightly so.

So the interesting question, in fine, is how did the May Gvmt. latch onto the scenario of Putin/Russia guilt? To have it backfire? How did that come about?

Posted by: Noirette | May 27 2018 14:15 utc | 91

After seeing the photos of Yulia with a fresh tracheostomy scar, I posted this to Dilyana Gaytandzhieva's website article "Skripals poisoned with Fentanyl, initial report redacted" (May 3, 2018):

"While I initially thought this report plausible, the recent video statement by Yulia, in which she clearly has a healing tracheostomy scar argues against a Fentanyl overdose. The scar is evidence that she required long-term mechanical ventilation; more than is allowable with a standard endotracheal (ET) tube (an ET tube in place for too long irreversibly damages the larynx, so a tracheostomy is done to prevent that damage). Since naloxone (Narcan) is the widely available and specific (near instantaneously effective) treatment for narcotic overdose which would have likely been given immediately upon the Skripals' arrival in the E.R. (even if narcotic overdose was not highly suspected, since it's essentially free of side-effects) and, if Fentanyl overdose had been the problem, both would have had immediate recovery and not needed more than brief respiratory assistance and certainly not long-term ventilation requiring placement of a tracheostomy tube. Should photos of Sergei become available, they'll almost certainly show him with a similar scar. This assessment points to poisoning with a long-acting substance inducing either respiratory arrest or the need for medical paralyzation to allow mechanical ventilation. (Posted May 25, 2018)"

Posted by: Marshalldoc | May 27 2018 19:10 utc | 92

Aptly put, the Russian response to the kidnapping of one of its citizens is to "express concern". "Good for her if she can go home eventually, tough luck otherwise", seems to be the thinking. The old KGB would've known how to play hardball with their enemies--which of course deters those enemies from naughty acts in the first place, so the gloves have to come off only rarely in practice. Whether it's the Skripal saga, the Maidan, or now Armenia, this perception that the Bear just doesn't have your back does Russia no favors in the world.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | May 28 2018 1:23 utc | 93

My logical theory is that in or close to the Zizzi Restaurant the Skripals were temporarily incapacitated. This could have occurred accidentally from seafood poisoning and only later been seized upon by malign forces in UK government as an ideal opportunity to convenient to miss. Conversely the whole incident could have been well planned in advance, using BZ or another agent to stun the couple with a dedicated team to manage a staged incident where they provided “innocent bystander” care until their victims were taken to hospital.

BZ would result in dilated pupils while the opposite would be in evidence if Fentanyl had been used. The observed state of the patient’s pupils would routinely be included in documented ambulance crew notes. However, an early suspicion of Fentanyl overdose could easily have been rapidly ruled out by paramedics administering Narcan in the field. Narcan would not reverse BZ even temporarily as BZ is not an Opium derived drug.

Only when the Skripals were at the hospital in a very strictly controlled anaesthesia environment, intubated, with their airway secure and vital signs carefully monitored, would it have been possible for them to receive a non-lethal exposure to Novichok. Immediate treatment with Atropine and other interventions could then have been planned in advance anticipation of the known damage expected from the Novichok. Traces of this limited and well controlled exposure would be present in blood samples taken at the time that might later be used in evidence.

It would not necessarily have aroused the suspicion of the regular hospital staff when a specially trained Haz-Mat team from Porton Down took over the resuscitation and ICU care of the Skripals after such a highly dangerous chemical was implicated. Appropriate cautious preparedness for accidents at the chemical research facility would warrant such a specially trained team being available to quickly step in given the close proximity of Porton Down.

This theory accounts for the mysterious absence of collateral damage to bystanders despite the potential for multiple close contacts. The lax management of toxic contamination in several public spaces early on indicates the lack of genuine concern. The dramatic decontamination scenes later on were obviously just added theatre. My theory would also explain the lengthy four plus hour time lag before the targeted individuals experienced any symptoms and the inexplicable survival of the Skripals despite the extreme toxicity of Novichok. Evidence of Novichok exposure present in blood samples tested by designated OPCW laboratories would be predictably positive.

Why not kill the selected victims outright? A rapid death would not stay in the news cycle for as long and might not create as much public outrage as needed for this false flag incident to cause the required uproar. The desperate attempt to rapidly pin the blame on Russia while refusing to produce any evidence and not immediately calling in the OPCW should have aroused a lot more suspicion by the MSM. This contravened standard UK legal obligations of “disclosure” and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The UK has also violated accepted international protocols regarding consular access and dealing with the OPCW.

This scenario was posted elsewhere before Yulia’s appearance in a contrived well controlled exposure to Reuters. There are significant clues in her statement that have been highlighted by others on this blog so I will focus on what struck me the most. Why did that tracheotomy scar need to be so glaringly obvious? It would be the natural inclination of most proud young women to try to disguise an ugly feature like that. Even just drawing the neck of her dress together would have made the scar less prominent, but she could have chosen a loosely tied scarf.

In every other way Yulia was encouraged to look healthy, smart and well groomed; so why the embarrassing exposure of an ugly scar. For me this undignified inclusion in the choreography did little to reinforce the contrived official narrative. The inexplicable discrepancy gave a powerful impression that Yulia was under the strict control of minders. I doubt she has been allowed any contact with her father as fear for his safety is probably being used to maintain her compliance. If Yulia realizes the malevolent intent of her captors some of the “flaws” in her statement might be her only desperate cry for help.

We must continue to vigorously demand information about the Skripals and try to get principled investigative journalists to expose this obvious False Flag incident. It is totally unnatural for the Skripals to have been denied access to call close family members in Russia and that cruel dictate remains extremely hard for the UK authorities to justify under any circumstances. We need to create a petition demanding that normal family contact must be provided to these two traumatized victims ASAP; it would be very hard for this enfeebled Tory government to ignore such an innocent humanitarian request.

The Skripal’s remain in grave danger as our silence is allowing time for government agents to subject them to therapies designed to totally eradicate any memory of what they were subjected to. If this brainwashing can be successfully accomplished then another brief, equally innocuous, well controlled exposure to the press might be staged before the Skripals are permanently “disappeared.” I doubt their minders would risk allowing them both to appear together. I do not believe they will be permitted to live beyond their usefulness for propaganda purposes so we must keep demanding the truth.

Posted by: KimSaFi | May 28 2018 12:42 utc | 94

It is sad that the commenters here do not appreciate insidious dangers from Russia. There are many news items that illustrate how bad it is, and the West is at loss how to effectively address that problem. Today I read a rare case of good news. BBC informs that

Poland stops 'Russian hybrid war groups'

No more Russian hybrid war groups between the Baltic and the Carpathian mountains! Observe and learn: how that feat was achieved. The numbers are shocking: one Russian female, Yekaterina K. was deported for "fomenting hostility to Ukraine", and four other citizens of RF were denied entry to Poland.

More mysteriously, Polish authorities announced, with no details, that they neutralized two hybrid war networks that not only fomented hostility to Ukraine, but additionally were "undermining the interpretation of Polish history, replacing it with a Russian narrative". A bit cryptic: which interpretation of Polish history was seditiously undermined, there is definitely more than one home grown interpretation. Most cryptic is what methods were used (or prevented from being used) by the dreaded hybridians.

Then I made a spot check of Polish social media landscape in the aftermath of the feats that I have described. Polish president, youthful, photogenic and fit Mr. Andrzej Duda, made an important speech at the session of NATO parliamentarians in Warsaw and explained how Russia never gave up on imperial traditions of Soviet Union, invaded Georgia, lawlessly annexed Crimea, committed assassinations in UK using chemical weapons etc. Website "Virtual Poland" reported all of that, and this website does not "moderate" comments. (The fools! Fools!) How the comments differ from what I were observing before?

Page after page of criticism! Some rather vague, "Incidental president, incidental mentality, wisdom is dammed...", some more to the point "...what about bombing of Yugoslavia and removing Kosovo from Yugoslavia, bombing of Libya... ", some further afield "what about Israel, most criminal state...", and in first five pages I did not find ANY supportive comments. Before there were some characters warning the citizenry about trolls from Olgino, pasting the same text every time, some voice against "Russo-Mongol degenerates", and today, nothing of the sort.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 28 2018 22:12 utc | 95

I see some "conspiracy theories" here. On one hand, I support such effort as a response to the narrative that is obligatory to every freedom loving citizen of a NATO country, namely, that "only Russia had the means, motivation and necessary brutality" to commit this outrage. A number of members of NATO and their allies had the means and motivation, e.g. "create facts that would increase the popularity of measures that are necessary to resist multifaceted threats from Russian Federation". If you recognize this necessity you should not succumb to moments of doubts concerning the supportive narrative: the conclusions are correct, so the supportive facts SHOULD be correct, even if in some sense (namely, unvanished facts) they are not. In those trying times one has to choose the stand: on the side of freedom, or on the side of"the dictators or authoritarian strongmen who do not love America" (Hillary promised not to sing their praises, mind you, dictators or authoritarian strongmen who love America are an approved subject of laudatory songs).

That said, we have no idea about the control that UK government has over the witnesses of the poisoning. For example, having full control, agents could jab the victims with darts so they would fell unconscious, and then administer whatever they want in the hospital using the crew "trained in Porton Down". If initially reported symptoms were a bit inconsistent, that is only sloppiness (or strategic sloppiness), but they do not allow to make "educated guesses".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 28 2018 22:56 utc | 96

Very nicely written, Piotr. Now that you mention it, I think I've heard hybridians outside my bedroom window at night. Next time one of those terrifying hybridians makes that "meow" sound, I'l let loose an RPG or two. We must take a stand!

Speaking of "conspiracy theories," I see RFK Jr. has officially gone off the deep end.

"Add Robert F Kennedy Jr to the growing list of people who believe that there was a second gunman who carried out the assassination of his father almost 50 years ago."


Posted by: Daniel | May 28 2018 23:59 utc | 97

at last the health professionals who were involved in this case have made statements regarding the treatment regime the Skripals blows out of the water almost all of the sheer garbage conspiracy pushed by the troll army...face it: russia kills those it feels have crossed it. it does this in a manner which will leave a fingerprint taunting those whom are investigating their crimes...remember the radioactive trail which led all the way to moscow after lugavoy and co. departed UK

by the way i am waiting for the troll army to suggest that the health professionals who were interviewed actually work for MI5/6 or some branch of the security services...

Posted by: topper | May 29 2018 18:52 utc | 98

One can't help but wonder if a few synthetic telepathy sessions were the "invasive and depressing" part of her treatment.

Her limited, allowed word usage of her captors speak volumes.

MI5/CIA mind control.

Posted by: JThomas | Jun 4 2018 18:49 utc | 99

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