Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 16, 2018

The Magic Of Novichok - Deadly Agent Found In Perfume Bottle

This before-after advertisement for Novichok perfume, featuring Yulia Skripal, made the rounds a while ago.


The ad was published before May 27. Its creator must have had real vision. Last night the BBC reported:

Amesbury: Novichok found in perfume bottle, says victim's brother

The nerve agent that poisoned two people in Amesbury was contained in a perfume bottle, the brother of one of the victims has said.

Matthew Rowley said his brother Charlie, who is seriously ill in hospital, told him he had picked up the perfume bottle.

The Metropolitan Police, which is leading the investigation, refused to confirm the claim.

Previously the force has said only that it was found in a "small bottle".

Sergej Skripal and his daughter Yulia both mysteriously recovered from the alleged 'nerve agent' 10 times as deadly as VX. It was the magic of the Novichok perfume that did it.

One victim of the second 'Novichok' incident in Wiltshire, Matthew Rowley, is also on the path to full recovery. His friend Dawn Strugess, a drug addict with serious medical preconditions, died. Like with the Skripal case the details of the second incident raise lots of new questions.

According to the police the 'small bottle' contained an agent of the 'Novichok' group:

[S]cientists have now confirmed to us that the substance contained within the bottle is Novichok.
Further scientific tests will be carried out to try and establish whether it is from the same batch that contaminated Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March – this remains a main line of enquiry for police.
Inquiries are under way to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Charlie’s house.

How does a presumably highly fluid nerve agent in a perfume bottle fit the police assertions about the 'Novichok' "gel" on the doorknob of Sergej Skripal's house? Was that the skin-care variant of the 'Novichok' beauty series?


This is another hole in the official Skripal story the British government is putting out.

That does not prevent 'officials' from spinning more nonsense around it.

Just after the Justice Department indicted officers of the Russian Military Intelligence G.R.U., some anonymous 'officials' claim that the G.R.U. is also responsible for the Skripal incident. As usual there is zero evidence or even logic behind this claim:

U.K. Poisoning Inquiry Turns to Russian Agency in Mueller Indictments

British investigators believe the March 4 attack on the former spy, Sergei V. Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, was most probably carried out by current or former agents of the service, known as the G.R.U., who were sent to his home in southern England, according to one British official, one American official and one former American official familiar with the inquiry, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.

The piece quotes the anti-Russian 'expert' Mark Galeotti who asserts:

“That the G.R.U. kills people abroad has been amply demonstrated in a variety of other cases,” ...

He does not give one example.

Sergej Skripal was a British agent within the G.R.U. He was caught and sentenced to 15 years. After six years of jail he was pardoned and swapped in exchange for Russian spies caught in the west. He was no longer of interest. Killing him would end future spy swaps. The G.R.U.  had certainly no interest in doing that.

Galeotti is the non-expert who invented the "Gerasimov doctrine" which, he asserted, described Russia's ways to wage "non-linear" and "hybrid wars". Lots of nonsense was written about that idea. Three years later, after being called out, Galeotti had to admit that his interpretation of an article by the Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov was utterly false. Gerasimov did not describe a new Russian doctrine but the 'western' way of waging 'regime change' wars.

Galeotti attributed the evil aspects of 'western' operations Gerasimov described to Russia.

A similar misattribution is happening in the 'Novickok' tale.

Posted by b on July 16, 2018 at 17:32 UTC | Permalink


Gel, perfume, Highly Likely.

What more do you need to know?

Liars always run out of lies and the Truth emerges.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jul 16 2018 18:01 utc | 1

Since the whole of the Pseudologia Russica is coming apart with the Trump Putin summit actually happening and press conferences being given and questions answered in a courteous way, I expect there's a good chance the Skripal affair will die a quiet death, or die a somewhat uneventful death where Russia is exonerated because that would preempt inconvenient questions to UK politicians, UK secret services, UK police and Porton Down.

Posted by: bjd | Jul 16 2018 18:17 utc | 2

For me it was the D notice slapped on the media, to control the narrative! Not the actions of an inocent party , state or victim.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 16 2018 18:20 utc | 3

No mention of the Skripal affair in the press conference. Not relevant at that level as they know the truth, its just us chickens that don't.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jul 16 2018 18:22 utc | 4

Maybe the spooks got the idea for a real poison perfume bottle from the satiric ad.

(As the post says the perfume bottle makes no sense compared to what's supposed to have happened to the Skripals. But then, none of this has made any sense from the start.)

Posted by: Russ | Jul 16 2018 18:24 utc | 5

Where did it come from?
Porton Down is very close.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jul 16 2018 18:26 utc | 6

Can you imagine trying to spray a deadly nerve agent with a scent bottle? Its difficult enough to spray scent let alone a nerve agent . What about wind, or even a slight breeze which would surely contaminate the user as well as the intended victim. Anyway, if the bottle was used for the door handle, why not just dispose of it in a nearby waste bin instead of taking it all the way up to the park. some are saying, the perfume bottle assassin sprayed the Skripals on the park bench but the problem as mentioned above still holds. But hang on a minute, there's the mythical policeman who got it of the door handle so the sprayer was busy all over the place. Lets face it: it was drugs in the form of happy tablets and I bet the Sripals as well as these other two had some Novichok flavoured sweeties. The number of red Herrings in this case is enough to keep Salisbury in fish for six months and counting.

Posted by: john wilson | Jul 16 2018 18:41 utc | 7

Of course that the bottle will somehow be traced to Russia.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 16 2018 18:47 utc | 8

It has been suggested that I am in contact with Segei Skripal (even that I AM Sergei
Skripal - I'm not.). Although I don't have a way to disprove either of these assertions,
I will, once again, boldly go where no man has gone before speculating here that erstwhile
Skripal is suffering from writer's block, and also that he is also nearly broke (Steele
no longer makes deposits to his secret bank account). He has to eat, thus this perfume bottle device is an ordinary 50 pound placement fee from an undistinguished luxury goods company.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 16 2018 18:51 utc | 9

The bottle is made a glass, a substance that can only be made in Russia.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jul 16 2018 18:52 utc | 10

If we're going to take a fresh look at this one, let me lob a metaphoricall hangrenade in, just to liven up the preceding's.-----
I may have missed it but last time around, did enyone mention a bunch called 'cobra' or for that matter 'plataninum command ' connected to 'white helmets ' by our old freand Hamish Gratten Breton ( have almost certainly got that name slightly wrong) plenty of dots to join up there! Best to look at the conspiracy sites with this one! There so high up the search engines will bury deep.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 16 2018 18:56 utc | 11

When do we get a thread on the Summit? I cannot wait to hear from all the Putinverstehers out there...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 16 2018 19:19 utc | 12

Posted by: Russ | Jul 16, 2018 2:24:36 PM | 5

It makes sense in the context of the "Douma chemical attack", the airstrikes by the US, Britain and France and the fight at OPCW to blame Russia.

Skripal nerve attack 'taught jihadists power of poison plots'

The poisoning of a retired Russian agent living in the UK acted as "big neon advertisement" to jihadists for the power of chemical attacks, an al-Qaeda insider turned British spy has said, as terrorists again appear to be pursuing the tactic.

Aimen Dean said the use of chemicals and poisons in alleged plots in recent months showed chemical terrorism was a growing risk.

The former jihadist, who took part in experiments to develop chemical devices in the late 1990s, said that the collapse of IS's territory could encourage militants to use the weapons again.

Widespread news coverage of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and Yulia, his daughter, with a military-grade nerve agent, coupled with the disruption and cost of the clean-up, had shown the propaganda potential of chemicals, he said.

Add - day of the attack on the Skripals:

MI5 warning: British ISIS jihadis ‘creating deadly ricin and anthrax bio-weapons in secret terror labs to poison food and water supplies

Posted by: somebody | Jul 16 2018 19:25 utc | 13

More 'Russians wot did it bs'. Timing smells terrifically, not to mention the new Italian government is not Russophobic. Same bs about 'X-Agent' used ergo is Russia despite being pointed out on MoA multiple times that is has long been in the wild.

The Register: Kremlin hacking crew went on a 'Roman Holiday' – researchers

Posted by: et Al | Jul 16 2018 19:32 utc | 14

Now we have gone from mimicking “Strike Back” the Murdoch glorification of MI6, To a copy cat from “Killing Eve” the BBC series about a Russian born female assassin who uses nerve agent in a perfume bottle!

Posted by: Brendan | Jul 16 2018 19:33 utc | 15

"For me it was the D notice slapped on the media, to control the narrative! .."

My guess is that it was the media who lobbied the government to issue a D Notice- the story about Miller is now widely known but nobody is allowed to ask him questions. This way they are spared the embarrassment of confessing that they are part of the plot(d).

Posted by: bevin | Jul 16 2018 19:52 utc | 16


Obviously its Putin's bottle, look here how he poison a moose:

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 16 2018 19:54 utc | 17

Putin's very detailed answer to the issue (hoax) of election interference touches on the Skripal hoax as well and contained this passage:

"Now the second thing: I believe that Russia is a democratic state, and I hope you are not denying this right to your own country, you’re not denying that United States is a democracy. Do you believe United States is a democracy? And if so, if it is a democratic state, then the final conclusion in this kind of a dispute can only be delivered by a trial, by the court, not by the executive, by the law enforcement."

Putin's suggestions on inter-governmental cooperation regarding investigations also applies to UK, and UK can be exchanged for United States in his statement without changing anything else. Clearly, people in the UK have a very big problem with their current governing regime.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 16 2018 20:05 utc | 18

Seymour Hersh said, during a interview on RT, that his sources in the U.S. told him that the Skripals were working with MI5/MI6 and others on Russian mafia activity in Europe and it's believed that it was the Russian mafia, not the government who attacked them. At minute 26:

Posted by: Gareth | Jul 16 2018 20:32 utc | 19

One victim of the second 'Novichok' incident in Wiltshire, *Charlie* Rowley, is also on the path to full recovery

Posted by: Anita Hunt | Jul 16 2018 20:33 utc | 20

I am an expat so I live in the dream world of MoA and the international press I read only the Guardian for mainstream views - there are all I can stomach.

Today for the first time in a long time I watched a little Anderson Cooper on CNN and a bunch of people "experting" on MSNBC. I can hardly believe the hysteria and absolute certainty they have of collusion - funny how they don't even mention that all their screaming has about -0- political effect. Not only will Trump not be impeached, it is not even politically possible to INTRODUCE impeachment articles.

It really is just ratings I guess, it sells a lot of soap.

Polls just are not capturing what people are thinking and feeling. It is just too hard to tell what the real mood out there is.

But the UK, poisoning stories and the collusion stories are full of holes and clearly many people do not believe Anderson (so sad) or May of the BBC no matter how many months they go on about it.

Looking from the outside in it seems like a sizeable percent are non believers enough that the establishment can not hold the narrative.

We all should celebrate just how openly they are making fools of themselves - PATHETIC

Posted by: Babyl-on | Jul 16 2018 20:36 utc | 21

*Charlie* Rowley, is also on the path to full recovery.

Shocked straight by the sudden death of his needle-partner girlfriend.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 16 2018 20:49 utc | 22

I guess whats even more pathetic about these stories like Skripal , perfume bottle/door knob Knovickok and Russia Gate is so many people believe them. Witness the hysteria over the TP Summit in US media/comments. Without functioning brain cells escape from the Matrix is impossible, and even then you have to have time to think anout matters beyond entertainment and survival, and many people don't have the time in this neoliberal world of ours.

Lets face it, outside an alien intervention to save humans we are done. Lets hope that mission manual they bring " To Serve Man" is not a cookbook

Posted by: Pft | Jul 16 2018 21:31 utc | 23

I didn't realize that the Amerikan child/adolescent party game had metastasized and moved across the water-- but the Skripal farce has turned into a game of Spin the Bottle, writ large. [Wikipedia link]

Posted by: Ort | Jul 16 2018 21:35 utc | 24

thanks b... i like the connection you've made with mark galeotti and the uk's 'novichok tale'...

to quote galeotti from the fp article "A blog is as much as anything else a vanity site; obviously I want people to read it. So for a snappy title, I coined the term “Gerasimov doctrine,...”... the uk came up with it's own snappy framing of the skripals and etc, as they wanted the ordinary person to believe it..for the uk it is two strikes at the same can.. both are dishonest, liars or worse..

Posted by: james | Jul 16 2018 21:37 utc | 25

Oddly, the Fake Left, Fake Liberal position is to antagonize, confront and light the kindling of Nuclear Armageddon with Russia and also North Korea.

More typically, this is also the position of many Congressional Republicans - as warmongering feeds their MIC Puppet Masters.

Now it's funny that Right Wing Religious Zealots (Evangelical) Trump defenders are on board with Putin detente, because normally, a specific goal is to accelerate the coming Apocalypse.

Red Team/Blue Team "fellow feeling" trumps all logic.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jul 16 2018 21:51 utc | 26

Chemical Scientist explains why it cannot be novichok.

Posted by: Red or Blue pill | Jul 16 2018 22:20 utc | 27

@26 That chemical scientist is probably full of it. He talks complete nonsense in his other videos, so I wouldn't trust what he says. Check out the one on mobile phone radiation for a laugh, if you know some basic physics.

Posted by: Djinh | Jul 16 2018 23:12 utc | 28

"GRU kills people abroad"?
They all do or at least most of the big boys do. And what of Mossad killings abroad? It's the usual hypocrisy.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 16 2018 23:37 utc | 29

Mark2 @11

Nothing personal mark but are you dyslexic? Why do I have to decipher all your posts?

Posted by: m | Jul 16 2018 23:37 utc | 30

This is my own theory on the Skripal affair...

The finding of a heavily contaminated, small glass container in Charlie Rowley's brand new home just off Princess Way in Muggleton Road, Amesbury, SP4 7GY, (so recently built that the postcode, street name, and imagery are not even listed on google maps... ) means that we can finally begin to put together a story that probably explains the Skripal Affair, and how the UK government is able to claim the implicated chemical is a weapon, which originated in Russia.

Dawn Sturgess who has sadly died, and Charlie Rowley who is seriously ill are both well known as substance abusers. They live just a few miles away from Salisbury in Amesbury. The connection between Dawn and Charlie, and the Skripal's is at present, just the implicated chemical, the same chemical which ties both poisonings together, but that's enough extra information to start putting a story together. Who knows if it's true, but I think it's probably very close to the mark...

It was never clear to me just what ex Russian spy Sergi Skripal actually did for a living, how did he maintain his standard of living, nice house, BMW etc., since settling in the UK? It was the Petrol Station CCTV footage which was distributed, showing Sergi buying a pint of milk and a pasty, and recorded just prior to his poisoning, that initially caught my attention. The long leather jacket he wore just said 'crime' to me, it looked like the sort of leather jacket Phil Mitchell used to wear on East Enders, or that worn by some criminals acting in foreign mafia films.

It seemed to me at the time, that this may be how Sergi was earning a living in the UK... as a crook. Once a hood, always a hood? Both Yulia and his joint poisoning just seemed too strange, inept and high profile to be a deliberate 'hit' job by the Russian State, and the speed of the substances effect was too slow, it took hours, not a couple of minutes, as a chemical weapon might have taken. Yulia his daughter, had just flown in from St Petersburg, Russia.

The locations where the police suggested the substance was found were on door handles of the house and car, the sort of places which would become contaminated if one had already got the offending chemical on ones hands - perhaps by a different method completely. Since the start of the Skripal affair, it has seemed to me that Yulia may have been carrying some type of illegal chemical for Sergi when she arrived in the UK, partly because they both were poisoned so shortly after she arrived in the UK, and partly because the UK government seemed so sure there was a Russian connection with the implicated chemical. Very early on in the investigation, RT broadcast a comment from a Russian expert, that the symptoms from which the Skripal's were suffering when found, sounded rather like a Fentanyl overdose. As we will see later, I wish I had paid more attention to this line of thinking.

Then we have Yulia's current presence at an undisclosed military base near London, and the strange exclusive Reuters interview filmed in an isolated shrubby woodland so as not to give away the location, with lots of jet aircraft engine noise in the background. Although it wasn't really an interview, because all Yulia did was read a prepared statement from a teleprompter screen to the camera. She didn't answer any questions, because none were asked, that was the deal, apparently. It seems clear, she is co-operating with the UK authorities, but it appears she is not free to go, or talk freely, and that seems to indicate to me, both her and Sergi were jointly involved in something criminal, which the UK authorities can hold over them.

In the last couple of years, a drug epidemic has swept the world, it is the illicit supply of Heroin or Cocaine, which has been cut with synthetic opioids, and it has lead to thousands upon thousands of deaths every year through overdosing. Initially the drug cutting took place with the synthetic opioid Fentanyl, - when taken together they are 100 times stronger than heroin alone. More recently, a synthetic opioid used to cut the heroin is Carfentanil, when taken together they are 5000 times stronger than the heroin alone. Carfentanil is so strong, it has been suggested that it should be considered a potential weapon of mass destruction should rogue states or terrorists get their hands on it. Canadian authorities recently sized a large amount of Carfentanil hidden in printer toner cartridges, the quantity was sufficient that if given as a single dose, there was sufficient quantity to kill every man, woman and child in Canada.

Fentanyl is so strong, that if the substance is suspected as the cause of an emergency overdose, medical staff treating a patient need to take very special precautions, and follow strict decontamination procedures, as just a small amount of contamination to the skin can result in symptoms:

But one can see why these synthetic opioids are so attractive, up till recently, they have been relatively easy to get hold of (China didn't restrict supply until 2017), and cutting it with heroin and other bulking agents can make a small amount of heroin go a long long way, it's a drug dealers dream, and a easy way to make a lot of money, for not a lot of cost.

Here's a US study on Fentanyl use...

Here's a very recent April 2018 article from a UK drug charities blog discussing Fentanyl... (Note the specific mention of "Salisbury" at the bottom of this blog post...and that CGL is currently undertaking research into the prevalence of fentanyl in the UK and that they are issuing harm reduction advice, and they have planned two additional roundtable events, one for Salisbury and one for Exeter to prevent future fentanyl-related deaths.)

Here is a US site dealing with illicit Carfentanil...

And here is a new British Medical Journal paper just published in April 2018 suggesting the Synthetic Opioid epidemic may have just begun to hit the UK...

On October 26, 2002, Russian Special Forces deployed a chemical aerosol against Chechen terrorists to rescue hostages in the Dubrovka theatre. Its use confirmed Russian military interest in chemicals with effects on personnel and caused 125 deaths through a combination of the aerosol and inadequate medical care. Researchers at the UK's biological warfare labs at Porton Down found carfentanil and remifentanil in clothing from two British survivors of the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis. The team concluded that the Russian military used an aerosol mist of carfentanil and remifentanil to subdue Chechen hostage takers:

The World Health Organisation claims that Carfentanil has been banned by the US Dept Defense for Battlefield use under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Several other things of interest... In 2015, Estonia was listed as having the highest death rate/million of the population from synthetic opioid overdose of any country in the world, Five times the European average. Yulia Skripal lives in St Petersburg Russia, just 80 miles from the border of Estonia. Alexandr Skripal - Sergi's son, apparently passed away very suddenly last year (2017) aged only 43, while visiting St Petersburg, his death is recorded as being complicated by sudden and unexplained liver failure, his death still seems somewhat of a mystery, however, powerful synthetic opioids like these are known to cause liver failure. It's been revealed that Sergi went to Estonia in 2016, but nobody knows why.

So there we have it... that's my story, and my claim is that the Skripal's were either...

1. Accidentally contaminated by a very powerful illicit Synthetic Opioid which Yulia had brought into the country, suggesting that Sergi is probably a drug dealer, and is at least partly responsible for the distribution of these dangerous drugs in and around the Salisbury area.

2. Sergi is a drug user, and accidentally overdosed on a new Synthetic Opioid drug which has recently entered the Salisbury area, and Yulia was accidentally contaminated by contact with Sergi.

The UK government is obviously claiming that Carfentanil can be considered a Russian military grade weapon, because of the Moscow Theatre Hostage Crisis, where it was used by Russian Special forces to bring the crisis to an end.

A234 is probably the catalogue reference for the substance found on the clothing of the two British Survivors of the 2002 Moscow Theater Siege which Porton Down found in an analysis after they had been returned to the UK. The 2012 published paper covering this (linked to above), spells Carfentanil out as one of the Nerve Agents, used by the Russian Military because of how they used it in the Siege which killed 125 people. The UK government now call it a "Military Grade Nerve Agent", and then very specifically refer to this as "A Novichok" not "is Novichok"... because Novichok just means "Newcomer". Carfentanil was "a newcomer", it's first use in this way was by the Russian Military in the 2002 siege.

Yulia possibly brought it into the UK for Sergi, hence the UK's claim of a Russian connection, and hence why she's still being held in the UK, and why she can't ask for Russian assistance, and why she is not free to talk to the press. The deal is that if she and Sergi play ball on this, they can eventually go free, to live a life elsewhere, probably under a new identity.

Posted by: Max_B | Jul 16 2018 23:58 utc | 31

The possibility that Charles Rowley could be linked to the Skripal attack should not be ruled out. He and his partner were in a vulnerable financial position and could have been tempted easily to administer a poison in the neighbourhood. The best coveris in plain sight.

Posted by: Hermius | Jul 17 2018 0:26 utc | 32

Max_B @ 30: Your theory is very interesting and might partly explain why the official UK government narrative that has been hurriedly flung over the initial poisoning event back in March has never made any sense.

Who would be paying Sergei Skripal to bring Fentanyl or some other synthetic opioid into the UK? Is this where the mysterious Pablo Miller becomes an important link? (He recruited Skripal to MI6 when Skripal was working in ... Estonia.) Is Julia Skripal an innocent mule or is she knowingly playing a part in this network? What might MI5 or MI6's role be in importing Fentanyl or Carfentanil into the country?

You may like to read this series of articles Rob Slane wrote for his blog The Blogmire on the Skripal poisoning case (completed before the Amesbury poisoning incident) to see if there are any points of agreement with your theory (IMO there don't appear to be many):

Posted by: Jen | Jul 17 2018 0:56 utc | 33

@30 max_b... you are going to have to do better then that if you want a gig in sleuthology.. you might get a gig working for the uk gov't, but not for anyone with any chops in sleuthing.. using lines like "It was never clear to me..", "It seemed to me..", "it has seemed to me..." and etc - why not admit you are making a guess and willing to give the uk authorities a full pass on any involvement or concealment in the case, with a D notice to boot? that's why i mention you could work for the uk gov't or some such thing..

as for the cartentanil line - it has been discussed here a few times, by me actually, but no one generally takes it up.. the way you spin it, russia and the skripals are guilty... you are going to have to work harder to get a pass on this take here at moa.. thanks for your post - well written and you get top marks for that!

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2018 0:57 utc | 34

Max_B @30

It's a small world for hoodlums, especially in Estonia, they can NOT help bumping into each other
and/or bumping each other off. Supposedly, fenatytal is a substance agencies have used a lot over
the years, ducting it into a residence, where they would like everyone in there to fall fast asleep.

The wild young generation of British parents have a hard time seeing their kids drinking like sailors
and ingesting powerful synthetic recreational drugs: the bad karma that comes with imperial dreams.

Probably Yulia brought in a new batch of unparalleled purity, and they both took a l'il taste at Zizi's.

Skripal wore leather not to fit the biker bar scene, rather for it's durability and besides it was
picked out for him by a gal who told him he looks good in it; that's the real reason for the jacket.

Sergei isn't a serious drug user; to overcome chronic writer's block he takes a hit, once in a while.

I think he is taking too much artificial inspiration and he should dry out.

Crazy as it may seem the pee-pee dossier was Skripal's work (not his best)
he didn't have much to go on, the sphinxlike Steele has been no help at all.

Hermius @31

Don't put anything past Charlie; he has seen and done terrible things
he is not allowed to talk about; in a certain sense, his life is not his own.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 17 2018 1:31 utc | 35

james @33

YES. It's difficult to believe any innocent explanation that would justify the falsehoods proffered by the British government.

Furthermore, Max_B's theory has some short-comings, such as (not an exhaustive list):

>> Max_B says it is "It was never clear to me just what ex Russian spy Sergi Skripal actually did for a living ..." - but Skripal would've been paid to defect AND Skripal's knowledge and insights made it likely that he had ongoing work with MI6 - including a possible connection to the Steel dossier;

>> the travel to Estonia theory is sketchy - wouldn't a drug dealer find it easier to recruit an Estonian 'mule' instead of carrying the drug across multiple borders? AFAIK, becasue Estonia is part of EU there would be far less border controls for Estonia-UK travel;

>> if Skripal was a user instead of dealer, couldn't he easily get drugs in the UK to feed his habit?

>> What of the British refusal to allow Skripal's cousin to visit? How does that make any sense?

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Max_B's theory is so well done that I have to wonder if MI6 is trying to crowd-source narratives before taking them public. This might be smart given how embarrassing the Skripal farce has been to the British govt. I highly doubt that Max_B Max Blumenthal himself is trying get our assessment of this theory. In fact, a quick perusal of Max Blumental's twitter feed shows that he retweeted Craig Murray (!) on 29th of April:

"That the government’s very first act on the poisoning was to ban all media mention of Pablo Miller makes it extremely probable that this whole incident is related to the Trump dossier and that Skripal had worked on it, as I immediately suspected.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 17 2018 2:52 utc | 36

Max_B @ 30, Hermius @ 31, James @ 33, Guerrero @ 34:

There's been speculation that Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley were the couple photographed by the CCTV camera walking in shopping mall towards The Maltings about 15 - 16 minutes before the Skripals were discovered collapsed on the park bench.

Note that the woman in the CCTV image is carrying a red bag. A red bag was found at Julia Skripal's feet by the police.

Could there have been an exchange of red bags? One bag might have contained sealed bottles or packages of Fentanyl or Carfentanil, the other bag might have contained cash (some of it possibly contaminated with Fentanyl or Carfentanil, either deliberately or accidentally).

The Russian government might not be involved in this exchange of cash for drugs at all. It's possible though that organised crime gangs in Russia could be involved. Spy agencies could also be involved. We know the CIA has been involved in trafficking heroin in Asia and cocaine in Latin America for a long time. Why would MI5 and/or MI6 not be involved somehow in trafficking drugs?

Could it be that the UK government is desperate to cover up any connection it or any of its agencies may have in the trafficking of synthetic opioid drugs from overseas (like Estonia) into the UK? Once Sergei Skripal got his grubby paws on the money, where could it have gone to? Some of it could have gone to fund his lavish lifestyle and fine dining habits, some to buy more such drugs. Where could the rest have gone?

Posted by: Jen | Jul 17 2018 3:01 utc | 37

The two last sentences of this article made me think about this one :

Posted by: Paul | Jul 17 2018 4:14 utc | 38

It is great really. And the MSM trying at full power to put down the Trump-Putin summit. The war mongers in the US on 24/7/365 serving the MIC. Quelle cirkus!

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 17 2018 4:26 utc | 39

This Western deep state propaganda nonsense has become so crazy it's really almost impossible to satirize it anymore. It is bat-sheet crazy out there!

Posted by: Gary Weglarz | Jul 17 2018 4:37 utc | 40

Notice something about the geography of Salisbury?
Notice the presence of feature(s) often used to conseal weapons/evidence after a crime?

So, where is the evidence of these geographical features being searched for evidence? It could hardly have been missed.

Google Map of Salisbury

Posted by: Luther | Jul 17 2018 7:34 utc | 41

The BBC article mentioned says this:

"The nerve agent that poisoned two people in Amesbury was contained in a perfume bottle, the brother of one of the victims has said."

And this Guardian article says:

"Matthew Rowley said he was accompanied by a police officer during the visit to hospital and that he and his brother were not allowed to speak about what happened. Instead, they talked about the future...I’m not allowed to talk about the cause and where it happened."

So how did Charlie tell his brother about it if they weren't allowed to speak about it?

I find it astonishing that the police would stop them talking about what happened. As a member of family, one of the first things you would want to ask after another member of family has suffered an accident is "what happened? How and where?"

I wonder whether it is actually legal for the police to prevent them talking to each other. Can anyone shed some light on this? UK is a free country, I thought. The only reason I can think of as to why they wouldn't be allowed to speak about suck things is that Charlie is actually under arrest.

Posted by: UserSteve | Jul 17 2018 7:57 utc | 42

"Inquiries are under way to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Charlie’s house."

Police would not consider asking Charlie, would they?

Posted by: venice12 | Jul 17 2018 10:12 utc | 43

Posted by: Jen | Jul 16, 2018 11:01:44 PM | 36

If you take Seymour Hersh seriously - that Skripal was working on some type of mafia - Julia's bag would have ended up to contain Fentanyl plus Novichok and Dawn's bag would have money in it - and the Detective was tasked to watch the handover.

Why Sergei Skripal would have got his daughter involved in this is beyond me.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17 2018 10:14 utc | 44

I assume there will be an obituary for Dawn Sturgess in one or more local physical newspapers and local websites. As yet, I have not found any. Has anyone else found an obituary for Dawn Sturgess anywhere?

Posted by: UserSteve | Jul 17 2018 10:30 utc | 45

Ockham's razor?

Posted by: V | Jul 17 2018 10:36 utc | 46

UserSteve #41

The UK is less free than the U.S., but, that is not saying much.
Have you been paying attention to the non-msm news?
Doesn't sound like it...

Posted by: V | Jul 17 2018 10:49 utc | 47

Luther #40

So, where is the evidence of these geographical features being searched for evidence?

The river, yes?

Posted by: OhOh | Jul 17 2018 10:58 utc | 48

Posted by: UserSteve | Jul 17, 2018 6:30:31 AM | 44

No funeral yet - may take months

The thing to watch is if there will be an inquest.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 17 2018 10:59 utc | 49

Watch today's video on ---- artist taxi driver Twitter

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 17 2018 11:18 utc | 50

The only narrative on the poisonings that makes sense here is a Bruce Ivins type scenario, where someone at Porton Down with access to samples of Novichok and an agenda wanted to do this.

Posted by: Matthew G. Saroff | Jul 17 2018 14:40 utc | 51

OhOh @ 48

Yes, (plus the water meadows).

The River Avon is a fast flowing river (for England). If a criminal was in Salisbury and needed to get rid of evidence fast, even if in a panic for some reason, wouldn't it come to mind? It has the possibility to carry the evidence away from the scene, and help destroy traces.

Here's the scientific data for rainfall, groundwater, river flow, etc:

Hydrological summary for the United Kingdom: May 2018 (includes data for March)

River Avon - March - 188% of long term average.

Posted by: Luther | Jul 17 2018 14:47 utc | 52

Jen @ 33

Who would be paying Sergei Skripal to bring Fentanyl or some other synthetic opioid into the UK? Is this where the mysterious Pablo Miller becomes an important link? (He recruited Skripal to MI6 when Skripal was working in ... Estonia.) Is Julia Skripal an innocent mule or is she knowingly playing a part in this network? What might MI5 or MI6's role be in importing Fentanyl or Carfentanil into the country?

I'd think Sergi Skripal was getting a good slug of extra income from selling these powerful synthetic opioid drugs he brought into the UK, nobody would be paying him other than his clients, it should be a *very* profitable business. I don't know about Pablo Miller, but I'm guessing it would be very embarrassing for the UK Government if it got out that an ex-Soviet Agent living in Salisbury was a drug dealer, and was directly responsible for many Fentanyl/Carfentanil drug overdose deaths in the UK, and bringing in drugs via his family, and through his contacts in the Baltic States. I can see the headlines now! What a scandal! It would be even worse if this was happening right under the watchful nose of MI5/MI6.

Posted by: Max_B | Jul 17 2018 15:29 utc | 53

@36 jackrabbit.. thanks.. we appear to see this in a similar manner..

@37 jen..yes - there has been speculation as you describe and i was aware of it.. there is also the speculation that skripal was involved in the trump dossier, coming via steele which i am sure you were aware of... just how much was this event staging worth on an international scale and might that explain some of his financial situation too? it would be very embarrassing for the UK gov't if it was discovered that he was involved in the trump dossier, thanks the uk's m16 pablo miller and just what does happen 'under the watchful nose of m15/16?? and is it possible that the uk as opposed to russia - is the party that is leading the world on a string here? frankly - the timing of all this seems to coincide with the attempt to frame russia/syria for the ghouta chemical attack... the uk/usa and france have been aching to bomb syria based on the lies of assad and chemical weapons.. the timing of this is just a bit too coincidental to me... if i was a betting person, i would bet the uk as the more likely guilty party, as opposed to russia here - for a number of reasons.. another reason for this is the ongoing chill or worse - espressed towards russia- that the world is witnessing... read craig murrays article from today for more familiarity with that..

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2018 16:03 utc | 54

The couple on the CCTV (link) were first said to be Skripals themselves, although they looked nothing like.

Next, they were persons of interest as having been very close by. Then, they were described as possibly Russian, and it was stated that the pix were being shown to Russian expats, so as to identify them. (> GB press. one ex. link.) Besides some short murky footage of 3 other people (possibly the Skripals + a passer-by), these were the only pictures or e-fits published of ‘unidentified’ people. There were reasons to suppose the proximity and/or involvement of this pair --> the idea of Russian guilt was hovering, as from the vid there was no reason to suppose they were Russian. (They look and move ‘very British’ imho.)

Later, after the 2nd ‘poison’ incident, they were identified as Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, by internet sleuths, many like myself thought of them right away. Imho, yes, -> them.

Then, all quiet. It appeared no individual perps were being sought for from the ‘area’ itself. Putin did it, but via what agent, how, was left hanging and not even speculated about. No mention of everyone in the park being questioned, or calls to the public about seeing suspicious ppl in Zizzis, etc.

Shouts of ‘Russia Guilty’ are often the most primitive type of lie — actor subsitution. (Lalique lamp and precious pot with rare cactus, bust up on the floor: “Johnny done it! Not me!”) Perhaps, GB authorities figured it out not from the bottom-up (the crime scene, witnesses, etc.) but from the top-down, probably via the analysis of the ‘poison’. If so, that toxic substance came from somewhere specific, which would explain the strange descriptions and reports characterising it, shunting it into a murky generic category - Novichoks, gotta sound Russki - exact formula, what poss. provenance, strength, can’t be known (aka kept secret), no details are given, etc.

How was DS Bailey exposed ? Unknown! Mentioned: -> At the scene (the park bench presumably) but how is not detailed. Did he touch Yulia? -> As a ‘first responder’. What does that imply? Was he alone? What about other policemen? -> At the Skripal home, having taken the keys from Sergei’s pocket, touching the doornob? When was he there, how soon afterwards did he fall ill, when was he hospitalised, etc.? In the case of a ‘mysterious Russian’ poisoning there would be no reason to keep back info about Bailey.

The simultaneous presence of Charlie, Dawn, Yulia, Sergei (+ Bailey?) 16.00 on 3 March in the shopping center/walkway/adjacent bench in Salisbury, with all 5 falling ill, cannot be coincidence.

1. link is through geographical proximity. E.g. Dawn picked up a perfume bottle spotted on the ground near the bench, took it to Charlie’s or X where it was left in the bathroom until she opened it … and later Charlie was there, touched the bottle now on the sink, etc.

2. they knew each other / came into contact via a 3rd party. — Bailey present as Police or a Co-conspirator.. Here all kinds of Le Carré plots can be imagined. E.g. Sergei knew Charlie - Charlie called Sergei in Zizzi’s …. The red bag carried by the person on the CCTV (=Dawn) and subsequently, reportedly, recovered from the bench scene (I am not convinced by the photos though it is possible) has to be accounted for.

This all hinges around .... The RED BAG. Stay tuned! :)

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 17 2018 16:15 utc | 55

The red bag!

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 17 2018 16:21 utc | 56

Jackrabbit @ 36

Max_B says it is "It was never clear to me just what ex Russian spy Sergi Skripal actually did for a living ..." - but Skripal would've been paid to defect AND Skripal's knowledge and insights made it likely that he had ongoing work with MI6 - including a possible connection to the Steel dossier;

Experts suggest that sharing knowledge and experience is often the only way a former spy can legally make a living. The British government provides a stipend, but in the past defectors have protested that it is too small. In the late 1990s, an ex-Russian spy named Victor Makarov was given a £65k pay-off, now living in the North East of England, he eventually went on hunger strike over his miserable living conditions and eventually ended up camping outside Downing Street in protest for 8 days.

Makarov "I am deeply distressed by the British Government's treatment of me after I risked my life," he continued. "I love my house but I cannot work because of my history and lack of qualifications and receive no pension. I need some money to live on."

Others former spies have had to resort to creative and illegal means to augment their pensions. Oleg Gordievsky, a senior K.G.B. officer whose defection in 1985 was a serious blow to the Soviet government, hosted a game show for a time. Mikhail Butkov, another K.G.B. defector, was imprisoned for three years for creating a fake business school and defrauding would-be students out of 1.5 million pounds.

This is not unusual at all, these people have a very unusual skill set, they don't get a lot of money off the UK government, and after defecting it's natural to gravitate back to what they know to get a higher standard of living.

the travel to Estonia theory is sketchy - wouldn't a drug dealer find it easier to recruit an Estonian 'mule' instead of carrying the drug across multiple borders? AFAIK, becasue Estonia is part of EU there would be far less border controls for Estonia-UK travel;

I was only trying to point to a geographical connection between the Baltic states, these synthetic opioids, and proximity to St Petersburg. The WHO state in their report on Carfentanil:

"In Europe, the first reports of carfentanil seizures occurred in December 2012 in Latvia and it was reportedly linked to a spate of deaths among injecting drug users in the country the following year (EMCDDA, 2014). High mortality rates related to the fentanyls have continuously been reported in Estonia since the mid 2000s."

I'm not suggesting that Sergi did the smuggling himself, I'm suggesting it was a familiy business... his children made multiple trips back and forth between St Petersburg and the UK each year. His son died of sudden liver failure last year in St Petersburg. I think dealing with pure forms of these lethal drugs is a big risk.

if Skripal was a user instead of dealer, couldn't he easily get drugs in the UK to feed his habit?

Yes. He could have done some Carfentanil laced Coke in Zizzi's toilets for example. We know this product is in the UK. But I feel option 1) is probably more plausible, particularly as Swiss CWC Labs suggest a pure source was provided.

What of the British refusal to allow Skripal's cousin to visit? How does that make any sense?

Yulia can't have free and open contact with people, she's effectively under house arrest at a military base, she can't leave, but the UK can't charge her either, or their whole story would go up in flames. She's in limbo at the moment because she's a liability to the UK Government. It's the same reason she did not answer any questions in the Reuters video statement she made, she's not free to.

Posted by: Max_B | Jul 17 2018 16:40 utc | 57

@55 noirette.. thanks.. i will stay tuned!!

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2018 17:47 utc | 58


While drug smuggling sounds plausible. Food poisoning sounds plausible also if you take a skeptical view toward some of what the British govt has told us. The fact is, virtually ALL of our info about the Skripal's poisoning comes from the a British govt which has shown no qualms about misleading the public.

Your theory goes further than merely explaining how the Skripals were poisoned. It attempts to explain/excuse some of the weird actions of the British authorities. And that is where it fails because there is really no good reason to make an overdose into an international incident, kidnap a foreign national, deny a visit by the cousin, or seize Dawn Sturgess' body.

Any theory that neatly exonerates the British govt is going to meet with a great deal of skepticism.

Aren't investigations involving spies or ex-spies generally handled quietly? Choosing to making it into an international incident and take other extraordinary measures makes little sense is just not done.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 17 2018 18:01 utc | 59

@59 jr... it is hard not to view max_b as a spokesperson for the uk at this point... nothing has changed my view on max_b's comments..

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2018 18:31 utc | 60

The Department of Homoland Security issued an official warning concerning the 'Novicock'...

Posted by: Mishko | Jul 17 2018 19:28 utc | 61

Surely so much of the mystery could be solved if the asked the Skripals "what actually happened?" Or maybe they already have.......

Posted by: Mark T | Jul 18 2018 7:45 utc | 62

@ Jackrabbit 59
@ james 60
You dismiss Max_B's theory because it partially exonerates the British government, you don't prove that this theory is logically flawed. Sorry, but you act as propagandists.

Posted by: Inquirer | Jul 18 2018 8:12 utc | 63


I didn't say his theory is "logically flawed". I said it had "short-comings" and then described some of these shortcomings (summarizing):

1) it rests on information that is not necessarily reliable (not independently sourced), and

2) it fails to explain certain aspects of the matter that defy commonsense and normal practice.

But I'll go further. This farce has gone beyond the event horizon. It's not possible to safely recover the bits with the gravity of a "logical" explanation. Any such attempt will just be seen as CYA and those errant bits will continue to do damage.

My expectation for a satisfactory explanation includes one or more people getting fired and/or jailed.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 18 2018 10:11 utc | 64

A most original fragrance right enough

Posted by: liamjq | Jul 18 2018 10:55 utc | 65

the story certainly has been cobbled together..

Posted by: liamjq | Jul 18 2018 12:22 utc | 66

The accidental drug exposure or food poisoning theories can not explain why the British authorities would engineer the expulsion of 160 Russian diplomats from the Western bloc countries. The proponents of these theories posit that the British Government has creatively seized on the opportunity to spin it into a massive scandal. Well, what if the drug exposure or some other opportunity did not happen? Do you think that the relations between British and Russian governments in March 2018 would be just fine? With the liberation of Eastern Ghouta and subsequent claims of a Syrian Government gas attack? No, that can't be. If you have decided to do something, you don't wait for some opportunity that may never come, you just do it.

Therefore, only two possible scenarios remain: (1) the British Government has encountered some extremely convincing evidence that showed that the Russian Government was behind the attempted murder (the evidence could be real or forged by a third party); (2) the British Government (or some faction thereof) did it, possibly under the orders of another government (or some faction thereof) or a group of powerful oligarchs. However, in the case of Scenario 1, the British Government would publish as many details as possible: they would publish the CCTV footage from all the cameras, the exact sequence of actions taken by DS Bailey and other law enforcement officers, the exact chemical formula of the nerve agent, etc. Which is not what happened. So it can only be Scenario 2. It can only be that the British government did it (out of its own volition or under the orders of a powerful entity).

Posted by: S | Jul 18 2018 12:37 utc | 67

Ha - ha. The Red Bag.

(Carried by Dawn on the CCTV, and possibly left on the ground near Yulia.)

I searched, it is quite distinctive. Found no match. The shape is Gucci/Burberry type, very common. The closest model is by Lacoste (wrong quality material, logo, lettering …). Major GB bag manufacturers and Salisbury supermarket ‘offer’ bags etc. - no soap. Some clued in fashionista in London might manage.

The shoulder bag ‘shopper’ Yulia had with her is off-white/cream/beige with a very dark strap, not the bag from the ‘scene’, wrong color, wrong shape (CCTV Moscow airport.) She might have had another, etc.

As Dawn and Charlie are the most vulnerable in this story, one wonders if they had connections to Porton Down / other? Two ppl linked to Dawn work at Boscombe Down with security clearances, nothing to be made of that imho, so no link posted.

I wondered if other druggie demise(s) occured in the time period close by, not included in the story…MSM search, zero found.

Any theory that neatly exonerates the British govt is going to meet with a great deal of skepticism. Jackr

I have never heard May/Bojo panicked like that about some local incident. Heh, when the Anglos state Russian agression meddling collusion manipulation -> eeevil - etc. etc. they either try to sound factual and ‘serious’ or vaguely-fakey outraged. Not this time, they were afraid, angry, and embarassed all at once. (Which is the reason other EU states expelled diplos as ‘solidarity’ - they saw GB as going off the rails.. GB spent a lot of capital on that caper..Putin did not react because he understood this.)

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 18 2018 12:53 utc | 68

It seems fairly clear to me that the UK Governments definition of a Russian "newcomer" (Novichok), is roughly based on these sorts of documents (below)... which deal with a military grade nerve agent consisting of these chemicals in Aerosol form, mentioned as a development by the Russians in 1994, and used by the Russian Special Forces in 2002. Killing 125 people.

1) Finogenov vs Russia in the European Court of Human Rights:

2) Riches et. al. 2012 "Analysis of Clothing and Urine from Moscow Theatre Siege Casualties Reveals Carfentanil and Remifentanil Use " published by the Oxford Journal of Analytical Toxicology...

That Russian military research on fentanyls occurred before 1994 is evident from a passage in a book by General Antonov (Chemical Weapons at the Turn of the Century), a former director of the Military Chemical Institute in Shikhany, which states that: the action of analgesics is a knock-out blow, personnel subject to an attack of forces only a few minutes after the beginning of a chemical attack will lose their capacity to stand, not to mention move about. In severe cases people will enter an un-conscious state and carfentanil is one of the most active substances of the entire group of the studied derivatives of fentanyl. It manifests its activity for different pathways of entry into the organism, including inhalation of vapours or aerosol.
......end quote......

3) Carfentanil has been banned by the US Dept Defense for Battlefield use under the Chemical Weapons Convention. (Page 21)

I do think the governments narrative which they have placed on the facts is pretty horrible spin, because I believe that Skripal/s was suplimenting his income with proceeds from the sale of drugs, and responsible for drug overdose deaths because he was selling these lethal synthetic opioids, which ended up contaminating himself, his daughter and a load of other people. However it's the media who have blown the thing up into a fairy-tail of Russian assassination teams fleeing the UK. We know that now for sure, because of the substance abusers, Dawn and Charlie, one of whom sadly died, the other who is very ill.

But on the other hand, the Government do have a more general point, the power of these drugs in frankly tiny tint amounts is terrifying, and Canadian seizures suggest that extremists have begun to take an interest in them. They appear to be fairly easy to make, although very dangerous. So powerful, in such small quantities that it's going to be difficult to prevent entry of them into the UK.

Posted by: Max_B | Jul 18 2018 13:19 utc | 69

@63 inquirer... i am not dismissing max_b's '''''theory''''.... i am dismissing how he lets the uk off the hook so quickly and wants to keep the bs on russia in operation... get it? probably not, lol..

@69 max_b... i see you came back to repeat yourself, lol.. keep on finding excuses for the uk... you still think you are a shill for the uk gov't and your last post does nothing to change that...

Posted by: james | Jul 18 2018 16:57 utc | 70

@67 S... indeed.. your '''theory''' has a lot more relevance and value then max_b's in my eyes.. thanks.

Posted by: james | Jul 18 2018 16:59 utc | 71

@68 noirette... thanks for your post... it also negates the official uk script brought to us by max_b...

Posted by: james | Jul 18 2018 17:02 utc | 72

@ max_b thank for fucking up the thread. besides hijacking it, promoting your retarded evidence-free "theory", you've managed to make it completely unreadable

Fucking retard Asshole

Posted by: Youidiot | Jul 18 2018 18:17 utc | 73

@youidiot it looks fine to me, but point taken. I will try and make sure that any future source URLs I post are put into a hyperlink. It's just a clunky to do it, and I'm spoiled by being used to posting on forums with software that handles long URL's. I would go back and edit them, but you can't edit posts on here.

Posted by: Max_B | Jul 18 2018 19:22 utc | 74

An Idiot's Guide To The Skripal Affair:

Posted by: Panopticon | Jul 20 2018 21:59 utc | 75

This post is great n rich information. Keep writing good posts like this. Always supporting you torrents

Posted by: Lily | Jul 24 2018 4:42 utc | 76

We have been told that the police, after an extensive house search, found a bottle of perfume that contained novichok, that was then the presumed source of whatever killed the woman who died in hospital. Charlie, the boyfriend, who was also admitted to hospital with some form of poisoning, has now recovered and been discharged. His brother, has been a bit free with his talking to the press. The latest story is that the woman picked up the bottle in the house and, thinking it was perfume, sprayed some on both wrists and collapsed. Charlie than picked up the bottle which, without explanation, 'disintegrated in his hands'. So, this cannot have been the same bottle the police subsequently discovered. Curiouser and curiouser.

Posted by: John A | Jul 24 2018 5:43 utc | 77

@John A: You wrote "So, this cannot have been the same bottle the police subsequently discovered." Actually, it is quite possible for the police to have found a perfume bottle that is broken or in pieces.

Posted by: UserSteve | Jul 30 2018 8:58 utc | 78

The comments to this entry are closed.