Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 27, 2018

British Intelligence Throws More Novi-Fog™ To Hide The Holes In Its Skripal File

The UK/NATO propaganda group Bellingcat asserts that the man in the left picture is the same man as the person in the other two pictures.


The man in the middle and right picture is supposed to be Ruslan Boshirov, one of the two Russians who say (vid) that they went to visit Stonehenge via Salisbury on March 3 and March 4 2018, but could not reach it because the roads were closed after recent snowstorms. (Stonehenge was indeed closed during those two days.)

The British government asserts that the two visiting men are agents of the Russian military intelligence service GRU. It says that they applied 'Novichok' to the doorknob of Sergej Skripal's house with the intent to kill the former British spy. The 'highly deadly' poison is said to have affected Sergej Skripal, his daughter Yulia and a policeman. All are said to be well by now but all three have been vanished from the public by the British intelligence services.

The alleged GRU men went on, says the British government, to dispose the rest of the 'Novichok' in a perfume bottle, the packing sealed in cellophane, which was months later found by some bloke in Salisbury while rummaging through charity boxes. That 'perfume' is claimed to  have killed the blokes drug addicted girlfriend.

Today's release of these pictures adds another layer of disinformation to divert the public from the many contradictions in the case the British government presented. It is Novi-Fog™.

Bellingcat, which claims to work with open source material, does not really say how it found the picture at the left. It claims to have had access to "leaked Russian databases" and to have "obtained" Russian passport files without further explanation. It then asserts that the man in the left picture is one Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, who, it says, is a highly decorated officer of the Russian GRU.

Bellingcat concludes that the man known as Ruslan Boshirov in the middle and right picture is indeed the supposed GRU officer in the left picture.

The former British ambassador Craig Murray does not believe that man on the left is the same one as the man in the other pictures. Other people have pointed out various inconsistencies with the pictures, seemingly faked papers, and the whole story presented by Bellingcat.

Elena Evdokimova @elenaevdokimov7 - 1:52 UTC- 27 Sep 2018

@Belligcat's new opus on #Skripal's alleged poisoning

  1. This is becoming hilarious🤣🤣 Person who filled the alleged passport form also forged the С.С. on the other form- its the SAME handwriting!
Charles Wood @Mare_Indicum - 3:52 UTC- 27 Sep 2018

Bzzzt! #Bellingcrap two images, one of Anatoly Vladimirovich Chepiga, one of Ruslan Boshirov, only get a 75% match using facial recognition software and are classified 'from different persons', not even 'quite look-alike'.

Keep up the futile search guys!

(Follow the links in the above tweets to see the presented evidence and conclusions.)

Moon of Alabama commentator Debs is Dead is likewise unconvinced of the stroy. The following is his (edited for readability):

I flicked on the beeb news channel as I dragged myself outta the pit this AM and caught the 'news' of the Bellingcat claim that Ruslan Boshirov = Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga.

Now I'm fully cognisant of the fact that neither Russia nor Chepiga should feel obliged to prove this claim is untrue, but since whichever way you slice it Chepiga is now 'blown', they (Russia/Chepiga) may as well prove the claim is nonsense. The thing being that the boof heads at MI6/CIA would also have worked that out, unless it was a particularly boofed boofhead who put this latest snippet together.

IMO in all likelihood Ruslan Boshirov = Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga is correct. Towards the end of one of the supporting articles that sets out the 'proof' Bellingcat mutters something rather odd which seems like it actually detracts from the story - if the ultimate target of this revelation is Colonel Chepiga.

But who really cares about some obscure military intelligence mid-level bloke? [...] No one cares about Chepiga, this entire saga is about getting the masses to accept without any deep consideration, that "Putin" the figurehead who (according to western media) micromanages everything evil about Russia, only cares about destroying the life of Jo/Joe Shitkicker where ever in the world Jo/Joe may be.

So the last two paras of the burble runs thusly:

Bellingcat has contacted confidentially a former Russian military officer of similar rank as Colonel Chepiga, in order to receive a reaction to what we found. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed surprise that at least one of the operatives engaged in the operation in Salisbury had the rank of colonel. Even more surprising was the suspects’ prior award of the highest military recognition.

In our source’s words, an operation of this sort would have typically required a lower-ranked, “field operative” with a military rank of “no higher than captain.” The source further surmised that to send a highly decorated colonel back to a field job would be highly extraordinary, and would imply that “the job was ordered at the highest level.”

The logical flaw is obvious of course. If 'the job' had been ordered at the highest level surely sending some bloke who had been riding a desk for the last six years is not how it would be handled, the most recently capable operative would be send - either a relatively junior officer or a young but experienced NCO.

However assuming Boshirov = Colonel Chepiga is correct, while he would never be sent to supervise a hit on the ground much less carry it out; it doesn't take a great stretch to ruminate on the possible tasks a military intelligence colonel would be sent to England for.

There is one obvious task which would explain most credibly what he was in Salisbury for - to give Sergey Skripal confidence that his repatriation was a genuine offer, not some half arsed wish fulfillment plan dreamed up by Yulia and a low level intelligence operator eager to climb into Yulia's pants.

Two colonels of the GRU, one a highly decorated hero and the other a dodgy turncoat who had come to realise after the nonsense his immediate MI6 superior Pablo Miller, plus his big boss "Mr Steele" had put out about Moscow golden showers, whilst insinuating he, Skirpal was party to the fiction, that rapprochement between Russia and England/America was never gonna happen. He was never going to be able to know any of his grandchildren or see his motherland again because US/UK needed 'evil Russia' to distract their citizens away from the real evildoing 'at home'.

Someone used a chess metaphor elsewhere in a thread, well I would say that if the Bellingcat revelation that Ruslan Boshirov = Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, if true, sails close to a checkmate.

If Russia confesses that Ruslan Boshirov = Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, citizens in the west would be denied any explanation as the fishwraps and talking heads would be too busy celebrating Russia's alleged 'defeat' to include any other portion of what Russia had said, especially not an exposition which dealt with everything from the fact that Chepiga & Co arrived too late on Sunday for their poisoned doorknob to have tainted the Skirpals who had left the house for the last time hours before and that of all the English towns some idiot chose to squirt this muck around Salisbury was the one where assassination by chemical weapon was the town the least likely to give success since the proximity of Porton Downs guaranteed that some if not all staff at Salisbury Hospital would have been trained in chemical weapon detection and antidote.

On the other side of the coin - panic stations at MI6, on a quiet Sunday it has just been uncovered that an asset was 'going over'. So some duty officer sent the thug on call for the day over to Porton Downs to grab 'a little something' guaranteed to prevent any such nonsense.

End of Debs is Dead's comment.

Previous Moon of Alabama coverage of 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
May 24 - British Hostage Video Of Yulia Skripal Released
July 4 - British Government Peddles Warmed Over Novichok Muck
July 16 - The Magic Of Novichok - Deadly Agent Found In Perfume Bottle
September 5 - The Strange Timestamp In The New Novichok 'Evidence' - UPDATED

Posted by b on September 27, 2018 at 17:18 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b... it seems like debs thinks the 2 guys are the same guy.. i don't agree with debs in that conclusion.. in fact, i think yeah, right's comments in the previous thread are more relevant.. bottom line - if this guy is around, it would really blow the uk story for the 2 men to appear on the russian msm at some point in the next week, if possible.. nothing in this skripal story adds up, so your tag 'novi-fog' TM is a good one!

Posted by: james | Sep 27 2018 17:31 utc | 1

Recall that Strike Back: Retribution used the "Novichok" storyline and was suddenly postponed half way through its 10 episode run in 2017, only for the last 5 episodes to conclude just before the Skripal incident. This is what makes the whole panic at SIS and everything made up on the hoof theory collapse. Whatever actually happened was premeditated.

Posted by: TJ | Sep 27 2018 17:50 utc | 2

My biggest disappoint arising from the Skripal saga is that it has exposed News as the most gullible & incurious News-hounds on the planet. They're firmly rusted on to the Bellingcrap crap - just because it's from BBC (ABC's Mummy and mentor).
It's an effing insult.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 27 2018 17:54 utc | 3

MI6, MI5 and their elite controllers are crazy scared of a Labour victory and Corbynite government upending their gains under Thatcherism/Blairism and the numerous crimes committed in support of that Grand Theft from UK public. Bellingcat ought to be fed to the dogs as punishment for its complicity in this extensive State Crime that is the Skripalnapping combined with the Steele Dossier. Only a change in UK's government will see an end to the crap and the truth of the matter proclaimed. That's why the constant doubling down and shrill unthinking complicity of UK's BigLie Media.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 27 2018 17:59 utc | 4

Chepiga and Boshirov are NOT the same guy:

Posted by: Mark F. McCarty | Sep 27 2018 18:01 utc | 5

Yet another reason why elites cannot allow Labour to return to power, although the people would greatly benefit.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 27 2018 18:04 utc | 6

My guess is, since Bibi is ramping up his Iran warmongery, and the Brits are adding yet another chapter to their Novi-saga, and there are more pledges to punish chem-weapons use, that this is all preparation for the long-anticipated false flag chem operation in Syria.

Somewhere the minions of the small group are checking off items on their flow charts.

Posted by: JC | Sep 27 2018 18:08 utc | 7

I would say that Debs' theory is the best I have read so far. The only part where I depart from her analysis is in thinking that Chepiga and Boshirov are the same guy. Other than that, her theory is a good one and makes more sense than the fantasy being pushed by UK/NATO.Also, thank you MoA for being a beacon of truth and debate in a world of propaganda.

Posted by: Byzantium2018 | Sep 27 2018 18:11 utc | 8

Chess metaphor - Zugzwang - every step the Skripal story backers make, puts them in a worse position.
The photos are clearly not the same.
Bellingcat is a serial liar. They are the White Helmets of Ukraine
Time to make a list:
MH17, thousands of Russian troops in Ukraine, every single alleged CW attack in Syria
Unproven lies or disproved lies on everything.
Once you disbelieve the obvious fake photo-match, it becomes impossible to believe any of it.

Posted by: mdroy | Sep 27 2018 18:16 utc | 9


How did Theresa May immediately know that the GRU was involved?

It took two months for British police to track down Petrov and Boshirov from the video tapes, yet May was immediately accusing Russia and the GRU with 100% confidence. Why? She must have had some other evidence of Russian involvement. What?

There is a simple answer: Skripal confessed!

This scenario assumes that the two people at the bench were not the Skripals, but the people seen on the Market Walk CCTV video, as testified by Freya Church. The fake chemical attack could be part of Exercise Toxic Dagger.

What may have really happened is that Skripal met with Petrov and Boshirov i.e. GRU Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga to arrange his return to Russia and maybe exchange information on his role in the Steele Dossier. Putin would need to send a decorated Hero of the Russian Federation to convince Skripal that the offer was serious.


My friend Leena suggested that Petrov and Boshirov are the Skripals’ life insurance. By putting them on TV Russia is informing MI6 that the know they whole story and would release it if the Skripals are harmed.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 27 2018 18:17 utc | 10

Hoarsewhisperer 3

ABC became a pure propaganda outlet during the Abbott governments term. If my memory is correct, a new head was appointed in that time and that is when it changed.
''You would like the national broadcaster to have a rigorous commitment to truth and at least some basic affection for the home team,'' he told Macquarie Radio on Wednesday.

Mr Abbott also said that it ''dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everybody's side but our own'', adding, ''I think that is a problem''.

The Prime Minister's comments follow Coalition criticism of the ABC late last year, after it and Guardian Australia broke a story, based on leaks from the US National Security Agency, about Australia tapping Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's phone.

At the time, the Prime Minister condemned the head of the ABC, Mark Scott for ''very, very poor judgment''. Other Coalition MPs also expressed concern about the ABC during a recent party meeting and Liberal senator Cory Bernardi called for its funding to be cut.

In November, Mr Scott defended the ABC's decision to publish the phone tapping story, arguing it was in the public interest.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 27 2018 18:19 utc | 11

Gee - these Russians are really primitive. I haven't seen a black-and-white passport photo since 1970.

Posted by: DM | Sep 27 2018 18:21 utc | 12

Fiddlesticks! If Bellingcrap says something, it's a pretty safe bet that the opposite is true. Anyway Craig Murray and others have shown that the two photos are not of the same individual.

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Sep 27 2018 18:32 utc | 13

The Bellingcrap story of facial recognition reminds me of a true life experience: While working as the manager of engineering and maintenance in a large industrial facility a CCTV camera was smacked by a paint gun load. (You could not shit in this facility without a camera up your ass.) Charlie, chief security guy, came to see since the camera was in one of my shop areas. He had fuzzy images on a laptop that were purported to be the 'shooter'. Charlie says 'Ger do you know who this is?' I say to Charlie 'My Grandma?'

Posted by: Ger | Sep 27 2018 18:45 utc | 14

@10 Petri Krohn

May accused them of being GRU (though the GRU became just the GU in 2010) inside Parliament thus enjoying Parliamentary privilege.

Posted by: TJ | Sep 27 2018 18:53 utc | 15

I would caution against believing either UK OR Russian propaganda..
As craig murray updated in his posting:

I think not only is the UK lying, Russians are definitly lying too.. I now think that there acutally WAS a GRU/whatever OP. But WHY i think we will never know.
Its pretty sad IMHO, but its becoming clear to me that the russians did acutally walk into a UK trap.. And being unbelieveable amatuerish at that.

What i dont get is how Putin, a man who says plans every step so he doesnt endager what he has already build and achieved, could have autorized such a foolishness.
I guess the undercover ongoing war between the West and Russia is something we mostly dont see, unless some side fucks up like Douma Gas attack hoax or now this Skripal shit.

I would caution anyone not to climb to high on a tree one can not come down from..
I think it is a duty to fight against NATOs propaganda, but believing that Putin is somehow a saint and a a godlike person that can not do any fault is as stupid as western propaganda.

The downing of the russian plane showed how ignorant ppl like the Saker are.. Defending EVERY action of putin, even him contradicting his own military when he at first absolvet israel of their guilt. If the military had not stood up to him, there would STILL be no S300 for Syria, desipte Putin later claiming the statement of the military was coordinated with him.

And when ppl on the Sakers blog linked the latest report from dances with bears blog (From the journalists that has been in russia longer as anybody, is deeply linked with Putins State, and better connected that any other journalists and even more then every blogger or commenter, and is strongly fighting western propaganda for decades), they scream for scencorship, even though they (rightly) cry about Wests cencorship..

There is no 100% truth, as there is no 100% good or bad. We must see this through open eyes.. Only THEN we can fight MSM propaganda. We WONT be able to fight it, and convince other ppl, if the MSM can RIGHTLY label us as blind believers.

Stay open, trust NO BODY, and THINK for yourself. The powers that be are ALL lying.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Sep 27 2018 19:00 utc | 16

Meaning that "the thug on call for the day" was Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, Wiltshire Constabulary?

Posted by: Revy | Sep 27 2018 19:05 utc | 17

@3 Hoarsewhisperer

You haven't seen nothing yet!
Up here in Krautville the most watched daily news outlet even has the gall to publish the B-cat rubbish in a category named (put away coffee and have a seat for your own safety) ---- 'The Fact Finder'.

Hilarious if the situation weren't that serious.

Posted by: Hmpf | Sep 27 2018 19:10 utc | 18

NB For the full multi-media experience play this link in another tab while reading.

I Say! I Say! I Say!

Roll up, roll up, roll up!
All the fun of the fair!
Come and watch the Variety show
On the end of Salisbury pier!

Don't delay, step right this way,
Come and have a look
At the famous Russian double act
'The Brothers Novichuk'!

With their crazy cossack humour
You'll laugh till you are sick,
And gasp with awe and wonder
At their perfume bottle trick!

There's a full supporting bill
Of the best this land can muster.
Here to delight and amuse you
With their puff and wind and bluster!

Drag queen supreme 'Teresa' May
Sings her popular song:
"I Don't Know How You Did It"
But I Know You Did Me Wrong!"

'Bumbling Boris' the clumsy clown
With his zany haystack hair!
Watch him put his foot in it
And spread chaos everywhere!

Is it a boy? Is it a beast?
No! It's the amazing 'Bellingcat'!
Gasp as he pulls a secret agent
Out of his secret hat!

Split your sides with our funny man
'Hammond the Chinless Wonder'
Follow his ridiculous antics
As he stumbles from blunder to blunder

Music is from our house band,
The nation's favourite swingers:
'The Vauxhall Cross Ensemble'
And the 'Porton Down Singers'!

But midst the fun and frolics
Let's remember what it's for,
And look forward with anticipation
To yet another lovely war!

Posted by: Willie Wobblestick | Sep 27 2018 19:20 utc | 19

"........But who really cares about some obscure military intelligence mid-level bloke? [...] No one cares about Chepiga, this entire saga is about getting the masses to accept without any deep consideration, that "Putin" the figurehead who (according to western media) micromanages everything evil about Russia, only cares about destroying the life of Jo/Joe Shitkicker where ever in the world Jo/Joe may be........"

Exactly. None of us "masses" are capable of thinking for ourselves. We should just accept that Putin is a misunderstood President interested in only peace and good will. Hey, those two guys in the UK surveillance photos were tourist who just happened to be in the same town as the Skripals in all of the UK. What a coincidence! And the lies told by Putin and the attempted cover-up by the interviewers on Russian television. They weren't really lies at all - just the Russian version of the "truth" - like MH17.

So what if Skripal was a "traitor". All's forgotten in forgiving Russia - like the thirty-four (adversarial) journalists killed since Putin became President - all related to their work. That guy on Channel one was surely just joking when he told his television audience (New York Times):

".......soon after news of the nerve gas attack in Salisbury broke, the evening news host on the state-controlled Channel One gave voice to what, under Mr. Putin, is the Russian state’s view of traitors.

“I don’t wish death on anyone, but for purely educational purposes, I have a warning for anyone who dreams of such a career,” the newscaster Kirill Kleimenov told viewers. “The profession of a traitor is one of the most dangerous in the world.”......"

Then according to Meduza (link via @meduzaproject):

".......Russia’s Federal Security Service is reportedly trying to hunt down the Interior Ministry staff members who “sold off” passport and identification documents belonging to Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov (the two suspected GRU agents accused of trying to assassinate Sergey Skripal and his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury, England). A source told the news agency Rosbalt that “serious measures” are planned against whomever was responsible for leaking the two suspects’ personal information......."

Gotta stop those embarrassing leaks - especially the ones that make Putin look like a liar and murderer. Gee, I wonder what those measures are. Too late to ask Litvinenko.

Putin apologists still keep coming out of the woodwork. This was obviously an attempted assassination by the GRU. No amount of obfuscation can change the truth which is that ne matter where you defect to, the ex-KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, will eventually get you.

Posted by: craigsummers | Sep 27 2018 19:52 utc | 20

I'm sorry to say, that as much as I find the idea of Russians assassinating a former operative for no obvious reason pretty unbelievable, the Russian story also stinks big time. I mean, just have the good colonel appear with the other guy on TV and crack some jokes about the British and tea.
Or give the guys some money, if they really are normal people, from the secret fund or something, and have them parade their lives on TV, talking to neighbors, showing their kids and friends and hobbies and stuff.
Frankly I didn't believe a word of this story until the 2 guys appeared on TV and gave their interviews. Now...dunno, something is fishy here...

Posted by: Tod | Sep 27 2018 19:58 utc | 21

It doesn't matter who the two Russian gents who visited Salisbury are--the UK government hasn't shown two figs of evidence that they got anywhere near the Skripals or did anything of note. Until they can show something that constitutes proof of any crime, there's no point in worrying about who they really are or are not.

Posted by: worldblee | Sep 27 2018 20:06 utc | 22

I was just checking the bottom of my shoe to see if maybe I stepped in dog crap, but then I realized craigsummers had dropped another turd off here. Chapeau, craig!

Posted by: SlapHappy | Sep 27 2018 20:06 utc | 23

when the focus is always on putin, as it is regularly in the lying western msm- posts that follow this format i read the very same way.

Posted by: james | Sep 27 2018 20:11 utc | 24

@21 worldblee.. exactly... just another distraction in a long line of distractions.. yonatan stated it well on craig murrays site..

"This is all just distraction to bamboozle and confuse. When one set of inconsistencies is exposed, another story will appear, leaving the non-inconsistent parts as ‘established facts’. There is no intent for a legal prosecution by the UK. It is all trial by media. The intent is to confuse Joe Public and leave them with the simple explanation ‘Russia did it’.”

Posted by: james | Sep 27 2018 20:14 utc | 25

I just watched the RT interview of Petrov and Boshirov for the first time. What struck me was that they chose to go to London and Salisbury after advice from friends in the current political climate. My guess is they and their circle of friends are Russian liberals who regard the west as good and are now shocked at what has happened.
Will be interesting to see what else comes out about them further down the track.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 27 2018 20:18 utc | 26

@8 - I suspect that Chepiga and Boshirov are not the same guy, but even if they are whats the problem? This link has an interesting theory that would explain it either way.

Posted by: Brian | Sep 27 2018 20:22 utc | 27

Just a reminder that there are something close to 8 billion people on the planet. I have at least two doppelgangers maybe more despite only about 30 million people being ever so vaguely similar (skin color, hair color, gender).

When I say doppelganger I'm talking about strangers recognizing me as a different person and starting to talk to me while they're convinced I'm the person they know (I feel a bit sorry for my doppelgangers considering I don't think I'm particularly attractive hence they aren't either lol).

Other than that → what worldblee said in 21.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 27 2018 20:34 utc | 28

Karl Rove: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The Skripal affair has become a prime example. What should have been a simple case of an apparent hit by Russia on the Skripals descended into pure bs in order to explain the delayed poisoning of the policeman. The UK will throw out more and more outlandish 'explanations' which will be partly demoished by others (B, CM, etc). However, that is all irrelevant as there was and is no intent to go to legal proceedings. It is trial by media and the ordinary Joe's eyes will glaze over but remember the 'Russia did it' part of the exercise.

Let Sergei Skripal speak (if he is still alive). All else is irrelevant.

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 27 2018 20:45 utc | 29

Less to do with Skripal and mostly to do with Russiagate as a whole.
I can only recommend that people read Umberto Eco's Prague Cemetery, because that book definitely applies to the whole sorry "Bad Russia" lunacy, with Chris Steele being basically Eco's bumbling protagonist. The chapter where he enters the Piemontese secret services and the top officials basically state to him they make the policy like a deep state, and not the political figureheads, is specially relevant. As well as the bulk of the 2nd half of the novel, where the hoaxster protagonist tries to find whom to sell his fake dossier, how to improve it, gives bits here and there to intelligence agents who are well aware it's bullshit but need it for political purposes to whip the plebs into frenzy, eventually coming to the conclusion the bigger the lie, the better it is and the more believed it will be.
Quite amazing that the ultimate book about Russiagate has been written by someone who died before it all happened. Quite ironic as well that a book portraying the fictional creation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (widely disseminated by Russian agents) turns out to portray that well the current anti-Russian scare.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 27 2018 21:09 utc | 30

The guys do indeed look very similar, the man on the left photograph obviously being of a younger age. The differences noted by Mr. Murray can be explained by the upward tilt of the head in the left photo. The neck fold visible in the left photo can also be observed in Boshirov’s RT interview (wait until the moment he raises his head a bit). However, having said that, there are two differences: 1) the man on the left photo appears to have a slightly snub nose, while Boshirov’s nose, although asymmetrical, is straight from the nose bridge to the nose tip; 2) the thing that just doesn’t fit, however I look at it, is the eyebrows — the arch is much wider on the left photo. I recommend watching Boshirov’s RT interview while putting the left photo in another window next to it. You’ll see that whatever turns his head is making, the eyebrows just don’t fit.

Posted by: S | Sep 27 2018 21:14 utc | 31

judging by appearance on the photos I'd say it's plausible that the guy is the same, while on the other hand it's not very convincing that these guys were simple tourists on a daytrip. which does in no way give any clues about what they were doing let alone who or if someone "poisoned" skripal. i'd expect the thing to take a turn into some "russia got trump into office" direction, but who knows. if it weren't for the implications of an escalating war, it would be a pretty thrilling spy story. I wonder how the russians will reply to that...

Posted by: radiator | Sep 27 2018 21:32 utc | 32

I don’t believe the Official Skripal story. It’s fishy, just like the Syrian chemical weapons bunk.

I’m an experienced (25+ years) photographer, including for passport type photos, and in my (quasi-expert) opinion, the guy in the first picture is unequivocally the same guy as in the other two pictures. The picture on the left was taken from closer, and lower, which explains the greater spacing between the eyes and the double chin

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 27 2018 21:44 utc | 33

Posted by: radiator | Sep 27, 2018 5:32:11 PM | 32

They will find him among their honored dead.

Bellingcat shows an image of the "Memorial wall of the Far Eastern Military Command School with Colonel Chepiga as the last name under the Gold Star honor list"

You might get a medal as a "hero of Russia" but your name will be scraped into a wall only if you are dead.

The small item in front of the memorial is "highly likely" an "eternal flame"

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2018 21:51 utc | 34

Using a perfume spray bottle for Novichok is weird (& incompetent), because one of its best (apparently) means of functioning is through INHALATION, making a spraying method very dangerous for the agent (assassin).

Applying it to the surface of a door is just stupid and ineffectual. The best way would be to paint the hidden part of a doorknob, the backside, making the spraying of it even more dangerous for the assassin, as he would be spraying it towards himself. The best way IMO would be to paint that hidden backside part of the doorknob with a little brush, therefore maybe a little nail polish bottle, with its little brush. Nothing airborne, no chance of the assassin wetting himself with it or inhaling it. If I’ve thought of how to do it properly, we can be damned sure a professional agency thought of it properly.

Disposing of the bottle ? A hole in the pants pocket, and dropping it over a manhole. Not rocket science. Traces f Novichok in the hotel room ? There is absolutely no reason for it, unless the agents are completely incompetent and/or masochistic to get caught. Nail polish bottle opened only once, dropped through a holey pants pocket into a sewer. Not rocket science.

Not to mention Novichok is supposed to be fatal in one minute or less. And that other couple in another Italian Salisbury restaurant, who got sick on seafood, with similar symptoms. And Porton Down, just a few blocks away, with their own stocks of Novichok (etc). Might have poisoned them with some other poison, then added Novichok to the analyzed blood sample. Hired, for a strategic false flag. Most likely scenario IMO.

Can we even trust the OPCW ?

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 27 2018 22:07 utc | 35

The black and white photos could be damn old (said the dinosaur :D ).

They could easily be from the sixties or seventies, perhaps even older.

Just another point to make even though the whole thing is completely irrelevant.

By the way who still trusts "photographic evidence" these days? It's not the 1990ies any more, nowadays one shouldn't even trust high definition video.

Haven't the spooks been to the cinemas this century? The dinosaurs (the actual ones, not people like me) all died long ago! Their approach is outdated rubbish :D

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 27 2018 22:19 utc | 36

thread on the 'chepiga is boshirov' saga

Posted by: brian | Sep 27 2018 22:25 utc | 37

In German - how to get a biometric passport with a faked photograph - in German - in the example the face of Margherita Mogherini was merged with the face of the passport holder who then got a real passport with the photo.

You don't notice this stuff with your eyes.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2018 22:28 utc | 38

Just throw it in the garbage somewhere (some toilet or something, everyone has to heed nature's call) as one does with any used nail polish bottle (I assume).

That way one gets to keep one's spare change as well :)

But why send these guys around the world with nail polish? At least make it a small tube of toothbrush paste or wait I shouldn't give away better ideas :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 27 2018 22:30 utc | 39

The whole Skripal, Russiagate garbage is becoming pretty tiresome indeed. As many have commented: WHERE'S The Evidence. ABC Australia is a complete bootlicking Empire mouthpiece. They're not a media organisation, they're a propaganda outfit. Notice with all the Russiagate rubbish, ABC no longer post those stories on their Facebook page. They only report this crap in their 'news' service, and on Facebook mainly put on vaccuos banal bumfluff. Obviously too scared of the derisory comments they'll let

Posted by: Gezzah | Sep 27 2018 22:41 utc | 40

You guus are burning too much neurons on this.

First of all: why is Skripal still alive? This question is important because it puts in~to check even the hypothesis that it was a murder attempt.

Second: if it was a murder attempt, what are the motives?

Third: if it was a murder attempt, where is the weapon of crime? The British found a perfume bottle near the scene, but it doesn't appear at the CCTV. The Russians say they never had it. If they had it, it should have shown in the xrays of the airport (because the British swear they can trace the origin of the component, so it must have come from Russia). Where are the xrays images?

I stand by my hypothesis of either leakage from Porton Down or food poisoning. The MI6 then seized the day.

Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2018 22:46 utc | 41

All credible. So too that maybe the Russian Government just doesn't care. Only the message it conveys is important.

You can run, you can hide, but sooner or later we'll get you - à la Mossad. Let this hang over the heads of all those armchair "open source" detectives involved in this recent unmasking of hired killers. I hope their arrogance chokes them.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 27 2018 22:57 utc | 42

Featherless @ 35:

The latest news on the third couple to get sick is that Prezzo's, the restaurant where they apparently fell ill, is considering legal action against them after the two, Alex King and Anna Shapiro, were discharged from hospital. Wiltshire police may also be considering charging them with wasting their time.

Alex King is a known drug dealer who has also been convicted of supplying child pornography. He is known to have pulled off a stunt on Prince Charles over a decade ago by pretending to be a celebrity and standing in a celebrity line-up to meet the prince at a film premiere. Anna Shapiro claims to have been a Mossad honey pot (as if that's something to be proud of or even shout about) and speculation has it that she married King and staged a poisoning hoax stunt to extend her visa stay.

The Saga of the Salisbury Spikings becomes ever more seedy.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 27 2018 23:02 utc | 43

The Guardian and Bellingcat refer to the Insider Russia in their latest Skripal articles. Do not confuse The Insider Russia with Russia Insider. The "websites" or rather social media pages for The Insider Russia can be found on its Facebook page. The Guardian and Bellingcat want you to believe they are the same but they are not.

The Insider Russia carries a report that the Ukrainians are supposed to have sold the Buk missiles to Georgia and that the Russians captured them in the South Ossetia conflict back in 2008.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Sep 27 2018 23:06 utc | 44

Sunny, a toothpaste tube would still require an applicator, to not touch it oneself. Latex gloves ?
In any case, a nail polish bottle (with poison in it) is less conspicuous BEFORE an attack.

Vk, YES, did that perfume bottl appear on the airport xrays, when those Russian guys came to UK ?

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 27 2018 23:13 utc | 45

Jen, a THIRD “Salisbury poisoned couple”. Huh ! Looks like it’s becoming trendy !
Yes, opportunistic scam artists, evidently.

But what about the SECOND couple ?

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 27 2018 23:19 utc | 46

3rd Salisbury Italian restaurant seafood victims : “The daughter of a Russian military official who became an Israeli citizen against her father's wishes in 2006, Shapiro“

LOFL. YEAH, Shapiro is a Russian name, and not a Jewish name. ROFL.

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 28 2018 0:32 utc | 47

fwiw wikipedia uses the middle picture for chepiga, while the russian version of wikipedia ( anyone know who runs that?) uses the photo on the far left... how does that work, if they aren't the same person? more fun and games with the propaganda site wikipedia..

Posted by: james | Sep 28 2018 0:33 utc | 48

i guess the head honchos at wikipedia better fix that soon, lol.. pic one or the other!

Posted by: james | Sep 28 2018 0:34 utc | 49

« They want me dead as I oppose Putin and have turned my back on my country. Russia is capable of anything. »

« That much, we know, is true. Yet Shapiro's audacious claims fast began to appear as puffed up as the dough in the Fiorentina pizza she enjoyed before falling ill. »

What a disinformational farce.

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 28 2018 0:35 utc | 50

all russians look alike; only their mothers can tell them apart

Elena Evdokimova
‏ @elenaevdokimov7
9h9 hours ago

2.Boshirov & Chepiga have the same eye colour and look similar, but they are different people. Chepiga has open look, does not have much hair (as a woman from Berezovka said), Boshirov had a huge crop of hair that could not grow from bald in 10 years since villagers saw Chepiga

Posted by: brian | Sep 28 2018 0:41 utc | 51

Am I wrong to surmise that Sergei Skripal wa Christopher Steele’s Russia source for his bogus Dossier. Steele himself hadn’t been to Russia for years

Was Skripal Arkancided?

Posted by: Anunnaki | Sep 28 2018 0:59 utc | 52

The photographed fellow is definitely a few years younger in the left picture, and his ears were wider.
I used to have wide ears too, but aging, my ears aren’t as wide.

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 28 2018 1:07 utc | 53

Whether the left picture is similar to the other 2 doesn’t necessarily mean Boshirov = Chepiga

Unless it can be proved that the left picture is indeed Colonel Chepiga.

I agree with previous commenters that such a mission - if there was such a mission - would be confided to a young agent, and not a colonel.

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 28 2018 1:14 utc | 54

According to the Independent, a video reemerges with Putin threatening the consequences of “traitors” (Video re-emerges of Putin threat that 'traitors will kick the bucket'

“.………The footage from 2010 was shared widely hours after a retired double agent, Sergei Skripal, was allegedly poisoned in Salisbury. In the clip the Russian President is seen warning that those who betray the country would face consequences.

b>“Traitors will kick the bucket, believe me. Those other folks betrayed their friends, their brother in arms,” Mr Putin said.

“Whatever they got in exchange for it, those 30 pieces of silver they were given, they will choke on them.”…….”

A clear message was sent by Putin and the GRU to Skripal - just as Putin promised. No matter where you defect to, the Russian state will find you - and so they did.

Craig Murray (at his blog) writes:

“.……..Yet Higgins now claims his facial identification of Chepiga as Boshirov as “definitive” and “conclusive”, despite the absence of moles, scars and blemishes. Higgins stands exposed as a quite disgusting hypocrite. Let me go further. I do not believe that Higgins did not take the elementary step of running facial recognition technology over the photos, and I believe he is hiding the results from you. Is it not also astonishing that the mainstream media have not done this simple test?…..”

Obviously, Murray has no evidence for this. The radical anti-war/anti-western left disdains the work of Bellingcat because it has successfully exposed the Russian state as liars on several occasions (MH17, for example). Robert Parry disparagingly called Bellingcat “pro-Nato”! Craig also fails to mention that The Insider - a group of adversarial Russian journalists - worked hand in hand with Bellingcat to reach these same conclusions Obviously risingtheir lives). Is anyone really surprised that Putin was directly behind the international murder of GRU “traitors” like Litvinenko and attempted murder of Skripal?


Posted by: craigsummers | Sep 28 2018 1:23 utc | 55

Yeah. Because Putin has damned any and all traitors to Russia, anyone who speaks against Russia and gets killed is automatically a victim of Putin & associates. Right.

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 28 2018 1:41 utc | 56

is anyone surprised the uk offers no evidence on the ''NON DEATH'' of the skripals, thanks that 'weapon grade nerve agent' and on and on?? no, instead they offer up a warmed over take from m16's courier service idiot higgins.. please, do believe all that, or you are a putin bot, lol...

Posted by: james | Sep 28 2018 2:08 utc | 57

Willie Wobblestick @18

I choose the full multi-media experience. Thanks!

Superb. As always.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 28 2018 2:08 utc | 58

The British claim (which we know is a lie, but that's the official story) they can trace where a given Novichok sample came from (like a serial number - yeah, ridiculous, I know...). They claimed, with zero margin of doubt, that the Novichok that poisoned the Skripals came from (i.e. was produced) the Czech Republic.

If that is true (we know it isn't, but let's pretend it could be), then the Russian couple must have took a plane from Czech Republic to Russia (because that's their modus operandi -- they take direct flights to their targets), and then from Russia to the UK (this part is true, they really took a direct flight from Russia to the UK).

That being the case (it isn't), then the mighty MI6 -- the same institution which was able to go after a March CCTV -- should have no problem to show us an image from the Czech airport (in collaboration with the Interpol or even illegally) with the Russian couple with the Nina Gucci perfume bottle.

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2018 2:25 utc | 59

@56 Craig, "The Insider" isn't based in Russia, and it isn't run by "a group of adversarial Russian journalists".

"worked hand in hand with Bellingcat to reach these same conclusions", well, no, I doubt that very, very much.

Bellingcat is supposed to be all about drawing conclusions from open-source data, yet in all three of their "Skripal reports" Higgins has obtained his "gotcha!" moment by perusing data that is very definitely not open-source.

I'm going to lay three cards down on the table:
a) "The Insider" is a Ukrainian outfit
b) Bellingcat had nothing to do with obtaining that passport photo of "Chepiga"
c) The former came to the latter with that passport photo, Higgins didn't find it through his own research

Because if you actually read the Bellingcat report it takes several very startling leaps of logic, which it needs to do to keep explaining how Higgins kept going in the right direction in the complete absence of any evidence that would point him there.

(The two stand-outs: the serendipitous phone call to "former Russian military officers" that juuuuust happens to give Higgins juuuuuust the right military school in eastern Russia, and then the serendipitous photo of "DVOKU graduates on assignment in Chechnya, undated" which juuuuust happens to pique Higgins' interest the words "DVOKU", "Chechnya" and "Hero of the Russian Federation", which juuuuuust happens to be the three search items he needed)

Higgins is either the luckiest dude in the world, or he is lying about how he got from *those* two passport photos on the right to *that* passport photo on the left.

Personally, I'm convinced that the methods are reversed i.e. Higgins *started* with that passport photo in his hot little hands and then had to work backwards to come up with a semi-plausible explanation for how "open-source" data could lead him to it.

Hence the ludicrous amount of dumb-luck he has to come up with to explain this.

Higgins is simply acting as a cut-out for some intelligence organization (again, I'd point to the Ukrainians) and I would bet good money that he is actually in no position to ascertain the authenticity of that 2003 passport photo.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 28 2018 2:49 utc | 60

@19 "So what if Skripal was a "traitor". All's forgotten in forgiving Russia - like the thirty-four (adversarial) journalists killed since Putin became President - all related to their work."

Craig, Putin is ex-KGB. He knows how spy-swaps work, and he knows that the entire system of spy-swaps ceases to work if a country then goes about assassinating the spies that it has swapped.

Isn't that obvious, or has your hatred of Putin blinded you to that simple concept?

You catch a spy, you imprison them. Or you shoot them. Take your pick.
But if you do imprison them then there is a simple metric at work: do they still know something of value to their recruiters?

If they do then you keep them imprisoned. You definitely do not swap them for some of your spies.
If they *don't* then their residual value drops down to near-zero, and the only thing they are good for is a pawn to be swapped for a pawn.

With me so far?

Skripal was caught, and he was imprisoned. His sentence was reduced because he cooperated fully with the prosecutor.
If Putin had wanted him dead - because Traitors Must Die!!!! - then he would have had Skripal killed in prison.
But he didn't, and Skripal was deemed to be so worthless that Putin thought nothing of swapping him for some Russian spies.

That would be the end of the story: the residual value of that fat old coot would have dropped to zero on completion of that prisoner-swap, and to THEN go and attempt to assassinate him would achieve nothing except to make Russia "non-agreement capable" w.r.t. the tried and true rules of the game for swapping spies.

Your argument simply makes no sense whatsoever. If Putin so detests traitors then he wouldn't be in the habit of swapping them, and since he *is* in the habit of supporting spy-swaps then he definitely would not then go about shitting in his own pocket by assassinating swapped-spies.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 28 2018 3:04 utc | 61

Somebody else may have said this but the guy in the center doesn't match

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 28 2018 3:15 utc | 62

Yeah, Right

As b says "do not respond to trolls", ignore them. .. not that I have always been a saint that way.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 28 2018 3:28 utc | 63

Yeah Right @64

Obviously the passport data was leaked to Bellingcat (ot The Insider). According to Meduza (link via @meduzaproject):

".......Russia’s Federal Security Service is reportedly trying to hunt down the Interior Ministry staff members who “sold off” passport and identification documents belonging to Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov (the two suspected GRU agents accused of trying to assassinate Sergey Skripal and his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury, England). A source told the news agency Rosbalt that “serious measures” are planned against whomever was responsible for leaking the two suspects’ personal information......."

The FSB is searching for whoever leaked the information.

The Insider is described as an "Russian online magazine". Roman Dobrokhotov is a "Moscow-based journalist and civil activist. He is the editor-in-chief of investigative online newspaper The Insider. He has a PhD in political science." He is also a regular contributer to al-Jazeera. So calling The Insider a Ukraine "outfit" is false - and nothing but propaganda.

Craig Murray has already admitted that Russia lied (which was obvious). He is trying to spin this all by calling Bellingcat and the Insider liars, but inevitably, they will be vindicated. They found the assassins - and they are the GRU (unsurprisingly).

Posted by: craigsummers | Sep 28 2018 3:31 utc | 64

Featherless @ 45:

Only two couples visited Italian restaurants in Salisbury, the first being the Skripals and the third couple being King and Shapiro. The second couple (Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess) collapsed on separate occasions close together at Rowley's home in Amesbury.

Rowley is currently reported to be in hospital at present with suspected meningitis. Sturgess died in early July. She had a long history of alcoholism and drug abuse from a very young age and Charlie Rowley also had a history of heroin addiction and dealing in drugs.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 28 2018 3:40 utc | 65

The anglo elite or deep state have moved with thee times. Bellingcrap, SOHR, and white helmets. They perceived the majority of the peasants were distrusting of official narratives so they send the trojan horses to the peasants. Many peasants admire these horses.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 28 2018 3:43 utc | 66

The idea that, the wo Russian are "secret" operatives is pure nonsense. They are supposedly colonels in the GRU (or whatever), but display such amateurism and ineptness, hardly possible for a high ranking military officer.
It makes no sense.
Further, when someone chooses to quote Belligcat, or rely on any (dis)info from that place, any clear thinking individual should be on high propaganda alert. Bellingcat is funded by Atlantic Council and that is a proven NATO - CIA, NSA, MI6 front, readily sprouting fake news and propaganda. Bellingcat is so blatantly Russophobic, that it over the top.
What makes this whole idiotic tale dangerous though, is the MSM spin put on it. It is clearly intended as a work up to a new war, just like the WMD story and Iraq, a fairy tale also out of thin air.
Connected to this I think was the intended provocation of Russia, with the IL-22. The USUal Suspects France, GB, US and Israel were out playing, hoping to provoke Russia into an attack on a French ship. It failed. Both incidents connect well together in creating a narrative that could lead to war with Russia.
This is a display of completely reckless behaviour towards the rest of humanity, as it us also that are incinerated, in the event of an all out war, which inevitably would be the end result.
It is interesting that Germany has largely kept mum, during all this nonsense, I seriously doubt, NATO is in shape for any war on Russia, a great deal of NATO countries are NOT in on any war nonsense, and their military might is not all that great in reality.
The US MIC that is indeed behind this scheming, cares less that Europe might yet again be destroyed in a war. On the contrary they think that the US would not really be harmed, and after the war they would resume their role again as undisputed hegemon.
This is extremely dangerous and deluded thinking.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Sep 28 2018 4:13 utc | 67

So many entertaining stories which serve to distract and divide. As we ridicule their stories the global elites grin and sheepishly admit their stupidity as they proceed to take more of your wealth and freedoms. One day the stories will disappear as there will be no wealth and freedom left to steal, and the culling begins. Wont be anyplace left to post how your neighbor disappeared and someone is coming for you. Peter AU1 horses wont have many admirers left, but they will keep a few of the better looking ones around for entertainment.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 28 2018 4:22 utc | 68

@ somebody 38

When you get a biometric passport in Sweden, the photo is taken by the police, as is the iris scan and the thumbprints. You cant really interfere with the process. You must also initially provide other official ID. And finally you are asked questions about your life, information available to the police and yourself, but not to third party. Once you have your biometric passport, it will be impossible to change it at a later state.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Sep 28 2018 4:24 utc | 69

PFT 75

Not sure that the Trojan horse builders will last that long... caveat - within five-eyes it may continue for some time, but we will be largely isolated from the world.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 28 2018 4:48 utc | 70

@70 Peter, I would agree except for the pleasure (and Slap Happy's I'm sure) of seeing CS being so magnificiently owned by @66 Yeah, Right, tee hee..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 28 2018 5:05 utc | 71

Den Lille Abe, European countries know that they’re much closer, geographically, to the Eurasian continental conflict, understand that the US has its own, far away and separated, continent. They will give up on all this « NATO » agression before the US, and the US will be mostly isolated, apart from Canada and Australia (etc). It’s just a question of time.

A key facet, IMO, is Putin and Russia’s behaviour. As long as Russia acts impeccably, patiently, european citizens will not be so convinced by MSM lies, and will not support its governments’ investment in agression against Russia. I strongly believe this has been the strategic reason for Putin’s magnanimity & patience. « Fools rush in. »

Posted by: Featherless | Sep 28 2018 6:39 utc | 72

Yeah right, you are ...yeah right. I spend i fruitless time on the and I surmise their Ukraine. Since belling-cat is part of the Intelligence organizations it would be be holdem for the Russian Intelligence to raid and arrest (or they would have to registered as a foreign power, as a NGO law recently passed by Russian Parliament. You no what maybe the Russian are really angry and could put a hit on Elliott Higgins? Maybe the Ukrainians could knock him off and blame the Russian again. Food for thought but the game Mr Higgins plays puts him in a prime position of being eliminated. Maybe another Intelligence organization MI could knock him off and blame Putin. By By Elliot.

Posted by: Col from OZ | Sep 28 2018 6:50 utc | 73

"The radical anti-war/anti-western left disdains the work of Bellingcat because it has successfully exposed the Russian state as liars on several occasions (MH17, for example). Robert Parry disparagingly called Bellingcat “pro-Nato”! Craig also fails to mention that The Insider - a group of adversarial Russian journalists - worked hand in hand with Bellingcat to reach these same conclusions"

Duck theory makes me a little skeptical regarding bellingcat. Can you remind me when they exposed any mi5 or mi6 lies? Perhaps those agencies dont lie and they dont run information operations? Otherwise bellingcat would appear to have coincidentally carried water for the UK intelligence services, and never run a story contrary to their preferences.

Mr.Summers, why do you think that is?

Posted by: Harry | Sep 28 2018 6:51 utc | 74

The radical anti-war/anti-western left...

With that locution we see that you're the radical pro-war/pro-western nihilist scum.

News flash: Where it comes to aggressive war, the "pro" position is the radical one. The anti- position is simple human decency, something the likes of you will never understand. That's why humanity and the likes of you cannot co-exist, and one of us has to go.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 28 2018 7:37 utc | 75

Posted by: barovsky | Sep 28 2018 7:42 utc | 76

@82 You wouldn't know it from the triumphant tone of the MSM, but Bellingcat has had to jump the shark with its trio of "Skripal" articles.

Think about it: the claim of Bellingcat is its ability to reach conclusions based on "open-source" data, but in all three articles its "Gotcha!" evidence comes from hacked databases i.e. the very opposite of "open-source".

This discrepancy is so glaring that Higgins has to resort to "joint investigations" with some very dodgy "Russian" website that nobody had ever heard of before, but which I would bet dollars-to-donuts is run by Ukrainian spooks.

This accounts for the ludicrous leaps of logic that Higgins has to indulge in to find that passport photo by (hah!) "Deductive reasoning".

I am certain that he was handed that photo and that bogus "passport" and then had to wrack his brain to come up with some path - however ludicrous - that would lead him to that name via "open-sources.

You can see the twisted pretzel-logic all thru that article. It must have pained Higgins to so openly reveal himself as a shill but, hey, orders are orders and he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 28 2018 9:20 utc | 77

So obviously Higgins has hacked Russian government data bases. Thus I'd say he has committed a dastardly international crime for which he must be punished. A European arrest warrant will soon follow. Or sill the British government taken him under their wing as they have the Skripals? Higgins lies of course, his sources must be in the vicinity of the CIA and M-16. On the other hand everyone seems to be l obfuscating if not actually lying. I can't imagine what actually happened in Salisbury. Nina Ricci must bring a lawsuit against the British government for making their brand toxic.

Posted by: Quentin | Sep 28 2018 9:44 utc | 78

Connected to this I think was the intended provocation of Russia, with the IL-22. The USUal Suspects France, GB, US and Israel were out playing, hoping to provoke Russia into an attack on a French ship. It failed. Both incidents connect well together in creating a narrative that could lead to war with Russia.
Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Sep 28, 2018 12:13:19 AM | 74

I think there are a lot of things coming together here which seem to suggest that the US/NATO were plotting to start a hot war with Russia.

Firstly, the run-up to Idlib. The extent of the shear panic in the US/NATO was quite astonishing, and showed they had really major - current - strategic interests in Idlib. The US start gathering warships in the region. They have been expanding their bases in Northern Syria and Al Tanf, and have been trying to erect hardware for a "no-fly zone" in the North-East. The Russians responded with a substantial and formidible build-up of warships, and made open and very detailed warnings about planned false flags. The British pull a new issue of the Skripal fairytale out of the back draw with very suspicious timing. The US is obviously putting crippling pressure on Erdogan to throw a spanner in the works of Idlib, which he eventually does in the Tehran summit (or at least appears to). As the chances of a CW false flag appearing plausible diminish, Bolton comes out with a threat of attacks on Syria if there is ANY assault on Idlib. Putin then appears to be backing off from pressure on Idlib in the short term, "giving Erdogan some additional time".

During this period (i.e. in the run-up to the Erdogan-Putin deal over Idlib, but before this deal), it is my hypothesis that Russia intercepted intelligence of concrete US/NATO plans for hot attacks on the Russian military in Syria, and particularly on Russian bases. For Russia, winning the war is more important than winning battles.

Then came the Erdogan-Putin deal, which was an absolute masterstroke of strategic genius, typical of Russian strategic genius. For domestic reasons Erdogan is forced to play both US and Russian sides - at least on the surface - and doesn't have much choice about that as he is in a corner, but contrary to appearances I think even at the Tehran summit he knew which side his bread was buttered on, and with the subsequent deal Putin saved his bacon - what appears to be a compromise on the surface, but actually a highly strategic move with enormous benefits.

I think the plan to down the Il-20 was probably worked out in detail long in advance, but kept on hold for the right moment. The Idlib deal was the trigger, but the US would have had advance intelligence of what was being negotiated. Critical was the French frigate, which they tried to set up as target for a Russian counter-attack. According to some reports, the Israeli jets fired missiles from a low altitude at precisely the moment they passed over the French frigate, making it appear that the French had fired the missiles. Both US and UK aircraft were ready in the air in the region flying holding patterns. The entirety of the Il-20 operation was aimed at (1) downing the Il-20, including the Israeli (and French, according to some reports, but that does not seem to be clear) attacks on Lattakia; and (2) baiting Russia to shoot at the French frigate, in response to which they would attempt to destroy all the Russian bases in Syria.

But Russia didn't take the bait. In typical Putin style, his response was brilliant. Instead of reacting first and investigating after, US/UK style, he does a blitz but thorough investigation of the facts. No shooting of the frigate, not even blaming (apart from an initial bland "frigate appears to have launched some missiles with unknown targets" which was obviously later clarified). Shoigu very specifically blames Israel, using strong language. In an off-the-cuff answer to a question in Hungary while meeting Viktor Orban, Putin is very vague and refers to "an unfortunate tragedy and series of events" but immediately and pointedly states that the specific answer was detailed in Shoigu's statement which had been agreed with him. That response of Putin has been much criticised, but in my opinion it was brilliant and very Russian - a detailed, hard-hitting technical report from Shoigu closely paired with a highly diplomatic softened version from Putin, which yet in the very same sentence emphasises the accuracy of the Shoigu statement. Putin's version is diplomatically softened, but NOT strategically/militarily.

A really key fact in this is that the S-300 systems sent to Syria were full Russian versions, not export versions, with full Russian IFF friend-or-foe identification. That signals to me that Russia intends them as a fully integrated extension of the Russian defences in preparation for a large US/NATO attack. Putin is prepared for a full war.

Russia lost a strategic asset and 15 highly trained personnel, but the strategic loss to US/NATO/Israel was colossal.

All this of course is no more than a hypothesis, as clearly stated above.

Three links partially relevant to this hypothesis:
Syria: Bolton Throws Down the Gauntlet
Putin Keeps Cool and Averts WWIII as Israeli-French Gamble in Syria Backfires Spectacularly
Fast Thoughts On The Issue Of Projection

Posted by: BM | Sep 28 2018 9:46 utc | 79

With all due respect, Debs's comment is unreadable, undigestible, despite Bernhard's editing.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Sep 28 2018 10:27 utc | 80


the Russian's sub in Salisbury.

Posted by: partizan | Sep 28 2018 10:42 utc | 81

@ BM | Sep 28, 2018 5:46:18 AM | 85

That is an excellent and highly plausible analysis. One thing that any dispassionate observer would see is that the Russian leadership and diplomatic corps are professional to the very highest degree. Every word is measured. By way of comparison the western equivalents bring to mind the opening scene of Kubrick's 2001 where the apes are running around bashing each other over the head with bones. As to war preparation, I think it was April last year when Russia ran a civil defence exercise involving 40 million (!) of its citizens.

Posted by: Ross | Sep 28 2018 11:27 utc | 82

The following extract gives more context for Bellingcat:

All the British media is now reporting how passport data uncovered by investigative journalists demonstrates that the pair were GRU operatives. But the original source of this investigation is the Bellingcat research collective. This organisation has form when it comes to anti-Russian provocations, in connection with the downing of the MH17 flight over Ukraine, the continuing conflict in the East of that country and the use of chemical weapons in Syria—in short, in every major inflection point in the war drive against Russia.

Bellingcat’s website was set up in 2014 by Eliot Higgins, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab and Future Europe Initiative. The Atlantic Council is a leading US geopolitical strategy think tank. Higgins was one of five authors of an Atlantic Council report released in 2016, “Distract, Deceive, Destroy,” on Russia’s role in Syria, which concluded by calling for US missile strikes. According to Bellingcat’s own articles, Higgins and the rest of the site’s staff work closely with their “colleagues at the Atlantic Council.”

- WSWS By Thomas Scripps

Posted by: barovsky | Sep 28 2018 11:50 utc | 83

@ BM | Sep 28, 2018 5:46:18 AM | 85

since you use "reliable" sources, one has to be naive and to believe what you posted!

Posted by: partizan | Sep 28 2018 11:53 utc | 84


Russian President Vladimir Putin has the broad perspective. His policies toward both Syria and Israel are part of a strategy of making Russia an important player throughout the Middle East. It is a good realist strategy, worthy of emulation, in which Russia talks with everybody and does not allow any rigid division of the region into friends and foes to constrain its diplomacy.

Russia and its foreign policy is in Syria to battle only ISIS and the like mercenaries. They MANAGED the conflict in Syria which is not the local one, never have been, and they will do anything to prevent sleepwalking into some large scale conflagration.

Posted by: partizan | Sep 28 2018 12:07 utc | 85

I'll refrain from comment on the latest photo disinfo as a load of complete nonsense.
Isn't it interesting no 'journalist' has even broached subjects such as what line of work Skripal was recently involved in? What did he do for income? What was his general interests the past 2-3 years? Total and complete silence on any background information just Meh Ruskies. It's usually missed or completely ignored by journalists but the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) is directed by legal mandate, Intelligence Services Act 1994 (cont) to provide intelligence in support and for the purposes of prevention and detection of serious crime including but not limited to organized crime, drug trafficking, financial crimes, fraud etc. The 1994 legislation came about as USSR had folded and PIRA declared the beginnings of the peace process. Both MI6 & 5 were apparently at a bit of a loose end and looking for work. This is right around Chris Steele era and with Steele connections to folk such as US DOJ, Bruce Ohr (organised crime guy) from at least 2006 (Litvenenko). If Skripal is connected with Steele or was advising at his firm, I suggest organised crime involvement is more likely than any other.

Posted by: Scottish Sam | Sep 28 2018 12:16 utc | 86

BTW, the 'Distract, Deceive, Destroy'doc is available here:

Posted by: barovsky | Sep 28 2018 13:22 utc | 87

@84 "So obviously Higgins has hacked Russian government data bases."

No, I would suggest that this is far from obvious to the point of being highly improbable.

I would argue that some professional intelligence agency has hacked into Russian databases and trawled through it for some tenuous (or totally fabricated) link to the Skripal case, and has then gone to Higgins and ordered him to publish it under his name.

He has then followed his marching orders - as any good shill would - and that has required him to produce articles rife with utterly preposterous "deductive reasoning" to reach his (predetermined, and not by him) conclusions.

But to suggest that Eliot Higgins has some means of hacking into Russian databases is a laughable notion considering that he has shown no such abilities in any of his prior publications.

Indeed, it is so preposterous that even Higgins has to concoct a "investigative partnership" between Bellingcat and "The Insider – Russia" to explain this new-found and hither-to-unheard-of ability to go beyond open-source material and hack into secured databases.

Yeah, sure, and pigs can fly.

Higgins is shilling for some spy outfit. My guess would be the Ukrainians, but it could be MI6 or CIA or any of the other three-character-acronyms.

But whoever it is, it was they who produced that passport photo, not Eliot Higgins.
And only they - not Eliot Higgins - can vouch for the (in)authenticity of that photo.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 28 2018 13:24 utc | 88

@93 Yeah, and note that the Bellingcat article itself explicitly said that it tried that response and came up empty, so I have no idea why that noob came up with that explanation.

Indeed, the failure of that approach is why Eliot Higgins then resorted to "deductive reasoning".

Which led Higgins to ring the one anonymous source (who woulda' thunk it???) who told him to look to the east, Eliot, look to the east!

Which led him to fruitlessly scour the yearbooks of the "Far-Eastern Military Command Academy in Blagoveschensk", which contained nothing of interest except (and how lucky is this????) a photo of a bunch of nobodies what nonetheless gave Higgins the insight to type the terms "DVOKU", "Chechnya" and "Hero of the Russian Federation" into a web search engine.

(Huh? Why, Eliot? Why those three terms?)

Oh, yeah, that's right: only those three search terms could then lead him to a web page that contains the name "Anatoliy Chepiga".

At which point The Game's Afoot, Watson!!! Tally Ho! Tally Ho!

Give me a break.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Higgins was handed that passport photo on a silver platter and then ordered to concoct a story to explain how he could have plausibly arrived at that point via his own "deductive reasoning".

Because that's how the Bellingcat article actually reads i.e. as a desperate attempt to explain a series of preposterous leaps of logic that finally lands Higgins in possession of a passport photo that he couldn't reasonably have been expected to find using his own resources.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 28 2018 13:45 utc | 89

@96: Yeah! The 'passport photo' can only come from one or two sources: The Russian passport office or the UK's. If it wasn't for the MSM eliminating every single refutation of this preposterous fairy story, the UK govt et al, would be the laughing stock of the planet! The whole affair is even more ludicrous than the saga called Brexit, which suffers from comparable absence of logic and facts.

Posted by: barovsky | Sep 28 2018 14:07 utc | 90

craig what's next? just come and say you are gay with christopher steele...... does it really make a difference. show these two walking up to or close to the door of the house and spraying the perfume or its really inconsequential to the discussion.

Posted by: worldblee | Sep 27, 2018 4:06:56 PM | 21
It doesn't matter who the two Russian gents who visited Salisbury are--the UK government hasn't shown two figs of evidence that they got anywhere near the Skripals or did anything of note. Until they can show something that constitutes proof of any crime, there's no point in worrying about who they really are or are not.

Posted by: jason | Sep 28 2018 14:07 utc | 91

@97 "The 'passport photo' can only come from one or two sources: The Russian passport office or the UK's."

No, untrue. There is a third alternative: Higgins oh-so-shady "investigative partner The Insider – Russia" could have faked the passport and its photo and then shopped it to Bellingcat.

Because - and let's be honest here - Higgins has never before shown the slightest capability or aptitude for hacking into secure databases. He has previously been a 100% rolled-gold open-source armchair jockey. YouTube, Facebook, Google Earth and Wikipedia have previously been his go-to source for his raw data.

It is a very good bet that he has no more ability to access secure databases than he had previously, and so any such evidence has been delivered to him by a third party i.e. "The Insider - Russia".

If that is true - and I am quite certain that it is - then Higgins is no more able to authenticate that passport photo than are you or I.

He has to take it on trust that his "investigative partner" is providing him with kosher goods, and he expects us to share that trust.

And I, for one, am not willing to be so gullible. I have never heard of "The Insider - Russia" before Higgins decided to hitch his star to them, and I have no reason to believe that they are anything other than a front organization for some foreign intelligence agency.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 28 2018 14:50 utc | 92

@93, And the Brits accuse the Russians of obfuscation!

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Sep 28 2018 15:01 utc | 93

@96 Gordon

It depends on a few things, a simple way to do face recognition is using OpenCV an Open Source Computer Vision library, there are more sophisticated techniques using Deep Learning. Then you just need the bandwidth to suck down all the images whether on your own machine or to a rented one such as an instance on Amazon Web Services plus the time it takes to run the algorithms over those images to give you the best match.

Posted by: TJ | Sep 28 2018 15:29 utc | 94

Yeah Right - 102
What would be funny was if "Insider - Russia" was actually the GRU making a fool from the Brits by shipping deliberately misleading info to Higgins, info that will be debunked later. Let's face it, the guy just isn't able to check what's fed to him, can't tell if it's misinformation or truth, and can't even tell if it's some intelligence guy, and from whose agency or country - at least unless he's ran that info through his UK/US intelligence contacts and minders.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 28 2018 15:38 utc | 95

@85 BM A Brilliant analysis. I suggest your comment as a "to develop post" in itself..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 28 2018 18:06 utc | 96


Higgins works for the Atlantic Council, it's not a 'fly-by-night' outfit, it's funded by, amonngst other structures, the US govt. I know absolutely nothing about Higgins himself but as others have pointed out here, his masters (MI6/CIA et al) surely supplied him with whatever was needed to setup the frame, so dummy or super spy, he is merely conduit.

Posted by: barovsky | Sep 28 2018 18:08 utc | 97

PS: Yes, it might be amateurish but look at the context: MSM which takes everything it gets from the state/business, at face value. Which media outfit is going check all this garbage? None of them! They're in lockstep with the state, so no need. Look at the White Helmets obscenity, who has checked it out aside from those in the independent media? How many follow them? Have you EVER seen a MSM report on the White Helmets which has even timidly questioned it?

Posted by: barovsky | Sep 28 2018 18:23 utc | 98

#98 and likes: Guys, you definitely can not into sarcasm.

@Quentin #87 - great comment, thanks! Laughing myself out. Hi 5 eyes!

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 28 2018 18:57 utc | 99

Well, Russia now denies having any record for a Colonel Anatoly Chepiga nor (this should be implied and is redundant) any such person being awarded the highest National merit.

But apart that claim by Russian officials together with the visible (to the naked one) inconsistencies in the upper part of the skulls and noses (between the two black and white photos depicted by the UK officials), one simply cannot overlook the central role of Bellingcat (Bellingcrap) and its dubious founder Eliot Higgins (aka BrownMoses) being, once again, in the forefront of this latest edition of this spurious saga. Reg flags should start going off anytime Bellingcat (Bellingcrap) is involved with presenting of any sort of evidence--given its delegitimised reputation:

The story of the unemployed office-worker, of strictly average abilities drawing lines on grainy photos with Paint and having the PTB hail him as a cyber-genius is the basis for a great unwritten novel.
cleaner parts.

Bottom line is Eliot Higgins, aka BrownMoses, aka one-man ‘research group’ Bellingcat is funny. He just is. And there’s nothing much his would-be promoters can do about that. They try to sell him as a gritty ‘citizen journalist’, but he doesn’t have the face or the CV for it, and it always falls flat. Even casual conversation with him reveals the embarrassing truth that his “research”, so lauded in the popular media, consists of entry-level computer skills and an awful lot of smoke-blowing. You or I or literally anyone over the age of seven with internet access could do it.

This is a man who, with his agency Bellingcat, will absolutely always back the position of western governments, and powerful western organisations. And they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure Eliot Higgins expert 1he’s taken seriously, lay on all the the trappings, auspices of highbrow, on trend terms like ‘open source investigation’ and ‘error level analysis‘, be sure he’s given awards, plaudits, made a ‘fellow’, ‘expert’, at sympathetic organisations, appears at the right seminars, conferences, everything to apply the sheen of credibility.
One thing about Higgins is sure. He’s a liar. A conman. A charlatan. And whatever associations the name ‘Higgins’ and ‘Bellingcat’ have now, the future can surely only be these names associated with fabrication, fraud, a scam.

Posted by: jsb | Sep 28 2018 19:34 utc | 100

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