Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

N&P: Discuss governments, nations, politics and recent related news here.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas, Edi, K. A. Pital

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14286
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-09 03:38pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-03-09 03:34pm
What's going on here?

Live by the sword, die by the sword. It is the life of spies. Such is our world.
And his daughter and the cops who responded had it coming to them too?
Getting all riled up here, TRR? Chill out.
People bloody well should get "riled up" about Putin (or anyone else) poisoning people with nerve agents.

But yeah, I don't expect anything substantial to actually be done.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20213
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-03-09 03:42pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-09 03:38pm
And his daughter and the cops who responded had it coming to them too?
No, of course not. Collateral damage. Something that happens with each government-sanctioned murder, be it spy ops, police ops, drone strikes.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-09 03:38pm
People bloody well should get "riled up" about Putin (or anyone else) poisoning people with nerve agents.

But yeah, I don't expect anything substantial to actually be done.
Yeah. If there's anyting worth getting riled up about, it's the state-sanctioned spy violence system which tacitly permits operations against certain individuals. But it is a product of modernity. So... I mean, Pinochet assassinated people on American soil, but he was big friend, so was OK. Putin's only bad because he's the enemy. If he were a friend like that Saudi "reformer" Mohammed Bin Taliban Salman, the media would've spun this shit differently.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14286
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-09 04:03pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-03-09 03:42pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-09 03:38pm
And his daughter and the cops who responded had it coming to them too?
No, of course not. Collateral damage. Something that happens with each government-sanctioned murder, be it spy ops, police ops, drone strikes.
But that doesn't mean that we should accept it, or not criticize it.

As to all those other things- those are all worthy topics to address, but they're not the topic here. And I am getting real sick of constant whataboutism poisoning and obfuscating any attempt to discuss any issue (and particularly any attempt to discuss the actions of Russia's government).

Want to talk about those things? Good. Make a topic for them, or use one of the existing ones. But don't try to use one person's misdeeds to chide me for criticizing another's. If my neighbor is a murderer, it still doesn't justify me breaking down his door and shooting him in his bed.
Yeah. If there's anyting worth getting riled up about, it's the state-sanctioned spy violence system which tacitly permits operations against certain individuals.
:roll: I didn't say it was the most or only worthy topic to discuss.
But it is a product of modernity. So... I mean, Pinochet assassinated people on American soil, but he was big friend, so was OK. Putin's only bad because he's the enemy. If he were a friend like that Saudi "reformer" Mohammed Bin Taliban Salman, the media would've spun this shit differently.
More whataboutism. Here's how it works, folks:

Criticize Russia.

"But what about all the bad things America and its allies have done?"

Implication: "The West/America is just as bad because (insert bad things that have happened in/because of Western countries), therefore its hypocritical/bias to criticize anything Russia does. Everyone's equally bad so nothing matters any more." Its an appeal to cynicism which hides behind a superficial veneer of fairness to obfuscate and deflect.

John Oliver laid out exactly how this odious tactic works (starts at about 6:12): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZAPwfrtAFY

Edit: "The problem with whataboutism is it doesn't actually solve a problem or win an argument. The point is just to muddy the waters, which can make the other side mad."
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20213
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-03-09 04:11pm

OK. We are bad. I agree. We are Mordor.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14286
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-09 04:25pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-03-09 04:11pm
OK. We are bad. I agree. We are Mordor.
I didn't say that.

There's no "we" here unless you are a supporter of/in service to the current government of Russia. That's who I'm criticizing. Not the Russian people. Not anyone else. The current Russian government.

I mean... have you read my comments on the Trump administration? Does it therefore follow that I think all Americans are bad?

Not that it makes all that much difference, since the very fact that I am once again forced to defend my character and motivations rather than my arguments shows that your attempt to deflect and derail the discussion has worked.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20213
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-03-09 04:28pm

No, I just mentioned that it was a spy, a person whose profession pretty much means he can get killed anytime, and plenty of spies got whacked - with other victims or without - throughout history. No matter, Russian, American, whatever.

You seem to have mistaken my lack of outrage for something else. Fine. I'll pass.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14286
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-09 04:34pm

Its not so much your lack of outrage that bothers me. Everyone has different issues that are particularly important to them. That's fine.

Its the specific reasons you gave for not caring-the usual "But whatabout (insert other bad shit that isn't the topic at hand)?"-and the fact that you appeared to be chiding me for caring about it.

If you don't care, fine. That's none of my business. But if you come into a discussion and tell me "You're wrong to care so much about it, and here's why"... well, then I have to respond to that.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Tribble
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2210
Joined: 2008-11-18 11:28am
Location: stardestroyer.net

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by Tribble » 2018-03-09 04:37pm

IMO one of the reasons why countries like Russia don't get critiqued as much is because... well, people kind of expect dictatorships to act that way. In contrast countries like the US are allegedly the leaders of the "free world" and their actions are more scrutinized because they are at least theoretically supposed to be above doing things like assassinations.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - The official Troll motto, as stated by Adam Savage

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14286
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-09 04:51pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-03-09 04:37pm
IMO one of the reasons why countries like Russia don't get critiqued as much is because... well, people kind of expect dictatorships to act that way. In contrast countries like the US are allegedly the leaders of the "free world" and their actions are more scrutinized because they are at least theoretically supposed to be above doing things like assassinations.
I don't know that either gets critiqued more, overall- it depends on who's doing the critiquing, and what their biases and political alignment are. Russia gets criticized more in America, of course (except for the more radical "anti-establishment" factions of the Left, many of whom would probably be quite happy to play the Quisling- see Jill Stein, for example). America gets criticized more in countries that are aligned with Russia and hostile to America, I imagine.

Of course, we also need to be able to distinguish between criticism of the Russian government, or the American government, and broad, prejudiced attacks on the nation and its people. I try to avoid (and call out) the latter when I see it.

But yes, its a fair point that the US may get held to a higher standard because it sets a higher standard for itself. But at the same time, Russia's actions, while perhaps less hypocritical in that sense, are no less destructive to their victims.

In any case, my point is not about who is better or worse, or more deserving of criticism in the grand scheme of things- the worst elements of both Russia and the US have become frighteningly intertwined in any case, in my opinion. Its that the topic here is something Russia (likely) did, and that we should address that without getting deflected onto other topics of questionable relevancy.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
EnterpriseSovereign
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2088
Joined: 2006-05-12 12:19pm
Location: High orbit

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2018-03-10 12:33pm

The scale of the investigation has gone up a couple of orders of magnitude.

I think the eventual outcome of this depends on if the victims live or die.
It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

"As you know science is not fact"- HuskerJay
"The Delta Fyler [sic] isn't even a shuttle craft" -HuskerJay69
"The Dominion War wasn't really all that bad"- Admiral Mercury

User avatar
mr friendly guy
The Doctor
Posts: 10007
Joined: 2004-12-12 10:55pm
Location: In a 1960s police telephone box somewhere in Australia

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-03-11 07:56am

I wonder why the UK seems to attract assassination attempts. I mean we had the ricin assassination in the 80s, the polonium one in the 2000s and now this.
Never apologise for being a geek, because they won't apologise to you for being an arsehole. John Barrowman - 22 June 2014 Perth Supernova.

Countries I have been to.
Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
Always on the lookout for more nice places to visit.

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 25667
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by Broomstick » 2018-03-11 10:05am

Other countries have assassination attempts, it's just that the ones in Britain that attract attention use such unusual methods.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Zaune
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6030
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by Zaune » 2018-03-11 11:07am

Broomstick wrote:
2018-03-11 10:05am
Other countries have assassination attempts, it's just that the ones in Britain that attract attention use such unusual methods.
Which brings up the sixty-four thousand dollar question of just what the hell the point was in using such a showy, unsubtle method to kill someone? Especially someone they were willing to hand over in a prisoner exchange almost a decade ago, who couldn't possibly have any remaining value as a source. It seems like an awful lot of effort to go to just to fuck with M's head.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

I Have A Blog

User avatar
Ace Pace
Hardware Lover
Posts: 8222
Joined: 2002-07-07 03:04am
Location: Wasting time instead of money
Contact:

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by Ace Pace » 2018-03-11 12:47pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-03-11 11:07am
Broomstick wrote:
2018-03-11 10:05am
Other countries have assassination attempts, it's just that the ones in Britain that attract attention use such unusual methods.
Which brings up the sixty-four thousand dollar question of just what the hell the point was in using such a showy, unsubtle method to kill someone? Especially someone they were willing to hand over in a prisoner exchange almost a decade ago, who couldn't possibly have any remaining value as a source. It seems like an awful lot of effort to go to just to fuck with M's head.
Because unlike many other spies, it seems that this dude kept working for the British intel.
Also, it's an amazing deterrent to other people considering espionage. "You will be marked and your handlers will not be able to save you"
Brotherhood of the Bear | HAB | Mess | SDnet archivist |

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20213
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-03-11 02:01pm

Ace Pace wrote:
2018-03-11 12:47pm
Because unlike many other spies, it seems that this dude kept working for the British intel.
Also, it's an amazing deterrent to other people considering espionage. "You will be marked and your handlers will not be able to save you"
Yes. Basically this. Assassinating spies served, and serves till this day, as a massive deterrent. "We will protect you" - but you'll think twice if you know, or heard, that someone who flipped was wiped out eventually. It is actually - gruesome, but true - even better if his family members get caught in the attempt, too. Then you'll think thrice.
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14286
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-12 05:42pm

My problem with this is not so much that a spy was killed (any loss of life is regrettable to me, but that is, sadly, part of the business). My problem is with the fact that the assassination was carried out in a manner which breaks or at least bends a major taboo (against the use of chemical weapons such as nerve agents), that it was done in a manner and using a weapon that had a high risk of collateral damage, and that it appears to have specifically targeted an innocent (unless his daughter was also a spy).

Oh and in news that will not (or at least should not) surprise anyone, Britain's PM has confirmed that Russia is likely to blame.

Its a long article, but well worth reading as a comprehensive summary of this case:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/worl ... oning.html
LONDON - Britain's prime minister said on Monday that Moscow was "highly likely" to blame for the poisoning of a former Russian spy attacked with a nerve agent near his home in southern England, and warned of possible reprisals.

The remarks by Prime Minister Theresa May, delivered in an address to Parliament, were an unusually direct condemnation of a country that Britain has, in the past, been loath to blame for attacks on its soil. Critics say the British authorities took only modest countermeasures after Russian agents poisoned a former MI6 informant in 2006 with a rare isotope, polonium 210.

The prime minister, who as home secretary resisted an open inquiry into Russia's role in that case, was under pressure to show more resolve this time.

The March 4 nerve agent attack on Sergei V. Skripal, once an informant for Britain's foreign intelligence service, and his daughter, Yulia, occurred in and around public spaces in the city of Salisbury. Almost two dozen people, including emergency workers, were given medical treatment, and one police officer is still hospitalized. I

"It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia," Mrs. May said in the House of Commons. "The government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal."

She said that either the poisoning was a "direct act of the Russian state against our country" or that Moscow had lost control of its nerve agent and had allowed it to get into the hands of others. The prime minister said that the government had summoned the Russian ambassador to demand an explanation, and that Britain expected a response from Russia by the end of the day on Tuesday. Russia has denied any responsibility.

"Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom, and I will come back to this House and set out the full range of measures we will take in response," Mrs. May said.

"We shall not tolerate such a braze act to murder innocent civilians on our soil."

The relationship between Russia and Britain under Prime Minister May has been punctuated by repeated confrontation over the annexation of Crimea and Russian interference in elections, among other issues.

But Britain has held back from aggressive retaliatory measures. Expelling Russian spies, for example, would mean a cutoff in Britain's own flow of information from Moscow if Russia retaliated. Restricting visas would hurt Russian businessmen, officials, and dissidents who have made Britain their home.

On Monday, the White House condemned the attack - but did not join Britain in pointing a finger a Russia.

"The use of a highly lethal nerve agent against U.K. citizens on U.K. soil is an outrage," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said at her daily briefing. "The attack was reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible. We offer the fullest condemnation."

Ms. Sanders brushed off several questions about weather the White House shared Britain's view that Russia was responsible. "Right now we are standing with our U.K. ally," she said. "I think they're still working through even some of the details of that and we're going to continue to work with the U.K."

Moscow has insisted that it played no role in the attack, and did so again on Monday.

"This is a circus show in the British Parliament, " the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told journalists in Moscow, according to the Interfax news agency.

Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy head of the Federation Council's foreign affairs committee, was equally dismissive. Whatever Mr. Skripal may have once done, he said, he posed no threat to Russia now.

"This already is not our issue," Mr. Dzhabarov told Interfax. "He had access neither to our secrets nor facilities. He was of no u se to us, to Russia in general."

Still, amid denials last week by Russia's foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, an anchor on Russia's state-controlled news broadcast struck a different note, warning Russians not to betray their country. If they do, he said, "Don't choose Britain as a place to live."

In her address to Parliament, Mrs. May said the nerve agent was part of a group known as Novichock - the Russian term for "newcomer." The chemical was produced by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, and, at the time, was believed to be far more lethal than anything in the United States arsenal.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Vil Mirzanyanov, a chemist who helped develop the agent, said that Soviet laboratories had developed enough of the substance to kill several hundred thousand people.

Dispersed in a powder, Novichock nerve agents blocked the breakdown of a neurotransmitter controlling muscular contractions, leading to respiratory and cardiac arrest, Mr. Mirzayanov told investigators at the time.

The use of a nerve agent drew the attention of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Hague-based group that policies the global treaty banning them. The group called it "a source of great concern."

Over the last week, chemical weapons experts fanned out through the sleepy cathedral city of Salisbury, and residents who may have been near Mr. Skripal and his daughter were told to wash their clothing and carefully wipe off other articles. Politicians have urged the government to respond.

"What it says to Russians living in the U.K. or those thinking of leaving the country is: Disloyalty is always punishable, you will never be free of us and you will never be safe, wherever you live," John Lough and James Sherr, Russian specialists at the British think-tank Chatham House, wrote. "What it says to the British government is: We believe you are weak, we have no respect for you."

Mr. Skripal is one of several opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin's government, in Britain and elsewhere, who have been the victims of murder or attempted murder. Western intelligence officials say that the Kremlin has frequently had its foes killed. The most notorious case involved another former Russian agent, Alexander Litvienenko, who was fatally poisoned in London in 2006 with a radioactive element, an assassination that a British inquiry later concluded was probably approved personally by Mr. Putin.

The British government has, however, been accused of dragging its feet in investigating previous suspicious deaths, for fear of losing its own intelligence flow from Moscow and sacrificing the Russian wealth that has flowed into London.

On Tuesday, Yvette Cooper, a lawmaker with the opposition Labour Party submitted a letter to Britain's home secretary, demanding a review of 14 deaths which "have not been treated as suspicious by the U.K. police but have - reportedly - been identified by United States intelligence sources as potentially connected to the Russian state."

But with the intense attention focussed on the poisoning of Mr. Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33, the government response has been swifter.

Officials from across the British political spectrum have called for a wide range of retaliatory measures against Russia, including the expulsion of diplomats, new economic sanctions, tighter controls on wealthy Russians entering Britain, and the revocation of the broadcast license of RT, the Kremlin-controlled broadcaster.

Britain must ensure that Russia's oligarchs "realize that they can't spend their wealth in London, that they can't enjoy the luxuries of Harrods and whatever else, and that we're absolutely firm in making sure that they feel the pain of being denied entry into the West," Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Commons, told BBC Radio on Monday.

But expelling Russian intelligence agents would mean that Britain would lose some of its own agents in Moscow, which would have steep costs for London, according to John Bayliss, who retired in 2010 from the Government Communications Headquarters, Britain's electronic intelligence agency.

"It will cut off a flow of intelligence you have had for years," he said. "That will stop you gaining intelligence in future years, which would be critical."

Mr. Skripal and his daughter remained in critical condition on Monday, more than a week after being poisoned in Salisbury, where Mr. Skripal had lived quietly for years. The pair were found incoherent on a park bench, and a police officer who made contact with the nerve agent when he tried to help the Skripals, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, was also hospitalized in serious condition.

While working for Russian military intelligence, Mr. Skripal became a double agent, selling secrets to Britain. He was found out, convicted and sent to a Russian prison in 2006. In 2010, he was freed and sent to Britain in a spy swap with the West.

On Sunday, British authorities warned that hundreds of people might have been exposed, particularly in an Italian restaurant and a pub that the Skripals had visited. Officials advised nearby residents to carefully wash any items - clothes, eyeglasses, cellphones - that might have minute traces of the nerve agent on them, and to bag those that could not be cleaned easily. That prompted angry responses from Salisbury residents, who asked why it had taken a week to issue the warning.

The restaurant, pub and surrounding parts of the shopping district known as the Maltings remained cordoned off as emergency workers in protective suits combed through it for evidence and sought to remove all traces of the nerve agent.
Highlights:

-The nerve agent is a military-grade agent created in Russia. Britain's PM contends that it could only have been used by the Russian government, or if the Russian government lost control of it.

-The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons describes the attack as "a source of great concern."

-Hundreds may have been exposed, and "Almost two dozen people, including emergency workers, were given medical treatment, and one police officer is still hospitalized."

-PM May has demanded an explanation from Russia's ambassador, and said that in the absence of a "credible response" from Moscow by Tuesday, this will be treated as "an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom".

-Various forms of retaliation are being considered, including more sanctions, expelling Russian diplomats, visa restrictions, expelling Russian spies, and revoking RT's broadcasting license in the UK.

-The White House condemned the attack but evaded holding Russia responsible. I guess the White House has found a new country to have a "special relationship" with. :evil:
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Zaune
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6030
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by Zaune » 2018-03-12 05:53pm

Can't find the source right now, but some UKIPper on Twitter is already claiming it might have been an EU false-flag operation. Given that this unfortunate incident is hopefully going to dampen the Conservative Party's enthusiasm for closer business links with the Russian mob, I suppose it's not the most ludicrous suggestion one of that lot have ever made.
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

I Have A Blog

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14286
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-12 05:58pm

Zaune wrote:
2018-03-12 05:53pm
Can't find the source right now, but some UKIPper on Twitter is already claiming it might have been an EU false-flag operation. Given that this unfortunate incident is hopefully going to dampen the Conservative Party's enthusiasm for closer business links with the Russian mob, I suppose it's not the most ludicrous suggestion one of that lot have ever made.
Probably not, but only because so much of what UKIP says is ludicrous.

Keep in mind, again, that Nigel Farrage has ties to a number of people in the Trump/Russia case. It is entirely possible that members of UKIP have been engaged in the same sort of collusion as members of the Trump campaign.

God, I miss the days when "Global Neo-Fascist Conspiracy" was a comic book plotline, not a serious geopolitical concern.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10312
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-03-13 07:22am

Novichok nerve agent attack 'clearly came from Russia', says Tillerson
The Guardian wrote: US secretary of state says it is ‘almost beyond comprehension’ that state actor could use such a dangerous substance as Novichok

A nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter “clearly came from Russia” and will have consequences, the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said, as Theresa May gave Russia till midnight on Tuesday to explain the poisoning in Salisbury.

Tillerson’s remarks went even further than the prime minister’s comments to the House of Commons on Monday, where she said it was “highly likely” Russia was behind the attack, which used the military-grade Novichok nerve agent produced by Russia.

Tillerson, who spoke to Boris Johnson on Tuesday, told journalists travelling with him in Africa that the Novichok agent was “only in the hands of a very, very limited number of parties” and said it was “almost beyond comprehension” that a state actor would use such a dangerous substance in a public place.

Russia’s ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, will be asked to explain by midnight on Tuesday whether the Russian state was behind the attack in the cathedral city, or whether it had allowed the nerve agent to fall into the wrong hands, May said.

If no credible explanation is received, May said it would amount to “an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom”.

Should no credible explanation be given, the UK is likely to expel a number of diplomats, more than the four who were told to leave the UK after the death of former Russian security agent Alexander Litvinenko. The UK may also potentially mount a covert cyber-offensive against the Kremlin.

Any direct action may be covered under article 51 of the UN charter, which allows for legitimate self-defence but Downing Street denied May was attempting to win support to invoke article 5 of the Nato treaty on common defence.

Asked if the UK was approaching Nato to ask for help, housing minister Dominic Raab told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the prime minister “chose her words very carefully” in her statement to the Commons to refer to an “unlawful use of force, which has a different meaning in international law to an armed attack ... I don’t think we’re down the territory you’re discussing there.”

The UK government may also decide to formally support amendments to the sanctions and anti-money laundering bill to target the persecutors of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian accountant who died after he revealed a huge state-sponsored fraud.

The measures, which the FCO has previously resisted saying it already has the full confiscatory powers it needs, are highly symbolic, having been already formally adopted by the US, but ministers are likely to support a specific Magnitsky clause in the bill at report stage.

Raab told Today he “would be delighted to see the most robust approach”.

Ministers may also examine whether to direct the broadcasting regulator Ofcom to investigate whether Russian media outlets such as RT are fit to hold a broadcasting licence and whether senior officials can be told to boycott the football World Cup in Russia this summer.

May will seek support for the UK’s response from the US, the European Union and Nato. In a formal statement, the US state department said it had “full confidence in the UK’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible”.

“Those responsible – both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it – must face appropriately serious consequences. We stand in solidarity with our allies in the United Kingdom and will continue to coordinate closely our responses,” the statement said.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, also spoke to May by telephone on Tuesday night. Downing Street said Paris offered its full solidarity and said it would “coordinate closely” on the UK’s agreed response.

“They discussed the wide pattern of aggressive Russian behaviour and agreed that it would be important to continue to act in concert with allies to address it,” a No 10 spokesman said.

Action was also backed by the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, who said the incident was “of great concern” to the bloc. “The use of any nerve agent is horrendous and completely unacceptable,” he said. “Nato is in touch with the UK authorities on this issue.”
Advertisement

Tillerson’s remarks went further than the White House, where the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the attack was “reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible” but did not point the finger directly at Russia. “We stand by our closest ally and the special relationship that we have,” Sanders said.

On Tuesday, former foreign secretary William Hague said the west needed to “wake up” to the threat Russia posed and the armoury it had at its disposal.

“Can it really be true that Russia is equipping itself to snap the undersea cables on which all our communications and finances depend? Afraid it is,” Hague wrote in his column for the Telegraph. “Are they actually positioning themselves to hack into our vital national infrastructure and disrupt it? Looks like it.

“Can they possibly maintain Soviet levels of espionage and covert activity in our free European societies? You bet they can. Are they flying aggressive sorties to test our air defences? Yup. And surely they’re not developing new chemicals and deadly poisons as well? Of course they are.”

Russia has denied it is behind the attack on Skripal, a former double agent who came to the UK in a spy swap in 2010, and his daughter Yulia, who remain in hospital. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called May’s statement to the Commons “a circus show in the British parliament... it’s another political information campaign, based on a provocation.”
Mild consequences inbound. A few diplomats will maybe kicked out, a few sanctions supported.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
cosmicalstorm
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1642
Joined: 2008-02-14 09:35am

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by cosmicalstorm » 2018-03-13 08:30am

Clearly from Russia my ass. Why in the world would Russia deliver such a self own to NATO?

I guess Putin might want to shit test Britain somehow, but I don't buy it.

Now I guess these WMD attacks demand a massive war on Iraq to deliver democracy and untold peace to the broader Middle East 8)

User avatar
mr friendly guy
The Doctor
Posts: 10007
Joined: 2004-12-12 10:55pm
Location: In a 1960s police telephone box somewhere in Australia

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-03-13 08:39am

Russia is already doing more to aggravate NATO than this spy assassination so it most probably wouldn't make much difference. I mean what is the UK going to do, invade Russia like it did Iraq? :lol:

Or perhaps to look at it another way, what was done to Skripal with the violation of the sovereignty and targeting of UK citizens with collateral damage is minor compared to what the UK and allies did in Iraq in terms of citizens killed and collateral damage. What were the consequences to them by the rest of the world? Nothing significant, and that's most probably what's going to happen here with Russia. I mean if they think its going to hurt by denying oligarchs the ability to shop at Harrods, then all I can say is that if true, those oligarchs are wimps. :wink:
Never apologise for being a geek, because they won't apologise to you for being an arsehole. John Barrowman - 22 June 2014 Perth Supernova.

Countries I have been to.
Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
Always on the lookout for more nice places to visit.

User avatar
mr friendly guy
The Doctor
Posts: 10007
Joined: 2004-12-12 10:55pm
Location: In a 1960s police telephone box somewhere in Australia

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-03-13 08:44am

Russia's response, delivered by RT



Basically, give us the sample of this agent as per the rules of treaties on chemical weapons and then you'll have a response.

There is also speculation that this might be used to weaken Putin ahead of the Russian election. Although it will most probably just motivate Putin's nationalistic base instead.
Never apologise for being a geek, because they won't apologise to you for being an arsehole. John Barrowman - 22 June 2014 Perth Supernova.

Countries I have been to.
Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
Always on the lookout for more nice places to visit.

User avatar
Mange
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4082
Joined: 2004-03-26 01:31pm
Location: Somewhere in the GFFA

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by Mange » 2018-03-13 09:02am

cosmicalstorm wrote:
2018-03-13 08:30am
Clearly from Russia my ass. Why in the world would Russia deliver such a self own to NATO?

I guess Putin might want to shit test Britain somehow, but I don't buy it.

Now I guess these WMD attacks demand a massive war on Iraq to deliver democracy and untold peace to the broader Middle East 8)
Because Novichock was developed with the specific aim of being impossible to find by NATO detection methods. Some of its properties are known but it's more than likely that the guilty party used Novichock believing the connection wouldn't be made or that the investigation wouldn't be this thorough.

User avatar
mr friendly guy
The Doctor
Posts: 10007
Joined: 2004-12-12 10:55pm
Location: In a 1960s police telephone box somewhere in Australia

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-03-13 09:44am

Novichok according to its wiki article was supposed to be undetectable because it's precursor chemicals were to be mixed on short notice to produce it. If one didn't realise these chemicals were to make up novichook and was looking for novichok itself, they would miss it.

Once it's mixed and synthesized, it might be a different story. The other thing to note is that novichok is the name for multiple nerve agents the Soviets created. Not all of them were as deadly as others and I don't believe everyone ever synthesized is known.

Possibly they were thinking if it's one that hasn't been revealed to the world.

We will have to wait and see if the UK produces a sample of this agent. Keep in mind that a novichok appears to have the basic organophosphate structure of nerve agents, and we have seen even north Korea could synthesized one.
Never apologise for being a geek, because they won't apologise to you for being an arsehole. John Barrowman - 22 June 2014 Perth Supernova.

Countries I have been to.
Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
Always on the lookout for more nice places to visit.

User avatar
FireNexus
Cookie
Posts: 1610
Joined: 2002-07-04 05:10am
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: Former Russian spy in 'critical condition' after being exposed to unknown substance

Post by FireNexus » 2018-03-13 01:26pm

TRR, I owe you a bit of an apology for giving you shit about lighting your pants on fire over this. Back channel efforts to invoke Article V are actually in progress according to VOA. Not sure if they count as American propaganda, though, and haven’t seen it picked up elsewhere.

https://www.voanews.com/a/theresa-may-r ... 96219.html
Britain Sounds Allies Out About Invoking NATO Treaty

March 13, 2018 5:49 AM
Jamie Dettmer

The clock is ticking towards the British-set deadline of midnight Tuesday for the Kremlin to explain why a Russian developed military-grade nerve agent was used to poison a former Russian double agent and his daughter in a small cathedral town in south England.

No one in the British government is holding their breath for a Russian response — or an adequate one, from London’s point of view.

And as the deadline looms British officials are scrambling to garner the support of Western allies, and they appear ready, if necessary, to invoke NATO’s Article 5 on collective defense, which has only been invoked once before in the Western alliance’s 59-year history.

In her statement before a somber House of Commons Monday saying it was “highly likely” the Kremlin had authorized the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer recruited by Britain’s foreign intelligence service MI6, and his 33-year-old daughter, British Prime Minister Theresa May chose her words carefully.

She angled her words, say her aides, so as to be able to widen the international dimension of the unfolding political and diplomatic crisis that’s plunging Anglo-Russian relations to their lowest point since the Cold War.

“Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom,” May said in a key legal paragraph in her statement.

The law

Under international law, a state that’s been the victim of the unlawful use of force by another is allowed to respond. By carefully choosing her phrase, May indicated she is treating the attempted assassination of the Skripals not as a criminal act but as a state-sponsored attack on Britain as a whole.

That also prepares the ground for Britain to follow America’s example in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington D.C. and invoke article 5 of the 1949 NATO treaty, which states: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all” and that they should work together to ‘restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

The language May used contrasts with the British reaction to the fatal 2006 poisoning of another former Russian spy, the dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who died after drinking tea laced with polonium. Then there was no talk of an unlawful use of force by Russia.

May has won words of general support from international allies, but none mentioned NATO’s article 5. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said whoever had ordered the attack must face serious consequences.

In a statement, he said: “We have full confidence in the UK’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that took place in Salisbury last week. There is never a justification for this type of attack – the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a sovereign nation – and we are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior. We agree that those responsible – both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it – must face appropriately serious consequences.”

NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said: “The use of any nerve agent is horrendous and completely unacceptable. The UK is a highly valued ally, and this incident is of great concern to NATO.”

After speaking with May on the phone, French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris stood in solidarity with Britain.

Skeptics

But British officials privately concede anxiety about what practical support they will be able to secure and the reception they’ll get when asking for a coordinated Western response to Russia. Officials welcomed the condemnation Monday of the poisoning of the Skripals from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, but were left uneasy when she omitted to name Russia specifically as the culprit.

“Whatever measures Britain takes against Russia, what will really count is a realization from Washington to Brussels to Berlin, that a full scale strategy of the West is needed to show strength and resolve in the face of unacceptable behavior,” former British foreign secretary William Hague wrote in Britain’s Daily Telegraph Tuesday.

A former director of policy planning at NATO, Fabrice Pothier, says there’s little appetite among Europeans for adding more economic and financial sanctions on top of those already imposed — and renewed by the European Union this week for another six months— on Russia for the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. Relations between Britain and its European allies are being roiled also by the testy negotiations over Brexit.

Martin McCauley, a former London University professor and member of the Limehouse Group of Analysts, notes that European nations rebuffed British requests for a coordinated punishment of Russia for Litvinenko’s poisoning. “The Prime Minister is faced with a difficult problem,” he says. Putin may run the clock, he adds. “He will be hoping that the same thing happens as what happened after the Litvinenko affair. The EU basically did not want to know. This time the same thing may happen. Look at countries like Germany and Italy; they would like to soften the [current] sanctions so they can go back to normal business relations with Russia. They don’t want a conflict, they don’t want a row (dispute) with Moscow.”
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

Post Reply