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Mass media / News

What is known about the assassination attempt on the former GRU officer Skripal

Radio Liberty 08.03.2018 at 15:44

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

In the UK continues the investigation of the assassination of the former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Both of them are in a critical condition in a hospital in Salisbury. There is also a police officer, also received a large dose of nerve agent. Thursday reported on the investigation in the British Parliament was made by the interior Minister amber Rudd. She called the attack "brazen and defiant attempted murder committed in the most brutal way in a public place", saying that it was done by a very rare toxic substance. The Minister promised to bring the perpetrators to justice, "whoever they were and wherever they were". Rudd refused to engage in speculation about possible Russian involvement in the crime and stated that the police investigation should be based on facts, not rumors. Hundreds of police, forensic experts, toxicologists and employees of the MI5 Agency thrown to the clarification of the circumstances of the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal. Carefully studied the possible spraying nerve agents, including house Skripal in Salisbury, restaurant and pub, where he visited with his daughter, and the square at the shopping centre where they were found in an unconscious state. Samples are taken from air and soil, carried out toxicology tests. 14 cases of suspicious deaths in England of former citizens of Russia, the Investigation will take a few more days. It is supervised at the highest level – directly to the Prime Minister Theresa may and interior Minister amber Rudd. The investigation examined on Wednesday at a specially convened emergency Committee COBRA. On the same day in this regard were the debate in the house of Commons of the British Parliament. Parliamentarians demanded to investigate 14 cases of suspicious deaths in England former citizens of Russia over the last few years. In England we hear voices that demand the severance of diplomatic relations with Russia in case of its involvement in the poisoning Skripal. The Minister of foreign Affairs Boris Johnson has promised in case of detection of the Russian track again to tighten the sanctions regime against the Russian Federation. The head of the counter-terrorism unit of the British police mark Rowley, who directly heads the investigation, said that after it was identified paralytic agent used in the assassination Skripal, experts are engaged in clarifying its origin. While officially this stuff is not called in the interests of the investigation. It is assumed that it could not be made without the participation of the state structures. According to experts, the use of this toxic substance require special experience. According to Rowley, there is no evidence that spraying nerve toxin affected the health of a significant number of people. It is not the substance on which it is possible to stumble in a private garden, a well-Known British expert on chemical and biological weapons, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon believes that most probable that Skripal and his daughter was poisoned by sarin. "It's not a substance that can be found in your own garden. It probably was produced in a large government lab." There are suggestions that used poison more rare origin. The British intelligence service MI5 develops alternative versions of poisoning Skripal, including a discussion of possible criminal motives and even the theory that this act of terrorism someone wanted to frame Vladimir Putin on the eve of the presidential election. His version offers the newspaper the times. Citing police sources, the newspaper writes that it is possible that Yulia Skripal were brought last week, the vial or atomizer gas from Russia in the form received from someone a gift for a father, and a holiday gift box was opened on Sunday afternoon or at the entrance to the shopping center "Meltings" in Salisbury, or in the pub or in the restaurant where they had dined. Speaking in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa may stated that in the case of proven involvement of the Kremlin to the poisoning Skripal she will support the call to boycott the world championship on football in Russia. Sergei Skripal is a former Colonel of the GRU, was convicted in his time in Russia on charges of spying for Britain. In 2010, he was exchanged for Russian agents exposed in the United States. About the background of the assassination Skripal in an interview with Radio Liberty said the historian of the Russian special services Yuri Felshtinsky is the author written in collaboration with Alexander Litvinenko's book "FSB blows up Russia" and co-author of the book "the Corporation: Russia and the KGB during the time of President Putin." He suggests that the assassination of the Russian track: With Skripal a precedent was set – If I'm not mistaken, it was the first case when the Russian or, as in the old days – for Soviet spies caught abroad, exchange Russian spy or FSB, accused and convicted of spying for a foreign state. The standard exchange was in the system when changing foreign spy caught in Russia or in the USSR, on Soviet or Russian spy caught in abroad. This procedure was considered normal. But the situation when a Russian citizen was exchanged for the Russian, was absent. And in my opinion, with Skripal a precedent was set. I suspect this happened because the Russian government really wanted to get back 10 illegal immigrants who were arrested in new York city, including the famous Anna Chapman. In that period, as I understand it, there were no foreign spies in the dungeons of the Russian Federation, and therefore had no choice but to quickly form a group to exchange. This group included Skripal, which was the only really arrested as a spy, a man that is arrested for espionage, while three others are likely to have been human rights defenders. In this sense, the exchange has just seemed very standard. It seemed then that the Americans are the obvious way to "bargain" that they gave 10 spies in exchange, in General, for one. I suspect that the FSB or at once knew that made a strategic error, creating a new precedent, or they this error realized later, and decided that they will fix it that way. Yuri Felshtinsky draws attention to the fact that in 2010 from cancer in London's wife died Skripal, and in 2017 in a car accident killed his son, although, according to experts, there are many uncertainties, and adds that he doesn't remember to kill not only the defector, but also his family members. Felshtinsky adds that within a few years of living in England, Skripal all he knew and wanted to tell the British secret service probably already tell, a politically active life he led, unlike Litvinenko was not engaged in criticizing Putin and the Russian regime – so in that sense, he's no additional threats did not pose for the Russian state. Therefore, if we assume the assassination of a Russian trace that from the point of view Felshtinsky, speech can go only about the revenge of the Russian government and a lesson to all Russian citizens, which theoretically may want to deal with spying for a foreign state.