Talk:Poisoning of Sergei Skripal

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This is a talk page for discussing Poisoning of Sergei Skripal. For sources, claims and narratives see the main page. (To see what is hot, see recent changes)

Skripal and Steele dossier

I do not think Skripal' played a big role in Steele dossier. He is not a 'trusted compatriot', obviously, and even less an insider like 'a former intelligence officer still active in Kremlin', or 'a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure' , etc (in Steele dossier open version, info is attributed to trusted compatriots who are friends of insiders, or some auxiliary figures like hotel workers with allegedly first-hand knowledge

Source E provided an introduction for a company ethnic Russian operative to Source F, a female staffer at the hotel when TRUMP had stayed there, who also confirmed the story.--here I am not getting the language, what's the 'company' that operative is working for?
"Company" in the Steele dossier refers to Steele's company "Orbis Business Intelligence". -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:40, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Not being an insider or trusted friend, his role is at most minimal. On top of it, the report is pretty ridiculous and I think nobody took it too seriously. So what's the point going after Skripal, for his (alleged) role in the report? This would create much more damaging to Russia situation than Steele report itself--Resup (talk) 23:23, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

What would be the point of accusing Trump of murdering Skripal? Gee! Maybe Trump and Putin murdered him together!
Quote: The dossier has sparked a formal investigation in the US into Russian collusion in the US presidential election, to the fury of both presidents Trump and Putin.
If the Kremlin believed that Col Skripal might have helped with the compilation of the dossier, it could explain the motive for the assassination attempt in Salisbury town centre.
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:44, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

'Gift'?

  • Poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal’s daughter Yulia could have unwittingly released nerve agent after opening gift ‘from friends’ - The Sun, March 8, 2018
    A theory not totally without merits, but unlikely. Bringing gifts is traditional; tainting a gift does not require sending operatives; it lowers threshold and may be attempted as personal revenge (say, by somebody directly affected by his actions, as it is said that he passed list of Russian agents to British services). But unlikely, everybody is aware of such possibility, even more so a former intelligence officer, and his daughter is enough of an adult and was with him long enough to know, too. I believe the occasion was anniversary of his son death, who had sudden liver failure, and poisoning suspected. It is unlikely that they will celebrate the event by drinking or eating something of uncertain origin, that would be odd. A gift is most likely opened at home well before the collapse, not taken to a restaurant (where it is said that traces found, and which is a likely place for poisoning to occur). Also, that 'gift' will be found and quite likely traced (assuming no false flagging). If it is traced to Russia, it can be brought to a Russian court, and cooperation is not out of the question. --Resup (talk) 08:28, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Let's say there were two gifts, one left at the house and one taken to the restaurant; and Rozzer got poisoned when he inspected the remaining gift, or at least the packaging.
I'm guessing the gift was opened on the park bench and not before. I'm also guessing the poison wasn't that common as there would have been some official statement - rather that wild-arsed self-publicising guesses by HBG and equally self-serving vacuum filling rambling by Kaszeta. --Charles Wood (talk) 08:43, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Flowers?

  • Was Russian spy poisoned by flowers? Chemical experts examine bouquet left by the double agent at his wife's grave -Daily Mail, March 10, 2018
  • Russian spy poisoning probe 'focusing on flowers he took to wife's grave' amid claims nerve agent found at restaurant -The Mirror, March 11, 2018
    That seems unusual, fresh flowers coming from a 'friend'. 'Women's day' (March 8) approaching, could not resist? But it is said that the placed the flowers on the grave some time (few hours) before they collapsed. Not impossible, but not very convincing either, unless confirmed by tests. Tabloids do not say who the 'friend' was, or from which side of the iron curtain. --Resup (talk) 15:47, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Litvinenko again

One thing that is common to the Skripal and Litvinenko cases is that traces of poison were found in multiple places, all of which could not be explained by a single act of poisoning. Litvinenko met Mario Scaramella in a sushi restaurant in Piccadilly before he met Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun at the the Millennium Hotel. Both places had traces of Polonium 210.

Finding traces in multiple places unconnected to the assassination itself may be a sign that the traces were left intentionally as fake evidence. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:49, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Litvinenko case may be different, or whatever, and I do not feel like going into it (not having anything to contribute too). Yet I note the official inquiry position: there were two poisoning incidents with Litvinenko, the first is much weaker, and estimated by hair growth to be some weeks earlier. While on October 16, 2006 he had a business meeting with Tim Reiley and the prime official suspects attending (6.87--6.101). They minus Reiley went to Itsu after that. Office where they met was found to be contaminated, and the officiial report attributes Itsu contamination to the same source (ie apparently 16 October, not Scaramella meeting of 1 November. Report also claims that a different table was contaminated (table they sat was provided by Scaramella) --Resup (talk) 21:22, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Russia publishes documents about 'British protection of criminals'

Russian prosecutor general Chaika announced that there were some communications between Russian and British authorities (headed at the time by Teresa May), to do with Berezovsky and Litvinenko, in particular alleging that warning on Litvinenko safety was given prior to his death, allegedly not acted on. Documents publications were promised, and the first document now appeared, about somebody V. Terliuk. According to Russian authorities letter, addressed/sent to Theresa May, Berezovsky and his associates Litvinenko and Goldfarb attempted to bribe or threaten Terliuk to force him making a fake confession of working for Russian special services and preparing Berezovsky murder, in order for Berezovsky to get refugee status in UK; and when Terliuk refused and reported them to the Scotland Yard, he was accused of the above plot by those people. The letter goes on to say that Terliuk was threatened and attacked and needs to be protected. Allegedly similar request was made in some other letters concerning Litvinenko, but this is not in the letter now published. (They also apparently try to draw attention to the fact that Berezovsky should not have been given refugee status and handed to the Russian authorities to answer some charges) --Resup (talk) 12:39, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Interesting. There seems to be a whole series of articles on RIA, all from today or yesterday. Here:
So the key seems to be that the British knew since years that Berezovsky's reasons for getting Asylum were faked by trying to use this guy and others at the time of the Litvinenko affairs. Details lost in auto-translation but hopefully more to come, also in English. --CE (talk) 13:59, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
I am not sure what to make of it, on the face value it may be sort of embarrassing for an old school politician, but it may be not what it seems. Berezovsky was very deeply into politics with all sides playing very rough; he was a master puppeteer in very rough waters, to the extend that people who know him well are unsure whether he was killed, committed suicide, or arranged for his own murder. Without knowing this guy Terliuk, I think impossible to know what was really going on, and I hear the name for the first time. Litvinenko at least told his stories on video, and at least appeared sincere, but whose story is genuine in the above, I can't be really sure. Theresa may say, for example, OK, there was some murky stuff but also Berezovsky was genuinely in danger for some other reason and so it does not matter and he deserved his status. Especially with modern politicians, Teflon Pony and stuff, they will figure out an explanation--what's most relevant today, for the Skripals at hand --Resup (talk) 14:14, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
The timeline seems to be roughly that in 2003 they tried to fake reasons for Berezovky to get asylum (which he got anyway), involving this guy Terliuk who wasn't a Russian citizen, then in 2006 during the Litvinenko affair the Russians reminded the Brits about this case, and then in 2010 somehow they mailed the by-then Home Secretary Theresa about it again? Hmm. --CE (talk) 14:32, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Here is an English-language TASS article about the issue. Among other things it says that Russia sent 39 requests for protection of Terliuk between 2006 and December 2011. Still isn't very helpful for piecing it all together. --CE (talk) 16:52, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Asylum granted to Putin adversary -The Guardian, 11 September, 2003
    At the time, criminal charges and extradition request against Berezovsky on Avtovaz/Lada case. He and partner accused of stealing over 2000 vehicles. At the time, he is having a 'difference of opinions' with the Russian leadership on the issue of whether he owns them. Despite his talents. not very likely he stole 2000 Ladas with a crow bar; probably Khodorkovsky type situation, some grey-area scheme to sell the vehicles with a profit (perhaps re-exporting or else exporting, despite non-existent open market for anybody else to do the same, or fancier tricks maybe); while perhaps some other grey structure (+ public at large, but it matters only selectively) at loss; short and clean explanation of the case is hard to find. He should have said it is politically motivated, and responded that it is not, with the criminal case still rolling, as usual
    2007: found guilty in Russia in Aeroflot case (accused of pocketing large amounts); another extradition request to Britain made
    2010, again Avtovaz, not paying under contract, now for 20,000 vehicles, 9 years prison term in abstention, and another extradition request to Britain. More on Russian Wikipedia, largely following the official line. --Resup (talk) 17:08, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Matthew Puncher

Walter Litvinenko

  • Отец бывшего офицера ФСБ Литвиненко, обвинявший в смерти сына Россию, сожалеет о сказанном ('The father of a former FSB officer, Litvinenko, who blamed Russia for the death of his son, regrets what was said')-TV 1 (Russia) , February 2, 2012
    Lives in poverty, regrets his words, asks Russia for forgiveness and help returning to Russia
  • 'Something not right in Salisbury', ПУСТЬ ГОВОРЯТ talk show, TV 1 (Russia) , March 20, 2018
    Blames Goldfarb. Prior to that, claims poisoning happened many times, including the hospital (does not specify by whom, at that point).
    Lugovoi in studio, makes comments on non-transparency prior to public investigation (~35:00). Walter Litvinenko (father) and Maxim (brother) arrive to the studio ('from Italy'). Walter gives Lugovoi a touch on the shoulder, 1/2 embrace; he separates brother from Lugovoi; camera goes off to the presenter who draws our attention to that episode expressing surprise how they met the killer and poisoner. Father smiles, brother stays neutral/Mona Lisa'ish. Father goes ahead to tell that he spent the last 3 days of Alexnder life near him at the hospital. Polonium 210 claim made '1/2 hour after his death', people with respirators/protective suits arrived. A meeting with many people was assembled. Walter Litvinenko tells us that Goldfarb elbowed him for starting to talk too early (blaming Russia for polonium attack, in a passionate manner). They 'walked in' somewhere after the meeting where Walter encountered young Goldfarb wife, weeping 'sitting on a bed'. Walter claims that she said 'Walter, Alex (Goldfarb) killed Alexander (Litvinenko)'
    A journalist sitting on the same coach as the Litvinenkos and Lugovoi reinforces the message, telling us that nobody in the West, BBC, etc, will reach out to have this sensational recording
    The program is a regular commercial talk show on a state TV channel.

For the record. This is different matter from Skripal, they do not have to follow the same pattern. I am not really interested in revisiting Litvinenko case (and do not see how, too), or in expressing any opinion, either way. Technical investigation records are not open, public inquiry presumably had access, while we do not. Human stories are humans' stories, and can change for whatever reason or be inaccurate. I note that Russian television made claims blaming Berezovsky or his people earlier. Berezovsky successfully sued for libel in British court in 2010 --Resup (talk) 09:26, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

--Resup (talk) 19:23, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

Novichok

Moved to Talk:Novichok

Kholstov

Moved to Talk:Novichok#Kholstov

Yulia Skripal

Audio, April 5, 2018

  • Телефонный разговор племянницы Скрипаля с его дочкой Юлией - Россия 24 -Russia 24, April 5, 2018
    • Tape said to be of conversation of Victoria Skripal and Yulia Skripal is played on national Russian TV. We are told that the recording came from Victoria Skripal, but 'we do not know who and under what circumstances made the recording'. Presenters tell us that they have some doubts but decided to use their journalistic right/duty to play the tape. The tape is a clean normal colloquial conversation, with nothing standing out at all. Yulia tells that both herself and the father are fine, recovering, and there are no irreversible effects (which suggests that Sergey is not mentally incapacitated). Yulia controls her answers and is not giving details; it is felt that she understands that this may be recorded (but not definitely so). She is given a phone on a temporary basis (apparently). Victoria offers to fly in immediately if she gets a UK visa. Yulia tells that she will not get UK visa, not offering any theory why.
    • It is indeed unclear whether the tape is genuine. The rest is for the sake of the argument, assuming that it is. It seems clear that she was put into medical-induced coma, then woke up. Assuming that Porton Down assessment (Novichok) is correct, this creates an interesting possibility: very low dosage did not kill them at once; they were put on ventilator machine and kept long enough for some ACHE regenerated or re-supplied; then out of the coma. Even without any nerve agent or anything else at all, just medical induced coma for over a week will require lengthy recovery (at least 1 month). They will also have lots of strong drugs and those will be showing on blood tests, even without anything else
    • No element is definitely verified. That may be not Yulia. And it may be not Novichok. And Novichok itself remains controversial/undefined. --Resup (talk)17:52, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Victoria Skripal was in Russia 24 studio a day earlier, April 4, 2018 (video). Victoria is in contact with the British Consulate in Moscow and BBC, trying to get UK visa. On the eve of Easter break (March 29, 2018), acting on advice from the consulate, she had a conversation with a Russian-speaking woman about her visa, and was told to apply. 20 minutes later, it was announced in the news that Yulia regained conscience. Victoria stated in the program that she has no other information about Skripals condition, etc., apart from what's in the news. --Resup (talk)18:52, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Russian spy poisoning: Sergei Skripal 'improving rapidly' -BBC, April 6, 2018 (main page) --Resup (talk)18:57, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
    Meanwhile, the UK has refused to grant a visa to Yulia's cousin, Viktoria Skripal, the BBC has learned. A government source said it appears Russia is "trying to use Viktoria as a pawn". It comes after Russian TV aired a recording of an alleged phone conversation between Viktoria and Yulia on Thursday. Doubts were raised over its authenticity but Viktoria has told Newsnight she was 100% certain it was Yulia.
  • SALISBURY HOSPITAL BECOMES SECRET RENDITION CENTER FOR YULIA SKRIPALApril 8th, 2018, John Helmer

Reuters, May 23, 2018

Further to mainpage, (1) it appears that the text was first written in English, then translated to Russian, not the other way around. The Russian text is heavy/calqued/not natural. There are many instanced of that, some described on the mainpage, more in user comments on MoA. Some English-speaker MoA commenters believe that the English text is written by a native speaker from England. (2) that does not mean a whole lot, in reality. It is obvious that this is a well thought out and controlled media release, and that she was not alone in doing it. It appears that there was a 'filter' in place (or a die) and that filter/die was in English. So the text had to be in English first to pass, and come down to Russian for the oral presentation. We do not know full details how this all came to be, but I imagine that Yulia first talked or scribbled something she wanted to say, and then it was ghostwritten or done in some back and forth collaboration. That does not exclude her from claiming the authorship of the text, even if it's really ghostwritten. That may be not precisely what she wanted to do initially, but she was walked into this final media product and accepted it (3) that leaves us with little useful new information as to what has happened and who is to blame, with most of the coverage on all sides having to do mostly with PR jockeying and propaganda --Resup (talk) 00:49, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

Some interesting comments on this OffGuardian article My view still is that the initial medical emergency can't have been caused by novichok or at least that the subsequent events cant be attributable to a single cause --Diagonal (talk) 08:27, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
Two script pages were visible on a side table during the filming; the one on top Skripal was filmed signing. The two papers appear to be in a different handwriting from Skripal’s signature and in a different pen from the pen she is seen to use. On the top page, apparently the Russian language text, Skripal added words after her signature; these are her first and family names in Russian, but without her patronymic, as Russians usually record their names in official documents. The handwriting of that name and the handwriting of the Russian statement are not the same. Nor the pen and ink used
To the expert source, her motor coordination signs look normal; walking and sitting were unaided and stable; hand-eye coordination was normal; pupil dilation and blink rate were normal; cognition, speech fluency and memory were unimpaired. She had recovered the capacity, if not quite to write out a full page of text, to correct phrases and change meanings; to memorize and deliver a short speech; and to sign her name. Neurologically speaking, the broadcast evidence indicates full recovery from the state the High Court believed her to be in on March 22.
On the other hand, according to the neurologist, Yulia’s recovery over the eleven weeks since the poisoning in Salisbury on March 4 has been so swift and so sure, this by itself casts doubt over the nature of the poison to which she was exposed.
Noted: she wrote her name both in Russian and English versions, before signature in English one, after in the Russian, reasons, unclear. Same/unsame handwriting, unclear, not exactly same, but faster, on camera, so kind of passable maybe). Further on her on handwriting: in English, uses small size R instead of r; and in half of the cases uses small N in place of n. 'Edwardian'/loopy I, other capital letters are usual. In Russia, unusual underlined ш , not sure why is that --Resup (talk) 11:50, 28 May 2018 (UTC)

Other poison possibilities

Doctors see no sign of a nerve agent being used.

Fentanyl

Fentanyl transdermal patches are available for pain control. So it can obviously cross the skin barrier but probably not quick enough to knock people out (incidentally I've had Fentanyl in medical procedures. It's not that active when administered topically)

There is a chemical derivative of Fentanyl Kolokol-1 which is gaseous and is alleged to have been used in the Moscow Hostage Crisis. It's possible, but probably ineffective in an open air setting --Charles Wood (talk) 08:53, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

A recent case of death from exposure to fentanyl in the United States: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 03:08, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

"... it emerged that police in Salisbury realised they were dealing with a possible terrorism attack within hours of Sergei and Yulia Skripal becoming ill when the pair failed to respond to antidotes." According to Kier Pritchard Chief Constable Wiltshire Police
[1] How may hours elapsed before they "realised" they were dealing with nerve agent rather than opioid poisoning? Add this to the hours between the Skripals leaving the house and falling ill --Diagonal (talk) 14:36, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Comments on potential fentanyl and organophophosphate mix being used
    Interesting comments, but a bit of overstretch in a few places. If it was skin absorption poisoning (like that door knob), it would be quite slow, some say 24 hours. Then it would be a period when they are in distress but not breathless, and could be saved. Once on ventilator and some blood pump/hear pacemaker, etc. device, they are out of immediate danger, and could survive if this help arrived before irreversible damage occurred (wonder how much intensive case can be done in ambulance car, full care or just basic, unsure). It may be not well documented what's survival time in skin absorption followed by intensive care, and it may be not 4 minutes from the onset of distress. My guess would be hours, as untreated cases are said (somewhere) to die in a day. This neither confirms nor excludes other chemicals, eg fentanyl, and it's going to be difficult to determine as strong drugs like fentanyl would be used in intensive care. Probably the only meaningful clarification is by detailed medical and other investigative records, or at least accurate timing (which may be not enough to distinguish opioids attack from anesthetics treatment) --Resup (talk) 17:51, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Comments down, Account suspended. Dont have a copy. Just wondering if that line would fit both initial assessment and the discovery of inhibited AChE --Diagonal (talk) 17:12, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
My current line still (remains to be discounted ) is that the 2 were treated for fentanyl and that the 3 may subsequently been dosed with some chemical consistent with indicating potential exposure to novichok (but not Novichok as there would be lasting neurological damage if not death) what was found by the environmental sampling surely bear no direct causal relationship to the initial medical emrgency...? --Diagonal (talk) 11:20, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

Opioids: AChE inhibition?

There is literature saying that opioids can be acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (...and also acetylcholin inhibitors ...), for example here:

2.2. Virtual hits from screening the natural products databases The pharmacophore model derived from the PDB entry 1qti (Fig. 2) was used for screening the DIOS and NPD.

Screening of the DIOS returned overall 612 hits of which 45 had a high BestFit value of ≥3. Three of these highly ranked hits were morphinan compounds: ethylmorphine, 10-oxocodeine, and 14β-hydroxycodeine. For all these compounds, no data on AChE activity were reported in literature. The NPD hitlist comprised 9763 hits of which 2455 were top ranked with BestFit values of ≥3. The six morphinans present in this hitlist were oripavine, codeine, dihydrocodeine, 14β-hydroxycodeine, neopine, and morphine.

2.3. AChE inhibition by crude opium As a first confirmation of the results of Sim and Chua22 as well as of our virtual hits, crude opium was tested on its AChE inhibitory activity using a spectrophotometric assay with Ellman’s reagent.23 At a concentration of 100 μg/ml, AChE was inhibited to an extent of 50.4 ± 6.2%.

2.4. AChE inhibition by in-house compounds As a consequence of the first promising results, 416 morphinan and non-morphinan compounds (e.g., isoquinolines) that were readily available at the time of this study were tested at a concentration of 500 μM using the spectrophotometric assay.23 As positive control, the activity of galanthamine (3; IC50 = 3.2 ± 1.0 μM) was used. Compounds that inhibited AChE more than 50% are given in Figure 3.

Noted: Not sure where Fentanyl would be but it in some sense stronger version of morphine? Significance of this is not clear; it really comes down to the basic issue of trust; of course professionals are fully capable to distinguish between narcotics and chemical weapons, no question that it can be done with great confidence --Resup (talk) 20:15, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Parathion

Parathion, an agricultural chemical, was used as a nerve agent in Rhodesia when it was impregnated on clothing to be picked up and worn by insurgents. Along with Thallium an estimated 1000+ insurgents were killed by these means. It works slowly enough to be considered a possible poison in the Skripal case - though what it was carried on is yet to be determined. --Charles Wood (talk) 18:28, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Thallium

Botulinum toxin

See also main page

I now suspect that Sergei Skripal and her daughter are suffering from botulism, caused by the "Risotto Pesce" they ate at the Zizzi restaurant. There was no "novichok agent" involved. The British investigators seem not to have a sample on the nerve agent. They do not know when and where it was administered to the Skripals. They have not identified the container used to transport it into the country or to the attack site. They have no suspects for the assumed attack. Maybe Yulia Skripal brought the nerve agent from Russia, but then it would need to have been in some container the police would have found by now.

Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic protein with effects somewhat similar to those of nerve agents. It is the most acutely lethal toxin known, with an estimated LD50 of under 2 ng/kg intravenously. There is no evidence for the use of a nerve agent except the words of politicians, and maybe a reading on some mass spectrometer in Porton Down. For all I know the blip can be the result of random impurities, contamination of the environment around Porton Down or simple mass hysteria. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:06, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Wrong Identification?

IMO, Botulinum toxin quite unlikely different mechanism and speed of onset, so I guess different symptoms, severity, treatment. Molecule is a protein monster compared to nerve agents, (here), and result is muscle tone weakness while for nerve agent a spasm. It also likely needs incompetence or outright falsification at Porton, and it's unlikely. I'd think there may be false positive bump on GC, less likely on mass spectrometry, ions mass to charge measurement is accurate and a misinterpretation or malfunction needed for this to go wrong; and spectroscopy is very accurate, so it will need a serious misinterpretation. But once they are serious onto confirming the theory, they can do all those tests, and failing them all is not going to happen. Also, they will test for everything, including bacteria, and will find botulinum bacteria. Does not mean that it's definitely fool-proof though, but needs something like this: (1) there is a pesticide out there with chemical structure close enough to pass all the tests which they actually had time to do, and it may be less testing then everything available as they were pressed with time and conclusions Seafood, especially farmed one, is the most polluted food out there, collecting everything. (Or maybe, as a theory, Porton Down somehow produces enough pollution to be detectable by Porton Down itself--Mirzayanov job in the USSR was to guard against similar issues) (2) bacterial test did not come back yet. That may take weeks, up to a month, farming bacteria in a dish and counting. (3) something else, apparently more sudden and violent then 'normal' botulism, put the victims in their jeopardy, and (4) pretty many of people are eating stuff that looks like a nerve agent to the chemlab nerds --Resup (talk) 22:19, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Tetrodotoxin or Saxitoxin

See Tetrodotoxin and Saxitoxin on Wikipedia

Tetrodotoxin would fit the timeframe of eating seafood risotto at the Zizzi restaurant and getting paralyzed on the park bench.

Question #1 on the MOA piece about the Policeman effectively demolishes the teterodotoxin argument. Despite lots of other comments trying to work him in somehow. --Charles Wood (talk) 00:45, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

As says this Moon Of Alabama articleSaxitoxin which can be produced in shell fish has similar effects as nerve agents Considered in syndromal or functional terms it could therefore be considered a 'closely related agent' to an organophosphate based nerve agent. It is listed alongside OP agents - in a syndromal classification - as a nervous system agent here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ana.21072

Definition: Saxitoxin Clinical description In severe poisoning, illness typically progresses rapidly and may include gastrointestinal (nausea, vomiting) and neurological (cranial nerve dysfunction, a floating sensation, headache, muscle weakness, parasthesias and vertigo) signs and symptoms. Respiratory failure and death can occur from paralysis (1-5)https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/saxitoxin/casedef.asp

However the molecule (‎C10H17N7O4, mass 299 u) is very different , no P , no F, and so there seems to be no theory how Porton Down could possibly mix it up with a 'military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia, known as Novichok' (official wording). All Novichoks seen in published sources has a P; and all Mirzayanov's except 'substance 33' aka A-208 have F. In organophosphate -ACHE bond, the bonding involves P from the nerve agent --Resup (talk) 06:49, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes. Just speculating but, "The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent." The sworn court statement referred to Novichok or closely related agent. It didnt say 'closely related compound'. It could be similar agency they mean - using words sneakily. Saxitoxin is listed by CWC as a nerve agent according to citation in MoA piece. --Diagonal (talk) 07:13, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment on MOA piece by Mark McCarty "Saxitoxin is a very different type of nerve agent than VX of the Novichoks. The latter act as cholinesterase inhibitors, and cause convulsions. Whereas saxitoxin inhibits voltage-activated sodium channels in neurons; this prevents the transmission of action potentials, and hence produces flaccid paralysis. Hence, the clinical picture of saxitoxin poisoning is very different than that of VX/Novichok. Is that why one of the doctors treated the Skripals stated that they have not been poisoned with "nerve agents"? Unfortunately, the Skripals' doctors have been gagged, and hence can't clarify this issue. With saxitoxin poisoning, death can occur by respiratory failure. If the victims are hospitalized quickly before complete respiratory failure occurs, and given respiratory support as needed, they can be expected to fully recover after the agent is metabolized and cleared from the system. The Skripals seem to be en route to total recovery. Could people totally recover from a dose of VX/Novichoks sufficient to induce coma? I don't know the answer, but comments I have seen online suggest otherwise." --Diagonal (talk) 19:03, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
We said something similar, on one of the food poisoning versions. Doctors do not give details, but it seems consistent with medical-induced coma and replenishing missing chemicals. That appears to give a chance for survival after organophosphorus compounds; however I saw somewhere lab animal test experiments with the agent killing off the brain (I am not sure is it working directly or by lack of breathing and blood circulation--the latter survivable in intensive care unit, the former obviously not). Overall, OK, maybe we should keep the possibility of food poisoning-like, because they have not made the case otherwise; but I do not see it as very likely. (1) Timing and speedy political exploitation suggests that it was deliberate (2) Maybe there is some Clintonesque way to keep it together with the official statements, but really this is hugely misleading (at least for a scientist, not a lawyer) (3) Food likely was commercially farmed, and so it is with high probability safe, or else, it affects not just one portion of the food, but the whole batch of it --Resup (talk) 20:33, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Analysis of official statements

Regarding the ambiguity of some phrases in the High Court judgment, I submitted this comment further up-thread but since it directly pertains to your argument here I am re-posting here. I have found in my profession that in reading legal documents, one should always opt for the WEAKEST reading possible if there is ANY ambiguity in the language. Hence the following.There are two non-identical sentences describing the Skripals’ test results in the high court judgment. How should we read them, individually and in combination. Here is my guess:
I think the truth behind the first sentence is that the Skripals tested positive not for a nerve agent, but for a “related compound.” (Otherwise this phrase would not have been included at all.) This could mean EITHER that they tested possible for everyday chemicals that in certain combinations could be used to produce a nerve agent, but in this case were not, OR that they tested possible for a poison that is not a nerve agent at all, but a “related compound”–i.e. a “compound” (and not a simple element) that causes effects “related” to (but not identical with) those of nerve agents.The second sentence is designed to weaken my skeptical reading of the first sentence without actually stating a lie, under conditions of plausible deniability. The second sentence states that they tested positive for “a Novichok class nerve agent” OR “a closely related agent.” The key to understanding the second sentence is that the adjective “nerve” need not be taken to modify the second use of the word “agent,” even though that is the most natural and plausible way to read the sentence for a native English speaker. Rather, a “closely related agent” could refer to a non-nerve agent–a different kind of poison–that is “closely related” to a “Novichok class nerve agent” in precisely the way that the “related compound” is related to “nerve agent” in the first sentence: i.e. it is an agent that produces or is intended to produce “closely related” (in the relevant sense) effects–sickness, poisoning, etc–to those of a nerve agent (Novichok class or otherwise).So the two sentences are designed to obfuscate the truth without stating an outright lie under conditions of plausible deniability. And the lawyerly way to read them is to read them in the weakest way possible: the Skripals tested positive for a non-nerve-agent poison. This reading would also seem to fit with the facts–about nerve agents, about the Skripals’ symptoms, about the timeline–as we now understand them. It also matches up with the much discussed Salisbury physician’s letter to the editor, which differentiates “poison” from “nerve agent” in just this way.”

The prepared statement by the Medical Director of Salisbury Hospital just spoke about nerve agents in generic terms - their mode of action in relation to an enzyme and symptoms that can occur "such as sickness, hallucinations and confusion". There is no mention of "novichok" or "military grade". All three had been exposed to a nerve agent – a highly toxic chemical which aims to prevent the nervous system from functioning. --Diagonal (talk) 18:40, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

"Salisbury Hospital has never confirmed that Sergei and Yulia Skripal had any symptoms of chemical poisoning and that they were treated precisely for this"
Yes, the phrase "had been exposed to" a nerve agent would not strictly imply having "had any symptoms" of the same agent.
Presumably the samples of the three victims presented to OPCW would have to be consistent with one another. As the DS Nick Bailey role seems dubious (no third person was mentioned by Public Health England on 7th March), this would seem to indicate there would have to have been some artifical means of getting biomedical samples to match, ie Nick Bailey (or perhaps all three) was dosed seperately to the initial poisoning. If Yulia and DS Bailey are well then presumably it would be exposure to a chemical that does not cause lasting damage. --Diagonal (talk) 02:33, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

(From Annex)

  • Note Verbale of 22 March 2018:

What is Mr and Ms Skripal’s exact diagnosis and condition? Partially answered by Salisbury District Hospital. What treatment are they receiving? Partially answered by Salisbury District Hospital. Is that treatment the same as that provided to Sgt Nick Bailey? No information. Why has the condition of Mr Bailey and Ms Skripal improved, while Mr Skripal remains in a critical condition? No information. Did Mr Bailey, Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal receive antidotes? No official reply. According to Porton Down Chief Executive, no antidote exists against the substance used. Which antidotes exactly were administered? See 5 above. What information and medical effects led to the decision to administer antidotes? How had the medical staff identify which antidotes to use? See 5 above. Why are there no photos/videos confirming that the Skripals are alive and at hospital? No information. Did the Skripals agree on Salisbury CCTV footage to be shown on TV? No information. If not, who gave the agreement on their behalf? No information. Is that person also entitled to authorize the publication of photos/videos? No information. Is that person also entitled to authorize consular access? No information. What protection against chemical exposure is used by the medical staff? No information. If consular access is impeded by the risk of exposure, can the same protection be used by a consular officer? No information.

  • Note Verbale of 26 March 2018:

Could the hastiness in administering antidotes aggravate the condition of Mr Bailey, Mr and Ms Skripal? See 5 above. Where, how and by whom were blood samples collected from Mr and Ms Skripal? No information from the UK. OPCW says their experts took samples. How was it documented? No information from the UK. Who can certify that the data is credible? No information from the UK. Was the chain of custody up to all the OPCW requirements when evidence was collected? No information from the UK. OPCW says chain of custody has been respected. Which methods (spectral analysis and others) were used by the British side to identify, within such a remarkably short period of time, the type of the substance used? No information. Had the British side possess a standard sample against which to test the substance? No information. Where had that sample come from? No information. How can the delayed action of the nerve agent be explained, given that it is a fast-acting substance by nature? No information. The victims were allegedly poisoned in a pizzeria (in a car, at the airport, at home, according to other accounts). So what really happened? How come they were found in some unidentified time on a bench in the street? No official reply. Police says the victims came into contact with the poison through the front door. No further details available. How do the hasty actions of the British side correlate with Scotland Yard’s official statements that “the investigation is highly likely to take weeks or even months” to arrive at conclusions? No information.

  • Briefing Note: Update on the Salisbury poisonings-timhayward.wordpress.com, 10 May, 2018
    Mostly solid commentary, with intersection/similarity to our comments here. One item needs discussion: Although it is possible that a nerve agent could be prepared in a formulation that would be absorbed only slowly through the skin, it is implausible that two individuals exposed through contact with the front door would have received doses that caused them to collapse suddenly and so nearly simultaneously that neither had time to call for help, at least three hours later. It is more likely that they were attacked shortly before they were found collapsed on the park bench. This may be true, but is less solid. Scenario for door knob poisoning: N--k of research purity and quantity is applied to the door knob, with a dosage close to dosage for Sergey alone. When they exit, he closes the door, getting exposed. Yulia left something in the apartment and comes back to retrieve it, getting uncounted for exposure as well. Some 3 hours later, effects kick in, Sergey first, having higher (even per weight) dosage. He lands on a bench, in distress. Yulia does not know how to deal with it, tries to comfort Sergey, panics, etc, until her own effects kick in too. So they end up both being there and not calling for help (and Yulia may be unsure how). This seems somewhat plausible. But a direct attack shortly prior is possible too, and appears to be a more straightforward/likely explanation --Resup (talk) 20:52, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
  • I think the door knob theory is undermined by picture of Wiltshire Police outside Skripal's house,in this Police Oracle articlefrom 6th March. Is there any known delayed action organophosphrous nerve agent. --Diagonal (talk) 09:04, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
What I see there is 2 police officers standing guard, not touching anything (+apparently wearing gloves, regular issue/non-chem). How does this undermine door knob theory?
A precursor of this theory (by two or three weeks) was that the agent had been smeared on car door handle --Diagonal (talk) 18:39, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
PCSOs (police community support officers) are not even fully trained Police Officers. If there was serious concern over CBRN substance you would see more highly specialised units. Wouldnt anyone including Rural Police who visitied the house in the aftermath of this incident also have touched the door knob and been made ill by this persistent substance or discovered traces of whatever might have been applied to the door knob, which apparently did not disturb the Skripal's when they left the house. Admittedly we do have two with minor symptoms stated in the report. Did the cat scratch them? ;) no third person - police officer or otherwise said to be seriously effected. I don't believe the initial medical emergency at the Maltings had anything to do with a serious nerve agent. --Diagonal (talk) 14:49, 14 May 2018 (UTC
  • Clinical Toxicology Paper According to comments from Tom Smythe on Craig Murray's blog; this paper states Nick Bailey was initially discharged from AnE and then readmitted after his condition deteriorated at home. --Diagonal (talk) 12:41, 4 June 2018 (UTC) Discharge and re-admittance is stated on the freely available first page of the article. The article type is 'commentary'. 'Treatment options are proposed'. --Resup (talk) 21:09, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
    The article is pay-walled; the list of references and a channel to request full text from the authors here.

Timeline of early local reports and agency statements

4th March
  • Two people in hospital after an incident in The Maltings (Page taken down, locally archived)) --Diagonal (talk) 16:20, 30 April 2018 (UTC) Described in reports as a medical emergency not as a major incident. This page was updated a full ten days later. A tent features in their photo, but not in the one below. The photo on this page must be from a later date as the street light is on (getting gloomy) in the one below without the tent, whereas it is not in this one. --Diagonal (talk) 15:12, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
  • [2] Does this photo indicate that there was concern over hazardous material at that stage? --Diagonal (talk) 15:04, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
5th March
! This article has been changed on April 26, removing the reference to Fentanyl. Compare the locally archived version from April 14. See also here.

The pair were treated for Fentanyl till a "major incident at Salisbury Hospital the following morning" --Diagonal (talk) 13:32, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Just to make sure, this is the morning after report, with the event itself sometime after 15:47 on Sunday, March 4, 2018 when Skripals were recorded on CCTV cameras, and there are some witnesses and publications telling that it happened on Sunday. Well, it is unclear what's going on and it does not exclude something else happening on Monday. But also it does not exclude scenario where Porton Down folks did not break their Sunday for some drug addicts reported, and did their tests on Monday morning (so some concern was present). Their tests showed that secret nerve agent chemical from the OPCW report (not banned by OPCW according to Lavrov , somewhere). At this point in time it became some sort of 'all hands on deck' moment. (?) Or do we have evidence of a CW -type response on Sunday already ? --Resup (talk) 14:54, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
I just wrote on Diagonal's User talk page: Ok, took a look and added a piece from the Salisbury Journal which has a bit more details and pictures. From the SJ we also know that paramedic Ian originally treated them, apparently without larger consequences, for Fentanyl abuse and is likely the source for that original information. That "major incident" seems to be when they realized at the Hospital that it had to be something else, apparently lightly affecting the staff and/or other patients, and called in the specialists. Seems to be a plausible thing to happen. Still an interesting detail. --CE (talk) 14:56, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
I might be dubious about the Salisbury Journal Web page could have been updated retroactively (need timestamp). Also we need verification on Nick Bailey story as he is not mentioned as seriously ill till 7th. This SJ page purports to be from 4th March but the presence of biohazard suited personnel pictured would be totally inconsistent with a major incident not being announced till 5th March at the hospital --Diagonal (talk) 17:25, 14 April 2018 (UTC) --Diagonal (talk) 17:35, 14 April 2018 (UTC) It seems strange that Salisbury Journal reports ostensibly from that day would name the man as a Russian spy. According to their timeline below the BBC didnt report that until the 5th --Diagonal (talk) 10:19, 18 April 2018 (UTC) Wilts Police statement 5th March does not name the pair. How did SJ know on the 4th? --Diagonal (talk) 08:57, 18 May 2018 (UTC) This page was down the other week. The comments on the 4th March for this story start at 6.01pm. Whenever the photogallery was added, it cannot have been early in the evening of 4th March. --Diagonal (talk) 17:15, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
The Wayback Machine has a snapshot from March 6, which seems to be pretty much the same as the current version, with one exception: It has a yellow "UPDATED" note above the headline, which the current version doesn't have anymore. Hmmm... But it says pretty much what the articles you collected say as well, doesn't it? The police officer has like Yulia Skripal immediately asked - through people speaking on his behalf - to have his privacy respected, so I don't think anything about even where he was injured is known to this day. --CE (talk) 17:41, 14 April 2018 (UTC)


The emergency care delivered to the Skripals during this period is not known. It is highly unlikely that emergency medical service personnel would have diagnosed them as suffering from a military grade nerve agent. The first emergency aid would involve intubation and placing both Skripals on a ventilator. Yulia Skripal is reported to have been airlifted to hospital. It is not known why both victims were not airlifted [update – reporting from March 4 states that Skripal was conscious when transported to hospital but his daughter was unconscious]. The on-scene medics would likely have been in communication with a hospital physician as, apart from an immediate need for ventilation, it is unlikely an EMS technician would be able to undertake a more comprehensive diagnosis. From MSM reporting it appears it was not until the afternoon of March 5th that there was some awareness that this incident involved something beyond a recreational drug overdose. http://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident-part-v/
What I am hypothesizing based on the reports (Please look carefully at the times and details of these reports on reponses listed) is as Nick Bailey was presumably a staged add on he was not poisoned as the Skripals were. The Skripals were treated for Fentanyl - as per clinical services journal - after falling ill on the 4th. A major incident was only declared on morning of the 5th. Subsequently Nick Bailey was invented and all three were dosed in manner consistent with Swiss findings. --Diagonal (talk) 22:44, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
I wrote yesterday in section above "Presumably the samples of the three victims presented to OPCW would have to be consistent with one another. As the DS Nick Bailey role seems dubious (no third person was mentioned by Public Health England on 7th March), this would seem to indicate there would have to have been some artifical means of getting biomedical samples to match, ie Nick Bailey (or perhaps all three) was dosed seperately to the initial poisoning. If Yulia and DS Bailey are well then presumably it would be exposure to a chemical that does not cause lasting damage." -Diagonal (talk) 17:48, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
6th March
As you are aware, we declared a major incident yesterday after a man and a woman were taken seriously ill in Salisbury on Sunday. They both remain in a critical condition in hospital and our thoughts and best wishes are with their families during this difficult time. A full multi-agency response was activated and currently involves Public Health England, the NHS, Local Authorities both in Swindon and Wiltshire and a range of other key partners. This has been a fast paced investigation and our focus has been on trying to establish what has caused these people to become critically ill and whether or not any criminal activity has taken place. Since Sunday, we have had access to a wide range of specialist resources and services that have been working alongside us. You will be aware that this afternoon, the Metropolitan Police have confirmed that, due to the unusual circumstances, the Counter Terrorism network will now be leading this investigation, as it has the specialist expertise to do so.It is important to reiterate that they have not declared it as a terrorist incident and at this stage they are keeping an open mind as to what happened. The advice from Public Health England remains that, based on the evidence to date, currently there doesn't appear to be any immediate risk to the public. We can confirm that a small number of emergency services personnel, including some police officers and staff, were assessed immediately after the incident.



Ill Policeman?

6th March
7th March

First mention of seriously ill policeman (I can find so far) is 7th March, the same day Public Health England had issued statement saying only two people affected

  • Paul Cosford, Medical Director and Director of Health Protection at PHE said: (locally archived)
    All known first responders have been contacted through their organisations and encouraged to seek further advice should they experience any symptoms. The sites recently visited by the 2 people affected have all been secured and PHE is reminding local clinicians of the symptoms to look out for.
    Based on current evidence the risk to the wider public is low and it is likely that, had any member of the public been exposed to the substance, they would have presented with symptoms by now. However, anyone who was in the area and is concerned because they feel unwell, should dial 111 or 999 depending on the severity of their symptoms.

On Tuesday, 6 March, it was confirmed that the Counter Terrorism Policing Network had taken over the lead for the investigation, due to the unusual circumstances and the specialist expertise the network can bring to the investigation. ...

  • Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing, said:
    "Having established that they were exposed to a nerve agent we are now treating this as a major incident involving an attempted murder by the administration of a nerve agent.
    "Two people remain in hospital in a critical condition. A police officer who was among the first responders also remains in hospital in a serious condition and is continuing to receive intensive care. We are keeping the Chief Constable in Wiltshire regularly updated in relation to our investigation.
  • Mark Rowley Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations "Rowley was instrumental in transforming CT policing capability, through boosting preparedness, command and control doctrine, specialist counter terrorism armed policing, and increasing join-up with community policing, while furthering the already close working relationship with MI5 and other intelligence partners."
8th March
  • On Thursday the 8th of March the British government claimed that they had identified a “nerve agent” as the substance used. Yet the BBC quotes on the same day a woman physician who attended at the scene saying that she found Mrs. Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench vomiting and fitting. She had lost control of her bodily functions. The physician, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved the daughter into the recovery position and opened her airways as others tended to her father. The doctor stated that the she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on her face or body and that though she had been worried she would be affected by a nerve agent so far she “feels fine.”Yet, the British media published on Thursday a photograph of a police officer who they say attended the scene and who they claim was made ill and placed in intensive care but is now stable and recovering. The two stories do not add up, as it would seem the doctor was in closer physical contact with the two victims than the police officer yet the doctor has suffered no symptoms at all. Christopher C Black 9th March

11th March

-- Diagonal (talk) 13:05, 8 April 2018‎ (UTC) - Updated 17:42, 10 April 2018 (UTC)


See also twitter feed of Chief Constable Kier Pritchard who started the job on monday 5th March (prolific tweeter) might seem to indicate that the situation was not seen as serious until later in the day on the 5th --Diagonal (talk) 11:46, 26 May 2018 (UTC)

According to the BBC interviews with medical staff they became concerned about a wider incident when Bailey was brought in. But no time of this happenening is provided (AFAIK). If the story is to be plausible he would have had to have had symptoms within a few hours of the Skripals falling ill, but as we have seen above there is no mention of a third person seriously ill till the 7th March. The story also contradicts PHE statement 7th March that all first reponders had been assessed and only two people affected --Diagonal (talk) 15:31, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

  • BBC interviews mention somewhere that they became concerned on Tuesday (6 March) when policeman turned up ill. They figured it was nerve agent 'by Tuesday' (BBC- supplied text, 1: 50 into the first video) --Resup (talk) 16:17, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Sarah Clark Sister in Charge on 4th March says "no indication of nerve agent poisoning when they came in"
So it was the Policeman showing up on the same day that CTPN (Special Branch) took charge of the investigation that made the staff change their diagnosis from opioid poisoning to nerve agent. Accordingly it was then two days before Skripals got appropriate treatment for nerve agent poisoning rather than fentanyl but they have recovered fully. --Diagonal (talk) 17:36, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Actually Nick Bailey arriving at hospital and staff realising it was OP poisoning arent explicitly linked in the BBC peice, but they both happened on the same day --Diagonal (talk) 17:39, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

Biomedical sample presented to OPCW

--Diagonal (talk) 18:15, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

“Highly complex”

The Financial Times writes:

Clips of Mr Skripal’s car driving through Salisbury have been released, but no pictures of any individuals that are being sought.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said nothing should be read into this and that no information would be released unless it helps the “highly complex” inquiry.

“Highly complex” is a code word and means that normal legal and investigative procedures are not followed and the investigation should not endanger the predetermined outcome. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:06, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

"Fast paced investigation"

John Thomson, a WILTSHIRE Council official : "It's an international crime situation and it's being controlled at the highest level. Counter-terrorism have been basically in charge and the overseer of that has been COBRA. We have been in a supporting role. This hasn't been our project. I don't think people realise the extreme level of security surrounding this investigation." https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.justice/posts/10160385442590072 [3] Salisbury Jounal 13th March, 2018

Skripal's pets

11th March The Sun reports Friends said they had not seen Skripal’s pets for days and had not been asked to care for them.

17th March Metro reports Saturday 17 Mar 2018 11:46 am [A poisoned Russian double agent’s cat and two guinea pigs were taken from his home to be tested, according to a source.

The Sun reports [https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5833121/russian-sergei-skripals-pet-cat/ Russian spy Sergei Skripal’s pet cat and guinea pigs are taken away for tests Neighbours say the poisoned Russian spy's animals have not been seen since he was hospitalised]

5th April Sun reports Sergei Skripal’s beloved cat was secretly put down by ­Government scientists in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent atrocity. "Government sources have told The Sun that specialist chemical weapons investigators found the spy’s black Persian kitty Nash Van Drake “very unwell” when they finally got into his Wiltshire house shortly after the March 4 attack.The sickly mog was transported to the Ministry of Defence res­earch laboratory at Porton Down to be tested, where he was found to be severely malnourished." Sounds incongrous that the cat would be malnourished. --Diagonal (talk) 10:11, 18 April 2018 (UTC) Although I think it most plausible that the cat was seized and then destroyed shortly after the initial incident and not as the Guardian suggests below --Diagonal (talk) 15:41, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

Did the pets have to be destroyed to cover the line that the policeman was poisoned at the house --Diagonal (talk) 18:32, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
  • "Wiltshire Police also revealed that Det Sgt Nick Bailey, one of the first responding officers to find the Skripals, was contaminated at Skripal's home in the city, rather than the park bench where he found the Skripals slumped over."

6th April Guardian reports Sergei Skripal's cat and guinea pigs die after police seal house

Cited by MoA

--Diagonal (talk) 17:54, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

... We contacted the police straightaway upon hearing the news that Mr Skripal had been admitted to hospital, and a number of times afterwards, to make them aware of Mr Skripal's pets and their needs. We contacted Porton Down - in case the animals may have been taken into quarantine. We also offered to take care of Mr Skripal's pets in his absence. We were never contacted by the police or Porton Down in return regarding Mr Skripal's pets. ...

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday the ministry is concerned about the absence of information on the condition of pets belonging to former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal. Zakharova told reporters that information on the fate of Skripal's pets could help the investigation into the case of poisoning of the former spy and his daughter. "We have checked this information. I haven't seen it mentioned in the media but we are reliably informed that the Skripal family had pets living with them," the spokesperson said at a briefing in Moscow, without specifying exactly what pets the former agent had. Sputnik 5th April

Cats' name(s)?

Black cat
  • 'The Sun': Nash Van Drake. Is Nash a transliteration of the Russian Наш (=ours)? Our Van Drake? Who is Van Drake? A cartoon?
    TV Zvezda: Нэш ван Дрейк ('Nesh van Dreik', translit. )
Another cat

Masyanya (Масяня; this cartoon-inspired one?)

Twitter persona: Моего кота звали Нэш ван Дрейк (My cat's name was Nesh van Dreik) --Resup (talk) 17:39, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

Who is Ross Cassidy?

Skripals in an Italian restaurant with "friend" Ross Cassidy

The name sounds awfully American. But other sources hint that Cassidy was Skripal's MI6 or MI5 handler in Britain. He was "a close friend of Sergei Skripal" and a close neighbor when Skripal rented his first house Salisbury.

Ross Cassidy picked Yulia from the airport with his Japanese pick-up truck. Some sources said that this was his fists car after he arrived in the country. Where did he come from? Ireland or America? When?

  • Did treacherous past of Russian colonel finally catch up with him in Salisbury? - The Telegraph, March 6, 2018 (with photos, print version)
    The colonel’s close friend Ross Cassidy, who lives just a few doors from the property the Russian rented when he first arrived in Salisbury, said he “was not at liberty to talk.”
    He declined to say whether his friend had spoken of fears for his life, adding: “It’s a very sensitive investigation of some gravitas. I really am unable to divulge any information at the moment.”

Note the formal and evasive language. Sounds like a police officer or an MI5 operative. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 15:56, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

Who was Joseph Edward Cassidy?

This may be just an odd coincidence, but is related to our study anyway.

In Operation Shocker started in 1959 U.S. Army First Sergeant Joseph Edward Cassidy leaked disinformation to the Soviets about U.S. chemical weapons programs. This might be his grave: command sergeant major (CSM) Joseph Edward Cassidy (1920-2011). Is Joseph Edward Cassidy in any way related to Ross Cassidy?

Suspects?

  • 'Teresa May'-type version
    • USSR/Russia developed or produced Novichok, has expertise
    • Involved in hit jobs in the past
    • Revenge for a treason is a motive
    • 'Putin did it'
  • 'Walter Litvinenko'-type version
    • Enemy of Putin or Russia did it, possibly an alliance of a non-public oligarch ('Berezovsky-2' or non-Russian anti-Russians) + special services, in any mix of those, or alone.
  • [4]Russian whistleblower – and Caruana contact – Maria Efimova handed herself in to Greek police on hearing of Skripal attack, in spite of warrants for her arrest and risk of extradition

Also noted (about non-suspects)

  • Also noted: scientists involved or knowledgeable about CW are underfunded; some may be seeking income ('Leonid Rink'-type), others may have left science for some sort of small business. Likely majority of them, apart from the top brass, are in non-system opposition to the state, pro-Western, and pro-Ukrainian ('Vladimir Uglev'-type). Reported storage of the research quantities of various substances is OK for expert handling but not super-secure. I am not at all saying that scientists has anything to do with it, --they are not , and they are surely disgusted and horrified by what has happened; but all the above creates a lax environment which may be exploited by a determined enemy or criminal (there was one well-known case of crime committed using those substances).

--Resup (talk) 18:49, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

Nerve agent samples?

IMPA is not sarin but has a similar molecule structure

Do the investigators have any samples of the alleged nerve agent?

4th April OPCW "The team also took biomedical samples from these two victims, as well as from a third individual, a police officer reportedly exposed to a toxic chemical." https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-57/en/ecm57dg01_e_.pdf --Diagonal (talk) 13:52, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

See OPCW investigation discussion

The press coverage gives the impression that there are traces of the nerve agent everywhere, but I think it is more likely that the investigators have not been able to recover a single sample from the environment. Michael Kobs sums up the argument on Twitter:

In fact all these alleged traces are debunked by the strange MI5 theory of a mini drone hovering above the bench. Any earlier trace would 100% exclude the drone theory while the drone theory excludes any knowledge of any earlier trace.

It seems that the determination of a novichok type of nerve agent is made solely based on blood samples. These show a breakdown product that can be linked to some novichok type. Most likely this marker is similar to IMPA, having lost its lethality and fluoride atom but maintaining the skeletal molecule structure of the original agent. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:20, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

(I think) the testing process is different for hydrolysis breakdown products (such as IMPA) than for molecules that have bound to an enzyme, as is shown in the poster below.OPCW on Conducting Analysis of Biomedical Samples to assess for Chemical Weapons Exposure Will we ever know whether the positive indication was from protein adduct tests or from metabolites/degradation products? --Diagonal (talk) 02:46, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Note the indeterminacy of these tests on protein adducts, hence "Sarin or Sarin-like"

"As the leaving group of the agent is lost when binding to AChE or BChE, this analysis can not reveal the identity of the used agent (the same is true for flouride regeneration and any other analysis that does not identify the intact agent). For example an adduct that is identical to the one produced upon exposure to Sarin might actually come from an agent that features a leaving group similar to that of VX"

I think, any nerve agent found in a flouride regeneration test would have to bind to AChE which IMPA doesnt apparently. But other methylphosphonates can bind to AChE. I don't know if this applies to Novichok class.--Diagonal (talk) 21:35, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

DDTea says:

"IPMA does not bind strongly to acetylcholinesterase. It’s water soluble, and would be washed out with urine. It does not bioaccumulate to any appreciable degree. So it’s difficult to imagine this giving a positive result in the enzyme reactivation test." https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2018/04/01/update-to-briefing-note-doubts-about-novichoks/#comments --Diagonal (talk) 06:55, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

As regards thisAcademic Working Group Breifing my initial reaction is that it takes the alleged exposure of the Skripals to A-234 as established, when that is still open to question. The veracity of the information said to have been obtained by Russia from the Spiez lab is not indisputable and even if it is the information surely applies to environmental samples and not to the biomedical samples. --Diagonal (talk) 21:34, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

Swiss government says the info could not have come from one of its laboraties
  • A Curious Incident Part VIII Sushi, Saker blog April 07, 2018 The claim of the UK government to the effect that the compound used against the Skripals was an organophosphate nerve agent (OPNA) with a toxicity 8 to 10 times greater than VX is hardly supported by the facts of the event.'Publicly available imagery discloses that on the evening of March 4 2018, members of the Police Services not wearing CBRN protective equipment, stood in close proximity to the place the Skripals took sick. They were unaffected by any toxin.'At least 8 members of the public assisted the Skripals prior to the emergency service response. These individuals reported contact with the bodily fluids of the victims. They were unaffected. The emergency medical personnel, and the medical staff of Salisbury District Hospital, exhibited no ill effects despite coming in close contact with the victims, and with clothing contaminated by bodily fluids and / or toxic agent. Public imagery of the “decontamination” teams reveals they failed to follow appropriate protocol for dealing with an agent of the toxicity of VX, much less an agent rumoured to be 10 times more toxic. If VX had been present, the “decontamination” effort would have caused further spread of the toxic material, and injured both the decontamination team and those “helpers” who were absent any form of protection.'If the Skripals had in fact been attacked with a “military grade nerve agent,” especially a “military grade nerve agent” for which there is no known antidote, or medical therapy, they would now be dead, and not in the process of recovery. The members of the public rendering assistance, the Police and Fire service, and the medical personnel involved in the Skripals treatment, would also be dead, or fighting for their lives.'These are facts. They are in public evidence. They are therefore known to you, and to the members of HMG

Literature references

See also: Full UN meeting video, with bi-lingual audio, April 5, 2018 here.

  • Arthur Conan Doyle, early on, entered by Russia, implying rush to judgment as opposed to Sherlock Holmes approach.Foreign Office: Allowing Russian scientists into an investigation would be like Scotland Yard inviting in Professor Moriarty.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky. 'Crime and Punishment': Boris Johnson: 1, 2 ‘We are all confident of the culprit – and the only question is whether he will confess or be caught’. Nebenzya at UN: the novel is in fact not about this. It is not a detective story, as British FM apparently thinks, but a deep philosophical (мировоззренческое: system of World's concepts) work of literature. We already quoted from that novel an (English) proverb, a 100 rabbits will never make a horse (and a hundred suspicions will never make a proof'). I would also advice Mr. Johnson to read other Dostoevsky's novels, or at least get acquainted with their titles; I won't reproduce those.
  • 'Dead cat on the table', referred to by Nebenzya, explained by Boris Johnson
  • 'Alice in the Wonderland' (White Rabbit at the court) , read by Nebenzya at the UN (" There is more evidence to come yet, please your Majesty," said the White Rabbit, jumping up in a great hurry, " this paper has just been picked up." ... it seems to be a letter written by the prisoner to somebody."..."Are they in the prisoner's handwriting?" "No, they're not,"..." He must have imitated somebody else's hand," said the King. ..There's no name signed at the end of it." " If you didn't sign it, that makes the matter worse. You must have meant some mischief..." That proves his guilt," said the Queen. " That's the most important piece of evidence we've heard yet," said the King, rubbing his hands, "so let the jury now consider their verdict." " No, no," said the Queen, " Sentence first, verdict afterwards."; earlier appearance here)
    --Resup (talk) 09:58, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
  • UK Politics 2018: Where Lewis Carroll meets Hans Christian Andersen, Neil Clark, April 10, 2018
  • Romeo and J(Y)uli(a)et, (The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet), by William Shakespeare, around 1597 c.e. --Resup (talk) 07:05, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Scheduled chemicals

Moved from Poisoning of Sergei Skripal#Organophosphate pesticide

Presumably any canditate for an organophosphate poison would have to be one that inhibits AChE to give a positive indication in blood tests. --Diagonal (talk) 21:32, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

File:Fact Sheet 7 - Schedule of chemicals-1 (1).pdf (ACLOS Copy)

Schedule 2 lists toxic chemicals and precursors deemed to pose a significant risk to the object and purpose of the CWC because of their lethal, incapacitating or other properties that could enable them to be used as a chemical weapon. Precursors may be used at the final stage of formation, or may be important for the production, of any of the chemicals listed in Schedule
  • or of toxic chemicals listed in Schedule 2. Schedule
  • chemicals are not produced in large quantities for commercial or other purposes not prohibited by the Convention, but may be used to manufacture such things as insecticides, herbicides, lubricants or pharmaceuticals

Making Novichok page discussing easily available OPs

CWC Schedule 1 Precursors

  • Schedule 1 alkyl phosphonyldifluorides; where R1 = Me, Et, i-Pr or n-Pr.
  • Alkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr) phosphonyldifluorides, e.g.
  • DF: Methylphosphonyl difluoride
  • O-Alkyl (H or <C10, incl. cycloalkyl) O-2-dialkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr)-aminoethyl alkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr) phosphonites and corresponding alkylated or protonated salts, e.g.
  • QL: O-Ethyl O-2-diisopropylaminoethyl methylphosphonite
  • Chlorosarin: O-Isopropyl methylphosphonochloridate
  • Chlorosoman: O-Pinacolyl methylphosphonochloridate

CWC Schedule 2 precursors

  • Chemicals, except for those listed in Schedule 1, containing a phosphorus atom to which is bonded one methyl, ethyl or propyl (normal or iso) group but not further carbon atoms, e.g.
  • Methylphosphonyl dichloride
  • Dimethyl methylphosphonate
  • Exemption: Fonofos: O-Ethyl S-phenyl ethylphosphonothiolothionate
  • N,N-Dialkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr) phosphoramidic dihalides
  • Dialkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr) N,N-dialkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr)-phosphoramidates
  • Arsenic trichloride
  • 2,2-diphenyl-2-hydroxyacetic acid
  • Quinuclidin-3-ol Was apparently in control samples
  • N,N-Dialkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr) aminoethyl-2-chlorides and corresponding protonated salts
  • N,N-Dialkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr) aminoethane-2-ols and corresponding protonated salts

Exemptions:

  • N,N-Dimethylaminoethanol and corresponding protonated salts; N,N-Diethylaminoethanol and corresponding protonated salts
  • N,N-Dialkyl (Me, Et, n-Pr or i-Pr) aminoethane-2-thiols and corresponding protonated salts
  • Thiodiglycol: Bis(2-hydroxyethyl)sulfide
  • Pinacolyl alcohol: 3,3-Dimethylbutan-2-ol

For further reference

OPCW discussion

Legal aspects

  • Comment posted by WJ on MoA blog, Apr 12, 2018 , provides apparently professional read-out of the language. It was reposted here by --Diagonal (talk) 09:52, 13 April 2018 (UTC) . A shortened version with just the link entered by --Resup (talk) 21:35, 15 April 2018 (UTC) (who would not dare to attempt a brief summary of this legal-speak, apart from stating that it sounds professional, ie made by a person with proper legal training and/or experience).
See here The author didnt pick up on difference between 'indicated exposure to' and 'tested positive for the presence of', but still valid I think. --Diagonal (talk) 08:46, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
  • http://johnhelmer.net/the-empire-strikes-backwards/#more-18987 No independent verification of the chain of custody or protection against tampering was arranged or published. London lawyers say such evidence would be inadmissible in a British court. Üzümcü’s chain-of-custody claim, comments one, “has no legal merit but it does tell you which side he’s on.”

12 April 2018 report

  • Summary of the Report on Activities Carried Out in Support of a Request for Technical Assistance by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Technical Assistance Visit Tav/02/18) OPCW, 12 April 2018
    Noted: Samples were sent to 4 labs, and it is claimed that biological and environmental samples demonstrated exposure/presence to/of 'this toxic chemical' (not provided in the public version of OPCW report but communicated to member states). Lavrov tells that he has a report from one of those labs which found BZ and A 234. Lavrov does not say whether this refers to biological or environmental samples. It is unclear whether he has 3 other labs reports, and he does not talk about other labs at all. It is not at all likely or expected that other labs have different results on the same question of the investigation. With multiple tests (including spectral) conclusions shall be definite, not probabilistic with some confidence levels (ie essentially with probability 1). However it is possible that other labs only performed work to confirm A-234 and ignored anything else that might be there; this is not clear. Procedures do matter; there really has to be a detailed report, and especially so if results differ. Probably, these days tests are highly automatized and run by computers doing the matching, this adds more avenues for potential screw-ups, but those are not supposed to be happening--Resup (talk) 18:18, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Lavrov's statement This laboratory in Spiez, where, I am sure, professional scientists who value their reputation are employed, came to the following conclusions. I will now be quoting what they sent to the OPCW in their report. You understand that this is a translation from a foreign language but I will read it in Russian, quote: “Following our analysis, the samples indicate traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursor which are second category chemical weapons. BZ is a nerve toxic agent, which temporarily disables a person. The psycho toxic effect is achieved within 30 to 60 minutes after its use and lasts for up to four days. This composition was in operational service in the armies of the US, the UK and other NATO countries. The Soviet Union and Russia neither designed nor stored such chemical agents. Also, the samples indicate the presence of type A-234 nerve agent in its virgin state and also products of its degradation.”
  • "We have no doubt that Porton Down has identified Novichock." Spiez Lab on twitter 14 April
As the BZ precursor element in control samples was acknowledged the OPCW Chair then it would be strange if the info about A-234 wasn't accurate, but worth noting --Diagonal (talk) 13:47, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
There was no other chemical that was identified by the Labs.https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-59/en/ecm59dg01_e_.pdf
Presumably if they found A234 at high level of purity, it must have come from an environmental sample. I'm guessing it would bind to enzymes in blood and therefore could not be identified definitely (as in 'sarin or sarin like'). Or be said to be of high purity in urine as it would presumable break down to metabolites. Just my rough guess, for now --Diagonal (talk) 19:40, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
[5] The presence of environmental samples exhibiting a near “complete absence of impurities” suggests the salting of the samples. A laboratory grade chemical was placed at specific points immediately prior to the arrival of the OPCW team.
Also relevent The OPCW team only checked samples which were given to them by UK officials. “They checked only the sites designated by the UK beforehand,” he said. The official stressed that the chemical weapons inspectors identified the substance after it had already been named by top UK officials."What we discovered is that the OPCW experts’ work in the UK was not in accordance with the CWC standard procedures, but in bilateral format with the UK, which lacks transparency," he said. https://www.rt.com/uk/424702-skripal-opcw-uk-transparency/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS --Diagonal (talk) 11:29, 14 May 2018 (UTC)



That would explain why Spiez could say Porton Down had correctly identified Novichok, if referring to matching environmental sample. They (Spiez) dont have access to both biomed and environmental samples, but Porton Down do --Diagonal (talk) 20:10, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
"Access of other States Parties to the report will be subject to the agreement of the United Kingdom,pursuant to the Confidentiality Annex of the Convention, the OPCW Policy on Confidentiality, and the consistent practice in relation to other technical assistance visits." EC-M-57/DG.1

OPCW denied BZ

They said it was in control sample sent for quality control. That is not really unusual, I heard about such QC methods elsewhere before. If so, unfortunate that Lavrov got confused, but no major issue here. Apart from that this does not bring us any closer to knowing who is to blame/what happened. Lavrov in recent appearance on UK hard talk, 17 Apr. 2018, did not talk about BZ, he talked about Novichok too pure being a problem, as it cannot be, after several weeks, + wet weather (but we also do not know what report actually is). It is also reported that the origin of Novichok is not established. And Russian sources speculate that medically induced coma could be fool-played. Well, it could be. But we do not know that it was. --Resup (talk) 14:07, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

"There was no other chemical identified by the labs". As the biomedical procedures arent definitive then the only substance positively identified would presumably come from environmental samples. The biomed samples would presumably have some degradation products and protein adducts that might be taken to indicative of an OP such as A234 but could just as well be from other potential factors - as with IMPA in urine of KS victims..? The recovery of Yulia and 'DS Nick Bailey' would indicate they have'nt had any significant exposure to A234 (The fact that we have not seen Yulia not withstanding) --Diagonal (talk) 23:32, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
Detection of intact organophosphates in the blood usually is not possible except during or soon after absorption of a substantial amount. In general, organophosphates do not remain unhydrolyzed in the blood more than a few minutes or hours, unless the quantity absorbed is large or the hydrolyzing liver enzymes are inhibited. Blood should be obtained for cholinesterase testing as described above, but it is not feasible or practical to attempt to test for specific compounds. It may be useful to obtain a urine sample from the poisoned patient and send it for metabolite detection... EPA
Were BZ and A-234 found in the same sample? The text quoted by Lavrov does not exactly say so. High purity A-234 might also be an indication of a control sample. Either case, it shows that A-234 is not endemic to Russia. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:44, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • "The precursor of BZ that is referred to in the public statements, commonly known as 3Q, was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures. Otherwise it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW Team in Salisbury." --Diagonal (talk) 07:36, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Zuri comments on SAKER BLOG: As reported by the NZZ (in German), the procedure concerning control samples is like this: The OPCW sends the actual samples together with various control samples to their laboratories, not telling them which one is which. The point is that to twofold: first, to cross-check that the laboratories’ result are correct, by comparing their results for the control with the known substance; second, to try and make sure that the laboratories do not know with certainty the outcome of the investigation.

https://www.nzz.ch/international/skripal-russland-zieht-schweiz-in-den-fall-hinein-ld.1377578

They confirm the findings of the British in relation to the identity of the toxic chemical.

8. The results of analysis of biomedical samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the exposure of the three hospitalised individuals to this toxic chemical. 9. The results of analysis of the environmental samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the presence of this toxic chemical in the samples. 10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people. 11. The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities. 12. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties. https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/S_series/2018/en/s-1612-2018_e_.pdf

'Demonstrates' sounds definitive, as opposed to the more inconclusive 'indicates' but from what we know about biomed analysis the agent is not left intact so the absolute identity cannot be revealed so I dont think they should say "demonstrates exposure to" rather than say, 'is consistent with exposure to'. --Diagonal (talk) 07:17, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
The Russian Envoy to the UK seems to have misunterstood, thinking that the chemical was present in the blood samples (saying they could have been spiked) as opposed to the blood showing signs of having been exposed to a chemical. Only the environmental samples are said to have the chemical present --Diagonal (talk) 15:49, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
I infer that if A234 of high purity has been identified in both environmental and biomed samples then it would be highly suspicious; given the prior vaguely worded court statement on blood samples (why would it be so ambiguous if they had positively identified A234 at that time) and the degradation properties of A234 already noted. It was also not explicitly stated by medics that Skripals or Bailey had any symtoms of military grade nerve agent poisoning as opposed to just "been exposed to a nerve agent" or "significant poisoning". I'm now inclined to think that environmental traces at the hot spots must have been placed there not long before the OPCW team visited and that if any biomed samples demonstrate A234 they would have been spiked. But the wording for biomed samples says the blood was exposed to not that the chemical was present in the samples. Thoughts? --Diagonal (talk) 09:15, 19 April 2018 (UTC) --Diagonal (talk) 15:49, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
If biomed tests are indeterminate then How have they been able to rule out that metabolites and protein adducts consistent with exposure to A-234 have not come from any other source How OPCW assess for organo phosphate exposure - There seems to be some degree of indeterminacy in what chemical exposure might be indicated from protein adducts in blood samples, same for metabolites in urine. Perhaps the presence of pesticide precursor of Novichok in urine results could be taken as indicative of exposure to Novichok..? --Diagonal (talk) 17:25, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
If A 234 found and Leonid Rink is correct that Skripal's could not have been poisoned with pure A-234 then that would imply .... --Diagonal (talk) 17:04, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
A “pure” toxin is not a “military grade nerve agent.” This would have been known to DSTL Porton Down. Gary Akenhead would have been aware of this fact at the time of his interview with Sky news. He acted to mislead the public. Saker blog piece --Diagonal (talk) 20:14, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Who is on CCTV ?

Since Petry raised it, Skripal or the handler, hmm, yeah, like some resemblance (but at this quality, also resemblance to some 1/2 billion or so males). On this photo, from here, Sergey is slightly taller and about 2 times wider then Yulia, left. I would say, it does not seem to be the case on CCTV video. Although fish-eye lens camera and this quality, maybe some optical illusion. He could also drop some weight, but not the bones proportions. Not for sure, more like a doubt --Resup (talk) 15:53, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

http://www.itv.com/news/2018-03-05/two-people-in-critical-condition-after-being-exposed-to-unknown-substance-in-salisbury/

Julia didnt have blond coloured hair when leaving Moscow. It's kind of auburn in the CCTV stills --Diagonal (talk) 12:15, 4 June 2018 (UTC)