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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Russia must be taught its limits

At the risk of sounding like a weary headmaster whose rogue prodigy has yet again let him down, I'm very disappointed with Russia. I've defended Russia (whilst happily admitting that Putin really is just a ruthless thug) and still believe that Russia is Europe's natural ally in a global alignment  of Enlightened North against primitive barbarous South. Personally, I was even prepared to forgive Litvenenko's murder. But this latest affront is an outrage too far.

It's easy to understand why we are the target. The UK is an attractive destination for Russian defectors, ex-spies and refugees from Russomafia thuggery; we have one of the world's best intelligence capabilities, a capable anti-terrorist capacity, a legal system largely free from bribery and corruption and easy access to Europe's best shops. If Russia can make defectors feel insecure in Britain, Putin must think, they will not feel safe anywhere.  

Economic sanctions against Russia are merely cosmetic whilst Europe is dependent on Russian gas. Russia's breach is not so grave as to demand military retaliation. Something in between, I think, would suit; perhaps a cyber attack shutting down Russian transport, broadcasting or banking for 72 hours would make the message clear. Something of that sort. Without any direct link to the UK yet clear to Putin from whom the retaliation came.  

Let's wait and see. 

Wise comments and Tillerson's sacking have led me to believe I've made a right arse of this, and that Russia's guilt is very much more remote than I've assumed above.

Mea Culpa. 


Ed P said...

Hmm, perhaps. Mrs Maybe could be the useful idiot in this case, jumping to a conclusion before any evidence. As she's asking the Russian Ambassador for an explanation (& help), it suggest there is no clear path between, "The Russians make this nerve agent" & "It was used in the UK".
In all such events, it's helpful to ask, "Who benefits?"

Poisonedchalice said...

And the one thing we mustn't do is tell them what we are going to do (if anything). Shutting down RT would be useful but if you want Putin himself to feel uncomfortable, then sequester the Russian money in banks and building (billions of it) that is owned by some dodgy oligarchs over here and let the oligarchs know that this is all Putin's fault that they have lost their money; then let the angry oligarchs do the rest.

Mr Ecks said...

What other group of state actors are on stage who might very credibly be argued as having lost their minds in the last 18 months?

Yes--the American cultural Marxist political establishment. Nerve agents might be hard to acquire but the CIA has the resources. A false flag operation designed to peddle the insane Neo-con drive for some type of war with Russia. Yes Putes has been dick-swinging too with all his new nukes claims. But given that everything possible is being done to kick it off with Russia it is surprising he has been as restrained as he has been.

Putin is a bad man seeking to hold his power and crush all dissent. Aside from the hysterical anti-Trump horseshit floated by the US middle class left--Demos and GOP alike--there is not the slightest evidence that Putin has designs on world domination. Unlike the much nastier and more dangerous Chicom puke Xe.

PS This should not be taken as support for the stopped clock, self-serving nonsense of Corbin. I am overjoyed to see Grandpa Death get it in the neck for any reason but the dangerous level of anti-Russian hysteria is just that--dangerous nonsense.

DeeDee99 said...

I expect she'll send a very strongly worded letter; stop Prince William from going to the World Cup and maybe summon the Ambassador and expel a couple of Russian diplomats.

She's no Iron Lady.

Dave_G said...

Not enough conviction in evidence and too many reasons to think that this is a mini-black flag event for my liking.

Parallels to blaming Assad over chemical/gas attacks - nothing to gain by Putin (given the already over-hyped anti-Russian rhetoric pervading the media). There's even speculation that Skripal has evidence to discredit the Trump dossier (no, I can't link to anything tangible). The late-in-the-day warning to the public to 'wet-wipe their clothes/phones' (FFS!) Credibility factor anyone????

On the upside? Plenty of media coverage to further the Russia-is-the-enemy meme that pervades everything we read. Distraction politics? Well, there's a thing......

No. Something smells and yes, it may well be as dangerous as a nerve agent - to US.

I don't discount or discredit any of the reasons for mistrust of Russia in terms listed by Raedweld but where is this everything-points-to-Russia hysteria going to end?

Must go - the Russians have burned my toast.......

John in Cheshire said...

I find the behaviour of the French authorities more frightening:

And given the behaviour of our lot in excluding three law abiding people from our country tells me that there is no limit to the depths of depravity those who invest our swamp and in most western countries, will not sink.

Hector Drummond, Vile Novelist said...

>If Russia can make defectors feel insecure in Britain, Putin must think, they will not feel safe anywhere.

But he's not exactly a 'defector'. The Russians themselves swapped him for the likes of Anna Chapman.

The big problem with the idea of retaliation is (a) it's too early to be sure about who did it; and (b) we all know, and Putin knows, that the current Britain doesn't have the stomach for a real fight with Russia. The people who run Britain can barely deal with mean tweets, and a robust US President, let alone a real enemy.

RAC said...

Does Putin need to encourage any more vilification from the west?
Would he really choose to use a poison that would point straight back at Russia?
Are there any combinations of western states that are circling Russia with weaponry?
Are any combinations of western states assisting ISIS (under its various names)in Syria?
Are any combinations of western states initiating / fomenting the war in the Ukraine/Crimea?
Why didn't the culprit hang a sign round Skripals neck saying " Russia did it "

RAC said...

One last question.
Has Putin got (western backed?) Russian political rivals inside Russia?

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

A botched hit really... there are precedents for using dupes but... cynically if he was targeted it was quite a sloppy job (collateral daughter) - given his age and the method if he'd just keeled over it'd likely have been waved on by plod...

Maybe there are other failures?

Given that his operational boss was/is the hawker of the "recent" DJT dodgy dossier and he'd been ostensibly out of play since 2004 - a 14 year gap...

The spooks are spooked (CIA's Brennan closely followed by GCHQ's Hannigan) -
MI6 retirees freelancing for Russian oligarchs and other shenanigans... the bigwig primadonnas stateside seem to be hell bent on getting their new cold war

Recalling the Anthrax deaths in the wake of 9/11 - purportedly DNA'd to US military stocks - the evidential bar must be set very high indeed.

I'm not happy at all that rural plod and MoD PR desk jockeys are gorging on this.

It might well be a botched Russian hit - but - other things must be considered before doing anything precipitously stupid.

afaics it's still a very murky business indeed.

Cascadian said...

Given the record of yUK spooks in fabricating nonsense eg the Iraq invasion and recently with the pee dossier, I am less than impressed that Russia has anything to do with the recent poisoning case. I would go as far as saying that if Ms Maybe says it is so, then it is not so.

Then again I believe that yUKs cyber capabilities are over estimated. Everything I see leads me to believe they are used against the british population, and as others have commented May is much more concerned about diminishing free speech especially by foreign "journalists" whom she regards as more dangerous than ISIS operatives.

If yUK really wants to enter a childish game of tit-for-tat, then perhaps they can arrange the poisoning of a certain agent COB. He is a suitably ridiculous target for the Dr Who and Harry Potter fans that seem to infest the "intelligence" services.

rapscallion said...

I smell a very large rodent, and I'm rather inclined to agree with RAC (13 March 2018 at 09:22)

It seems that TPTB are falling over themselves to blame Russia for everything; from Brexit, Trump, KUrz, Italian elections and anything else one cares to mention. They're just a convenient scapegoat.

Call me a cynical old bastard (which I am), but I can't help thinking that my gaze is being directed away from something else (and I strongly suspect that it's the news about all the poor girls that were abused in Telford) and God only knows how may other places. You see, it's just too neat.

We are told that it was a Russian nerve gas - yeah well, anybody could get hold of that couldn't they. If Russian nuke warheads go walkabouts, what's to stop an few canister of Novichok going walkies. So whilst the Russians might have made the stuff, it doesn't necessarily follow that they deployed it.

The critical point here is that there is no actual evidence that this "attempted murder" of an ex-Russian agent was actually conducted by the Russians. Moreover, the Russians are a lot of things, but stupid they ain't. If they really wanted to "rub out" Skripal they'd have done it a lot more efficiently than this.

May is just making noises, she is powerless. Remember, due to our ridiculously inefficient and "Green" energy system - produces next to F*ck all in the way of energy, we have to use gas (as coal is being run down). And who has all the gas - yep, Russia,

Somebody hasn't thought this thing through, and we are being lied to.

Stephen J said...

During last summer it was announced that the largest gas and oil field in Europe had been discovered under Sussex and Surrey, we have been happily fracking one of the hitherto largest European oil and gas fields, which is under Hampshire since the 1970's.

A couple of months later, a further announcement was made that in fact,t eh company that had spent millions of squids making this discovery, was completely wrong.

It would appear that our government would rather maintain high prices and depend on Russia and the Saudi's for our oil and gas.

It does make one wonder where our elected and appointed governors loyalties reside?

The further confirmation of this can only be our government's hostility to the old ties of America and the Commonwealth, where lip-service is paid, but without any loyalty.

Globalism is shite.

rapscallion said...

@Cascadian 13 March 2018 at 09:45

Bang on the money squire.

It is me, or is irony lost on TPTB when they detain for 3 days, Martin Sellner and his girlfriend along with Lauren Southern who arrived in the UK to give a speech about Free Speech at Speaker's Corner.

Amber Rudd with the rest of the Home Office machinery are nothing but fascists who abhor the notion of free speech (unless in complies with their version)

So, effectively free speeck is dead in the UK, and if you dissent or rail against the orthodoxy, your card is marked - as I have no doubt that mine is.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Would he really choose to use a poison that would point straight back at Russia?

I'd wager headchopper folk in Syria wish they could get their hands on some....

Magnum said...

There could be a another good reason in this post from EURef.

Oldrightie said...

Raedwald, my hero and excellent blogger. In the many years of following avidly, for the first time your esteemed commentators are at odds with your analysis to a one. As am I but heartened by the scepticism which mirrors my own post of today. Forgive the plug!

Raedwald said...

Oldrightie -

No, not the first time, old friend - and it won't be the last.

I really don't mind being wrong - I'd rather be wrong than remain in a state of ignorance. Yes, wise heads in the comments here are unanimous that the truth is not what the government are saying it is. I now suspect this is the case, and freely admit I've probably got this wrong.

The news just breaking that Rex Tillerson has been sacked adds strength to the collective view - yesterday he clearly blamed Russia, today he's out.


RAC said...

@ Oldrightie. Are your comments turned off OR, tried a couple of times and they don't work.

Anonymous said...

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018, after the country was awarded the hosting rights on 2 December 2010.

Russia has never hosted the tournament and at a cost of £8.7 billion - and rising - they're not going to shoot themselves in the foot over a semi-retired MI6 asset living in Salisbury. The hit on Skripal actually failed.


Design objectives (Wikipedia)

These agents were designed to achieve four objectives:

To be undetectable using standard NATO chemical detection equipment;

To defeat NATO chemical protective gear;

To be safer to handle;

To circumvent the Chemical Weapons Convention list of controlled precursors, classes of chemical and physical form.

All these objectives were claimed to have been achieved.

Some of these agents are binary weapons, in which precursors for the nerve agents are mixed in a munition to produce the agent just prior to its use. Because the precursors are generally significantly less hazardous than the agents themselves, this technique makes handling and transporting the munitions a great deal simpler. Additionally, precursors to the agents are usually much easier to stabilize than the agents themselves, so this technique also made it possible to increase the shelf life of the agents. This has the disadvantage that careless preparation may produce a non-optimal agent. During the 1980s and 1990s, binary versions of several Soviet agents were developed and are designated as "Novichok" agents.

I'm going with the 'non-optimal agent' on this one which puts me on the 'pull the other one' side. My guess is it was in the mail and that's why the police sergeant who went to the house got exposed. If it is Novichok they should all be dead as it's highly persistent and hugely lethal.

Now, I may have to be included in some sort of auto-da-fé if I'm wrong but I really don't see how Putin would sanction such a rubbish attack.


Bob Doney said...

Treeza seems to be applying all the skill and deftness of touch she has shown in the Brexit negotiations. For instance I thought it was common knowledge that you don't issue ultimatums unless you are sure of your ground in the event of the possible binary outcomes: either, if they fail to meet your demands, you are ready and willing to inflict disproportionate damage on your opponent, or, if they do pull back, they are suitable humiliated and chastened.
The UK government is not in a position to do either, so would have been best advised to leave well alone.
Considering that we have even fewer reliable allies than usual at the moment, masterful inactivity is the order of the day.

RAC said...

Anyone remember what "rapid distress" stood for, it's been exactly half a century and I've forgotten. However it was a list of symptoms so that you would recognize if you had come to grief with a nerve agent. The idea being that you would know to get some atropine immediately, time being of the essence.
How then could Skripal wander around leaving traces of it in a couple of places then sit on a bench till someone became concerned and got help, how long did that all take, and still survive. Very odd.

Dan said...

I tend to agree with the previous comments; this is not a Russian chemical warfare agent, but a Soviet one which was produced in a plant in Uzbekistan. The agent used isn't being disclosed but was likely one of the Novichok range, which were supposed to be undetectable by the NATO battlefield chemical warfare detection systems.

Now, the problem here for us and for the Russians too is that when the Soviet Union broke up, the Institute which was producing chemical weapons for the Soviets finished up in Uzbekistan, but there was quite a period of American involvement before everything was stabilised, and there was a period of confusion before then.

It is therefore quite probable that quite a few somebodies helped themselves to the stocks of the Novichok agents, on the not unreasonable grounds that possession of a chemical warfare agent would be useful for numerous nefarious activities. This is why the Russians want samples of the actual agent; they would know how the Novichok agent degrades over time and what the various impurities in it would be given various sorts of handling over time.

Given a sample, Russian scientists would likely be able to narrow down the source of the actual agent, whether it be an old batch kept safe by some criminal group, a recently-synthesised sample or a sample produced by some completely different agency entirely.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Given the knee jerk massively toxic stupidity of folk like "Sir" Edward Leigh at the outset this is being handled by a bunch of near criminally incompetent retards.

Publicly batting the matter back to Vladimir with a sample and asking "do you know what this is?" would be the grown up thing to do.

"Given a sample, Russian scientists would likely be able to narrow down the source of the actual agent, whether it be an old batch kept safe by some criminal group, a recently-synthesised sample or a sample produced by some completely different agency entirely."


Anonymous said...

Anybody would think that calumniating a sovereign power is unwise, particularly if the evidence is so thin. That maybot sounded off so quickly, I can only surmise that there's something much bigger to cover up.

Telford could be one reason.

Mind you, there are parallels with the strange offing of a Northern MP - whon=mm until the day she was tragically despatched no one had ever heard of her, until, suddenly Obarmy and the world were marching laying leis in Batley. Thereafter, the court case which never was and Mair was banged up forever, no plea and how bleeding convenient was that?

The Sergei Skripal attack was hopelessly bodged, it leaves far too many questions, Vladimir Putin is a bogey man, and that's just far too pat.

Anonymous said...

one more, the terrible and appalling death of Doctor Kelly and all premised on a tale of WMD which was later PROVEN to be, a total fabrication.

"Fabrication" - now there's a word.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

They could send Boris over theatrically carrying an impressive aluminium suitcase with big day-glo yellow and black biohazard sticker on it to present to Putin.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Conspiracy fertilizer

John Dub said...

The situation in thee US is getting ever more hysterical.

If you've been following sources such as the conservative treehouse, you'll know that the Horowitz IG report will have pretty much the entire Obama admin by the balls.

One such dirtbag is former CIA director Brennan, who lied to Congress and was the main puppeteer behind the Steele dossier of bollocks.

There's aa long but fantastically detailed summary of what happened here:

Jeff Sessions recently said a second special counsel wasn't needed as he had appointed an experienced but non DC prosecutor. Whoever they are (and my money is on Rudy Giuliani) has been working along side Horowitz for a while now.

There are 14,000 sealed indictments pending. When this breaks, and it will break any day now so there's a good run up to the mid terms, its going to be huge.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a false flag with "muh Russia" all over it.

Interesting fact: 25% of the Dem candidates are ex intelligence spooks. Looks like the Deep State is striking back against the executive.

Anonymous said...

John Dub said @ 21:15

'One such dirtbag is former CIA director Brennan, who lied to Congress and was the main puppeteer behind the Steele dossier of bollocks.'

Read on:

Poisioned British-Russian Double-Agent Has Links To Clinton Campaign


Anonymous said...

Hector Drummond: "The people who run Britain can barely deal with mean tweets, and a robust US President, let alone a real enemy."

Thanks Hector, my blood pressure was rising until I read that. And I thought, you know that's exactly right. 'mean tweets', gave me a chuckle.

Thud said...

Sometimes the simplest explanation etc,maybe Putin did it because he can or at least believes so.

Cascadian said...

Raedwald, re-title the post:

Theresa May and Amber Rudd must be taught their limits

then all will be forgiven.

The crazed wimmin, have revealed their stupidity for all to see, Rudd looks haggard spending sleepless nights no doubt trying to spin Telford and a hundred other locations yet to be revealed, whilst barring the free speech of journalists and Fransen/Golding that does not suit the police/CPS/social service liar complex.

Apparently the near death of one person rates international sanctions, whilst the deaths of several girls and the rape of thousands rates not even censure.

John M said...

I'm sorry to have to disagree with you but any notion of a cyber attack is borderline insanity.

Firstly, the BBC and other media have been running this line about how we should cyber attack them all day today. So whether we deny it or not, we are going to be held as guilty if the Russians are now cyber attacked regardless of whether we did it or not.

Second, Cyber is the elephant in the room of modern global peace. To Cyber attack Russia would be taken as an act of war. You really wanna got to war with Putin? really?

Thirdly and most importantly the idea of a cyber attack is wonderful except... THEY CAN DO IT TOO. Can you imagine the UK if a inbound cyber attack brought down - what? Our Communications networks, our energy systems, our transport systems, the NHS, our banking infrastructure? We'd be dead as a nation in 4 hours. And the worst bit? We'd have trouble pinning on the Russians as right now there are at least three other countries who could do it and might well do so knowing the blame would point at Moscow.

The only thing that has prevented a global cyber war in the last 10-12 years is the certainly of retaliation. The Russians have the capability. Do you really want to start a cyber war with them?

Smoking Scot said...

Mr. Putin is going to be re-elected this weekend. Even in Russia this type of assassination seems cowardly and unnecessary, especially trying to kill one of his children at the same time.

It won't change the outcome, however even Mr. Putin will not want to give ammunition to his opponents.

Timing's all wrong.

If, as we're lead to believe, the nerve agent lingers for long periods, then it's a very poor tool, placing operatives and innocent bystanders at risk.

To me it appears to be very much less than a State Organ that carried it out, more likely something/someone that will benefit from implicating Russia.

We and America are not exactly sweetness and light ourselves. However our assassinations are carried out in a far more professional manner, though the message is generally understood by the other side.

Nope, this one stinks. There may be a Russian connection, but IMO it certainly is not with Mr. Putin, nor the State apparatus.

John Dub said...

My gut says its a twofer.

A guy who could completely discredit Steele/FusionGPS gets offed in a way that ratchets up the Russia narrative.

Dave_G said...

Well, the 'midnight deadline' has passed and the world is still in one piece.....

Your move Mrs May.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

More murkiness and connections

Slightly out of date but some additional connections

None of which play well to the proffered HMG position.

Anonymous said...

I have an open mind on the issue - Putin is a mafia-style gangster, and like most of his type have no morals and show no caution when dealing with people who fall on the wrong side of him.

Having said that, a couple things do come to mind...

The EU issue - we have seen several MEPs emerge to tell us how weakened we would be by leaving the EU; Ukraine, Ashton, Mogherini - seeking to make the EU 'a power' - lead me to believe that there are EU forces at work behind the oh-so democratic facade that would carry out any act to achieve their aims.

The second that comes to mind - as mentioned above, the UK is dependent upon gas. The UK is seeking to exploit its own shale gas and the government is being opposed by the usual opposition. Creating hostility where our gas supplies are threatened will increase the pressure for fracking - making, I would suggest, the usual vultures in and around government very rich.

We have to remember that one of the main originators of the CO2 AGW nonsense was one Margaret Thatcher, who used the hypothesis to bring the miners unions to their knees, encourage a turn to nuclear, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

A country that sees thousands of its children institutionally abused, tortured and murdered, and its media focus obsessively about the death of a grubby double agent, is a country that has lost the plot.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...


Putin as portrayed in the western MSM ...

He is no doubt ruthless but he is also careful and thoughtful and I do believe he is actually quite careful.

We do I think have to be very careful in subscribing to partisan positions on this.

One thing that has been overlooked in the rush to smear 'doze 'wikkid 'wushinz is that the Russians have asked under the Chemical Weapons Convention for samples of the substance found in Salisbury.

Oddly the Russians have not pushed this aspect and as we all can see it doesn't fit with the frantic bogey man narrative being pushed in Anglophone MSM at the moment....

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...


Putin is no doubt ruthless but he is also thorough and thoughtful and I do believe he is actually quite careful about prejudicing outcomes.

The Skripal business would be an uncharacteristic mis-step.

Poisonedchalice said...

The response from Russia is typical and has been used many times before. Unfortunately you guys have fallen for it again. The pattern is the “4D” model of “dismiss, distort, distract, dismay.”

What more evidence do you guys need? MH17; Litvinenko; Ukraine; Crimea; Skripal plus many others.

Now look; if it looks like a duck and waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck; then it a duck - OK?

Raedwald - you called it right the first time, no need to back down now.

Anonymous said...

My Amesbury friend has related how he was driving into Salisbury and passed the sign which had "Twinned with Chernobyl. Another Russian f**k up" stuck underneath. Turning round to photograph it, he saw a (presumably) council worker removing it. Some people have no sense of humour.
As far as punishing Putin, we could always arrange that this oh so heterosexual leader can not renew his collection of Judy Garland records when they wear out from overuse.

Anonymous said...

DP111 writes..

1. Coincidence, that just as the allegation that Russia "fiddled the US election" is going no where, a double agent is targeted with a poison that leads straight to Russia. Not even a little bit of detective work is required, as clearly Russia is smart enough to know that Britain's plod are easily confused.

2. Coincidence that the one and only country in the ME that provided safey and and security to Christians, is the one that was targeted for destabilisation, using weapons from Libya.

3. Coincidence that Syria, backed by Russia, is winning the war against the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS types, and a whole array of demonic Islamic Jihadis, backed by Qatar and America. So just to screw it up, America alleges that Syria is using Chemical weapons over a region full of ISIS types, and triggering a UN vote. Simultaneously Russia, uses Chemical weapons in Salisbury. Really?

Putin has been warning that Western civilisation is gravely threatened by Islam - demographics and ISIS types (unchecked immigration of Muslims by the millions). So has Pres Trump. The CIA and its allies though are dead against any rapproachment with Russia, or stopping Islamisation of the West.

Anonymous said...


Pres Trump, wayward though he is, is the last chance for the West. If America falls to the left wing loony Democrats, with their Russia this Russia that, backed by the lefty loons in the BBC/UK, they will open their gates to the world. America will die, and so too the rest of the West.

Islamisation would then appear to be a better option. At least the rapes of White girls will be legally managed according Sharia law.

Meanwhile, Syrian Christians, the few who decided to leave the safety of Assad controlled region, are now running back to Syria. Too many fanatic Muslims in the UK and Europe for their liking.

RAC said...

@ Poisonedchalice 14 March 2018 at 11:17.........
Poisonedchalice yes that's what on the can.Kool Aid.

jack ketch said...

After PMT. "3 ways dear without, guv, for a trade deal" May's 'firm response' today in the House Of Conmen, does any BreXsshiteur still think Putin is going to come riding into BrexitLALA Land on a white unicorn bearing cherry cake?
Oh well there is always that nice Prince Mustafa Billion or Johnny Chinaman.

Anonymous said...

"does any BreXsshiteur still think Putin is going to come riding into BrexitLALA Land on a white unicorn bearing cherry cake?"

WTF are you blathering about??