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  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Ex-GRU officer 'critical' after UK incident

    A developing story after ex-GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66yrs, and his daughter Yulia, in her 30s, are critically ill in hospital after being found unconscious in Salisbury, Wiltshire. He was jailed for 13 years by Russia in 2006, convicted of passing the identities of agents working undercover in Europe to the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. In July 2010, he was one of four prisoners released by Moscow in exchange for 10 Russian spies arrested by the FBI as part of a swap. He was later flown to the UK.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43303651

    There is speculation that their collapse in public was caused by an unknown substance; three emergency responders had mild symptoms.

    For a comprehensive review Shashank Joshi, of RUSI has an article and BLUF:
    Russia is happy to use assassination to satisfy political ends; Western countries have been insufficiently robust in the face of Russian provocation; If Russia poisoned Sergei Skripal, the attack represents a significant escalation
    Link:https://capx.co/russia-sees-murder-a...litical-lever/

    Mark Galeotti, a SME, has a commentary and here is a taster:
    It seems to reflect a breakdown in the old etiquette of espionage, not only foreshadowing an even more vicious "shadow war" to come, but also challenging Western states to come up with new ways to respond to and deter these kinds of outrages.
    Link:https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/former-russian-spook-incident-suggests-the-spy-rules-are-breaking-op-ed-60722?

    The main thread on Russian intelligence operations has a two posts (47 & 48) on previous allegations, notably by BuzzFeed that the UK officially was not prepared to "take on" Russia over a series of unexplained deaths.
    Link:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...t=14375&page=3
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-06-2018 at 02:42 PM.
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    Default A disturbing pattern...

    See here from BuzzFeed:

    Now, BuzzFeed News can reveal that Puncher is among at least 14 people US intelligence officials suspect were killed in the UK by Russian mafia groups or secret services, two forces that sometimes work together, since Putin’s rise to power. Four American intelligence officials said US spies have gathered intelligence about the scientist’s death and believe that he “was assassinated”. They said they have passed MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service, information connecting Puncher’s death – and 13 others – to Russia. Yet the British police have ruled out suspicions in all those cases and shut down any further investigation.
    How can MI6 recruit agents in Russia when MI5 cannot protect defectors who become British citizens? Unfortunately, British intelligence probably has a similar reputation with disgruntled Russians as it did with disgruntled Soviets from the late 1940s to early 1960s.

    Of course, having uncovered the most nefarious Russian intelligence operation since the penetration of the Manhattan Project, spymaster Christopher Steele is the jewel in Britain's crown, and his extensive training has enabled him, his family, and his pet(s) to escape the SVR and GRU...

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    Default A Timely Message?

    After seven years.
    If a message then to whom, for what?

  4. #4
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Westminster wakes up: he's not the first to be attacked

    From the BBC and finally the 2017 Buzzfeed reports gain traction:
    During the urgent question in the Commons, Labour's Yvette Cooper raised reports by BuzzFeed that 14 deaths in the UK had been linked to Russia by US spy agencies.
    Ms Cooper, chairwoman of the Home Affairs select committee, asked Mr Johnson and the home secretary to order the National Crime Agency to urgently review the cases.
    Mr Johnson said there were "a number of deeply troubling cases" and he would "certainly have that discussion with the home secretary".
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43312625
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Q&a

    Citing JHR:
    Quote Originally Posted by JHR View Post
    After seven years. If a message then to whom, for what?
    I would contend some have been very patient and finally an opportunity came with the Colonel's daughter making a visit - she is normally resident in Moscow. IIRC the KGB and presumably the GRU had a stance on eliminating defectors; so has this stance remained in place? We are assuming this is not the action of unofficial persons.

    For wiser words try this comment:https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...n-spy-agencies
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-07-2018 at 10:44 AM.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JHR View Post
    After seven years.
    If a message then to whom, for what?
    Quite possibly to send a message to anyone within the current regime or within the country itself who may be chafing under the Putin system that dissenters / turncoats / "traitors" will not be tolerated and can be reached regardless of where they are or when. After several years these current targets must have become complacent / lacked opsec so were probably easy targets, especially if thy hung around emigre circles.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default

    This incident, now classed officially as Attempted Murder(s) is the lead item in the UK news. Amidst the media furore, with a good dose of speculation and some inspired "leaks" there are a couple of significant items. No, not the official statements by politicians.

    Irony too, amidst a commentary by an ex-Army intelligence person and lightly edited:
    It was the British in1954 who first synthesized VX.
    Link:http://greyharemedia.com/sergei-skripal-assassination/

    The impact of this will be magnified as this has now been reported by the local police, with my emphasis:
    he police officer left seriously ill after he was caught up in the Salisbury nerve agent attack was named as DS Nick Bailey as Wiltshire Police said that 21 people have now been treated as a result of the incident.
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/08/russian-spy-condition-of-police-officer-who-helped-sergei-skripal-improves?


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    Default NATO Article V, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    The impact of this will be magnified as this has now been reported by the local police, with my emphasis: Wiltshire Police said that 21 people have now been treated as a result of the incident.
    It is an act of state terrorism and an act of war. I would be impressed if the U.K. did the following:

    • Suspended diplomatic relations with Russia
    • Recalled all British diplomats from Russia and expelled Russian diplomats from the U.K.
    • Instituted a travel warning for British nationals travelling to Russia
    • Invoked Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty
    • Placed military forces on higher alert, including perhaps its SSBN force
    • Banned Russian nationals from entering the U.K.
    • Imposed financial/economic sanctions


    But who am I kidding? The "Halifax Brigade" is in charge of the Conservative Party and Labour admires the "Axis of Revolution".

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