Today 18 June 2019, Tuesday - Last updated at 17 June 2019

News 8 September 2018, at 15:02

Russia Responds to Evidence of Novichok Poisoning in Britain with Classic Maskirovka Measures

Marime Font

On Wednesday, September 5, British police revealed the names and published the photos of two Russian men they say flew to Britain over a weekend in March to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury. Authorities say the two suspects used Novichok, the Russian-made military grade nerve agent, to poison Skripal and daughter, both of whom survived.

Maria Zakharova, Spokesperson, Russian Foreign Ministry:  “We only know the first and last names of the suspects, there are photos, but nothing else: no passport numbers, no visa numbers, no additional data. Why this information today was not reflected in any way, neither publicly nor during the contact that took place at our Embassy with the British side, remains a big mystery.” Source: TASS, September 5, 2018

Metropolitan Police statement -- Novichok -- Two suspects in connection with Salisbury attack - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov (undated)

Neil Basu, the head of Brtain’s counter-terrorism police, said the attack was a “remarkably sophisticated” assassination attempt. Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament the government had concluded the two suspects were officers in Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU.

British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses Parliament, saying the Novichok poisoning was a Russian intelligence operation.

“The GRU is a highly disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation,” May said. “It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.”

The Russian authorities, including the Foreign Ministry, top lawmakers and the state-controlled media, responded to the British announcement using the classic Soviet military strategy of maskirovka, a doctrine of deception that includes such measures as concealment, imitation using decoys and dummies, maneuvers of deception, denial, and disinformation. 


Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament, dismissed the British investigation as an “anti-Russian provocation.”

”Britain is continuing its massive anti-Russian provocation. In the Skripals’ case, people have been officially indicted whose names do not tell [us] anything yet. It is announced that they are officers of the GRU. That is an absolute drivel,” Slutsky said.

MOSCOW -- Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee, Sergei Fadeichev/TASS, March 21, 2018.

The website, known for its ties Russia’s FSB intelligence service, mocked the investigation, the British people and their prime minister with a piece headlined “Are you crazy, May?”

However, it was Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova who used the art of maskirovka with greatest mastery.

Zakharova expressed outrage over the British refusal to release information critical for the investigation. That is, in fact, the opposite of what the British authorities did: they have released all the information Moscow would need to identify the two suspects.

The Russian authorities could run the photos of the two suspects through their massive facial recognition database, or check the data base of Zakharova’s Foreign Ministry for travel passports that have been issue. There are other details that provide Russia with information to identify the two men.

U.K. -- Metropolitan Police statement -- Novichok – the suspects Aleksander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov passing through passport control at London Heathrow at 7:28 p.m. on March 4, 2018.

The British police report includes data on the date, time and point of the two suspects’ exit from Russia. It also reveals the number of the commercial flight they took to Britain.

“At 3 pm on Friday, 2 March, the suspects arrived at Gatwick airport, having flown from Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2588,” the British counterterrorism police report states.

Aeroflot flight SU2588 is a regular daily direct flight from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport to Gatwick, London.

Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, Russia’s largest airport, is, according to its official Web page, “equipped with the latest security systems: entrances and checkpoints have metal detectors and X-rays, microwave scanners, and advanced gas sensors. We have introduced a multi-level system for automatic 100% baggage inspection and analytical video surveillance that can detect potentially hazardous objects according to set parameters.”.

Besides an airport security check, every passenger traveling abroad must pass through customs control, which includes checking passengers’ travel documents, interviewing them and searching both their belongings and person. Passengers must first pass through flight registration before going through customs control.

Thus, to obtain the information Zakharova says the British authorities are refusing to share, all Russian authorities need to do is check the passenger manifest for Aeroflot flight SU2588 on March 2, 2018.

Britain -- Metropolitan Police statement -- Novichok – a small glass bottle labeled Nina Ricci Premier Jour with a modified nozzle contained a significant amount of Novichok, found at rubbish bag in a private home.

In the months after the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia, debunked more than 40 different claims made by Moscow, all questioning whether the crime actually took place designed to cause confusion about and foster distrust in the official agencies and the information they provide to the public. All of this followed the model of classic maskirovka.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Din aceeaşi secţiune

Cele mai noi ştiri de azi

News 16 June 2019, ora: 15:33

Russians Are Getting Sick of Church

Russians Are Getting Sick of Church

Orthodox Christianity—and Vladimir Putin—are at the center of the country’s newest culture war.

( ) Read all

News 16 June 2019, at: 10:12

Washington Times Putin not interested in fighting corruption in Moldova

Putin not interested in fighting corruption in Moldova

 I laughed when I read Western press accounts regarding the current governmental crisis in the Eastern European nation of Moldova.

( ) Read all

News 14 June 2019, ora: 16:51

Almost 70% of Ukrainians would support at referendum Ukraine's accession to EU - poll

Almost 70% of Ukrainians would support at referendum Ukraine's accession to EU - poll

About 70% of Ukrainian citizens are ready to vote at a referendum for Ukraine's accession to the European Union and a little more than half would support their country's joining NATO, according to a poll conducted by the SOCIS Social and Marketing Research Center.

( ) Read all

News 14 June 2019, ora: 12:21

Russian-led forces launched 29 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day

Russian-led forces launched 29 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day

The armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 29 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements three times, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day.

( ) Read all

News 6 June 2019, ora: 14:42

Lithuania ranked most competitive country in emerging Europe

Lithuania ranked most competitive country in emerging Europe

 Twelve countries of the emerging Europe region have been ranked among the 63 most competitive economies in IMD’s 2019 World Competitiveness Ranking.

( ) Read all

News 30 May 2019, at: 12:15

 Two months after parliamentary elections in Moldova, the country is no closer to swearing in a new government. As negotiations between the leading parties have floundered, it has left the country without a direction and increasingly vulnerable to Russian influence. A coalition agreement is...

( ) Read all

News 27 May 2019, at: 08:37

Mainstream European Union parties held their ground against the assault from populists in elections for the bloc’s Parliament as the highest turnout in two decades looked set to reward pro-EU Liberals and Greens.

( ) Read all

News 22 May 2019, at: 15:22

 After Moldova’s elections in February, the country’s leading oligarch, Vladimir Plahotniuc, thought he had things sewn up. While the Russian-leaning Socialists won the most seats, 35, in the 101-seat Parliament, Plahotniuc’s Democrats had won 30 seats and the pro-E.U. ACUM...

( ) Read all

News 21 May 2019, at: 16:18

 Russia is to keep its membership in Europe’s top human rights body after Germany and France engineered a last-minute deal to avoid a Russian expulsion, a step that threatened to further incite tensions between the Kremlin and the West.

( ) Read all

News 19 May 2019, at: 17:15

 The European parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator on the Behind Closed Doors film, the perils of populism and how Rwanda’s genocide changed him.

( ) Read all

News 19 May 2019, at: 11:03

 This map tells a dramatic story of change in the population of the 15 former republics of the Soviet Union between 1989 (before the breakup of the USSR) and 2018.

( ) Read all

News 18 May 2019, at: 17:31

 Today we commemorate the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. 75 years ago, as being allegiadly ‘unreliable’, all of the Crimean Tatar population was deported from its Homeland. The Lithuanian Constitutional Court has referred to the acts against the Crimean Tatar people as a...

( ) Read all

News 12 May 2019, at: 12:05

 March 18 marked a year since Russia’s last presidential election. Vladimir Putin allegedly won 76.69% of the vote, on a turnout of 67.54% (or 51.7% of all Russia’s eligible voters.) But a recent study of video recordings from polling stations paints quite a different picture of...

( ) Read all

News 26 April 2019, at: 05:54

 The campaign of Volodymyr Zelensky, a forty-one-year-old actor who, on Sunday, was elected Ukraine’s next President, in a landslide, was light on specifics. He vowed to put an end to corruption and the trade of political favors for illicit wealth, and also to bring peace to the...

( ) Read all

News 15 April 2019, at: 10:25

The radio station brought to light Victor Josu, a pro-Russian who is helped by Valeriu Pasat, the ex director of the Service of Information and Security to promote Russia's politics in Moldova. In 2010, Victor Josu was intensively supporting a further organization of a referendum to support the...

( ) Read all

News 12 April 2019, at: 04:44

 Katie Bowman, a PhD in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specialized in a very fine part of building complex and precise algorithms that could create images through a huge data stream of up to 5 million gigabytes, and then completed her specialization at...

( ) Read all

News 10 April 2019, at: 07:35

 Today's press conference of the Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova, informally led by the Moldovan President, Igor Dodon, supports the suspicion that his undeclared and denied plan to place the country under Russian control exists and is still in motion.

( ) Read all

News 9 April 2019, at: 08:26

Time flies. 15 years have passed since Lithuania‘s accession to NATO. Once, NATO membership seemed completely out of Lithuania‘s reach. Today, we proudly consider ourselves to be experienced and reliable members of the Alliance.

( ) Read all

News 3 April 2019, at: 11:07

 Greek judge Linos Alexandros Sicilianos was elected as President of the European Court of Human Rights on Monday.

( ) Read all

News 3 April 2019, at: 10:56

 Romanian Finance Ministry to launch three Eurobond issuances, as first ever 30-year Eurobonds are included. Former PM Victor Ponta strongly criticized the measure.

( ) Read all

News 3 April 2019, at: 10:52

 Laura Codruța Kovesi was placed under judicial control, preventing her from leaving the country and talking to the press. Protests to support Kovesi were organized this weekend

( ) Read all

News 24 March 2019, at: 20:48

 When Benito Mussolini debuted the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, the precursor to his fascist party, on Mar. 23, 1919, in Milan, he wasn’t inventing the idea of violent authoritarianism. But he put a name on a new and terrible breed of it. Under his leadership, squads of militants...

( ) Read all

News 24 March 2019, at: 08:36

France’s Emmanuel Macron declared the “time of European naïveté” towards China was over as Xi Jinping was hosted with pomp in Rome for a visit that has alarmed both Brussels and Washington.

( ) Read all

News 22 March 2019, at: 19:39

 Almost 70 percent of the world’s most important economies is under the control of populist governments or non-democratic regimes, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Economics.

( ) Read all

News 20 March 2019, at: 07:33

On this day five years ago the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation adopted - over one night - the decision (opinion) that allowed for the annexation of a part of Ukrainian territory - the Crimean penninsula. Thus, the decision of 19 March 2014 contributed to the commission of an act of...

( ) Read all
Current tier / breakpoint: xs sm md lg xl (= visible only on this breakpoint)

.hidden-xs-down .hidden-sm-down .hidden-md-down .hidden-lg-down

.hidden-xs-up .hidden-sm-up .hidden-md-up .hidden-lg-up .hidden-xl

.hidden-xs (only) .hidden-sm (only) .hidden-md (only) .hidden-lg (only) .hidden-xl (only)