Former Colonel of the GRU Sergey Skripal was granted asylum in the UK quite a long time after the exchange of intelligence officers between Russia and the United States in 2010. As British journalists found out, first of all from the newspapers The Times and Financial TimesS. Skripal was an agent of MI-6, with whom he maintained contact for a long time in Spanish territory. In Spain, in fact, he was recruited by a certain “sales agent”.
Recruitment in MI-6 took place in 1995, when Skripal served in Spain. Scripal was given the alias Forthwith. For ten years he supplied British intelligence with information down to the telephone numbers of GRU officers. At the same time, it is difficult to call him an especially valuable cadre, as the press writes: over the decade of work for MI-6, the agent did not reveal the names of many Russian intelligence agents operating in Western states. The information he transmitted to MI-6 related rather to MI-5 (counterintelligence). Skripal, according to British newspapers, provided British intelligence officers with information mainly about the "GRU structure and personnel." Employees MI-6 passed the information received MI-5 and the CIA.
The doctors diagnosed diabetes with Mr. Skrypalyu, and the military intelligence officer went home to Moscow. This does not mean that contacts with the British have ceased. It turned out to be quite profitable.
Skripal continued to provide the secret service with classified information. The Times writes that Skripal often visited Spain for a "health amendment." At the same time, he expanded contacts with MI-6. In 2000, he left the GRU. In the same year, MI-6 gave him a home near Malaga, where he held all further meetings. For the information transmitted at these meetings, the ex-intelligence officer received either 5000 or 6000 dollars, and once, as if "urgently" demanded ten thousand. Such amounts are usually paid to valuable agents. Cash Skripal calmly carried to the Spanish bank. Spanish intelligence also knew about Skrypal.
It also indicates that Mr. Skripal, in his "work" for Britain, had in mind his personal future: it turns out that he was interested in the idea of life in Great Britain.
How much rope do you want ... In 2004, the former intelligence officer was arrested by people from the FSB. He was accused of espionage. The court sentenced this figure, who methodically sold his motherland for dollars, to thirteen years of imprisonment (article on treason).
A few years later, in 2010, the Russian military issued a former military intelligence officer in the United States under an exchange agreement for Russian intelligence agents. And after that Skripal and sought asylum in the UK. He settled in Salisbury.
Salisbury, he chose because it is a quiet town, rarely visited by tourists. The UK government provided him with a pension and "guarantees of assistance." Later, long-term visas were given to Lyudmila, Skripal’s wife, and two children, Alexander and Yulia. Julia, reportedly later returned to Moscow, but visited her father.
4 March 2018 of the very Skripal (66 years) and his daughter Julius (33) were seen in Salisbury on a bench. Both were unconscious. The policeman, Sergeant Nick Bailey, who discovered them and who was in their house, also landed in the hospital. The total number of victims of poisoning with a certain nerve agent was more than two dozen people. Skripal and his daughter fell into a coma in the hospital. The condition of the policeman was assessed on 5 March as grave, and the state of Skripal and his daughter as critical.
The investigation was first led by the Wiltshire police. 7 March "incident" passed into the hands of investigators from the counterterrorism unit of Scotland Yard. In Scotland Yard, journalists were denied the name of a poisonous substance and only noticed that the poisoning was a “serious incident involving the attempted murder with the use of a nerve agent.”
Traces of the substance were found by policemen in a pub and in a restaurant where Skripal and his daughter visited before both symptoms of poisoning appeared. The same symptoms were found in two dozen other residents of Salisbury: police officers and emergency services.
According to the newspaper "Telegraph", Mr. Skripal talked to the policemen shortly before the assassination attempt: he expressed fears for his life. The British press also recalls that Skrypal’s close relatives have died recently and under unusual circumstances. Skripal's wife died of cancer soon after moving to the UK (in 2012). The son of the ex-scout, Alexander Skripal, died in Russia in 2017, ostensibly "from an unknown disease." Some sources point to liver failure.
Neither the family of Skrypal, nor in some part of his Russian entourage do not believe that he was a British agent. Or do not believe that he was a particularly valuable agent.
“Sergey was the biggest patriot of Russia I’ve only seen in my life,” said "BBC" one of the relatives of Skripal. “I am sure that the case against him was fabricated.”
“For me, the whole situation of the trial was almost a blow to the head with an ax head. He didn’t have any special information, because he was no longer in military service, but he still had some connections at the Foreign Ministry and the GRU and, as I understand it, he collected this information, ”noted Oleg Ivanov, Skripl’s friend.
There is another opinion. “Yes, he was not a top intelligence officer, such as, for example, Penkovsky and Gordievsky. But, nevertheless, it was a very important agent for Britain, say the BBC interlocutors who are aware of the activities of Skripal, close to the British special services. “Since Skripal was responsible for cadres, he could reveal the names of many GRU agents around the world, and especially in Western Europe.”
The retired Major General of the GRU, Valery Malevanny, said that the British special services recruited Skrypal using a “honey trap” (sexual intercourse with an object for subsequent recruitment). According to Malevanny, in the criminal case of Skripal there were twelve agents, whom he surrendered to MI-6. Skripal "gave to be devoured" by the British scouts, with whom he worked himself and whom he oversaw. At the same time, the same Malevanny says: “He [Skripal] does not matter for foreign special services, he is not a secret carrier. And for counterintelligence of the FSB, he is also not interested. ”
The historian of the special services, Alexander Kolpakidi, puts forward a version of poisoning that looks like a conspiracy: “What harm could it have been? Yes, no. Who was he there for? Unclear. Two versions of the poisoning — either undermine Putin’s position, compromise him with such a non-lethal experiment, or Putin did it himself to raise his rating. Prior to this, there were no incidents of attempts on agents that were exchanged. ”
The poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, as well as the co-poisoning of policemen and emergency personnel, was the reason for the loud statements of the British government.
The head of the British Foreign Office, Boris Johnson, in the House of Commons recalled the case of Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned in London. According to Johnson, Russia is engaged in "hostile activity." The minister threatened Moscow with new sanctions if it turned out that Moscow was involved in the “incident”.
The loudest was the unwarrantedly harsh statement of Prime Minister Theresa May. Speaking to parliamentarians, she said that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by the Novice nerve agent developed in Russia.
“It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with chemical warfare agents of the type produced in Russia. It belongs to the group of nerve agents called “Novice”, the prime minister quotes "BBC".
As evidence, she cited the opinion of “defense experts” from the laboratory at Porton Down. These people "identified the substance." According to May, “Russia used to produce this substance and could produce it again.” “... taking into account previous killings sponsored by the Russian state and the fact that, according to our assessment, Russia considers some defectors to be legitimate targets for murder, the government concluded that Russia is likely to be responsible for actions against Sergei Skripal and his daughter,” summed up Teresa May.
And she did not put an end, but a comma: she gave the Kremlin time until the end of Tuesday. By the evening of March 13 (today), Moscow must “provide explanations” about the incident. If there is no credible answer, S. Skrypal's poisoning in the UK will be considered illegal by the Russian state to use force on British territory.
Responding to the remarks of parliamentarians about the need to "contain Russia", May repeatedly said: no one should have any doubts - further relations with Russia like "as if nothing had happened" are impossible. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that Russian citizens are aware of what regime they are dealing with.
In addition to the debates in parliament, the names of Alexander Litvinenko, Boris Nemtsov, Sergey Magnitsky were heard, indicates the radio "Freedom". A few hours before May’s speech, the head of the British parliament’s international affairs committee, Tom Tagendhat, said that S. Skripal’s poisoning “terribly resembles an assassination attempt, behind which the state stands,” and that he would be surprised if Maye didn’t point at the Kremlin.
In Russia, the statements from London were surprised.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the accusations of the British Prime Minister are “another information and political campaign” and is a “circus show”.
"This is a circus show in the British Parliament, - quotes "BBC" Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. - The conclusion is obvious: the next informational and political campaign based on provocation. Before writing new tales, let someone in the kingdom tell you how the previous cases ended: about Litvinenko, Berezovsky, Perepilichny, and many others who mysteriously died on British soil. The Grimpen bog continues to keep its secrets. ”
State Duma deputy and person involved in the case of Litvinenko’s poisoning, Andrei Lugovoi, believes that in such a short time the British could not conduct an expert examination of the substance: “The situation around Skryl’s poisoning follows pre-worked patterns using other stories as an example. Therefore, such hasty statements by British Prime Minister Theresa May, especially with regard to the nerve agent allegedly made in Russia, are at least irresponsible. ”
Vladimir Dzhabarov, the first deputy head of the committee of the Federation Council on international affairs, said that Skripal did not interfere with Moscow: “Russia definitely didn’t need it, with all options. Skripal did not bother us. He was sitting there, maybe collaborating with someone, but this is not our question. He was not allowed to our secrets or objects. We did not need him, in general Russia. ”
The situation with the poisoning was succinctly commented on by President Putin.
Asked by the correspondent "BBC" about whether Moscow is involved in the poisoning of the ex-colonel and his daughter in Salisbury, Putin said the following: "You will first understand it, and then we will discuss it with you."
Earlier, presidential press secretary D. Peskov stated that no one had appealed to the Kremlin for help in the investigation.
The case of Skrypal was previously commented on by Foreign Minister S. Lavrov. 9 March, he called unsubstantiated accusations against Moscow.
“We have not heard a single fact, we only watch reports on television, where, with serious faces, your colleagues with pathos say that if it is Russia, the answer will be one that Russia will remember forever. This is not serious, it is pure propaganda and hysteria. ”
In the meantime, the United States agreed with the British government and parliament: it’s likely that the Kremlin is responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. About it it is said in a special statement by the head of the State Department Rex Tillerson: “The United States was in contact with our allies in the United Kingdom ... We have full confidence in the UK investigation and its assessment that Russia is probably responsible for an attack using a nerve agent happened in Salisbury last week. Such attacks - assassination attempts on a private citizen on the land of a sovereign nation - have never been justified, and we are outraged that Russia seems to be doing it again ... ”
To everyone, let us note who rummaged through all the available information about the “incident” in Salisbury, it becomes clear: in the case of Skripal and his daughter, there is not a hint of a “Russian trace”. It is also becoming clear that the “Russian trace” by the will of politicians is emerging in Britain everywhere, where Britain lacks evidence. This is easy to explain: Britain has long become a home to all sorts of dubious personalities from Russia, which even sometimes, for the sake of diversity and in a narrow circle, are called “patriots”.
The same thing happens with the evidence in the United States, where accusations of “interfering with elections” are still raining on the Russians. Hackers, "trolls", or "Putin's cook" are accused. However, the evidence is either “classified” or reduced to a list of some notes on Facebook.
If Western democracy is easily shaken through some kind of Facebook or Twitter, then the Kremlin does not need to get involved in any terrible poisonings. And the main "hostile" element for the West is not Putin at all. The most terrible enemy is probably Mr. Zuckerberg.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru