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Nerve agent attack

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'yorz
1277718.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:55 am Reply with quote

I am curious as to what proof there actually is to link that attack all the way to the Kremlin, if not Putin himself.
Can't it be a small autonomous group of people who have no ties with the Kremlin? And if that is the case, then how can Kremlin/Putin be held responsible?

 
Baryonyx
1277721.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:01 am Reply with quote

It's all a cover-up to reverse Brexit

 
'yorz
1277723.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:03 am Reply with quote

A cover-up of what? Or do you mean a ruse? :-)

 
Baryonyx
1277728.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:13 am Reply with quote

A cover-up of the millenial conspiracy to ruin everything

 
cornixt
1277736.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:25 am Reply with quote

You'd think Putin would at least be a bit concerned that someone is getting into Russian military supplies, but he acts like he doesn't care,

 
dr.bob
1277766.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:32 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Can't it be a small autonomous group of people who have no ties with the Kremlin?


Based on the information that's been discussed on the various news outlets (decide for yourself how reliable those are), the general picture is that such chemicals are so dangerous and difficult to produce, that it really needs the kind of research facilities that are only available to government-sized organisations. In other words, governments :)

There's also the fact of the type of chemical used, which has been reported as being something called Novichok (at least, that's the family of chemicals from which this one comes). It seems that Russia has been known to have developed chemical weapons using this family of chemicals in the past.

There was an interesting discussion on Radio4 last night where an expert said that it's a bit tricky to point the finger conclusively in cases such as these. He said that most governments will have a pretty good idea of what their enemies (and probably their allies) have been developing as chemical weapons. However, they only get this information through spying, so they're not exactly at liberty to go public with it. The upshot was that the UK government almost certainly know exactly where the chemical came from, and the Russians probably know that they know. But neither side is going to go public and explain exactly how they know because, to do so, they'd have to expose their spying activities for the last 30 years or more.

 
'yorz
1277770.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:11 pm Reply with quote

I can see that, dr.bob. But isn't within the realm of possibilities that those chemicals illegally changed hands for a lot of money within Russia? There must be a very interested and keen black market for these things.

 
GuyBarry
1277777.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:46 pm Reply with quote

Yes, of course it is.

I'm amazed by some of the media reporting here that says things like "these chemicals aren't generally available to criminals", as though criminals have a set of standards that they're expected to abide by. Criminals are criminals, and they'll stop at nothing to get what they want. I can well believe that someone working at a Russian government facility may have received rather a lot of money to release the agent.

The Russian government clearly isn't going to admit that it's lost control of something that it shouldn't have been producing in the first place.

 
brunel
1277791.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:22 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
I can see that, dr.bob. But isn't within the realm of possibilities that those chemicals illegally changed hands for a lot of money within Russia? There must be a very interested and keen black market for these things.

It is in as much as pretty much anything is within the realm of possibilities, even if the odds are extremely remote.

However, whether such an event is plausible is quite another matter - why, for example, would said hypothetical individual then go for a particular nerve agent that has a relatively distinct chemical signal when using something like VX, which is produced by multiple nations, would therefore be harder to pin down specifically to a Russian source?

 
tetsabb
1277793.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:27 pm Reply with quote

I have seen mention of the fact that some of the places these things were produced in the former Soviet Union then became places in independent countries, such as Uzbekistan, and their post-Soviet security was not particularly good, so pretty well anyone could have got hold of them.

 
'yorz
1277800.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:48 pm Reply with quote

brunel wrote:
why, for example, would said hypothetical individual then go for a particular nerve agent that has a relatively distinct chemical signal when using something like VX, which is produced by multiple nations, would therefore be harder to pin down specifically to a Russian source?

Because said individual rightly assumed that the whole world and its dog would straight away accuse the Kremlin/Putin of having had a hand in it, and said individual can sit back and get the popcorn out?

I think Corbyn is wise being cautious with those accusations.

 
'yorz
1277801.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:04 pm Reply with quote

Hmm. That said, ... > counter argument.

 
brunel
1277806.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:04 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Hmm. That said, ... > counter argument.

As Reuters have also pointed out, the nature of this attack also fits into a pattern of similar attacks on individuals who had made enemies within the Russian state. For example, in recent years Vladimir Kara-Murza (a Russian opposition activist) who claimed to have been targeted in 2015 and 2017, underwent testing at a laboratory in Germany that found abnormally high levels of mercury in his system. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-russia-factbox/factbox-from-polonium-to-a-poisoned-umbrella-mysterious-fates-of-kremlin-foes-idUKKCN1GP2SM

 
'yorz
1277812.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:59 pm Reply with quote

But if it is the Russian state that's behind those assination attempts (failed or not), why indeed leave a trail that can be followed back to them?
Why be so fucking blatant? What do they think/aim to achieve?

 
suze
1277813.  Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:08 pm Reply with quote

While the Russian state knows perfectly well that the finger will be pointed at it, it knows equally well that no one can prove its involvement.

After all, the CIA probably knows exactly how the Soviets made this stuff, and would be able to make its own supply if so minded. It wouldn't have told us if it had done so, any more than the Russians would have told us if any of their stored supply had gone missing.

 

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