Russia’s Reaction to the Insults of the West is Political Suicide

March 17, 2018

by Peter Koenig for the Saker blogRussia’s Reaction to the Insults of the West is Political Suicide

The onslaught of western Russia bashing in the past days, since the alleged poison attack by a Soviet-era nerve agent, Novichok (the inventor of which, by the way, lives in the US), on a Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter

Yulia, has been just horrifying. Especially by the UK. Starting with PM May, who outright accused Russia of using chemical weapons (CW) on UK grounds, without delivering any evidence. Strangely, there is no indication where Skripal and his daughter are, in which hospital the pair is being treated, no poison analysis is being published, they cannot be visited; there is absolutely no evidence of the substance they allegedly have been poisoned with – do Sergei and Yulia actually exist?

As a consequence, Theresa May expels 23 Russian diplomats, who have to leave the UK within a week. Then came Boris Johnson, the Foreign Minister clown, also an abject liar. He said, no he yelled, at his fellow parliamentarians that it was “Overwhelmingly likely, that Putin personally ordered the spy attack.” This accusation out of nothing against the Russian President is way more than a deep breach in diplomatic behavior, it is a shameful insult. – And no evidence is provided. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, in fact, said that Johnson’s personal attack on President Putin was “unforgivable”.

Not to miss out on the bashing theatre, UK Defense Secretary, Gavin Williamson, got even more insolent, Russia “should go away and shut up”. In response to all this demonizing Russia for an alleged crime, for which absolutely no proof has been provided, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that the undiplomatic comments meant that the British authorities are nervous and have “something to hide,”. Lavrov also strongly objected, wanted to initiate a joint UK-Russia investigation into the case – is he dreaming? – and responded to a question of diplomatic retaliation, yes, that Russia will also expel UK diplomates ‘soon’.

There is no doubt that the UK acted as Washington’s poodle. In the course of this anti-Russia tirade, Trump twittered that he fully supported UK’s position. Indeed, the European puppets, Macron, Merkel, May and their chief, The Donald, signed a joint statement blaming Russia for the nerve gas attack on the former double agent, “There is no plausible alternative explanation than that Russia was to blame for the attack”. Bingo, that says it all. The presstitute picks it up and airs it to the seven corners of this globe – and the western sheeple are brainwashed once again: The Russian did it.

Well we know that. But the real point I want to make is that Russia always reacts to such nonsensical and outright false accusations; Russia always responds, rejects of course the accusations but usually with lengthy explanations, and with suggestions on how to come to the truth – as if the UK and the west would give a shit about the truth – why are they doing that? Why are you Russia, even responding?

That is foolish sign of weakness. As if Russia was still believing in the goodness of the west, as if it just needed to be awakened. What Russia is doing, every time, not just in this Skripal case, but in every senseless and ruthless attack, accusations about cyber hacking, invading Ukraine, annexing Crimea, and not to speak about the never-ending saga of Russia-Gate, Russian meddling and hacking into the 2016 US Presidential elections, favoring Trump over Hillary. Everybody with a half brain knows it’s a load of crap. Even the FBI and CIA said that there was no evidence. So, why even respond? Why even trying to undo the lies, convince the liars that they, Russia, are not culpable?

Every time the west notices Russia’s wanting to be a “good neighbor” – about which the west really couldn’t care less, Russia makes herself more vulnerable, more prone to be accused and attacked and more slandered.

Why does Russia not just break away from the west? Instead of trying to ‘belong’ to the west? Accept that you are not wanted in the west, that the west only wants to plunder your resources, your vast landmass, they want to provoke you into a war where there are no winners, a war that may destroy entire Mother Earth, but they, the ZionAnglo handlers of Washington, dream that their elite will survive to eventually take over beautiful grand Russia. That’s what they want. The Bashing is a means towards the end. The more people are with hem, the easier it is to launch an atrocious war.

The Skripal case is typical. The intensity with which this UK lie-propaganda has been launched is exemplary. It has brought all of halfwit Europe – and there is a lot of them – under the spell of Russia hating. Nobody can believe that May Merkel, Macron are such blatant liars… that is beyond what they have been brought up with. A lifelong of lies pushed down their throats, squeezed into their brains. Even if something tells them – this is not quite correct, the force of comfort, not leaving their comfort zone- not questioning their own lives – is so strong that they rather cry for War, War against Russia, War against the eternal enemy of mankind. – I sadly remember in my youth in neutral Switzerland, the enemy always, but always came from the East. He was hiding behind the “Iron Curtain”.

The West is fabricating a new Iron Curtain. But while doing that, they don’t realize they are putting a noose around their own neck. Russia doesn’t need the west, but the west will soon be unable to survive without the East, the future is in the east – and Russia is an integral part of the East, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), that encompasses half the world’s population and controls a third of the world’s economic output.

Mr. Putin, you don’t need to respond to insults from the west, because that’s what they are, abusive insults. The abject slander that Johnson boy threw at you is nothing but a miserable insult; you don’t need to respond to this behavior. You draw your consequences.

Dear President Putin, Dear Mr. Lavrov, Let them! Let them holler. Let them rot in their insanity. – Respond to the UK no longer with words but with deeds, with drastic deeds. Close their embassy. Give all embassy staff a week to vacate your country, then you abolish and eviscerate the embassy the same way the US abolished your consulates in Washington and San Francisco – a bit more than a year ago. Surely you have not forgotten. Then you give all Brits generously a month to pack up and leave your beautiful country (it can be done – that’s about what Washington is forcing its vassals around the globe to do with North Korean foreign laborers); block all trade with the UK (or with the entire West for that matter), block all western assets in Russia, because that’s the first thing the western plunderers will do, blocking Russian assets abroad. Stealing is in their blood.

Mr. Putin, You don’t need to respond to their lowly abusive attacks, slanders, lies. You and Russia are way above the level of this lowly western pack. Shut your relation to the west. You have China, the SCO, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Russia is part of the OBI – President Xi’s One Belt Initiative – the multi-trillion development thrive, emanating from China, connecting continents – Asia, Africa, Europe, South America – with infrastructure, trade, creating hundreds of millions of decent jobs, developing and promoting science and culture and providing hundreds of millions of people with a decent life.

What would the west do, if suddenly they had no enemy, because the enemy has decided to ignore them and take a nap? China will join you.

Everything else, responding, justifying, explaining, denying the most flagrant lies, trying to make them believe in the truth is not only a frustrating waste of time, it’s committing political suicide. You will never win. The west gives a hoot about the truth – they have proven that for the last two thousand years or more. And in all that time, not an iota of conscience has entered the west’s collective mind. The west cannot be trusted. Period.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog; and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.



South Front

Russian Air Defenses In Hmeimim Airbase Shoot Down UAV Over Sea - Reports

Illustrative image

On March 17, Russian air defense systems in the Hmeimim airbase, near the coastal city of Jableh, targeted an unidentified aerial object northwest of the airbase, over the Mediterranean sea, with at least two missiles, according to Syrian pro-government activists.

The activists said that the aerial object had been shot down and suggested that it might had been an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). However, the Ministry of Defense of Russia has not provided any information about the incident yet.

Experts believe that the Russian Pantsir-S1 short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery system was used to shoot down the aerial object.

According to media reports, the Pantsir-S1 was previously used to shot down a US-made RQ-21A Blackjack UAV near the Russian naval base in Tartus city on May 27, 2017.

Russian Air Defenses In Hmeimim Airbase Shoot Down UAV Over Sea - Reports

Click to see the full-size image

Earlier, the Ministry of Defense of Russia revealed that the US has trained a number of militant groups in the vicinity of the town of al-Tanf, to stage provocations involving chemical warfare. The ministry also warned that the US and its allies might use these provocations as a pretext to attack the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

It’s unknown if the US was involved in this new incident. However, the recent tensions between Russia and the US in Syria allow to suppose that Washington may use different measures, including its proxies and UAVs, to stage provocations against Moscow.

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مشهد الغوطة


مارس 17, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– شكّل التساؤل عن طبيعة العلاقة بين الدولة السورية وسكان الغوطة القضية الرئيسية في صناعة الحسابات الدبلوماسية والسياسية للقوى الدولية والإقليمية من معارك الغوطة، حيث كان الغرب ومعه كثير من المحلّلين القريبين من محور المقاومة وبعض مناصري الدولة السورية المتحمّسين داخل سورية نفسها، على قناعة مطلقة بأنّ سكان الغوطة ليسوا أكثر من نسخة مدنية عن مسلّحيها وأنهم الحماية السياسية اللازمة لصمود المسلحين، ولذلك فإنّ السلاح الدبلوماسي يجب أن يدخل من هذا الباب.

– تدبير وفبركة استخدام السلاح الكيميائي كانت وظيفتهما تزخيم السلاح الدبلوماسي المستند لرفع شعار حماية المدنيين، إذا تعذّرت ضربة موجعة تحت هذه الذريعة تغيّر التوازنات، انطلاقاً من هذه الثقة بأنّ السكان في الغوطة سيوفّرون أرضية عدائهم للدولة السورية بصورة تجعل أيّ حلّ تحت عنوان حماية المدنيين متوقفاً على وقف إطلاق النار بصورة كلية، بما يحبط كلّ التصوّرات التي تقدّمها سورية وروسيا لصوغ وقف نار جزئي يرتبط بالفصل بين المسلحين والسكان، فاتحاً الباب لأسبقية خروج أيّ من الفريقين، المسلحين بالتفاوض، والأهالي بالنداءات، والتعطيل متاح هنا بسياقين متلازمين، مسلّحون يرفضون التفاوض، وسكان يديرون ظهرهم للنداءات، وتشكل أرقام الضحايا التي يقدّمونها، مع التضخيم الإعلامي سبباً كافياً لخلق مناخين متلازمين معاكسين، مزيد من الصمود العسكري من جهة، ومزيد من الضغوط لفرض وقف النار من جهة أخرى.

– كلما كانت الدولة السورية تعلن عن فتح ممرات آمنة لخروج المدنيين كان الغرب والخليج ومعه كثيرون يسخرون من ذلك، باعتبار أنّ أحداً لن يخرج، ليس فقط لأنّ المسلحين سيتكفّلون بالمنع. وهو أمر لن يبقى بالفعالية ذاتها كلما ضاق الخناق وارتفع منسوب الخطر، فالرهان الرئيس هو أنّ الناس سيفضلون ربط مصيرهم بمصير المسلحين على الخروج إلى مناطق سيطرة الدولة السورية، خصوصاً أنّ الانطباع عن طبيعة علاقة أغلبية السكان بالجماعات المسلحة التي ينتمي أغلبها لتشكيلات من أبناء المنطقة قادة وكوادر، وخشية هذه الأغلبية ومعها مَن ليسوا مع الجماعات المسلحة من معاملة تنتظرهم عندما يقرّرون الخروج، ساهمت الجماعات المسلحة بجعلها صورة مرعبة أكثر من البقاء تحت الخطر. ومع خروج الدفعة الأولى من المدنيين، خرج قادة الائتلاف وهيئة التفاوض وقادة المسلحين يقولون علناً إنّ الذين خرجوا قد تمّ اعتقالهم وقتل بعضهم. وتبرّعوا بالقول إنهم عائلات لمسلحين يقاتلون في الداخل وسيعاقبون حتماً، في ما بدا تحريضاً للبيئة المؤيّدة للدولة لرفض كلّ دعوة لمعاملة سكان الغوطة الخارجين إليهم بروح انتقامية.

– أهمّ ما في معارك الغوطة هو أنّ الدولة السورية نجحت في كيفية تلقيها خروج المئات الأولى من سكان الغوطة بالرعاية الصحية والسكنية والغذائية، وتقديمهم مثالاً لباقي السكان إذا قرّروا الخروج، إضافة لحملة دعوات تشجيعية مفصّلة عما ينتظر هؤلاء من حُسن رعاية واهتمام. وقامت مؤسسات إعلامية سورية بحملات على الهواء مع مواطنين سوريين في كلّ مناطق سورية يعلنون التبرّع بأجزاء من منازلهم لاستضافة نازحي الغوطة. وها هو العدد يفوق الخمسين ألفاً ويتحوّل مساراً سيتكفّل بإسقاط الاستثمار الخبيث لعنوان المدنيين في الغوطة مع الحلقات الأخيرة من المعارك. فكرةُ الثلج تكبر يومياً، ما سيوصل الأوضاع لمرحلة يكون فيها على الجماعات المسلحة أن تواجه حلقات الحرب القاسية من دون غطاء المدنيين، وعلى داعميهم أن يعترفوا بإفلاس حملاتهم لوقف النار وحماية المسلحين بغطاء مدني، أو سيكون عليهم معاً البحث بتسوية ترضاها الدولة السورية وتشبه ما جرى في الأحياء الشرقية في حلب.

Standing up for Russia

BY David Macilwain

Study of Western-trained terrorist combatants considered as “moderate rebels”.

The “moderate rebels” of Ghouta

by Thierry Meyssan
While the forces of the Republic and the Russian forces are liberating Eastern Ghouta and 800 Syrians are finding refuge every hour in Damascus, we are publishing this study of Western-trained combatants considered as “moderate rebels”.

The Western media affirm that Syria and Russia are crushing brave democrats in eastern Ghouta.

According to the British and French governments, they would be three armed groups: the Army of Islam, the Rahman Legion and Ahrar al-Sham.

On the contrary, according to Syria and Russia, these three denominations would not designate separate ideologies. These three entities would in fact defend not an idea of ​​Syria, but the interests of their sponsors. They would have regrouped in favor of Resolution 2401 and the attack they are now undergoing.

Many figures are circulating about the number of soldiers in each of these groups and about the number of inhabitants of Eastern Ghouta. In reality, none of this data is verifiable to the point that the UN has given up quantification. If the civilians present in eastern Goutha are indeed Syrians, we do not know the nationality of the combatants. Admittedly, a number of them are Syrians, often convicts, but many others are foreigners (who by definition can not be “rebels”). Again, the estimates are unverifiable.

There are only two things that we know for sure about these groups:

- First, the weapons available to one of them, the Army of Islam, in 2015. This is obviously a bit old, but it is verifiable thanks to the video of a military parade organized by its leader, in Ghouta, in 2015. This group has 4 tanks and nearly 2,000 men, that is to say, 10 times less combatants than he claims to have.

- Then and finally, we know these groups through their communication: logos, flags, websites, Twitter accounts, spokespersons.

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Jeish el Islam logo

Jeish el Islam

Jeïch el-Islam, that is, the Army of Islam, is the only one of these groups to have a local presence. It was created in September 2013 by the family Allouche, from another group, the Brigade of Islam, in the mode of a gang imposing its law on merchants of the Ghouta, not hesitating to publicly execute those who challenged their power.

The group was initially commanded by Zahran Allouche, son of the preacher Abdallah Allouche, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood refugee in Saudi Arabia. From 2009 to 2011, he was imprisoned for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. He was released in a general amnesty decreed by President al-Assad at the request of third countries. For several years, Zahran Allouche terrorized the inhabitants of Damascus declaring that he was going to “clean” the city. He announced each Friday [1] the attacks he was going to commit against the capital. In 2013, he abducted Alawite families [2] in Aadra. He used some as human shields and walked a hundred in cages, before executing the men so that we’d know what fate he reserved for “infidels”. After his death, a businessman, Sheikh Isaam Buwaydani called “Abu Hamam”, succeeded him.

His cousin Mohammed Allouche, made famous by his repression of manners. He created the Unified Judicial Council, which imposed the Saudi version of Sharia law on all Ghouta residents. He notably organized executions of homosexuals, thrown from the roof of buildings. He represents the group at the UN negotiations in Geneva.

The Allouche family is now comfortably settled in London.

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The blazon of the Brigade of Islam (left) has been transformed into a blazon of the Army of Islam when the second group was formed from the fighters of the first.

At the time of its creation, the Army of Islam brought together about fifty small groups. In a widely circulated statement in Asia, it introduced itself as the defender of Muslims and called on Muslims around the world to join them and to make jihad in Syria.

In July 2017, the Army of Islam, following an Egyptian-Saudi mediation, agreed to recognize Eastern Ghouta as a “de-escalation zone” under Russian control.

His Twitter account in English:
His YouTube channel has just been closed.

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On this video captured from the site of the Army of Islam (consulted on March 15, 2018), we can read a sermon against non-Sunnis, whether Shiite Muslims, Christians or Jews. It ends like this: “Kill them. God torment them with your hands. He will give you victory over them.
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The Legion of the Most Merciful logo

Faylaq al-Rahman

Faylaq al-Rahman, ie “The Legion of the All-Merciful”, is a mercenary group of Qatar from which it receives a modern weaponry, especially RPG. It is massively composed of foreigners.

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The Calligram of the All-Merciful Legion is subtitled in English “Al-Rahman Corps”, a sign that it is primarily addressed to Western jihadists who do not read Arabic.

Its Twitter account broadcasts many videos extolling the terrorist profession:

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Ahrar el-Cham logo

Ahrar el-Cham

Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya, abbreviated as Ahrar al-Sham, translates as the Islamic Movement of the Free Men of the Levant. “Free men” do not refer here to “freedom” in the Western sense. They did not liberate themselves from a dictatorship, but were released from their human condition by practicing Salafist Islam. So that there is no doubt about the interpretation of the word, a minaret appears on the group logo.

This group, very internationalized, was created by Egyptians during the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak by the United States [3]. Syrian Muslim Brothers, who were imprisoned for belonging to a terrorist organization, joined him after being pardoned in 2011 at the request of third countries. Among them, several former collaborators of Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan then in Yugoslavia. This explains their proximity to the Taliban, whom they often cite as an example of faith.

In all its publications, it defines itself as a “complete Islamic movement, fighting for Allah and defending religion”.

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The flag of Ahrar el-Cham carried on horseback during a military parade.

The group is commanded by Hassan Soufan, known as “Abu al-Bara”, who was imprisoned for a decade for his membership in the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Foreign Minister of this group, Labib al-Nahhas, travels to the West. He is a British, MI6 officer. In July 2015, he published free forums in the Washington Post and the Daily Telegraph.

The group is supported by Qatar and Turkey. It is considered a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

The group’s website is:
His Twitter account:
His YouTube channel:

Commonalities of these three groups

These three groups have no ideological difference. All claim to be the thought of the Muslim Brotherhood [4]. According to them, daily life is divided between what is lawful from the point of view of their Islam and what is not.

There are, however, differences between the three groups about how they can treat people who do not share their point of view. Be that as it may, no one lives under their rule without being a Sunni.

Like all the fighters of the “Islamic revolution”, their men often change their group and these groups fight each other and join together frequently. It is absurd to draw substantive conclusions. At most, we can see territorial quarrels between their leaders and opportunities for their soldiers.

All of these groups and countless others have well-designed flags and logos as well as quality videos. All of this communication material is manufactured by the United Kingdom. In 2007, it had a war propaganda unit, the Research Information and Communications Unit (RICU) headed by MI6 (Secret Service) officer Jonathan Allen. Starting from the chemical weapons case in the summer of 2013, the RICU financed an external company to assist the communication of combatants in Syria (and subsequently those of Yemen). It was initially Regester Larkin, then Innovative Communications & Strategies (InCoStrat). Both companies are headed by an MI6 officer, Colonel Paul Tilley.

Jonathan Allen, whose rank we do not know, has become number two in the UK permanent representation at the United Nations. He is currently leading the Security Council against Russia and Syria.

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British secret service officer and charge d’affaires of His Majesty, Jonathan Allen, giving a press conference at the UN with his privileged ally, the French ambassador, François Delattre.

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What is known well by the Americans ما يعلمه الأميركيون جيدا

What is known well by the Americans

ما يعلمه الأميركيون جيدا -كتب ناصر قنديل

مارس 16, 2018

Nasser Kandil wrote:     What is known well by the Americans

  • Some people wonder about what can the axis of resistance do if America strikes Syrian goals, forgetting that America has troops and bases in Syria and Iraq with at least approximately ten equipped thousands soldiers.
  • Thirty-five years ago the American forces were in Beirut and the forces of axis of the resistance did not have capabilities which they have today, and their war with America was not existential as it is today, but when they decided to confront America, the targeting of the Marines headquarters in Beirut was enough reason for their ousting.
  • The Americans know that their bases in Syria and Iraq are besieged by thousands of suicide bombers along with thousands of missiles which are capable of destroying their bases and killing their soldiers and generals, so if they think of a military strike they have to take into consideration what was said by their former Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey that the military involvement in Syria requires to mobilize half a million soldiers and one trillion dollars each year for twenty years without expecting a decisive victory
  • The Americans threaten that they will try not to reach to better negotiations and to stop the progress of the Syrian army and the approach of the moment of their exit from Syria and Iraq, but when they find themselves face to face with the war they will do what their former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford advised them, to pack their bags for departure.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ما يعلمه الأميركيون جيدا

في سابقة منذ خمسة وثلاثين سنة كانت القوات الأميركية في بيروت ولم يكن لقوى محور المقاومة قدرات كالتي لديها اليوم ولا كانت حربها مع أميركا وجودية كما هي اليوم وكانت إنشغالاتها بحروب أخرى أكثر مما هي اليوم وعندما أرادت دخول المواجهة مع الأميركي كان إستهداف مقر المارينز في بيروت بإستشهادي كافيا للرحيل

يعرف الأميركيون أن قواعدهم في سوريا والعراق محاصرة بآلاف الإستشهاديين اليوم ومعها آلاف منصات الصواريخ القادرة على تدمير هذه القواعد وجعل أشلاء جنودها وضباطها ورماد معداتها آخر ما يتبقى منها وعليهم إذا فكروا بضربة عسكرية أن يضعوا في حسابهم ما قاله لهم رئيس أركانهم السابق الجنرال ديمبسي وهو تجهيز نصف مليون رجل وترليون دولار كل عام لحرب تمتد لعشرين عام دون ضمان الخروج بنصر يستحق ما ستكون التكلفة والتضحيات

يهدد الأميركيون ألا بالوصول لتفاهمات أفضل ووقف تقدم الجيش السوري وإقتراب لحظة مطالبتهم بالخروج من سورياو العراق لكنهم عندما يجدون أنفسهم وجها لوجه مع الحرب سيفعلون ما نصحهم به سفيرهم السابق في سوريا روبرت فورد وهو أن يحزموا حقائبهم إستعدادا للرحيل

Of a Type Developed by Liars: The Evolving “#Novichok” Nerve Agent Saga

Of a Type Developed by Liars: The Evolving “Novichok” Nerve Agent Saga

I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday:

This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.

When the same extremely careful phrasing is never deviated from, you know it is the result of a very delicate Whitehall compromise. My FCO source, like me, remembers the extreme pressure put on FCO staff and other civil servants to sign off the dirty dossier on Iraqi WMD, some of which pressure I recount in my memoir Murder in Samarkand. She volunteered the comparison to what is happening now, particularly at Porton Down, with no prompting from me.

Separately I have written to the media office at OPCW to ask them to confirm that there has never been any physical evidence of the existence of Russian Novichoks, and the programme of inspection and destruction of Russian chemical weapons was completed last year.

Did you know these interesting facts?

OPCW inspectors have had full access to all known Russian chemical weapons facilities for over a decade – including those identified by the “Novichok” alleged whistleblower Mirzayanov – and last year OPCW inspectors completed the destruction of the last of 40,000 tonnes of Russian chemical weapons

By contrast the programme of destruction of US chemical weapons stocks still has five years to run.

Israel has extensive stocks of chemical weapons but has always refused to declare any of them to the OPCW. Israel is not a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention nor a member of the OPCW. Israel signed in 1993 but refused to ratify as this would mean inspection and destruction of its chemical weapons. Israel undoubtedly has as much technical capacity as any state to synthesise “Novichoks”.

Until this week, the near universal belief among chemical weapons experts, and the official position of the OPCW, was that “Novichoks” were at most a theoretical research programme which the Russians had never succeeded in actually synthesising and manufacturing. That is why they are not on the OPCW list of banned chemical weapons.

Porton Down is still not certain it is the Russians who have apparently synthesised a “Novichok”. Hence “Of a type developed by Russia”. Note developed, not made, produced or manufactured.

It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.


This post prompted another old colleague to get in touch. On the bright side, the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet. The expectation is the inquiry committee will be chaired by a Chinese delegate. The Boris plan is to get the OPCW also to sign up to the “as developed by Russia” formula, and diplomacy to this end is being undertaken in Beijing right now.

I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?

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