Friday, 16 March 2018

Russia: Let the investigation begin

So Boris Johnson thinks it likely that Putin personally ordered the chemical attack on a Russian double agent, this after Teresa May said something similar a few days earlier, but, are you convinced?

Well, I'm not convinced, not yet, anyway.

The only vague consensus is that this attack was, in all probability, the work of a State actor rather than an individual with a grudge or financial interest. So lets start from that assumption, and, unlike the aforementioned politicos, I will refrain from putting a name to the chief suspect, but will instead leave you to draw your own conclusion.

Motive - Which State has the greatest incentive to discredit president Putin and turn the West against Russia. Is there any State currently in conflict with Russia or likely to be, if given sufficient support?

Means - The chemical compound used was developed during the Soviet era, so, which State, currently hostile towards Russia, was either in the USSR, or has access to Soviet era technologies and personnel?

Opportunity - The latest intelligence suggests that the nerve agent was planted on the ex-spy's daughter, possibly during a recent visit to Russia, so who among her friends and associates would have links to a State hostile towards Russia? It is fairly safe to assume that the daughter of a Russian defector would have few friends within the Russian establishment, but rather more likely among the activists and dissidents most disaffected with Vladimir Putin & Co. So which State speaks Russian as a first or second language and has easy access to Moscow?

Intractable as this issue seems, the possibility that someone got close enough and was trusted enough by Yulia Skripal, to fool her into accepting such a deadly nerve agent, could be the only reliable path to solving this dreadful crime.