Novichok In Salisbury: Secret Agents & Nerve Agents In Britain

Analis

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The puppy looks terrified.
If the puppy (a Moscow Watchdog ?) is really terrified, it is of being immersed into an unknown environment, and notably of being photographed. Dogs don't like cameras, they're often afraid of them, they may even make them agressive, and it often takes time to have a dog used to them.

As for Putin calling Skripal a traitor, what then ? This is what he is, after all. Had he been a British or a US citizen spying for Russia, many here would call him a traitor, too, and who could blame them ?
 

blessmycottonsocks

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The Netherlands accuses Russia of trying to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and kicks out four more of Putin's minions.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45746837

There was an interesting report on BBC Radio earlier, which came to the conclusion that the Putin regime knows it has made Russia a pariah state but simply doesn't care any more. With the Russian economy heading down the toilet very fast, how long before the long-suffering Russian citizens say enough is enough and demand a change in Putin's foreign policy?
 

hunck

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The Netherlands accuses Russia of trying to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and kicks out four more of Putin's minions.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45746837

There was an interesting report on BBC Radio earlier, which came to the conclusion that the Putin regime knows it has made Russia a pariah state but simply doesn't care any more. With the Russian economy heading down the toilet very fast, how long before the long-suffering Russian citizens say enough is enough and demand a change in Putin's foreign policy?
I don't think Putin is going to change tack. He'd have to be replaced before there's any change imo.
 

PeteS

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If the puppy (a Moscow Watchdog ?) is really terrified, it is of being immersed into an unknown environment, and notably of being photographed. Dogs don't like cameras, they're often afraid of them, they may even make them agressive, and it often takes time to have a dog used to them.

As for Putin calling Skripal a traitor, what then ? This is what he is, after all. Had he been a British or a US citizen spying for Russia, many here would call him a traitor, too, and who could blame them ?
Not sure what you are getting at here. I was not trying to imply that Putin is a dog beater. I agree that some dogs look uncomfortable in unknown environments. Merely an off the cuff post having too much read into it.

The traitor remark - I agree entirely that Skripal was a traitor to the Putin regime. That was not the point I was making. It was the "kick the bucket" part that is revealing. I actually find it revealing if in fact that is what he said and if his remarks were translated correctly. Surely could be taken as virtually an admission of guilt. Just my opinion obviously, that's all.
 

uair01

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The Netherlands accuses Russia of trying to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and kicks out four more of Putin's minions.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45746837
It pleases me enormously that they used a classic Dutch shopping bag, that is clearly visible in their set-up. Maybe two of them:
https://www.ah.nl/producten/product/wi129602/ah-boodschappentas

As the advertisement says: Very handy and sturdy shopping bag, Large volume, Easy to use.
Professionals, those Russians :)
 

Zeke Newbold

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The Netherlands accuses Russia of trying to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and kicks out four more of Putin's minions.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45746837

There was an interesting report on BBC Radio earlier, which came to the conclusion that the Putin regime knows it has made Russia a pariah state but simply doesn't care any more. With the Russian economy heading down the toilet very fast, how long before the long-suffering Russian citizens say enough is enough and demand a change in Putin's foreign policy?
Well we live in hope, don't we?

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/support-russias-ruling-party-drops-10-year-lows-poll-says-63107

It cannot be emphasised enough just how much the Putin phenomena has been a reaction to the devastation (for ordinary Russians) that was the Nineties. People lost fortunes overnight as the rouble was devalued and, just as that happened, truckloads of slavering yanks turned up to set up` new businesses` and help themselves to their women. Meanwhile the Warsaw Pact was dismantled but NATO responded by moving its troops ever nearer to Russian borders. (Try to undesrtand that subjectivley, before you question the analysis). Say `the nineties` to a Russian over thirty and watch them turn white (unless they are an oligarch that is).

So the Russian people sort of made a deal with the new post-communist Vlad character: deliver a bit of stability and give us a bit of self-respect back and we'll forego some liberties and turn a blind eye to some of the things you may be getting up to abroad.

If that deal is breaking down then it's not the economy.I don't see much European style austerity here. Take me: I live on what is (by Russian city standards) just a lower middle class salary - but ilive fairly well in central Moscow. I'd have to be very wealthy indeed to live the same way in London! This is largely because basic amenities and transport costs are kept cheap here - whenever I make my annual trip to the UK I am always shocked anew at just how much we Brits uncomplainingly pay for life's necessities!

No, what's doing for Putin is the raising of the pension age. He has brought it in line with that of most European countries: 65 for men. 60 for women. This sounds reasonable except you have to factor in the lower life expectancy here (although this is improving). So you get a situation where teenagers are taking to the streets to protest against the government. In doing this they risk blotting their copybooks and - heartbreakingly - their motives are that they are doing it for their parents as they know that their mamas and papas won't live long enough to receive their pensions.

If the Skripal poisining was done by direct order from Putin (and I am still not a 100 per cent convinced that it was) then this implies that Putin, who has always acted on coldly rational lines previously -is really losing his grip. That Russia does not want to be a `pariah nation` is evident from the last World Cup where they really pulled all the stops out to make everyone safe and welcome. (I was there, and I expect those of you at home didn't see the half of it). Also Putin must know that the Russian people are not idiots and many can and do access foreign media accounts of what is happening here.
 

PeteS

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Very interesting info there from an insider, Zeke. I know only one Russian national who now resides in the UK. Despite all his family residing back home he refuses to return while the current regime is in charge.
 

Anonymous-50446

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Well we live in hope, don't we?

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/support-russias-ruling-party-drops-10-year-lows-poll-says-63107

It cannot be emphasised enough just how much the Putin phenomena has been a reaction to the devastation (for ordinary Russians) that was the Nineties. People lost fortunes overnight as the rouble was devalued and, just as that happened, truckloads of slavering yanks turned up to set up` new businesses` and help themselves to their women. Meanwhile the Warsaw Pact was dismantled but NATO responded by moving its troops ever nearer to Russian borders. (Try to undesrtand that subjectivley, before you question the analysis). Say `the nineties` to a Russian over thirty and watch them turn white (unless they are an oligarch that is).

So the Russian people sort of made a deal with the new post-communist Vlad character: deliver a bit of stability and give us a bit of self-respect back and we'll forego some liberties and turn a blind eye to some of the things you may be getting up to abroad.

If that deal is breaking down then it's not the economy.I don't see much European style austerity here. Take me: I live on what is (by Russian city standards) just a lower middle class salary - but ilive fairly well in central Moscow. I'd have to be very wealthy indeed to live the same way in London! This is largely because basic amenities and transport costs are kept cheap here - whenever I make my annual trip to the UK I am always shocked anew at just how much we Brits uncomplainingly pay for life's necessities!

No, what's doing for Putin is the raising of the pension age. He has brought it in line with that of most European countries: 65 for men. 60 for women. This sounds reasonable except you have to factor in the lower life expectancy here (although this is improving). So you get a situation where teenagers are taking to the streets to protest against the government. In doing this they risk blotting their copybooks and - heartbreakingly - their motives are that they are doing it for their parents as they know that their mamas and papas won't live long enough to receive their pensions.

If the Skripal poisining was done by direct order from Putin (and I am still not a 100 per cent convinced that it was) then this implies that Putin, who has always acted on coldly rational lines previously -is really losing his grip. That Russia does not want to be a `pariah nation` is evident from the last World Cup where they really pulled all the stops out to make everyone safe and welcome. (I was there, and I expect those of you at home didn't see the half of it). Also Putin must know that the Russian people are not idiots and many can and do access foreign media accounts of what is happening here.
Nice, thank you.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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"If the Skripal poisining was done by direct order from Putin (and I am still not a 100 per cent convinced that it was) then this implies that Putin, who has always acted on coldly rational lines previously -is really losing his grip."

That's a valuable and perceptive insight into Russia's circumstances.

Despite Trump's obvious character flaws, I think the world breathed a sigh of relief at his initial moves towards a rapprochement with Moscow. That was certainly more than the extremely Russophobic Clinton would have done. Other Western leaders also welcomed this new détente. So Putin pissing all this goodwill away, either through his direct orders, or possibly by his failure to control rogue GRU elements, is as disappointing as it is worrying.
 

Analis

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Not sure what you are getting at here. I was not trying to imply that Putin is a dog beater. I agree that some dogs look uncomfortable in unknown environments. Merely an off the cuff post having too much read into it.
Probably, but I suppose that you were indeed being ironic about Putin and what kind of boogeyman he may be... In fact, having done a bit of research, it is one of many Putin's own dogs, not a Moscow Watchdog despite certainly looking like one, but a Bulgarian Shepherd (or Karakachan Shepherd). He was given to him in 2010 during a visit in Bulgaria as an offical gift ; in fact, the picture was taken when he was given the dog, which explains why the latter was so uneasy. Do not worry, he became used to his new master, you have here two pictures of him as a grown-up, much much bigger, and definitely in good health and very happy with his master (as the article relates, Putin was too recently given a Central Asian Sheperd or Alabai puppy by the Turkmen president, his guests probably see him as somebody with a taste for tough dogs – I wonder which kind of dog they would give to Trump ???) :
https://www.k9rl.com/turkmen-shepherd-putin/

The traitor remark - I agree entirely that Skripal was a traitor to the Putin regime. That was not the point I was making.
I suppose that you are trying to draw a distinction between the "Putin regime" and Russia, but I don't think it works. You may be motivated by not offending Russians, but most of them would not accept the distinction, and could take umbrage at it, exactely as many British would not accept a distinction between Britain and the "May regime". Presently, Putin embodies Russia, and it is pointless to wish for his departure and hope that it would "improve things" or "change things" (which is a codeword for Russia becoming "pro-Western", fruitless first because pro-Western is what it was before Western rulers wished to antagonize it, and second, because a new ruler would on the contrary probably be less compliant).

It was the "kick the bucket" part that is revealing. I actually find it revealing if in fact that is what he said and if his remarks were translated correctly. Surely could be taken as virtually an admission of guilt. Just my opinion obviously, that's all.
In my humble opinion, I do not see it this way. A mark of anger as he is constantly accused of the murder attempt on somebody who is so often presented as a kind of hero for betraying Russia. The kind of remark that many people do when they believe that someone else had it coming, but with no more meaning.
And I still do not believe that he was behind the attack. It appears out of character for him. In a straight line with his previous actions pertaining to relations with Western powers, the recent developments in Syria have confirmed that he is a decidely cool-headed man, and it is really frightening to guess at what things would have been with someone with less restraint. So, no, I don't believe for a second that he ordered the assaults. And that even if there was matter for a retaliation, after attacks on Russian operatives and staff in Syria – but to retaliate against... Skripal, a second-rate double agent, and still a Russian citizen, and at a time when the international situation was really hot and dangerous, the Western elites playing at launching a new wave of demonisation of Russia and pushing for confrontation ?!? No, the only options remain the British Deep State or an extremist faction of its Russian counterpart.
 

PeteS

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Probably, but I suppose that you were indeed being ironic about Putin and what kind of boogeyman he may be... In fact, having done a bit of research, it is one of many Putin's own dogs, not a Moscow Watchdog despite certainly looking like one, but a Bulgarian Shepherd (or Karakachan Shepherd). He was given to him in 2010 during a visit in Bulgaria as an offical gift ; in fact, the picture was taken when he was given the dog, which explains why the latter was so uneasy. Do not worry, he became used to his new master, you have here two pictures of him as a grown-up, much much bigger, and definitely in good health and very happy with his master (as the article relates, Putin was too recently given a Central Asian Sheperd or Alabai puppy by the Turkmen president, his guests probably see him as somebody with a taste for tough dogs – I wonder which kind of dog they would give to Trump ???) :
https://www.k9rl.com/turkmen-shepherd-putin/


I suppose that you are trying to draw a distinction between the "Putin regime" and Russia, but I don't think it works. You may be motivated by not offending Russians, but most of them would not accept the distinction, and could take umbrage at it, exactely as many British would not accept a distinction between Britain and the "May regime". Presently, Putin embodies Russia, and it is pointless to wish for his departure and hope that it would "improve things" or "change things" (which is a codeword for Russia becoming "pro-Western", fruitless first because pro-Western is what it was before Western rulers wished to antagonize it, and second, because a new ruler would on the contrary probably be less compliant).


In my humble opinion, I do not see it this way. A mark of anger as he is constantly accused of the murder attempt on somebody who is so often presented as a kind of hero for betraying Russia. The kind of remark that many people do when they believe that someone else had it coming, but with no more meaning.
And I still do not believe that he was behind the attack. It appears out of character for him. In a straight line with his previous actions pertaining to relations with Western powers, the recent developments in Syria have confirmed that he is a decidely cool-headed man, and it is really frightening to guess at what things would have been with someone with less restraint. So, no, I don't believe for a second that he ordered the assaults. And that even if there was matter for a retaliation, after attacks on Russian operatives and staff in Syria – but to retaliate against... Skripal, a second-rate double agent, and still a Russian citizen, and at a time when the international situation was really hot and dangerous, the Western elites playing at launching a new wave of demonisation of Russia and pushing for confrontation ?!? No, the only options remain the British Deep State or an extremist faction of its Russian counterpart.
Interesting perspective, but not one I agree with. Not to worry. I doubt if the truth (whatever that may be) will ever be known.
 
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