*Russian to Judgement *
13 Mar, 2018 <https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/13/>  in
<https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/category/uncategorized/>by craig
*by Craig Murray*

The same people who assured you that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s now assure
you Russian “novochok” nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to
attack people on British soil. As with the Iraqi WMD dossier, it is
essential to comb the evidence very finely. A vital missing word from
Theresa May’s statement yesterday was “only”. She did not state that the
nerve agent used was manufactured ONLY by Russia. She rather stated this
group of nerve agents had been “developed by” Russia. Antibiotics were
first developed by a Scotsman, but that is not evidence that all
antibiotics are today administered by Scots.

The “novochok” group of nerve agents – a very loose term simply for a
collection of new nerve agents the Soviet Union were developing fifty years
ago – will almost certainly have been analysed and reproduced by Porton
Down. That is entirely what Porton Down is there for. It used to make
chemical and biological weapons as weapons, and today it still does make
them in small quantities in order to research defences and antidotes. After
the fall of the Soviet Union Russian chemists made a lot of information
<https://alchetron.com/Novichok-agent> available on these nerve agents. And
one country which has always manufactured very similar persistent nerve
agents is Israel. This *Foreign Policy* magazine (a very establishment US
publication) article on Israel
chemical and biological weapon capability is very interesting indeed. I
will return to Israel later in this article.


Theresa May's "45 Minutes" Moment
March 12, 2018

Today the British government made some dubious assertions about Saddam's
chemical weapons the poisoning of its double agent

bigger <http://www.moonofalabama.org/images6/45minutes.jpg>

The British Prime Minister Theresa May claimed
<https://twitter.com/jessicaelgot/status/973248825073848320> (saved tweet
<http://www.moonofalabama.org/images6/mayskripal.jpg>) in Parliament that:

   - Sergej Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military grade
   nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.
   - The nerve agent was part of a group of agents known as 'Novichok'.
   - Russia has previously produced the agent and would still be capable of
   doing so.
   - Russia has a record of conducting state sponsored assassinations.
   - The British government assesses that Russia views some defectors as
   legitimate targets.
   - The British government concluded that it is highly likely that Russia
   was responsible for the act against Sergej and Yulia Skripal.

May went on to claim that:

   - This was either a direct act by the Russian State against the United
   Kingdom or
   - the Russian government lost control of the nerve agent and let it fall
   into the hands of others.

I find all of the above claims not only dubious but laughable. Here are
some facts:

Novichok, 'newcomers' in English, are a zoo of chemical warfare agents that
were developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s. Some of the
'newcomers' are said to be highly toxic.

bigger <http://www.moonofalabama.org/images6/novichok.jpg>

The existence of these chemical agents was disclosed in 1992. Russia joined
the *Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production,
Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction* in 1997.
It has since (unlike the U.S.) destroyed all
over stocks from the Soviet Union's chemical weapon program. It does not
produce chemical weapons.

These agents and their formulas are not
exclusively Russian knowledge or product:

One of the key manufacturing sites was the Soviet State Scientific Research
Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT)* in Nukus,
Uzbekistan*. Small, experimental batches of the weapons may have been
tested on the nearby Ustyurt plateau. It may also have been tested in a
research centre in Krasnoarmeysk near Moscow. *Since its independence in
1991,* *Uzbekistan has been working with the government of the United
States* to dismantle and decontaminate the sites where the Novichok agents
and other chemical weapons were tested and developed.

The formulas for the various Novichok agents are not a Russian secret. The
U.S. and the UK surely know how to make these. The agents are said to be
made from simply components used in civil industrial processes. (To qualify
any agent as "military grade" is by the way nonsense. Many chemical agents
used in civil process are also incredibly deadly.) The *Porton Down* chemical
weapon laboratory of the British military is only some 8 miles away from
Salisbury where the Skripals were allegedly poisoned.  The British
government claims that Porton Down identified the agent allegedly used on
the Skripals. The laboratory is surely also capable of producing such
stuff, just like similar laboratories in other countries are able to do.


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