This week, officials in the Czech Republic named the ‘Salisbury two’, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as prime suspects in the criminal investigation into an explosion at a Czech arms depot in 2014. European intelligence agencies also believe the pair was responsible for the poisoning of Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev in 2015.
IN 2018, it is believed Russian GRU agents Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov travelled to Salisbury to assassinate former Russian GRU agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Following the incident suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov appeared on Russian State Media claiming they were in Salisbury visiting the cathedral, not to poison anyone.
European Intelligence agents found that in 2014, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov travelled to the Czech Republic using fake passports under the identities ‘Ruslan Tabarov’ of Tajikistan, and ‘Nicolai Popa’ of Moldova. It is believed the men are part of the Russian military intelligence agencies (GRU) ‘Unit 29155’; A murky unit that specialises in assassination and sabotage.
Officials in Prague announced this week they were to expel 18 Russian diplomats over suspicions that Russian agents had been to blame for the explosion at the Czech arms dump in 2014 which killed two people; The expelled diplomats were sent back to Russia on Monday (19th April). In response, Moscow expelled all Czech diplomats from Russia giving them only 24 hours to leave.
Today this story took a strange twist, Viktoria Skripal, the niece of Sergey Skripal who is more known for leaking a voice recording of her uncle during his recovery from Novichok poisoning to Russian state media spoke with the press to defend Petrov and Boshirov and their trip to the Czech Republic.
In a bizarre statement to Russian media, Viktoria Skripal made the extraordinary claim that the Salisbury two had in fact travelled to that specific area of the Czech Republic, at the time the ammo dump blew up, to buy cut-price sports proteins! Yes, sports proteins. Skripal went on to claim the Czech Republic was the cheapest place to purchase sports proteins. (I would like to say I am shocked by this tragic excuse, but I am not).
The Russian Government has denied involvement in the 2018 Salisbury Novichok poisonings, the 2015 Bulgarian poisoning, the 2014 Ammunition Dump explosion and any other allegation levied against them.
My view on this is Russia simply does not care about people knowing what they are doing any more. It is clear the Russian state has a long-term plan and they will carry that out regardless of what people think. The real question we should be asking is what exactly is their plan? Does Putin want to reform the Soviet Union or is he going for a Dugin-esque full-scale conquest of the European continent? (A plan which literally included a UK Brexit from the EU!)
(There used to be a translated version of Alexander Dugin’s book ‘Foundations of Geopolitics’ online. If you can find it, read it. Whether it contains Russia’s long-term military plan or not it is an interesting read and look into the Russian geopolitical mindset.)