I was sitting in a Café, having lunch with my wife, we just came back from the local market with two bags full of vegetables – most people are following lent now in Russia which means no animal produce or Sex for 46 days. We were not sure about the sex part but decided to keep away from the meat and the dairy products anyways to see if that has any positive effect on our health. We occupied one of the tables outdoors as it was a beautiful,
sunny day – As an Indian, I never thought a day would come when I will crave for the Sun, but winters are long, even in Sochi.
I took out my mobile and went straight to my news app while my wife ordered black coffee – all the major outlets were headlining the poisoning of 66 – years old Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal – at the time I didn’t even know who these two were but I was really outraged – I remember telling my wife, “this is ridiculous, why would the government do this and especially now, months before the world cup ?”
I remember telling her “ the countries interest must always be a priority and not a personal grudge against an ex-spy” – My wife calmly told me to wait for all the evidence to come out – a day later, Theresa May declared “Its, highly likely that Russia is behind it” and they identified the poison as a nerve agent called Novichok – since then we have seen scores of diplomats getting expelled on each side and the guardian, which I think is no better than RT (just a personal opinion), convicting Russia every day of a crime which in my opinion is yet to be investigated and proved.
While looking for facts before writing this article I found out that, Sergei Skripal is a former Russian intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for MI6 and was convicted to 13 years in prison by a Russian court in 2006 – He was exchanged later for Russian agents arrested in the United States, the British government at that time insisted that Skripal be included in the list.
Sergei then moved to Salisbury where he bought a house and continued to provide information to the British intelligence. His wife – died of cancer according to sources, and his son died of liver problems, according to family members. His daughter, a Russian citizen, lived in Moscow and from the pictures which she put out regularly on her social media, looked happy to me.
I further learned that according to Fitz Patrick, an American geopolitical consultant – “Novichok” was developed in Nukus, Soviet, Uzbekistan – Now at this point of the research a question came to my mind, is it not possible that when the soviet union broke somebody got hold of the process of developing this agent from Uzbekistan ? And is it entirely impossible that a known chemical compound such as Novichok could be synthesized in a government lab other than Russia?
I will continue with the facts anyways – Boris Johnson (the foreign secretary) has said “It is overwhelmingly likely that Putin himself has ordered the attack” – Gavin Williamson (the defense secretary) has said, “Russia should go and Shut up.” The opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was called a “Kremlin Stooge – including some by his party – for suggesting that the government should wait until the inquiry into the murder is concluded, and more evidence emerge.”.
Russia should go and shut up – Boris Johnson
The OPCW (the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has started investigating the scene to identify the nerve agent used for the attack – the chairman of OPCW has said that they will take 2-3 weeks to come to any conclusion – at this point a question emerged in my head – “how did the British government to a conclusion so fast then?”.
Now that most of the facts have been laid out, let me give you my opinion on the whole thing, I still don’t know who carried out this attack, I come from one of the biggest democracies in the world (India) and although its riddled with Patriarchal Laws – some of which date back to the “British Raj” in India – We still wait for an Inquiry to run its due course and concrete evidence to emerge before someone gets convicted of a crime. I am sure this is true for the western world as well – Then why is the British government so keen on jumping to conclusion and can’t wait for the inquiry to be over? Isn’t it dangerous to start this trend of conviction without trial or evidence – using words like “highly likely,” “shut up,” “most likely” – are we as citizens of the world not going to ask questions and accept whatever the government tells us?
Let us look at the questions that arise when we look at all the facts – Is it utterly impossible that Novichok could be synthesized in a government laboratory other than Russia, primarily when it dates back to 1971? – In 2016 Iranian Scientists synthesized Six Novichok agents in their lab for analysis, according to OPCW.
The attack happened only months before the FIFA World cup and days before the presidential election in Russia and although some news outlets have pointed out that “Putin ordered the attack to show himself as a strongman – as a man who avenges enemies of states” – Majority of Russians whom I spoke with were really unhappy with the incident, mainly because they knew that their countries image will be further tarnished so what is the motive behind Putin ordering such an attack and why now ?
One more important question is why has the British government repeatedly denied any information about the inquiry to the Russian government, especially when one of the victims, Yulia Skripal is a Russian citizen, and is it not an international norm. To share information when the citizen of a country comes under attack on foreign soil? – The supreme court of the United States of America said 50 years ago that Prosecutors Shouldn’t Be Hiding Evidence From Defendants, then what is the reason of not sharing evidence with Russia or asking to carry a joint investigation?
In conclusion, I would like to say, I am not taking anybody’s side in this matter, and it was indeed a terrible incident but should we blindly follow our governments? – in the case of Alexander Litvinenko a former FSB agent, who was allegedly poisoned by Kremlin with Plutonium, the British government took 8 months to finish its inquiry and then expelled 4 Russian diplomats, Theresa May at the time called the actions “weak and delayed” – could that be the reason why she and her cabinet decided to jump to conclusion so quickly ? or are we all failing to see the actual picture and are blinded by our individual prejudices and affiliations ? – What do you think?