The attempted murder of former officer of Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia in Salisbury, UK, still causes a lot of questions. It is obvious that poisoning attack using military toxic agents, which injured UK citizens, will have long-live consequences for Russia. British officials made accent on the fact it was the first time chemical weapon has been used since World War II and their reaction was tough.
Russia still rejects all the accusations of its involvement in Skripal case. However, undiplomatic reply of Russian Foreign Ministry as well as the refusal to send British government the information about Soviet chemical weapon program “Novichok”, which was used to poison Skripal and his daughter are another evidence of Russian involvement in this case.
Russian intelligence agencies have carried out many operations of assassinations of Putin’s enemies abroad. The investigation of “polonium murder” of former FSB agent A.Litvinenko established that this assault was planned and done after direct Putin’s order. There are some reasonable doubts about the nature of “suicide” of Boris Berezovskiy, who was one of the most influent Putin’s opponents.
It is worth to mention that political assassination in the territory of sovereign countries has become the usual instrument for Russia to get rid of opponents. We have to admit that Russian origin of nerve agent used to kill S. Skripal was absolutely clearly identified according to statements of V. Mirzayanov, one of the authors of “Novichok” and Soviet chemical weapons in general.
The version of Russian media that attempted murder of Skripal was just the provocation against Russia ahead of the Presidential elections or just an attempt to dismiss Russia as host of the 2018 World Cup or the excuse for strengthening sanctions does not stand up to the criticism.
It is highly likely that attempt to kill Skripal had couple of aims. The first one was to show the political opposition in Russia and in other countries that any contradiction with Kremlin will be ended in similar way. The second aim was to show the world community that any strengthening of sanctions against Russia can provoke not only political respond, but also brutal terror attacks against these countries and their citizens.
Putin continues to aggravate international situation, trying to provoke world leaders, and Skripal case attests to this fact. It is high time to use another measures to stop Russian aggression and to prevent another attacks as we could see in Salisbury.