Just finished (very) quickly skim reading Mark Urban’s book on Skripal.
I learn four things (the first two of which Rob Slane had already told me).
- Skripal was still doing work with the SIS and his house had been bought for him by it. Slane covers the deductions from that here.
- Skripal spent a lot of time watching Russian TV and did not believe Russia had invaded Ukraine (Urban has a minor case of the fantods about that, obviously can’t believe that anyone would doubt the Beeb). This supports the possibility that he was ready to go back to Russia (plus his aged mother was quite sick and he wanted to be with her) and that he was still a “Russian”.
The other two are
- The Russians had been watching Skripal for several years and it’s possible that they were feeding him fake information. Which leads to the interesting speculation, when he’s being interrogated by the Russians, that he’s told that although he didn’t know it, he was actually working for them all along. And, upon release, he still could be.
- The “NGO” Igor Sutyagin was giving information to did have a connection to SIS. (Urban idiotically says this was a case where Russian “paranoia” was justified.) So another big brouhaha in the Western media turns out to be wrong. Is it really going to turn out that Russia has told the truth every single time and the West has lied every single time?
Apart from that, everything in the book is what you would expect to see (although I do love his mention that an Army nurse was one of the first responders – try Colonel Alison McCourt, Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army! Quite a coincidence, eh?)
But these nuggets are worth the hour of skimming.
I don’t see anything to harm Michael Anthony’s theory (Urban does raise the possibility of Skripal having something to do with the Dossier but airily dismisses it.)