Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Dead^H^H^H^H high as a kite.
Summary: The UK accused "The Russians" of using a Russian nerve gas on a Russian double agent in Britain. Protocol dictates samples be given - of the suspected poison to the UN for testing which was not forthcoming. Weeks later, samples delivered to Geneva turns out to be a hallucinogen used by the CIA during "Men who stare at goats" era. The Swiss company that identified it knows this because they're the ons that made it for the CIA in the first place.
For the fourth time in a few years a double agent has been prisoned in England and in every case it was a double agent of Russian origin. In this case he agent in question was released eight years ago by Russia in a spy swap after being imprisoned for treason. Double agents don't seem to fare too well in spy stories and it does appear it's not a safe retirement in England for double agents as as somebody has killed four of them now - three actually Skirpol did not die, he was merely harmed as was his daughter, a Russian national visiting her father after she expressed concern about his mental health.
PM May announced it was a Russian plot, Boris Johnson, foreign minister claimed it was ordered by Putin. When asked for evidence and for samples a demanded by international protocol, ratified by the UK that governs behavior when bioterror arms are found, they declined. As of this writing zero evidence of any kind, medical or otherwise, has been offered.
In 1999 the New York Times reported the Pentagon had begun a joint US Uzbek project to deconstruction Soviet era nerve has production and claimed the plant had something to do with the Nerve gas alleged by PM May to have been used, the problem being it works 3-5 times faster, leaves yellow stain and would have killed everybody in the room had it actually been used. As it was Skirpol and his daughter walked around a bit and were the only ones that became unconscious some time later. Bad food could have done this frankly.
When Ishii unleashed Sarin a subway in Japan the body count was non-trivial. The agent alleged to have been used in the Skirpol would have killed everyone in the restaurant, being 3-5 times more potent. It also leaves a nasty yellow stain and smells awful. If it had actually been used that building would have been encased in concrete by now by international convention.
One might postulate infinitesimal amounts may have been used. Hence the importance of a sample.
When compared against the samples the Americans took from Uzbekistan in 1999 they may in fact prove to be the same, but we would have to rely on the honesty of the Americans to produce uncorrupted evidence and if they have complicity in the Skirpol affair this is not a valid assumption.
Russia per se did not have much say in this, they let the US dispose of the Soviet era nerve gases as they had requested. A prudent policy as it lets the Russians say "if there's a problem with that stuff look to the US, they have it now, not us".
Of course knowing what it is and where it came from does not tell you the who and why of this. Causing harm to a Russian national on English soil in a double agent cock-up of the first order.
Neither nation is interested in Skripal, the Russians gave him away in a spy swap while the British cared so much they failed to protect him from something and won't say what. Or why.
It is not expected they'll ever say. Brexit negotiations in Europe where PM May has to negotiate the exit price are scheduled mere days after the Skirpol incident Russia and PM May are on the same side there.
30 questions: 30 questions journalists should ask
May claims: Theresa May's argument debunked
clinton: Poisioned British-Russian Double-Agent Has Links To Clinton Campaign
communique: From the global registry of nasty diseases
cz: ‘I want to see facts’: Czech president urges UK to provide some evidence on Skripal case
d order: Revealed: rebranded D-Notice committee issued two notices over Skripal affair
debunked: C21H23NO3 - Swiss lab says ‘BZ toxin’ used in Salisbury, not produced in Russia, was in US & UK service
deny: BBC: Source of nerve agent 'not identified'
germany: Evidence before solidarity: German official blasts UK, allies for blaming Russia in Skripal case
helmer: One Analysis of the incident
jaccuse: Russia accuses the UK of making the whole thing up
labour: ‘Egg on his face’: Labour rebukes Boris Johnson for ‘misleading public’ on Novichok source
oops: UK Foreign Office denies claiming nerve agent from Russia, despite tweet and Boris Johnson interview
sorry: London will have to apologize yet’ – Putin spokesman on UK lab's revelation in Skripal case
statement: Full translated transcript of the Russian MFA on the “Skripal” false flag operation
triple: Double agent doubles down.
Sergei Skripal’s relatives fear he is dead as almost a month of silence goes by
vtr: False evidence on police photos