Not that this will make much of a difference to the screeching fanatics on the far left and right, but we can now safely say that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Reported the Guardian:
The international chemical weapons watchdog has backed Britain’s findings on the identity of the chemical used in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said an analysis of samples taken from the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia, and Det Sgt Nick Bailey confirmed the assessment of the UK, which has said that the three were affected by novichok, a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia.
The executive summary released by the OPCW does not mention novichok by name, but states: “The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirms the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.”
The OPCW also "notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities." And according to chemical weapons experts, Novichok is only produced in one site in the world: Shikhany, the home of a military research establishment in central Russia,
The notion that the poisoning was a "false flag" used by nefarious neoliberals and Deep State actors in both the UK and US government has spread alarmingly fast, leading to a great deal of confusion over what actually happened. A quick glance at the comments section on Breitbart confirms the consensus on the Alt Right:
And the popularity of conspiracy theorists like Caitlin Johnstone's rantings confirm what is emerging as consensus on the far left: Russia could not possibly be to blame because of a neoliberal/globalist conspiracy to start a new Cold War and take over the world:
The criticism that people leapt to conclusions before an official investigation had concluded was fair to a small degree, but there was so much publicly available evidence that it didn't take a genius to figure out what had happened. When two former Russian spies turn up poisoned in a small British town by a highly sophisticated Soviet created nerve agent, it wasn't a huge leap to say with near certainty that Russia was responsible. Only the most ardent conspiracy theorist believed Russia wasn't to blame for using one of its own patented chemical weapons to poison a former spy who had turned against the Russian state. It was a trademark Putin move and timed perfectly to coincide with the Russian elections. It created maximum havoc internationally, and has furthered Putin's PR efforts to portray himself as a potent power player on the international scene.
Tensions between Russia and the West are currently at very dangerous levels, and diplomatic efforts must be used to reduce them. But to entertain the notion that Vladimir Putin is a blameless victim in this latest episode of what can now legitimately be described as a continuation of the Cold War is not only intellectually ridiculous, but morally bankrupt. Putin is an aggressive tyrant who presents a unique threat to global stability -- he is cunning and utterly ruthless in his quest to expand Russian power and must be contained by NATO forces if peace is to be kept. To deny this is to deny extensive human rights abuses cataloged in Russia that range from criminalizing free speech and invading sovereign nations, to violent attacks on LGBT people and rampant anti-semitism.
Vladimir Putin understands only the language of power, and he must be confronted by those who stand for his bullying. This is a difficult notion for those who refuse to see the reality of the conflict and insist on viewing it through ideological lenses, but an important one if peace is to be achieved. Putin cannot be appeased under any circumstance, and now the world has the facts on his heinous attack on Britain, they must rally to stop him going further. Those who insist it is a Western conspiracy concocted to achieve a globalist corporate world government should be treated as dangerous pariahs they are and sidelined by sensible adults. They are free to continue ranting, just as we are free to not listen to them.