“After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we may have been poisoned. I still find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that both of us were attacked in a such a way.”
Yulia Skripal — May 23 2018
In a BBC Newsnight documentary, hospital staff who saved the lives of poisoned Russians Sergei and Yulia Skripal reveal they did not expect the victims of the nerve agent attack to survive. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
RELATED POST: Did a “Novichok” programme ever exist?
The Skripals had been found slumped on a bench on 4 March – but staff treating them at Salisbury District Hospital did not initially know the reason why.
As you watch the documentary, you may want to keep the following observations in mind. [Many thanks to Paul F.]
1. Mark Urban presents the piece. He is a former military officer whose contacts seem to be entirely in military and other intelligence services. He is clearly very pro-American, Anti-Assad, anti-Putin. One would have expected some other BBC journalist to run this piece.
2. The medical staff interviewed are mostly nurses and not doctors. Nurses carry out treatments but do not diagnose. Some of the nurses seem unfamiliar with some of the medical terms (e.g. organophosphate. She says “organophosphorous”). One of the nurses refers to Sergeant Baily as “the PC” (i.e. Police Constable, not a sergeant).
3. The doctor who talks most is the director of Surgery at the hospital. Why is he interviewed? It appears Yulia may have had a tracheotomy, but there are no reports of Sergei needing surgery.
4. Dr Stephen Davies is NOT interviewed or mentioned. This surprising as he wrote the letter to the Times saying that NO patients had suffered from nerve agents.
5. All the medical staff say that at first they observed the symptoms of a narcotics overdose and it was widely reported at first the Skripals had taken a Fentanyl (or similar) overdose. Only when “colleagues” from Porton Down intervene do the hospital medics change their minds.
6. It is clear that it was Porton Down who were in charge from an early stage. Normally doctors are very defensive about holding on to control of patients, but here they seem to have handed everything over to Porton Down.
7. There is no reference to the OPCW at any point in the film.
None of these observations proves anything on its own, but, taken together, one is left with the impression that this documentary was staged, rehearsed and carefully scripted and directed to support the theory that the Skripals ‘miraculously’ survived a Novichok attack.
Skripal Poisoning : Medics Reveal Fears [Documentary]