Talk for Article "UK offers detail on intelligence it says points to Russia over spy attack"

Talk about this Article

  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Jack, if you are really interested in the objective representation of the situation, what do you think about this?
    https://netherlands.mid.ru/en_GB/web/netherlands-en/-/statement-of-a-shulgin-at-the-opcw-ec
    Do you think it is not worth to mention in the article and the questions/concerns/demands raised are not legitimate?

    Also, ‘novichok’ does not appear in the OPCW report, so the beginning of the article is misleading.

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    ‘The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition on Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on April 12 the UK’s conclusions are correct after being invited by Britain to investigate the March 4 attack.’
    This passage comes after describing the far-fetched proofs provided by the uk about the training program and door handles and blaming Russia. Do you really not see how manipulative this is when you make it sound as if OPCW confirmed Russia is to blame (they confirmed the substance only)? And why a link to Sky news instead of analysing and citing OPCW instead?

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      To be fair, the beginning of the article (in bold) is clear and sticks to facts, saying opcw confirmed the nerve agent use.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        As for Sky news, they seem to throw propaganda themselves, as this interview cut proves: https://www.google.com.ua/amp/s/www.rt.com/news/424078-sky-news-general-shaw/amp/ so i would avoid referring to them instead of opcw

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          I have uploaded and linked to the OPCW statement. The place where I linked to Sky was specifically when the head of Porton Down contradicted what Johnson had said – he told Sky first so I felt it was best practice to cite their coverage.

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    ‘backs UK over nerve agent attack’ – this is manipulation. They only confirmed UK findings related to the identity (and it is not clear to what extent they support it, as UK had a very meticulosly crafted statement that did not evev surely say it was a nerve agent, even though they suspected it was and they also claimed it to be ‘of a type developed by Russia’ which is not very clear (it is only clear from it that they wanted to assign the blame no matter what kind of nerve agent it was)) while the headline sounds as they said ‘it was Russia who did it’. Yes, it is later mentioned that they did not trace the origin, but the headline is manipulative.

    Apart from this, the fact that there was a nerve agent was not hotly disputed by Moscow, the blame was and is hotly disputed and this is another manipulation to try to represent Moscow’s dispute as false and disinformative, while the fact it was a nerve agent proves nothing of that kind as it could have been administered by anybody, and don’t tell me that only Moscow had the means and motive – that is quite ridiculous considering the political gains of UK in this situation as well as the fact they had had a sample of that substance as confirmed by BJ (and clearly had the means to administer it if needed) and the formula has been available for decades publicly.
    It is tiresome to keep pointing at biased representation of news here, so I think that people like me who question the western media narrative will just give up on the community eventually. I hoped for far more serious standards and mechanisms for ensuring impartiality here, and see that you throw words without weighing them too much even in a case that can potentially lead to 3rd WW.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Michael, I was really trying to keep the headline clear and brief – their statement does specifically back the UK’s conclusions. Moscow has repeatedly tried to sow doubt over the UK’s investigation and its finding that it was novichok.
      However, I do take your point and think there’s always a risk our writing is influenced by the way the story is first framed. We try very hard to be impartial but part of the WikiTribune model is the idea that Community editing will iron out bias – so I would really encourage you and others to edit the story yourself, so that it satisfies you as unbiased. If you don’t get a chance to do so, I will take another go at the headline. Jack

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Thanks, appreciate your reply, I really have no time to do that these days and my English isn’t as good as yours, so I don’t think I’d be able to produce a fancy headline 🙂

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          ‘Sow doubt’ is another coined from UN council meeting phrase that puts a label on Russias position. We may as well say that UK tries to sow doubt about Russia’s inocense, but that would be if we were on their side. ‘Sow doubt’ sounds as if you point at their untruthfullness, but as journalists we have no proof to say who is right or wrong I think.

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            Ok, I have changed the headline so it echoes more directly what the OPCW said. I guess “sow doubt” is a bit of a cliche, but there has been a lot of different narratives from Moscow on this, as there has been in previous incidents. I have tried not to make judgments, but just point to what different people have said, and what evidence they have cited.

            1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

              There have been a lot of versions in Russian media and I wonder why considering various versions is believed to be disinformation or ‘sowing doubt’ and blaming someone without providing direct evidence is not believed to be manipulation and propaganda. Previous incidents are probably out of scope of this conversation.

              1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

                Besides, all the versions considered by the media were rather a response to uk’s words that Russia is the only possible and credible version, which is certainly not true. So, they showed how many other versions are possible and that made them ‘sowing doubt’ and disinformation. How is one supposed to defend from false accusations then?

  4. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I’ve read in other articles that Porton Downs has stores of novichok but there is no mention of that or examination of any other investigation into the source of the nerve agent. Are we meant to follow this updated version of the WMD story into another large military action?

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
      DU
      Deleted User

      Thanks Del, could you provide some links to articles saying that Porton Down has stores of novichok?

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Boris Jonson confirmed to DW they had a sample of it at least, i.e. they had the ability to stage it. The formulas have been available for more than a decade publicly, US dismantled the premises where it was produced and it is not in Russia.

  5. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I keep hearing and reading references to “military grade” nerve agents.

    This suggests that there are other grades – Is there, perhaps, a “recreational grade” or a “sports grade”?

    As far as I am aware all nerve agents are for military use.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      That’s a fair point, but I think it is used more for clarity than exaggeration. “Nerve agent” technically just means a chemical that affects the nervous system, adding “military grade” tells people it is a weapon, but others may well disagree with my reading of it.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        I think that it’s more about the deliberate use of scary language, emphasis on war-like behaviour, “an attack on the British people”.

        You must have noticed the increase in the use of the word “weaponised” in many so contexts recently.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          Those are carefully chosen words by uk officials and propagated by media to tag it as a war offense. I am glad that they are recovering, but this ‘military grade’ is very strange considering how long they survived after the contact until they could receive any help from the medical staff.
          It is now even sometimes referred to as a WMD on British soil, even though no person was actually killed. So, the scarier it sounds the better, I guess.

  6. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Both title and content of the article sound extremely biased, favouring Russia.

    As Vladimir Frolov puts it, “If the Kremlin does not have a relationship to the poisoning, the reaction was to be completely different – condemnation, full cooperation and calm confidence in its right. Instead, there was a tantrum and a jumble of mutually exclusive versions.” https://goo.gl/2oGHEu (behind paywall)

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      That is very funny you should say that since most of the criticism so far has been that we are Russophobic. Neither is true but if we are irritating people equally perhaps we are in the right place.
      Many of these sentiments have been expressed on what I consider an excellent story on hybrid war as a doctrine: https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/03/14/war_&_conflict/russia-changes-the-rules-of-warfare-perfecting-hybrid-war/54989/
      The original main story we did and built on for several weeks is here:
      https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/03/06/espionage/former-russian-double-agent-critically-ill-after-contact-with-unknown-substance/53558/

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      It is ridiculous to use the reaction of Russia as a proof for its guilt. When was the last time the UK and Russia had a positive relationship? Why do you expect Russia to react in the manner described in your message when since the beginning it was accused to be involved by the UK?

      Come on. We need to be a more pedantic with the proof than “if they were not guilty, they would have cooperated”…To take an extreme example, guess what will be the reaction of North Korea if the US accuse them of anything similar….Russia is not North Korea, but it is also not France etc

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        I do recall Mrs Thatcher describing Mr Gorbachev as someone she could do business with.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          Exactly. This was long time ago and coincidentally during the period when USSR was in the process of being dismantled…

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