Since nobody knows anything, as Alexander Mercouris points out, I haven’t bothered following this closely.
Still, I suppose it’s big enough that I should post something about it. This comment from for-the-record seems not entirely implausible:
What seems eminently clear is that whoever did it knew that this would be attributed to the Russians, and either didn’t care (a Russian “fuck you” to the West, just like Syria’s repeated gas attacks that everyone knows all about), or actively desired it.
So why not consider the following scenario:
What if Christopher Steele (“author” of the famous dossier), unable to personally travel to Russia, engaged Skripal to dig up the “dirt” on Trump?
What if Skripal either manufactured or was fed “dirt” (false information) by his Russian connections?
What if now, with the heat on Steele, Skripal got nervous (knowing the information he provided was false and that he was in danger of becoming the fall guy, or the guy who knew too much)?
What if Skripal, living alone in the UK, then decided that his life would be more meaningful (and longer) if he were to return to Russia and be close to his daughter?
What if, using his Moscow-based daughter as an intermediary, he came to an agreement that would have allowed him to return to Russia in return for a “confession” about his role in manufacturing the dossier at the behest of British intelligence?
What if this became known to certain people in the UK?
What would their likely reaction have been?
Is this scenario any less plausible than the idea that the Russians would have done this in such a blatantly obvious manner, shortly before their Presidential elections and three months before the World Cup they are hosting?
I suppose we’ll soon see about that.
I suppose if the UK – so, presumably, England – are ordered to boycott the World Cup, they will not have to worry about getting poisoned by the Russians “to slow them down” (as suggested by professional Russia basher Edward Lucas).
Not that anyone would notice.
On the other hand, if they could cajole the other Western countries into boycotting as well, it would be yet another humiliation for the kremlins, who seem to think they can buy their way into international handshakeworthiness by hosting very expensive international sporting events.