Unless you live in the UK, you may have missed the recent shennanigans of the Russian Embassy on Twitter. They're adamant that Russia had nothing to do with the poisoning of the Skripals - indeed, any hard evidence pointing to their involvement is still lacking. Now they're strongly hinting that British Intelligence have 'kidnapped' the Skripals and are trying to keep them isolated.
It's not hard to believe there's some foul play afoot, given that there have been no photographs, video or audio of the Skripals since the event. The Embassy have also raised doubts about the authenticity of a statement released to the press by Yulia Skripal in April, stating that she did not want any consular assistance, or to be contacted by her family.
Her closest family member, cousin Viktoria (niece of Sergei Skripal), was denied a visa to enter the UK last month, reputedly because of an error on the application form. Today (May 15th 2018), Viktoria's application for a visa has been refused again, a Home Office spokesperson saying it was “on the grounds that she did not meet the requirements of the immigration rules” - although followers of the Russian Embassy on Twitter have their own theories.
Sergei Skripal's links to the Steele dossier became clearer thanks to a D-Notice issued by the Defence and Security Media Advisory to UK journalists. It prevented them from making reference Skripal's MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, supposedly in the interest of national security. However, it turned out that Miller, as well as having known Sergei for over 25 years, and living just a few streets away from him, also happened to work for Orbis. For those who aren't aware - Orbis are the company commissioned by the Democrats to produce the dossier at the centre of the Russian Collusion Investigation. Skripal's relationship with Miller has been well documented in Russia, and if you read Russian (or have time to use Google Translate), there's a book freely available online that details their introductory years working together, "Чертова дюжина контрразведки".
With so many other players who could be involved in the poisoning, it's hard to keep count. That's if there ever was a poisoning to begin with. Yulia posted to her VK profile 3 days after the alleged attack took place - a Russian song, entitled "Don't Lose Heart". Although this has been decried as the work of hackers (Russian hackers, of course), there's no proof that she didn't post it herself as a semi-coded message to those who are close to her. There's no point following the link to her VK profile though, because - within the last 2 weeks - it's been deleted.
Viktoria posted an emotional message for Yulia on VK, saying that her dog was in the kennels, and asking permission to look after it. Yulia's apartment in Russia has lay empty for months now, and her car is parked outside: Viktoria is concerned about the security.
Meanwhile in the UK The Skripals have all the security they require. They are reportedly under armed guard in an unknown location. Whether they're expected to live out their days as such, with no contact with friends or relations, is uncertain - as is the question of whether they're being held against their will.
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