HomeExpertsESPIONAGE: BACK TO THE COLD WAR

ESPIONAGE: BACK TO THE COLD WAR

Terrifying allegations surfaced about Cemal Kasikci, a dissident journalist in Turkey, that he was “abducted” or “killed”, and “his body was cut into 15 pieces” and taken out the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia with suitcases in İstanbul by the Saudi intelligence.

Nobody knows about Kasikci’s fate or his whereabouts.

An “espionage and assassination crisis” has been ongoing between England and Russia since March 2018, and it is only getting more complicated.

Sergei Skripal, who had been arrested in 2004 due to the fact that his double agent activities between Russia and western intelligence had been revealed and extradited to England in exchange for 10 Russian spies in 2010, was assassinated with a specially developed “chemical weapon” called Novichock.

Former Russian military intelligence member (GRU) Skripal and his daughter were found in a coma on a park bench in Salisbury. Around 40 English citizens were also affected from this attack.

England announced that the attacks were carried out by Russia and started diplomatic sanctions against Russia. Including the US and EU, around 20 countries participated in this diplomatic boycott.
Russia claimed that the accusations had no basis, and that England had started a “defaming and smear campaign” against themselves.

It was uncertain who actually had carried out the assassination, how the poison which was 70 times more powerful than the Sarin Gas had been smuggled inside the country, or how the assassination had been carried out.

Skripal, his daughter, and other English citizens, who were affected by the chemical weapon, received a treatment.

However, 4 months after this assassination attempt, an English national called Dawn Sturgess died of Novichock on July 7t caused the “Pandora’s box” to reopen.

Sturgess had been killed due to the fact that she had used a perfume called Nina Ricci, which had been given to her as a gift by her boyfriend, who had obtained the perfume in a box of a charity organization.

250 detectives examined eleven thousand hours of CCTV footage. The route where the Nina Ricci perfume was located, and also two Russian citizens were identified near the residence of Skripal on the day of the assassination.

It was revealed that they had arrived in London carrying passports registered to Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov before the assassination, and had come to Salisbury only to return back right after the assassination.

England claimed that the assassination was carried out by two Russian nationals, who are the members of GRU, the Russian military intelligence.

Russia refuted the claims by leaps and bounds. Two names, Petrov and Borishov, were on national television. The duo claimed that they visited Salisbury to see the cathedral, and returned back immediately since it was raining.

But the CCTV footage disproved their claim. It was revealed that they had walked to Skripal’s residence which was directly away from the cathedral, and that they had never made their way to the direction of the cathedral.

But it was not enough. The lethal information was actually revealed by Bellingcat and Insider, two dissident journalist websites publishing against Putin in English.

First, they proved with photos that the serial numbers of the passports were not matching and that they were fake, and also the passports had a note written in Russian which read not to carry out any “security inspections”.

The individual who had used the fake name “Alexander Petrov” was actually Anatoliy Chepiga, a Russian military intelligence colonel who had been awarded a “Russian Hero”, the highest awarded title, by Putin in 2014 because of his contributions for Crimea’s joining to Russia. They published images of Putin when he was giving the award.

The other individual who had used the fake “Ruslan Boshirov” was actually Alexander Mishkin, an army officer working for GRU, Russia’s military intelligence, and his details were also published by the websites in question with pictures and documents. Mishkin also had been on duty in Crimea and awarded as a “Russian Hero” by Putin.

Experts speculate that the assassination had been organized by Chepiga, and Mishkin had sprayed the highly effective Novichock agent just enough to the door and doorknob of the residence of Skripal with a specially designed perfume bottle without harming himself in any way.

Russia announced that “if the English government shares the official documents, they could start an investigation”.

They also think that two Russian intelligence officers carrying out an assassination to a former Russian intelligence member, who was exchanged in 2010 by the approval of Putin, is a message to “all of the double agents”, and an action which is not forgivable in any way.

The general, who is the head of the Russian military intelligence, being the commander of Skripal while they were fighting in Afghanistan on behalf of Russia makes this possibility even stronger.

Eventually, the world is a stage once again for the espionage wars of the Cold War era, thanks to the governments which respect no law.

Turkey had not participated with the diplomatic boycott of England because of the Skripal assassination.

Because of the news about Kasikci, England is waiting for clear details.

Kasikci had been on duty next to Prince Faisal Al Turki, who worked effectively for the Saudi intelligence for a long time, while Al Turki was an ambassador in London and Washington.

That is the main reason for England and the English media to watch the events about Kasikci closely.

Erhan Basyurt is a self exiled critical journalist and the former Editor-in-Chief of Turkish Daily Bugun, which was seized by Erdogan Government in 2015.

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ERHAN BASYURT
ERHAN BASYURT
Erhan Basyurt is a self exiled critical journalist and the former Editor-in-Chief of Turkish Daily Bugun, which was seized by Erdogan Government in 2015.
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