M.N.: Separate the wheat from the chaff, the GRU from Skripal, and the truth from propaganda, in your analysis.
With regard to the present GRU chief, Gen. Igor Korobov, my own subjective impression, formed on the basis of reading on this broader subject of the global intelligence activities, and whatever this subjective impression is worth, is that he is utterly professional, very tough, humane, good and very honest man, a soldier to the core. Just do not turn this impression from its feet on its head, and do not use this against him, that would be very unfair. It is the purely subjective impression, I have not met any of those people, and do not intend to, at this moment.
In the present climate of confusion and lies, Me thinks humbly, that Gen. Korobov would be the reliable partner, counterpart, negotiator, and even ally, when all the present difficulties are resolved. The higher levels of the military leadership in Russia, Mr. Shoigu and Gen. Gerasimov, also make very good impression, and I think, all of them do deserve a certain modicum of trust.
I want to repeat again, that it does not make any sense to ‘fight over nothing”, it does make all the sense to face the common issues and threats and to work on them together as partners, colleagues; the past Allies, and very possible, the future Allies.
You can call me anything you want, these are my impressions, and I stand by them. Although, I do absolutely have to add that the “wishful thinking phenomenon” is always present, this is the universal human trait, and to keep your eyes open is the high art and the lifetime skill.
Military people live and function in their own world. They will find the common language. Trust them with that.
No doubts, presently the GRU is going through severe crisis. I think humbly, that one of the tasks that they are presently facing is to understand, how people like Skripal make it into their agency, to the highest leadership positions, and what it means for their functioning. Skripal is the old school, Admiral Canaris type of the “Action man”, somewhat outdated. Their tune is off, their “skrip” is on.