She did not quite roll her eyes. But the host of the evening news on Russia’s most watched TV channel might as well have.

That is because Yelena Vinnik was making it clear Britain’s latest statements on the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal were not to be believed.

Will the British stop their “information manipulation” and come clean on the “facts”, Vinnik asked. As she did so on screen appeared what looked like a DVD box set called “Skripals, a New Season”.

Russia’s tightly controlled and state owned TV stations have been very eager to portray UK police and prosecution statements on the Salisbury case as fiction.

Ms Vinnik was on Channel 1. Over on Russia’s rolling news channel, Vesti, the Britain’s latest announcements were referred to as a “show”.

The talking points were much the same across media, print, digital and TV. Ms Vinnik’s programme featured Leonid Rink, a Russian chemical weapons expert who stressed how close Porton Down was to Salisbury.

A correspondent pointed out that the latest pronouncements coincided with Russian warnings that terrorists in Idlib, Syria, were planning a provocation with chemical weapons. And so the news moved on to feature what Russian air strikes close to the very same place.

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Kremlin propaganda watchers are familiar with such well-rehearsed messaging, which are repeated for foreign audiences as well as Russia ones.

The Herald:

"Skripals: The New Season"

A spokesman for the Integrity Initiative said: “The Kremlin and its Western helpers have come out with all the usual tricks - the four D’s of dismiss, distort, distract and dismay.

“Themes include ‘it was a leak from Porton Down’, ‘’why did they do such a bad job?’how can you survive military grade nerve agent? or ‘it was to distract from Brexit’.

Counter-disinformation experts monitor how these lines spread through propaganda channels and social media.

The Integrity Initiative spokesman said it was not surprising the GRU - the Russian agency blamed by the British - had been careless. He said: “GRU is military intelligence and is known for getting results by any crude and reckless means necessary.” It is also no surprise that people survive chemical weapons exposure, he said. They did, for example, in the 1995 Tokyo Sarin attack.

Scottish politicians renewed their concerns about propaganda broadcasting in the UK, including RT and Sputnik, which on Wednesday announced Tommy Sheridan as a columnist and chat show host.

Stewart McDonald MP, the SNP's defence spokesman, said: “The last time I spoke about Russian disinformation a Kremlin-sponsored news agency reported me as being ‘haunted by the ghost of the Loch Ness Monster’, so much of this is patently ridiculous.

"That said, the more serious underlying problem is that state-sponsored Russian news outlets will use every trick in the book, expound every ridiculous theory, and smear any name they can to distract from the single pertinent fact that this was always an attack that carried all the hallmarks of the Russian state.

"I can only hope that most of the public will consider that before taking any of these claims seriously.”