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Russian nationals charged in nerve-agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal

September 9, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Russian nationals charged in nerve-agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal

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Earlier this week, British authorities implicated two Russian military-intelligence officers for the nerve-agent attack on presumed Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, in the most recent twist in the most significant East-West diplomatic crisis since the Cold War ended.

Prime Minister Theresa May addressed Parliament and revealed that investigators allege that the failed assassination attempt by Russia’s GRU — which reportedly involved a bottle of fake Nina Ricci Premier Jour perfume — was ordered by the upper echelon of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration.

“The GRU is a disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation,” May stated.

“It was certainly approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.”

After May’s statement, Britain requested an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to update members on the case, for which Russia has refuted any responsibility, according to the New York Post.

The poisonings, which took place back in March, of former GRU double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yula, resulted in the expulsion of over 100 Russian diplomats from U.K., the U.S. and allied countries — and tit-for-tat exile of Western diplomats from Russia.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yula were poisoned with a deadly nerve agent earlier this year in London

On Wednesday, Britain issued warrants for two Russians, identified, according to passports, as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, on charges of conspiracy and attempted murder.

The suspects, whose identities are believed to be fake, are accused of using the perfume bottle with an extra-long nozzle to spray the nerve agent Novichok on the handle of Skripal’s residence in Salisbury.

British counterterrorism chief Neil Basu indicated that the probe employed 11,000 hours of surveillance footage to follow the Russians’ movements through London and Salisbury between March 2nd and 4th.

A camera busted them near Skripal’s house just before noon on the day of the incident, and trace amounts of Novichok were discovered in the Russian duo’s hotel room.

Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter were discovered unconscious on a bench in Salisbury roughly four hours after the poison was placed.

Detectives learned that they had been exposed to Novichok, a group of highly toxic chemicals developed by the former Soviet Union.
The Skripals lived, as did a law enforcement officer, Nick Bailey, who fell ill after responding to the scene.

However, Dawn Sturgess, 44, died in July, after police said she and her boyfriend, 48-year-old Charlie Rowley, had also been exposed to the poison.

Basu indicated that Rowley located the perfume bottle that was used to poison the Skripals in Salisbury on June 27th.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the identities and photos “say nothing to us.”

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