After the Salisbury poisonings, it’s time to tell Putin’s inner circle that they are no longer welcome here
We need to recap briefly the similarities between Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal, because they are stark.
Both served in the Russian security services; both faced prosecution in Russia; both found sanctuary in Britain; both co-operated with British intelligence agencies. And both were attacked with rare poisons, of kinds available only to governments. The only important difference is that Litvinenko’s murderers were successful, while Skripal is still fighting for his life.
Inquiry stepped up as Boris Johnson warns Russia of ‘robust’ response in spy mystery
The investigation into the possible poisoning of the Russian spy Sergei Skripal gained new momentum on Tuesday, as Scotland Yard announced its counter-terrorism police would take charge, and the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, promised a “robust” response if the Kremlin’s role in the case was proved.
Skripal was found slumped unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon. The woman discovered next to him has been identified as Skripal’s 33-year-old daughter, Yulia. Both remain critically ill and in intensive care after exposure to an “unknown substance”.
Observers note ominous pattern of ‘bad luck’ befalling family of pardoned Russian colonel
Inside a van, and rattling towards the airport, Sergei Skripal was in high spirits. It was July 2010. Without explanation Skripal had been taken from a penal colony, where he had spent the previous five and a half years, and transported in handcuffs to Moscow. Now he was about to board a flight to Vienna. His ultimate destination: Britain.
Unlikely though it seemed, Skripal was about to be swapped in classic cold war fashion. On the tarmac at Vienna airport he was to be exchanged for 10 Russian “sleeper agents” caught by the FBI and on their way home to Moscow. Heading in the other direction were three fellow Russians, including Igor Sutyagin. All were accused of working for UK or US intelligence.
Yulia Skripal, 33, discovered next to her father on bench in Salisbury, is in critical condition
The second person found unconscious in Salisbury alongside the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is his 33-year-old daughter.
Yulia Skripal was discovered on a bench next to her father on Sunday and is in a critical condition in hospital. She lives in Russia but was visiting the UK, the BBC reported, adding that relatives had not heard from her for two days.