Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Russian Poisoning Suspects: We Were Just Tourists

Two Russians deny involvement in UK Novichok poisoning: 'We went there to see Stonehenge' Russians Wanted for Nerve Agent Attack in UK Say They Were Tourists, Not Hit Men
Charlie Simmons | 17 September, 2018, 10:31

United Kingdom authorities believe the pair arrived on a flight from Moscow in March and smeared the highly toxic chemical Novichok on a door handle at the Wiltshire home of former spy Sergei Skripal, leaving Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia critically ill.

London said the two men were Russian agents, which Moscow denies.

Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, called the interview "a piece of political theatre".

Two men accused by London of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal denied being involved with the murder attempt in a freakish Russian media interview on Thursday that Britain dismissed as "an insult to the public's intelligence".

"We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March and they have replied with obfuscation and lies", Slack said.

'Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies'.

The two men said they had visited England purely to see tourist sites such as Stonehenge.

British security services named the two men as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov but said these were likely to be aliases.

"Russia's position has remained unchanged and clear - we consider it unacceptable to link the Russian leadership or the Russian state to what happened in Salisbury", Peskov said.

"It's famous for its 123-meter spire", he said, adding that its clock is also notable. But very odd to come all this way for just two days while carrying novichok in their luggage. The Kremlin has denied involvement of any kind in this case.

The men confirmed they visited Salisbury twice, on March 3 and 4.

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Russian Federation said it was ready to consider a request by British investigators to come and interrogate the men if it was made.

The first sanctions over the Skripal poisoning were implemented in August, halting foreign aid to Russian Federation except for humanitarian assistance and for food and other agricultural products; blocking some defense sales; and banning government credit support for exports to Russian Federation. "We were drenched up to our knees", Boshirov said.

The two men had some physical similarities to the men shown in British police images.

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said "there is nothing criminal about them" and called them "civilians". A Russian foreign ministry official has previously said this was proof that Scotland Yard had doctored evidence. We went through the corridor together, we always [do it] together.

"The customs are checking everything", Boshirov said. You'll have to ask the English why show us with the same timestamp.

He bristled when Ms Simonyan asked why the two men spent so much time together.

British investigators say the poison was transported in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sprayed onto the handle of Skripal's door.

"Isn't it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?". "We didn't have it".

The interviewer later told BBC Newsnight the pair had insisted on a series of conditions before agreeing to the on-camera interview, including limiting the scope of the questions so as not to allow other media organisations to track them down.

The British police believe the men to be officers of Russian military intelligence, GRU, who may have travelled on false passports to London from Moscow in March.

The two men admitted they may have passed Mr Skripal's house by chance "but we don't know where it is located", Mr Petrov said.

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