Sergei Skripal and the Russian disinformation game


PA MET POLICE STATEMENT The Prime Minister made an emergency statement before the House

British authorities have determined that two Russian nationals were behind the March attack on former-Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Prime Minister Theresa May was adamant that this attack was not carried out by "rogue" GRU operatives.

In addition, they said the operation was "almost certainly approved at a senior government level" and pledged to "continue to disrupt together the hostile activities of foreign intelligence networks on our territories".

"The Russian Federation categorically rejects all unfounded accusations regarding its involvement", he said.

Sue Hemming, CPS director of legal services, said there was enough evidence "to provide a realistic prospect of conviction" and that it was "clearly in the public interest to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov".

"The names published by the media, like their photographs, mean nothing to us", foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Relations between Canada and Russian Federation have not been spared, with the two countries involved in various wars of words and tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions - including one round in March that was in direct response to the Salisbury attack.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March 2018.

Police released extraordinary CCTV images of the two men arriving off a Moscow into London's Gatwick Airport on March 2.

Peskov recalled that Russian Federation offered Britain cooperation in the investigation into the Skripal case from the very beginning, but Britain declined to accept it.

If according to the British side, these people have come from Russian Federation, they must have received British visas, so, please, "fingers at the table".

Scotland Yard has released extraordinary details on the movements of two men, who they believe are operating under the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, and are both aged about 40. But they are unlikely to face a British trial, since Russian Federation will not extradite its citizens to be prosecuted overseas. The GRU was named in an 11-count indictment as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

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Petrov and Boshirov flew into the United Kingdom on Friday, March 2, two days before the poisoning, according to police.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of London's Metropolitan Police - Britain's top counter-terrorism officer - said the two suspects were believed to be in their 40s. But if so, why are they not being made public?

Britain blamed Russian Federation for poisoning them with a military-grade nerve agent, Novichok, developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s, a charge vehemently denied by Moscow. The suspects flew back to Moscow later that evening.

A RUSSIAN spy wanted for the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal reportedly had visited Britain nearly exactly one year before the Novichok attack in Salisbury.

The charges include conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and use and possession of Novichok contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act.

Allies of Britain issued a joint statement pledging to join May's campaign against the Russian GRU spy agency. On Saturday they went to Salisbury, where Skripal had been living since being released in a prisoner swap between Britain and Russian Federation in 2010.

The Skripals recovered, as did a British policeman who fell ill after working on the case.

One of them, 44-year-old mother of three Dawn Sturgess, died on July 8.

Also, previously the Metropolitan Police said that it was connecting the poisoning of the Skripals with that of Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charley Rowley.

There is no risk to other guests staying at the hotel at the time, police said.

Rowley was also hospitalised and although he was discharged, recently returned and is being treated for meningitis and loss of eyesight.

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