Skripal poisoning suspects not criminals: Putin

Howard TerrySep 12, 2018

Last week they were named by Theresa May as members of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence service.

He said his officials "know who these people are", but he did not name the pair.

'There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you. We'll see soon. They are civilians of course.

Putin called on the two men to appear in media to protest their innocence, saying he "wanted to address them directly".

"They should go to some media outlet".

The UK was said to be braced for a Russian disinformation campaign after the prime minister told MPs last...

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the president has not communicated with the men themselves since they were accused of poisoning the Skripals.

This combination photo made available by the Metropolitan Police on September 5, 2018, shows Alexander Petrov, left, and Ruslan Boshirov.

They did a reconnaissance mission to Salisbury the following day before returning with poison concealed in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle. "I can see nothing to suggest that has changed".

Putin and Russian Federation have vehemently denied having anything to do with the poisoning.

"We know who they are, we have found them".

Javid described the GRU as a "very well-disciplined organization" that would "only act with orders from the highest level of the Russian government". "Let's wait for that moment", Peskov told reporters. Of his call for the men to speak, he said, "It will be better for everyone. Maybe later. Next week, I think", he said.

Skripal, 66, a former Russian intelligence colonel who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter were found unconscious on a park bench about four hours after the poison was planted.

The Skripals spent weeks in hospital in a critical condition after the poisoning. Andrei Lugovoi, the Russian man accused by the United Kingdom government of killing ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, used a news conference in 2007 to deny the charge and accuse United Kingdom special services of conducting the assassination, according to BBC News. The affair worsened Russian relations with the West, already under strain over Ukraine, Syria and other issues.

Police are linking the attack to a separate Novichok poisoning on 30 June, when Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley became unwell at a house in Amesbury, about eight miles away.

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