Sergei Skripal

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Sergei Viktorovich Skripal (Russian: Серге́й Ви́кторович Скрипаль, IPA: [sʲɪrˈɡʲej ˈvʲiktərəvʲɪtɕ skrʲɪˈpalʲ], born 23 June 1951) or Sergey Skripal is a former Colonel in Russia military intelligence who who was convicted of spying for the United Kingdom, although the details of his work have been withheld. [2]

Skripal became a double agent for MI6 in the United Kingdom during the 1990s and early 2000s while serving in the Russian Ground Forces. [1] He was reportedly paid $100,000 for giving away the identities of a number of Russian agents. [3] Skripal was reported to have been recruited by and remained friends with Pablo Miller in Salisbury. [3]

Imprisonment

In December 2004, Skripal was arrested in Russia. He was charged with " high treason in the form of espionage ", and was convicted. Prosecutors initially argued for fifteen years in prison — Skripal was eventually sentenced to thirteen, in recognition of his poor health and the fact that he co-operated with investigators. The affair was not revealed to the public until after he was sentenced August 2006. [4] In July 2010 Skripal was released as part of a spy exchange for the 10 Russian agents arrested in the United States as part of the Illegals Program. [6] [7]

Novichok Incident

Skripal was reportedly poisoned along with his daughter Yulia Skripal on 4 March 2018 with A-234 Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury town center. [2] Despite having a lethal dose via skin contact much lower than 10 miligrams, [6] both Skripal and his daughter miraculously survived the reported Novichok poisoning and have been released from Salisbury Hospital on 18 May into the care of the British Intelligence services and moved to a secure location. [7] Sergei Skripal has not spoken or written anything publicly about the attack. His daughter has issued statements requesting privacy. [5]

On Thursday 7th June, during his annual televised question-and-answer program, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that both Skripal and his daughter would have died if a Novichok agent of military-grade had been involved. Putin said “We would very much like to be given access to our citizens, to Yulia in this case, and to be given the opportunity to take part in the investigation.” [5]

Pets On 17th March, The Sun reported that the Skripal's vet had contacted Wiltshire police on 4th March regarding the Skripal's pet cat and two guinea pigs and said "the cat and the guinea pigs were removed from the house and taken away to be assessed.” [8] On 5 April 2018, British authorities said that inside Sergey Skripal's house, which had been sealed by the police, two guinea pigs were found dead by vets, when they were allowed in, along with a cat in a distressed state. [9] The guinea pigs were reported to have died of thirst; the cat was taken for testing to the Porton Down chemical weapons facility, where all three bodies were incinerated. [10] Skripal's neice, Viktoria has expressed concern for Nuar, Yulia Skripal's dog, who was still at a dog hotel as of 1 May 2018. [12]

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Sergei Skripal's former cat (courtesy Evolve Politics)
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Facebook Message from Viktoria Skripal to Yulia on May 1st 2018

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