Nerve Agent Used to Poison Ex-Russian Spy and His Daughter Prompting Britain to Review 14 Other Cold Cases
With this attack, officials want to review 14 other deaths of exiled Russians in Britain.
Another ex-Russian spy poisoned in Britain. Authorities announced that a nerve agent poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on Sunday.
Skripal and Yulia were found slumped over on a bench on Sunday. The first police officer on the scene is also in the hospital. Doctors said that all three of them “were suffering from ‘exposure to a nerve agent.'” Detectives believe someone deliberately targeted Skripal and Yulia. Nerve agents include VX and sarin, but we do not have specifics on which nerve agent was used in this case. From the BBC:
“This is being treated as a major incident involving attempted murder, by administration of a nerve agent,” he [Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley] said.
“Having established that a nerve agent is the cause of the symptoms… I can also confirm that we believe that the two people who became unwell were targeted specifically.”
He said there was no evidence of a widespread health risk to the public.
Russia jailed Skripal in 2006 for 13 years after he was convicted “of passing identities of Russian intelligence agents working undercover to the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.
Russia released him on July 10 along with three others in a prisoner exchange with the FBI. You know who was involved in that swap? That red-headed Russian spy Anna Chapman that captured the world with her beauty.
Skripal moved to Salisbury and has been living there for eight years. In the past two years, he has lost his brother and son, described by family members in “mysterious circumstances.”
Multiple Exiled Russians Dead in Britain
His death echoes that of the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. A public inquiry concluded that his poisoning came from approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But now with Skripal’s poisoning, MP Yvette Cooper asked Home Secretary Amber Rudd to review 14 cases of deaths in the UK in the past 20 years.
These people fled Russia and found refuge in Britain. The BBC wrote that these deaths “were variously found to have been heart attacks, suicides, accidents, and deaths by natural cases.” But new tests have shown that those original causes of death may not be accurate like in the case of exiled Russian Banker Alexander Perepilichnyy:
Initial toxicology tests on Perepilichnyy’s body revealed nothing suspicious and it was ruled to be a natural death. But two years later, a fresh round of tests arranged by a life insurance company found traces of a rare and deadly plant toxin in Perepilichnyy’s stomach.
Gelsemium, a flowering plant native to China and Southeast Asia, is known as “heartbreak grass”, because its leaves, if swallowed, cause cardiac arrest.
US intelligence sources told the BBC at the time that they believed Perepilichnyy was murdered. An extensive investigation by Buzzfeed News claimed that the businessman was one of at least 14 people US officials suspected were killed in the UK by Russia.
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