Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal allegedly poisoned: What to know

An ex-Russian spy and his daughter are in serious condition after they were allegedly poisoned by a nerve agent, British authorities announced earlier this week.

Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, who’s believed to be  in her early 30s, were found unconscious on a bench in a shopping mall in Salisbury, about 90 miles west of London.

Officials are still investigating how the nerve agent was administered and lawmakers are probing a possible Kremlin link to the incident.

While authorities have not yet determined the Kremlin link, Keir Giles, the director of the Conflict Studies Research Center in Cambridge, England, told the Associated Press that he “would be surprised if this were not linked back to Russia in some direct way.

Additionally, Police believe that the two were specifically targeted, the Associated Press reported.

“I say to governments around the world that no attempt to take innocent life on U.K. soil will go either unsanctioned or unpunished,” U.K. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said.

In light of the incident, here’s what to know about Skripal.

His background as a spy

Skripal served with Russia’s military intelligence, often known by its Russian-language acronym GRU, and retired in 1999. He then worked at the Foreign Ministry until 2003 and later became involved in business.

Skripal was arrested in 2004 in Moscow and later confessed to having been recruited by British intelligence in 1995. He also said at the time that he provided information about GRU agents in Europe, receiving over $100,000 in return.

At the time of Skripal’s trial, the Russian media quoted the FSB domestic security agency as saying that the damage from his activities could be compared to harm inflicted by Oleg Penkovsky, a GRU colonel who spied for the United States and Britain. Penkovsky was executed in 1963.

In 2006, he was convicted on charges of spying for Britain and sentenced to 13 years. However, he was later pardoned and released from custody in July 2010 as part of a U.S.-Russian-spy swap, which followed the exposure of a ring of Russian sleeper agents in the United States.

Skripal’s wife and son have both died in recent years. Prior to his wife’s death, however, she reportedly told police that she feared for her husband’s life, the Daily News reported.

Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Categories: World News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *