Russian leader Vladimir Putin calls ex-spy Sergei Skripal ‘scum’

Russian leader Vladimir Putin calls ex-spy Sergei Skripal ‘scum’

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal as a “traitor” and “scum”.

In a speech, President Putin attacked the media for treating Mr Skripal as “some kind of human rights defender”, instead of a man who betrayed his country.

Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia survived the Novichok attack in Salisbury, which the UK says was carried out by two Russian military intelligence agents.

However, a British woman Dawn Sturgess died in a linked case after coming into contact with the nerve agent.

The UK authorities believe the Skripals’ door was targeted with the nerve agent Novichok sprayed from a modified perfume bottle.

The bottle was later picked up and given to Ms Sturgess who died in July.

 

‘Just tourists’

The two men identified as suspects giving an interview to RT in September

Last month, President Putin insisted that the two suspects, known as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, were civilians not agents.

He said on Wednesday that he thought the whole “campaign” surrounding Mr Skripal had been “blown up” and it should pass “the sooner, the better”.

The two suspects gave a televised interview the day after Mr Putin's initial intervention claiming to be "just tourists" visiting the city of Salisbury

However, one of the men was identified by an investigative website as Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, an officer in Russia's GRU military intelligence.

The website, Bellingcat, said the colonel had been made "Hero of the Russian Federation" by President Putin himself in 2014.