Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal poisoned in Britain

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal poisoned in Britain

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal poisoned in Britain

Russian ex-spies do not have a long shelf life. There are not so accidental accidents that seem to happen a lot.

Sergei Skripal had a life right out of my favorite show. He was a Russian colonel and a military intelligence agent (GRU) who had a side job working for the British. After his retirement from the GRU, Skripal continued working for the British. In 2006, he was caught, tried and convicted of spying. He was swapped for Russian spies arrested in the US in 2010. He moved to the UK and was on an MI-6 pension. His kids could still travel to Russia and back. Except that his son died “accidentally” of liver failure while visiting St. Petersburg. Right out of The Americans indeed.

Skripal was on a trip to the mall with his daughter over the weekend when they both suddenly collapsed. A first responder was also in serious condition. The Metropolitan Police investigated and as NPR reported here found evidence of foul play.

“Having established that a nerve agent is the cause of the symptoms leading us to treat this as attempted murder, I can also confirm that we believe that the two people who became unwell were targeted specifically,” Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley said at a news conference in Salisbury.

Interesting that Putin per the Telegraph made a speech in 2010. He had something to say about Skripal specifically:

President Putin issued the death threat that “traitors will kick the bucket” as Colonel Sergei Skripal, who was convicted of working for MI6, was being sent to the UK in a spy exchange.

The BBC gives more detail on the victims and Russian interest in their whereabouts here and here.

When Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, collapsed suddenly on Sunday in the sleepy cathedral city of Salisbury, there were unavoidable echoes of a messy, high-profile death in London a little over a decade before.

In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, another former Russian agent, was rushed to hospital after collapsing in London. As the world watched, a rare and highly radioactive isotope destroyed Litvinenko’s organs one by one, and he died three weeks later.

BBC video is also of interest.

The Russian response of course is rather understated.

In a statement, the Russian embassy in London said: “Media reports create an impression of a planned operation by the Russian special services, which is completely untrue.”

In Salisbury, counter-terror police have taken over the investigation. The park bench where Mr Skripal collapsed has been cordoned off and a restaurant where he ate lunch has been temporarily closed.

If it turns out to have been a Russian attack, part of the purpose will have been to warn those in Russia against betrayal, and those in exile that they are never safe, said Mr Browder. “It sends a message to the rank and file that terrible things can befall you and your family,” he said.

I am not alone in my cynical response to Putin and pals

Interesting times, indeed.

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  • Scott says:

    Hey, Russia is no threat, the 80’s called, they want their foreign policy back…. wait, what, obummer was wrong when he said that??? hmmmm

  • Nicki says:

    And this is why people like that pernicious shitslurper Snowden piss me off so badly. They compromise sources and methods and they cause people to… well… be KILLED! Look up an organization called SmerSh sometime.

    Smert’ Shpionam – or death to spies – had one mission only: to kill spies who screw over Russia. People like Snowden, and Aldrich Ames and Robert Hansen before him got people killed – people who were heroes and who took the risk of working with the West to facilitate the downfall of communism and the Soviet Union.

    SmerSh may not exist any longer, but its legacy of murdering traitors to the Russian state lives on. See: Litvinenko, Nemtsov, and now Skripal.

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