The author of “The Skripal Files,” Mike Urban, has offered some details on Sergei and Yulia Skripal’s life after the alleged poisoning attack in Salisbury. According to the BBC journalist, the ex-GRU colonel and his daughter keep in touch with their friends using social media and e-mail, although they try to avoid any contact with reporters.
“They communicate with people via social media, e-mails. Some saw them. We know that Yulia’s friend from Russia visited her in June. So, the Skripals are seeing their friends,” Urban said, adding that it was wrong to think that the two were isolated from society. “They simply do not really want to see us, the journalists.”
The book, which is based on Urban’s 2017 interview with Sergei Skripal and is slated to hit the shelves this week, also suggested that the ex-intelligence officer was an “unashamed Russian nationalist.”
He allegedly spent most of his day watching Russian TV channels, adopting “the Kremlin line in many matters even while sitting in his MI6-purchased house,” Urban wrote.
On March 4, Sergei and Yulia were found unconscious in the British town of Salisbury after allegedly being exposed to what the UK claimed was the Novichok nerve agent, with doctors claiming that the two might never fully recover.
In light of the purported poisoning attack, the UK government immediately announced that it was “highly likely” that Russia was behind the “attempted murder,” without having any evidence to corroborate those claims.
In response, Russia flatly rejected the allegations and instead offered to assist in the investigation of the incident – London, however, ignored the proposal, refusing to provide samples of the substance allegedly used against the Skripal family.
Moscow struck back with symmetrical measures, declaring the equivalent number of diplomatic workers personae non gratae.
Despite the medics’ initial prognosis, both Sergei and Yulia recovered and were discharged from the Salisbury hospital; their whereabouts, however, remain unknown. While Yulia gave an exclusive interview to Reuters, her father has been avoiding the public eye.