09:19 GMT14 August 2020
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    The intrigue surrounding the poisoning of former Russian GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal continues, as it was reported on Friday by British newspaper the Telegraph that a third suspect involved has been identified by British authorities. Sputnik spoke to Victor Olevich, lead expert at the Center for Actual Politics.

    Two Russian citizens, Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, were formally named by UK authorities as GRU agents and suspects in the poisoning, which took place in Salisbury in March this year.

    The Russian government however has continually denied any involvement in the poisonings, citing a lack of conclusive evidence.

    Sputnik: What questions are still remaining in the Skripal case?

    Victor Olevich: There are really more questions than answers in the Skripal saga ever since the incident in Salisbury took place. First of all it is quite bizarre that the British authorities are not letting either representatives of the Russian Federation or representatives of the media talk to the victims in this case. We have not seen Sergei Skripal at all after the incident, even though the British authorities claimed that he is alive and recovering well. The only communication from his daughter Yulia Skripal —who is the second victim in this case — is an obviously carefully orchestrated statement that she delivered which lacks any detail. Apparently she has also called her relatives in Russia and said she would like to come to Russia some time in the future without any specifics. She said that the current atmosphere in Britain does not allow for her relatives to come to the United Kingdom.

    Victor also suggested that the Skripals may be being held against their will by UK authorities. He went on to explain that no conclusive evidence has yet been produced by the British authorities to implicate the Russian state in the poisoning…

    Victor Olevich: There is no evidence presented by the British authorities of the Russian citizens that have been accused of being involved in this incident of having anything to do with it. Since the only photos that London has presented so far is of these Russian citizens simply being in an airport, or being in various parts of Salisbury, but nowhere close to the site of the incident.

    When it came to the evidence put forward by the investigative website Bellingcat, Victor had reservations as to how far their findings could be trusted…

    Victor Olevich: I would dispute the claim that Bellingcat is an amateurish term. It is a venture set up on purpose by British special services as a base where they can leak or send or expose information that works in their favor — or that is falsified on many occasions — and then Bellingcat is used by British and other western press outlets as an independent source of information. In fact the information that Bellingcat has provided on a number of topics — not just on the Skripal case but on a number of other issues such as events in Syria and other regions of the world — have been known to be untrue and always to be in line with the needs of the British government and British secret services.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article by Victor Olevich are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.


    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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