09:04 GMT22 June 2021
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    On March 4, former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unresponsive on a bench at a shopping mall in the British town of Salisbury after they were exposed to what UK experts claimed was Novichok, also known as the A-234 nerve agent.

    An alleged nerve toxin attack on the Skripals in Salisbury, UK might have been staged by current or former agents from Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), The Times has quoted detectives as saying.

    They are looking into the GRU's alleged involvement as part of the probe into the Salisbury incident, the newspaper reported.

    READ MORE: Viktoria Skripal Believes Yulia's First Video Address Made Under Pressure

    According to The Times, the detectives also do not exclude that another Russian intelligence agency might be behind the spraying of Skripal's house in March with the A-234 nerve agent from a perfume bottle, which was allegedly later found by the couple from Amesbury, located not far from Salisbury, almost four months later. 

    This comes amid a wave of speculation by the UK media about Moscow's alleged involvement in the Skripals' poisoning.

    READ MORE: The Curious Incident of Amesbury Pair Exactly 4 Months After Skripal Case Mooted

    On Thursday, media reports quoted investigators as claiming that they had identified the perpetrators behind the A234 nerve agent attack, something that was then described by UK Security Minister Ben Wallace as "ill-informed and wild speculation."

    Earlier, the Daily Mail quoted an intelligence source as saying that a woman may have been at the helm of a six-person group from Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate, who carried out an alleged chemical weapons attack on the Skripals.

    READ MORE: Amesbury Poisoning: Toxic Agent Was Reportedly Stored in Perfume Bottle

    The source said that "it makes sense that a female officer may have been part of the team, playing a key role."

    Although the UK counter-terrorism office has repeatedly admitted that it had no evidence of a link between the Skripal case and the Amesbury incident, a number of senior UK officials, including Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson and Security Minister Ben Wallace have pointed the finger at Russia.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has vehemently denied Moscow's involvement in both the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents.

    READ MORE: Independent Verification of Agent in Amesbury Not Transparent — Russian Embassy

    According to the Ministry, if the UK classifies the Salisbury and Amesbury cases, Moscow will interpret it as an attempt to hide the masterminds and perpetrators of these crimes.

    At the same time, Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko made it clear that Russia intended to exert political pressure on the UK in the Skripal case.

    READ MORE: UK Police Admit Salisbury-Amesbury Link Not Found, No Trace of Contaminated Item

    Russia has consistently offered help in the probe into the Skripal case, stressing that it hadn't been provided with any specific facts proving its involvement in the Skripals' alleged poisoning.

    London has refused to cooperate with Russia on the case, or provide samples of the substance allegedly used against the Skripals.

    44-year-old Dawn Sturgess died in Amesbury on July 8, while her 45-year-old partner Charlie Rowley remains hospitalized.


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    nerve agent, involvement, agents, case, poisoning, media, Main Intelligence Directorate, Yulia Skripal, Sergei Skripal, Britain
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