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Petrov and Boshirov claimed that they were not intelligence officers, but middle-level businessmen and had nothing to do with the poisoning. They said that they would like the UK authorities to apologize if real attackers were found.
On March 4, Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned with what London claimed was the A234 nerve agent. The UK authorities accused Russia of staging the attack, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.
On September 5, UK Crown Prosecution Service said that it had sufficient evidence to indict Petrov and Boshirov for the attack, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the Russian military intelligence was behind the poisoning, claiming that the suspects were its employees.