Sergei Skripal initially refused to believe that the Russian government might want to kill him, BBC journalist Mike Urban writes in his book, “The Skripal Files,” slated to come out later this week.
According to Mike Urban, who met Skripal several times in his MI6-bought house in Salisbury in 2017, the ex-Russian spy asked not to be quoted directly, saying he was “afraid of Putin.”
Even though he didn’t believe he faced any personal danger, Skripal still avoided making public statements so that his daughter Yulia and his son Alexander could feel free to come and visit him from Russia.
The book describes Sergei Skripal as a man who spent most of his day watching Russian television and adopting “the Kremlin line in many matters even while sitting in his MI6-purchased house.”
Skripal was convicted in Russia in 2006 for passing sensitive information to the UK’s MI6. In 2010, he was allowed to move to the United Kingdom as part of a spy swap and has lived there ever since.
He reportedly traveled to the US in 2011, the Czech Republic in 2012 and to Estonia. According to the book, last summer Skripal spent a week in Switzerland briefing the Alpine republic’s intelligence service.
All this still fails to explain why Moscow would try to kill him, though.
In early March, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in the market town of Salisbury, around 100 miles south-west of London, as a result of an alleged nerve agent attack.
London accused Moscow of having orchestrated the attack with what UK experts claim was the A234 nerve agent, which Moscow firmly denies.