12:37 GMT28 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who fell victim to a mysterious poisoning incident in the United Kingdom last year, may have called his niece earlier in May, although his whereabouts remain unknown, Russian newspaper Moskovskii Komsomolets reported Thursday, citing a recording of the purported call.

    According to the tabloid, Skripal called his niece Viktoria on 9 May, the day when Russia celebrates the victory over the Nazi Germany in the World War II, and left a message on her answering machine.

    "Hi, Vikulya. This is Seryozha. I have tried to put a call through, but the number was unavailable. Oh well, best wishes on the holiday to you! I wanted to find out how things were with you… Oh well. I am fine, we are fine, Yulya [Skripal's daughter], too," the recording said.

    Skripal reportedly called Viktoria earlier this spring after she and her husband got beaten up over a conflict with a former housing bill manager.

    READ MORE: Continuing UK Accusations Against Moscow in Skripal Case Regrettable — Embassy

    Skripal and his daughter Yulia were discharged from hospital last spring several weeks after the two of them were found unconscious in the city of Salisbury. Their whereabouts since then have been unknown.

    The United Kingdom has accused Russia of orchestrating the attack with what London said was a military grade nerve agent. Russia has refuted the accusations, pointing out that it had not been given access to the investigation or to the Skripals.

    Earlier this week, the Russian embassy in the UK expressed its regret over the fact that London continues to mention Russia's alleged involvement in the Skripal poisoning without providing any evidence.

    Skripal case, Yulia Skripal, Sergei Skripal, Salisbury, United Kingdom, London
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