16:27 GMT05 December 2020
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    The Salisbury home, cars and possessions of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal will be purchased by British taxpayers for close to half a million dollars, UK media has reported. Twitter users are having none of it, complaining about the price, and saying that the move confirms suspicions that the government's story on the Skripal poisoning is dubious.

    Whitehall sources have told The Times that Skripal's house will be bought for £350,000, with Detective Sergent Nick Bailey, who also fell ill after being exposed to Novichok, receiving £430,000 in compensation for his family home. The combined payout, accounting for homes, cars and other personal possessions, is expected to run taxpayers a cool £1 million (about $1.3 million).

    The property buyout is the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of the March poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, which the British government immediately blamed on Russia.

    British social media users, already frustrated over the lack of evidence from their government to confirm that Russia had anything to do with the poisoning, were infuriated to hear that a home presumably already bought for the Russian ex-spy by the government would now apparently be bought back from him.

    Others asked where the buyouts would end and offered their own solutions on how to save the public purse some money.

    Most users focused on the fact that the buyout looks like a painfully obvious effort to cover up some inconvenient truth.

    Former Russian military intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in the town of Salisbury, southern England on March 4, 2018, with UK experts concluding that they were poisoned with the A234 'Novichok' nerve agent. The UK and its allies immediately accused Moscow of orchestrating the attack, but provided no evidence to substantiate their claims. Detective Bailey and the Skripals have since recovered, with Bailey leaving hospital in March and Yulia and Sergei discharged on April 9 and May 18 and taken to 'a secure location'.

    In early June, Berlin complained that it still has yet to receive any evidence from its UK allies of Russia being behind the poisoning attack. On May 25, the Russian Embassy in the UK urged London to apologize to Moscow over the accusations.


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    buyout, reaction, home, Yulia Skripal, Sergei Skripal, Russia, United Kingdom
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