A retired Russian military intelligence colonel, Sergei Skripal was arrested near his home in 2004 and convicted two years later of “high treason in the form of espionage” by Moscow’s military court. Eventually he was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Some of the claims against him included:
- Russia claimed that MI6 had paid him $100,000 for passing them the identities of Russian secret agents since the 1990’s.
- Even after his retirement in 1999, the Russian FSB (Federal Security Bureau) claimed Col Skripal continued to pass on state secrets.
- Even though all these claims were made against him, he was later pardoned. Now believed to be 66 years old he was flown to England. His family strongly deny that he was an agent of MI6, insisting he was a loyal patriot and the case against him was fabricated.
Last Sunday he was found slumped on a shopping centre bench in Salisbury; next to him was his 33year old daughter Yulia Skripal who was also found in the same condition as her father.
Both of them are currently in intensive care as they are in critical condition. The local authorities are still investigating their exposure to an ‘unknown substance’. Also, two officers that have been investigating the suspected poisoning were taken into hospital after suffering minor symptoms such as: itchy eyes & wheezing.
It was later discovered that the former Russian spy and his daughter were given a Nerve Agent which is a highly toxic chemical that prevents the nervous system from working. Russia denies this attempted murder.
Theresa May’s reaction
The prime minister has announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in return for the attack on the former spy and his daughter. The president of America (Donald Trump) supports this decision :
“We will continue to bring all the capabilities of UK law enforcement to bear against serious criminals and corrupt elites. There is no place for these people or their money in our country.” This is what Theresa May said in response to the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
She gave them a week to leave England because they were identified as intelligence officers. The Russian embassy found this decision was unacceptable, and in most recent news Russia has threatened to expel British diplomats in retaliation to British decisions.
by Karolina, Jordan and Mollie (Year 10)