UK Charges Two Suspected Russian Intelligence Agents in Nerve Agent Attack

The poisoning of the Skripals earlier in March triggered a major diplomatic crisis between the United Kingdom and Russia

The poisoning of the Skripals earlier in March triggered a major diplomatic crisis between the United Kingdom and Russia

Sue Hemming, CPS director of legal services, said there was enough evidence "to provide a realistic prospect of conviction" and that "it is clearly in the public interest to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov".

The Russian authorities, including the Foreign Ministry, top lawmakers and the state-controlled media, responded to the British announcement using the classic Soviet military strategy of maskirovka, a doctrine of deception that includes such measures as concealment, imitation using decoys and dummies, maneuvers of deception, denial, and disinformation.

The evidence, May noted, shows that both are active officers in Russia's military intelligence, the GRU.

May said the two men worked for the GRU, a Russian army intelligence agency that has been linked to some of Russia's most egregious foreign policy operations, including the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Mr Wallace said the United Kingdom would "use whatever means we have within the law and our capabilities" to "push back the Russian malign activity".

"We hoped we would hear something conclusive today, something to shed light on the incident".

"It's a really odd world we live in - I never expected to see two Russian alleged assassins looking at my shop window", Mr Dauwalder told ITV News.

In a joint statement, the countries said they backed Britain's assessment that Russian officers were behind the Skripal attack.

Mrs May has been in contact with US President Donald Trump and other leaders as she attempts to build an worldwide alliance in support of her stance. However, he said they were making a good recovery.

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President Trump himself suggested in a series of angry tweets that the anonymous official may have committed treason, or may even be fictitious.

"Russia has made this clear following requests for extradition in other cases".

The suspects - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - were charged with the March 4 poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, Britain.

The U.K. head of counter-terrorism policing said Petrov and Boshirov, two men in their 40s, had flown into London from Moscow on authentic Russian passports, but said "it is likely that they were travelling under aliases and that these are not their real names".

The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it would not apply for their extradition but it added that it obtained a European arrest warrant for the two men.

Russian Federation said the names and photographs of the suspects "do not mean anything to Moscow". Our offers of cooperation remain on the table. Police say the two men flew back to Moscow from Heathrow Airport on the evening of March 4, hours after the Skripals were found collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury. While police said they were certain the two incidents were firmly linked, that investigation is almost four months behind the one into the Skripals.

Both of the Skripals survived, but in what police call a tragic outcome of the attack, Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old mother of three, died on July 8 after being exposed to the same nerve agent.

A British woman, Dawn Sturgess, died in July after coming across a small bottle containing Novichok in a town near Salisbury where the Skripals were struck down.

Fears of further sanctions from the U.S., fuelled in part by the announcement last month of restrictions related to the Skripal case, have battered the ruble and Russian government bonds in recent weeks.

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