Russian agents suspected of Salisbury poisonings linked to Czech arms depot blast

Image Reuters The national flag flutters on top of the Russian embassy in Prague Czech Republic

Image Reuters The national flag flutters on top of the Russian embassy in Prague Czech Republic

The individuals' photographs, shared online by the Czech police, indicate that the two wanted men are the same suspected Russian intelligence agents accused of trying to assassinate Sergey Skripal and his daughter in England in March 2018.

The two were using Russian passports and were identified as Alexander Petrov, 41, and Ruslan Boshirov, 43.

These "unprecedented findings" point to the involvement of Russian military agents in the explosion that killed "two innocent fathers", Babis said.

They said the two also visited the capital of Prague and another northeastern Czech region.

Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek said: 'Eighteen employees of the Russian embassy must leave our republic within 48 hours.

"There is a reasonable suspicion that Russian secret agents of the GRU service were involved in the 2014 explosions of an ammunition dump in the Czech village of Vrbětice", he said.

"We have good reason to suspect the involvement of GRU officers from unit 29155 in the explosion at the ammunition warehouse in Vrbetice" in the east of the country, Babis said.

USA expels Russian diplomats, imposes dozens of new sanctions
The breach exposed vulnerabilities in the supply chain as well as weaknesses in the federal governments own cyber defenses. He set out the United Kingdom assessment that the Russian Intelligence Services were behind the SolarWinds compromise.

He added he had received the information on Friday, without explaining why it had taken so long.

These are the same names used by two Russian intelligence officers the United Kingdom says carried out the poisoning in Salisbury, Wiltshire in 2018. Now Czech authorities believe the same men were involved in the bombing of a warehouse in Vrbetice, in the east of the country.

Two people died in the blast.

Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, who is also interim foreign minister, said on Twitter Sunday that he had instructed the country's European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ambassadors to inform allies, adding that he would discuss the case on Monday at a meeting of the EU's foreign ministers.

Russian Federation denied involvement but some 300 diplomats were sent home in subsequent tit-for-tat expulsions.

A senior Russian parliamentarian on Saturday called the claim absurd.

The US said it was expelling 10 diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Washington DC on Thursday in response to a cyber-attack as well as other Russian activities.

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