Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Putin Says Russia Identified Suspects in Novichok Poisoning

Putin Says Russia Identified Suspects in Novichok Poisoning

"We know who they are already, we've found them", Putin said, according to The Moscow Times.

Britain last week charged the two Russians they allege are Russian military intelligence agents in absentia with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

"They are civilians, of course", Putin said, contradicting the British government's assertion that they are officers of Russia's military intelligence agency, known as the GRU.

Last week, Russian Federation was denying any knowledge of the suspects in the chemical attack in Salisbury.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, accused of attempting to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, in an image handed out by police in London on September 5, 2018.

The poisoning left former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal hospitalized for weeks, as well as sickening another resident and killing a fourth.

United Kingdom authorities have named the men as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, thought to be officers of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

Russian Federation had previously said the names given to them by British prosecutors were meaningless.

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In addition to the Skripals, the exotic poison that was found in the Salisbury region of England was also blamed for the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44, who seems to have come into contact with the same nerve agent in July.

British prosecutors last week identified two Russians, whom they said were operating under aliases - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - and whom they accused of being the so-called "novichock two".

Putin goes on to claim that his government has "found them" and he sincerely hopes that they'll come forward and tell their side of the story soon.

British officials demanded at a meeting with Russia's charge d'affaires that those responsible for the poisoning of the Skripals were brought to justice.

Prime Minister Theresa May said intelligence showed the poisonings were state-sponsored by Russian Federation.

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid said on Sunday that the order to carry out the nerve agent attack on 4 March came from the "highest level" of the Russian state.

British prosecutors accuse Mr. Petrov and Mr. Boshirov of conspiracy to murder Mr. Skripal, attempted murder and the use of a banned chemical weapon.

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