Accused Russian Hit Men: We Were in Salisbury for Sightseeing, Not Poisoning

Sep 15, 2018, 00:34
Accused Russian Hit Men: We Were in Salisbury for Sightseeing, Not Poisoning

Just as Vladimir Putin predicted they would, two Russian men wanted in Britain for poisoning a former Russian spy with a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union appeared on Russian television on Thursday to profess their innocence.

MOSCOW-Russia is ready to consider a request by British investigators to come and interrogate the two men accused of poisoning a former spy, the Kremlin said Friday.

The affair returned to the headlines in July when a woman near Salisbury, Dawn Sturgess, died and her partner Charlie Rowley fell ill after Rowley found a counterfeit bottle of Nina Ricci perfume containing the Novichok nerve agent and brought it home.

"Friends have been telling us for a long time we should visit this lovely city", said the broad-shouldered Petrov.

"There's the famous Salisbury cathedral". After a brief pause, he added that the town is known for its cathedral, which is "famous not only in Europe, but in the whole world". "The one, the first ever created in the world that's still working", Boshirov said.

The suspected assassins' alibi of tourists visiting the "123 metre spire" of the town's cathedral also sparked incredulity.

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Later in the interview, the pair of men denied allegations they work for the GRU, Russia's military intelligence service, instead claiming they work in the "fitness industry". Only this week, we heard an official statement from London, which said that they did not plan to employ the legal assistance mechanism and send any requests to Russian Federation.

She said the new sanctions will include banking sanctions, a broader ban on Russian procurement of defense articles, and a block on any foreign aid.

Britain views the latest developments as "more obfuscation and lies" from the Putin government. The affair has worsened Russian relations with the West, already under strain over Ukraine, Syria and other issues.

So what were these two men really doing in Salisbury? They visited Salisbury twice by train on day trips - on the Saturday for reconnaissance and on the Sunday to poison Skripal.

That is the story that Russian Federation wanted us to believe; the story of two individuals who supposedly were just wayward tourists in Britain and were just caught up in one of the most freakish and strangest spying stories of the decade.

John Glen, the Conservative MP for Salisbury and South Wiltshire, also dismissed the statements from Petrov and Boshirov as "not credible". "What we're see here is Putin just continuing to play with us because he can".

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Police said that they believed the names were aliases - but the two men insisted they were their real names and denied they were intelligence operatives.

"For normal blokes, to be carrying women's perfume with us, isn't..."

Boshirov acknowledged the pair may have been near Mr Skripal's house, but claimed they did not know where it was.

Bellingcat said on September 14 that a joint investigation with The Insider Russia "directly contradicts" claims by the Kremlin that Ruslan Boshirov and Aleksandr Petrov are civilians who traveled to Salisbury, England, where the poisoning took place, for a tourist getaway.

The British government says they're GRU officers who were ordered to carry out a high-profile assassination.

Their second trip to Salisbury took nearly four hours on Sunday, and they stayed for about the same length of time.

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At one point their interviewer turned on an air conditioning unit because she noted they were sweating.

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