Two Russian nationals identified as suspected Salisbury nerve agent attackers

Two Russian nationals identified as suspected Salisbury nerve agent attackers

Two Russian nationals identified as suspected Salisbury nerve agent attackers

Russia said Wednesday it did not know the names of two Russians Britain has blamed for a nerve agent attack on a former spy and accused London of manipulating information.

"The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation", May said. She added that the nerve agent attack was likely approved at a "senior level of the Russian state".

CBS News correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti reports the police also released surveillance video on Thursday showing the two suspects near the site of the Salisbury poisoning in March.

A raft of Britain's allies announce on March 26 that they are also expelling Russian diplomats because of the affair.

Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious park bench a few hours later.

The case has been likened by British politicians to the murder of Russian dissident and former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope in a London hotel in 2006.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on September 5 that the names and photographs released by British authorities "say nothing" to Moscow.

Britain blamed Russian Federation for the poisonings and identified the poison as Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s.

Moscow strongly denies involvement in the attack, and Russian officials said they did not recognize the suspects.

Months later, two Britons, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, were poisoned by the same nerve agent. But 44-year old British woman Dawn Sturgess, who later came into contact with the same military grade agent, died.

The use of Novichok in the assassination attempt was a violation of global law banning the use of chemical weapons. Nina Ricci and our inquiries have confirmed that it is not a genuine Nina Ricci perfume bottle, box or nozzle. The perpetrators then smeared the nerve agent on the door handle of Sergei Skripal's Salisbury home, according to investigators.

Police now believe the poison was brought to the United Kingdom from Russian Federation in a Nina Ricci "Premier Jour" perfume bottle with a specially made poison applicator.

Mrs May said Russian Federation had replied with "obfuscation and lies" when asked to account for what happened, including claiming she had invented Novichok.

Prosecutor Sue Hemming said the United Kingdom will not ask Russian Federation to extradite the suspects as Moscow prohibits the extradition of its citizens. "Furthermore, I also welcome the news from the CPS that sufficient evidence has been secured to bring significant charges against these two individuals".

On Sunday, 4 March, they made the same journey from the hotel, again using the underground from Bow to Waterloo station at approximately 8.05am, before continuing their journey by train to Salisbury.

Two days later Russian Federation announces the expulsion of 60 United States diplomats and the closure of the U.S. consulate in Saint Petersburg.

The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement that both suspects were believed to be in Russian Federation at present and were thus being charged in absentia. Police said they were exposed after handling what they believed to be perfume.

"We believe the first process of taking swabs removed the contamination, so low were the traces of Novichok in the room", Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.

A mother of three, she had sprayed the contents of the bottle - which had been found by her partner, Charlie Rowley, in a charity bin in Salisbury - onto her wrists, police said.

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