Russian accused spy's link to Kremlin

Arturo Kim
September 17, 2018

"Maybe later. Next week, I think". It's famous for it's 123m spire.

"They explained everything simply and clearly yesterday, why they went there, what they were doing there, what the weather was like", he said. British officials say they know the real names of the pair.

The UK has accused Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov of the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia by spraying a chemical weapon on Skripal's door in March. But they denied any involvement with the poisoning.

The two men's actual identities are a matter of dispute.

British security services had named the two men as main suspects in the case.

We had a conversation before the interview and they said that they had several conditions on which they were ready to give an interview.

"We walked around and enjoyed this English Gothic architecture", he said.

When asked to reveal personal details about themselves or explain why they were sharing a hotel room or taking trips together, Boshirov said: "Let's not pry into our private lives".

Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, called the interview "a piece of political theatre".

Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh told a congressional hearing that Russian Federation has not yet accepted demands that it come clean about its production of the Novichok nerve agent used in the March 4 attempt to kill former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England. Police believe the perfume bottle had been specially adapted to carry the poison.

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When RT editor Margarita Simonyan asked the pair why they travelled together, implying they might be a gay couple, the men said their private lives were off limits to the media.

Others referenced the fact that the duo had apparently left early because of snow - something it is thought they are likely to be used to.

"More importantly, they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack", he said.

She then abruptly ended the interview.

They said they returned the following day when it was warmer to see the cathedral. Ten minutes later, another camera found them walking in the direction of Mr Skripal's house - the opposite direction from the cathedral.

United Kingdom authorities believe the pair arrived on a flight from Moscow in March.

They again were recorded in the centre of town an hour later and were at the station by 1.50pm, two hours after arriving. They traveled to the City Stay Hotel in Bow Road, East London, where they stayed on Friday, 2 March, and Saturday, 3 March. The Mail on Sunday also understands they used cash rather than credit or debit cards while in the United Kingdom, including when they paid for return rail tickets from London to Salisbury on March 2 and March 3.

London believes that Putin personally sanctioned the attack.

When asked about Novichok, they emphatically denied carrying it, or the modified Nina Ricci perfume bottle which United Kingdom investigators say contained the substance.

The ambulance service alerted detectives at about 6.45pm.

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