Russian spy was poisoned by nerve agent, UK police say

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were deliberately poisoned by a nerve agent in England over the we...

Posted: Mar 9, 2018 8:27 AM
Updated: Mar 9, 2018 8:27 AM

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were deliberately poisoned by a nerve agent in England over the weekend, UK police said Wednesday.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters that police were treating the incident as "attempted murder by a nerve agent," though he declined to elaborate on the specific nerve agent that was believed to have been used.

Skripal -- a former Russian military official convicted of spying for the UK -- and his daughter Yulia are critically ill in a UK hospital after passing out on a shopping center bench in the southern English town of Salisbury on Sunday.

A police officer who was one of the first to arrive on the scene on Sunday has also fallen ill and is now in serious condition in hospital, Rowley said Wednesday.

Nerve agents are highly poisonous chemicals that prevent the body's nervous system from functioning properly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to large doses can result in death.

On Tuesday, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that there were "echoes" in this case of what happened to former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died a slow death after drinking tea laced with highly radioactive polonium-210 in 2006 in a hotel in London.

A detailed UK inquiry later concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin probably approved the operation by Russian agents to kill Litvinenko. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the inquiry as politically motivated.

Johnson said Tuesday that he was "not pointing fingers" but that "no attempts to take innocent lives on UK soil will go unpunished."

"If evidence emerges of state responsibility, the government will respond appropriately and robustly," he added.

Johnson's comments drew an acerbic response from Russia's embassy in London, which released a statement Tuesday saying it "looks like the script of yet another anti-Russian campaign has already been written."

Russia had not received an official request from British authorities to assist in the investigation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters Wednesday.

Skripal, 66, was convicted in Russia of spying for Britain before he was granted refuge in the UK after a high-profile spy swap in 2010 between the United States and Russia.

He is believed to have lived in the UK since his release from Russian custody in 2010. His daughter, 33, was visiting from Russia.

A woman who saw Skripal and his daughter earlier Sunday described the couple as appearing "out of it," as if they had "been taking something quite strong."

The counter-terrorism unit of London's Metropolitan Police has taken over the investigation from local police, with hundreds of counter-terrorism police officers now assigned to the investigation.

Police are concurrently working with a range of scientists and the Department of Health and said there was no evidence that points to a wider public health risk.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 768624

Reported Deaths: 13993
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1055891807
Lake569801031
Allen43032699
St. Joseph37344568
Hamilton37335426
Elkhart29783470
Tippecanoe23503230
Vanderburgh23240405
Porter19580327
Johnson18843392
Hendricks18089323
Madison13575347
Clark13552198
Vigo12869256
LaPorte12578225
Monroe12575178
Delaware11155198
Howard10693237
Kosciusko9792124
Hancock8761150
Bartholomew8274157
Warrick8084157
Floyd8043182
Grant7378181
Wayne7239201
Boone7211105
Morgan6924143
Marshall6345117
Dubois6283118
Cass6096112
Dearborn602178
Noble600890
Henry5958111
Jackson517277
Shelby511598
Lawrence4928127
Gibson463696
Montgomery459292
DeKalb456785
Clinton456055
Harrison454077
Huntington417882
Whitley416745
Steuben411260
Miami406073
Jasper401655
Knox388691
Putnam385762
Wabash370384
Adams353856
Ripley351971
Jefferson343487
White340154
Daviess3089100
Wells304081
Greene295185
Decatur292693
Fayette286564
Posey282635
Scott281058
LaGrange277772
Clay274949
Washington254637
Randolph247783
Jennings239749
Spencer238731
Fountain235850
Starke229959
Owen222959
Sullivan221643
Fulton208945
Jay203032
Carroll197722
Orange191756
Perry189939
Vermillion181144
Rush177627
Tipton173347
Franklin172535
Parke155916
Pike142534
Blackford138032
Pulaski123748
Newton123336
Benton109715
Brown106243
Crawford105816
Martin92515
Warren87915
Switzerland8378
Union73610
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1125420

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1305631493
Cuyahoga1173952263
Hamilton825481261
Montgomery536581062
Summit489381014
Lucas43799834
Butler40064614
Stark33876939
Lorain26072510
Warren24959312
Mahoning22738613
Lake21482396
Clermont20425261
Delaware19169138
Licking16879227
Trumbull16829492
Fairfield16825207
Medina15880276
Greene15565254
Clark14366308
Portage13450218
Wood13358201
Allen12064245
Richland11748213
Miami11047228
Wayne9275228
Columbiana9216236
Muskingum9144137
Pickaway8755123
Tuscarawas8724255
Marion8716140
Erie8146166
Ashtabula7280179
Hancock7050135
Ross7031165
Geauga6975153
Scioto6726108
Belmont6224179
Lawrence5964104
Union591649
Jefferson5729162
Huron5644122
Sandusky5498130
Darke5448131
Seneca5380128
Washington5373111
Athens527260
Auglaize507787
Mercer491785
Shelby484397
Knox4621113
Madison448066
Ashland446198
Defiance439499
Fulton436875
Putnam4358104
Crawford4120111
Brown410462
Preble3956107
Logan392279
Clinton391466
Ottawa376481
Highland366668
Williams357378
Champaign349860
Guernsey331554
Jackson321954
Perry299050
Morrow294943
Fayette289350
Hardin279665
Henry277467
Coshocton273061
Holmes2726102
Van Wert252365
Gallia251150
Adams250958
Pike244837
Wyandot235557
Hocking222963
Carroll201449
Paulding180142
Meigs151540
Monroe137945
Noble137939
Harrison115438
Morgan111724
Vinton87517
Unassigned04
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