Russian spy's cat and guinea pigs are dead, UK says

Two guinea pigs and a cat belonging to former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, poisoned in a nerve agent attack in the UK ...

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 8:51 PM
Updated: Apr 6, 2018 8:51 PM

Two guinea pigs and a cat belonging to former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, poisoned in a nerve agent attack in the UK last month, have died, British authorities have said.

The two guinea pigs were found dead in Skripal's house some time after the attack, apparently from dehydration, and a cat was put down after being discovered in a "distressed" state. Police sealed the house after Skripal and his daughter Yulia were discovered unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on March 4.

"When a vet was able to access the property, two guinea pigs had sadly died," the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said in a statement. "A cat was also found in a distressed state and a decision was taken by a veterinary surgeon to euthanise the animal to alleviate its suffering."

The guinea pigs "most likely... died due to a lack of water," a DEFRA spokesperosn told CNN later.

The deaths are the latest peculiar developments in a story that has taken a turn for the absurd in recent days. Apparently in an effort to shift the debate away from the issue of culpability, a succession of Russian officials have attempted to make light of the whole affair.

The issue of the pets was first raised by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Wednesday. "Where are they now?" she said, speaking to reporters. "After all, we are talking about living organisms, and if a poisonous agent was used in the house, they must also have been affected," she continued.

Later, at the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, Russia's representative Vassily Nebenzia read out extracts from a copy of Alice in Wonderland in an attempt to discredit Britain's claims that Russia was responsible for the Skripals' fate.

After the death of the animals was confirmed, the Russian embassy in London said their value as pieces of evidence had been ignored. "Such treatment of pets is also hardly consistent with UK laws on animal cruelty and comes as a blatant disregard to Mr Skripal's rights as the owner and companion of the animals," the embassy said, claiming a second cat was still missing.

DEFRA told CNN that only one cat had been found on the property and offered no information about a possible second cat. It could not say whether there was any evidence the animals had been poisoned.

Detectives revealed last week that they believe Skripal and his daughter Yulia first came into contact with a nerve agent at the former spy's home and that the highest concentration of the substance had been found on the front door.

Sergei Skripal remains critically ill but stable in hospital. Yulia, also poisoned in the attack, is now conscious and talking. In a statement released Thursday, the 33-year-old said she woke up "over a week ago" and her "strength is growing daily."

Yulia and Sergei Skripal were found slumped on a bench at an outdoor shopping precinct. The British government believes they were poisoned with a Russian-made nerve agent, Novichok. Russia denies involvement and the incident has led to a spiraling diplomatic dispute between the two nations.

The UK and its allies have expelled scores of Russian diplomats, triggering retaliatory expulsions by Russia.

At the United Nations Security Council meeting on Thursday, Nebenzia, Russia's envoy, called the allegations a "fake story" and said the UK was "playing with fire and they will be sorry."

The British government insists that only Russia had the capability to carry out the attack.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112027

Reported Deaths: 3512
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20746758
Lake10264319
Elkhart6387109
St. Joseph6109100
Allen5998200
Hamilton4695109
Vanderburgh338330
Hendricks2661122
Monroe242236
Johnson2258122
Tippecanoe223313
Clark213656
Porter207045
Cass19329
Delaware188261
Vigo176922
Madison158575
LaPorte137237
Floyd130961
Howard127763
Kosciusko119817
Warrick117035
Bartholomew115157
Marshall98824
Dubois95118
Boone94546
Hancock90742
Grant88833
Noble88632
Henry76924
Wayne74214
Jackson7409
Morgan70138
Shelby66529
Daviess64327
LaGrange63011
Dearborn62828
Clinton59112
Harrison56124
Putnam5349
Montgomery50521
Lawrence50428
Knox4919
White48014
Gibson4794
Decatur45339
DeKalb45111
Miami4253
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3842
Steuben3697
Scott35410
Sullivan33012
Jennings31012
Posey3020
Franklin29925
Clay2935
Orange28424
Ripley2798
Carroll27013
Wabash2628
Washington2591
Whitley2546
Starke2537
Wells2472
Adams2443
Jefferson2433
Fulton2342
Huntington2233
Spencer2214
Tipton21722
Perry20813
Randolph2077
Jay1720
Newton17011
Owen1651
Martin1640
Rush1514
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1162
Pulaski1141
Blackford1133
Crawford1030
Brown1023
Parke941
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland690
Warren401
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 145165

Reported Deaths: 4623
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26134603
Cuyahoga17155644
Hamilton12786309
Montgomery7540152
Lucas7149357
Butler569399
Summit5149249
Marion306847
Mahoning3003279
Warren292748
Stark2757168
Pickaway263444
Lorain227786
Delaware215620
Fairfield203050
Columbiana192080
Licking186862
Trumbull1853131
Clark174238
Wood172572
Clermont164020
Lake158149
Medina143239
Allen137868
Greene136728
Miami135949
Portage108666
Mercer106517
Tuscarawas91720
Wayne90566
Erie90144
Ross85622
Richland80419
Madison78012
Darke76639
Belmont71027
Geauga70547
Hancock6649
Ashtabula65148
Athens6162
Lawrence60418
Shelby5879
Auglaize5689
Sandusky55520
Putnam54823
Huron5307
Union4962
Ottawa46630
Scioto4666
Seneca44814
Preble42013
Muskingum3792
Holmes3757
Jefferson3244
Henry29912
Logan2973
Champaign2943
Perry2889
Defiance28310
Clinton28113
Knox27915
Brown2772
Hardin25013
Morrow2502
Washington25023
Fulton2371
Jackson2334
Coshocton23011
Fayette2266
Ashland2224
Crawford2226
Highland2203
Wyandot20112
Williams1993
Gallia18412
Meigs17210
Hocking1619
Pike1610
Guernsey1567
Carroll1517
Adams1214
Van Wert1143
Monroe10818
Paulding1030
Harrison622
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Angola
50° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 50°
Huntington
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 53°
Decatur
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 50°
Van Wert
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 50°
Warmer Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events