Sergei Skripal, who was poisoned by nerve agent Novichok in March’s attack allegedly committed by Russian GRU officers in Salisbury, has suffered a deterioration in his health.
The former Russian agent is under medical supervision amid concerns that he is unlikely ever to recover fully from the chemical attack which assaults the nervous system, The Times reports.
“The substance is likely to decompose and be discharged from the organism, but the effect may be long-term,” a researcher from Nottingham University told the media outlet.
On March 4, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yuliya were found unconscious at a shopping mall in the English town of Salisbury. The two were taken to hospital in critical condition. The were reportedly poisoned following exposure to an unknown substance. A bit later, British Prime Minister Theresa May said they had been poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. The incident caused a number of rows and triggered a diplomatic war between the West and the Kremlin.
In early September, British prosecutors said the names of two Russian citizens suspected of poisoning the Skripals were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.
In September, The Insider and OSINT group Bellingcat published he results of its journalistic investigation regarding Petrov and Boshirov whom the British authorities suspect of poisoning the former Russian agent and his daughter. According to the journalists, the real name of ‘Ruslan Boshirov’ is Anatoly Chepiga, a GRU Colonel and Hero of Russia, while ‘Alexander Petrov’ is GRU officer Alexander Mishkin in real life.
‘Petrov’ and ‘Boshirov’ denied their having any relation to the Russian special services in the interview with the Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today. They claimed they visited Salisbury to see the sights, including the local medieval cathedral. Their clumsy statements and ridiculous explanations triggered a wave of jokes on the Internet.
Last week, Bellingcat and its partners revealed the true identity and background of another GRU officer who might have has a hand in poisoning the Skripals.