A former Russian spy is critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance in the UK - Full Gist News

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A former Russian spy is critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance in the UK




The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has said the news that a former Russian spy is fighting for his life in a Wiltshire hospital amid mysterious circumstances is like “deja vu”.

Sergei Skripal, 66, is critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance. He was found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury with an unnamed woman, aged in her 30s, on Sunday.

Comparisons have been made with Mr Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who died after drinking tea laced with radioactive Polonium at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, central London, in 2006.

A public inquiry concluded that the killing of Mr Litvinenko, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, had "probably" been carried out with the approval of the Russian president.

A former Russian spy is critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance in the UK

Last night Marina Litvinenko told BBC Radio 4's World Tonight: "It's like deja vu, (like) what happened to me 11 years ago."

"In Russia it is still (an) old-fashioned and old-style KGB system... It's still all the same. If there is an order to kill somebody it will happen."

She also told the Telegraph: “It looks similar to what happened to my husband but we need more information. We need to know the substance. Was it radioactive?”

Police have said they are as yet "unable to ascertain" whether Mr Skripal is a victim of crime.

A Russian Embassy spokesman said: "Neither relatives nor legal representatives of the said person, nor the British authorities have addressed the embassy in this regard."

The Litvinenko inquiry, headed by the former high court judge Sir Robert Owen, found two Russian men - Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun - had deliberately poisoned their victim, leading to an agonising death.




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