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.

Terre Haute
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Robinson
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 85°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 86°
Rockville
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 83°
Casey
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 87°
Brazil
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Marshall
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Hot and Humid 4th of July
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 145750

Reported Deaths: 7005
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook917744618
Lake9864421
DuPage9192474
Kane7796274
Will6839320
Winnebago306796
McHenry208897
St. Clair1965137
Kankakee130265
Rock Island99629
Madison99169
Kendall98121
Champaign93012
Boone60221
DeKalb56719
Peoria54628
Sangamon44032
Jackson33519
Randolph2877
Stephenson2755
Ogle2684
McLean26713
Clinton24017
Macon23222
LaSalle22417
Union19319
Whiteside19215
Coles17317
Grundy1695
Iroquois1605
Tazewell1468
Warren1430
Knox1360
Cass1346
Morgan1303
Monroe12913
Williamson1224
Adams1061
Jefferson10617
McDonough10215
Lee982
Henry931
Vermilion772
Pulaski760
Marion680
Perry561
Douglas540
Macoupin543
Livingston502
Jasper477
Jo Daviess461
Montgomery461
Unassigned460
Christian454
Ford371
Jersey351
Woodford342
Bureau292
Franklin270
Menard240
Fayette233
Alexander220
Carroll222
Mason220
Wabash220
Mercer210
Piatt210
Washington210
Johnson200
Hancock191
Moultrie190
Shelby191
Crawford180
Logan160
Clark150
Fulton150
Massac150
Wayne141
Bond131
Effingham131
Schuyler130
Cumberland120
Brown100
Edgar100
De Witt90
Greene90
Marshall90
Saline90
Henderson80
Lawrence70
White60
Hamilton50
Richland40
Stark40
Pike30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
Kosciusko5124
Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
LaGrange4657
Noble45728
Hancock43735
Boone43443
Delaware42949
Marshall4273
Shelby42025
Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
Grant29026
Clinton2852
Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
Decatur24832
Henry24315
Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
Dearborn22723
Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
Daviess14116
Orange13523
Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
Jasper1142
Ripley1147
Carroll1102
Wabash1102
Fayette987
Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
Huntington712
Wells711
Jefferson701
Fulton681
Jay680
Washington661
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193