British police indict third man in an attempt to kill Russian dissident Skripal
“I can prove that they were here as a unit linked to the GRU,” he said. “We remain more determined than ever to bring those responsible to justice. “
Mr. Sergeev has been charged with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and possession and use of a chemical weapon. The three suspects are in Russia, and it is unlikely that anyone involved in the poisonings of Mr. Skripal and Mr. Litvinenko will stand trial.
In addition to Mr Skripal and his daughter, a British policeman, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who was among the first to intervene at Mr Skripal’s home, was also poisoned. All three survived, but 44-year-old mother of three, Dawn Sturgess, later died when she sprayed herself with the contents of a perfume bottle that police said had been used to transport the nerve agent. Her boyfriend, who was also disgusted and survived, had found the bottle, disguised as Nina Ricci First Day perfume, in a trash can.
The new charges came on the same day the European Court of Human Rights found that Mr Litvinenko’s killers in 2006 were acting as “agents of the Russian state”. The ruling bolstered a separate British-led investigation which found “strong circumstantial evidence” that Mr Putin and his then chief spy Nikolai Patrushev had approved an operation to kill Mr Litvinenko in using a dangerous and rare isotope, polonium 210.
The lengthy British investigation concluded in 2016 that Andrei K. Lugovoi, a former KGB bodyguard, and Dmitri V. Kovtun, a deserter from the Red Army, had poisoned Mr. Litvinenko.
While the 328-page report was scathing, it did not cite any specific evidence that Mr. Putin or Mr. Patrushev knew of or sanctioned the plot to kill Mr. Litvinenko.
Russian authorities have openly disdained allegations that Russian intelligence agents were involved in the poisonings. In 2018, after UK authorities indicted Mr Chepiga and Mr Mishkin and described their roles in the poisoning of Skripal, the couple gave an interview to one of the Kremlin’s top propagandists, implausibly claiming that they were tourists and hinting that they were in fact in a romantic relationship.