Two Russians accused by UK in spy poisoning to give interview


RUSSIA – A state-funded RT television station will air an interview on Thursday with two Russians who happen to have the same names as the men accused by the British of trying to kill a former Russian spy and his daughter, RT’s head said.

Prosecutors in Britain identified two Russians who are said to be operating under aliases – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. They were accused of trying to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal with a military-grade nerve agent in England.

Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russia’s state-funded RT, wrote on social media that she had met and interviewed two men called Petrov and Boshirov on Wednesday evening. The interview will air later on Thursday, she wrote.

“To my surprise they spoke in a fair amount of detail about what they do and how they earn a living,” she was quoted by Rossiya-24 television station as saying.

Simonyan said the two men contacted her directly and that she had not looked for them personally. She said they were the “real” Petrov and Boshirov as far as she was able to check.

The British said the two suspects were Russian military intelligence officers who were most likely acting on orders from high up in the Russian state. Russia denied any involvement in the case.

A former GRU colonel who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the English city of Salisbury in March. They spent weeks in hospital before being discharged.

They made the headlines again in July when a woman near Salisbury, Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley fell ill and later died.


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