Two Russian nationals identified as suspected Salisbury nerve agent attackers

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov who are formally accused of attempting to murder former Russian intelligence officer Se

The prime minister did, however, reveal the two suspects who flew into Britain with the novichok were officers in the GRU, Russian military intelligence, as police laid out a compelling trail showing how the suspects travelled from Moscow to London and then on to Salisbury, featuring numerous CCTV images and supporting detail.

Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament that investigations showed they are officers of Russia's military intelligence service, known as the GRU.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mrs May said that "this was not a rogue operation" and would "almost certainly" have been approved at a "senior level of the Russian state".

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, named earlier on Wednesday by police and prosecutors, were charged with conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal, with possessing a chemical weapon, and with the attempted murder of Skripal, his daughter Yulia, and a police officer who fell ill after attending the scene.

British police released CCTV images of two Russian men they said flew in to Britain for a weekend to commit murder. Police said they arrived in Britain from Moscow on March 2 at London's Gatwick airport on an Aeroflot flight and left on March 4.

Hemming said the CPS would not be applying to have the men extradited as Russian Federation does not now allow the extradition of its nationals.

Police issued photographs of the suspects, while Russian Federation continued to deny involvement. It has also focused increasing attention on the activities of the GRU, which traces its roots back to the Russian revolution and has been linked to a series of nefarious activities including interfering in the 2016 US elections, meddling in Ukraine and planning a failed coup in Montenegro.

Three days later, with the Skripals in critical condition, police say the pair were poisoned with a highly-toxic nerve agent.

The war of words with Russian Federation following the Novichok attack has escalated, with a senior minister saying Vladimir Putin bore ultimate responsibility for the action of his spies.

If the British version is to be believed, on March 4 former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russian Federation of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia, were affected by a nerve gas of the Novichok class in Salisbury. "Russia has made this clear following requests for extradition in other cases".

In the second incident, Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent used in Salisbury.

U.K. - Metropolitan Police statement - Novichok - the suspects Aleksander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov passing through passport control at London Heathrow at 7:28 p.m. on March 4, 2018. Sturgess died on July 8 as a result of her exposure to Novichok.

British officials have blamed the Russian government for the poisoning, a charge the Kremlin has denied.

Police assess that this trip was for reconnaissance of the Salisbury area and do not believe that there was any risk to the public from their movements on this day.

Moscow has repeatedly accused the United Kingdom government of refusing to cooperate in the investigation, as well as stirring up a politically motivated campaign to vilify Russian Federation.

Russia's foreign ministry said the names given by Britain did not mean anything to Moscow. "We choose to challenge the Russians in both the overt and the covert space, within the rule of law and in a sophisticated way", he said.

He said police continue to liaise with the CPS regarding the poisoning of Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley.

Images of the "perfume" bottle and the bottle with adapted nozzle allegedly related to the Skripals poisoning in Salisbury.



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