Memes poke fun at men accused of poisoning ex-spy

Emmett Rice
September 15, 2018

Two Russian men accused by Britain of carrying out the March poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England, said Thursday it was just an "incredible, fatal coincidence" they were in the city at the time of the attack.

"What were you doing there?"

The men - who seem to be around 40 years old - confirmed they arrived in Britain on March 2 and said they travelled to Salisbury the next day to see the sights but did not stay long because of the poor weather. The UK has described them as agents of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

As Russians digested Thursday's freakish interview on Russia's state-sponsored TV channel with Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the men's itinerary was one thing that didn't add up for people here, even those who don't think Moscow stands behind Skripal's poisoning.

A European arrest warrant has been issued for the two suspects, but British prosecutors say they will not ask Moscow to extradite Russian citizens because Russia's constitution forbids it.

As of 12:00AM AEST RT finally posted the entire interview, available on YouTube with English subtitles, however it appears that RT's video was removed less than three hours later. They denied the allegation and Russian Federation refused to extradite them.

The interviewer, RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, at times seemed more interested in insinuations about the men's personal relationship than their alleged military status. We know who they are, we found them.

Instead, it raised questions about whether the two men are gay.

"We examine the market, look if there is something new - some biologically active additives, amino acids, vitamins, microelements", Boshirov said.

But their unlikely story has branded "lies and blatant fabrication" by Theresa May after they appeared on the Kremlin-funded RT channel yesterday to proclaim their innocence and deny they were agents of the GRU. We don't work for military intelligence.

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RT ran part of the interview on Thursday morning, in which Petrov said: "We are those shown to you in the (CCTV) pictures".

British officials decried the interview, calling it "risible".

And Boshirov said they were in the city for less than an hour, adding: "Maybe we did [approach] Skripal's house, but we don't know where is it located".

Both men have admitted they may have ended-up outside the Skirpal's home purely by accident on the very same day they fell critically ill.

He added that "from the very beginning, Russian Federation has emphasized its desire to co-operate to clarify the circumstances of what happened in Salisbury and track down the culprits", but "the British side has strongly rejected such co-operation".

Boshirov said his life had been turned "upside down", according to RT.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Friday that Russian authorities will consider Britain's request to interrogate them if it comes.

Officers formally linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury where Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent. Having lunch in a Moscow park on Friday, she said the men's itinerary seemed odd for a three-day visit: "It does sound ridiculous".

That was when a former Russian double agent and his daughter were stricken by a military-grade nerve agent, Novichok, that almost killed them.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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