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U.K. Police Charge 3rd Man in Effort to Kill Russian Dissident Skripal

The British authorities mentioned on Tuesday that they have been charging a 3rd man in reference to the tried homicide of the previous Russian spy Sergei V. Skripal, who was poisoned in England in 2018.

The brand new developments in that case got here on the identical day that the European Courtroom of Human Rights dominated that Russia was chargeable for the 2006 killing of Alexander V. Litvinenko, who was poisoned with a radioactive isotope at a London lodge.

Within the 2018 case, the British police mentioned they’d charged Denis Sergeev within the tried assassination of Mr. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. The pair have been discovered slumped on a bench within the metropolis of Salisbury in southern England, and it was later decided that they’d been poisoned with a nerve agent, Novichok.

Two different males — who traveled below aliases — have already been charged. The British police for the primary time confirmed their actual names as Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin.

Not one of the suspects have been taken into custody. And after the primary two males have been charged, they appeared on Russian tv to disclaim any position within the assault. They claimed to have been visiting England as vacationers desirous to see the cathedral in Salisbury.

Dean Haydon, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and senior nationwide coordinator for counterterrorism policing, instructed reporters that “the three operated as a small crew with a view to deploying Novichok to kill people on this nation.”

“I can show they have been right here working as a unit linked to the G.R.U.,” he mentioned, referring to the Russian spy company. “We stay as decided as ever to carry these accountable to justice.”

There have been ominous similarities between the assassination of Mr. Litvinenko with a radioactive isotope and the nerve-agent assault that killed Mr. Skripal greater than a decade later. For a lot of essential of the Kremlin, the assaults underscored the lengths President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would go to precise revenge towards critics.

Mr. Skripal’s poisoning led to a Chilly Conflict-style confrontation between Russia and the West, as British officers accused Russia of sending two hit males to smear Mr. Skripal’s entrance door deal with with a nerve agent, an accusation vigorously denied by Moscow.

On the time, British intelligence chiefs mentioned they’d recognized the boys as members of the G.R.U., the identical Russian navy intelligence unit the place Mr. Skripal as soon as labored.

The brand new fees got here on the identical day that Europe’s court docket of human rights concluded that Mr. Litvinenko’s assassins in 2006 have been appearing as “brokers of the Russian state.” The ruling bolstered a separate inquiry by Britain that discovered “robust circumstantial proof” that Mr. Putin and his spy chief on the time, Nikolai Patrushev, had accredited an operation to kill Mr. Litvinenko, utilizing a harmful and uncommon isotope, polonium 210.

Mr. Litvinenko was a former colonel within the F.S.B., the home successor to the Soviet-era Ok.G.B., who fled Russia through Georgia and Turkey in 2000 to hunt asylum in Britain, the place he turned a whistle-blower and a vitriolic critic of Mr. Putin.

He died in November 2006, weeks after ingesting inexperienced tea laced with polonium 210 at London’s Millennium Lodge.

A prolonged British inquiry concluded in 2016 that Andrei Ok. Lugovoi, a former Ok.G.B. bodyguard, and Dmitri V. Kovtun, a Purple Military deserter, poisoned Mr. Litvinenko.

Whereas the 328-page report was scathing, it cited no laborious proof that Mr. Putin or Mr. Patrushev had been conscious of the plot to kill Mr. Litvinenko or had sanctioned it.

Russia has denied any involvement within the homicide of Mr. Litvinenko.

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