Skripal suspects interview 'lies' and an 'insult' - Downing Street

Attack The suspects believed to be travelling as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov

The UK believes the men are Russian military intelligence officers who tried to kill Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last March.

The surprise TV appearance by Petrov and Boshirov came a day after Putin said Russian authorities know the identities of the two men but insisted that they were civilians and there is "nothing criminal" about them.

"What were you doing there?" Boshirov explained that the sights in the town include "the famous Salisbury Cathedral", which he said is "famous for its 123 meter spire".

The pair, who the United Kingdom suspect of being members of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency, complained their lives had been "turned upside down" and RT said they sounded distressed during the interview.

A still image taken from a video footage and released by RT worldwide news channel on September 13, 2018, shows two Russian men with the same names, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as those accused by Britain over the case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, during an interview at an unidentified location, Russia.

Last week, investigators published mugshots and CCTV images of the two men, putting them near Skripal's home at the time of the poisoning.

Its investigations into RT relate to the requirement that United Kingdom broadcasters commit to "due impartiality". They denied the allegation and Russian Federation refused to extradite them.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said the pair had called her mobile because they wanted to tell their story.

That is the story that Russian Federation wanted us to believe; the story of two individuals who supposedly were just wayward tourists in Britain and were just caught up in one of the most freakish and strangest spying stories of the decade.

He bristled when Simonyan asked why the two men spent so much time together.




The men interviewed by RT denied carrying the fake women's perfume bottle with them.

"The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station are an insult to the public's intelligence", Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said.

On March 4, Skripal and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in Salisbury after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.

The duo, who appeared acutely ill at ease, identified themselves as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the names British prosecutors said were used by the poisoners.

They cut their trip short because of bad weather, they said. British police have said they believe both men are using aliases. They added that they would like to receive an apology from British officials.

The men are civilians and "we know who they are", Putin told an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday in his first comments on the United Kingdom allegations.

"Perhaps we did pass by Skripal's house, but we don't know where it is", said Boshirov.

But when they were asked about the bottle of perfume that British man Charlie Rowley claims he found and gave to his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, who later died of Novichok poisoning, one of them replied by asking, "Don't you think it's silly for straight men to have women's perfume with them?"

"We're afraid of going out, we fear for ourselves, our lives and lives of our loved ones", Boshirov said.

In a statement, the British government said the interview reflected more "obfuscation and lies" by Moscow.

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