Life&Culture

Novichok suspects TV interview offensive

Novichok suspects TV interview offensive

The men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told RT that they made the trek from Moscow for a three day visit to the British town of Salisbury last March for the goal of sightseeing - and not, as the United Kingdom government alleges, to poison Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

"What were you doing there?"

"Friends have been telling us for a long time we should visit this handsome city", said the broad-shouldered Petrov.

"They have a famous cathedral there", Boshirov said, adding studiously: "It is famous for its 123-meter spire".

In the TV broadcast, the men were asked why they went to Salisbury on two different days.

A United Kingdom government spokesperson said the United Kingdom is "clear" that Petrov and Boshirov are agents with Russian military intelligence and slammed the interview as "lies and blatant fabrications".

Two men who identified themselves as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told Russian state-funded news channel RT they travelled to the city of Wiltshire after friends recommended it.

They confirmed that they were the men in CCTV images released by British police last week showing two men in their 40s.

Its investigations into RT relate to the requirement that United Kingdom broadcasters commit to "due impartiality".

The Russian government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Novichok attack and have floated numerous conspiracy theories about who the "real" perpetrators might be. He urged to contact the media, and Petrov said he heard Putin's statement on the radio and contacted Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief who conducted the interview. "I did not know anything about them before this situation, before all of this nightmare started".

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According to British police, the two men arrived in London on March 2, a Friday, and spent two nights in an east London hotel.

"We walked around, enjoying those attractive English Gothic buildings", Boshirov said.

In the television interview, they denied they were GRU agents and claimed to work instead in the nutrient supplements business.

RT's Simonyan noted during the interview that the United Kingdom authorities have accused the men of being members of Russian military intelligence.

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

British security services named the two men as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov but said these were likely to be aliases. They also said they wanted to see the world-famous Stone Age monument Stonehenge, but decided against it due to the bad weather.

The men, who appeared to be about 40, claimed they did not know who Skripal was or where he lived. From a credibility point of view, the British government must stick to that position, McCauley asserted. Putin called them civilians and said there is "nothing criminal" about them. One of the bystanders later died from the Soviet-era nerve agent after she discovered it in a park disguised in a perfume bottle. We came to you for protection.

"For normal blokes, to be carrying women's perfume with us, isn't..." Having lunch in a Moscow park on Friday, she said the men's itinerary seemed unusual for a three-day visit: "It does sound ridiculous".

He claimed his life had been turned "upside down" and added: "We're afraid of going out, we fear for ourselves, our lives and lives of our loved ones".


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