Diplomatic fireworks are still flying after the attempted murder of an ex-Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yula, on British soil. There’s been little doubt from Britain or its allies that Russia carried out the attack via a nerve agent that’s been traced to a Russian military lab. The incident has resulted in a joint condemnation from the leaders of Britian, the U.S., Germany, and France, and diplomats have been expelled on both sides of the pond. And more evidence has now surfaced against the Kremlin, according to a newly released letter from British intelligence services that’s been published by The Guardian.
In the letter — a rare move since British intelligence generally doesn’t make such findings public — U.K. National Security Advisor Sir Mark Sedwill tells NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Russia targeted Yulia’s email accounts as far back as 2013. This serves as evidence that links Russia to the attempt on the Skripal’s lives and proves that they were being monitored. In addition, Sedwill reveals findings about Russia testing the application of door handles to deliver the poison in question to intended targets:
“We have information indicating Russian intelligence service interest in the Skripals, dating back at least as far as 2013, when email accounts belonging to Yulia Skripal were targeted by GRU cyber specialists.
“During the 2000s, Russia commenced a programme to test means of delivering chemical warfare agents and to train personnel from special units in the use of these weapons. This programme subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles. Within the last decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of novichoks under the same programme.”
All along, the Kremlin has denied all connection to the poisoning, which has been progressively less believable as British investigators continue to dig in. And of course, Vladimir Putin has a history of “probably” okaying the murder of ex-spies and enemies. He even has a reputation for killing critical journalists, but nonetheless, Sedwell’s letter, which is available to read here, reveals much more behind British PM Theresa May’s finger-pointing at the Kremlin.
(Via The Guardian)