The poisoning of an ex-Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, on U.K. soil has officially turned into an international scandal. Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of attempted murder, which led President Trump and the leaders of France and Germany to join May in a statement of condemnation, and the U.S. has finally now sanctioned Russia for election meddling. While all that’s been happening, authorities have been trying to determine how a military-grade nerve agent was used to target the ex-spy, and a new theory is a real doozy.
The Telegraph cites anonymous sources close to investigators, who reportedly believe that the poison (that left the spy in critical condition) was planted in his daughter’s suitcase while departing from Moscow. Presumably, this method makes the attack much harder to trace after the pair was discovered slumped over on a bench in Salisbury, where she was visiting him:
Senior sources have told the Telegraph they are convinced the Novichok nerve agent was hidden in the luggage of Yulia Skripal, the double agent’s 33-year-old daughter.
“They are working on the theory that the toxin was impregnated in an item of clothing or cosmetics or else in a gift that was opened in his house in Salisbury, meaning Miss Skripal was deliberately targeted to get at her father.”
To further complicate matters, investigators fear that over 130 people were placed at immediate risk for contamination from the toxin. The Independent also quotes one of the nerve agent’s developers, Vil Mirzayonov, who says that hundreds more “could be at risk for years.” Mirzayonov further believes that there’s no “cure” or hope of recovery for Sergei or Yulia, and although they did not die, “they will be invalid for life.”
Meanwhile, Russia is vowing retaliation for the U.S. sanctions, and Britain is now calling it “overwhelmingly likely” that Putin ordered the attack, although the Kremlin keeps insisting that it had no reason to poison their ex-spy.