Сергей Викторович Скрипаль
Sergei Viktorovich Skripal
23 June 1951
|Spouse(s)||Lyudmila Skripal (c. 1952/1953–2012), née Koshelnik|
Sergei Viktorovich Skripal (Russian: Серге́й Ви́кторович Скрипáль, IPA: [sʲɪrˈɡʲej ˈvʲiktərəvʲɪtɕ skrʲɪˈpalʲ], born 23 June 1951) is a former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for the UK's intelligence services during the 1990s and early 2000s. In December 2004, he was arrested by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and later tried, convicted of high treason, and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He settled in the UK in 2010 following the Illegals Program spy swap. He holds both Russian and British citizenship.
On 4 March 2018, he and his daughter Yulia, who was visiting him from Moscow, were poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent. As of 15 March 2018,[update] they were in a critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital. The poisoning was investigated as an attempted murder.
On 29 March, Yulia was reported to be out of critical condition, 'conscious and talking'. A week later, on 6 April, Skripal was said to no longer be in a critical state. He was discharged on 18 May 2018.
Sergei Skripal was born in Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast on 23 June 1951. His father worked for a land improvement contractor, while his mother was employed with the local Council of Deputies. He grew up in the town of Ozyorsk, also in Kaliningrad Oblast.
Education, military intelligence
In 1972, Skripal completed the military engineering school in Kaliningrad named Zhdanov, located in the village of Borisovo (formerly Kraußen (Königsberg)) with the qualification of a sapper-paratrooper. He then studied at the Moscow Military Engineering Academy. He then served in the Soviet Airborne Troops and was deployed to Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War under the command of Boris Gromov.
Skripal was co-opted to the military intelligence (GRU) from the Airborne Troops. In the early 1990s, he was posted as a GRU officer at the embassy in Malta. In 1994, he obtained a position in the military attaché′s office in Madrid, Spain. According to the FSB and other sources, in 1995, in Spain, he was recruited to British intelligence by British intelligence agent Pablo Miller, who was posing as Antonio Alvarez de Hidalgo. According to intelligence sources cited by The Times in March 2018, Skripal was first spotted for potential development as an asset by Spanish intelligence but was approached by the British recruiter around July 1995 and was given the codename 'Forthwith'. According to the FSB, Pablo Miller was also involved in efforts to recruit other Russian assets and was in contact with Alexander Litvinenko.
In 1996, due to his diabetes, Skripal was sent back to Moscow, where he went on to work in the GRU headquarters and for a while was acting director of the GRU personnel department. Skripal held the rank of colonel when he retired, due to his inadequate health condition, in 1999. He continued to make trips to Spain, where he had a house near Málaga at his disposal, provided by his handlers.
According to Russian prosecutors, he began working for the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) in 1995 and passed on state secrets, such as the identities of Russian intelligence agents. After his retirement, he worked in the Household Department of the Russian foreign ministry, while continuing to work for MI6. He was alleged to have blown the cover of 300 Russian agents.
Arrest and conviction
In December 2004, Skripal was arrested outside his house in Moscow's Krylatskoye District shortly after returning from Britain. In August 2006, he was convicted under Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code (high treason in the form of espionage) by the Moscow Regional Military Court in the trial conducted behind closed doors. Prosecution, which was represented personally by Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky, argued for a 15-year sentence – instead of the 20-year maximum under Article 275 – in recognition of mitigating circumstances such as his cooperation with investigators. Skripal was sentenced to 13 years in a high-security detention facility; he was also stripped of his military rank and decorations. The affair was not revealed to the public until after he was sentenced in August 2006. Skripal's lawyers appealed the sentence, which was upheld by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court on 30 November 2006.
Release and life in UK
On 9 July 2010, Skripal, along with three other Russian nationals imprisoned for espionage, was freed as part of a spy swap for the ten Russian agents arrested in the United States as part of the Illegals Program, after being pardoned by the then President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev. The UK government insisted on Skripal being included in the swap.
Skripal moved to Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he purchased a house in 2011. According to British security officials, Skripal continued to provide information to the UK and other Western intelligence agencies for a period after 2010.
Skripal's wife died in 2012 of disseminated endometrial cancer. His daughter returned to Moscow in 2014 and worked in sales. His son died aged 43 in March 2017, in unknown circumstances, on a visit to Saint Petersburg; Skripal's older brother died within the two years before the poisoning. Both Skripal's wife and his son are buried in a cemetery local to Salisbury.
In May 2018, the New York Times reported that Skripal, though retired, was "still in the game." While living in Britain he had travelled to other countries, meeting with intelligence officials of the Czech Republic, Estonia and Colombia, most likely discussing Russian spying techniques. In June 2016 he travelled to Estonia to meet local spies. Russia exile Valery Morozov told Channel 4 News Sergei Skripal was still working and in regular contact with military intelligence officers at the Russian Embassy.
While it was initially reported that Skripal was a close confidant of Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy who compiled the controversial Trump–Russia dossier, The Telegraph later reported that this trail of evidence linking Skripal to Steele was fabricated by Russian Intelligence.
On 28 September 2018, the news magazine Focus reported, referring to a statement of a senior official from NATO's Allied Command Counter-Intelligence Unit (ACCI) in Mons, that until 2017 Skripal worked for four intelligence agencies of NATO countries. Skripal not only traveled, accompanied by MI6 officials to Prague, where he contributed information about the active Russian spy network, some agents Skripal knew from his active service. He provided information to the Estonian secret service in Tallinn, which enabled them to identify three active Russian undercover operatives. Skripal also worked with the Spanish secret service Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, informing the agency about the Russian organized crime in the Spanish region of Costa del Sol. All the trips were organized and approved by the British foreign intelligence service, MI6. Mark Urban reported that in 2017 Skripal was scheduled to meet with the Swiss Intelligence Service of the Federation.
On 4 March 2018, Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, who was visiting from Moscow, were found "slipping in and out of consciousness on a public bench" near a shopping centre in Salisbury by a doctor and nurse who were passing by. Paramedics took them to Salisbury District Hospital where medical staff determined that the pair had been poisoned with a nerve agent. The police declared a major incident as multiple agencies were involved. Following the incident, health authorities checked 21 members of the emergency services and the public for symptoms; two police officers were treated for possible minor symptoms, said to be itchy eyes and wheezing, while a third, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who had been sent to Sergei Skripal's house, was in a serious condition. As of 11 March 2018[update], Bailey remained seriously ill but stable. By 22 March 2018, he had recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital, and by 15 January 2019, he returned to active duty. As of 15 March 2018[update], Skripal and his daughter remained critically ill. On 29 March, Yulia was reported to be out of critical condition, "conscious and talking".
On 6 March, it was agreed under the National Counter Terrorism Policing Network that the Counter Terrorism Command based within the Metropolitan Police would take over the investigation from Wiltshire Police. Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, head of Counter Terrorism Policing, appealed for witnesses to the incident following a COBR meeting chaired by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
On 12 March 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May identified the nerve agent used in the attack as a Russian-developed Novichok agent and demanded explanation from the Russian government. Two days later, May said that Russia was responsible for the incident and announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation.
In mid-March 2018, Russia said that its diplomats were denied access to both Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who is a Russian national. On 31 March 2018 the BBC reported that the UK was considering the Russian Embassy's request, 'in line with its obligations under international and domestic law.'
On 6 April, Victoria Skripal, the cousin of poisoned Yulia, was denied a UK visa to visit her relatives in hospital in Salisbury, after reports that she was being coached by Moscow to discredit Yulia. The official reason for the refusal was that there was no evidence that Victoria had previously visited Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the UK, and regardless the Skripals were not in a condition to receive guests.
On 7 April, the hospital reported that Sergei Skripal was improving rapidly and was no longer in a critical condition, two days after the improvement had been reported in Moscow following a phone call from his daughter.
On 18 May 2018, Sergei Skripal was discharged from the hospital. The Director of Nursing said that further treatment will be provided outside the hospital and that treating the Skripals had been "a huge and unprecedented challenge".
On 16 February 2019, The Sunday Times reported, without identified sources, that Sergei Skripal "has suffered a deterioration in his health and is being treated by doctors".
On 6 June 2020, The New York Post reported that Sergei and his daughter have been settled in New Zealand under new identities.
- Corera, Gordon (10 March 2018). "Sergei Skripal – the Russian former spy at centre of poison mystery". BBC News.
- Morris, Steven; Harding, Luke; Bannock, Caroline (6 March 2018). "Woman in Russian spy mystery identified as Sergei Skripal's daughter". The Guardian (US ed.). London. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Bristol: Woman in hospital with former Russian spy is his daughter 'Mr Skripal's 43-year-old son – died last year... in St Petersburg... after being rushed to hospital with liver failure', BBC News, Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Corera, Gordon (10 March 2018). "Sergei Skripal – the Russian former spy at centre of poison mystery". London: BBC. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
- "Who is former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal?". BBC News. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Janjevic, Darko (6 April 2018). "The curious case of Yulia Skripal's recorded phone call". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- "Сергей Скрипаль имеет двойное гражданство РФ и Великобритании". TASS. 21 March 2018.
- "60 минут" Russia-1, 21 March 2018.
- "Russia spy: Allies condemn nerve agent attack". BBC News. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- Asthana, Anushka; Roth, Andrew; Harding, Luke; MacAskill, Ewen (12 March 2018). "May issues ultimatum to Moscow over Salisbury poisoning". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
- Dodd, Vikram; Harding, Luke; MacAskill, Ewen (8 March 2018). "Sergei Skripal: former Russian spy poisoned with nerve gas, say police". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "Russian spy: Yulia Skripal 'conscious and talking". BBC News. 29 March 2018.
- Joyce, Kathleen (6 April 2018). "Poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal no longer in critical condition, hospital says". Fox News. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
- "Ex-spy Sergei Skripal discharged after poisoning". BBC News. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- Стало известно, кто может скрываться под псевдонимом отравителя Скрипалей mk.ru, 23 April 2018.
- Тихомиров, Владимир (8 March 2018). "Яд для шпиона. Кто и зачем отравил экс-разведчика Сергея Скрипаля". Life.ru (in Russian).
- Petrov, Nikolay (22 March 2018). "Сергей Скрипаль. Биография [Sergey Skripal. Biography]". Infox.ru.
- "Сергей всегда был начеку": как жил Скрипаль в России и Британии tr. "Sergey has always been on the alert": how Skripal lived in Russia and Britain BBC, 8 March 2018.
- Sergei Skripal – the life of a double agent The Times, 13 March 2018.
- Налоговый полицейский узнал своего вербовщика: Он оказался старым знакомым контрразведчиков ФСБ tr. The tax police recognized his recruiter: He turned out to be an old acquaintance of the FSB counterintelligence Kommersant, 16 August 2007.
- A hundred grand and hundreds of betrayed agents What was former GRU Colonel Sergey Skripal's treason against Russia? Meduza, 6 March 2018.
- Ben Macintyre. Sergei Skripal: 'Forthwith' gave MI6 telephone directory of Russian agents The Times, 10 March 2018.
- Шпион-идальго: ФСБ назвала имя британского шпиона, вербовавшего российских силовиков Lenta.ru, 15 August 2007.
- Лондон пообещал Москве жесткий ответ в случае причастности РФ к инциденту со Скрипалем Interfax, 6 March 2018.
- Russian convicted spy colonel worked for Britain's MI6 RIA Novosti/Sputnik, 9 August 2006.
- "Russian colonel sentenced to 13 years in prison for spying for Britain". Agence France-Presse. 9 August 2006. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007.
- Neil Buckley, David Bond, Henry Foy. The unanswered questions over the attack on a Russian double agent Financial Times, 9 March 2018 (print edition of 10 March 2018)
- Полковник на службе ее величества: Осужден агент британской разведки в ГРУ Kommersant, 10 August 2006.
- Отставной полковник спецслужб Скрипаль получил 13 лет за шпионаж в пользу британской разведки NEWSru, 9 August 2006.
- "Russian colonel jailed for spying". BBC News. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "Colonel convicted of spying for U.K. appeals verdict". RIA Novosti/Sputnik. 10 August 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Оставлен в силе приговор полковнику Скрипалю, осужденному за шпионаж RIA Novosti, 30 November 2006.
- "Russia and US preparing spy swap". The Telegraph. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Parfitt, Tom; Weaver, Matthew; Norton-Taylor, Richard (9 July 2010). "Spy swap: US and Russia hand over agents in full media glare". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Norton-Taylor, Richard; Parfitt, Tom; Clark, Andrew (11 July 2010). "British security services debrief two Russians freed in spy swap". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "Случаи помилования президентом РФ лиц, осужденных за госизмену. Досье". TASS. 29 July 2017.
- "Salisbury, scratchcards and sausage: the quiet life of Sergei Skripal". The Guardian. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Dodd, Vikram; MacAskill, Ewen; Morris, Steven (9 March 2018). "Russian spy attack: military convoy arrives at Salisbury hospital". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
- "Russian spy: Sergei Skripal collapsed alongside daughter". BBC News. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "'More known' about substance in spy case". BBC News. 7 March 2018.
- "Sergei Skripal Was Retired, but Still in the Spy Game. Is That Why He Was Poisoned?". The New York Times. 14 May 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "Mercenaries, Spies, and Double Agents Gather En Masse in Bogotá". Bloomberg Businessweek. 16 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
- "Sergei Skripal Was Retired, but Still in the Spy Game. Is That Why He Was Poisoned?". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- Home Affairs Correspondent, Tom Harper (18 March 2018). "Special Branch called in as email warns dissident: 'They came for Sergei, they will come for you'" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
- "Sergei Skripal: Former spy was in 'regular contact with Russian embassy', ex-Kremlin officer claims | The Independent".
- Drake, Matt (8 March 2018). "'More McMafia hits will follow' Theresa May MUST act now to protect UK from assassinations". Express.co.uk.
- Poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal was close to consultant who was linked to the Trump dossier, The Telegraph, 7 March 2018
- "The ex-Kremlin spy apparently poisoned in Britain has links to the man who wrote the explosive Trump-Russia dossier". Business Insider. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- Kremlin accused of laying false trail linking Sergei Skripal to ex-MI6 officer behind Trump dossier, The Telegraph, 20 January 2019
- Vergifteter Doppelagent Skripal war bis 2017 für vier Geheimdienste tätig, Focus, 28 September 2019
- Bericht: Sergej Skripal lieferte Agenten ans Messer, Deutsche Welle, 28 September 2019
- "GRU Globetrotters 2: The Spies Who Loved Switzerland". Bellingcat. 6 July 2019. Archived from the original on 6 July 2019.
Mark Urban reports in the book, and confirmed to us that at the end of June or beginning of July 2017, Sergey Skripal had to cancel a previously-scheduled interview on the grounds that he had to travel to Switzerland to meet with the local intelligence services.
- "Moscow 'Highly Likely' Behind Salisbury Chemical Attack, Prime Minister of United Kingdom Says in Letter to Security Council – Russian Federation Calls Statement Irresponsible, Threatening". United Nations. 14 March 2018. SC/13247. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Russian spy: What we know so far". BBC News. 8 March 2018.
- "Alleged former Russian spy critically ill after exposure to unknown substance in Salisbury". The Daily Telegraph. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Ellen Barry. 28 March 2018: "Russian Ex-Spy Sergei Skripal Was Poisoned via Front Door, U.K. Says" at nytimes.com, accessed 2 April 2018
- "Russian spy: Russia 'has no information' on Sergei Skripal collapse". BBC News. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "Critically ill man 'former Russian spy'". BBC News. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "Up to 21 people treated after nerve agent attack on Russian spy Sergei Skripal". ITV News. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
- Casciani, Dominic (9 March 2018). World at One. BBC Radio 4. Event occurs at 21m47s. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
there was some erroneous reporting that there were 21 other people being treated, that is not true, there has only been these three casualties and they are all still in hospital
- "Russian spy 'attacked with nerve agent'". BBC News. 7 March 2018.
- Robert Mendick (9 March 2018). "Russian spy may have been poisoned at home, police believe, as military deployed to Salisbury". Telegraph.
- Patrick Sawer (11 March 2018). "Poisoned police officer: 'I'm not a hero. I was just doing my job'". Telegraph.
- "Police officer discharged after ex-spy attack". BBC News. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- Morris, Steven (15 January 2019). "Police officer poisoned by novichok returns to active duty". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
- "Russian spy: Highly likely Moscow behind attack, says Theresa May". BBC News. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Barry, Ellen; Pérez-Peña, Richard (12 March 2018). "Britain Blames Moscow for Poisoning of Former Russian Spy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- "May says 23 Russian diplomats will be expelled". The Guardian. 14 March 2018.
- Великобритания отказалась предоставить российским дипломатам доступ к Сергею Скрипалю (Britain refused to grant Russian diplomats access to Sergei Skripal TASS, March 18, 2018.) TASS, 18 March 2018.
- Russian spy: UK considers request to visit Yulia Skripal 31 March 2018, at bbc.co.uk, accessed 2 April 2018
- Milne, Oliver. "Sergei Skripal's niece REFUSED visa for Britain amid fears she was being 'coached' by Moscow". Mirror Online. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- Alistair Smout, Guy Faulconbridge (7 April 2018). "Poisoned Russian agent Sergei Skripal recovering rapidly, hospital says". Reuters. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- Times, Richard Kerbaj, Andrew Gregory | The Sunday (16 February 2019). "Fears for poisoned MI6 spy Sergei Skripal after health worsens" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
- "Poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and daughter start over in New Zealand". nypost.com. 6 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.