Bellingcat: Russian Documents Suggest Novichok Suspects Were Operatives

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     TV SENSATION The Novichok attack suspects have been interviewed by Russia Today

The Twittersphere has gone into overdrive to ridicule the Russian nationals accused by the British government of being behind the poisoning attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England, after an interview with RT in which they claimed to have been in Salisbury to visit the local cathedral's "123-meter spire".

In the interview, with RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, they said they worked in the fitness industry.

"What were you doing there?"

They spent no more than an hour in Salisbury and returned to London after abandoning a plan to visit the Stonehenge monument because of "muddy slush" and snow in the city, Petrov said. She asked Petrov and Boshirov what they were doing in the United Kingdom, and the two men claimed that they were told the small town of Salisbury was just a nice place to visit.

Asked what could persuade London of the pair's innocence, he responded: "I can't see anything which could really change the British government's attitude and its conviction that these two men were perpetrators, that they were the ones who brought Novichok into the country".

London renewed its assertions that the men were officers of the Russian military intelligence service GRU and lied about their involvement in the poisoning of one-time Russian agent Sergei Skripal.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told Russian state-funded news channel RT they travelled to the "wonderful" city in Wiltshire after recommendations from friends.

The Center for European Reform tweeted that its director of foreign policy, Ian Bond, told the BBC that the interview could have meant to "cause confusion, put smoke out there to obscure the battlefield".

Britain said the attack was nearly certainly approved "at a senior level of the Russian state", an allegation that Moscow has vehemently denied.

They had been for lunch at a restaurant in central Salisbury on 4 March when they were found "in an extremely serious condition" on a bench outside the restaurant.

Obama rebukes Trump's 'radical' politics of 'fear'
But, Obama added, when there is a vacuum in democracy, "other voices fill the void". "That is not a check", Obama said. The former president said he rejects the politics of fear and division and said all people deserve equal treatment.

Instead, it raised questions about whether the two men are gay.

"Well, we came there on March 2, then went to a railway station to see the timetable".

London said the two men were Russian agents, which Moscow denies.

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

Simonyan was mentioned 27 times in a report by USA intelligence agencies in January 2017 about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"The British government locked itself into the corner, into a certain position" insisting Petrov and Boshirov were the perpetrators, said Martin McCauley, author and Russian Federation analyst.

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?"

The two men told RT their lives had been "turned upside down" by the allegations. "You should ask [the United Kingdom police]".

The two men denied transporting the Novichok nerve agent.

The network broadcast the interview with the suspects in the Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom on Thursday, even as it faces multiple ongoing investigations by media regulator Ofcom into its coverage of the attack in March.

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