Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy now living in England, and his adult daughter, Yulia Skripal, were poisoned with a nerve agent, authorities say.
Skripal, 66, and 33-year-old Yulia were both in intensive care in critical condition after the poisoning. British authorities say the poisoning was purposeful, and they’ve launched a counter-terrorism investigation because of the unusual nature of the attack, which could rupture relations between Great Britain and Russia.
It’s not the first time that an ex-Russian spy has met a tragic fate on the streets of London, as the case brings to mind the death-by-poison of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. Skripal allegedly had ties to Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent whose dossier on Donald Trump has upended American politics. However, the Steele ties are not proven.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Skripal & His Daughter Fell Ill After a Day of Shopping
Former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal attends a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow on August 9, 2006.
In what feels like a spy movie or an episode of The Americans or maybe Red Sparrow, the Skripals were enjoying a day out shopping together when they both fell severely ill, according to USA Today. The attack occurred in the English city of Salisbury, which is located not far from London.
According to BBC, Skripal, a former army intelligence colonel, and his daughter “were found slumped on a bench outside the Maltings shopping centre.” It’s not known exactly where they came into contact with the nerve agent.
Police have closed down two establishments that they are investigating. “They are particularly keen to hear from people who ate at Zizzi or drank in The Bishop’s Mill pub between 13:00 and 16:00 GMT,” reported BBC.
A police officer who responded to the scene is now seriously ill as well, and that’s ramped up pressure on the British government to do something in response.
Police have not publicly revealed the nerve agent or how it was given to the Skripals, although they do know that information.
2. Skripal Came to Great Britain as Part of a Spy Swap
Police officers stand outside the home of Sergei Skripal after a man and woman were found unconscious in Salisbury town centre two days previously, on March 6, 2018 in Salisbury, England.
Sergei Skripal has lived in England since 2010, when he was …read more