Inside the Poisoning Of Ex-Russian Double Agent That Ignited Crisis With West

How a hit on Sergei Skripal became the latest part of Putin's campaign against Britain.

Sergei Skripal
A photo dated Aug. 9, 2006 shows Sergei Skripal talking from a defendants cage to his lawyer during a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow, Russia. (TASSTASS via Getty Images)

When Sergei Skripal was a Russian double agent working for the British, his code name was “Forthwith” (quickly). But when the poison that killed him entered his body, it moved very slowly, taking hours to wind its way through his body.

Before the March 4, 2018 hit, the 66-year-old Skripal was living comfortably in exile in England. Then Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who had flown in from Moscow to visit, were poisoned on that day and rushed to the hospital by British first responders.

The international reaction was quick and furious, with Russia immediately becoming the prime suspect, writes GQ.

Since 2006, at least a dozen UK residents with strong links to Russia had died abruptly from things such as heart attack, fall or inexplicable collapse. What happened to the elder Skripal, who did not survive the attack, was clearly not attributable to natural causes.

“I take one day at a time,” Yulia,  said in her statement once she awoke in the hospital. GQ writes that she does hope to go back to Russia someday, but repeated her refusal of assistance from the embassy: “At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services.”

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