Putin: We know who the Novichok suspects are, and they're not criminals

Two suspects named by UK authorities over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and hi...

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 12:52 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2018 12:52 PM

Two suspects named by UK authorities over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter are not criminals, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

Putin said Russia had identified the pair -- named by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov -- and found no evidence of criminal activities.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal investigations

Criminal law

Fugitives and manhunts

Law and legal system

Political Figures - Intl

Vladimir Putin

2018 Russian spy poisoning

Biological and chemical weapons

Continents and regions

Diseases and disorders

England

Espionage

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Health and medical

Intelligence services

International relations and national security

Military

Military weapons

Misc people

National security

Northern Europe

Poisonings

Sergei Skripal

United Kingdom

Weapons and arms

Weapons of mass destruction

Eastern Europe

Russia

Alexander Petrov

"We, of course, looked at what kind of people they are, and we know who they are, we found them," Putin told an audience at the Eastern Economic Forum in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok. "There is nothing unusual or criminal there, I assure you."

Putin appeared to suggest they should tell their story publicly. "Let them come out somewhere, to you in the media," he said, describing the men as "civilians."

Hours later, state TV channel Russia 24 said its correspondent had been in touch with one of the suspects, Petrov, via phone and released audio in which Petrov said he had no comment yet, but would speak to the media "maybe later, next week, I think."

Russia 24 reported that Petrov had already said in a previous conversation with a reporter that he did not make any secret visits to London with the goal of poisoning the Skripals, and refused to comment on the accusations against him.

Petrov, according to Russia 24, is an employee of Virion, a pharmaceutical company in the Siberian city of Tomsk that is part of a research and production group called Microgen.

Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found slumped on a park bench in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

According to British officials who have been combing CCTV footage in subsequent months, the two Russian nationals were seen arriving at London Gatwick Airport on March 2 before being spotted in Salisbury on March 3 and 4.

Just before midday on March 4, UK police say, the suspects were spotted on CCTV near Skripal's home. They believe the men went on to spread the Novichok nerve agent on the house's door handle, although this moment was not captured on CCTV.

Final images show the men traveling from London Heathrow Airport on what is believed to have been a commercial flight in the wake of the attack in the evening of March 4. British officials say they believe their names to be aliases.

The Skripals spent weeks in the hospital. A police officer who found them was also hospitalized. All three have now been discharged.

Dawn Sturgess -- who along with her partner Charlie Rowley from Amesbury, near Salisbury, was exposed to the military-grade nerve agent later -- died on July 8. Authorities have said they do not believe the couple were deliberately targeted but were exposed after touching a contaminated item left behind by the people who attacked the attack on the Skripals.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said the two suspects are officers of the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU.

"The GRU is a highly disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation, it was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state," she said in a statement to the House of Commons last week.

The UK has said that it has sufficient evidence to charge the men but will not seek extradition of the suspects and instead will apply for a European arrest warrant.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 88721

Reported Deaths: 2015
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25628921
Ramsey10410318
Dakota7048125
Anoka5664132
Stearns371523
Washington352655
Scott238633
Olmsted226327
Nobles192616
Blue Earth15786
Wright15087
Carver13307
St. Louis131733
Rice12978
Mower12744
Clay123240
Sherburne107814
Kandiyohi9182
Winona84318
Lyon6384
Steele5162
Freeborn5113
Benton5003
Watonwan4984
Nicollet49616
Todd4732
Le Sueur4434
McLeod4402
Chisago4331
Waseca4258
Crow Wing41918
Otter Tail3794
Beltrami3714
Goodhue3249
Martin3049
Itasca27113
Polk2704
Isanti2440
Becker2422
Pine2390
Douglas2361
Carlton2351
Cottonwood2160
Pipestone2099
Morrison1951
Dodge1900
Chippewa1891
Unassigned18752
Sibley1763
Meeker1712
Wabasha1700
Brown1682
Murray1522
Yellow Medicine1482
Rock1460
Mille Lacs1413
Faribault1300
Redwood1290
Jackson1281
Renville1256
Cass1233
Swift1111
Roseau1100
Pennington1081
Houston1070
Fillmore1050
Kanabec1038
Koochiching1033
Lincoln1010
Stevens911
Pope860
Hubbard760
Aitkin701
Big Stone660
Wadena620
Grant574
Wilkin553
Lake530
Norman510
Marshall481
Mahnomen451
Lac qui Parle430
Red Lake370
Traverse290
Clearwater250
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 79506

Reported Deaths: 1256
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15227256
Johnson498527
Woodbury494461
Black Hawk433686
Linn3762106
Story327917
Scott276527
Dubuque276040
Dallas267538
Pottawattamie197637
Buena Vista194112
Marshall175934
Sioux13203
Wapello125757
Webster118914
Clinton106218
Muscatine106052
Plymouth103420
Crawford9944
Cerro Gordo99321
Warren9276
Jasper75632
Des Moines7377
Marion7074
Tama68731
Carroll6305
Henry6034
Lee5947
Wright5621
Dickinson4836
Bremer4637
Boone4627
Washington43011
Louisa42515
Mahaska33619
Franklin33517
Delaware3293
Hamilton3143
Floyd2963
Jackson2963
Winneshiek2935
Clay2883
Benton2811
Hardin2761
Winnebago26611
Butler2582
Clarke2553
Emmet25210
Jones2433
Poweshiek2438
Allamakee2425
Shelby2421
Lyon2413
Buchanan2351
Clayton2303
Cedar2191
Guthrie2175
Kossuth2170
Sac2090
Chickasaw2070
Grundy2012
Madison2012
Fayette1871
Cherokee1852
Howard1825
Iowa1821
Mitchell1810
Harrison1772
Hancock1722
Humboldt1713
Calhoun1692
Mills1651
Palo Alto1590
Pocahontas1512
Monroe14610
Page1410
Lucas1386
Jefferson1331
Monona1321
Cass1292
Osceola1250
Appanoose1203
Union1203
Taylor1191
Davis1134
Van Buren1091
Worth1020
Ida960
Keokuk901
Montgomery865
Greene840
Fremont820
Wayne812
Adair641
Audubon591
Decatur580
Ringgold412
Adams280
Unassigned230
Rochester
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 50°
Mason City
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 44°
Albert Lea
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 50°
Charles City
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 45°
Warmer Weather Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Saturday Weather

Image

What are the benefits of bringing football back to Minnesota this fall?

Image

Candlelight vigil for Prisoners of War

Image

MC Masters National Championship Regatta

Image

Early voting begins in Minnesota

Image

Dooley's Pub closes due to health hazards

Image

Area athletic directors prep to welcome back sports

Image

Early voting begins in Minnesota

Image

TikTok Ban to Begin This Weekend

Image

Sara's Evening Forecast - Friday

Community Events