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Spy poisoning is latest in string of suspicious cases in UK

| | London | in Sunday Pioneer

Britain offers wealthy Russians many attractions: the great city of London, the bucolic countryside, exclusive schools, and a global financial hub. But for some former spies and other foes of President Vladimir Putin, it has become lethal.

The latest victims near death’s door are 66-year-old Sergei Skripal — a former colonel in Russia’s military intelligence service, then a turncoat helping British agents — and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia. Both were found comatose on a public bench Sunday in the medieval English city of Salisbury.

British officials say they were exposed to a rare nerve agent of undetermined

origin. Their prognosis is unclear; officials have not said if they have suffered irreversible damage.

Some in Britain say the nerve agent attack fits a pattern of suspicious Russian-related deaths in the U.K. and in the United States, and are calling for a high level police investigation into whether Britain has become a killing ground for the state-sanctioned elimination of foes of the Russian Government.

The brazen assault has not been formally blamed on the Russian government, but it is raising hard questions on how to deal with Russia’s increasingly aggressive stance —

even as officials in the US are trying to determine how to respond to Russian interference in US elections.

 
 
 
 
 

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