Russian citizens charged in nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy

The poisoning of the Skripals earlier in March triggered a major diplomatic crisis between the United Kingdom and Russia

The crown prosecution service named Russian intelligence officers Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov as the suspects.

She said that the GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command and that Petrov's and Boshirov's mission was likely approved at a senior level of the Russian state.

May said the attack "was not a rogue operation" and was nearly certainly approved at a "senior level of the Russian state".

Police released a series of images of the men as they traveled through London and Salisbury between March 2 and March 4.

On March 4, the Skripals were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury, England.

He said: "As in the killing of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, Russian officers - this time working for Russian military intelligence, the GRU - flew into Britain on an Aeroflot flight under aliases days before the attack".

The Russian men also face charges of the use and possession of the deadly Soviet-concocted nerve agent Novichok, and causing "grievous bodily harm with intent" to both Yulia Skripal and Bailey.

Speaking ahead of the United Kingdom announcement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov again denied any Russian role in the poisoning, saying that Russia has no new information about it because Britain has refused to share case files. "It is of course for a jury to decide whether the evidence is enough for them to be sure of the suspects' guilt", Hemming said.

Police say tests on the couple - Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45 - show they had been exposed to Novichok.

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Police revealed further details of how they believed Petrov and Boshirov managed to sneak Novichok, which is banned under global chemical weapons laws, into the country. Mr. Rowley brought the box home and his partner, Dawn Sturgess, applied the supposed perfume to her wrists.

On April 3 the British military facility analysing the nerve agent - which appears to have been put on the door of Skripal's home - says it has "not verified the precise source" of the substance.

Charlie, 45, revealed when he regained consciousness that he found what he believed was a discarded bottle of perfume and handed it to Dawn as a present. If they're dumb or desperate enough to travel where Interpol operates, Russian Federation won't be able to do much about preventing their capture and extradition back to the UK.

A European arrest warrant has been issued for the two Russians, British prosecutors said, but Britain will not ask Moscow to extradite them because Russia's constitution does not allow its citizens to be extradited. Russian Federation reiterates that it has no connection to either the Salisbury or Amesbury attacks, adding that co-operation with Britain remains vital. On Wednesday, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the names of the men and their photos "say nothing to us".

Police released images of a counterfeit Nina Ricci Premier Jour pink perfume box and a bottle with a modified nozzle that was used to secrete the military-grade nerve agent into Britain.

Two days later Russian Federation announces the expulsion of 60 United States diplomats and the closure of the U.S. consulate in Saint Petersburg.

The two Russian men have not been charged in connection with that case.

Wiltshire's chief constable, Kier Pritchard, said: "I welcome the significant news today from the counter-terrorism policing network regarding the identification of two suspects who are believed to be responsible for the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal".

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