Russian President Vladimir Putin has advised the British to investigate the poisoning of ex-colonel of the GRU, Sergei Skripal, on the spot, before pinning the incident on Russia.
On March 5, British police reported that two people are in critical condition due to poisoning with an unknown substance. Neither the police, nor Interior Minister Amber Rudd nor Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking of the victims, named Skripal and his daughter Julia. The only official person who specifically named them was Foreign Minister Boris Johnson. Scotland Yard reported on March 7 that there was an “attempted murder using a nerve agent”. It is also reported that 20 other people sought medical attention in relation to the incident in Salisbury.
Skripal was granted asylum in Britain after an exchange of agents between Russia and the United States in 2010, when ten detainied people were transferred back to Russia, including Anna Chapman.