Russia Sends a Chilling Message With Its Latest Chemical Attack

Mar 13, 2018 | 08:00 GMT

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a nerve agent linked to Russia.

Military personnel wearing protective equipment prepare to cover two ambulances involved in a nerve gas attack in Salisbury, England. Authorities are investigating the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The former intelligence agent was granted refuge in the United Kingdom after a spy swap in 2010.



  • Shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin assumed power, Moscow's intelligence services began exhibiting increasingly aggressive behavior.
  • This included the targeted assassinations of enemies across Europe, the Middle East and in the United States. 
  • In response, Western intelligence agencies increased efforts to recruit Russian intelligence officers as spies. 
  • In this context, the attack on Sergei Skripal was not necessarily about his treason, but more of a warning to current Russian intelligence officers not to betray the government. 

The man, 66-year-old Sergei Skripal, was a former colonel in Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) and had been recruited by Britian's foreign intelligence service (MI6) in the 1990s. He had come to the United Kingdom in 2010 as part of a high-profile spy swap. The woman next to him was his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, who had come to Salisbury from Russia to visit her father. Indeed, as police officers began to collapse after having contact with the pair, it rapidly became evident that this was yet another case in which a former Russian intelligence officer was poisoned in the United Kingdom. And with this attack, Russia under Vladimir Putin is letting the intelligence world know that it is changing the rules: Betrayal can make you and your family a target, even if you're no longer in the game....

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