Yulia Skripal issues video statement

Lester Mason
May 25, 2018

Ms Skripal, 33, and her father Sergei, a former Russian double agent who now lives in the United Kingdom, were found frothing at the mouth on a bench in Salisbury on 4 March. The pair were found unconscious a day later. "After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned", she told reporters. "I still find it hard to come to terms with the fact that both of us were attacked in a such a way".

"We are so lucky to have both survived this attempted assassination", Skripal said. Yulia described her medical treatment following the attack as "invasive, painful and depressing".

Viktoria Skripal said on Russian state television late on Wednesday that she appeared to be delivering a statement written by others.

"Also, I want to reiterate what I said in my earlier statement, that no one speaks for me, or for my father but ourselves", she said. Her father, a former GRU intelligence officer, was discharged last week.

"My life has been turned upside down".

"As I try to come to terms with the devastating changes thrust upon me both physically and emotionally, I take one day at a time and want to help care for my father until his full recovery". She added that she was now focused on helping her father to make a full recovery, and that "in the long term I hope to return home to my country".

Yulia's first media interview since being released from hospital "strengthens our concerns as to the conditions in which she is being held", the embassy said in a statement on its wesbite. The Russian version had several crossings out and corrections.

Skripal spoke in Russian and supplied a statement that she said she had written herself in both Russian and English. But she said she and her father were "not ready to take it".

The UK has said that Russian Federation is to blame for the attack on the pair, with the nerve agent novichok suspected to have been placed on Mr Skripal's home door handle.

British Prime Minister Thersa May says it's "highly likely" Russian Federation is behind the attack.

Russian officials question why Russia would want to attack an ageing turncoat who was pardoned and swapped in a Kremlin-approved 2010 spy swap.

Moscow has insisted that it had nothing to do with the attack.

The UK should give Russian officials access to Yulia in line with global rules, the Embassy added. "We have not seen her or heard from her", he said when asked to comment on the story. "But at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services".

Ms Skripal had a scar on her neck consistent with having undergone a tracheostomy - the insertion of a tube in the windpipe to allow breathing.

She also paid tribute to those who had treated her since the attack, describing them as "wonderful and kind".

Yulia Skripal's reluctance to attribute blame for her poisoning is understandable. She contacted Reuters through the British police.

In 2006, two Moscow assassins poisoned the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko with a radioactive cup of tea. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently noted that if Novichok had been used, the Skripals would have died nearly instantly. In 2012, however, broke and homesick, Walter Litvinenko returned home.

The daughter of an ex-Russian spy poisoned in Salisbury has said she is "lucky to be alive" after the attack. "Moreover, we are not sure about her current state, whether she is being pressured, where she is staying, whether she made any statements and whether she did these statements voluntarily", he said.

"Overall, considering we are talking about a fairly unprecedented global provocation against Russian Federation that was unleashed by Britain and London, we maintain our distrust and have every reason to do so".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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