In March 2018, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found slipping in and out of consciousness at a bench in Salisbury, England. What followed was an extensive investigation, with the belief that it was an attempted assassination. The UK government believed that Russia was responsible for the targeted attack, leading to an international diplomatic crisis. Discovery Plus’ documentary, ‘Secrets of the Salisbury Poisonings,’ chronicles the high-profile case and what happened in the aftermath. So, let’s find out where Sergei and Yulia are today, then, shall we?
What Happened to Sergei and Yulia Skripal?
Yulia had landed in London, England, from Moscow on March 3, 2018, to meet her father, 66-year-old Sergei. On March 4, the duo visited a pub and a restaurant in Salisbury. Sometime after 3 PM, Sergei and 33-year-old Yulia were found slumped on a bench in a critical condition. People passing by noticed their plight and called emergency services, with both of them being rushed to the hospital.
However, once the authorities learned more about the victims, the investigation escalated to a whole other level. Sergei was a Russian intelligence officer who was convicted in 2006 of high treason in the form of espionage. Starting in the 1990s, he had supplied the identities of Russian undercover operatives in Europe to the MI6. Sergei was sentenced to 13 years behind bars, and in 2010, he was part of a prisoner exchange program between the United States and Russia. In the end, Sergei moved to Salisbury.
The authorities then believed it was an attempted assassination using a nerve agent called Novichok. Initial reports stated that Novichok may have entered Sergei and Yulia’s systems through the former’s car ventilation. But later on, it was confirmed there was a high concentration of the nerve agent on the door of Sergei’s home. The government contended there was evidence that Russia had explored ways to export chemical warfare despite their claims of destroying their stockpile.
The incident had a ripple effect, with many others in the area being exposed to the nerve agent, ultimately resulting in one death. Furthermore, multiple countries expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK. Russia denied the accusations flat out and suggested that Britain themselves may have been responsible for the alleged attack. By September 2021, the authorities accused three Russian men of being involved in the attack: Alexander Mishkin, Anatoliy Chepiga, and Denis Sergeev. All of them used aliases and worked for Russian intelligence.
Where Are Sergei and Yulia Skripal Now?
Sergei and Yulia underwent extensive treatment, and it was reported that their mental capacity had been compromised to a certain degree. But both of them made a miraculous recovery, with Yulia being discharged in April 2018 and Sergei in the following month. In a statement from May 2018, Yulia said, “I was discharged from hospital on the 9th of April and continue to progress with treatment, but 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.”
Yulia added, “I take one day at a time and want to help care for my Dad till his full recovery. In the longer term, I hope to return home to my country.” She had also thanked the Russian Embassy but refused to use their services. After being placed in a safe house guarded by MI6 for about a year, Sergei and Yulia reportedly moved to New Zealand under new identities. Given the circumstances, it makes sense that the duo has stayed off the radar and would probably continue to do so.
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