Friday, December 1, 2023

Yulia Skripal Out Of British Hospital Five Weeks After Nerve Agent Attack

The daughter of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, who was poisoned alongside her father, is out of the hospital five weeks after they were poisoned with a nerve agent.

Yulia Skripal, 33, and Sergei Skripal, 66, a past Russian spy who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service, were found unconscious on a public bench in the English cathedral city of Salisbury on March 4.

The attack on Yulia and Sergei sparked one of the biggest crises in the West’s relations with the Kremlin since the Cold War.

Britain accused Russia of being behind the nerve agent attack and Western governments including the United States expelled over 100 Russian diplomats. Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning and retaliated in kind.

As a consequence of the attack, the Skripals were in a critical condition for weeks and doctors at one point feared, even if they survived, they might have suffered brain damage. But the Skripals’ health since then has begun to improve rapidly.

Yulia, 33, has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital, Christine Blanshard, medical director of the hospital, told reporters on Tuesday and her father could be discharged in due course.

Blanshard said: “We have now discharged Yulia. This is not the end of her treatment, but marks a significant milestone.

“Her father has also made good progress. Although he is recovering more slowly than Yulia, we hope that he too will be able to leave hospital in due course.”

Both Britain and Russia congratulated Yulia Skripal, a Russian citizen, on her recovery.

“We congratulate Yulia Skripal on her recovery,” the Russian embassy in London said, adding that it had not been granted consular access to her.

Yulia has been taken to a secure location. It was also reported that Britain was considering giving the Skripals new identities and a fresh life in the United States to protect them from further attacks.

But Russia said it would consider any secret resettlement of the Skripals as an abduction of its citizens.

“The world, while having no opportunity to interact with them, will have every reason to see this as an abduction of the two Russian nationals or at least as their isolation,” a spokesman for the Russian embassy in London said.

Sergei Skripal was a colonel in Russian military intelligence. He was also recruited by Britain’s MI6 and this led to him being arrested for treason in Moscow in 2004. He ended up in Britain after being swapped in 2010 for Russian spies caught in the United States.

Since his release, Skripal lived modestly in Salisbury and kept out of the spotlight until he was found poisoned. He has British citizenship.

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