Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal discharged from UK hospital

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel of Russia's GRU military intelligence service, looks on inside the defendants' cage as he attends a hearing at the Moscow military district court August 9, 2006. — Picture by Kommersant/Yuri Senatorov via Reuters
Sergei Skripal, a former colonel of Russia's GRU military intelligence service, looks on inside the defendants' cage as he attends a hearing at the Moscow military district court August 9, 2006. — Picture by Kommersant/Yuri Senatorov via Reuters

LONDON, May 18 — Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy who was poisoned by a nerve agent in Britain more than two months ago, has been discharged from hospital, England’s health service said today.

Sergei Skripal, 66, a former colonel in Russia’s military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a public bench in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

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

The Skripals were in a critical condition for weeks and doctors at one point feared that, even if they survived, they might have suffered brain damage. But their health began to improve rapidly, and Yulia was discharged last month.

“It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital,” the hospital’s Chief Executive Cara Charles-Barks said in a statement.

Britain and international chemicals weapons inspectors have said the Skripals were poisoned with Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s.

Russia has denied Britain’s charges of involvement in the first known offensive use of such a nerve agent on European soil since World War Two. It has suggested Britain carried out the attack itself to stoke anti-Russian hysteria. — Reuters

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