The mother of Sergei Skripal, the poisoned former Russian spy, has not been told of the nerve agent attack which left him and his daughter Yulia close to death
Four weeks after the Salisbury poisoning, Yulia’s condition appears to be finally improving. The good news comes only one day after detectives revealed to the public that the Skripals appear to have been attacked in their own home, as the highest concentration of chemicals was found by experts on the front door of their house on Christie Miller Road.
Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon told the media on Wednesday that detectives will now focus their efforts on the Salisbury home.
Elena Yakovlevna’s family have sheltered her from the news that her son was targeted by a would-be assassin in Salisbury earlier this month.
For more than three weeks since the pair collapsed into a coma following the attack, the 90-year-old’s family have managed to keep her away from one of the most widely reported stories in the world, fearful that news of her son’s fate would prove fatal to her health.
Victoria Skripal, a niece of Colonel Skripal – who remains in a critical condition with Yulia at Salisbury District Hospital following the attack on March 4 – told the BBC: “Our priority is to protect our grandmother so that she does not hear anything.
“She will not know until the very last moment.
“She will know when this situation is somehow resolved, that is, if there is a logical end. If the story ends badly, we will tell her that they fell ill.”
At this point in our investigation, we believe the Skripals first came into contact with the nerve agent from their front door,”he said. “We are therefore focusing much of our efforts in and around their address.
“Those living in the Skripals’ neighborhood can expect to see officers carrying out searches as part of this, but I want to reassure them that the risk remains low and our searches are precautionary.
“I’d also like to thank the local community for their continued support and understanding. The unique circumstances of this investigation means that officers are likely be in the area for several weeks and months.”
Around 250 counter-terrorism detectives will continue to work around the clock on the investigation into the March 4 attack with a crack team of experts, police, and other partners to help them trawl through more than 5,000 hours of CCTV and examine over 1,350 exhibits that have been seized. Police will continue to sift through around 500 witnesses who have been identified so far, and the hundreds of statements taken in the investigation.
The UK government has pointed the finger at Russia over the attack on the Skripals. Moscow has repeatedly denied responsibility and issued a statement on Wednesday, claiming that the British authorities are “not interested in identifying the true perpetrators and motives of the crime,” which it has called a “massive political provocation.”
There has been no update on Sergei Skripal’s condition, but according to recent court documents, it is understood that he is unresponsive.
Report above contains mixed extracts from RT and Telegraph on Mar 29 2018