Putin calls Skripal a traitor | ZEIT ONLINE

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the heavily wounded in a poison attack ex-spy Sergei Skripal as a traitor. "Some believe that Mr. Skripal is something of a human rights activist," Putin said in Moscow. "He's just a bastard, nothing else." Skripal had only betrayed his homeland.
                
                
            Skripal worked as a double agent for the United Kingdom and was sentenced in 2006 in Russia to the maximum sentence of 13 years in prison. In 2010, he was released in an agent exchange. He has not been of interest to the Kremlin since then, Putin said. Skripal lived after his exchange in Salisbury in southern England. There he and his daughter Julia were poisoned in March with the explosive Nowitschok. Both barely survived. The case triggered an international crisis because Britain blames Russia as the mastermind behind it.
            So far Putin has rarely commented on Skripal. He said the case had been inflated into a scandal. "I
I hope that's over soon. The faster the better."
            Meanwhile, two suspects were identified who might have perpetrated the attack. Putin described the two as civilians without any military ties to Russia. A group of investigative journalists claims to have found out the true identity of the men. According to the research media Bellingcat from the UK and The Insider from Russia, it should be one of the alleged perpetrators to a highly decorated Russian officer. Bellingcat is an investigative research network of activist Eliot Higgins. In the past it dealt with, among other things, the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war and the Malaysian passenger aircraft MH17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

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