The British authorities mentioned on Tuesday that they had been charging a 3rd man in reference to the tried homicide of the previous Russian spy Sergei V. Skripal, who was poisoned in England in 2018.
The brand new developments in that case got here on the identical day that the European Court docket of Human Rights dominated that Russia was chargeable for the 2006 killing of Alexander V. Litvinenko, who was poisoned with a radioactive isotope at a London lodge.
Within the 2018 case, the British police mentioned they’d charged Denis Sergeev in the tried assassination of Mr. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. The pair had been discovered slumped on a bench in town of Salisbury in southern England, and it was later decided that they’d been poisoned with a nerve agent, Novichok.
Two different males — who traveled below aliases — have already been charged. The British police for the primary time confirmed their actual names as Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin.
Not one of the suspects have been taken into custody. And after the primary two males had been charged, they appeared on Russian tv to deny any function in the assault. They claimed to have been visiting England as vacationers keen to see the cathedral in Salisbury.
Dean Haydon, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and senior nationwide coordinator for counterterrorism policing, informed reporters that “the three operated as a small group with a view to deploying Novichok to kill people in this nation.”
“I can show they had been right here working as a unit linked to the G.R.U.,” he mentioned, referring to the Russian spy company. “We stay as decided as ever to deliver these accountable to justice.”
There have been ominous similarities between the assassination of Mr. Litvinenko with a radioactive isotope and the nerve-agent assault that killed Mr. Skripal greater than a decade later. For a lot of crucial of the Kremlin, the assaults underscored the lengths President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would go to actual revenge in opposition to critics.
Mr. Skripal’s poisoning led to a Chilly Conflict-style confrontation between Russia and the West, as British officers accused Russia of sending two hit males to smear Mr. Skripal’s entrance door deal with with a nerve agent, an accusation vigorously denied by Moscow.
On the time, British intelligence chiefs mentioned they’d recognized the lads as members of the G.R.U., the identical Russian navy intelligence unit the place Mr. Skripal as soon as labored.
However Tuesday was the primary time that the British police mentioned they’d proof tying the killers to Russia’s spy company.
The brand new costs got here on the identical day the E.U.’s court docket of human rights concluded that Mr. Litvinenko’s assassins in 2006 had been appearing as “brokers of the Russian state.” The ruling bolstered a separate inquiry by Britain that discovered “sturdy circumstantial proof” that Mr. Putin and his spy chief on the time, Nikolai Patrushev, had authorized an operation to kill Mr. Litvinenko, utilizing a harmful and uncommon isotope, polonium 210.
Mr. Litvinenko was a former colonel in the F.S.B., the home successor to the Soviet-era Ok.G.B., who fled Russia through Georgia and Turkey in 2000 to search asylum in Britain, the place he grew to become a whistle-blower and a vitriolic critic of Mr. Putin.
He died in November 2006, weeks after ingesting inexperienced tea laced with polonium 210 at London’s Millennium Lodge.
A prolonged British inquiry concluded in 2016 that Andrei Ok. Lugovoi, a former Ok.G.B. bodyguard, and Dmitri V. Kovtun, a Purple Military deserter, poisoned Mr. Litvinenko.
Whereas the 328-page report was scathing, it cited no arduous proof that Mr. Putin or Mr. Patrushev had been conscious of the plot to kill Mr. Litvinenko or had sanctioned it.
Russia has denied any involvement in the homicide of Mr. Litvinenko.