Instant Library - Jan-Mar 2018
UK / USA / Russia - Police cordon off area where former Russian spy was taken ill / Troops at hospital in / Military remove potentially-contaminated vehicles / Lavrov: Russia is 'not to blame' for poisoning of ex-spy / UK emergencies committee meets to discuss Salisbury nerve agent case / Detectives busy at house of dead Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov / Trump points to Russia in poisoning of former spy / May: Russia is responsible for nerve agent attack
Story No.: g12690
Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS. UK POOL
Date: 03/19/2018 12:00 AM
UK restaurant closed after former Russian spy exposed to unknown substance
Salisbury - 5 March 2018
1. Various of restaurant exteriors
Police cordon off area where former Russian spy was taken ill
Salisbury - 6 March 2018
2. Bench believed to be where Skripal was found unconscious, police cordon
3. Media near Maltings Shopping Centre
4. Police outside Skripal's home in Salisbury
Latest from scene of "poisoning"; graves of Skripal relatives
Salisbury - 7 March 2018
5. Tent covering bench where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia were taken ill
6. Gravestone of the wife of Sergei Skripal, flowers
Troops at hospital in Salisbury where poison victims treated
Salisbury - 9 March 2018
7. Troops standing next to support vehicles in car park of Salisbury District Hospital
Military remove potentially-contaminated vehicles in Salisbury
Salisbury - 11 March 2018
8. Police car being lifted onto truck
9. Police cars and forensic officials
10. Trucks leaving
Lavrov: Russia is 'not to blame' for poisoning of ex-spy
Moscow - 13 March 2018
11. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister:
"Russia is not guilty, Russia is ready to cooperate in the framework of the Chemical Weapons Convention only if the United Kingdom takes the pains to fulfill their legal obligations according to the same document."
UK emergencies committee meets to discuss Salisbury nerve agent case
London - 13 March 2018
12. British Prime Minister Theresa May leaving Number 10 Downing Street to attend Cobra meeting (a cross-departmental crisis committee that is formed to respond to national emergencies) meeting
Detectives busy at house of dead Russian businessman
London - 13 March 2018
New Malden, London - 13 March 2018
13. Various of house belonging to Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov with police tents outside
Trump points to Russia in poisoning of former spy in UK
Washington DC - 15 March 2018
14. SOUNDBITE: (English) Donald Trump, U.S. President
" It looks like the Russians were behind it, something that should never, ever happen, and we're taking it very seriously, as I think are many others. "
May: The Russian state is responsible for nerve agent attack
Birmingham - 19 March 2018
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Theresa May, British Prime Minister:
"I set out clearly in the House of Commons last week why it is that we believe the Russian state is culpable for the incident that took place, for the acts that took place, for the use of this nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury.
On March 5th 2018 the British media reported that the Zizi restaurant in Salisbury had been closed as a precaution in connection with an incident in which 66-year-old former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was left critically ill by exposure to an unknown substance.
The media is quoting Wiltshire Police.
Skripal, 66, who was convicted in Russia on charges of spying for Britain and sentenced in 2006 to 13 years in prison.
He was freed in 2010 as part of a US-Russian spy swap.
The discovery of the two people led to a dramatic decontamination effort.
Crews in billowing yellow moon suits worked into the night spraying down the street, and the Salisbury hospital's emergency room was closed.
There was a heavy police presence on March 6th near a shopping mall in a town in southern England where a former Russian spy was found after ,it is said, he suffered exposure to an "unknown substance".
The Kremlin said Russia has not been approached to help in an investigation over how and why the former spy was found critically ill on a bench near Maltings Shopping Centre in Salisbury.
A woman was also found unconscious on March 4th in Salisbury, about 90 miles (145 kilometres) west of London.
Dimitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said March 6th that there has been no request for help but that "Moscow is always ready to cooperate."
On March 7th ambulances and emergency vehicles rushed to central Salisbury in England amid jitters following the collapse of a former Russian spy and his daughter there.
An eyewitness says emergency services escorted two women on March 7th from a building near a restaurant that had been cordoned off by police searching for clues as to what prompted Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia to fall ill on March 4th.
Police and ambulance services declined to comment and it was not immediately clear if the incident had anything to do with the ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile British counter-terror police cordoned off a new site in the case of the former Russian spy and his daughter.
London's Metropolitan Police secured Solstice Park, a business park in Amesbury near Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument and world heritage site.
Amesbury is about nine miles (14 kilometres) from Salisbury, where Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found collapsed on a bench on March 4th.
Lloyd Ridley, who works nearby as a mechanic, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that some 40 firemen stood outside as the area was cordoned off, adding there were four people "dressed up in hazmats going inside and retrieving stuff in these boxes and putting them outside in the cornered area."
British counterterrorism specialists have taken control of the case from local police trying to unravel the mystery of what happened to the pair.
The matter has not been declared a terrorist incident.
Police are also asking members of the public to come forward if they had visited a Salisbury pizza restaurant or pub where the couple were last seen on March 4th.
Britain's armed forces arrived in Salisbury on March 9th to help police investigate the nerve-agent poisoning of a former spy.
Counterterrorism detectives asked for military help to remove vehicles and objects from a number of scenes related to March 4th's attack.
In a statement on the deployment, the defence secretary said the armed forces had the "right people with the right skills" to assist in the investigation.
More than 100 personnel from the Royal Marines, the RAF and chemical teams are said to have been sent to Salisbury.
A large-scale investigation continued on March 11th in Salisbury as forensics experts wearing protective gear searched for clues after a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent.
Authorities said earlier that small traces of contamination have been found in a restaurant and a pub in the English city of Salisbury.
Hospital officials in Salisbury also said there is no evidence of a wider risk beyond the three people hospitalized since the March 4th attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
Ex-spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia reportedly ate at a Zizzi restaurant before falling critically ill.
A British police detective is also hospitalized in serious condition.
Among the sites they are searching are the Zizzi restaurant, which is closed to the public, and the gravesites where Skripal's wife and son are buried.
Skripal's house has also been extensively searched for clues and traces of the nerve agent.
Authorities haven't revealed how or where the Skripals were exposed to the nerve agent. It's not known if it happened in a restaurant, a pub, Skripal's house or elsewhere.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on March 10th it is still "too early" to determine who is to blame for the attack.
Senior government officials have vowed to respond robustly if the Russian government is found to be responsible.
Rudd said more than 250 counterterrorism officers are on the scene evaluating more than 240 pieces of evidence and interviewing about 200 witnesses.
They are backed by roughly 180 military personnel providing logistical support, including the removal of ambulances feared to possibly be contaminated by the nerve agent.
Russia will only cooperate with Britain on the investigation into March 4th's poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter if it receives samples of the nerve agent that is believed to have been used, Russia's foreign minister said March 13th.
Sergey Lavrov spoke in response to the British government's demand for an explanation of the use of a military-grade nerve agent produced in Russia in the attack in the English city of Salisbury.
Lavrov told reporters on March 13th Moscow's requests to see samples of the nerve agent have been turned down, which he called a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws the production of chemical weapons. He insisted that Russia is "not to blame" for the poisoning.
He said Moscow is willing to cooperate with the probe but suggested that London would be "better off" complying with its international obligations "before putting forward ultimatums."
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Russia's involvement is "highly likely" and delivered a March 13th deadline for a Russian response.
Officials said March 13thPrime Minister Theresa May is reviewing a range of economic and diplomatic measures in retaliation for the assault with a military-grade nerve agent.
The poisoning left 66-year-old Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia in critical condition.
British Home Secretary Amber Rudd chaired a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee on March 13th to discuss the response to the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.
Rudd reiterated Prime Minister Theresa May's deadline of midnight on March 13th for Moscow to explain how the Russian-made nerve agent Novichok came to be used on British soil.
Rudd said that until that response she would not be commenting on what action the UK would be taking against Russia.
Authorities say the pair were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent and that Russia is "highly likely" to be behind it.
May is demanding an explanation.
British counterterrorism police on March 13th took charge of the investigation into the death in London of a Russian businessman because he was connected to a prominent Kremlin foe.
The death of Nikolai Glushkov, confirmed by his lawyer in Russia, came a week after former spy Sergei Skripal was left critically ill from nerve agent poisoning in the city of Salisbury.
Police said there was no evidence to suggest a link to the March 4th poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
Attorney Andrei Borovkov told Russian media outlets that Glushkov had died, but said he was unaware of the time and circumstances. Reports in British and Russian media said Glushkov, who was in his late 60s, was found dead at his home in southwest London.
London's Metropolitan Police force said it was investigating the unexplained death of a man found at a house in the New Malden area late March 12th. It didn't release his name, saying formal identification had yet to take place.
Police said counterterrorism detectives are leading the investigation "as a precaution because of associations that the man is believed to have had."
Glushkov was an associate of Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch and Kremlin critic who died in London in 2013. An inquest failed to determine whether he had killed himself or died from foul play.
Glushkov told The Guardian newspaper in 2013 he didn't believe Berezovsky's death was suicide. "I'm definite Boris was killed," he said.
Glushkov was arrested in 1999 and put on trial for embezzling 7 million US dollars from Aeroflot.
In 2004, he was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, but released because of time served before and during his trial.
Russian media reported that Glushkov was granted political asylum in Britain in 2010.
On March 15th President Donald Trump pointed the finger at Russia in the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Great Britain, saying he had spoken with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
During a meeting with Ireland's prime minister in the Oval Office, Trump said it's something "that should never, ever happen."
March 15th, the U.S. joined the Britain, France and Germany in a joint statement blaming Moscow for the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy who was living in England.
The list of Russians now under sanction includes the 13 indicted in February by U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his Russia-related investigation into alleged election interference.
Altogether, 19 Russians were cited. Also sanctioned were five Russian companies, including the Internet Research Agency, which is accused of orchestrating a mass online disinformation campaign to affect the presidential election result.
The Treasury Department announced the sanctions amid withering criticism of Trump and his administration for failing to use its congressionally mandated authority to punish Russia. Trump himself has been skeptical of the election accusations.
The sanctions are the first use of the new powers that Congress passed last year to punish Moscow for meddling in an election that Republican Donald Trump won over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The accusations and accompanying sanctions are some of the strongest actions to date by the administration to punish Russia for hacking and other efforts to sow discord in the American democracy.
The Trump administration is also accusing Russia on March 15th of a concerted, ongoing operation to hack and spy on the U.S. energy grid and other critical infrastructure, and separately imposed sanctions on Russian officials for alleged high-tech interference in the 2016 American presidential election.
U.S. national security officials said the FBI, the Homeland Security Department and American intelligence agencies determined that Russian intelligence and others were behind the attacks on the energy sector.
The officials said the Russians deliberately chose U.S. energy industry targets, obtaining access to computer systems and then conducting "network reconnaissance" of industrial control systems that run American factories and the electricity grid.
The U.S. government has helped energy businesses kick out the Russians from all systems currently known to have been penetrated, according to the officials.
The officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive national security information, left open the possibility of discovering more breaches, and said the federal government was issuing an alert to the energy industry to raise awareness about the threat and improve preparation.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said on March 19th that Russia had the "capability", motive and intent" to poison a Russian ex-spy and his daughter and that the attack was "part of a pattern of behaviour by Russia across Europe".
Britain has accused Russia of using a military-grade nerve agent to poison former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who have been in critical condition for two weeks.
Britain has announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, and Russia has responded in kind.
Asked to comment on weekend newspaper reports about the possible exhumation of Russians who died in the UK in suspicious circumstances, May said that would be a matter for the police.
She said the focus of the investigation at this stage was on the Skripals' case.
May added that officials from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were expected to arrive in the UK on March 19th and would discuss with police taking samples of the nerve agent in order to conduct an independent verification.
British police have contacted other Russian exiles in the last few days to discuss their safety in light of the recent attacks.
The Kremlin says Britain will eventually have to offer proof to back up its claim of Russia's involvement in the poisoning or apologise.