On this episode of Russia Rising, we’ll visit Salisbury, England — the historic cathedral city that became the site of the first chemical nerve agent attack on European soil since the Second World War.
The poisoning of former Russian double-agent Sergey Skripal in March 2018 prompted one of the most explosive and controversial allegations facing the Kremlin today: Were Russian secret intelligence agents responsible for the botched assassination? And if so, how could trained Russian spies have been so careless by leaving a trail of evidence for British investigators to follow?
In the search for answers, we’ll return to the scene of the crime and speak with former KGB agent Alexander Vassiliev. Then we talk to Charles Shoebridge, a former British counter-intelligence officer and then we talk to Russian journalist Roman Dobrokhotov, who has spent the past few years investigating Russian GRU activities.
We’ll speak with Dobrokhotov and his counterparts at Bellingcat, a British-based investigative news website, about how they uncovered the true identities of the alleged assassins in Salisbury, one of whom apparently used his real first name and birth date on his fake ID documents and had a vehicle registered to GRU headquarters in Moscow.
The Kremlin denies any involvement in the Skripal poisoning and President Putin has said that the two Russian suspects are innocent and ordinary civilians. We’ll cut through the contradicting claims and examine the evidence, including what it reveals about Russia’s intelligence operations.
Alexander Vassiliev, former KGB Agent
Charles Shoebridge, former British counter-intelligence officer
Roman Dobrokhotov, Editor in Chief of ‘The Insider’
Eliot Higgins / Founder of Bellingcat