Sergei Skripal was once a colonel in Russia’s GRU military intelligence service. He was given refuge in Britain after he was exchanged in 2010 for Russian spies caught in the West as part of a Cold War-style spy swap on the tarmac of Vienna airport. The 66-year-old former spy and a 33-year-old woman who was as known to him were found unconscious on a bench in a shopping center on Sunday in the English city of Salisbury after exposure to what police said was an unknown substance.
Both were critically ill in intensive care.
In 2006, ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was murdered with radioactive polonium-210. The killing was probably approved by President Vladimir Putin.
Putin does not want to wipe everyone out, just his enemies. Although unlike Michael Corleone, Putin could wipe out most everyone with his nuclear arsenal.
He was convicted in Moscow of betraying dozens of russian agents to British intelligence.
Skripal was arrested in 2004 by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on suspicion of betraying dozens of Russian agents to British intelligence. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006 after a secret trial.
Skripal admitted to betraying agents to MI6 in return for money, some of it paid into a Spanish bank account, Russian media said at the time. He is thought to have done serious damage to Russian spy networks in Britain and Europe.
But he was pardoned in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev as part of a swap to bring 10 Russian agents held in the United States back to Moscow.