Putin says Britain's two Novichok ‘spy suspects’ are just ordinary Russian civilians, and he urges them to speak to reporters
On September 5, British counter-terrorism officials put names and faces to the two suspects they blame for carrying out the March 4 “Novichok” nerve agent attack in England against Sergey Skripal and his daughter. London says “Alexander Petrov” and “Ruslan Boshirov” are likely pseudonyms for military intelligence agents, but on September 12 Vladimir Putin claimed that Russian officials have located these two men, and he insists that they’re both civilians.
Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum, Vladimir Putin revealed that the Russian government has tracked down Petrov and Boshirov, finding nothing “special or criminal” about the two suspects. The president also urges both men to speak to reporters and tell their story. “It will be better for everyone,” Putin explained.
Update: Alexander Petrov promises to grant an interview. Speaking on the phone to a correspondent from the television network Rossiya 24, Petrov reportedly agreed to be interviewed by the station some time next week. The news outlet identifies him as an employee at a pharmaceutical company in Tomsk.