Speaking on Wednesday at the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Vladimir Putin called former GRU officer Sergey Skripal a “scumbag” and a “traitor to his homeland,” referring to the double agent who spied for the British before being arrested for treason and later swapped with the West. In March 2018, Skripal was nearly killed in an apparent assassination attempt allegedly by Russian intelligence agents.
“As for Skripal and so on, this is just the latest spy scandal to be inflated artificially. I follow different information sources, and your colleagues are promoting the idea that Mr. Skripal is nearly some kind of human rights activist. He’s just a spy — a traitor to his homeland. Think about it: a national traitor,” Putin said. The president also called Skripal “nothing more than a scumbag,” and said he welcomes an end to the “informational campaign” surrounding Skripal's poisoning.