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Russian newspaper publishes recording of purported call from poisoned former spy Sergey Skripal to his niece

Moskovsky Komsomolets published an audio recording of a voice message that it described as a call from former GRU agent Sergey Skripal, who was poisoned in England in 2018, to his niece Viktoria. Viktoria Skripal said she received the message on May 9, 2019.

In the recording, a man wishes the recipients of the message a happy week of May holidays and says “everything is OK” with him and “Yulechka.” Skripal’s daughter, Yulia, was poisoned along with him.

According to Moskovsky Komsomolets, Skripal also called his niece in April and had a conversation with her. Viktoria Skripal said her uncle chided her for her numerous television appearances; she has become known for actively taking on the limelight associated with her uncle’s death in Russia and refuting British officials’ version of events.

The newspaper’s reporting implies that Viktoria Skripal herself turned over the recording to journalists. However, on May 18, she reportedly told Interfax that Sergey Skripal was not in touch with his relatives in Russia.