Vladimir Putin has leapt to the defense of two men accused of poisoning former spy Sergei Skirpal—but failed to offer an alternative explanation for why the alleged agents made an express visit to Salisbury, England, on the day the former double-agent was poisoned before quickly leaving the country. The U.K. government named the two suspects as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, and said they were from Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. “We know who they are, we have found them,” said the Russian president. “I hope they will turn up themselves and tell everything. This would be best for everyone. There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you. We’ll see in the near future.” The U.K. government published extensive evidence last week supporting its belief that Petrov and Boshirov carried out the attacks in March.
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