MATERNAL INSTINCTS

Sergei Skripal’s Mother Speaks Out: ‘I Want to Hug Him’

Nearly eight months since her son and granddaughter’s poisoning, Yelena Skripal has broken her silence. Speaking to the U.K.’s Daily Mirror, the 90-year-old expressed deep longing to be reunited with her son, Sergei, whom she used to speak with once a week. “I want to hug him. I miss him so much,” said Yelena Skripal, who lives in Yaroslovl, Russia. “My eldest son is dead. Sergei is the only son I have left and I love him.” While Skripal knows her son is a convicted spy, her family members have reportedly shielded her from the full details of his Novichok poisoning, which U.K. officials have claimed was carried out by a pair of GRU assassins. Skripal recalled the last time she spoke with her granddaughter, Yulia, on the matriarch’s 90th birthday in July. “She told me: ‘I’m with daddy he is beside me but he can’t speak as he has a pain in his throat.’ She said he had been in some pain.” Sergei knows calling his mother would reveal his location to Russian authorities, according to Mirror. Skripal says she’s proud of her son: “My son is a good man, a decent man, an honorable man–Russia should be proud of him. He was a great servant of his country.”