Sergei Skripal was a 'scumbag' and traitor to motherland Vladimir Putin says

Mr Putin said the former spy was being portrayed as a 'human rights activist'

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the Russian Energy Week international forum in Moscow, Russia October 3, 2018. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS
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Russian President Vladimir Putin called Sergei Skripal, the former spy the country is accused of attempting to kill with a chemical weapon in the UK, a scumbag who betrayed Russia.

Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia was found slumped on a bench in Salisbury, England, in March suffered from the effects of Novichok, a deadly nerve agent. British authorities say Russia intelligence officers are responsible.

"I see that some of your colleagues are pushing the theory that Mr Skripal was almost some kind of human rights activist," Mr Putin said at an energy forum in Moscow.

"He was simply a spy. A traitor to the motherland. There is such a concept - a traitor to the motherland. He was one of those."

"He's simply a scumbag, that's all."

Both Mr Skripal and his daughter survived the attack and are recovering in a secret location, but in June a woman died after spraying herself with the nerve agent after discarding the discarded bottle.

Two men thought to be members of the GRU – Russia's intelligence service – have been accused by British authorities of carrying out the attack in Salisbury.

Mr Putin denied that the men were GRU agents, calling for the men to speak to the media. The next day the two men spoke to Russian state TV channel Russia Today in which they claimed they were tourists interested in the cathedral and old clock in Salisbury.

Investigative journalism site Bellingcat later revealed one of the men is a decorated colonel working for Russia's military intelligence services.


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Skripal suspects: We were just visiting the cathedral