CCTV footage of the two Russian suspects taken near the Skripal's home in Salisbury

Security services believe they travelled from Moscow to the United Kingdom to smeared deadly nerve agent Novichok on a door handle at the Wiltshire home of former spy Sergei Skripal, leaving him and his daughter Yulia critically ill.

The men, named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told the RT channel that they went sightseeing in Salisbury but returned to London within an hour.

The Russian President insisted they were innocent and "civilians", contradicting accusations by Scotland Yard that they were agents of Russian military intelligence, the GRU, which Mr Skripal used to be a member of.

RT is Russia's state-run global broadcaster, and the pair were interviewed by its chief editor, Margarita Simonyan.

"Our friends had suggested for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", the men told RT, explaining their presence in Salisbury.

"We came there on March 2, then went to a railway station to see the timetable", Petrov said, according to RT's translation of the interview.


Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are our real names.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov confirmed they are the men accused of carrying out the attack in the interview with RT.

"We have repeatedly asked Russian to explain what happened in March, and they have replied with obfuscation and lies", the official said.

When the interviewer asked them whether they had Novichok or any poison with them, they emphatically said no. While they may have passed the former agent Sergey Skripal's home, "we don't know where it's located", Boshirov said.

The pair said that they had never dealt with the media before and if Putin had not urged them to speak out they would have recorded a video statement.

The interview was conducted by Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT and the Kremlin's top propagandist.


The Russian journalist also rejected a statement published by Theresa May's spokesman, which said: "The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station are an insult to the public's intelligence and more importantly they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack".

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, two Russians over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, conducted a freakish interview Thursday. They departed hours after the Skripals were found slumped over on a bench.

He is a retired military intelligence colonel who was jailed for 13 years in 2006 for passing the identities of Russian agents working in Europe to the UK. It accused them of being agents of Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU.

If the pair really were sight-seeing tourists, they made quick work of it, arriving in London from Moscow on a Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday night - after two visits to Salisbury.

"We examine the market, look if there is something new - some biologically active additives, amino acids, vitamins, microelements", the two said.

The men denied carrying women's perfume after police discovered a counterfeit bottle that contained a "significant amount" of Novichok and they denied knowing where the Skripals lived. We planned a vacation in London, and went to Salisbury to see the cathedral, Old Sarum, and Stonehenge, but on March 3 there was heavy snowfall, so we couldn't get around town easily.


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