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Salisbury poisoning: Russia 'targeted' Yulia Skripal email

From BBC - April 13, 2018

Russian intelligence agencies targeted poison victim Yulia Skripal's email account as early as 2013, the UK's national security adviser has said.

In a letter to Nato, Sir Mark Sedwill also said Russia trained "special units" to use nerve agents, including applying them to door handles.

Police said a nerve agent was found on Yulia's father Sergei Skripal's front door in Salisbury.

Sir Mark is to brief Nato on Sunday about the 4 March attack.

The UK says Ms Skripal, 33, and her 66-year-old father, who were found slumped on a park bench in the city on 4 March, were exposed to a nerve agent belonging to the Novichok group.

This analysis has been backed by the international chemical weapons watchdog.

The Russian government has denied any involvement and accused the British of inventing a "fake story".

Mr Skripal remains at Salisbury District Hospital, while his daughter was discharged on Monday.

'Assassination tests'

Sir Mark's letter to Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is the first time the UK government has claimed to have specific information that the Russians were interested in the Skripal family.

"We have information indicating Russian intelligence service interest in the Skripals dating back at least as far as 2013," he said.

"Email accounts belonging to Yulia Skripal were targeted by GRU cyber specialists," he said, referring to Russia's foreign military intelligence agency.

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