The Skripal Files by Mark Urban was published this week, where the author recalls several meetings with Skripal in summer of 2017 when the Russian spy lived quietly and safely in an MI6-bought house in Salisbury, as The Guardian reports.
“According to Urban, Skripal said he was reluctant to be quoted directly, explaining: “You see, we are afraid of Putin.” He did not believe he was personally in danger, but wanted to avoid making public statements so Yulia Skripal and his son, Sasha, could visit him freely from Moscow,” the news agency reads.
The author defined that Skripal spent much of the time watching Russia’s Channel One, a pro-Kremlin state broadcaster. He adopted “the Kremlin line in many matters, even while sitting in his MI6-purchased house,” as Urban writes.
“The book does not answer the key question as to why Skripal’s former organisation – the GRU – tried to kill him shortly before Russia’s presidential vote. His two would-be assassins – Col Anatoliy Chepiga and “Alexander Petrov”, a pseudonym – are career intelligence officers, the government believes,” the message says.
The book contains fresh details of Skripal’s career. He passes the details of the GRU’s organisation and command structure for $3,000.
“There were no face-to-face meetings with British spies, but Skripal wrote sensitive information in a book in invisible ink,” The Guardian reads.
Reportedly, Skripal was detained in 2004 for working for British MI6, in 2010, he was released on the exchange of agents. After, he was living in the south of England.
As it was reported Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in British Salisbury. Later, Theresa May, British PM, stated that Russia was responsible for that, and the investigation has confirmed the use of the Novichok nerve agent, which is produced in Russia.