Ex-Russian Spy, Sergei Skripal, Released From Hospital Two Months After Nerve Agent Attack

Former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, has been released from Salisbury Hospital, two months after he was poisoned by a nerve agent.

What you need to know
  • Sergei Skripal released from hospital
  • Despite early fears of brain damage, his health has improved rapidly
  • Russia continues to deny any involvement in the attack

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy who was poisoned by a nerve agent in Britain more than two months ago, has been discharged from hospital, England’s health service said on Friday.

Sergei Skripal, 66, a former colonel in Russia’s military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain, and his daughter Yulia, were found unconscious on a public bench in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

The Skripals were in a critical condition for weeks and doctors at one point feared that, even if they survived, they might have suffered brain damage. But their health began to improve rapidly, and Yulia was discharged last month.

Salisbury Hospital released a statement on Friday, but refrained from disclosing the exact nature of treatment the Skripals received due to patient confidentiality.

The statement did explain treatment  included stablising the patients, and keeping them alive so their bodies could replace poisoned enzymes with healthy ones.

“It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital,” the hospital’s Chief Executive Cara Charles-Barks said in the statement.

“This has been a difficult time for those caught up in this incident – the patients, our staff and the people of Salisbury. I want to thank the public for their support, and I want to pay a special tribute to both the clinical staff here at the trust and those who work so hard behind the scenes."

Yulia Skripal was released from hospital in April.

Britain and international chemicals weapons inspectors have said the Skripals were poisoned with Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s.

Britain has accused Russia of being behind the nerve agent attack and Western governments including the United States have expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats. Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning and has retaliated in kind.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the House of Commons on her government's reaction to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, in London
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the House of Commons on her government's reaction to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, in London, March 14, 2018. Image: Reuters

Russia has denied Britain’s charges of involvement in the first known offensive use of such a nerve agent on European soil since World War Two. It has suggested Britain carried out the attack itself to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.