Ex-Spy's Daughter Says She's 'Lucky' To Have Survived Nerve Attack

Yulia Skripal says she and her father Sergei are both "so lucky" to be alive in her first public statement since the nerve attack.

What you need to know
  • Yulia Skripal and her father Sergei were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent on March 4
  • Yulia says "we are so lucky to have both survived this attempted assassination"
  • Sergei, a former Russian spy, was released from hospital last week
  • Yulia has rejected the offered assistance of the Russian Embassy

Yulia Skripal, the daughter of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, has spoken for the first time since being poisoned alongside her father in the English city of Salisbury on March 4, 2018.

The 33-year-old told Reuters that her "life has been turned upside down" after the attack, as she comes to terms with "the devastating changes thrust upon me both physically and emotionally."

She had arrived in the UK the day prior to the attack to visit her father, 66, something she says she had done regularly.

"After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned," she said.

"I still find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that both of us were attacked. We are so lucky to have both survived this attempted assassination. Our recovery has been slow and extremely painful.

“The fact that a nerve agent was used to do this is shocking. I don’t want to describe the details but the clinical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing."

Sergei Skripal, 66, was only released from Salisbury Hospital last week.

The Skripals were poisoned with Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 70s and 80s. It sparked a diplomatic crisis between Russia and the UK, with hundreds of diplomats expelled from both sides.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May blames Russia for the attack, which is the first known use of a military-grade nerve agent on European soil since World War II.

Russian President Vladimir Putin both denied claims that the attack came from Russia, and that it was a military grade substance, claiming last week from Sochi that if the latter had been the case, the Skripals would "have died on the spot".

Yulia, who spoke to Reuters from location in London, has rejected offers of assistance from the Russian Embassy.

"I'm grateful for the offers of assistance from the Russian Embassy but at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services," she said.

"Also, I want to reiterate what I said in my earlier statement that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves."

She was released from Salisbury Hospital on April 9, several weeks before her father, who was only discharged last week on May  18.

"I take one day at a time and want to help care for my Dad till his full recover," she told Reuters. "In the long term I hope to return home to my country."