Putin on Novichok Suspects: 'We Have Found Them'

Suggests they may appear publicly soon to defend their innocence
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2018 6:21 AM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as delivers a speech during a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.   (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin says Russia has located the men named by the UK as the suspects in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. "We know who they are, we have found them," he said. "I hope they will turn up themselves and tell everything. This would be best for everyone. There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you. We'll see in the near future." The BBC reports he described the men on Wednesday as civilians, not criminals; the UK has given the men's names—likely aliases—as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov and alleged they were part of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

The BBC's Moscow correspondent sees Putin's comments as a "tantalizing hint" that the men will publicly speak out soon. The Guardian reports it's noteworthy that the comments were made at all, noting they "marked a departure from his country’s earlier position, which was to disregard the evidence released by Scotland Yard as a fabrication." (Read more Sergei Skripal stories.)

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