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Targets of Salisbury Novichok poisoning ‘flee to start new life overseas ‘after two years in hiding

A former Russian double-agent and his daughter have started a new life in a secret overseas location, their family believe.

Sergei Skripal, 68, and his daughter Yulia, 36, have fled from Britain more than two years after they were targeted in a chemical poisoning in their Salisbury, Wiltshire, home.

It is now thought that the pair have started a new life overseas after living in an MI5 safe house for two years guarded by British intelligence, The Sun reported. 

Sergei Skripal, 68, and his daughter Yulia, 36, (pictured)  have started a new life overseas, more than two years after they were targeted in a chemical poisoning in Salisbury, Wiltshire

The father and daughter were rushed to hospital and put in induced comas to prevent the poison damaging their organs after they were found unconscious on a park bench on March 4, 2018 (pictured, fire brigade officers next to the bench)

The father and daughter were rushed to hospital and put in induced comas to prevent the poison damaging their organs after they were found unconscious on a park bench on March 4, 2018 (pictured, fire brigade officers next to the bench)

They were found unconscious on a park bench on March 4, 2018, after Russian agents smeared the deadly chemical on the door-handle of Mr Skripal’s home.

The pair were rushed to hospital and put in induced comas to prevent the poison damaging their organs. 

Yulia left hospital in April that year and was taken by police to a secret location, where she has been guarded by British intelligence agents ever since.

Her father had sufficiently recovered by the following month to join her in hiding. 

Yulia’s aunt Natalia Pestsova, 67, said Mr Skripal rang her last summer to say ‘farewell’. 

Yulia (pictured with her father) left hospital in April 2018 was taken by police to a secret location, where she has been guarded by British intelligence agents ever since, alongside Ms Skripal, who followed her the next month

Yulia (pictured with her father) left hospital in April 2018 was taken by police to a secret location, where she has been guarded by British intelligence agents ever since, alongside Ms Skripal, who followed her the next month

She said: ‘We heard so many things about their destiny — that they went to live in New Zealand. I just feel they’re alive, somewhere, somehow, and that we’re very unlikely to see them again.’ 

She also said Yulia looked at all the family’s social media profiles in March but did not post any comments and wondered if it was because her niece was missing them.

Mr Skripal’s niece Viktoria, 47, said that he told her he wanted no more contact.

This comes after security insiders told The Mail on Sunday in March that the father and daughter were desperate to leave the UK for Australia or New Zealand.

The Novichok attack claimed the life of British mother Dawn Sturgess, 44, after she handled a perfume bottle containing the poison.

The Novichok attack claimed the life of British mother Dawn Sturgess, 44, after she handled a perfume bottle containing the poison

Charlie Rowley, 45, was seriously ill when his girlfriend used the contents of a perfume bottle, which contained Novichock discarded by the Russian poisoners

The Novichok attack claimed the life of British mother Dawn Sturgess, 44, (left) and her boyfriend Charles Rowley, 45, (right) was seriously ill after she handled a perfume bottle containing the poison which had been discarded by the Russian poisoners

It remains a mystery why two agents were sent to target Mr Skripal, as he was pardoned for sharing Russian secrets with MI6 and had been allowed to start a new life in Britain. Pictured, the forensic tent at the scene where Mr Skripal and his daughter were found in March 2018

It remains a mystery why two agents were sent to target Mr Skripal, as he was pardoned for sharing Russian secrets with MI6 and had been allowed to start a new life in Britain. Pictured, the forensic tent at the scene where Mr Skripal and his daughter were found in March 2018

Her boyfriend Charlie Rowley, 45, was seriously ill when Dawn Sturgess used the contents of a perfume bottle, which contained Novichock discarded by the Russian poisoners, that he had found seven miles away.

It remains a mystery why two agents were sent to the UK to target Mr Skripal, given he had been pardoned for sharing Russian secrets with MI6 and had been permitted to start a new life in Britain. 

Mr Skripal was not thought to have been active in the intelligence field and there was no evidence of Yulia ever being a spy.  

Deborah Bronnert, British Ambassador to Russia, confirmed to a Russian newspaper that the pair were alive back in February.

She said: ‘I can’t tell you where they are as we respect people’s right to make their own decisions’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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