Novichok Suspects: We Only Went To Salisbury To See The Cathedral

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The men, who United Kingdom authorities named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, said they were in Salisbury in March to see the famous Salisbury Cathedral.

The interview reportedly featured two men who physically resembled Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who were charged with attempted murder and the use of military-grade nerve agent Novichok in the attack on former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. While they may have passed the former agent Sergey Skripal's home, "we don't know where it's located", Boshirov said.

"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", one of the men said of the Salisbury in a short clip of the interview played by RT.

Petrov said that on their first trip to Salisbury, they were unable to make it from the train station to the cathedral - about 800 meters (half a mile) - because of snow and slush. The town was covered by this slush.

In a translation from Russian, the broadcaster quoted Petrov as saying: 'Well, we came there on March 2, then went to a railway station to see the timetable.

Salisbury MP John Glen tweeted: "Delighted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov were able to see the world-class attractions that Salisbury has to offer".

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They said they felt they deserved an apology from the real perpetrators of the poisoning, if they were ever found.

The men also denied that they had smuggled the Novichok nerve agent used to poison Skripal, and four other people, into Britain disguised as perfume.

The pair, who the United Kingdom suspect of being members of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency, complained their lives had been "turned upside down" and RT said they sounded distressed during the interview.

The interview "looks as though it was hurriedly thrown together in response to Putin's decision", said Mark Galeotti, senior researcher at the Prague-based Institute of International Relations and an expert on Russian security matters.

The interviewer, RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, at times seemed more interested in insinuations about the men's personal relationship than their alleged military status.

When Simonyan seemed to express some surprise at this characterization of an English city that is not well-known overseas, Boshirov answered simply "Yes". After a brief pause, he added that the town is known for its cathedral, which is "famous not only in Europe, but in the whole world".

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A British government minister, who represents Salisbury, said on Twitter that the statements were not credible.

RT's Simonyan noted during the interview that the United Kingdom authorities have accused the men of being members of Russian military intelligence.

The pair were identified by the British government as being responsible for the March attack on Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33. "Maybe we did [approach] Skripal's house but we don't know where it's located".

Ofcom said in April that since the Salisbury attack they had observed "a significant increase in the number of programs on the RT service that we consider warrant investigation as potential breaches of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code".

He said: 'We're afraid of going out, we fear for ourselves, our lives and lives of our loved ones'.

The two men, both wearing blue jumpers, said they were civilians in the sports nutrition business.

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