Russian Federation really wants to convince you the Salisbury spies are gay lovers

RT    
     NOVICHOK DENIAL Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov claimed they're'not Russian agents

In the RT interview, the two men said they're not Russian agents, describing themselves as "second-tier businessmen" in the fitness industry.

The pair were asked whether they had been in the vicinity of the Skripals' house, which is where police claim the suspects sprayed the Novichok. (Pictures from the day show the streets were clear.) On the second attempt - the day Novichok, a powerful nerve agent, was sprayed on Skripal's front door - they say they made it to the cathedral, even though they were photographed walking in the opposite direction.

Petrov and Boshirov also told Russian state-funded news channel RT they planned their trip to the "wonderful" city in Wiltshire after recommendations from friends.

Petrov, asked what the duo were doing in England, said their friends had always been encouraging them to visit the "wonderful town" of Salisbury.

"Salisbury?" their interviewer asked. "Maybe we passed it, or maybe we didn't", said Boshirov.

The told RT that they were only in Salisbury for tourism, and wanted to see the cathedral, its clock, and nearby Stonehenge.

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"We, of course, checked who these people are", said Putin.

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.

And British journalists have been mocking the story on Twitter, highlighting the improbability of the pair's itinerary and route if they were truly tourists.

Instead, it raised questions about whether the two men are gay.

The U.S., France, Canada and Germany said they had "full confidence" in the U.K.'s assessment that the two suspects were Russian agents and that the operation "was with the greatest probability approved at high levels of the government".

Britain said the two suspects were Russian military intelligence (GRU) officers nearly certainly acting on orders from high up in the Russian state. We don't work for military intelligence.

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"As they said - and this is their words not mine - that this is their first and last interview to the media ever". They added that they would like to receive an apology from British officials.

A police officer who visited the home of the Skripals shortly after the attack, Nick Bailey, was also left critically ill from exposure to the substance. A British woman died four months later after coming into contact with a perfume bottle containing the chemical weapon.

The two accused men spoke on camera for almost 30 minutes, rarely smiling as they discussed their actions with RT's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

A spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry rejected the report, writing in a post that she believed Bellingcat had ties to western intelligence, noting the group's access to a Russian database that is not publicly available.

An except of the full interview was shown on RT News on Thursday morning, and an additional transcript can be seen here. When you go through customs, they check all your belongings.

"Our plan was to spend some time in London and then to visit Salisbury", Petrov said.

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