After being hospitalized in a poisoning in Salisbury, UK in early March, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, have been upgraded to a stable condition.
The poisoning has set off an unprecedented diplomatic row the last few weeks between Russia and the UK – with Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accusing Russia unequivocally of orchestrating the attack, all without providing a shred of evidence pointing to Russia’s guilt. In fact, there has been increasingly more evidence coming out that Russia was NOT the culprit of this poisoning.
Boris Johnson and Theresa May are increasingly coming under public scrutiny for the handling of the Skripal case, turning the UK’s leadership into a laughing stock.
The most recent development in the Skripal affair is a recorded phone call aired by Russian broadcaster Rossiya 1, purportedly between Yulia Skripal and her cousin, Victoria Skripal Thursday morning.
The hosts of the “60 Minute” show on Rossiya 1 – Evgeny Popov and Olga Skabeyeva – said they were unable to confirm the authenticity of the phone call.
Transcript of the phone call between Yulia and Victoria Skripal:
Yulia: Hello. Do you hear me?
Viktoria: Yes, I hear you.
Yulia: It is Yulia Skripal.
Viktoria: Oh, Yulka [diminutive of Yulia] it is you! I recognise from your voice that it is you but cannot understand. So, they gave you a telephone, didn’t they?
Yulia: Yes, yes.
Viktoria: Thank God! Yulyash [diminutive of Yulia], is everything okay with you?
Yulia: Everything is ok, everything is fine.
Viktoria: Look, if tomorrow I get a (British) visa, I will come to you on Monday.
Yulia: Vika, no one will give you the visa.
Viktoria: Well, I thought so too. Oh well.
Yulia: Most likely.
Viktoria: If they give it, I need you to tell me whether I can visit you or not, tell me that I can.
Yulia: I think no, there is such a situation now, we’ll sort it out later.
Viktoria: I know it, I know it all.
Yulia: Later, we will get it sorted later, everything’s fine, we’ll see later.
Viktoria: Is this your phone?
Yulia: It is a temporary phone. Everything is fine, but we’ll see how it goes, we’ll decide later. You know what the situation is here. Everything is fine, everything is solvable, everyone (he and her father) is recovering and is alive.
Viktoria: Ok! Is everything alright with your father?
Yulia: Everything is ok. He is resting now, having a nap. Everyone’s health is fine, there are no irreparable things. I will be discharged soon. Everything is ok.
Viktoria: Kisses, my bunny.
Russia has responded to the recovery of Yulia Skripal, adding that she may be able to provide insights into how the poisoning occurred, or reveal whether she knows of some other motive by some other non-state actor.
According to The Guardian, “the British intelligence services will be debriefing her [Yulia] as soon as her health permits.”
Adding that, “it would clearly be a huge embarrassment for the UK government if it emerged she believed the Russian state was not involved.”