The daughter of a former Russian spy poisoned in England said she’s “lucky to be alive” — and hopes to return to the Motherland one day.
“Our recovery has been slow and extremely painful,” Yulia Skripal told Reuters in her first interview since being released from the hospital.
The 33-year-old and her father, Sergei Skripal — a former Russian military intelligence agent who betrayed dozens of fellow operatives to the British — were found slumped over on a public bench in Salisbury on March 4.
“I woke up to the news that we had both been poisoned,” said Skripal, who was in a coma for 20 days. “The fact that a nerve agent was used to do this is shocking.”
The British government says it was “highly likely” that the attack against Skripal and her dad was perpetrated by the Russians using a deadly Soviet military nerve agent called Novichok.
Moscow has denied any involvement, but over 20 countries, including the US, have sided with the UK by expelling Russian officials in solidarity. Skripal is under the protection of the British state and spoke to Reuters from a secret location in London.
Still, Skripal said she would eventually like to go back to Russia.
“In the longer term, I hope to return home to my country,” she said.
Skripal was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital about five weeks after the poisoning and hasn’t been seen publicly until Wednesday.
“As I try to come to terms with the devastating changes thrust upon me both physically and emotionally, I take one day at a time and want to help care for my Dad till his full recovery,” added Skripal, who bore a red scar on her neck and wore a light blue summer dress.
Sergei Skripal was discharged from the hospital on May 18 and is no longer in critical condition, though at one point, doctors feared both patients had suffered brain damage.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he thought Yulia Skripal was speaking under duress.
“We have not seen her or heard from her,” he told Reuters.
But Skripal said she wanted to reiterate that no one speaks for her or her father and, at least at the moment, she doesn’t want any help from the Russian Embassy.
With Post Wires
Source: Read Full Article