The daughter of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal, is no longer in critical condition.The daughter of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal is getting better after spending three weeks in critical condition after a nerve toxin attack at his home in England, the hospital where she is being treated says.
British counter-terrorism police say they now believe Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve toxin that had been left on the front door of their home in the genteel English cathedral city of Salisbury.
“I’m pleased to be able to report an improvement in the condition of Yulia Skripal,” Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury District Hospital, said in a statement on Thursday.
“She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours a day,” she said.
Her father remained in a critical but stable condition, the hospital said. Last week, a British judge said the Skripals might have suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the attack.
Police said on Thursday they had placed a cordon around a children’s play area near the Skripal’s modest house as a precaution.
Yulia and her 66-year-old father were found slumped on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury on March 4.
Britain has blamed the attempted murder on Russia, and expelled 23 Russians it said were spies working under diplomatic cover in retaliation.
Russia, which denies carrying out the attack, responded by throwing out 23 British diplomats. Moscow has since accused the British secret services of trying to frame Russia to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, told reporters in Moscow on Thursday Britain was breaking international law by refusing to provide information on Yulia Skripal despite the fact she was a Russian citizen.
Skripal, recruited by British spies while in Spain, ended up in Britain after a Cold War-style spy swap that brought 10 Russian spies captured in the US back to Moscow in exchange for those accused by Moscow of spying for the West.
His house, which featured a good-luck horseshoe on the front door, was bought for GBP260,000 in 2011. Skripal was listed as living there under his own name.
Since emerging from the world of high espionage and betrayal, he has lived modestly in the cathedral city of Salisbury and kept out of the spotlight until he and his daughter were found unconscious on March 4.
In the years since he found refuge in Britain, he lost both a wife and son.