‘Sergei Skripal’ leaves touching graveside messages despite being in hiding

Two years on from the horrific poison attack, Sergei Skripal, still in hiding, looks to have found a way to leave touching tributes at the graves of his wife and son.

Sergei, 68, and his daughter Yulia, 36, survived the novichok poison assassination bid on March 4, 2018.

The pair remain under protection at an unknown location in the UK.

But fresh flowers and a heart-shaped wreath yesterday appeared next to their family’s headstones.

Tragically, it is still too unsafe for them to pay their respects in person to Sergei’s wife Liudmila, who died from cancer in 2012, aged 59, and son Alexander, who died of liver failure aged 43, in 2017.

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Alexander had been on a holiday in St Petersburg – and would have turned 46 last Sunday.

Sergei often visited the graves, in Salisbury, Wilts, before he was attacked and it was one of the last things he and Yulia did before they were taken ill.

Former spy Sergei still owns his house in the city which was the epicentre of the attack.

It was thoroughly cleaned by the army and the council is hoping to buy it to put on the market.

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Former council leader Matthew Dean, who was at the forefront of the crisis, said of their former neighbours in the quiet cul-de-sac: “The Skripals’ house has been completely decontaminated and everything is back to normal, but they have had terrible ­inconvenience.

“It should not be underestimated when you can’t order a pizza, have a delivery from Amazon, for months at a time – it makes daily life difficult.

“They were absolute innocent victims of a foreign power who were doing something absolutely, unbelievably, irresponsible.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “We are working with local residents and the owners to bring this property back into residential use.

“We have committed to ensuring it is not used to trade on its history…”

Authorities later identified two Russian nationals – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – as suspects over the poisoning, but no arrests have ever been made.

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