Poisoned daughter of Russian spy: ‘My strength is growing daily’

The daughter of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal — both of whom were poisoned in an incident that’s had global repercussions — said Thursday her health is improving.

Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko (C) speaks during a news conference on the Skripals poisoning case at the Russian Embassy in London on Thursday. Russian spy Sergei Skripal aged 66 and his daughter Yulia became seriously ill in Salisbury, England on March 4, 2018 after exposure to a nerve agent. Photo by EPA-EFE/Russian Foreign Ministry
Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko (C) speaks during a news conference on the Skripals poisoning case at the Russian Embassy in London on Thursday. Russian spy Sergei Skripal aged 66 and his daughter Yulia became seriously ill in Salisbury, England on March 4, 2018 after exposure to a nerve agent. Photo by EPA-EFE/Russian Foreign Ministry

London’s Metropolitan Police issued a statement by Yulia Skripal, which thanked well wishers for support and said she is getting better each day.
“I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily,” she said. “I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received.”

Skripal, 33, and her father, a former Russian double agent, were attacked with a nerve agent last month in a shopping district of Salisbury, Britain.

“I have many people to thank for my recovery and would especially like to mention the people of Salisbury that came to my aid when my father and I were incapacitated,” she added. “Further than that, I would like to thank the staff at Salisbury District Hospital for their care and professionalism.”

Skripal’s statement followed word this week from hospital officials who said she was improving quickly.

British scientists said this week they can’t prove Russia definitively manufactured the nerve agent used to poison Skripal and her father. Officials previously said the agent was a Soviet-era poison.

Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, said the poison was a military-grade novichok nerve agent, but couldn’t determine its origin.

Britain, the United States and other nations have blamed Russia for the attack. The Kremlin has denied responsibility. The row has inflamed tensions and led to the expulsions of diplomats from a number of countries.

Sergei Skripal, 66, remains hospitalized in critical care.

“I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence,” Yulia Skripal said.

By Susan McFarland