Salisbury poisoning suspects' story: What doesn't add up?

Attack The suspects believed to be travelling as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov

Attack The suspects believed to be travelling as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov

The British police released CCTV images last week showing two men in their forties, who they say used the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to enter the country, traveling to and from Salisbury on the weekend in March that Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned.

"What were you doing there?"

While they may have passed Skripal's home during their visit to Salisbury, "we don't know where it's located" and "I'd never heard this name before", Boshirov said.

Despite telling the programme they were merely tourists in Wiltshire and had visited to see the city's "123-metre spire", the pair took no photos of their trip, and no pictures have, of yet, surfaced.

In the freakish 25-minute interview, the pair denied all knowledge of the plot and insisted they were just two men going on holiday to see the 123m steeple at Salisbury Cathedral.

The men also denied that they are, as British Prime Minister Theresa May asserted last week, agents of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service Skripal had betrayed.

Britain quickly rejected the claims made by the two men, Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, in an interview on the Kremlin-funded RT channel.

Their appearance Thursday came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian officials knew the identities of the two men. RT has a licence to operate in the United Kingdom but is under investigation by regulators over its coverage of the Salisbury affair.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Craig Murray, a former official who has faced criticism for pushing debunked conspiracy theories related to the poisoning, claimed on Twitter after the interview that the "most likely interpretation is that they are a gay couple..."

Russian state media have tacitly promoted another reason for a cover-up, speculating heavily on whether the two men were being furtive about their trip because they are gay.

"We are looking at this November deadline absolutely, we plan to impose a very severe second round of sanctions", she said.

In the men's first interview since they were named publicly they denied carrying women's perfume, after police discovered a counterfeit bottle that contained a "significant amount" of Novichok.

"The maskirovka script writer must have had writer's block", said Philip Ingram, a former British military intelligence officer.

They spoke to Russia Today in an interview slammed by the British government as "an insult to the public's intelligence".

There is "sufficient evidence" to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov over the attack in Salisbury, British police and prosecutors say. "We got no CCTV of this, and this is interesting".

The Zizzi Restaurant in Salisbury where Skripal and his daughter ate on the day they were poisoned.

"They are civilians, of course", Putin said, adding there was nothing criminal about them.

Officers formally linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury where Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent.

He claimed his life had been turned "upside down" and added: "We're afraid of going out, we fear for ourselves, our lives and lives of our loved ones".

Whatever revelations may pop up, the United Kingdom will stick to its vague version of the Salisbury poisoning incident, analysts said on the heels of an exclusive RT interview with Britain's Skripal case suspects.

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