Theory explored that the Russian state targeted ‘traitorous’ spy to demonstrate risks of links with foreign intelligence agencies
The biggest question about Sergei Skripal’s suspected poisoning is the timing. Skripal had spent several years in a Russian jail after being convicted of espionage and had presumably been thoroughly debriefed by his former spy bosses. If the Russian security services had wanted him to have an “accident” during those years it would have been very easy to organise.
Sunday’s assassination attempt in Salisbury, if that is what it was, therefore appears to have a demonstrative nature. Suggestions that this could be some kind of vote-winning ploy, coming two weeks before presidential elections Vladimir Putin is certain to win, seem unconvincing. Many Russians are patriotic and have bought into the Kremlin’s aggressive new foreign policy, but it is unlikely that the assassination of a former spy of whom few had heard would do much to whip up popular passions.
(September 7, 1978) Georgi Markov
Link : Suspected Skripal poisoning: who might have ordered it and why?