The Skripal Files by Mark Urban review – the Salisbury spy's story

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He did it for the money and still loved mother Russia … a fascinating book based on conversations with Sergei Skripal

In June 2017, Mark Urban drove to Salisbury to meet a retired Russian spy. Urban – a BBC Newsnight journalist and author – was contemplating writing a book about east-west espionage after the end of the cold war. The spy was Sergei Skripal. He had kept a low profile in Britain since arriving in 2010 as part of an international spy swap. There were no signs he was engaged in active espionage. Arriving at his modest suburban home, Urban spotted a stack of jigsaw puzzles and a fiddly Airfix scale model of HMS Victory. Another model, of an English country cottage, sat on a bookshelf – a gift from the MI6 agent who, two decades earlier, had recruited Skripal in Spain.

Skripal was arguably the least well known of a small group of elderly defectors from Moscow living in the UK. The most famous, Oleg Gordievsky, betrayed the KGB for ideological reasons and did enormous damage to the Soviet espionage machine. If a list existed of traitors the Kremlin might wish to kill, Gordievsky’s name was surely at the top.

One wonders if Skripal would have voted for Putin, given the chance

Related: Putin allegedly gave Skripal poisoning suspect hero’s award

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Source: russia
Link : The Skripal Files by Mark Urban review – the Salisbury spy’s story

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