Two-months after Russian assassination attempt, Sergei Skripal is released from the hospital

It has been just over two months since Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped together and unconscious in a British suburb. Yulia was released from the hospital on April 9th. Today, the BBC reports her father Sergei has finally been released from the hospital as well.

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal has been discharged from hospital, two months after being poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury…

It is not known whether Mr Skripal has been taken to the same location as his daughter.

BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said he understood that Mr Skripal is able to walk, and has talked to police at length, but is not completely recovered…

Director of nursing Lorna Wilkinson said treating the Skripals had been “a huge and unprecedented challenge”.

She added: “This is an important stage in his recovery, which will now take place away from the hospital.”

When this story first broke it was presented as a mystery, but within a couple days police were saying this was an attack with a nerve agent. And given that Skripal was a former Russian spy who became a double agent for the UK, Russia was the obvious suspect.

By the middle of March, Nikki Haley was blasting Russia at the UN and Prime Minister Theresa May was saying it was “highly likely” the Kremlin (read: Putin) was behind the attack. By the end of the month, President Trump had ordered 60 Russians expelled from the country and closed a consulate in Seattle. Meanwhile, Russia continued to deny everything and threatened retaliation.

Last month the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons released the results of its own investigation. “The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirms the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.” The OPCW report didn’t name the Russian nerve agent “Novichok” but that is what the UK had concluded. Wednesday, Reuters reported the sample of Novichok which the UK used for comparison was secured in the 1990s:

The West’s knowledge of the secret Russian nerve agent that Britain says was used to poison an ex-spy and his daughter came from a sample obtained by Germany in the 1990s, German media reported on Wednesday.

In a joint report, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the weekly Die Zeit and broadcasters NDR and WDR said Germany’s BND spy agency had secured the sample of the Novichok nerve agent from a Russian scientist…

“The finding about a class of weapons known as Novichok developed in the former Soviet Union largely stems from a previously unknown secret operation of the BND,” a summary of the German news organization’s’ joint report said.

Maybe Russia didn’t think the UK would have a sample for comparison testing, but they did. Russia continues to deny all involvement in the poisoning.