Russian Spy Scandal: 23 Russian Diplomats Leave UK Today

Official vehicles drove the 23 diplomats from the Russian Embassy to Stansted Airport this morning, where they were sent back to Moscow. A small gathering waved goodbye outside the embassy as they took their suitcases, children and pets into the vehicles. 

Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the UK tweeted: "Today we bid farewell to our colleagues, heading home after the hostile move of the UK Government, and wish them all the best in their careers." 

The diplomats were expelled by Prime Minister Theresa May, when she said that Russia was “culpable” for the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. 

Further sanctions have not yet been imposed on Russia, according to the PM. However, she added at a meeting of the National Security Council that "there are other measures that government and security officials are actively considering and stand ready to deploy at any time." 

Russia has denied any involvement in the spy scandal and is, in return, sending 23 British diplomats away. President Putin has said they have until Saturday to leave. 

Mr. Putin is also closing down both the British Council in Russia, which makes cultural ties between the two countries, and the British consulate in St. Petersburg. 

On March 4 in Sailsbury, United Kingdom, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench next to a shopping mall. They were moved to hospital where they are now fighting for their lives. 

Sergei Skripal is a former Russian Colonel who was convicted of spying for the UK. His family told reporters that he believed the Russian Secret Service might come after him at any time. Mr. Skripal’s wife, brother and son have died, some under suspicious circumstances, over the past two years. 

The Prime Minister of the UK, Theresa May, said regarding the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, that it was “highly likely” Russia was responsible. She added that if there was no “credible response” by midnight on March 13, the UK would conclude there was an “unlawful use of force” by Russia.  

By Tom Day

Photo source:

21 March 2018 12:17