- A 66-year-old former Russian spy and his daughter are seriously ill after being allegedly poisoned.
- Yulia Skripal, 33, and her father Sergei were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury.
- She works for PepsiCo and studied at a university in Moscow, according to information she posted on social media.
The British media is ablaze with speculation after the alleged poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal – but he isn’t the only person to have fallen mysteriously ill.
The 66-year-old’s was found unconscious on a bench at a shopping centre in Salisbury, south England, alongside 33-year-old Yulia Skripal, his daughter.
Some have pointed the finger at Russia, suggesting it may be an attempted assassination, and foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said it has “echoes” of the Litvinenko case, when a Russian defector was poisoned with polonium on British soil, apparently on the direct orders of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Little is currently known about Yulia Skripal, though some details about her life can be gleaned from her Facebook profile.
Above: A picture of Yulia Skripal that appears on her Facebook profile.
She is listed as working for PepsiCo Russia in Moscow, though it’s not clear what her role entails. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Before that she is listed as having worked at Holiday Inn in Southampton, England, Nike as a customer operations representative in Moscow, and as an admission specialist at CIS Russia, a private school in Moscow.
She apparently studied geography at Moscow State Humanities University. It’s not immediately clear if she has a family of her own.
Sergei Skripal’s wife, Liudmilla, died of cancer in 2012. His 43-year-old son died last year in St Petersburg, where he is on holiday with his girlfriend. It’s unclear exactly how he died: The BBC said he was rushed to hospital with liver failure, while Sky News said it was a car crash.
One witness who saw the father and daughter unconscious told The Telegraph she was “particularly worried” about Yulia Skripal: “She was slumped over on the man’s shoulder. To be honest, I thought they might be homeless but they were perhaps better dressed.
“I just thought this is weird, especially as she was clearly quite a bit younger than him. She had a red bag at her feet. He was gesturing at the sky, doing some kind of movements with his hands.He was looking up and his eyes were glazed.”
This isn’t the first time Russia has been accused of carrying out assassinations in Britain. The country has been linked by US intelligence service to more than a dozen deaths in the UK over the last 20 years, from lawyer Stephen Curtis in 2004 to British spy Gareth Williams in 2010 and financier Alexander Perepilichnyy in 2012.