The crossovers between the Kremlin and British MI6 is nothing new. Occasionally some of these crossover stories read like a chapter out of John LeCarre's The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, but the high drama and intrigue are far from fiction. There's, of course, Christopher Steele, the MI agent who helped formulate the largely discredited Pissgate dossier for the DNC. There's Gareth Williams, the MI6 agent who was found hacked to death and stuffed in a gym bag after purportedly hacking files related to Clinton back in late 2015. <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-19647226">Alexander Litvinenko was a double agent for MI6</a> and found himself poisoned by some Polonium infused tea, which brings us to Colonel Sergei Skripal. Col. Skripal, like Litvinenko, was a double agent for MI6 and like Litvenko is possible wasting away from poisoning due to an "unknown substance."
Skripal first came to the UK as <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/who-is-sergei-skripal-former-russian-spy-critical-condition-salisbury-a8241271.html">part of a "spy swap" in 2010</a>. As a double agent, he worked in Russian military intelligence on behalf of UK intelligence. After selling several names of agents to MI6 over a decade he was arrested in 2006. He and his daughter both seemed to have been targeted by whatever "unknown substance" they had been slipped. Col. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal are in the hospital in critical condition. At least one emergency services worker who was ordered to assess the scene is also in the hospital. Russia is claiming to have "no information" on anything regarding the incident and say they are willing to cooperate in the investigation if asked. The former agent, his wife and older brother have all died in the last two years. His son died "on holiday" in Russia.
"We see this tragic situation but we don't have information on what could have led to this, what he was engaged in," Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's spokesman, stated to journalists. CCTV footage from near where Skripal and his daughter were found is being scoured by police. In it, an unidentified man and woman are shown walking near the site of the Maltings Shopping center in Salisbury where the two were found. No visible injuries and at first the question was if any crime had even been committed. For now, it is a multi-agency investigation but not yet a job for counter-terrorism though they are keeping an "open mind." A nearby restaurant and pub have also been cordoned off "as a precaution."
Alexander Litvinenko's widow, Marina Litvinenko told BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight that hearing of the strangely similar bit of potential subterfuge said it <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43297638">felt like "deja vu"</a> and urged the UK to "take it seriously" on behalf of all those seeking political asylum, security and safety in the UK.