A relative of poisoned ex-spy Sergei Skripal has demanded answers from Britain over what happened to his pets as she dismissed the police’s assertion he was attacked at home as “nonsense”.
Viktoria stressed claims the pair were hit with a lethal nerve agent, known as Novichok, while at his home in Wiltshire are untrue because no reports have mentioned the deaths of his two cats and two guinea pigs.
Police investigating the attack, which has sparked a major row between Britain and Russia, say the highest concentration of the chemical was found on the front door, suggesting it was likely the duo were poisoned at home.
But Viktoria has dismissed the assertion as “nonsense”.
She said: “First of all, it is not possible to go close (to the house).
“Secondly, if they were poisoned there, what happened to the animals?
“They had a cat, Masyanya, from Russia and one more cat from a shelter. Then there were two guinea pigs.
“The cats might run away but the guinea pigs should have been found dead in their cage.
“Nothing has been said about this.”
She told a Moscow newspaper: “ I hope I will learn more when I get there.”
Neighbours said the pets had been taken away “to be assessed”, according to one report.
It is not known whether they suffered nerve agent poisoning.
Meanwhile, a dog belonging to Yulia back in Russia is being looked after at kennels following reports the animal was “missing”.
The Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported kennel staff caring for Noir “do not know what to do with him” as fees racked up since Yulia’s illness.
But Viktoria said she discovered a mystery donor had paid for the dog to continue staying at the kennels.
Asked who may have paid, Viktoria said: “I don’t know. Maybe it was Yulia’s boyfriend and he did it for purpose, to stop me from picking up the dog.
“I think he is a strange man.”
The fiance – reported to have connections to the Russian secret services – has not been identified nor spoken since she was poisoned.
Viktoria said she has been told that Yulia “has opened her eyes, can eat, drink and has even said a few words”.