Skripal, Litvinenko and others: All the Russia-linked assassination attempts in the UK

21 September 2021, 16:09 | Updated: 21 September 2021, 16:13

The deaths have been linked to Russia
The deaths have been linked to Russia. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Sergei Skripal's case is not the first of its kind to have occurred on British soil, with several incidents being linked to the Russian state.

The Novichok poisonings in Salisbury in 2018 saw Russian double agent Skripal and his daughter Yulia hospitalised after coming into contact with the substance.

The pair were initially found unconscious on a bench near a local shopping centre, which later led to an intense hazardous clean up of the city.

The British government held Russia responsible for the incident at the time, but Moscow denied any involvement.

However, others have also met a similar fate over the years, with some dying as a result of suspicious circumstances.

Alexander Litvinenko

Skripal’s story has seen comparisons with Alexander Litvinenko - a Russian defector and former FSB agent - who Scotland Yard believe was poisoned in connection with the Russian state.

He first fell ill on November 6 2006 after having been poisoned with polonium-210, before dying weeks later.

At the time, the Health Protection Agency discovered large amounts of radioactive substance in his body, which was said to have been administered through a cup of tea.

Mr Litvinenko had met with two other former agents earlier in the day he fell ill, but both denied any wrongdoing.

Alexander Litvinenko was in an intensive care unit before his death.
Alexander Litvinenko was in an intensive care unit before his death. Picture: Getty

Boris Berezovsky

Mr Berezovsky was a Russian oligarch before being exiled.

The known critic of Putin was found hanged at his home in Berkshire on 23 March 2013, in what was said to be a suicide.

However, a post mortem found his death could not be ruled out as a murder.

Scot Young

Mr Young was an associate of Mr Berezovsky. He was found impaled on some railings in Marylebone in December 2014, after having fallen from a fourth-floor flat.

It was reported that he had told his ex-girlfriend on the phone that he would "jump out of the window".

However, US agencies were said to believe that the Russian state were involved in his death due to his connections, according to an investigation by Buzzfeed.

Boris Berezovsky was said to have committed suicide.
Boris Berezovsky was said to have committed suicide. Picture: Alamy

German Gorbuntsov

An assassination attempt saw Mr Gorbunstov shot four times as he climbed out of a cab in east London in March 2012.

The Russian banker, who lives in London, was left in a critical condition but survived.

He later said that he thought former business partners, said to be friends with Putin, were the ones responsible for the attack.

Alexei Navalny

Navalny is a Russian opposition leader to Putin and was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent – like Skripal and his daughter – in August 2020.

He fell ill on a flight to Moscow and was hospitalised in a serious condition soon after. As a result, the activist was kept in an induced coma for over a week while he was treated with an antidote.

Following the poisoning, Putin said if Russia wanted to kill off his opposition it would have "finished" the job.