Russian Spies Poisoned on British Soil

Shruti Patel, Contributor

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In London, former Russian spy,  Sergei V. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a nerve agent attack known as Polonium 210, a common poison of choice. While they are now in stable condition, this has worried the leaders of Russian involvement since it had raised speculation that there was Russian involvement regarding the attack due to Russia’s checkered history with poisoning their spies.

There was significant evidence to back up this claim against Russia due to the fact that Sergei was selling secrets to the British and was convicted by the Russian court and was released by an exchange of spies with Britain. Another piece of evidence was the death of Alexander V. Litvinenko, also in London and Russian spy, as well as critic of President Vladimir V. Putin, who died at the age of 43 by ingesting polonium 210, a rare radioactive isotope, which is only accessible through Russian nuclear reactors.

This occurrence had already led to strained relations between Britain and Russia. The British Parliament had given Russia time to explain itself but Moscow had rejected it. With the latest development in the poison attack, the UK retaliated by expelling 23 Russian diplomats. This had led other countries such as the US and other allies to also take action against Russia.

As of now, 26 other countries apart from the US have expelled Russian diplomats. However, other countries have not gone to the extent of UK, going only so far as to expel one or two in a symbolic move. Even countries with friendly relations with Russia have expelled a few diplomats. While expelling one or two Russian diplomats will not disrupt Russian intelligence activities, it sent a message to Russia, saying they would not tolerate this behavior. The following is the list of the numbered of expelled and suspended Russian diplomats, courtesy of The Washington Post:

United States: 60

Britain: 23

Ukraine: 13

NATO: 7

Canada: 4

France: 4

Germany: 4

Poland: 4

Czech Republic: 3

Lithuania: 3

Moldova: 3

Albania: 2

Australia: 2

Denmark: 2

Italy: 2

The Netherlands: 2

Spain: 2

Belgium: 1

Croatia: 1

Estonia: 1

Hungary: 1

Ireland: 1

Finland: 1

Latvia: 1

Macedonia: 1

Norway: 1

Romania: 1

Sweden: 1

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/27/here-are-all-the-countries-that-just-expelled-russian-diplomats/?utm_term=.5b6bf31b3e6c

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