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Yulia and Sergey Skripal held hostage in UK

Summary of Disinformation

Yulia and Sergey Skripal are isolated and held against their will, given the few public appearances the two poisoning survivors have made since April 2018.

Disproof

No evidence given. Russia's long-running claim that the UK Government is keeping the Skripals in prison-like conditions fits the broader pro-Kremlin narrative painting the Salisbury poisoning as an anti-Russian conspiracy.

The story draws on a recent report published by the Russian Embassy in London, which cites the Skripals' low media profile as evidence of their unlawful detention. The claim shifts the burden of disproving Moscow's unfounded accusation on the UK, and is thus an argument from ignorance.

The article also claims that, in an address recorded on 23 May 2018, Yulia was made to "read from a prepared text which had obviously been pre-written in English" and translated to Russian, implying that the woman is effectively held hostage. The assertion has been rebutted by an expert in Russian linguistics.

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Reported in: Issue 140
Date: 05.03.2019
Language: English
Country: UK, Russia
Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Conspiracy
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: Sputnik
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