Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
The daughter of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, Yulia, released her first public statement on Thursday since she collapsed from nerve agent poisoning in March, saying that her health is improving.
The British-based Skripal’s were taken into critical condition on Mar. 4, and her father remains hospitalized with that status.
The incident caused an international diplomatic crisis as Russian envoys were kicked en masse from Western countries after the United Kingdom said it was “highly likely” the Kremlin was behind the poisoning.
Russia retaliated by kicking Western diplomats out and suggesting London carried the attack on the ex-spy and his daughter and has called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting for 3 p.m. on Thursday.
Last week, the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust said that she was improving rapidly but did not give more details.
“I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily. I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received,” the daughter Skripal, 33, said in the statement.
“I have many people to thank for my recovery and would especially like to mention the people of Salisbury that came to my aid when my father and I were incapacitated. Further than that, I would like to thank the staff at Salisbury District Hospital for their care and professionalism.”
“I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence.”
Sergei Skripal is in critical condition but stable and both are located at Salisbury District Hospital.
Russian state television aired a phone call allegedly between Yulia Skripal and cousin Victoria where she says herself and her father’s health is “fine” and that there are “no irreparable things”.
“Everything is ok. He [her father] is resting now, having a sleep. Everyone’s health is fine, there are no irreparable things. I will be discharged soon. Everything is ok,” Yuia allegedly says in a phone call not independently verified.
The Skripal cousin says that she aims to travel to the United Kingdom to visit the poisoned pair but says she can’t obtain a visa from London, on the phone call played by Rossiya 1.
The cousin was surprised the phone call had come a day after she had told local media she was not allowed to speak to Yulia, reported Interfax news agency.
Victoria Skripal is reported by several news agencies as one of the pair’s closest living relatives after a series of family deaths.
The hosts of the 60 Minute show on state-owned television–Yevgeny Popov and Olga Skabeyeva–said they were unable to confirm the authenticity of the phone call.
Alleged Yulia: Hello. Do you hear me?
Viktoria: Yes, I hear you.
Alleged Yulia: It is Yulia Skripal.
Viktoria: Oh, Yulka [diminutive of Yulia] it is you! I recognise from your voice that it is you but cannot understand. So, they gave you a telephone, didn’t they?
Alleged Yulia: Yes, yes.
Viktoria: Thanks God! Yulyash [diminutive of Yulia], is everything okay with you?
Alleged Yulia: Everything is ok, everything is fine.
Viktoria: Look, if tomorrow I get a (British) visa, I will come to you on Monday.
Alleged Yulia: Vika, no-one will give you the visa.
Viktoria: Well I thought so too. Oh well.
Alleged Yulia: Most likely.
Viktoria: If they give it, I need you to tell me whether I can visit you or not, tell me that I can.
Alleged Yulia: I think no, there is such a situation now, we’ll sort it out later.
Viktoria: I know it, I know it all.
Alleged Yulia: Later, we will get it sorted later, everything’s fine, we’ll see later.
Viktoria: Is it your phone?
Alleged Yulia: It is a temporary phone. Everything is fine, but we’ll see how it goes, we’ll decide later. You know what the situation is here. Everything is fine, everything is solvable, everyone (he and her father) is recovering and is alive.
Viktoria: Clear! Is everything ok with your father?
Alleged Yulia: Everything is ok. He is resting now, having a sleep. Everyone’s health is fine, there are no irreparable things. I will be discharged soon. Everything is ok.
Viktoria: Kisses, my bunny.
Alleged Yulia: Bye.
More details to follow. Image of Yulia Skripal from social media.