The role the Russian state played in the death of British citizen Dawn Sturgess in the Wiltshire novichok poisonings may be examined in a British court after a successful legal fight by her family, The Guardian reports.

Relatives of the dead woman have asked for a judicial inquest of those who ordered the Serhiy and Yulia Skrypal poisoning in Salisbury in 2018. They challenged the decision of the senior Wiltshire and Swindon coroner, David Ridley, that only the actions of the agents who were on the ground should be considered.

Investigators believe that Sturgess and her friend Charlie Rowley were novichok poisoned after contact with a container with it. The man managed to survive; the woman died.

According to the court’s decision, there is an urgent public demand to investigate not only the agents’ actions but also the wider circumstances of the murder, including the possible role of the Russian authorities.

Sturgess’s relatives directly state that the agents who had come to the United Kingdom with the passports of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov received an order “from above” and the operation must have been authorised by the Russian state – possibly right up to president Vladimir Putin. Therefore, the responsibility of the Russian president for the assassination is not ruled out.

British authorities accused Petrov and Boshirov of the assassination attempt on former double agent Serhiy Skrypal and his daughter Yulia.  One blamed the Russian Federation for the use of chemical weapons on British territory. As a result, Britain expelled a large group of Russian diplomats. About 30 countries showed solidarity with it, which also ordered out Russian diplomatic missions employees. The Kremlin denies involvement in the assassination attempt.

After careful study of the information, the Bellingcat group investigators concluded that the real names of Boshirov and Petrov were Aleksey Chepiha and Aleksandr Myshkin. They are Russian military intelligence officers.

The participants of this international scandal, who call themselves Petrov and Boshirov, gave an interview to RT TV channel in the fall of 2018. They said they were businessmen and visited Salisbury as tourists. The men denied their connection with the secret services.

Bohdan Marusyak

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