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Sergei Skripal, Russian Ex-Spy Poisoned by Nerve Agent, Is Released From Hospital


Sergei Skripal, Russian Ex-Spy Poisoned by Nerve Agent, Is Released From Hospital

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Sergei V. Skripal in court in Moscow in 2006. He was convicted of selling secrets to the British, and imprisoned. He then came to England in a 2010 spy swap.CreditPress Office of Moscow District Military Court, via Getty Images

By Michael Wolgelenter and Iliana Magra

LONDON — Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian spy whose poisoning in a small English city touched off a diplomatic dispute between Russia and the West, has been released from a hospital, officials said on Friday.

Mr. Skripal, 66, and his daughter were both in critical condition after they were poisoned with a nerve agent known as a novichok in the cathedral city of Salisbury, in southwest England, on March 4.

The British authorities said that Russia was to blame for the attack, an accusation that significantly raised tensions between the two countries and led to the expulsion of hundreds of diplomats from Britain, its allies and Russia.

“It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital,” Cara Charles-Barks, chief executive of the hospital, said in a statement.

Although the British authorities have stated that Mr. Skripal, his daughter, Yulia, and a third person — Det. Sgt. Nick Bailey, who became ill during the investigation and was briefly hospitalized — were poisoned with the deadly nerve agent, which was developed by Soviet scientists for battlefield use against Western troops, the hospital has been more circumspect in describing their recovery.

Ms. Charles-Barks said that the rules regarding patient confidentiality meant that the hospital could not provide “detailed accounts” of how the three had been treated, and she instead offered only vague assessments.

“Treating people who are so acutely unwell, having been poisoned by nerve agents, requires stabilizing them, keeping them alive until their bodies could produce more enzymes to replace those that had been poisoned,” she said.

Lorna Wilkinson, the director of nursing at the hospital, said in a statement that Mr. Skripal’s discharge was an important milestone in his recovery, which would now continue with outpatient care.

Follow Michael Wolgelenter and Iliana Magra on Twitter: @mwolgelenter and @Magraki.

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