The two Russians whom London suspects of involvement in the Skripal case, Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, have appeared on Russia’s RT news channel to deny all charges and declare they are waiting for apologies from the British authorities, TASS reported.
"I do hope that the affair will be finally resolved and the British side will eventually apologize for the hue and cry and will identify those really involved in the Skripal affair," Boshirov said.
"It was an incredible, fatal coincidence. That’s all," Petrov said.
The two men confirmed that Boshirov and Petrov were their real names.
"We are the ones whose photos were shown on television. Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov are our real names," they said in the RT interview. They complained that after London’s claims they had been involved in the Skripal affair they remained in the focus of mass media attention and felt unsafe.
"When our lives turned into nightmare, we did not know what to do and where to go. To the police, the Investigative Committee or the British Embassy," Petrov said.
"We cannot go out, we fear for ourselves, for our lives, and for the lives or our loved ones and the people who know us," Boshirov added.
Both said they would like "at least our media to leave us in peace."
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, while answering questions at the plenary meeting of the 4th Eastern Economic Forum said that the identities of both men London suspected of involvement in the Skripal case were known to the Russian authorities and that both were civilians.
On September 5, British Prime Minister Theresa May briefed the British parliament on progress in the investigation of the Salisbury incident, saying that two Russians were suspected of an attempt on the lives of the Skripals and that British special services suspected they were GRU agents. Scotland Yard published a series of photographs of two men who, according to the investigation, were travelling about the country with passports issued in the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.
If the British version of the affair is to be believed, on March 4 former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russia of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia were affected by a Novichok class nerve agent in Salisbury. London argued that Moscow was highly likely involved in the incident. Russia strongly dismissed all speculations on that score, saying that no programs for developing such chemicals had ever existed in the Soviet Union or Russia.