Yulia Skripal's video address that was aired on Russian TV on May 23 raised doubts as to whether she spoke as a free person. Many Russian native speakers found some of her expressions strange to their ears. It appears that the original speech was written in English before it was translated into Russian and given to Yulia.
The Kremlin also believes that the British authorities put pressure on Yulia Skripal.
"The British authorities continue violating the Vienna Convention, because Russia has never been able to have consular access to Yulia Skripal. We do not know any details about her current condition, whether she is subjected to pressure, we do not know her whereabouts, nor do we know whether she made those statements at her own will," Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"No one has seen her, we haven't seen any live interviews with her, and we do not know whether this information is trustworthy at all, given that all this is unfolding against the background of a massive, second-to-none provocation that the British side has been implementing," he added.
Psychologist and expert in criminal law Mikhail Vinogradov told Pravda.Ru that it was only Yulia who could tell the world the truth. "It was Russian intelligence that forced her to go to London, and the British counterintelligence did not have anything against it," he said.
"The British counterintelligence needs them, and the Russian intelligence needs them too. There is a delicate game between special services, and the Skripals are working on both sides, voluntarily or not," the psychologist told Pravda.Ru.
According to retired FSB general Alexander Mikhailov, Sergei Skripal was not a "double agent" nor did he work for Russia after his exchange in 2007 year. "This is absolute nonsense, because an exposed intelligence officer is of no interest for Russia as a double agent," he told Pravda.Ru.
In a weary world of endless US military interventions, sanctions, trade tariffs and chaos, let’s pause and take stock of the shining house on the hill