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Russian Spy Poisoning: Suspects 'Civilians,' Putin Says

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Russian Spy Poisoning: Suspects 'Civilians,' Putin Says

Two suspects identified by UK authorities in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are not criminals, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

The UK government named them as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, and said they were from Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU, according to the BBC.

Putin said Russia had identified the men and found no evidence of criminal activities, according to CNN.

"We, of course, looked at what kind of people they are, and we know who they are, we found them," Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok. "There is nothing unusual or criminal there, I assure you."

Putin seemed to suggest the accused would tell their story publicly. "Let them come out somewhere, to you in the media," he said, describing the men as "civilians."

Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found poisoned on a park bench in the southern city of Salisbury on March 4.

According to British officials who have been scouring CCTV footage in since then, the two Russians were captured arriving at London's Gatwick Airport on March 2 and later spotted in Salisbury on March 3 and 4.