Russian TV thrown out of Salisbury hospital after trying to undermine spy

first_imgEmergency services in biohazard suits work at the scene where Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found in critical condition on March 4 Credit:BEN STANSALL/AFP Salisbury District Hospital condemned what it described as “appalling behaviour” by the Russian TV, accusing it of trespassing and harassing staff in the middle of the night “with no warning and without asking for any permission”.A spokesman for the hospital said: “Our staff, who have been rightly lauded for their recent efforts, working tirelessly to give all of our patients high quality care, deserved better.”A spokeswoman for Wilshire Police said: “Officers attended and spoke to two men in the reception area, who were believed to be news reporters. They were asked to leave the hospital and did so. No arrests were made.” However the report is likely to be seized on by the Russian government and conspiracy theorists as further undermining Britain’s account of the botched assassination attempt on the Skripals. Emergency services in biohazard suits work at the scene where Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found in critical condition on March 4  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Khanin also tries to question two passing nurses about Col Skripal’s treatment, only for one of them to wave him away with the comment: “No, sorry, I don’t know anything. We just look after the newborns in this hospital.”The crew then encounter two police officers who, according to Mr Khanin, “just shrugged their shoulders” when asked where he can find out about Col Skripal’s condition, “and then left”.Shortly after however they are approached by security guards who request they delete their film and leave the premises.Throughout it is clear the REN crew, which managed to retain a rough copy of their footage for broadcast, were unable to access any medical wards or get close to where Col Skripal is being treated. A Russian TV crew has been thrown out of the hospital where former spy Sergei Skripal is still receiving treatment, after attempting to cast doubt on the nerve agent scandal.A reporter and cameraman from REN TV were stopped by hospital security guards and asked to delete their film after being caught wandering through corridors at Salisbury District Hospital.In an apparent attempt to undermine the Government’s claims that Russia was behind an assassination attempt on the former spy and his daughter Yulia, REN TV said the footage showed the British authorities had taken few obvious measures to ensure his safety.But NHS sources dismissed the fears, saying no secure areas or patient wards had been entered.The report broadcast on Wednesday came the day after it was announced that Ms Skripal, 33, had been discharged from the hospital on Monday evening. After walking through a number of largely empty corridors Mr Khanin comes across a closed door, behind which, he claims, Co Skripal is being treated.He tells viewers: “It’s the microbiology department, the door is sturdily closed and there is a sign here, [saying] ‘Don’t enter, Stay back’. By all appearances, this is the only protection from that lethally dangerous substance, which in England they’re calling “Novichok”, that the authorities in this facility thought up for their visitors.”As it happens the sign on the door actually reads: ‘Danger, slippery floor’. The pair had been widely predicted to die after they were exposed to Novichok nerve agent, which the British government says came from the Russian military’s chemical weapons programme.But the Russian state and its backers in the heavily controlled media have repeatedly questioned Britain’s account of events.The REN TV team arrived at the hospital in the early hours of yesterday [Wednesday] morning and filmed their reporter Vitaly Khanin walking through a number of corridors at the sprawling NHS complex, on the outskirts of the Wiltshire cathedral city.In dramatic tones Mr Khanin tells viewers he is free to walk around the hospital, although he appears to make no attempt to walk onto wards and sticks to public areas of the building routinely used by staff and visiting relatives. Her transfer to a secret location, more than five weeks after being left critically ill by exposure to a nerve agent, has led to accusations from the Russian embassy she has been abducted.Doctors at Salisbury hospital said Ms Skripal and her father, 66, had responded “exceptionally well” to treatment and that he was also expected to be discharged in the future. At one stage Mr Khanin tells the camera: “By all appearances, the central hospital in the city of Salisbury is not guarded at all. At least, there’s not a single person at the entrance, and a little ways away only one police car is on duty. Nothing is taped off, and the treatment of local residents is continuing here.”He then appears to contradict himself, stating: “Even though it appears to be a friendly place, with a large number of coffee machines and drawings on the walls, there are nonetheless many closed doors here.”last_img

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