The ‘quintessentially English’ home of a Russian spy

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The ‘quintessentially English’ home of a Russian spy

It is a city known mostly for its cathedral and proximity to Stonehenge. But as it finds itself at the centre of a modern-day mystery, what do the residents of Salisbury make of its new-found fame?

Quiet. Normal. Quintessentially English.

Words like these make medieval Salisbury seem an unlikely home for a former Russian spy.

And yet on Sunday, this small city in Wiltshire found itself the topic of global conversation when current resident Sergei Skripal became ill near the main shopping centre.

It would probably not have been newsworthy in itself, except it transpired he was once a military intelligence colonel who was convicted, and later pardoned, for passing the identities of Russian secret agents in Europe to the UK’s intelligence service, MI6.

When the 66-year-old and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia Skripa were found unconscious on a bench near The Maltings, police soon revealed they believed the pair had been exposed to an “unknown substance”.

Now, around the seat where they were found, a tent has been erected.

The nearby branch of Zizzi is closed – a tight-lipped police officer guarding the door. The Mill pub, about 200m from the restaurant, is also shut.

Salisbury

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