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British prosecutors last week identified two Russians, whom they said were operating under aliases - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - and whom they accused of being the so-called "novichock two".

The men who said their real names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov said they'd been tourists visiting the English city of Salisbury, where the poisoning took place, to see its cathedral.

Chris Phillips, the former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office said: "We trust those countries to do things the right way. It's famous for its 123-metre spire, it's famous for its clock, the first one ever created in the world, which is still working", said Boshirov.

Both men sounded distressed as they spoke about how their lives had changed since they were named in the United Kingdom as Russian intelligence agents who attempted to poison the Skripals.

A spokesperson for the United Kingdom government said the two men who appeared on RT were the same men suspected of poisoning the Skripals. "We got wet, took the nearest train and came back [to London]".

Boshirov acknowledged the pair may have been near Mr Skripal's house, but claimed they did not know where it was.

Police believe Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner, 45-year-old Charlie Rowley, had accidentally found the Novichok-laced perfume bottle, exposing them to the toxic nerve agent.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said the pair had called her mobile because they wanted to tell their story.

The pair, who the United Kingdom suspect of being members of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency, complained their lives had been "turned upside down" and RT said they sounded distressed during the interview.

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Petrov said he and Boshirov had flown to London for a short leisure break, with Salisbury always intended as a day trip. "I have seen nothing to suggest that has changed".

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incidents.

The two Russian men, who say they are both about 40, were identified last week as suspects by the British government.

In the RT interview, the two men said they're not Russian agents, describing themselves as "second-tier businessmen" in the fitness industry. "Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies".

When the interviewer asked them whether they had Novichok or any poison with them, they emphatically said no. "We came to you for protection, but this is turning into some kind of interrogation".

United Kingdom prosecutors have said they have "sufficient evidence" to charge the pair but did not formally demand their extradition, as Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens.

The Metropolitan Police published the suspects' photos, saying their names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. They returned the next day to see the sights.

"From the very start we planned to go to London and, put bluntly, cut loose and have some fun", he said in the interview which was pre-recorded on Wednesday and broadcast on Thursday. They then went straight to the airport and flew home, hours after the Skripals were found unconscious on a bench.


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