British investigators visit graves of Russian ex-spy's wife and son

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain unconscious in a critical but stable condition following the attack on Sunday in the sleepy south-western English city of Salisbury.

Mr Seely, who is also a former Soviet Union reporter for The Times, said the investigation needs to be balanced and facts need to be established before fingers are pointed.

The authorities said a nerve agent was used in the attack.

Military chemical warfare personnel are among the almost 200 troops sent to Salisbury to help with the investigation into the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Ms Rudd was seen at the bench where Mr Skripal and his daughter collapsed in the city centre, which remains cordoned off by police.

Only three - Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia and a police officer - remain in hospital.

But the attempted murder of Skripal has drawn comparisons to the 2006 assassination of another Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who ingested the rare and highly radioactive polonium 210 in London.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd will chair a meeting of the Government's Cobra committee at 3pm on Saturday to receive updates on the police case, Downing Street said. He said Russian Federation was ready to assist "any investigation" but that it was "not necessary to hurl unfounded accusations on TV".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia would consider helping in the death of Sergei Skripal if asked.

Meanwhile officials wearing biohazard protective suits were seen working alongside police officers at the London Road Cemetery, where Skripal's wife and son were laid to rest.

Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Blair said the "extraordinary attack in Salisbury" is a good reason to investigate whether there is a pattern of former British intelligence collaborators dying in the UK.

Also in the scene were hospitalized police Sergeant nick Bailey.

Skripal served four years of a 13-year sentence in Russian Federation after he was caught spying for MI6 and was released as part of a spy exchange in 2010, when he was given refuge in the UK.

However, he said, "there are not 101 likely offenders", apparently a reference to the difficulty in producing nerve agent, which would limit the number of suspects with the ability to carry out the attack.

Identifying the source of the nerve agent continues to be central to the probe but so far, Rudd has refused to name any potential culprits.

A spokesman described comments by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who vowed a "robust response" in the event that state involvement was proved, as "strongly anti-Russian". The spokesman said Johnson's comments were an attempt to politicize the affair, and he attacked the media for aiding the United Kingdom government's efforts.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May could announce sanctions "as soon as Monday", according to the Daily Telegraph.

Commenting on people spying on Russian Federation, he said: "Don't choose Britain as a place to live".

"Once these are established, then, and only then, will an appropriate and proportionate course of action be taken".

A British public inquiry found Russia was responsible for Litvinenko's killing, and Russian President Vladimir Putin probably approved it.

  • Tracy Klein