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Men Charged in Novichok Attack Were Russian Intelligence Officers, British Prime Minister Says

Britain has concluded that the two men charged on Wednesday for the attempted murder of a former spy and his daughter with a nerve agent were Russian military intelligence officers almost certainly acting with senior-level state approval.

"Based on the body of intelligence, the government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] are officers from the Russian military intelligence service also known as the GRU," British Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament.

"This was also not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly approved outside the GRU, at a senior level of the Russian state," she said.  

Russia must rein in the activities of its military intelligence officers and account for their actions, May said.

"We want Russia to act as a responsible member of the international community. That means it must account for the reckless and outrageous actions of the GRU, which is part of the Russian state," May told parliament.

"They must rein in the activities of the GRU." 

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