The mother of the Novichok poisoning victim Sergei Skripal died yesterday – without ever being reunited with her son.
Yelena Skripal died in a Russian hospital at the age of 92.
In 2018, she invited the Daily Mirror to her home to talk about her devastation for not seeing Sergei after he went into hiding after the Salisbury poisoning attack.
Sergei and daughter Yulia were poisoned with the nerve agent by Russian agents, but recovered incredibly.
But Yelena never saw or spoke to them again before her death was believed to be related to Covid-19.
The death was announced by Viktoria Skripal, Sergei’s niece, who was Yelena’s main carer.
She died in a hospital in Yaroslavl, her hometown 200 miles from Moscow, where she was given oxygen, after being admitted with a high fever and symptoms of coronavirus on December 30.
Viktoria herself had tested positive for Covid-19.
She said, “I don’t know how to let Sergei know that his mother has died.
“I have no way of contacting him.”
At the end of last year, Viktoria received a call from Julia, according to which Sergei still had difficulty breathing after the attack.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror in her first interview in her apartment, Yelena said, “I just want to see and hold my son one more time.
“I want to hug him. I miss him so much. My oldest son is dead.
“Sergei is the only son I have left and I love him.”
Yelena was aware that her son was a convicted spy and had been very ill, but family members decided to protect her from all the details of the poison plot.
She said, “I know he moved to England and now lives in a place called Salisbury.
“I have to admit, I had never heard of it.”
While the Skripals survived the attack, the poisoning later claimed the life of Dawn Sturgess after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used before being thrown away.
Her partner, Charlie Rowley, was left seriously ill but recovered.
The suspects – Russians Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – were seen on video footage the day before the Salisbury attack.
“I miss him so much” – Chief reporter Andy Lines remembers meeting Sergei Skripal’s mother in October 2018
Sergei Skripal’s mother shook my hand and invited me to sit in her tiny apartment in the remote Russian city of Yaroslavl.
She was clearly devastated that she could not see or speak to her beloved son.
As a proud strong woman, she simply said, “I want to hug him. I miss him so much.”
While chatting, she patted her pet Persian cat named Silver during our October 2018 interview.
I remember there were two religious icons above her bed that Sergei had brought as a gift from Spain.
She did not see Sergei as a traitor like Vladimir Putin.
He was her son and her only dream was to see him again.
This dream was never fulfilled and relatives have no idea how to contact him in the first place to let him know that his dear mother has died.