Russian President Vladimir Putin has lashed out at Sergei Skripal, the former Russian intelligence officer whom Britain accuses Moscow of poisoning with a weapons-grade nerve agent in England, calling him a "traitor" and a "bastard."
Spreaking at an energy forum in Moscow, on October 3, Putin called the dispute over the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter "another spy scandal that has been articificially pumped up."
"I see that some of your colleagues are pushing forward the theory that Skripal is some kind of human rights defender," Putin told the audience. "He is a spy. A traitor to his homeland. There is such a thing -- a traitor to one's homeland. He is one of them."
"He is a bastard, that's all there is to it," Putin added.