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Russian station RT’s chocolate Salisbury Cathedral Christmas gift slammed



A Russian state-run TV station has been criticised for sending chocolate models of Salisbury Cathedral as a Christmas gift.

The chocolate was sent to a number of people in the media and others in what RT said was to mark one of the “biggest news stories of the year”.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury in March.

John Glen, MP for Salisbury, said: “This is bizarre behaviour but to be expected.”

A picture of the chocolate cathedral circulated online after one of the recipients, Russian channel TV Dozhd, also known as TV rain, posted a picture of the edible gift on Twitter.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March
Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March

Salisbury councillor Jo Broom said the gift was “in very poor taste”.

“It’s very regrettable that somebody would see fit to do something like this, and is quite disrespectful to those that were caught up in the incident.”

RT – previously called Russia Today – broadcast interviews with two men named as the suspects in the Skripal poisonings.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov claimed they were just tourists visiting Salisbury.

The UK government said Russia’s GRU spy agency was responsible for the poisoning.

The Skripals survived the poisoning which involved the nerve agent novichok.

However, Dawn Sturgess, who had no Russian connections, died in July after she was exposed to the same substance.

Salisbury Cathedral
Two men suspected of the poisoning say they were tourists

RT said the chocolate model had been sent as a gift “in the spirit of the holiday season” to “multiple friends, peers and partners in the media sphere and beyond”.

It added: “As a news organisation, every year we put together presents that reflect one or several of the biggest news stories of the year.

“In 2018 we chose to highlight the internationally-resonant interview conducted by RT’s own editor in chief.”

Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning.

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