The Skripal Files: Putin, Poison and the New Spy War

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, Oct 4, 2018 - True Crime - 384 pages

The Skripal Files tells the full story behind the Salisbury Poisonings, one of the most shocking incidents to occur in Britain in recent memory. Mark Urban interviewed Sergei Skripal in the months before the poisoning and explains why Skripal was targeted for assassination.

'A scrupulous piece of reporting, necessary, timely and very sobering' – John Le Carré

Chosen as one of the best political books of 2018 by the Sunday Times.


4 March 2018, Salisbury, England.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were enjoying a rare and peaceful Sunday spent together, completely unaware that they had been poisoned with the deadly nerve agent Novichok. Hours later both were found slumped on a park bench close to death.

Following their attempted murders on British soil, Russia was publicly accused by the West of carrying out the attack, marking a new low for international relations between the two since the end of the Cold War.

The Skripal Files is the definitive account of the Salisbury Poisonings and how Skripal’s story fits into the wider context of the new spy war between Russia and the West. The book explores Sergei's past as a spy in the Russian military intelligence, explains how he was turned to work as an agent by MI6, and his imprisonment in Siberia. His eventual release as part of a spy-swap brought him to Salisbury where, on that fateful day, he and his daughter found themselves fighting for their lives.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2018)

Mark Urban is a broadcaster and historian. Prior to working for the BBC he was defence correspondent for the Independent for four years, covering the end of the Cold War and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

He is also the acclaimed author of Task Force Black: The explosive true story of the SAS and the secret war in Iraq; Big Boys’ Rules: The SAS and the secret struggle against the IRA and Rifles: Six years with Wellington’s legendary sharpshooters. Mark read international relations at the London School of Economics and served for a short time in the British army.