Britain said it was clear the two men, who appeared on Russia's state-funded RT television, were agents of Russia's GRU military intelligence who carried out the attack, and their interview an example of Russia's "obfuscation and lies".
The men said that far from plotting to poison a turncoat spy with a deadly nerve agent, they were actually just in England to admire the Gothic architecture in the city of Salisbury. Boshirov said. He went on to claim that if they had such an item in their luggage, it would have been hard to get past airport customs agents without arousing suspicion. The weather was better on the 4th, Petrov said, so the two returned to see Stonehenge and the cathedral.
The men seemed to be around 40 years old and wore nearly identical dark blue jumpers.
Questioned on whether the pair were civilians, Mr Putin replied: 'Of course they are civilians'.
July 19 - Police are believed to have identified the perpetrators of the attack.
Skripal's attempted assassination has drawn comparisons with the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko with highly radioactive polonium in London in 2006.
They confirmed they were the two men shown in CCTV images released by the Metropolitan Police, but denied any criminal activity.
British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman dismissed the interview.
"More importantly they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack. Sadly, it's what we've come to expect", the spokesman said.
The two men offered a reason for their visit: "They have a famous cathedral there, Salisbury Cathedral".
At the same time, Boshirov said Salisbury is a tourist city and has a famous cathedral there, Salisbury Cathedral.
A British government minister, who represents Salisbury, said on Twitter that the statements were not credible.
"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", the man known as Petrov told the RT TV network. "Maybe we did [approach] Skripal's house but we don't know where it's located".
"We were drenched up to our knees", Boshirov said.
The men denied trying to kill Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the Soviet-designed Novichok nerve agent.
The nerve agent was in a perfume bottle that Rowley found in a charity bin and gave to Sturgess, police said.
Asked about the bottle on Thursday, Boshirov said: "Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume? We didn't have it". While there are online accounts of people named Ruslan Boshirov, none of them indicates any link with fitness or other supplements.
The two suspects portrayed themselves as businessmen who work in "sports nutrition" and often travel together around Europe, having once spent New Year's in Switzerland.
The two men's actual identities are a matter of dispute.
Both men looked composed during the interview, but Boshirov said, "We fear for our lives".
"This is not an interrogation", Boshirov said.
The interview was conducted by Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT and the Kremlin's top propagandist.
The Member of Parliament for Salisbury, John Glen, said the interview made by the suspects to RT is "not credible" and "does not match intelligence we have on the individuals", Sky News reported.
Putin expressed hope they would come forward and speak publicly.
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