Russians accused of Salisbury nerve agent attack have 'disappeared' and their mobile phones no longer work

The Russian prime suspects in the Salisbury nerve agent attack have disappeared following their only interview about the case and appear to have disconnected their mobile phones.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov carried out one interview with Russian state-sponsored network RT, in which they claimed they were visiting Salisbury as tourists.

Security services believe they travelled from Moscow to the UK to smeared deadly nerve agent Novichok on a door handle at the Wiltshire home of former spy Sergei Skripal, leaving him and his daughter Yulia critically ill.

The attack is believed to be linked to the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44,  who fell ill after being exposed to the same chemical in nearby Amesbury.

Her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, also fell ill, while police officer Nick Bailey, who visited the home of the Skripals shortly after the attack, was also left critically ill from exposure to the substance.

Vanished – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov seem to have disappeared since their interview with RT (Picture: Reuters/RT)

But despite giving an interview with RT, the pair since seem to have disappeared.

Editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said the men had promised to send her images of their visit to Salisbury Cathedral – which they claimed was the reason for their visit – but haven’t done so.

MORE: ‘3,000 people did not die’: Donald Trump rejects Puerto Rico death toll from Hurricane Maria
MORE: Here’s why the ‘Salisbury assassins’ explanation is more than a little suspicious

The mobile phone they used to make contact with her also no longer appears to be in service, she said.

Ms Simonyan said: “They told me that if they found those pictures, they would send them to me on WhatsApp. I’m still waiting. They didn’t have them on them.”

Mobile phones – the mobile phones the pair used to contact RT seem to be out of service (Picture: PA)

She added: “I tried to call them on the phone on which they called me but it has been out of coverage.

“They said if they found the pictures they would send them to me but I am still waiting.”

Before the interview, they had made her agree to a strict set of conditions to minimise the chance of being tracked down.

She told the BBC: “One of the conditions was that no questions would be allowed that would allow the media to track their acquaintances or their business partners or their relatives or their classmates or whomever.

“As they said – and this is their words not mine – that this is their first and last interview to the media ever.”

The pair’s claims have not only been rubbished by Downing Street, but have also sparked comedy responses across social media as people mock their so-called explanation.

Many referred to the idea that the pair had travelled all the way to Salisbury just to see its cathedral.

Others referenced the fact that the duo had apparently left early because of snow – something it is thought they are likely to be used to.

Some jokes referred to the similarity between the pair’s explanation and the Wikipedia entry about Salisbury Cathedral.