The name Sergei Skripal was not widely known before the 4 March 2018. Skripal’s name had appeared in some newspaper articles as the subject of a prisoner exchange with Russia in 2010. Mark Urban’s recently published The Skripal Files aims to describe the ex-GRU officer’s life and put the events of March 2018 into context. Urban, a respected BBC journalist with much experience in defence and security matters, was in the fortuitous position of having interviewed Skripal many months before his unfortunate poisoning. For the record, I have met Mr.