Yulia Skripal was in Britain to ask for her father's blessing to marry her longtime boyfriend when she was poisoned by Russian agents with a novichok, according to reports yesterday.
Miss Skripal, 33, had sold her father's old apartment in Moscow and bought a two-room apartment on the sixth floor of a high-rise building west of the Russian capital.
He expected to settle on the floor with his partner Stepan Vikeev, 30, and his two dogs.
He had even commissioned the work to convert one of the smaller rooms into a day care center, since he planned to start a family with Mr. Vikeev, according to his main renovator, Diana Petik.
Knowing that his father, Sergei, could not travel to Russia safely for the wedding, he embarked on an Aeroflot flight to London on March 3 before traveling to Salisbury, Wiltshire, to deliver the happy news and ask for his blessing.
Yulia Skripal was in Salisbury to tell her Russian spy father Sergei that she was planning to marry
Yulia had been living with Stepan Vikeev (left) for approximately two years when she made the trip to Salisbury. Just before leaving Moscow, Miss Skripal hired Diana Petik to renovate her apartment and turn one of the rooms into a nursery
The following afternoon, the couple collapsed in downtown Salisbury after being exposed to a novichok who had been smeared at Mr. Skripal's door.
The latest details about Miss Skripal's reasons for traveling to the United Kingdom in March emerged in a New York Times article published yesterday.
It is said that Miss Skripal was engaged to Mr. Vikeev, who allegedly works for a clandestine company called the Institute of Modern Security Problems, part of Russia's notorious FSB intelligence service.
The organization is run by his mother Tatiana, 61, and is said to be an integral part of the FSB, which replaced the KGB after the demise of the Soviet Union. It is believed that the Skripals were poisoned by two assassins who belonged to another arm of the Russian spy community, the military intelligence agency known as GRU.
Vikeev has had no contact with Miss Skripal and his family since the attack and it is said that he and his mother hid under the protection of agents of the Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
There are rumors that Mr. Vikeev may even have been planted as a "honey trap" to monitor the Skripals after Skripal was sent to the United Kingdom in a spy exchange in 2010.
It is reported that Mr. Skripal said that he had reservations about Mr. Vikeev, although the reasons are unknown.
My girl: Julia with her father Sergei Skripal in the late 1980s. It is said that Miss Skripal was engaged to Mr. Vikeev, who allegedly works for a clandestine company called the Institute of Modern Security Problems, part of the notorious FSB intelligence of Russia.
The news comes after police released photos of two men suspected of having carried out the attack of the nerve agent. It is believed that the pair, named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bashirov, are using aliases
In the photo: Sergei Skripal and his wife Lyudmila in 1972. Vikeev has had no contact with Miss Skripal and his family since the attack and it is said that he and his mother hid under the protection of agents of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Similarly, it is said that Mrs. Vikeev disapproved of her son's relationship with Miss Skripal because he considered his double agent to be a traitor.
The revelations of yesterday came when new photographs appeared that showed a young Skripal posing with his daughter in the late 1980s and his late wife Lyudmila in 1972.
The three were also photographed at a school graduation in 2001, when Mr. Skripal was still working as a spy for the GRU.
The New York Times article also reported new claims that Skripal could have been targeted due to his extensive work traveling around Europe to give lectures about the GRU to European and American intelligence workers.
He had made repeated trips to the CNI, the espionage service in Spain, as well as to similar organizations in Estonia and the Czech Republic in assignments organized by MI6.
Aleksei A Venediktov, editor in chief of the Moscow radio station Ekho Moskvy, said it was possible that the Russian government thought it was transmitting sensitive information, even though British spies ignored their lectures as unimportant.
Sergei and Yuila Skripal, who spent weeks in the hospital after the novichok attack, are currently under police protection in a secret refuge in Britain.