An assessment by the United Kingdom reportedly indicates Russian President Vladimir Putin was likely involved in a deadly nerve agent attack carried out in England.
British officials told CNN they believe Putin himself signed off on using the chemical novichok against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
One official said authorization for the attack would have come from someone higher than leadership of Russia's military intelligence service.
The British government says Russian military intelligence agents traveled to Salisbury, England, last March, carrying enough of the toxic substance in a perfume bottle to kill possibly thousands.
The agents put some of it on the doorknob of the Skripals' home, which sickened Skripal and his daughter. Both eventually recovered.
But the perfume bottle used to transport the toxin also poisoned two others living nearby, and one of them died after applying the substance on her wrists.
Last week in a statement, the Russian Embassy in Washington again refuted that Russian nationals were involved in the attack.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.