President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Sergei Skripal, a Russian former double agent poisoned in Britain, was a scumbag who betrayed Russia.
Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a public bench in the English city of Salisbury in March. Britain says they were poisoned with a nerve agent administered by Russian intelligence officers.
A woman later died from what British police say was contact with the poison which her partner found in a discarded perfume bottle.
Russia denies any involvement in the affair, which has deepened its international isolation.
"I see that some of your colleagues are pushing the theory that Mr Skripal was almost some kind of human rights activist," Putin said at an energy forum in Moscow.
"He was simply a spy. A traitor to the motherland. There is such a concept - a traitor to the motherland. He was one of those."