Bellingcat Names Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect As Russian GRU Agent

An extensive investigation was launched into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury in March

An extensive investigation was launched into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury in March

In the preceding report from the current investigation into the two suspects in the Skripals poisoning case, Bellingcat and its reporting partner the Insider disclosed the identity of one of the two suspects.

On Monday, Bellingcat reported that the real name of "Petrov" is Dr. Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, "a trained military doctor in the employ of the GRU".

Bellingcat said it gathered its information from open sources and "testimony from people familiar with the person".

The website had earlier identified Ruslan Boshirov, the first suspect, as the GRU's Anatoliy Chepiga.

Today's report is really just an announcement that the full report explaining in detail how the site identified Mishkin will be published tomorrow.

The man is believed to have traveled to Ukraine on multiple occasions, including during the Maidan events in December 2013, also under the alias of Alexander Petrov, used during his Salisbury mission.

Unlike Chepiga, awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation award by Putin in 2014, Mishkin appears to have either been less deeply undercover or sloppier - his "cover identity retained most of the biographical characteristics of the authentic Mishkin - such as the exact birth date, first and patronymic name, and first names of his parents", Bellingcat said, and until 2014, his Moscow home address was the same as GRU headquarters. British officials said when they brought charges in the March nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter that they believed Petrov was an assumed name.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a Soviet-designed chemical agent called Novichok in the English town of Salisbury in March.

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Skripal, a former GRU colonel, was convicted of treason in 2006 by a Russian court after being accused of spying for Britain.

"We are not going to comment on speculation regarding their identities", London's police force said in a statement in response to a media query about the report.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack was likely ordered at the highest levels of the Russia government, an allegation vehemently rejected by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov give an interview to the RT news channel.

Britain accuses the Russian government of trying to kill Skripal in retribution for his ongoing work with European intelligence agencies.

They explained that they went to the small town as tourists and had always wanted to see its tower.

The prosecutors said at the time the two were undercover GRU officers.

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