Skripal attack: Bellingcat names second Salisbury suspect

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Russia As we speak

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“Alexander Petrov” is definitely a navy physician working for Russian intelligence, Bellingcat says

The title of the second suspect within the Salisbury case is definitely Alexander Mishkin, the BBC understands.

The Bellingcat investigative web site says the person who travelled beneath the alias Alexander Petrov is in actuality a navy physician working for Russian intelligence, the GRU.

Final month, Bellingcat named the primary suspect as Anatoliy Chepiga, a declare rejected by Russia.

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia have been poisoned in March.

The British open-source web site stated it had recognized the suspect utilizing testimonies from individuals the suspect knew and a scanned copy of his passport.

It stated each his actual passport and the false passport he travelled to the UK on within the title of Alexander Petrov carried the identical date of beginning.

Bellingcat claims he was recruited by Russian intelligence whereas he was finishing his medical research, and made a number of journeys to Ukraine, together with throughout the 2013 unrest.

Extra particulars about the way it uncovered the identification shall be revealed on Tuesday, the web site says.

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Bellingcat/PA

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Bellingcat has issued three photos of the person recognized as Alexander Mishkin, together with his passport picture

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Metropolitan Police

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Police issued CCTV of the 2 suspects in Salisbury on the day of the assault on Sergei Skripal

By Gordon Corera, BBC safety correspondent

It took longer for investigators on the Bellingcat web site to determine Alexander Mishkin as he has a fair sparser digital footprint than the primary man to be named, Anatoly Chepiga.

However utilizing databases and passport particulars they concluded that this was the true title of the person who got here to Salisbury as Alexander Petrov.

Facial recognition consultants have been requested to look at two photographs 15 years aside and use strategies of simulated age development to ascertain the match.

Final Thursday, 4 GRU officers have been uncovered for attempting to hack into communications of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons within the Netherlands on the time it was investigating the Salisbury poisoning.

Mishkin’s identification will increase extra questions on how simple it has been to show supposedly undercover intelligence officers and undermine Russia’s official account that the 2 males who got here to Salisbury have been there to see the Cathedral spire.

Current stories within the Russian media recommend that Vladimir Putin – himself a former spy chief – is sad with the GRU’s efficiency – and that a purge could possibly be on the way in which.

A spokesperson for London’s Metropolitan Police stated it will not touch upon the “hypothesis”.

Sergei Skripal – who bought secrets and techniques to MI6 – and his daughter Yulia survived being poisoned with Novichok on four March.

The suspects are alleged to have smeared the nerve agent on a door deal with of his residence in Salisbury.

The assault left Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia critically ailing, however Daybreak Sturgess, 44, was later uncovered to the identical nerve agent and died in hospital.

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Media captionA BBC crew confirmed pictures to residents in Anatoliy Chepiga’s previous village, to see if they might determine him

The occasion sparked a sequence of accusations and denials between the UK and Russian governments, culminating in diplomatic expulsions and worldwide sanctions.

Tory MP Bob Seely, a member of the Commons International Affairs Committee stated: “It’s appalling that a medical physician seems to have been a part of a crew of GRU operatives…

“While this operation has been a botched embarrassment for the Kremlin from starting to finish, it is value remembering that we could not know in regards to the GRU’s profitable operations.”

Following the tried poisoning, UK investigators stated one of many two suspects had been travelling beneath the title Ruslan Boshirov.

In September, Bellingcat revealed he was really an navy intelligence officer named Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga.

He has served in Chechnya and Ukraine and was made a “Hero of the Russian Federation” in 2014, the web site stated.

Bellingcat was based in 2014 by British journalist Eliot Higgins, with the assistance of a crowd-funding marketing campaign.

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