Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Real identity of second Russian linked to Skripal poisoning revealed by Bellingcat

Real identity of second Russian linked to Skripal poisoning revealed by Bellingcat

Bellingcat claims Alexander Miskin, a military doctor working for Russian intelligence, travelled to Salisbury in southern England to target Sergei Skripal, the BBC reports.

"We have now identified "Alexander Petrov" to be in fact Dr. Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, a trained military doctor in the employ of the GRU", the British-based group said in a report published on its website.

The investigative team at Bellingcat said the identification process included multiple open sources, testimony from people familiar with the suspect, as well as copies of personally identifying documents, including a scanned copy of his passport.

Bellingcat reported last month that the other suspect also traveled under an alias and was a decorated military agent named Anatoliy Chepiga.

According to Bellingcat, Mishkin was born in the Archangelsk District in northern Russian Federation.

Bellingcat says Dr Mishkin travelled extensively between 2011 and 2018, to Ukraine and to the Transnistrian Republic, an unrecognised self-declared republic.

The UK in early September accused two Russian men, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, of attempting to assassinate ex-spy Sergei Skripal with a military-grade nerve agent in Salisbury, England in March 2018.

During his medical studies, Mishkin was recruited by the GRU, and by 2010 had relocated to Moscow, where he received his undercover identity - including a second national ID and travel passport - under the alias Alexander Petrov.

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were poisoned in March by a liquid form of Novichok, a substance originally developed in the former Soviet Union.

British police said they would not comment on speculation about the real identities of the two men facing charges, in response to a query about the latest report.

Mishkin was said to have made repeated trips to Ukraine and had even stated the GRU headquarters as his home address.

The poisoning of Skripal, a former Russian agent who was convicted of spying for Britain, became a major worldwide incident.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told RT's editor-in-chief they had nothing to do with the Skripals' poisoning.

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. They said they went to the city to visit its cathedral.

"He is just a scumbag", Putin said of Skripal.

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

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