United Kingdom poison suspect is doctor for Russian intelligence

United Kingdom poison suspect is doctor for Russian intelligence

Amy Kellogg has the story.

One of the two suspects in the poisoning of an ex-spy in England is a trained doctor who works for Russian military intelligence and traveled to Britain under an alias, investigative group Bellingcat reported Monday.

"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", Bellingcat said.

Last month, Bellingcat named the first suspect in the poisoning scandal as Anatoliy Chepiga.

Russia has denied any involvement in the case and has claimed the two Russians were in Salisbury on a tourist trip.

"While Alexander Mishkin's true persona has an even sparser digital footprint than Anatoliy Chepiga's, Bellingcat has been able to establish certain key facts from his background", Bellingcat said.

He studied and graduated from a military medical academy in Russia and then trained as a doctor for the Russian armed naval forces. The group says it will provide forensic evidence and further information Tuesday about how it identified Mishkin.

According to the investigation conducted by Bellingat, Chepiga is a 39-year-old who served in Chechnya and Ukraine and was made a Hero of the Russian Federation by order of President Vladimir Putin in 2014 during a secret ceremony.

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The father and daughter survived after a lengthy hospital stay in intensive care.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, died in June after being exposed to the same weapons-grade nerve agent after it was apparently discarded.

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

In reaction to Bellingcat's latest report, British police said they would not comment on speculation regarding the real identities of those charged with poisoning the Skripals.

The use of a banned nerve agent produced by the Soviet Union during the Cold War in a small English city has focused attention on the GRU, a Russian military intelligence unit that Western officials say is linked to a number of recent computer security hacks.

The two suspects gave a weird interview to a Russian TV channel after the United Kingdom government released CCTV footage of their trip to Salisbury around the very time the Skripals were poisoned.

This is how British authorities discovered the two Russian agents allegedly behind the novichok attack.

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