Second poisoning suspect ID’d as military doctor who works for Russian GRU

Frederick Owens
October 9, 2018

Amy Kellogg has the story.

Investigative journalists said Monday they had uncovered the identity of the second Russian man accused of poisoning former Moscow spy Sergei Skripal.

Bellingcat said the real name of the man previously known as "Alexander Petrov" was Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin.

Mishkin trained as a military doctor before joining the GRU, moving to Moscow in 2010, and being assigned the undercover identity of Alexander Petrov, Bellingcat says, citing both public documents and unnamed sources.

Both he and another man are wanted for attempted murder for a Novichok attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.

In late September, Bellingcat reported that "Boshirov" is actually Col. Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated officer with the GRU, Russia's intelligence service.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government has long denied having any knowledge of the attack, initially claimed that the two men's names "mean nothing to us", then said that they were civilians.

"While Aleksandr Mishkin's true persona has an even sparser digital footprint than Anatoly Chepiga's, Bellingcat has been able to establish certain key facts from his background", the October 8 report said.

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Mishkin had travelled to the United Kingdom under the name of Alexander Petrov.

The group says it will provide forensic evidence and further information about how it identified Dr Mishkin on Tuesday (local time).

He graduated from the Military Medical Academy in Russian Federation and was probably a colonel or lieutenant colonel when Skripal and his daughter were poisoned.

Last month, the United Kingdom charged the two Russians with conspiracy to murder and attempted murder.

The Skripals survived after a lengthy hospital stay in intensive care.

A woman later died from Novichok poisoning after her partner found a counterfeit perfume bottle which police believe had been used to smuggle the nerve agent into Britain.

Anatoliy Chepiga AKA Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Mishkin AKA Alexander Petrov. They said they went to the city to visit its cathedral.

Last week, authorities in the Netherlands alleged the GRU tried and failed into the world's chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

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