Second suspect in Skripal poisoning identified: Research group

Reuters

British prosecutors charged Petrov and another man they named as Ruslan Boshirov in absentia with attempted murder for the Novichok nerve agent attack on Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury in March, but said they believed the suspects had used aliases to enter Britain. Amy Kellogg has the story.

Bellingcat, who worked with Russian news organisation The Insider, identified the man as Alexander Mishkin, a doctor working for the Russian GRU intelligence service.

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

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal became critically ill after being exposed to a nerve agent in March.

Last month, Bellingcat named the first suspect as Anatoliy Chepiga, a claim also rejected by Russian Federation.

"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.

Bellingcat's latest investigation said Mishkin was born in 1979 in the Archangelsk District in northern Russia and graduated from the elite Military Medical Academies, where he was trained for medical work in the Russian navy.

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

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

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

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

Russian Federation denies any involvement in the poisoning, and the two men have said publicly they were tourists who had flown to London for fun and visited Salisbury to see its cathedral.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the two men shown in British surveillance footage near Skripal's home in Salisbury and identified by British authorities as Boshirov and Petrov were actually civilians on a tourist trip.

British, Dutch and USA officials have accused the GRU of trying to hack the computers of worldwide agencies, masterminding a devastating 2017 cyberattack on Ukraine and being behind stolen emails that roiled the 2016 US presidential election.

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