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Unmasking of 2nd Alleged Skripal Poisoner May Prompt Kremlin Purge of GRU

Unmasking of 2nd Alleged Skripal Poisoner May Prompt Kremlin Purge of GRU

Investigative website Bellingcat says the Russian agent, who travelled to Salisbury under the alias Alexander Petrov, is actually called Alexander Mishkin. Amy Kellogg has the story.

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

Two former students at the academy confirmed Mishkin was the man British authorities identified as Alexander Petrov, Bellingcat said.

According to Bellingcat, the 39-year-old - previously identified by the government by the alias Alexander Petrov - graduated from the Military Medical Academy in St Petersburg in 2003 where he was recruited by the GRU. British police believe Skripal his daughter first came into contact with a military-grade nerve agent at their front door.

The person travelling under the alias of Ruslan Boshirov was identified as GRU's Col. Anatoliy Chepiga, recipient of Russia's highest state award.

According to a new report released by Bellingcat, Dr Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin was handed a Hero of Russian Federation award in late 2014 for his service in Ukraine, where Mr Putin's troops are accused of backing pro-Moscow rebels fighting government forces.

Bellingcat said it identified Mishkin using passport information, phone records, auto registration records, other databases and interviews with people who knew him.

Mishkin's GRU rank was unknown, it added, but based on his 15-year service was likely to be lieutenant colonel or colonel.

Conor McGregor accuses Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager of being a terrorist
He continued saying that Khabib is "too easy to hit, too flat-footed, too predictable, I'm going to knock him clean out". When McGregor did finally arrive, he was carrying a bottle of his new Irish whiskey along with a message to Nurmagomedov.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "I already told you last week that we won't continue any discussions on (reports) of media channels and various civil research organisations".

The group says it will provide forensic evidence and further information about how it identified Dr Mishkin on Tuesday (local time). But the nerve agent killed a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, and seriously sickened her partner.

Last week, authorities in the Netherlands alleged that the GRU had tried and failed to hack the world's chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

One of the Bellingcat team who ID'd the two GRU agents points out that the inclusion of a doctor on a 2-man team makes it harder to claim these guys were doing something other than handling a deadly nerve agent.

Between 2011 and 2018 he travelled extensively under his new identity, Bellingcat said, including making frequent trips to Ukraine.

Curiously, Mishkin's cover identity retained a lot of his authentic biography, including his real birth-date, his first and patronymic names, and the first names of his parents.

Until early September 2014, Mishkin's registered home address in Moscow was Khoroshevskoe Shosse 76B - the address of the headquarters of the GRU. Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins said one ex-student told the group that classmates had "been told not to talk to anyone about his identity".

He said: "It's easy to laugh at some of the GRU's poor tradecraft and their ability, but we should not underestimate them, nor indeed the unsafe and reckless use of nerve agent on our streets".


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