Russian Website Names Third Person Allegedly Involved In Skripal Poisoning

Col Skripal 67 and his daughter Yulia 33 were exposed to the military grade nerve agent novichok but both survived the assassination attempt

Outlining in detail how it identified the Salisbury suspect as Dr Mishkin, Bellingcat said it had pieced together his identity using various databases online, including telephone and auto insurance records, and later obtained copies of his passport and driving licence.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the poisoning, as have the two men identified by Britain.

But to them he is just a warm-hearted local boy, a "Hero of Russia" who has made a successful career as a military doctor thanks to his hard work and courage. "His picture even hangs on the wall there because he's a Hero of Russian Federation".

Mr Poroshin said he heard that Mishkin received Russia's highest medal for saving the life of his commanding officer during fighting with Islamist rebels in Chechnya.

The report comes after investigative group Bellingcat revealed the suspects' true identities as Alexander Mishkin, a military doctor employed by Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and GRU colonel Anatoly Chepiga.

Czech Radio's investigative reporter Janek Kroupa cites his source at military intelligence as saying that everything points to the fact that Skripal was being followed by Russian agents long before the attempted poisoning in Britain.

Bellingcat, which based its probe on passport information, residents' databases, vehicle registration documents and phone records, determined that the 39-year-old Mishkin grew up in Loyga before moving to St. Petersburg, where he studied medicine at the elite Kirov Military Medical Academy.

"The inclusion of a trained military doctor on the team implies that the goal of the mission has been different than information gathering or other routine espionage activities".

The Skripals survived after weeks in critical condition, but Dawn Sturgess, a woman who authorities said came in contact with the poison after her boyfriend found a fake perfume bottle containing it, died in July. "He was very polite".

Grozev said villagers recounted that Mishkin's grandmother had a photograph "that has been seen by everybody in the village, of Putin shaking Mishkin's hand and giving him the award".

The BBC has contacted two people who knew Dr Mishkin as a child in Loyga in the north of Russian Federation, and they confirmed from photographs that he was the man seen in images released by police after the Salisbury attack.

Novichok suspects: We were just tourists 02:11 "They are not asking people to trust them, they're asking people to look at the open source picture they put together", Miller said.

"Here we have taken up a certain position, we will stick to it", he said.

"The Russians are kind of treating Western Europe as Western Europe is treating Syria and Afghanistan- as a battle zone - if it's going in with special ops people to run operations", he said.

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