Wed, Oct 10, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Second ‘Skripal’ Russian named

MILITARY DOCTOR:The Web site Bellingcat named him as Alexander Mishkin, but said that from 2011 to this year, he traveled repeatedly under the identity of Alexander Petrov

Reuters, LONDON

A video grab from the RT channel shows a man identified as Alexander Petrov in an interview in Moscow on Sept. 13.

Photo: RT channel video via AP

The second of two Russians who Britain blames for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was named on Monday by investigative Web site Bellingcat as a military doctor for Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency.

Bellingcat, which covers intelligence matters, named him as Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, aged 39, who was charged last month by Britain under the name of Alexander Petrov.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper also named Mishkin in a separate report published on Monday.

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

Bellingcat last month identified Boshirov as a colonel in the GRU whose real name was Anatoliy Chepiga.

British police said they would not comment on speculation about the real identities of the two men facing charges, in response to a query about the latest report.

Mishkin was born in July 1979 in the village of Loyga in the Archangelsk district of northern Russia and until September 2014, his registered home address in Moscow was the same as the headquarters of the GRU, Bellingcat said.

“Bellingcat’s identification process included multiple open sources, testimony from people familiar with the person, as well as copies of personally identifying documents, including a scanned copy of his passport,” the Web site said.

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

Mishkin was recruited by the GRU during his studies at one of Russia’s military medical universities.

From 2011 to this year, he traveled repeatedly under the identity of Alexander Petrov, including to Ukraine and Moldova’s breakaway territory of Transdniestria.

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

Russia’s embassy in London did not immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment.

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