Second suspect in poisoning of ex-Russian spy named

The passport of Alexander Mishkin who had been named as Alexander Petrov

The passport of Alexander Mishkin who had been named as Alexander Petrov

Amy Kellogg has the story.

The Bellingcat investigative website on Monday said the second suspect responsible for poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is Dr Alexander Mishkin, a military doctor working for Russian intelligence agency GRU.

A still image taken from a video footage and released by RT worldwide news channel on September 13, 2018, shows two Russian men with the same names, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as those accused by Britain over the case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, during an interview at an unidentified location, Russia.

The website had earlier identified Ruslan Boshirov, the first suspect, as the GRU's Anatoliy Chepiga.

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 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.

The names on the pair's travel documents were Ruslan Boshirov (on the left above) and Alexander Petrov (on the right).

It said that Mishkin was born in 1979 in the Archangelsk region in Northern European Russia and was trained as a military doctor for the Russian naval armed forces at one of Russia's elite military medical schools. The group says it will provide forensic evidence and further information Tuesday about how it identified Mishkin.

The 39-year-old was charged in absentia by Britain last month under the name of Alexander Petrov.

They explained that they went to the small town as tourists and had always wanted to see its tower.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was also hospitalised after coming into contact with the substance at Mr Skripal's home.

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.

British police have said they would not comment on speculation about the real identities of the men.

This is how British authorities discovered the two Russian agents allegedly behind the novichok attack.

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