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Skripal attack: Bellingcat names second Salisbury suspect

Skripal attack: Bellingcat names second Salisbury suspect

  • 8 October 2018
Related Topics
  • Russian spy poisoning
Image copyright Russia Today
Image caption Dr Alexander Mishkin goes by the alias "Alexander Petrov", reports Bellingcat

The name of the second suspect in the Salisbury case is actually Alexander Mishkin, the BBC understands.

The Bellingcat investigative website says the man who travelled under the alias Alexander Petrov is a military doctor working for Russian intelligence.

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

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March.

The British open-source website said it had identified the suspect using testimonies from people the suspect knew and a scanned copy of his passport.

It claims he was recruited by Russian intelligence while he was completing his medical studies, and made several trips to Ukraine, including during the 2013 unrest.

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More details about how it uncovered the identity will be revealed on Tuesday, the website says.

A spokesperson for London's Metropolitan Police said they would not comment on the "speculation".

Sergei Skripal - who sold secrets to MI6 - and his daughter Yulia survived being poisoned with Novichok on 4 March.

The event sparked a series of accusations and denials between the UK and Russian governments, culminating in diplomatic expulsions and international sanctions.

Following the attempted poisoning, UK investigators said one of the two suspects had been travelling under the name Ruslan Boshirov.

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Media captionA BBC team showed photographs to residents in Anatoliy Chepiga's old village, to see if they could identify him

Speaking on Russian TV last month, that suspect said he was a civilian who had visited Salisbury as a tourist.

In September, Bellingcat revealed he was actually an military intelligence officer named Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga.

He has served in Chechnya and Ukraine and was made a "Hero of the Russian Federation" in 2014, the website said.

Bellingcat was founded in 2014 by British journalist Eliot Higgins, with the help of a crowd-funding campaign.