United Kingdom security minister: Russian Federation threat is no joke

The website reports Mishkin travelled to Salisbury under the alias Alexander Petrov

Investigative journalists said Monday they had uncovered the identity of the second Russian man accused of poisoning former Moscow spy Sergei Skripal.

The second of two Russians who Britain says poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter has been named as a military doctor for Russian intelligence by a United Kingdom investigative website.

Bellingcat alleges Mishkin traveled under the name Alexander Petrov when he and GRU Col. Anatoliy Chepiga traveled to the southern English city of Salisbury in March, where the agents allegedly poisoned the Skripals with the nerve agent, novichok.

Seven residents of Loyga visited by the Insider, Bellingcat's Russian partner organization, also identified Mishkin, the group said.

Incomplete border crossing data obtained by the site suggests that he travelled to the country on multiple occasions between 2010 and 2013, using his undercover persona of Alexander Petrov.

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.

Bellingcat said they had cracked the puzzle of the man's identity partly through a mistake by the GRU, which did not change the first name or birthdate of the agents when it gave them fake identities.

The reported naming of the second Novichok suspect is the latest embarrassment for Putin's intelligence services after a bungled cyber attack was exposed by Dutch investigators last week.

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Alexander Mishkin was born on July 13, 1979, in the village of Loyga, in the Archangelsk District in Northern European Russia.

He moved to St Petersburg and enrolled at the S Kirov Military Medical Academy, specialising in undersea and hypobaric medicine for the Russian navy and graduating as a senior lieutenant.

A spokesman for the Home Office said "we are not commenting as this is still a police investigation".

Skripal, a Russian military intelligence officer turned double agent for Britain, and his visiting daughter spent weeks in critical condition after the Salisbury attack. The authenticity and veracity of the documents, which Bellingcat claimed it got from a Russian database, could not be immediately verified.

They had noticed that other GRU officers retained their first name, birthdate and place of birth when they were given new identities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kremlin officials have dismissed allegations about GRU operatives mounting the murder attempt on Skripal, and they also reject claims of the Russian intelligence services carrying out other so-called active measures in Europe and elsewhere as "fantasies". In another report, Bellingcat established that "Petrov" was specifically working for Russia's military intelligence, the GRU.

The US Justice Department also charged seven GRU officers in an alleged global hacking rampage that targeted more than 250 athletes, a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company, a Swiss chemical laboratory and the chemical weapons watchdog.

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