Published: Thu, September 27, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Bellingcat Says It Has Revealed Real Identity of Alleged Skripal Poisoner

Bellingcat Says It Has Revealed Real Identity of Alleged Skripal Poisoner

It added: "Based on the array of information sources consulted - all of which were independent from each other and came from different time periods - Bellingcat was able to conclude with certainty that the person identified by United Kingdom authorities as "Ruslan Boshirov" is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga, a highly decorated senior officer from Russian military intelligence who was awarded the highest state honour in late 2014".

The UK government accused Russian national Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov of the attack, which led to former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia being poisoned by Novichok in Salisbury in March.

We speak to "Bellingcat" - one of the anonymous journalists behind the investigation - to find out how this information was revealed and how close they are close to finding the real identity of the second suspect. The award is "as recognition of services to the state and the people of Russian Federation involving a heroic deed".

Russian National Alexander Petrov enters London at Gatwick Airport. Skripal and his daughter were nearly killed after a Novichok nerve agent was sprayed onto the door handle of his home in the countryside town.

Boshirov and Petrov appeared in an interview on the RT television network in Russian Federation earlier this month to proclaim their innocence, explaining that they had visited Salisbury mainly to see the city's "world famous" cathedral.

The group, Bellingcat, said Wednesday that the suspect, whose passport name was Ruslan Boshirov, is in fact Col. Anatoliy Chepiga, who in 2014 was awarded Russia's highest medal, the Hero of Russian Federation.

It also supports the British claim that Colonel Chepiga and Petrov, whose real name remains unknown, were acting on orders from the top when they allegedly smeared the nerve agent novichok on Sergei...

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He claimed after police released his photo earlier this month that he worked in the fitness industry and only visited Salisbury to see the cathedral.

The Kremlin was branded shameful on Wednesday night after claiming Chepiga and his unknown accomplice were holidaymakers - as Russian lies were seemingly exposed.

The Telegraph has reported Chepiga had fought for the elite special forces unit Spetsnaz under the authority of the GRU for 17 years while also working undercover for at least nine years. A new report claims that Boshirov is actually Anatoly Chepiga, a Russian military intelligence officer.

Bellingcat said the name was a "fake cover persona" for an as yet unidentified Russian individual.

The Skripals were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench in Salisbury.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital in July, just over a week after the pair fell ill.

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