Second poisoning suspect ID’d as military doctor who works for Russian GRU

Bellingcat shared additional images of the doctor

In another instalment of its running coverage about the two men London calls the Salisbury poisoning suspects, the open-source investigators claim they managed to "conclusively" establish what they describe as the real identity of Petrov. Amy Kellogg has the story.

The investigative group Bellingcat is reporting that one of the two suspects in the poisoning of an ex-spy in England is a doctor who works for Russian military intelligence.

He was recruited by GRU during his studies at one of Russia's military medical academies, and between 2011 and 2018 he traveled repeatedly under the identity of Alexander Petrov, including to Ukraine and Moldova's breakaway territory of Transdniestria.

Prior to the attempted assassination of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury in March, he was said to have taken part in numerous undercover operations in Ukraine and Transnistria.

Last month, Bellingcat named the first suspect in the poisoning scandal as Anatoliy Chepiga.

The attack left Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia critically ill, while Dawn Sturgess, 44, who was later exposed to the same nerve agent, died in July. They said they were tourists who had flown to London for fun and visited Salisbury to see its cathedral.

LONDON-The second suspect in the United Kingdom nerve agent poisoning case has been named as military doctor Alexander Mishkin.

"It was nearly certainly approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state", she said.

The attack on the Skripals has focused global attention on the GRU, an intelligence unit that Western officials say is linked to computer hacking and other covert operations around the world. The Kremlin has maintained variously that the Skripal poisoning never happened, that it was carried out by the British spies in order to blame Russian Federation or that murky third parties were responsible.




During his school years he is said to have lived with his grandmother, who is thought to have owned a picture of her grandson receiving his medal from Mr Putin and has recently vanished from the village.

This was later refuted by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said that Russian databases have no information about Chepiga or about a Chepiga being awarded the highest national merit.

The man is believed to have traveled to Ukraine on multiple occasions, including during the Maidan events in December 2013, also under the alias of Alexander Petrov, used during his Salisbury mission.

Mr Grozev said that while Mishkin a had a "very sparse digital footprint" compared to Chepiga they had been able to piece together his identity using various databases, including telephone and auto insurance records.

"It really started when the identities were revealed by the British authorities, that gave us our first clue, and from there we were able to find their fake identity documents", he said.

Until September 2014 his home address was registered as the Moscow headquarters of the GRU.

At some point between 2007 and 2010, Mishkin moved to Moscow, where, according to Bellingcat, he began working for the GRU.

Dr Alexander Mishkin goes by the alias "Alexander Petrov".

The four were arrested, and Dutch authorities revealed last week how they found a auto full of hacking equipment near the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.

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