Putin honoured Russian 'doctor of death' linked to Skripal poisoning

Putin honoured Russian 'doctor of death' linked to Skripal poisoning

The British website has scooped the rest of the media with its reports on the nerve agent attack that almost killed the ex-spy and his daughter in England, providing evidence the Russians had identities far more intriguing than the aliases they used as supposed tourists.

UK-based "investigative" group Bellingcat claims one of the the men accused by the United Kingdom authorities of being involved in the Salisbury poisoning affair is known as Aleksandr Petrov and is a doctor working for Russian intelligence.

As in Boshirov's case, the group also relied upon "multiple open sources" and "testimony from people familiar with the person" in question.

The Bellingcat report says Dr Mishkin, a doctor it said works for Russian intelligence, graduated from the elite Military Medical Academies, where he was trained for medical work in the Russian navy.

Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper also named Mishkin in a separate report published on Monday.

Travelling under his assumed name of Petrov, Mishkin went to Ukraine and other former Soviet states between 2011 and 2013, Bellingcat said.

British prosecutors charged Petrov and another man they named as Ruslan Boshirov in absentia with attempted murder for the Novichok nerve agent attack on the Skripals in the English city of Salisbury in March.

The grandmother of the military doctor outed as a Salisbury assassin has disappeared after disclosing her grandson had been awarded Russia's highest honour by Vladimir Putin.

The second man believed to be behind a nerve agent attack in Salisbury, England, has been identified as a Russian military doctor.

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When asked about the naming of Mr Mishkin, the Kremlin would not comment.

He was recruited by the GRU while at one of Russia's military medical academies, eventually becoming a military doctor.

A Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, refused to comment on the Bellingcat report.

Following the poisoning, both Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia spent several weeks in a hospital, but both ultimately survived. The authenticity and veracity of the documents, which Bellingcat claimed it got from a Russian database, could not be immediately verified.

"We shouldn't also forget that there was a enormous effort made by our police and MI5 to spot them in the first place, track their movements and also the huge effort that went in to develop the intelligence that helped guide us to the door of the GRU itself".

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

Higgins noted that Mishkin's home village is snowbound for much of the year.

At Loyga a reporter with the Insider "was able to meet and talk to many residents who all recognised "Alexander Petrov"... as "our local boy" Alexander Mishkin", the Bellingcat report 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. Last week the U.S. Department of Justice indicted seven named GRU officers on charges they had hacked worldwide organizations, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

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