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

Novichok suspects

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the men were civilians who did nothing criminal, and urged them to speak to news outlets.

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. The Skripals were poisoned by the Russian nerve agent Novichok, and while neither of them died, a British woman was later fatally exposed to the nerve agent.

The website said it discovered Mishkin's real identity after obtaining a scanned copy of his passport.

Mishkin, 39, trained as a military doctor in Russia's intelligence agency GRU.

Last month Bellingcat said it had identified the first suspect, originally identified under the name Ruslan Boshirov, as Anatoliy Chepiga and obtained leaked files that show Chepiga was deployed to Chechnya three times and included old passport photos of his, which resemble the man British authorities named as Boshirov.

Mishkin was born in July 1979 in the village of Loyga in the Archangelsk district of northern Russian Federation, and until September 2014 his registered home address in Moscow was the same as the headquarters of the GRU, Bellingcat said.

The website alleges Miskin travelled under the alias Alexander Petrov.

The father and daughter survived after a lengthy hospital stay in intensive care.

At a news conference in the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, Bellingcat investigator Cristo Grozev said Mr Mishkin - like Mr Chepiga - was a member of the GRU and given the celebrated award in the autumn of 2014 for "actions in Ukraine".

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told RT's editor-in-chief they had nothing to do with the Skripals' poisoning.

But investigative journalism site Bellingcat has dug into the backgrounds of "Petrov" and "Boshirov", and says it has identified both men's true identities and that they work for the GRU.

Both suspects appeared on Russian state TV last month, proclaiming their innocence.

The US Justice Department also charged seven GRU officers in an alleged worldwide 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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