"Bellingcat can now report that it has conclusively identified the second suspect, who traveled to Salisbury under the alias Alexander Petrov. In its previous reporting, we already produced evidence that ‘Alexander Petrov’ is not an authentic persona, but an undercover alias for an officer of a Russian security agency … We have now identified 'Alexander Petrov' to be in fact Dr. Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, a trained military doctor in the employ of the GRU," the group said.
The allegations come as yet another part of the Bellingcat investigation into the suspects of the Skripal poisoning case. The first part was issued on September 14, where the group claimed that the suspects were linked to Russian security services. Such an assumption was explained by the fact that their internal passport under the names of Petrov and Boshirov were issued in 2009, while no records allegedly exist for these individuals prior to this year.
The second part of the investigation was released on September 20, with the group claiming that it could "definitely confirm" that "both 'Alexander Petrov' and 'Ruslan Boshirov' are active GRU officers."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the Skripal affair was falling apart due to the lack of evidence proving Russian involvement. The Russian Foreign Ministry has sent some 60 diplomatic notes to the UK Foreign Office demanding that Russia be given access to the investigation and the injured Russian citizens, as well as requesting legal assistance and proposing cooperation, including on the joint inquiry. The UK authorities have not responded to any of these notes.
On September 5, the UK prosecutors charged Russian citizens Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov with attempted murder of Skripal and his daughter as well as police officer Nick Bailey. In an interview with the RT broadcaster and Sputnik, Petrov and Boshirov said that they had visited Salisbury, but emphasized that they knew nothing about the Skripals and worked in the fitness industry. According to Boshirov, Salisbury is a tourist city with a famous cathedral. Petrov and Boshirov told RT and Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan that they wanted to see the sights — the Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum. In late September, Bellingcat in cooperation with The Insider Russia media outlet claimed that they had identified Boshirov as Russian military intelligence colonel Anatoliy Chepiga.