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Bellingcat claims it has identified second Skripal poisoning suspect as military doctor

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Novichok suspects

Alexander Mishkin current military rank is unknown.

The Bellingcat journalist investigations website last night named Alexander Mishkin, a 39-year-old military doctor working for Russia's GRU intelligence service, as one of the two men who had travelled to Britain in March to try to murder Sergei Skripal, the former Russian double agent.

Last month, Bellingcat named the first suspect as Anatoliy Chepiga, a claim also rejected by Russian Federation.

During his studies he was recruited by the GRU military intelligence agency and by 2010 had relocated to Moscow, where he received his undercover identity - including a second national ID and travel passport - under the alias Alexander Petrov. "The eyes of other governments and the wider public will have been opened to what is really going on", Hague said. The British government has blamed Russian Federation for the attack.

FILE - A still image taken from CCTV and issued by the Metropolitan Police in London Sept. 5, 2018, shows a man then identified as Alexander Petrov at Gatwick airport, England, March 2, 2018.

The US Justice Department also charged seven GRU officers in an alleged global hacking rampage that targeted more than 250 athletes, a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company, a Swiss chemical laboratory and the chemical weapons watchdog.

Officials in the Netherlands, where the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is based, said four Russians had been expelled after the alleged cyber strike.

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. The group says it will provide forensic evidence and further information Tuesday about how it identified Mishkin.

British lawmaker Bob Seely, a member of the British parliament's foreign affairs committee, said, "It is appalling that a medical doctor appears to have been part of a team of GRU operatives".

A woman later died from Novichok poisoning after her partner found a counterfeit perfume bottle which police believe had been used to smuggle the nerve agent into Britain.

The suspect identified as Petrov was actually Dr Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, the Bellingcat group said.

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.

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.

Unlike the case of Anatoliy Chepiga, "Petrov"'s cover identity retained most of the biographical characteristics of the authentic Mishkin - such as the exact birth date, first and patronymic name, and first names of his parents.

Bellingcat cross-referenced this information with other leaked databases, including a auto insurance database which identified the same man as the driver of a Volvo registered to the GRU headquarters.

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