An investigative group in Britain says it has recognized one of many two suspects within the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy within the U.Okay. as a highly-decorated colonel of the Russian army intelligence company GRU.
The group, Bellingcat, mentioned Wednesday that the suspect, whose passport title was Ruslan Boshirov, is the truth is Col. Anatoliy Chepiga, who in 2014 was awarded Russia’s highest medal, the Hero of Russia.
Britain has charged Boshirov and one other suspect, Alexander Petrov, with attempting to kill Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March four with the Soviet-designed nerve agent Novichok within the English metropolis of Salisbury. Britain has mentioned the assault obtained approval “at a senior degree of the Russian state,” an accusation Moscow has fiercely denied.
There was no rapid remark from Moscow on Bellingcat’s newest declare.
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The 2 Russian males have appeared on the state-funded RT channel, saying they visited Salisbury as vacationers and had nothing to do with the Skripal poisoning. They denied the British declare that they have been Russian army intelligence officers, saying they work within the dietary dietary supplements enterprise.
Bellingcat mentioned it perused photos of graduates of Russian army academies and located a person resembling Boshirov in a bunch shot. It then narrowed its search to at least one army officer, Chepiga, utilizing leaked Russian databases accessible on the web. The group ultimately tracked down Chepiga’s passport file, dated 2003, with an image bearing a robust resemblance to Boshirov.
It mentioned Chepiga served a number of stints in Chechnya, the place Russian forces have been preventing Islamic rebels. The group famous that the officer was adorned with the Hero of Russia medal in December 2014, signalling that he possible obtained the excessive award for his actions in japanese Ukraine.