United Kingdom poisoning suspect reportedly a Russian colonel

27 September, 2018, 17:25 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Investigative group: Spy poisoning suspect is GRU colonel

A fortnight later and it has been claimed that the Russian president himself bestowed the nation's highest military honour on Boshirov, whose real identity is said to be Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated colonel in the GRU intelligence service.

Police officers search the home of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, who was found critically ill on a bench with his daughter on March 4, 2018, and were taken to hospital sparking a major incident, in Wiltshire, England, March 8, 2018.

The investigative group said it was "highly likely" that Putin - who this month claimed the two suspects are "civilians" - knows Chepiga because he personally hands out these awards.

The man who entered Britain in March as Ruslan Boshirov has been identified as Col Anatoliy Chepiga.

Bellingcat, an open-source investigation website that has reported on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, says that one of the two men - whose passport name is Ruslan Boshirov - is actually Anatoly Chepiga, who was deployed to Chechnya three times and in 2014 was given a "Hero of the Russian Federation" citation, the country's highest award. "Russia has only sought to obfuscate through desperate fabrication".

In December 2014, he was made a Hero of the Russian Federation.


"It was long enough for Reuters to quote it in a report, however, running under the headline: "'True identity' of Salisbury suspect revealed, United Kingdom defense minister says".

UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson triumphantly tweeted thanks to Bellingcat for supposedly identifying one of the Sergei Skripal poisoning suspects as a Russian colonel. They denied the British claim that they were Russian military intelligence officers, saying they work in the nutritional supplements business.

British officials say CCTV video shows that Boshirov and Petrov surveilled the Skripals residence at least once and took a late-night flight back to Moscow on the day they were poisoned. Britain has said the attack received approval "at a senior level of the Russian state", an accusation Moscow has fiercely denied.

Rushlan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov had already been roundly mocked for claiming that they were tourists in Salisbury and that a visit to the cathedral was thwarted by snow. He was then assigned to serve in the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade in Russia's farthest-eastern city of Khabarovsk, one of the elite Spetsnaz units under GRU command.

They are also wanted for the attempted murder of Col Skripal and his daughter Julia.

It said they were undercover officers for the Russian military intelligence, the GRU.

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