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Russian Website Names Third Person Allegedly Involved In Skripal Poisoning


Men identifying themselves as Ruslan Boshirov (left) and Aleksandr Petrov -- now believed to be GRU officers Anatoly Chepiga (left) and Aleksandr Mishkin -- speak to the Kremlin-funded RT channel in Moscow on September 13.

Russian website fontanka.ru says a GRU military intelligence operative whose name is Sergei Fedotov is allegedly the third Russian agent involved in trying to kill former spy Sergei Skripal in Britain earlier this year.

Cybersleuthing group Bellingcat has named two men who Britain suspects poisoned Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March as being GRU officers Aleksandr Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, who were awarded Hero of the Russian Federation medals by President Vladimir Putin for actions in Ukraine.

In a post on October 10, fontanka.ru said it has learned that Britain is ready to declare the 45-year-old Fedotov as an accomplice to Mishkin and Chepiga, who traveled to Britain under the names Aleksandr Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

The website said records show Fedotov visited Britain in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and left the country on March 4 of this year, when Mishkin and Chepiga also flew out of Britain and the same day Skripal and his daughter were found slumped on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury.

Furthermore, fontanka.ru said, Fedotov in January and February 2014 traveled to the Czech Republic at the same time as Mishkin and Chepiga.

The fontana.ru posting came the same day as a report by Czech Radio (CR), which said the two Russians shadowed Skripal in Prague in 2014 while he was in the Czech capital.

Britain said the Skripals were poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union, and mentioned the two men who traveled with passports under the names of Petrov and Boshirov as officers from the GRU who carried out the attack.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the poisoning, as have the two men identified by Britain.

The Skripals survived after weeks in critical condition, but Dawn Sturgess, a woman who authorities said came in contact with the poison after her boyfriend found a fake perfume bottle containing it, died in July.

Last month, The Telegraph newspaper said British police had identified a third Russian intelligence officer they believe carried out a reconnaissance mission before the attempted murder of Skripal.

The paper did not name him.

With reporting by Reuters
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