Little-Known UK Site Bellingcat Hunts Online for Scoops

Little-Known UK Site Bellingcat Hunts Online for Scoops

Little-Known UK Site Bellingcat Hunts Online for Scoops

British officials said when they charged two Russians last month in the March nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter that they believed Petrov was an assumed name.

The full report, presented by two Bellingcat reporters at Westminster on Tuesday, explained how they had pieced together evidence of the man's identity from scraps of information on the internet, via leaked official databases and using a copy of personal documents, including passport dossiers.

Dr Mishkin, named as Alexander Petrov by Scotland Yard, listed GRU headquarters in Moscow as his home address and used his own birthdate on his fake passport, Bellingcat claims. "The eyes of other governments and the wider public will have been opened to what is really going on", Hague said.

In late 2014 Mishkin was given the Hero of the Russian Federation Award, which Bellingcat was told was for activities "either in Crimea or in relation to [former Ukrainian president] Yanukovich".

The GRU has also been blamed for a string of cyber attacks targeting political institutions, businesses, media and sport.

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. Nor has the Kremlin been helped by other GRU agents in recent Russian espionage operations in Europe, who appeared also weak on the basics of traditional spycraft.

Last week, authorities in the Netherlands alleged the GRU tried and failed into the world's chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

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The two suspects in the attempted assassination of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal were originally named by the United Kingdom authorities as Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov - although it was made clear that the names were aliases. The British woman, Dawn Sturgess, died after unwittingly spraying the novichok on her wrists. The two men had previously claimed to be Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, sports nutritionists with a passion for gothic-style cathedrals.

A still image taken from a video footage and released by RT global news channel on September 13, 2018, shows two Russian men with the same names, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as those accused by Britain over the case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, during an interview at an unidentified location, Russia.

The name of the second suspect in the Salisbury case is actually Alexander Mishkin, the BBC understands.

The UK-based investigative website Bellingcat has said it has identified the second suspect in the Salisbury nerve agent poisonings as a doctor belonging to Russia's military intelligence agency the GRU.

'Interestingly, we have not seen her because the moment we announced this press conference today, the grandmother was asked to visit her children - Mr Mishkin's father and mother - in another town so she vanished from the village three days ago, ' he said.

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

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