'Heroes' picture that revealed true identity of novichok killer

'Heroes' picture that revealed true identity of novichok killer

'Heroes' picture that revealed true identity of novichok killer

It added: "Based on the array of information sources consulted - all of which were independent from each other and came from different time periods - Bellingcat was able to conclude with certainty that the person identified by United Kingdom authorities as "Ruslan Boshirov" is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga, a highly decorated senior officer from Russian military intelligence who was awarded the highest state honour in late 2014".

Earlier this month, British prosecutors charged two Russians - identified as Ruslan Boshirov and Aleksandr Petrov - with attempted murder for carrying out the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with the Novichok nerve toxin in the southern English city of Salisbury earlier this year.

ONE of the two prime suspects in the Salisbury nerve agent poisonings is a senior Russian military intelligence officer, it was revealed last night.

Anatoliy Chepiga's 2003 passport photo and (right) the picture of Ruslan Boshirov, released by British police.

Following Bellingcat's own identification, multiple sources familiar with the person and/or the investigation have confirmed the suspect's identity.

But according to the British website Bellingcat, Boshirov is actually an intelligence officer by the name of Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga.

The men were seen in Salisbury on the day of the attack, 4 March, according to CCTV footage.

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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. Investigative group Bellingcat said Wednesday that Boshirov is in fact Col. Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly-decorated colonel of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU.

It has now emerged that he fought for a feared special forces Spetsnaz unit - which is under the command of the GRU - for 17 years, and worked for at least nine. The pair survived but Dawn Sturgess - a woman not connected to the original attack - died in July after being exposed to the same substance.

She told the UN Security Council in New York: 'We have taken appropriate action, with our allies, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our collective security.

"Russia has only sought to obfuscate through desperate fabrication", she said.

The Foreign Office did not comment but the BBC said it understood officials did not dispute the revelations by investigative website Bellingcat.

The prime minister said Russia had "flagrantly breach [ing] worldwide norms" and condemned "the reckless use of chemical weapons on the streets of Britain by agents of the Russian GRU".

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