Third Alleged Russian Agent Involved In Skripal Mission Identified

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The FINANCIAL — A third suspected Russian military intelligence officer who carried out a reconnaissance mission before the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter has been identified by British counterterrorism police and the security services, The Telegraph newspaper reported.

The alleged Russian agent is believed to have visited Salisbury to help plan the attack before two of his colleagues brought Novichok, a military-grade chemical weapon that was developed in the Soviet Union, into Britain, The Telegraph said.

The attack in March left Skripal, 67, and his daughter Yulia, 34, in critical condition, but both recovered after weeks in the hospital.

In June, a British citizen, Dawn Sturgess, died and her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, fell ill when they stumbled across remnants of the poison in a town near Salisbury.

On September 5, Britain announced charges against the two Russian men as police issued photographs of the suspects.

Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attempted murder of the Skripals.

Russian President Vladimir Putin previously said the two men shown in British surveillance footage near Skripal’s home in the English city of Salisbury were civilians on a tourist trip.

The investigative website Bellingcat reported on September 26 that the real identity of one of the two Russians blamed by Britain for the Salisbury nerve agent attack on Skripal is Anatoly Chepiga, adding that he was a decorated Russian colonel.

The poisoning led Britain, the United States, the European Union, and others to carry out a series of diplomatic expulsions and financial sanctions against Moscow.

 

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