Russian spy poisoning suspect was ‘honoured by Putin’

Published: September 27, 2018 15:30:53 | Updated: October 01, 2018 18:01:22

Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov (R) in the pictures published by British police

A Russian man accused of the Salisbury poisoning is a military officer who received an honour from Vladimir Putin, an investigative website says.

Following the attempted poisoning in March, UK investigators identified one of the two suspects as Ruslan Boshirov.

President Putin claimed Boshirov was a civilian, and on Russian TV, he himself said he visited Salisbury as a tourist.

But the website Bellingcat says he is actually an intelligence officer by the name of Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, reports the BBC.

He has served in Chechnya and Ukraine and was made a "Hero of the Russian Federation" in 2014.

British officials have not commented.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed the new claims, saying there was no evidence.

Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal - who sold secrets to MI6 - and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok on 4 March.

Both Mr Skripal and his daughter survived, but Dawn Sturgess - a local woman not connected to the original attack - died in July after being exposed to the same substance.

It is thought Chepiga travelled to the UK on a false passport, along with another Russian national who used the name Alexander Petrov.


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