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Skripal Suspect Boshirov Identified as GRU Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga

September 26, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Translations: Русский

Bellingcat and its investigative partner The Insider – Russia have established conclusively the identity of one of the suspects in the poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal, and in the homicide of British citizen Dawn Sturgess. 

Part 1 and Part 2 of Bellingcat’s investigation into the Skripal poisoning suspects are available for background information. In these previous two parts of the investigation, Bellingcat and the Insider concluded that the two suspects – traveling internationally and appearing on Russian television under the aliases “Ruslan Boshirov” and “Alexander Petrov” – are in fact undercover officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, widely known as GRU.

Bellingcat has been able to confirm the actual identity of one of the two officers. The suspect using the cover identity of “Ruslan Boshirov” is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated GRU officer bestowed with Russia’s highest state award, Hero of the Russian Federation. Following Bellingcat’s own identification, multiple sources familiar with the person and/or the investigation have confirmed the suspect’s identity.

This finding eliminates any remaining doubt that the two suspects in the Novichok poisonings were in fact Russian officers operating on a clandestine government mission.

While civilians in Russia can generally own more than one passport, no civilian – or even an intelligence service officer on a personal trip – can cross the state border under a fake identity. The discovery also highlights the extent of the effort – and public diplomacy risk – Russia has taken to protect the identities of the officers. President Putin publicly vouched that “Boshirov” and “Petrov” are civilians. As it is established practice that the awards Hero of the Russian Federation are handed out by the Russian president personally, it is highly likely that Vladimir Putin would have been familiar with the identity of Colonel Chepiga, given that only a handful of officers receive this award each year.

Who is Colonel Chepiga?

Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga was born on 5 April 1979, in the far-eastern village of Nikolaevka in the Amur oblast, population 300, near the Russia-China border. At age 18, he enrolled at a military school just 40 kilometers from his home, the Far-Eastern Military Command Academy in Blagoveschensk, one of Russia’s elite training grounds for marine commandos and Spetsnaz officers.

Anatoliy Chepiga graduated the academy with honors in 2001. He was then assigned to serve in the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade in Russia’s farthest-eastern city of Khabarovsk, one of the elite Spetsnaz units under GRU command. Chepiga’s unit (74854, formerly 20662) played a key role in the second Chechen War, and was also observed near the Ukrainian border in late 2014.

Over the course of his assignment to the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade, Colonel Chepiga was deployed three times to Chechnya. The specific operations he was involved in are not known; however, a website of a far-eastern branch of a state-run military volunteer organization reports that he received over 20 military awards in the course of his service.

At some point between 2003 (the last year we identified him at the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade in Khabarovsk) and 2010 (the year he received his first undercover passport), Anatoliy Chepiga was assigned his alter ego, “Ruslan Boshirov”, and was relocated to Moscow. Given his current rank of Colonel and function as a clandestine GRU officer, it is plausible that during this period he graduated from the Military Diplomatic Academy, also known as the “GRU Conservatory,” in Moscow.

In December 2014, Colonel Chepiga was awarded Russia’s highest state awardHero of the Russian Federation.This award is bestowed personally by the President of Russia “as recognition of services to the state and the people of Russia involving a heroic deed”.

Most of the awards are handed out in public ceremonies – and accompanied by a presidential decree, such as the award in 2016 to Russian officers fighting in Syria. Other presidential decrees – when the underlying act of heroism is subject to state secrecy – are kept secret. This is the case with the award to Colonel Chepiga. While there is no publicly issued decree – or reference to him on the Kremlin website – the state-run volunteer website specifies that he received the award “in December 2014…for conducting a peace-keeping mission.”

Indeed, the fact that Colonel Chepiga was bestowed the Hero of Russia award is announced on the website of his military school. While most other recipients of the award have a detailed description of the acts that resulted in the recognition, the last two recipients – Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Popov – received only a terse statement: “by decree from the Russian president.” This further implies that the mission he – or they – were awarded for was secret.

Memorial wall of the Far Eastern Military Command School with Colonel Chepiga as the last name under the Gold Star honor list

The phrasing and timing of the award provides significant clues as to where Colonel Chepiga’s mission was. In 2014, there were no military activities in Chechnya. Russia had not engaged militarily in Syria yet. The only region in which Russia was conducting active military operations in secrecy at the time was in Eastern Ukraine, which is the most likely theatre of his mission, as suggested by the secrecy of his award.

Anatoliy Chepiga is married and has one child.

The Challenge of Finding Colonel Chepiga

Bellingcat began the search with only the two targets’ photographs and their cover identities. Initially we attempted reverse image-search via several online engines, but no matches were found. Similarly, no name telephone numbers were registered in the name of “Ruslan Boshirov” in any of the reverse-searchable telephone databases usually scraped by Bellingcat.

Having tried these initial avenues of pursuit, Bellingcat and the Insider approached the search deductively. On the assumption that the two suspects were GRU officers with a focus on West European covert operations (see our second publication about the Skripal poisoning suspects), and knowing their approximate age, we contacted former Russian military officers to inquire what specialized schools would have provided appropriate training. One of the sources we contacted suggested that the school with the best reputation for foreign-language training and overseas clandestine operations at the turn of the century – when the two suspects would have studied – was the Far Eastern Military Command Academy. The graduation years for the two were estimated between 2001 and 2003.

We browsed through multiple (incomplete) yearbook photos and reunion galleries of the classes of 2001-2003 but did not find exact matches for either of the suspects. There were several possible – but not certain – matches for the suspect “Boshirov”. One of these was in a group photograph from a 2018 article about the history of the Academy. Near a photograph of Academy graduates deployed in Chechnya, the text referred to “seven school graduates [who] were bestowed with the Hero of Russia Award”.

Photo of DVOKU graduates on assignment in Chechnya, undated. Bellingcat does not claim that the person on the right is Chepiga; photograph included for completeness of research process only

While testing the hypothesis that the unnamed person at right-most end of the photo might be “Boshirov,” we searched online for references to “DVOKU” (the Russian abbreviation for the Far Eastern Military Command Academy), “Chechnya” and “Hero of the Russian Federation.” This search landed us at the above-referenced Volunteer Union website, which described a certain Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga as linked to all three search terms.

Online searches in both Google and via two Russian search engines found no images, or social media presence, related to a Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, or to anyone by that name with a military connection. This appeared to be highly unusual, given the fact he had been awarded the highest state honor.

Subsequently, the research team scoured leaked Russian databases for references to Anatoliy Chepiga. A number of leaked residential and/or telephone databases of various Russian cities and regions are freely available as torrents on the internet; data in such databases varies in recency between 2000 and 2014.

The research team was able to find Anatoliy Chepiga in two locations and time periods in the database: in 2003, in Khabarovsk; and in 2012 in Moscow.

In the 2003 database, a certain Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga was listed with a phone number and an address only described as “в/ч 20662“, the Russian abbreviation for Military Unit 20662. 20662 is the Ministry of Defense designation number of Spetsnaz unit of GRU’s 14th Brigade in Khabarovsk.

At press time, the telephone number listed next to the name of Anatoliy Chepiga was used by a person who has owned it for 4 years, and who was not aware of the previous owner of the number.

Bellingcat accepted the working assumption that this person was indeed Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, described in the publication as “Hero of the Russian Federation”.

In the 2012 database, one person named Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga were listed as residing in Moscow. This man was born on 5 April 1979.

Using the birth date, address and family members’ names, Bellingcat searched for this man online and on social networks, to no avail. Another person with the same full name and birth year – but a different date of birth – was identified as a business owner unrelated to “Boshirov”. The birth year (1979) of the candidate from the database was one year later than the birth year in “Boshirov”s cover documents, however it corresponded to a graduation year from the military academy in 2001.

At this point, Bellingcat accepted the working hypothesis that the man from the 2003 and 2012 databases is the same, and is in fact Colonel Chepiga, Hero of the Russian Federation.

To establish if he is, in fact, “Boshirov,” we needed to obtain a photograph. None were available online or in open sources, even in a number of articles that referred to “Hero of Russia Colonel Chepiga.” Another graduate of DVOKU who reportedly received the same award simultaneously with Chepiga  – Alexander Popov – could be seen in photos and videos, yet Chepiga was conspicuously absent. The systematic omission from photographs of an otherwise notable figure – which Bellingcat had previously observed in the case of GRU General Oleg Ivannikov, who served as Minister of Defense of South Ossetia under the cover identity of Andrey Laptev – suggested that Colonel Chepiga may also be a secret service officer.

To validate the hypothesis that Chepiga is Skripal poisoning suspect “Boshirov,” Bellingcat and The Insider obtained extracts from the passport file of Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga – the man born on 5th April 1979 – from two separate sources with access to databases dated prior to 2014.

The passport file contained a photograph – dated approximately in 2003, when this passport was obtained – that strongly resembled a younger “Boshirov” as seen in passport photos released by the UK police, with an even stronger resemblance to the cover identity passport photo published in our previous publication on the Skripal suspects.

Left: Anatoliy Chepiga’s passport photo from 2003. Middle: “Ruslan Boshirov”‘s passport photo from 2009. Right: “Ruslan Boshirov”, as seen in a photograph released by UK police

A passport application form in the passport dossier listed Chepiga’s 2003 place of residence as “Military Unit 20662, Khabarovsk”, confirming this was indeed the person identified in the 2003 database. It also listed his place of birth as “village of Nikolaevka”, further linking this person to the Hero of the Russian Federation with the same name.

The passport application form identified also Anatoliy Chepiga’s marital status and listed his military ID number.

A Mission of Critical Importance

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 UK 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 honor in late 2014.

This finding starkly contradicts both this man’s statements, as made in a TV interview to Russia’s state-run RT network, and President Vladimir Putin’s assertions that the person in question is merely a civilian named Ruslan Boshirov. These demonstrated falsehoods overshadow this man’s – and the Russian government’s – other denials in this respect, and corroborate the UK authorities’ allegations that this individual was a) complicit in the Skripal poisoning and b) acted on orders from a high-level government authority in Russia.

Bellingcat has contacted confidentially a former Russian military officer of similar rank as Colonel Chepiga, in order to receive a reaction to what we found. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed surprise that at least one of the operatives engaged in the operation in Salisbury had the rank of colonel. Even more surprising was the suspects’ prior award of the highest military recognition.

In our source’s words, an operation of this sort would have typically required a lower-ranked, “field operative” with a military rank of “no higher than captain.” The source further surmised that to send a highly decorated colonel back to a field job would be highly extraordinary, and would imply that “the job was ordered at the highest level.”

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  1. Stewart

    An interesting new piece of information has appeared in the new Mark Urban book on Mr Skripal. It seems that Sergei spent a week in Switzerland last summer “briefing” Swiss intelligence agencies.
    We also know that Petrov and Boshirov have spent a considerable amount of time in Switzerland prior to the attack, 6 separate visits according to Swiss sources but fewer according to Petrov and Boshirov in their RT interview.
    There may be nothing in it but wouldn’t it be interesting to know whether their visits ever coincided and whether they stayed in the same town, maybe even in the same hotels?
    The pair seemed to favour Geneva. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know if Sergei Skripal was ever in Geneva at the same time as Alexander and Ruslan?
    Gosh, imagine if there is actual CCTV footage showing them together. That would be an amazing co-incidence!

    • Nemo

      The authorities would have the dates from airline bookings, which could shoot down the theory of them meeting in seconds.

      It’s been said Mr Skripal was interested in going back to Russia. The conspiracy theorists are undoubtedly right now proposing they had a preliminary meeting in Switzerland, Petrov and Boshirov went to Salisbury to take him back to London, then fly out with them, they were spooked on the Sat. by security agents, went back Sun. for another try, only to see more security, so fled back to London, only to hear that the Skripal’s had been poisoned by MI5 that afternoon after they spotted Petrov and Boshirov and realised Mr Skripal was trying to go back to Russia, and then MI5 framed Petrov and Boshirov by spreading Novichok at their hotel.

      One problem with such a theory: it would make Petrov and Boshirov GRU agents, which conspiracy theorists / disinformation agents are desperate to deny, as they did.

      For the record, since there’s been at least one mis-reading of what I presented as a comedy fantasy as to what I thought actually happened, no I don’t believe what may emerge as that conspiracy theory. I’m sure Petrov and Boshirov attempted to kill the Skripals under orders from high Russian authority, probably including contact with Putin in the form of at least a personal phone call.

  2. Nemo

    Stewart, your ‘two gay Russian lovers out for a few days in England’ is contradicted by:

    1) RT interview (
    7:28 to 8:27 deny having perfume, ask why straight men would have it (idiots!, ‘to give to a girlfriend’ is the answer!)
    8:28 to 9:03 questioned on whether straight, evaded answer, saying interview becoming an interrogation.

    2) The 16/9/18 newspaper reports you gave us of their use of a (female) prostitute at their hotel, where the source was certain they were not having homosexual sex.

    Anyway, I don’t see any relevance to the point. They surely would not come to UK only for this activity, anymore than anyone would come from Russia to Salisbury for drugs – Amsterdam, Brixton, Manchester, … yes, but Salisbury?!?!

  3. Stewart

    Nemo, I think the first thing I wrote on this site was that I thought the pair were lying in the RT interview. When I first saw the interview the “gay lover ” scenario jumped out at me and I’ve still not entirely dismissed it though, as you will recall, I said I thought they had some connection with the Skripal incident and I still do.
    Not sure what you’re suggesting.
    I used the incident involving drink, drug’s and prostitutes as evidence that they were not Russian intelligence agents on an assassination mission. You seem to think the most significant thing it proves is that they are not gay.
    I think the problem here is that you believe I am arguing that Russia is good and the UK is bad. This is not my position. I came on here to point out that the narrative that suggests the Skripal attempted murder was a high-powered Russian intelligence operation is unbelievable as it stands and nothing I’ve read here or elsewhere since has changed my mind.
    As I’ve said before, I don’t know what really happened though I’m leaning towards the idea that Petrov and Boshirov were patsies of some kind.
    You say above “I’m sure Petrov and Boshirov attempted to kill the Skripals under orders from high Russian authority, probably including contact with Putin in the form of at least a personal phone call.”
    I do not believe that any reasonable person can seriously suggest that Laurelov and Hardyov were highly trained Russian intelligence officers or that the narrative of the mission to kill Mr Skripal as presented to us by the UK media is in any way credible.
    I have given my reasons in the posts above and I stand by them.

    • Jeroen

      I do not believe either that both men were looking for the beautiful Salisbury spire and ”by accident” lost there way, ended up in the Montgomery Gardens playground just 200 yards from Skripal’s house, and had to rest there a while, because they were extremely exhausted after al long walk through knee high slush…….

    • Nemo


      I don’t think ‘not homosexual’ is ‘significant’, nor do I think that the sex and drugs part is either. I thought it was evident that I thought homosexuality, sex and drugs were irrelevant either way.

      Neither, before, have I believed you were arguing Russia good, UK bad.

      I can think of 3 different patsy scenarios, one of which I critiqued & rejected in a reply to raffik on 28/9/18. I can amplify that, and go through the other 2 tomorrow. One stumbling block in all is the Novichok in the ‘patsies’ hotel room – how did it get there?

      It really is not adequate to say ‘patsies’ and leave it at that. Those who say that need to make an attempt to bring together the facts as known, and give a scenario that satisfies means, motive, and opportunity. As Eddie Storey has repeatedly pointed out, as GRU Petrov and Boshirov had all three. Also, as he, I, others have pointed out, they are not clowns, they are free and in Russia, and short of a revolution that leaves Putin swinging from a lamp-post, are never going to be held to account.

      From the Russian point of view there are 3 aspects to such an assassination:

      1) Revenge – satisfied if nobody realises there has been an assassination.

      2) Stopping the defector being of further use to the host – satisfied if nobody realises there has been an assassination.

      3) Deterrence. Deterrence of successful defectors continuing to help the host (may be left alone if they do), and, above all, deterrence of future would-be defectors – NOT satisfied if nobody realises there has been an assassination. A death understood to be assassination might deter 10 to 100 would-be defectors.

      The cost to Russia if 1 and / or 2 ARE realised to be assassinations is the same as for 3 – some interruption of international relations. So, the maths says the big pay-off comes with 3 (which necessarily includes 1 & 2). BUT to get that pay-off the targets have to understand (‘know’) that there was an assassination – THERE HAS TO BE EVIDENCE, yet ‘plausible deniability’. So, what level of evidence? Well, for a criminal prosecution the plausibility of the denial is intended to be SUFFICIENT to cause ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ to fail (at least in sectors of the public, also in actual trial). However, if I’m an intending Russian defector, or an actual one, and my life may be at stake, I’m going to be scared witless at a level far below reasonable doubt, the civil one of ‘balance of probability’ will do it. CONCLUSION: for the big pay-off there HAS to be evidence left at a level between ‘balance’ (possibly even lower) and ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

      What’s debated here can be thought to be academic, but it’s not academic to Russians here with political asylum. They know Russia, and they will act on the BALANCE of evidence / message that there has been an attempted assassination with plausible deniability. NO EVIDENCE, THEN NO MESSAGE, and 3) fails.

      Russian authorities have no doubt there is a message, and are killing themselves with laughter at it, and the gullibility of the ‘useful idiots’ who think that the attempted assassination of the Skripals was not one,

      ‘On 6 March 2018 Andrey Lugovoy, deputy of Russia′s State Duma … alleged killer of Alexander Litvinenko … said: “Something constantly happens to Russian citizens who either run away from Russian justice, or for some reason choose for themselves a way of life they call a change of their Motherland. So the more Britain accepts on its territory every good-for-nothing, every scum from all over the world, the more problems they will have’.

      ‘Russian state-run main national TV channels largely ignored the incident.
      Eventually, on 7 March, anchor Kirill Kleimyonov of the state television station Channel One … said that being “a traitor to the motherland” was one of the most hazardous professions and warned: “Don’t choose England as a next country to live in. Whatever the reasons, whether you’re a professional traitor to the motherland or you just hate your country in your spare time, I repeat, no matter, don’t move to England. Something is not right there. Maybe it’s the climate, but in recent years there have been too many strange incidents with a grave outcome. People get hanged, poisoned, they die in helicopter crashes and fall out of windows in industrial quantities.” Kleimyonov’s commentary was accompanied by a report highlighting previous suspicious Russia-related deaths in the UK, namely those of financier Alexander Perepilichny, businessman Boris Berezovsky, ex-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko and radiation expert Matthew Puncher. Puncher discovered that Litvinenko was poisoned by polonium; he died in 2006, five months after a trip to Russia.’

      ‘The host of the Vesti Nedeli on Russian state television (Russia-1 channel of VGTRK), Dmitry Kiselyov, said on 11 March that the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, who was “completely wrung out and of little interest” … Kiselyov referred to London as a “pernicious place for Russian exiles”. The prominent Russian television hosts’ warnings to Russians living in the UK were echoed by a similar direct warning from a senior member of the Russian Federation Council, Andrey Klimov, who said: “It’s going to be very unsafe for you.” [Nemo comments: this isn’t a warning, it’s a threat, a threat of assassination].

      German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt described Russia as ‘Upper Volta – with missiles’ (if it didn’t have missiles you would never have heard of it). Now this gangster state is known as ‘Nigeria – in the snow’, due to its corruption.

      • Nemo


        Bondski walks along a corridor, through a side door sparks and smoke come from a man getting Phone Call to Putinski.

        Bondski enters a room.
        Moneypennyski: James!
        Bondski: Moneypennyski.
        Moneypennyski: Mski will see you now.

        Bondski enters the next room.
        Mski sits at a desk, through the window behind golden onion domes shimmer.

        Mski: So Commander, back from Britain, with bodies left behind from one end of the country to the other. What are you thinking of man?
        Bondski: Just doing my job, sir.
        Mski: Look at these newspaper reports: people get hanged, poisoned, they die in helicopter crashes and fall out of windows in industrial quantities.
        Bondski: Something is not right there sir, very unsafe, maybe it’s the climate?
        Mski: And look at the findings – suicide, accident, death due to natural causes …
        Bondski: Yes…?
        Mski: Evidence Bondski!, evidence! We pay by known results.
        Bondski: I see sir.
        Mski: You’re our best man Bondski, and that’s the trouble; if you can’t make a worse job of it than this then you will be removed from OO duties. Understood?
        Bondski: Understood sir.

        He exits the room.
        Moneypennyski, waving her left hand in the air, wriggling its ring finger: James …?
        Bondski, passing Moneypennyski a little case from his pocket: Now you mention it.
        Moneypennyski, opening case and seeing a golden ring with a perfect shining crystal: Oh James! Yes!, so you knew ‘ice’ is a girl’s best friend!

        Bondski starts leaving room.
        Moneypennyski, ring on finger: It’s so cool!
        Bondski, leaving room humming theme tune ‘Gold-digger’ of a popular film: ‘Yes’, then to himself, ‘You soon will be’.
        Bondski: after closing door: Five, four, three, two, …

        From inside the room: a loud thump, then scrabbling.

        Bondski: Shaking….

        From inside the room: silence.

        Bondski: Not stirring.
        Bondski, on mobile: Bondski, cancel dinner for two tonight, make it a Celebration for one.

        Bondski goes down the corridor, meeting Qski.

        Bondski: Congratulations on your new product Qski.
        Qski: Bondski?
        Bondski: You can be particularly proud of NoviIce.


    • Nemo


      I recognise only 2 significant mistakes in the mission against the Skripals:

      1) The issue to GRU agents of passports with consecutive numbers. This was done by administrators (not operatives), and years before the mission.

      2) In the RT interview , saying they were businessmen in a ‘mid-size’ enterprise, for which there is no audit trail.

      What other errors are there?

      It seems you, & others, grossly over-rate the GRU:

      Daily Telegraph 5/10/18, Dutch & international arrests of Russian agents, particularly their operators against OPCW:

      Report, ”Putin’s bungling spies leave damning proof of their cyber hacking mission”: …One senior British military officer said last night: ”This is pure John-ski English” in reference to the bungling spy played by Rowan Atkinson. …

      Commentary, Con Coughlin:
      …The only problem for Mr Putin is that, far from an organisation famed for its fearless and ruthless approach, the GRU is starting to look more like a Laurel and Hardy comedy outfit. …

  4. Stewart

    I don’t believe it either, Jeroen. But neither do I believe that they were highly trained Russian intelligence officers on a high-level assassination mission in a foreign country using the most dangerous substance known to mankind.

    • H. Elpin

      You are right. They were not highly trained. In any case, not enough for this mission.

    • Black Star

      Sane people have reasons to believe or not to believe in a claim. You seem to have no real reason, which is… insane?

    • Dave54

      Still don’t understand why you keep showing 3 pictures of the suspect, the one of the left obviously being a completely different person, even the BBC ended up showing just 2 photos of the same guy as the story didn’t make sense…

  5. raffik

    Traces of Novichok in the hotel can be justified with the fact, that most of Salinsbury was filled up with such traces. I am sure that most of houses and floors of people who visited and lived in Salinsbury where contaminated with small particles of Novichok. Absolutely it is not a proof, it simply confirms that the two where in Salinsbury.
    Now the possibilities are 2:
    1- Uk intelligence is hiding other infos, real proofs
    2-Uk intelligence does not have any substantial proof but it needs to justify (retroactively) a huge ritorsion against Russia Fed.

    • That_vlado

      It speaks a lot of who gave the orders at highest place from Putin’s emotional labeling of Skripal as a “traitor”. He does not bother of people abroad and seems to even prefer for people in Russia to know how long his hand is.

  6. raffik

    When we analyze events we should never forget the question “why”.
    Everybody is telling Russia is guilty and the stream medias in the west ,pretend to offer quantities of proofs.
    Why a second appearing of novichok in Salinsbury? Why so fast the reaction to accuse again russia and again more sanctions?
    Are Usa afraid that countries like Italy will refuse to sanction Russia? is this second wave of novichok a sort of reinforcement to block any discussion about abolishing sanctions against Russia?
    Any honest tribunal would not accept the story offered by Uk intelligence. The cameras’ images are not enough, the traces of novichok in the hotel are not a proof. Very likely all inhabitants and tourists who walked in Salinsbury that day and after, had their shoes, clothes contaminated with particles of novichok.
    It looks like that somebody is rushing to impede in Europe’s new governments, the voice of dissent about the isolation and defamation that Usa is building against anything that is Russian. There is wide evidence of that and the scale of this manouver touches all cultural aspects: newspapers, editors, broadcasting, radios, movies… Anything is carefully planned to demonize Russia and keep Europe far from getting in touch with it. The Skripal case, is very probably one of the many cases built to justify incircling and demonizing Russia.
    Proofs? Open any newspaper, watch any movies and carefully notice that anything having to do with Russia is depicted as negative. is this just a case or part of a big conspiration where hundreds of journalists, editors, filmakers, “intellectuals”, politicians… are lobbying?

  7. Stewart

    Raffik, it is hard to believe that the small amount of novichok used in failing to murder the Skripals, later infected most of the pedestrians in Salisbury that inclement weekend.
    As far as the traces later found at the London hotel in Bow are concerned, this is even more strange as the “official” British narrative has Petrov and Boshirov immediately heading to Heathrow from Salisbury and not returning to the hotel at all. If the room was contaminated with novichok, as we are told it was, it could only have been done BEFORE the attack.
    This means that, assuming P & B brought the specially designed bottle into the room with them, either the bottle was leaking, the nerve agents was somehow inserted into the bottle in the room or the nerve agent was inserted in the bottle beforehand and then opened inside the room itself. I do not find any of these scenarios credible.
    Traces of novichok in the room, of course, suggest traces of novichok on the two perpetrators and this leads to the question “are we seriously expected to believe that Petrov and Boshirov agreed to carry-out a mission where there was a chance that they would be contaminated with novichok?” Given that they appear to have gone to straight to Heathrow, wearing the same clothes they wore during the failed murder attempt, was there really no decontamination procedure in place for them should decontamination be required? The smiley photograph of them on Fisherton Road, presumably only minutes after they applied novichok to Mr Skripal’s door handle, does not suggest that either feared they were contaminated with the most deadly substance known to mankind.

    • raffik

      but they also went to Salisbury the day before and went back to the hotel, are we sure the novichok wasn’t used the day before and Salisbury contaminated the day before?
      Imagine that the couple are the real perpetrators, the questions rising are too many:
      -beginners attitude?
      -why not killing with a car crash?
      -Julia skripal interview is strange, are the british still hiding something, why not exposing all facts?
      -what about the second wave of novichok?
      I think truth would be easier to find if the Russians are allowed to share all datas, maybe the story is much different. Now it is not convincing for its dynamic.

    • raffik

      If you had to organize the killing of somebody and you had in your hands the biggest killing organization in the world, would you have done it that way?
      Careless of the retorsions from Nato’s countries?
      Would you have abandoned a bottle of novichok in Salinsbury?
      I think we are not told the full story.
      the honest option is:
      -Deviated intelligence members organized it, might be Usa or Russia
      -Do not underestimate that now there are also private organization who do such things on commission and accept anonymous payments from anonymous costumers.

      • Nemo

        For Russia poisoning is standard:

        2006 Litvinenko, UK killed by poisoning with radioactive polonium-210

        2010 Gareth Williams, UK death (poisoning??) (

        1978 Bulgarian Georgi Markov, London killing with poison Ricin – currently (7/10/18) covered by a BBC Radio 4 programme

        Attempted murder in identical way with Ricin of another Bulgarian dissident in Paris, some months before Markov, mentioned in same BBC Radio 4 programme.

        Yes, I would abandon a used perfume bottle of Novichok in Salisbury. Do you think anyone would be insane enough to carry it through airport security as a 100 ml bottle in a transparent bag, back to Russia? What would YOU do with it?

        So, if ”you had in your hands the biggest killing organization in the world” what better way would YOU use to kill Sergei Skripal?

        • raffik

          1)you forget to mention those killed by Usa intelligence, killings of traitors or foreign enemies is a common practice of all intelligence, not only russians. We can say Russians might did it deliberately more evidentsometimes.
          2)there are ways to get rid of novichok safely and domestically, no need to throw away a bottle, talk to your chemistry advisor
          3)you can kill simulating heart attack, car accident, alienate the body so there is no proof of murder, it will make harder to trace back the perpetrators…..most of uncomfortable people are killed this way by intelligence. I can suggest you some movies or fictional literature.
          I do still believe Russian or Usa leaders would never let deliberately a bottle of novichok free in garbage in a foreign country. That is why, all this affair stinks and we are not told the full tale.
          All the examples you made describe cases in which the target was carefully choosen and hit, and no innocents were involved.

          • Nemo

            W.R.T. your:

            1) We are taking about SPECIFIC cases (most specifically, the Skripals), in BRITAIN (with the exception of the Paris attack), where killing the targets was of obvious interest to RUSSIA, and no other nation. However, I note your acceptance that Russia carries out such attacks, in ways that can be ”deliberately” evident.

            2) You mean, as a good Green, take the Novichok containers home, wash them out, and put them in the sorted plastic waste stream for further handling by the council!?!? Do you seriously think that, at some danger to themselves, assassins would do that? No, they would want to get rid of the evidence, and danger (which actually is negligible for properly trained and equipped operatives). Apart from which Petrov and Boshirov had nowhere to do their ‘Save the Earth’ Novichok disposal – after the attack they were merely travellers.

            Incidentally, I’m a (retired) scientist, in a field of physics. For Petrov and Boshirov to have carried out chemical operations to neutralise the Novichok is rather more complex than just rinsing out the bottle for the council: it would require even more chemicals, and apparatus, to be carried from London to the Skripals’ house, then used somewhere between there and the airport. Just where would they do it? Why would they bother? And, it would leave them with even more contaminated items to dispose of. Would YOU do that? Why?

            Whoever it was decided to dump the danger and evidence as soon as possible, and they thought it an entirely rational decision (as I do), so it would be as rational for Petrov and Boshirov as for anyone else. In fact, it would have been insane to have done anything else.

            3) In accordance with your suggestions, there are indeed many UK deaths of Russian exiles which have been accepted by UK authorities as not murders, though arising suspicions among those authorities and exiles. They served the purpose of 1 & 2 in my 2/10/18 response to Stewart. However, they FAIL to ADEQUATELY serve the purpose of 3). To surely achieve 3, in a percentage of operations (not necessarily every one) significant signs MUST to be left as to who the perpetrator was – once again I say NO EVIDENCE, THEN NO MESSAGE. The speciality / uniqueness of Polonium for Litvinenko, and Novichok for the Skripals, were operations intentionally designed to leave evidence (specifically of state actors, specifically Russia), and a message (from Russia – as in the gloating Russian quotes I gave in my 2/10/18 response).

            Incidentally, would you like to tell us what nationality you represent yourself to be?

          • raffik

            Evidence is something, while negligebility is something else.
            Evidence can be interpreted as: deviation or as a clear deterrent.
            To neutralize the left over novichok (the danger) is a must on any operation in which the target is defined. And I am expecting any intelligence officer of any nation to respect selectivness of targets. I hardly believe (in today’s world) a state as Russia at its highest level, would tolerate the indiscriminate murder of civilians.
            I heard and seen too much to trust the simple evidence that intelligence’s “experts” subscribe. When politics is involved lies flourish, manipulation governs, deviation is the norm. Unfortunately Nato countries and mostly Usa are masters of these arts with more sofisticated techniques than their enemies who often and still use traditional means on consent.
            I do still believe we are not told the full story.
            I think it would have been better if Uk had accepted Russia’s offer of cooperation in the investigation, the tale would have been more credable. If you are a scientist you know very well the method and the importance of controll of all phases of the experiment, from all sides and parties!
            I did not expect the news of novichok to be spread so fast and the stone of guiltyness thrown so straight before having any element. I am so dubious that I suspect of Russia as much of Usa or even corporations who want to sell liquified gas to Europe….. Anything is possible and I tend more to imagine the impossible rather than the “evidence” we are served.
            The art of misdirection teaches to watch on the opposite side against any evidence.
            Nationality, citizenships? Is of any importance in this discussion?
            I entered this blog because I was interested to find the truth, but I come out with even more doubts, but I know puppets and dogs in politics believe any story they are offered, not because it is credable but because any dissidency would endanger their priviledge. And “common people”? They buy anything, they are grown up watching antirussian movies, antirussian news, so Skripal’s case is just another evidence that reinforce their conformism.

          • Francois Labelle

            Raffik… “Anything is possible and I tend more to imagine the impossible rather than the «evidence» we are served. The art of misdirection teaches to watch on the opposite side against any evidence.” Base on overwhelming evidence in pathetic display, I deduct Raffik is an unmitigated idiot…and a Russian troll!

          • raffik

            1)I did not offend anybody in this post, I thought the website was helping to understand facts better, maybe I am an idiot, I am sure there are very smart people that might make me appear naive and stupid, but I am not trolling. I think doubt is the essence of knowledge and thanks to it discovered very sad truth about those people who claim to be honest and pure and smart.

            2)It looks like that every dissentis a ppointed as a troll. it is the short escape for those who do not want to tell or know the full story

            3)In substance the major mistake made by Uk was to esclude Russians from cooperation since the begining. How can you insist on the truthfullness and scientificity of a research when you do not permit others to observe from all point of views? it betrays the Galileian principles of the method. Sorry, this is and was the biggest mistake Uk did to invalidate most of its work. The premises are important. And all parties might have equal access to datas. Do tribunal work in a different way?

            4)Another important aspects is to draw conclusions without real proofs. The “fact” that Borishov and Petrov might be connected to Gru, does not determine necessarily they are the perpetrators. I make you an example:
            There are several ways to build a 3 dimensional shape:
            -hand:sculpture, modelling, assembling…
            -machine: cnc machines, injections machines……
            The result is the same, but the production process is completely different. Now to go back on Skripal case, Skripal was poisoned and is a Russian traitor, but the way it happended might be a very different spy story than the one sold to western medias.
            My position is still open to possibilities and I am sure we are not told the full tale jet. My experience suggests me that truth matures after decades and modern policy and prejudices compromise the search for truth. History is a political necessity.


          • Francois Labelle

            “My experience suggests me that truth matures after decades and modern policy and prejudices compromise the search for truth. History is a political necessity.” My experience suggests Russia ‘s truth has been maturing for over a hundred year…and anyone who has not figure out Russia right now is an unmitigated idiot….and, I’m sorry, you’re in the idiot club!

          • raffik

            Isolating Russia make it worse. Europe is a natural partner of Russia, we have a lot in common much more than with Usa, that are keeping European prisoners and colonized and do anything to avoid contacts with Russia. few months before the events in Ukraine, Russia was planning free visa entry for all citizens of European countries. Usa are scared European manufacturers and enterpreneurs and politicians get in contacts with Russia and its risources. Usa transformed Europe in the battlefield of a potential conflict with Russia. Europeans are Usa hostages.

          • Francois Labelle

            Trying to blame the USA for Russian criminal acts, war crimes in Syria, the illegal land grab in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, Georgia, Transnistria, Chechnya, doping its athletes with FSB help, extrajudicial killings on foreign land, fraudulent elections, lying about Russia’s involvement in Crimea – Eastern Ukraine, Lying about the downing by Russian forces of MH17, the corrupt government run like a mafia state…etc etc…GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!!

          • Nemo


            Sorry, but this has absolutely no contact with reality.

            A simple barrier to interaction with Russia is the cultural one of alphabet, with most of Europe to W of Russia using the Roman alphabet; non-common alphabets complicate commerce and other interactions.

            Then we have the religion-based culture, specifically the ‘Protestant work ethic’ of NW Europe, which is shared with N America (=USA + Canada).

            Europe W of Russia shares family ties with N America, by emigration to there (nobody to my knowledge has ever tried to to immigrate to Russia – the flow, particularly of Jews – was out).

            As a large English speaking economy in Europe, with English a world language, there is a balance in Europe to N America, rather then Russia.

            N America’s legal system is based on the UK’s, and again that makes commerce easy. UK is a dominant world financial centre because its legal system is trusted to be fair / impartial. Also, understanding and operating according to that system enables easy interaction with a large part of the rest of the world. ENGLISH Common Law is the most widespread legal system in the world – ‘30% of the world’s population living under English Common Law systems’ ( By contrast, Russian law is regarded by companies as highly untrustworthy, and corrupt. Having become an oligarchic kleptocracy, Russia is now known as ‘Nigeria – with snow’, because of that corruption (, but also known as ‘Upper Volta – with missiles’ (German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, ~1988) – if it didn’t have missiles you would never have heard of it.

            You are correct in that Europe has an interest in access to Russia’s resources in the case of ‘raw materials’, but, apart from military hardware and some space hardware, Russia has practically nothing else to offer. For domestic markets Russia manufactures practically nothing that the world wants, with its goods regarded as desperately inferior (that’s polite, ‘rubbish’ is the common term); contrast with China’s successful manufacturing.

            However, all of the above, and other items that could be added, fade into insignificance compared to the detestation of Russia arising from its occupation of E Europe from 1945 to 1990. The countries that got out of that were desperate to get into the EU and NATO – the EU and NATO were actually holding them off until they could achieve political and economic stability, and were not military liabilities. Neither the USA, nor the EU, forced them into those alliances. The escaped E European countries want as little to do with Russia as possible. One can contrast the attitude of these escaped countries to their former master to that of the former colonies of the UK to the UK. Practically every former colony of the UK has excellent, and warm, friendly, relations with the UK, in particular through ‘The Commonwealth’ – formerly ‘The British Commonwealth’, with Queen Elizabeth II serving its (symbolic) Head: ”The Commonwealth of Nations is a VOLUNTARY association of 53 sovereign states. Nearly all of them are former British colonies or dependencies of those colonies. … The members have a combined population of 2.4 billion, almost a third of the world population. … Currently sixteen of the member states are Commonwealth realms, with the Head of the Commonwealth [Queen Elizabeth II] as their head of state.” ( Initially restricted to ex-UK colonies, membership has been taken, and is currently being applied for, by countries that were not British colonies.

            The modern state murders of their own journalists and politicians, and attacks abroad on such as the Skripals and Litvinenko, only support detestation of Russia. It is a gangster state.

          • raffik

            Find me a state that is not a gangster one, there are no quality differences.
            Study the history of Usa from the genocide and land occupation of native americans. usa are so hypocrite to open museums about European making genocides, but are very carefull to hide the tens of millions of enslaved and murders among Africans and amerindians. I think there is no need to emntion the millions of victims caused in Latin America, where usa interfered in the last 2 centuries.
            Why Usa through Nato is settling balistic missiles on Russians’ borders? Am I mistaken or Kennedy menaced war because ussr had missiles in Cuba? How many military bases and posts usa has and how many Russia? Isn’t a gangster attitude to attack and bombard states with the pretext of humanitarian wars?Iraq, Serbia, Libia, Afghanistan, Pakistan… Isn’t gangsters’s behaviour to spread uranium all over bomarded countries and cause millions of genetic mutations in infants?
            Do you believe usa never produced or use doping to favour its athletes? I know personally world recormen who went to Usa to be doped!! Usa are good to cheat controlls, Usa has great propaganda machine more credable than the Russian one.
            I could go on for hours…. Usa did not only take all Nazis scientists, but also adopted the Nazis propaganda tecniques and inbettered them.
            Usa spent 5000 millions Usa dollars to organize the Ukrainan civil war! Who wants to know, knows. I think Ukraine decided to forbid Russian Language and was ready to offoer Crimea to harbour foreign military fleets.
            I see that many in this website have prejudice and hatred towards Russia and forget what Uk and Usa did to the world. it looks like some people in this website are living in a bubble of dreams and cannot see both lies and truths.

          • Nemo

            I could go through this item by item to refute it.

            But, let’s just ask simple questions under 2 headings, and think about the answers:

            1) Why is it the dream of so many in the world to immigrate into the USA, either by the Green Card Scheme, or illegally, to the extent that the USA considers it has to build a wall to keep them out? Note that the illegal immigrants are largely from Latin America, with Cuba featuring strongly. Why would they go to a country that you allege had committed genocide against them? Do Jews flock to immigrate into Germany? Historically those immigrants have included refugees from Russia.

            2) Who in the past century has tried to immigrate into Russia? Nobody as far as I know. To the contrary, at the instigation of Russia, the Iron Curtain of barbed wire, watch-towers, machine-guns and minefields was built to imprison whole nations.

            A British Minister recently compared the EU to the Soviet Union. As reported in the 2/10/18 Daily Telegraph it drew furious responses:

            Lithuania’s EU Commissioner: ”I was born in Soviet Gulag and been imprisoned by KGB few times in my life. Happy to brief you on main differences between EU and Soviet Union. And also why we escaped the USSR.”

            Latvia’s ambassador to Britain: ”Soviets, killed, deported, exiled and imprisoned 100 thousands of Latvia’s inhabitants after the illegal occupation of 1940 and ruined lives of 3 generations…”.

            Estonia’s ambassador to London: ”Soviet regime was brutal. I lived under it. Comparison is insulting.”

            I repeat, everyone who experienced Russian occupation has a loathing of Russia, to the extent that whole nations of even Russian speakers welcomed the Germans as liberators in WWII and fought for them; stupidly, the Germans managed to turn those allies against them by brutality as bad as that of Russia.

            Russia has been a brutal country, and, under Putin, is now returning to that history. ‘Too long under the knout’, then the Cheka, NKVD, KGB etc has produced a supine populace. The death toll it has inflicted upon itself (particularly in culling the intelligent and questioners) has possibly been large enough to have the same effect as in the breeding of dogs, i.e. to cause a genetic shift – to lower intelligence and passivity in the case of Russia.

            To conclude:
            Russia isolated E Europe for 45 years, propagandising against the USA, yet, at the end of that time, those nations wanted nothing to do with Russia, but were desperate to get into alliance with the EU and USA-led NATO. Exactly today Greece is begging the USA to establish permanent military bases there, as other European nations have begged; in the meanwhile, far from wanting to expand, Trump has been hinting on cutting back on support of NATO – the USA regards it as a financial liability.

            The people of the world have an adequate understanding of history and the nature of nations, and, when free, VOTE WITH THEIR FEET – for the USA and EU, and away from Russia as fast as their feet will carry them.

          • raffik

            1)United States of America has the most powerful propaganda machine of the history of human kind. Please read Chomsky’s: “Manufacturing Consent”. Other work might open your eyes:
            Why people are eager to pay for a Coca-cola rather than for a glass of water which is infinitely more healthy? Propaganda! Some decades ago african women were giving their kids, coca-cola instead of milk, because they were very fragile to propaganda. Why millions of westerners bought trash-stocks and we had financial bubbles? Because we have very good propaganda machines to convince them to trust the financial system.
            Usa are good to cultivate the dream, why do they need to pay for spots about green cards and lottery on the web? To keep the dream alive! Usa and Europe now, need dreamers who accept slavery and need to believe the maximum reward is citizenship. Western economy needs self enslaved subjects. Western world needs young dreamers to replace the kids that the liberal west does not make any more.
            The west sucks slaves from poor countries, from countries destroyed by wars, by sanctions, by bombardments, by misery. Only desperate, stupid bums or very good researchers go to Usa from Europe. Why?
            The Usa propaganda is so efficient to distort reality, that when you go to Usa and see girls, you remain shocked how fat and ugly they are compared to what Hollywood’s movies portray.
            If you put before anything and anyone, money, than Usa might be good for you. Any person with a brain agrees with it. Usa devours identity, friendships, history in a melting pot in which millions of slaves do not realize, that they are supporting the biggest war machine ever. But remember, most of this richness is based on the destruction of the world resources and exploitation of resources in far away countries.
            About genocide committed by Usa government and personell, it is over evident with the native people of north America.

            2)You know when the dream was alive, hundreds of thousands of communists moved to Ussr. But Ussr collapsed, not because of economy, but because of the failure of the dream. Modern national states survive only thanks to their propaganda: patriotism, compulsory education, tv and media bombardment. Don’t you wonder why patriotism needs to be instigated as much as a religion?
            The difference between Russia or Ussr before and Usa, is simply quantitative not qualitative. People in Ussr did not feel imprisoned, you believe it because Usa propaganda built this perception among its subject. Study filmography, book, news, and you will notice the obsession of instilling in western subjects the idea that our colegues in Ussr felt in a prison. Why do you think stream medias talk about disasters so much? To instil you a sense of security. Usa propaganda machine was built copying Goebbels. When the wall broke and i visited long and large the ex Ussr, I discovered the truth and the lies about the west. Ussr did not need to demonize the west, they did not invest so much in it.
            You know, the west will give resonancy to those who speak bad about the east. This is part of the propaganda game. And the west is a master of propaganda.
            Armenians were saved by Ussr, if not for it, Armenians would exist only in diaspora. If I am not mistaken, 50 years ago, afro-americans were still legally treated as subhumans in Usa and also native americans! Ask the survivors of napalm in Vietnam or the uranium deformed kids in Serbia, Japan, Bosnia, Iraq…. about testing democracy on their skin.
            The sufferings caused by Cia in Latin America is beyond imagination.
            Please be honest.
            I learnt to find bad and good on both sides, it is the only way to dig for truth.

            To conclude:
            Brutality is on both sides, but the masters of propaganda hide it better and make the public believe it is justice. Russia did not isolate Europe, it is Usa that is scared Europe gets in touch with Russia. The cocktail would be a superpower and a marginalization of Usa both militarily and economically (the penthagon knows it very well). Usa corrupted and corrupts daily, blackmails and klills daily its opponents in Europe. To drive a golpe Usa spent 5 billions dollars in Ukraine, not to mention what I personally saw in ex Jugoslavia and during the golpe in Romania, where Usa and its puppets financed hatred and armed everybody to destroy the Balkans that did not want to bend to Usa. Try to discuss Nato in europe and they will emarginate you, and if not possible they will black mail you, and if not possible they will try to buy you, and if not possible they will kill you by accident, believe it or not. Cia are as bad as Russians intelligence, they only get higher payments!
            Please do not talk about freedom of vote. Means of consent are so powerfull that western subjects vote what they are “told”. The west has a very articulated and sophisticated consent machine, that is why it needs less apparent violence. Modern consent reduce traditional violence and concentrate more on conformation or better said: brainwashing.

          • Francois Labelle

            Thanks, Nemo for your insightful logical comments…sad to see you waste your time with millions of Russian/ Russian partisan/ ex-pat Russian idiot trolls!

  8. Jeroen

    Boshirov and Petrov have still not revealed yet why they really travelled to Salisbury, what was their goal?

    • H. Elping

      Moreover, the Investigative Committee (IC) of the Russian Federation has opened a case on attempted murder of Skripals. As Viktoria Skripal (nephew of Sergei) communicated she was invited to IC for a questioning about Petrov and Boshirov. However there is no indication that Petrov and Boshirov themselves were ever invited by IC for questioning. Is it not a little bit strange?


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