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Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin

October 8, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Translations: Русский

Please read our full report on the life and times of Dr. Alexander Mishkin here.

In the preceding report from the current investigation into the two suspects in the Skripals poisoning case, Bellingcat and its reporting partner the Insider disclosed the identity of one of the two suspects. The person travelling under the alias of Ruslan Boshirov was identified as GRU’s Col. Anatoliy Chepiga, recipient of Russia’s highest state award.

Bellingcat can now report that it has conclusively identified the second suspect, who travelled to Salisbury under the alias Alexander Petrov. In its previous reporting, we already produced evidence that “Alexander Petrov” is not an authentic persona, but an undercover alias for an officer of a Russian security agency. In another report, we established that “Petrov” was specifically working for Russia’s military intelligence, the GRU.

We have now identified “Alexander Petrov” to be in fact Dr. Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, a trained military doctor in the employ of the GRU. Bellingcat’s identification process included multiple open sources, testimony from people familiar with the person, as well as copies of personally identifying documents, including a scanned copy of his passport. The full identification process will be described in the upcoming full report.

While Alexander Mishkin’s true persona has an even sparser digital footprint than Anatoliy Chepiga’s, Bellingcat has been able to establish certain key facts from his background.

A scanned copy of Alexander Mishkin’s passport, issued in 2001 in St. Petersburg. The passport lists his real name and place of birth as Loyga.

Who is Alexander Mishkin?

Alexander Mishkin was born on 13.07.1979 in the village of Loyga, in the Archangelsk District in Northern European Russia.  He studied and graduated from one of Russia’s elite Military Medical Academies, and was trained as a military doctor for the Russian naval armed forces.

During his medical studies, Mishkin was recruited by the GRU, and by 2010 had relocated to Moscow, where he received his undercover identity – including a second national ID and travel passport – under the alias Alexander Petrov.

In the period 2011-2018, Alexander Mishkin traveled extensively under his new identity. Bellingcat has identified multiple trips to Ukraine and to the self-declared Transnistrian Republic, the last of which as late as during the Maidan events in Kyiv in December 2013.

Unlike the case of Anatoliy Chepiga, “Petrov”’s cover identity retained most of the biographical characteristics of the authentic Mishkin – such as the exact birth date, first and patronymic name, and first names of his parents.

Until early September 2014, Mishkin’s registered home address in Moscow was Khoroshevskoe Shosse 76B – the address of the headquarters of the GRU.  In the autumn of 2014, both Mishkin and Anatoliy Chepiga moved to upscale apartments.

Alexander Mishkin current military rank is unknown. However, based on the known rank as of graduation from the Military Medical Academy (Russian military doctors graduate with a rank of senior lieutenant), and the elapsed time (15 years), it can be posited that as the time of the Skripals’ poisoning incident he was either a Lt. Colonel or a full Colonel.

Bellingcat and the Insider have interviewed multiple sources familiar with Mishkin, both in St. Petersburg and in his native Loyga.

In the full report, which will be published on Tuesday at 13:00, we will publish the full method by which Mishkin was identified, as well as witness testimony from various sources. The full report will also contain forensic evidence of the visual (facial) match between  “Alexander Mishkin” and “Alexander Petrov”

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    • Frank

      I don’t think that is feasible. However, it is a legitimate concern and I think that is the reason MI6 doesn’t want to identify either of these scumbags… I mean podonoks!

  1. Feodor Mihailovitch

    A scumbag ….in Russian it’s подонок or podõnok….then again when the whole country is run by a scumbag what can you expect ?

  2. Mr Smith

    Well Russkies have been caught red handed…. Russia is a terrorist state and should be destroyed. It is a sore of the world comparable to Nazi Germany, the sooner we eliminate them the better the whole humanity will be.

  3. Michael

    Has anybody thought to invite Putin over for a full state visit. I’m sure Salisbury could be decked up to accommodate. It has a lovely spire but Stonehenge gets a bit muddy.

  4. Ivan Ellovanich

    Well done, Bellingcat! No frills, incisive investigatory journalism at its best. Keep up the good work!

  5. Anthony

    So at a time of heightened suspicions of Russia, UK Border Force uses a visa vetting process that allows ranking GRU agents on direct flights from Russia to slip into the UK on false passports? How much has been spent on beefing up security due to terrorism? Was that money well spent?

    • Nemo

      I presume the UK visa was issued in Moscow by UK embassy staff (so, not by UK Border Force), after inspection of comprehensive, but forged, documentation for a business visit (even they are not stupid enough to have submitted an application with ‘I am a ranking GRU agent’). UK Border Force had no reason to question such a visa and its passport before Petrov and Borisov were identified as agents.

  6. william eiffert

    And what will the west do about the whole thing?
    What can the west do to stop this flagrant abuse of international law, abuse of power and abuse of its own people.
    I was recently in Moscow and was dismayed by its utilities, things we take for granted like a clean water supply, what comes out of the water pipes there, is often referred to as”red water”and cannot be drunk, electricity goes off for no reason.
    The place is falling apart!!!

  7. Piers Hardman

    It is a disgrace that Dawn Sturgess was murdered by a doctor. It was murder, in my opinion, because the perfume bottle was left in a public park with the express intention that an innocent member of the public would find the perfume bottle containing Novichok and would consequently be killed. Otherwise they would have buried the perfume bottle. Their intention was to kill another victim and spread panic. I don’t believe they brought Novichok in to the country themselves. My belief was that someone else was tasked with bringing it into the country for use at a later date. I also think the safest place to store the Novichok before Chepiga and Mishkin arrived in the UK would be in the Russian Embassy, which could not be searched by British police.

  8. Dmitry

    By the way, where is Sergey Skripal now? Where is his daughter? Maybe they want to add smthng to the issue? Shall we ever see them dead or alive?
    The id photos say nothing criminal to me. I own such one.

    • Grubbie

      You cunning devil Dmitry,you want to know so you can finish the job?Were you in Salisbury sightseeing as well?


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