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Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin

October 8, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

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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310 Comments

      • MesC

        These passports were used from 2000-2006, it´s a non-biometric machine-readable passport. One of the security features was the seal number. The seal number was introduced 1997 and it was valid as this passport was made.

        This passport or better said this picture of a passport hasn´t this essential security feature. So it´s pretty obvious a fake.

        Another strange thing is the third letter of the last name Mishkin on the bottom page. You can clearly see that the “ш” looks like a blurred solid block.

        Reply
  1. Elmer

    Everyone are masturbating of those disclosed identities and saying how evil is Russia and it’s cold blood bastard Putin. But I’m still waiting for the same stories about USA or Israeli agents. If those stories are true, Russians need to patch their fake ID system and everything should be fine as usual. Only unconscious people who don’t known at all how international politics works can be shocked by stories like this.

    Reply
    • Eddie Storey

      Maybe, but yuor comment is still classic “whataboutism”, also known as “whataboutery”, “a red herring” and “two wrongs make a right”.

      Please refer us to the last time a defector was attacked with a nerve agent on foreign soil and who was suspected of being responsible? It’s not exactly an everyday occurrence

      Reply
  2. F Guru

    Its so good! To imagine red faces from anger some of gru high officers standing on red carpet in line for explanation…
    Super job guys! Keep fighting!

    Reply
    • Ellen Riply

      The Hippocratic oath is a myth now. It says doctors must teach an apprentice and give treatment for free. In the US, docs let you die if u can’t pay. Maybe the doc was around in case his comrad got ill himself.

      Reply
    • bananaman

      I hope his spying is better than his doctoring for the sake of his future career prospects.

      Reply
  3. John

    Fantastic work yet again. Seems Vlad the Impaler was followed by Vlad the Poisoner. Somewhere in between was Vlad the Hacker. But overall it’s safe to say we have Vlad the Evil. Ras..Putin and his evil empire. Well done Bellingcat. I’m looking forward to the GRU trolls on here pathetically trying to save face with their lies and hate.

    Reply
      • John

        Aaarghhhhh Antony……you got me……aaarghhhhh… (Falls down dead)………Big effing deal…..! Hope you are enjoying your grey concrete state supplied living accommodation. God but you GRU boys must hate us in the West enjoying the good life! 🙂

        Reply
    • Ivan

      You can consider me a Troll of Putin, but I inform you that this is the site of trolls USA. Where Bellingcat got a passport and archive data Mishkin? It’s Photoshop. Even if this is true, people in all countries change their names and travel abroad. Is that illegal?

      Reply
    • ilya

      You can consider me a Troll of Putin, then I inform you that this is the site of trolls USA. Where Bellingcat got a passport and archive data Mishkin? Bellingcat checked 250 million citizens of Russia and found himself? It’s Photoshop, or scam. Even if this is true, people in all countries change their names and travel abroad. Is that illegal?

      Reply
  4. archie henderson

    My first visit to this site. I will certainly be back. I have been looking for a site like this.

    Reply
  5. Polish reader

    Well, no matter if they are agents or civilians. They didn’t poison Skripal. Wrong suspects in my opinion. Probably was an inside MI5 job. Stay strong Russia.

    Reply
      • Ruslab

        This is russian bot. Russian’s always says “not we are”. We are fighting with this f@#$ng country more than 4 years. You have to wake up, war is so close to you. Glory to Ukraine!

        Reply
        • francesca

          just a little hint Ruslab
          Glory to Ukraine rings alarm bells to progressive westerners.
          Nationalism and fascism and all that
          Rather frowned upon

          Reply
          • Nemo

            “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” (attributed to George Orwell, possibly wrongly).

            Substitute,
            People = ‘progressive westerners’ / liberals, dripping condescension.
            ‘rough men’ = Ukrainians, or NATO.

            Ukraine is in an existential battle with its brutal, expansive, neighbour Russia, so a Ukrainian, if such Ruslab is (Russian Laboratory?!?), can hardly be expected to pussy-foot around with words. Nor does Nationalism = Fascism (Godwin’s Law: first to accuse the other side of Fascism / Nazism automatically loses the argument – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law).

            From a non-‘progressive’ westerner – Glory to Ukraine and its nationalists.

          • Eddie Storey

            Your quote sounds more like Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”.

            It is true that Ukraine was/is trying to break free from its lingering Soviet past and government by proxy from the Kremlin (through ex-President Yanukovych and the Party of Regions), but your comment comes across as embarassingly gung-ho and slightly naive.

            No matter what you say (for example resorting to referencing Godwin’s Law), establishing national sovereignty in Ukraine does not necessarily need the help of outright fascist and neo-Nazi groups such as the “National Militia”, the Azov Battalion and the “Sober and Angry Youth”.

            Ukraine has a genuine and worrying issue with neo-Nazism. They’re not only fighting in Donbas, they’re also attacking and killing Romas and the LGBT community etc. It’s an issue that you should be acknowledging, not denying.

            PS You’re also naive in assuming that “francesca” is actually a “progressive Westerner”.

          • Nemo

            The quote is a well known one, and has been commonly (mis-) attributed to George Orwell (https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/11/07/rough-men/; https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/List_of_misquotations).

            Francesca’s 13/10/18 ”just a little hint Ruslab Glory to Ukraine rings alarm bells to progressive westerners. Nationalism and fascism and all that
            rather frowned upon” reads as ‘her’ OWN ‘progressive’ thoughts; if not, then ‘her’ posting might have been more cleverly / clearly phrased. I had / have spotted no other posting in this thread by ‘Francesca’, so I have no reason to take ‘her’ posting at other than face value (and nor do you), though I’m not naïve enough not to be aware ‘Francesca’ might be someone entirely different.

            ‘Glory to Ukraine’, the phrase ‘she’ criticised, has nothing to do with extolling the neo-Nazi policies you mention, so I had no need to comment on such policies; it is an expression of simple pride in nationality (‘Patriotism’, distinguishable (just) from Nationalism – see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationalism), such as features in many national anthems. ”Francesca’s”, implicit equating of ‘Nationalism’ to ‘Fascism’ is ridiculous, and insulting to such as Norwegians and Swedes who make extravagant displays of their nationality on their – now what do they call them?, oh, yes – National Days.

            What’s naive is not to recognise that Ukraine is in a (paused?) war for its existence, supported (ostensibly in a non-shooting way) by NATO (https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2016_07/20160627_1607-factsheet-nato-ukraine-support-eng.pdf; https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_37750.htm). So, NATO supports the national identity of Ukrainians, and would not do so if that was fascistic. Ruslab’s (Russian Laboratory?!?) post would be consistent (though not indicative) with him being in the front-line of currently live shooting from Russian Spetsnaz , and there is nothing ’embarassingly gung-ho and slightly naïve’ about giving him encouragement in that situation. Do you have some naive pussy-footing words for someone who might get their head blown off at any moment?

    • Peter

      So two highly ranked GRU officers take a flight from Moscow to London and desperately want to see a church (??) in a place almost 2 hours outside London. They go there twice during the two days stay, and completely coincidential a traitorous former GRU head gets poisoned with a military grade nerve poison, while they are in town. After their second visit, where the poisoning was supposed to happen, they go right to the airport and fly back home to Russia. Of course this does not definitiely proves everything, but I know what I put my bet on..

      Reply
    • bananaman

      Look out the Poles have arrived………… Russian sympathiser too, so no doubt one of the 20,000 ethnic Russians living there?
      If it was an MI5 job they must be smarter than I thought to catch the villians on cam everywhere at the same time, while they took a short holiday break with false passports and a doctor on board too.

      Reply
    • Steve Jones

      So, “Polish reader”, MI5 managed to identify that two Russians would be making a couple of 2 hour trips to Salisbury on consecutive days (an uncontested fact as, CCTV evidence apart, RT posted a video interview with them). Then MI5 must have thought, here’s our chance, we can poison Sergie Skripal and his daughter and blame it on these innocent Russian dupes who are just out for a sight-seeing trip.

      Clearly MI5, according to your theory, have extraordinary capabilities as yet undreamed of.

      A more reasonable thought that occurs to me is that you’ve got precisely no evidence to support your supposition, but that there is ample, corroborated sources with forensic evidence that this pair were not innocent tourists but something much more sinister. In fact, your contention is risible.

      Reply
  6. Vit

    and the passport number is not shown in connection with what? After all, according to the passport number you can find out the true owner of the document.

    Reply
    • Eddie Storey

      Here come the Bots with their silly stories about “gay tourists” and “fake made by photoshop” (should be fakes, of course, as there are two photos).

      Mudozvon, there are two photos and both are official Russian state photos! In which case, it was the Russian authorities who faked the photos. And the GRU are either sloppy amateurs or they didn’t care if they got caught.

      Reply
      • Chris

        Of course they didn’t care if they got caught. That’s precisely the point. If they wanted the whole Skripal thing to have remained a mystery, they could have faked his suicide. Instead, they attacked him with Novichok – a weapon so rare and unique that it guaranteed that they would be the only plausible suspect.

        Reply
    • bananaman

      Yury, you Putin b*m boy. Leave your details here so we can see who you really are. The evidence from around the world is pretty compelling, about your singularly incompetent clowns from the GRU, whom you appear to be defending. Most people recognise that military intelligence is an oxymoron, but not you. You either an acolyte of the GRU keystone cops or an intellectual pygmy. Which is it?

      Reply
  7. samantha

    Home address Headquarters of the GRU? Are you fuckin kidding me? Can you just check if the head of the GRU is Mr Bean please?

    Reply
    • bananaman

      I confirm the it is Comrade Beanski on his fake passport and he drives a mini with special Russian plates.

      Reply
      • samantha

        hmmm Comrade Beanski has a lot of ass kissing to do. Comrade Putin has been made a laughing stock of world leaders, even kim jong-un looks more competent and intelligent than Comrade Putin. Comrade Beanski you need a new hat, try a plucked Turkey for size.

        Reply
    • Jimmy

      What do you say ?! If you do not know, even in the times of the USSR, military personnel were always registered at the address of a military unit and these clowns were registered precisely at the address of the headquarters before receiving their own apartments, which the Russian military receive free of charge from the Ministry of Defense.

      Reply
    • Andy

      Moin
      Der Text war mir eigentlich egal.
      Weil zu erwarten…
      Interessant sind die sich widersprechenden Augenlinien in den Bildern.
      Zwei weisen eindeutig auf die Oberkante
      Der Ohrmuschel.
      Das Bild mit Schlips hat eine andere Geometrie.
      Sorry

      Reply
      • Coffee

        You are aware that the eye line changes on tilting your head and the position of the camera, are you?

        I am just waiting until they officially admit it and start with “But the western secret services do that all the time – if WE do it is bad!?”

        Reply

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