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Metropolitan Police Service refrains from comments on second suspect in Skripal case

Britain’s The Daily Telegraph claimed earlier in the day that the man originally identified as Alexander Petrov in reality was Alexander Mishkin, a Russian military intelligence officer

LONDON, October 8. /TASS/. The Metropolitan Police Service does not comment on media speculations about the identities of the suspects in the Skripal poisoning case, a spokesman told TASS on Monday.

"We are not going to comment on speculation regarding their [the suspects’] identities," he said.

Britain’s The Daily Telegraph and the UK-based ‘investigative journalism’ group Bellingcat claimed earlier in the day that the man originally identified as Alexander Petrov in reality was Alexander Mishkin, 39, a Russian military intelligence officer.

If the British version of the affair is to be believed former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, suffered the effects of a nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such an agent.

On September 5, British Prime Minister Theresa May briefed parliament on the investigation’s findings to declare that two Russians carrying passports issued in the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were suspected accomplices in the assassination attempt. Britain regards both men as GRU agents. Petrov and Boshirov in an interview to the RT television channel dismissed the charges.

Earlier, The Daily Telegraph claimed it knew the real name of the person suspected of the assassination attempt against the Skripals. The newspaper said that the man originally identified as Ruslan Boshirov was in reality Russian Colonel Anatoly Chepiga, a holder of several government awards. Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said following this publication that he had "no information that a man by this name has ever received any award.".