UK charges another Russian for nerve attack on double agent By Reuters
By Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) – British police said on Tuesday a third Russian had been charged in absentia with the 2018 Novichok murder attempt on former double agent Sergei Skripal, saying they could also now confirm the three suspects were military intelligence operatives.
Skripal was a Russian spy who had been selling secrets to Britain. This caused the largest row between Russia, the West and Russia since the Cold War. It led to the expulsion of many diplomats from the UK, as Britain blamed Moscow.
Russia denied any involvement in the attack on Skripal, who sold Russian secrets to Britain.
Skripal, his daughter Yulia, and a fellow officer from the police went to their house were discovered unconscious on March 18, 2018. They were taken to hospital after being exposed to military-grade nerve agents.
After her partner discovered a fake perfume bottle, police believed it was smuggled in to the country, a woman also succumbed to Novichok poisoning.
British prosecutors in September 2018 charged Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, both Russians. They were then known as Ruslan Petrov and Ruslan Bolshirov.
Dean Haydon (the UK’s Senior national coordinator for counter terrorism police) stated that the prosecutors have now authorized them to accuse Sergey Fedotov – a man about fifty – with the same offenses.
Haydon said that Petrov and Boshirov had been renamed Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, while Fedotov was actually Denis Sergeev.
They were a three-man GRU team which had carried out operations on behalf of the Russian state in other countries, and there had been discussions with Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, he said, the first time that the police had categorically identified them as Russian spies.
Haydon said that they could not go into detail about how but had evidence linking them to the GRU. He described them as extremely-trained. All three are extremely dangerous.
Like the Russians two and three, British police have obtained Fedotov’s arrest warrant. He stated that they are applying to Interpol for notices against Fedotov.
Haydon said that all three of the men are believed to have been in Russia. Britain does not have an extradition treaty with Russia and has so far refused cooperation from Russian authorities.
This announcement by the police comes as the European Court of Human Rights has ruled Russia responsible for 2006 death of Alexander Litvinenko, ex-KGB Officer. Litvinenko was poisoned in a London hotel using Polonium 210, which is a rare radioactive element.
British police claim that Petrov and Boshirov were responsible for the Skripal attack, while Fedotov was present at their meetings several times during the weekend between March 2nd and 3.
Boshirov, Petrov were both interviewed by Russian TV and claimed that they had been tourists when they visited Salisbury.
The famous Salisbury Cathedral is just a few steps away. It is well-known throughout Europe as well as the rest of the globe. Boshirov spoke of its famous 123-meter-highspire.