Skripal poisoning: Third suspect named as Russian intelligence officer Denis Sergeev — Bellingcat

Access to the comments Comments
By Emma Beswick
Skripal poisoning: Third suspect named as Russian intelligence officer Denis Sergeev — Bellingcat

The Bellingcat investigative website has identified high-ranking Russian intelligence officer Denis Sergeev as the third suspect in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

A GRU officer, Sergeev was in the UK when the Skripals a fell into a coma, due to what UK authorities said was a deliberate poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok, the website reported. 

He operated internationally using the alias "Sergey Vyachaeslavovich Fedotov", it added.

Sergeev enrolled at the elite Military Diplomatic Academy, popularly known in Russia as the “GRU Conservatory”, at some point between 2000 and 2002, according to the site.

Bellingcat also alleged that Russian authorities took "the unusual measure of erasing any public records of the existence of Denis Sergeev."

The investigative website was the first to name two Russian suspects in the Skripal poisoning as Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, both of whom worked for Russia’s GRU intelligence services, it said.

READ MORE: What we know about the Novichok nerve agent

The UK charged the two men — known by the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov — with attempted murder in their absence.

The Kremlin repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident in Sailsbury, saying Britain staged the attack to promote anti-Russian sentiment.

Furthering a possible link between the Skripal case and the 2015 poisoning of a Bulgarian arms trader in Sofia, Bellingcat established that the officer travelled to Bulgaria multiple times in 2015.

This included a trip days before the arms dealer and his son were severely poisoned with a yet-unidentified poison.

Bulgarian authorities announced on Monday that they were investigating a potential link between the two cases.