Skripal Poisoning Suspects’ Passport Data Suggests Possible Cover Identities: Report

Russian documents reviewed by citizen-journalism news site Bellingcat and The Insider Russia are said to indicate that the two men suspected in the poisoning of British spy Sergei Skripal have no records in the Russian resident database prior to 2009—indicating that pair are possibly working under “cover identities for operatives of one of the Russian security services.” Alexander Yevgenievich Petrov and Ruslan Timurovich Boshirov were also issued “internal passports” in 2009, with one of their files featuring “top-secret” markings that are reportedly reserved for “members of secret services or top state operatives.” The report directly contradicts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that the two were mere civilians who were wrongly targeted after an innocent weekend trip to England. In an interview broadcast by propaganda outlet RT on Thursday, both men absurdly claimed their friends have been telling them “for some time” to visit Salisbury—where Skripal and his daughter, Julia, were poisoned. But Bellingcat’s report states that passenger manifests indicate they booked their flights on the night before their trip from London to Salisbury and left for Moscow on the day Skripals were attacked.